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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

This is my first planted tank though I have had mixed reef tanks in the past. I will be doing things a little differently than I have seen in planted tanks so far.

The tank has four holes drilled in it, two on each end, a drain and return on each side. This tank was originally going to be a reef tank...

I will use a sump to keep all the equipment in. I am trying to keep this as cheap as possible.

Return Pump : Lifegard QuietPro 1200 (315gph)
Filter: SunSun Canister Filter HW-302
Lights: 3x 13watt CFL bulbs
CO2: DIY CO2 from amazon for 2 liter bottles
Substrate: 2 bags of EcoComplete (Is this enough?)
Ferts: Seachem Liquid Fertilizer (Since it is
a nano tank I figured this will work
let me know if there are an better
alternatives)

Plants:

Dwarf Hairgrass
Althernanthera Reineckii 'Mini'

Livestock:

11x Neon Tetra
8x Harlequin Rasbora
10x Red Cherry Shrimp

I plan on running a second pump in the sump to suck in the co2 bubbles and run it through some pvc with some sort of pipe cleaner brush to break up the bubble and get them as dissolved as possible.

Like I said this is my first planted tank and I am excited. Please look over my plan and see if there are any major problems so far.

I get my first shipment of materials this week and will make another order next week. I should be ready to start putting it all together by the middle of next month.

Thank you for your time and thanks in advanced for any advice given!
 

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Just a couple thoughts,

First, do a follow check before you put substrate in the tank.... with a return and overflow on each side you might have issues with not enough flow in the middle of the tank, possibly, but best to check.

Second 315gph is a LOT of flow through such a small tank (at least from a planted tank perspective) unless you have a lot of head height to overcome, you might want to consider a return to sump dump valve to show things down a bit. Again not garunteed to be an issue, but worth checking

Third, don't run co2 on my tanks so take this above with a grain of salt, but I constantly see people talking about their diy co2 reactors and the success they have with them, might be worth looking into for your setup

Lastly, seachem ferts are fine and if you have them use them, but when it comes time to replace them, dry ferts and a dosing bottle or 2 are VASTLY cheaper in the long run and esp for large volume tanks. Look for nitrates, potassium, phosphate (npk), and a micro mix, to start with and situationally iron, calcium magnesium or a rodi demineralized. Look up ei/PPS dosing and at least get a grasp on why/how/what to look for when you start dosing and you will do fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply theatermusic! With the head height the flow will be more like 200gph still a little high so I will take that into account.

Do you or anyone else think that 3 13 watt CFL's would be considered medium to high light for my set up? I figured it would since the tank is only 8 inches deep.
 

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Thanks for the reply theatermusic! With the head height the flow will be more like 200gph still a little high so I will take that into account.

Do you or anyone else think that 3 13 watt CFL's would be considered medium to high light for my set up? I figured it would since the tank is only 8 inches deep.
Your lights will be a nice amount of light for the depth. Good for ar mini and hairgrass. Neither of those REQUIRE high light but both love co2. Make sure you stagger your bottles so you can have as close to consistent co2 as possible i.e. Change one bottle per week

Also if you do get an Aro system do not use the DI part of it your plants need those minerals. Most people with planted tanks do not use ro water at all unless your top water is extremely hard. Over ten KH and over 20 GH
 

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Also gonna recommend be careful with your lighting and nutrient dosing. Your plants mass is not heavy (which is fine) but you just have to be careful with those 2 factors to make sure you don't get an algae farm.
Are your lights adjustable? If so, put them at a lower setting and bring them up only in the plants look like they need it. And try and dose leaner then something like an EI method, the plants you have probably won't need nutrients at such high levels.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also gonna recommend be careful with your lighting and nutrient dosing. Your plants mass is not heavy (which is fine) but you just have to be careful with those 2 factors to make sure you don't get an algae farm.
Are your lights adjustable? If so, put them at a lower setting and bring them up only in the plants look like they need it. And try and dose leaner then something like an EI method, the plants you have probably won't need nutrients at such high levels.


