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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here I go, I have always loved planted tanks and I finally get to try one. So wish me luck, and don't be to brutal. I will try and document this the best I can, so I can hopefully look back and see what a plant novice I was.

My tank is a 57G rimless 36x18x21.

I found the tank and stand on KSL.com classifieds (similar to craigslist but way better). The tank is brand new and the stand was made by the original purchaser.

The stand is rather unique, in that it is rather high, 41 inches tall. I am a little worried about the stand construction so I am gong to reinforce it with some 1/2 baltic birch plywood and then attach it to the wall because of the high center of gravity. I still need to make some doors for it.

The lighting (thanks to everyone on my lighting questions) is
2 - 30 deg EarthLED Lumiselect 36 watt dimmable LED PAR 38 bulbs 6000K (12 - 3 watt Cree xre )
1- 30 deg EarthLED Lumiselect 24 watt dimmable LED PAR 38 bulbs 6000K (12 -2 watt, I don't know the brand)

They are attached to WAC track lighting that will allow me to adjust the lights and add more if I need to. I have a dimmer inline and will add a mechanical timer. I have 2 more barn doors on order (the studio light shade things) and should be here in a week.

PAR reading at the bottom of the tank with just the 2 - 36 watt bulbs were around 100.

Substrate will be dirt (miracle grow) capped with caribsea flora max (midnight)

I have been hunting for rocks in the mountains and I ordered some Manzanita branches.

Filtration will be a sunsun canister.

Plants: I have no idea what to do here I am still researching this, I do not have a green thumb, so I think hardy easy plants would be best for me to start with.

Should I just try a starter package from aquariumplants.com or is it worth the $20 to have them make me a custom package? Or is there other places I should turn for plants. The LFS always seem iffy on the plants.

Hopefully I will have water in the tank come Saturday. Unless it would be better to plant the tank and then put the water in.

Sorry about the picture quality I will work on that.
 

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Wow real nice tank!!!! If its used, I would fill it with water to check for leaks. When you decide on the plants then empty the water and add soil and plants. Its less messy IMO. GLHF
 

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I would put in the substrate, then plant, then carefully add water (use a plate or something for the water to flow onto as to not disturb the plants)
while planting, just be sure to spray everything a little bit to keep it nice and moist

alternatively (while I've never done this) depending upon the plants you'd like you could always try a "dry start" which seems to be useful for trying to get things like dwarf baby tears to carpet, but it might not even be worth doing something like that if you don't want to run any CO2
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I did my initial test to see if the track lighting would work I was getting around 100. That was without water and only 2 lights. Once the tank is filled I will rent a PAR meter again and see what I am getting. I am shooting for low to medium light, but we'll see what I get and then that will determine the next step. Do I go CO2 or do I dim the lights?

I am also still trying to figure out moon lights. WAC doesn't make a brushed nickle track in the 2 circuit variety so I will have to come with something different. The thought did cross my mind to use some lights from rapid led and mount them on or next to the track, with 30deg lenses, they might do the trick, and not light up the whole room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My original idea was to make a "box" in the ceiling that would house the lights so you didn't really see them at all, but his way I only made 4 small holes in the ceiling which would be easy to patch if I were to move.

I have two kids, hopefully they won't want to swim in it. My kids have been pretty good with our fish tanks so far, except for the Clorox bleach pen incident, thank goodness for multiple tanks.
 

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Welcome to an elite lighting club :thumbsup:

After having my PAR38 Track up for 4mos now(link in Sig line)
I think if I had your light fixtures, I would move lights #1 and #3 to the edge of the track and angle them ar 45degrees giving a cross fire eddect on the tank. Fixture #2 could be moved left or right depending on the planting.

PAR38 bulbs create an interesting pyramid of light strength. I had a large planting of Crypts directly under one bulb and you can see the growth pattern on my link.

There will be a learning curve as you plant the tank. I do think this can create a more dramatic aquascape than completely even lighting across the whole tank.

Nice effort so far, looking forward to see how this developes. :D
 

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I think most of those swords will outgrow your tank. Swords are also hard to scape with because they dominate so much. I would think about ordering some more stems to suck up nutrients as your tank matures and stabilizes you can also remove them and sell them on the sns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I was able to get the plants in on saturday and now that is monday I have some questions.

1. The water is brown, I think it is from the manzanita branches, as I did not presoak them. I have been doing 50% water changes twice a day and seems to be getting clearer.

2. Now I have some weird white fuzzy stuff growing on the branches and the plants.

Things I have learned so far: A dirted tank is very messy to plant. And it took for ever to get the floating crap out of the tank.

I have not added any fish yet, but I did have my filter running for about week on my 29G. This afternoon I cleanned out the HOB filter pads from the 29 in the new tank in hopes of getting some good bacteria in the tank.

Hopefully tomorrow I will add a few fish, probably some cory cats.
 

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Looking great!!
looking forward to following your thread.
I just ordered a rimless tank with very similar dimensions 36"long by 18"wide by 20"high.
 

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Very nice setup!! Lotta light tho!! I hope youve dimmed them a bit.. Your plant list is all low light slow growing plants.. They'll benefit from co2 but I second stems or some type of quick growing plants(floaters maybe?) to help suck up the ferts and stabilize te tank.. Are you dosing/going to be dosing ferts? As you will definitely need to with that much par..
 
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