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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, its as good as the title reads. Im wanting to setup a long planted tank,low tech since i dont have time for much maintenance. Tank would be 80"x24"x16" LxWxH (140 gallons), long shallow one and viewable on both sides of the length. So i got to read about a lot of things but id like help about getting the pieces of the puzzle together and clear some gray areas.
1. Was planning to mineralize soil then top off with inert sand substrate
2. Use a classic eheim filter (probably 2215 would do)
3. Confused about light type to use, i just know i dont have enough money to buy those flashy leds nor the funds to order and get it shipped, i dont have a credit card.and i dont even know if i can find special lighting for sale where i live. I can get all sorts of commercial light bulbs but nothing spec for aquarium use from the hardware stores here....
4. Temps dont fluctuate much since im in the tropics so i dont think i need a heater.
5. I will probably work out fert doses as i move along based on a number of articles ive read so far.
6. I plan to keep low-medium light plants only
7. Have the driftwood and plants occupy only the center part of the tank, more like creating an island across the length.

Please say what you have to say. All types of feedback are welcome! =)
 

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A few of those would do the trick. It's the least expensive way to light a plant tank efficiently. The bulbs need to be in the 6000K-6500K temp range because that's best for plants (should tell on the packaging). Generally they come in 13watt and 23 watt. 23 is pretty strong. 13 would probably be plenty for low-med light @ 16"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·


A few of those would do the trick. It's the least expensive way to light a plant tank efficiently. The bulbs need to be in the 6000K-6500K temp range because that's best for plants (should tell on the packaging). Generally they come in 13watt and 23 watt. 23 is pretty strong. 13 would probably be plenty for low-med light @ 16"
Awesome! How many of these do u think id need for the 80" length? Id just make a diy overhang fixture series circuit. I appreciate the quick reply!
 

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Are you planning on doing a carpet or any plants around your island you have envisioned in the sand near the glass? Or the plants only be centered in the middle around the driftwood and rocks? I'd think that would effect how many lights you would need for the length and width of the tank.
 

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As peachii said, it all depends whether you want the whole tank to be evenly lit, or if you want a concentration of light in a certain area, the center island for example.

Here is a 16 page thread with a lot of people talking about various set-ups using these - http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=153195

Can probably find more by searching cfl in the lighting forum.
 

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Two or four bulb shop light that uses T8 bulbs. (lowes hardware) see utilitech fixture.
6500K T8 bulb's (lowes hardware)
The fixture would work and get you buy with plant's mentioned .
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@peachii and burr
probably a little carpeting but il definitely leave out space of about 3-4" from both the front and back. So its like the inert sand around would be the "water" and then my planted area would look like a "sandbar" across the whole length of the tank, starting off with maybe 2-3 inches carpeting then having some stem or broadleaf plants with the driftwood at the "sandbar"s center area. Any suggestions?

@roadmaster
I will look into that, but from what i know so far is i got some T8 rated at 6500k at my local hardware, i just dunno if they have aquarium fixtures i might do diy. Also T8s consume a lot more energy and a lot more heat from what ive read about.im in the tropics so im afraid it would greatly impact my tankwater temp. What do you think?
 

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CFLs get fairly warm too, though they do use less energy.

Just guessing but sounds like you'll need a minimum of 4, but probably 5 of them on a 80" tank. How far they are from the surface will greatly influence the intensity and coverage pattern (and also any heat transfer). There's also the diameter of the reflector to consider.

Hoppy has done some great research in this thread, it'd be worth your time to check it out, lots in here about CFLs - http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368

I'd probably start with 5 of them, using 10" reflectors, 16" apart (center to center) 2-4" off the surface, but again Im just guessing. Most carpet type plants are gonna need more than low-med light, probably should do a bit of research on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the links burr740. Im reading em one by one now very useful links. By the way, i found a local manufacturer who has this catalog on a lot of bulbs, the LED catalogue caught my eye most since onceu say LED it means economic and environment friendly light to me. Heres the link to it please tell me which you think would do best for what im trying to achive here.

http://www.yatai.com.ph/omni/download.html

Thanks a bunch!
 

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Sure, you can accomplish the goal using LEDS. What kind and how many you need is something I know very little about. I would suggest more research. Several DIY LED threads in the lighting forum.

Since this is your first venture into a planted set-up, I would start with either the CFLs or flourescent shop lights. Either one will let you experiment with different lighting levels and arrangements fairly cheap, with minimal reconstruction involved to change something. Once you get a feel for what works you'll know more about which direction to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Appreciate the honesty. I will check out the list and consider my budget on a long term perspective using the threads youve provided. Mineralizing the soil is a bit harder than i thought, i tried searching for dolomite powder but i couldnt find it for sale here, alongwith muriate of potash. I was wanting to follow this post http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=152027 but now w/o those 2 things i dun think its possible. Any suggestions? Do you thinks its more work and cost effective to buy commercial enriched substrates?
 