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Thank you for the recommendation. I will be using regular 6500K 13w CFL bulbs in either adjustable desk lamps or those cheap shop lights. I have also decided to go with the aquatek paintball co2 regulator vs the diy route. Easier all around and cheaper in the long run.

I thought about using the PPS-Pro method sold on greenleaf aquariums. Does this sound ok?

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for some taller interesting plants for this tank that would be great. Just remember that the height of the tank will only be about 6-7" once the ecocomplete is in there.

One last thing, I am familiar with cycling a salt water tank but from what I understand it is a bit different with a planted tank. If I start with a heavily planted tank I can fill the tank with water and let the plants grow in for 2 weeks and start adding fish slowly right? I know this is based off of regular water changes at the beginning and making sure there is no ammonia.

You guys have been super helpful and I can't wait to actually post pictures once I get it up and running!
 

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The PPS-Pro is definitely a good method for you to go. But, don't be afraid to deviate from the routine, for example if you see a deficiency, just add the nutrient to remedy it. I find it's better to sort of play it by ear somewhat then rigidly following set rules.
I would just add ammonia for a fishless cycle just to be safe. But, yes the plants will take up the ammonia as well.
I would advise quite regular water changes and removal or any detritus at the start of the tank (first 2-3 weeks) to remove organics anyway. Also, I advise to wait a bit before you stock, 3 weeks to a month. I like to do so, so I know the tank has matured and the added bio-load won't increase the risk of an algal bloom etc.


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Do a proper cycle. Diane has a post on here somewhere showing step by step. Go to the main forum home and type in fish less cycle. Her post will come up (here it is)

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?p=9211386


I have the aquatech mini on my tank right now. In the beginning it wouldn't stay consistent but it seems to have settled in nicely. There will be end of tank dumps with this regulator so be aware of when you are running low. I recommend getting two tanks and always have the back up filled. Bba can attack quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will definitley be doing a proper cycle. I was looking at lighting options and I wondered if the Finnex Stingray would give enough light since my tank is only 9 inches deep? If I step up to any of the other Finnex fixtures (e.g. planted plus 24/7) I believe it would be too much light. Any thoughts?

I just got the return pump and canister filter in. Next order will be the CO2 supplies and after that substrate and plants!!

I am finishing with the stand today. I'm trying to go with the ADA look of a very simple cabinet. I'll post pictures tonight.

Thanks again guys for the comments!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, so I asked in multiple places about the Stingray. The only guy who actually made a video with par readings said it would be fine since the tank is so shallow, 9 inches total but with substrate will be closer to 6-7 inches. I also figured that it would be the safer route to avoid algae problems.

So, ordering the light and Seachem Prime. Will Seachem Stability help with the cycle (I know it won't cycle the tank, asking if it will assist in the cycle)? Just trying to get the best start possible.

Thanks Opare! I'm pretty excited for my first tank!
 

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Ok, so I asked in multiple places about the Stingray. The only guy who actually made a video with par readings said it would be fine since the tank is so shallow, 9 inches total but with substrate will be closer to 6-7 inches. I also figured that it would be the safer route to avoid algae problems.

So, ordering the light and Seachem Prime. Will Seachem Stability help with the cycle (I know it won't cycle the tank, asking if it will assist in the cycle)? Just trying to get the best start possible.

Thanks Opare! I'm pretty excited for my first tank!
Seachem stability is the bacteria you use to start the cycle. You need that and a source of ammonia for it to eat which produces nitrite which causes another type of bacteria to grow which eats nitrites and produces nitrates. I have not used it before so I can't say how well it works. I'm sure the stingray will work. The vids I have seen show 10par on a standard 20 high, so I'm sure at six" it will be much high par and fit for growing some plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alright! I have the light and tank and plumbing done!

So now my problem is that the overflow is really freaking loud!

There should be a pic attached showing you what it looks like. I'm thinking I should drill a hole on top of the return and attach a little airline tubing. You think that would work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Alright, I have tried to drill holes on the drains to no avail. The pics show my plumbing more better. All of the noise is coming out where the bulkhead are not underwater.

Other than that, everything is running just fine! The return pipe is great, the canister filter runs great, and the light is awesome!
 

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