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If you are just starting out I would do it as cheap as possible and stay away from messing with the substrate.

4 x brood lamps should be a good start, with a grand total < $50. Get some inert, substrate like pool filter sand, clay based kitty litter, Black Diamond blasting sand and such. A 50lb bag should run < $10 ea. Get some Osmocote+ root tabs ~ $0.10 ea on TPT and use them sparingly under heavy root feeders like Swords only, replace every 3 months or so: 100 count will last you for quite some time. Spend $25 on dry fertilizers (check out nilocg's WTS threads on TPT - should last you about a year or so.

Don't mess around making your own substrate - easy to mess up the first time.

In short, keep it simple, keep it cheap, and take it slow. Expensive toys do not guarantee a successful tank - your brains and your experience will.

v3
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll take your suggestions into thought. Thanks for all the feedback. Maybe ill experiment on substrates on a smaller tank, i think thatll be a better choice considering its easier to take it apart if i do mess up.ferts in the inert substrate sounds good to me at least for the meantime in the large tank.

Any thoughts on which plants would look best for my island? I want some carpeting then at the highest height, either stem or sword plants at the middle. Its a pretty shallow tank so i feel i can grow some mid light ones
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'll take your suggestions into thought. Thanks for all the feedback. Maybe ill experiment on substrates on a smaller tank, i think thatll be a better choice considering its easier to take it apart if i do mess up.ferts in the inert substrate sounds good to me at least for the meantime in the large tank.

Any thoughts on which plants would look best for my island? I want some carpeting then at the highest height, either stem or sword plants at the middle. Its a pretty shallow tank so i feel i can grow some mid light ones
Update anyone with feedback regarding these items?

http://fevmarine.com/product_info.php?cPath=48&products_id=328
http://fevmarine.com/product_info.php?cPath=48&products_id=470

Thanks a bunch!
 

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Well you wouldnt need both, at least in the beginning, until the ferts in the substrate expired. Found a couple old threads talking about it (search function) These are pretty old, you could always start another one on the substrate forum may get more response.

Sounds expensive.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=50351
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=27730

Alot of people, including myself, just use inert sand with root tabs. Couldnt find a specific breakdown for that one's ingrediants, but they'd probably be as good as any (idk!). Osmocote+ is very inexpensive, here in the U.S. Wal-mart carries it. People put it in ice cubes or gelatin capsule blanks. Think there's a guy on here that sells them already made up. Seachem and API also make some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well you wouldnt need both, at least in the beginning, until the ferts in the substrate expired. Found a couple old threads talking about it (search function) These are pretty old, you could always start another one on the substrate forum may get more response.

Sounds expensive.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=50351
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=27730

Alot of people, including myself, just use inert sand with root tabs. Couldnt find a specific breakdown for that one's ingrediants, but they'd probably be as good as any (idk!). Osmocote+ is very inexpensive, here in the U.S. Wal-mart carries it. People put it in ice cubes or gelatin capsule blanks. Think there's a guy on here that sells them already made up. Seachem and API also make some.
Definitely sounds expensive! And yeah as cheap as osmocote is its absurd why i cant find it here. Theres a bonsai fan who can sell it to me, the 14-14-14 formula i believe, osmocote smart release, for $27 for every 1.1lb, plus id need to get empty veggie capsules to make the root tabs and i havent found a store which sells those. How many root tabs would i be able to make with that 500grams of osmocote?

And another update i just went to the biggest collection of LFS in this country and all i was able to find are cheap inert substrates and the following commercial ones:

Seachem onyx sand 7kg/15.4lbs bag for $27
Seachem fluorite sand 7kg/15.4lbs bag for $31
Ruby High Activity Substrate 9 Liter bag for $31
Ista plant substrate 9 litre bag for $29

I was advised if i were to use each purely I would need about 10 bags to cover my tank. Doing the math means its absurdly expensive. Any bright ideas? Im searching for jobe plant sticks atm i posted this.
 

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Blasting sand if you can find it, 50lb bag under $10, or pool filter sand. Can also use regular playground sand but I've heard it's rather dusty and inconsistently sized granules.

I use Black Diamond blasting sand, google it. Here they sell it at Tractor Supply, but you could probably find some version of the same thing over there. It's for use in sand blasting machines. It's clean, and sized evenly. Take a look at my journal you can see what it looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Blasting sand if you can find it, 50lb bag under $10, or pool filter sand. Can also use regular playground sand but I've heard it's rather dusty and inconsistently sized granules.

I use Black Diamond blasting sand, google it. Here they sell it at Tractor Supply, but you could probably find some version of the same thing over there. It's for use in sand blasting machines. It's clean, and sized evenly. Take a look at my journal you can see what it looks like.
Yeah ill get a cheap substrate and put that across the entire tank.i found a seller of jobes plant sticks 50 pcs for around $10 yeah i know its a ripoff but thats coz they paid for shipping and customs... So its in the 13-4-5 NPK. You think this can replace osmocote?
 
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