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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody! Getting back into the hobby after a bunch of years. I've been reading through several of your posts and picking up lots of usefull info. Great website! I'm setting up a 90 gal planted tank and I have a few questions. I think I'm going to go with Eco-Complete as a substrate. I used the calculator I saw in one of the threads and went with an overall depth of 4 inches because I want to build up one of the corners pretty substantially. Weather I use rock or wood as a barrier, should I just fill in totally with the sub or should I place a couple of sizable rocks there and then bury them with the sub? There will be plants put up there.
One more question. Is it absolutely necessary to install a CO2 system at the start or can that be done later? I'm starting new with everything so I'd like to hold off and save a few bucks for now. I'm waiting on delivery of a Current T5 Sundial system with 216 Watts and I just picked up the Ehiem 2078 and that set me back a few.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Buck :cool:
 

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Welcome to TPT. :)

That's a lot of good equipment you listed there, so you should be set for a little while. I don't fully understand your first question, but unless you have some kind of specific rockscape you are going for, where you need to build up the rocks to support your substrate in a specific shape, you don't need to put the rocks in first. You can fill it all with your Eco-complete and then move it around and mold it around your rocks or driftwood or whatever. Is that what you were asking?

As to your second question, you can start off without the CO2, but you are going to have to get it eventually, and it would be best if you did it sooner than later. Here's the thing, that light you got, it's going to give you seriously high lighting. That's 4 x 54w of high output t5 light. Hopefully those fixtures have double banks, so you can use only 2 of them at first, and even then I'd say it puts you into the medium-light category.

But the point is, if you already went for that fixture, I can only assume that you knew you needed to get CO2... so just get it now, rather than tempting fate.
 

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Agreed, get CO2 now or only run half the light with a lot of floaters on the surface. Half of us have probably tried to save money that way in the beginning and payed for it by growing lots of algae. You can experiment with DIY co2 for a while but will most likley realize you need a pressurized canister to keep stability.

If you bury the rock for height you will lose space for the plants' roots, they're out of sight and mind but are an important half of the plant. You can use rocks and wood for terracing, to pen in higher levels of substrate. Eco is pretty easy to work with like this.
 

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+1 only run 2 bulbs unless you get a pressurized CO2 setup.

I'm running only 108 watts of T5HO over my own 90gal and am down to a 6 hour photoperiod to avoid algae (I ran 8-10 hours OK back when I had floating plants, though...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. It makes sense to leave room for plant roots in built up areas. I was just thinking that pieces of rock would take up dead water space. However, whichever plants I choose to put that there will be big so their roots will eventually fill a lot of the space.
As for the lighting, the wattage will certainly be sufficient, maybe too much for a new tank. However, he fixture has 2 built in timers and I will take your advice and perhaps not run all four lights for the full photoperiod and I'll try some floaters too. As with any tank, I'll have to adjust lights, co2 etc. to find what works best.
You're right about the co2. I planned on installing it anyway so I might as well do it right from the start. Any recommendations for systems would be a big help. (As I mentioned in my first post, it's been quite a while since I ran a tank. Tons of new equipment and set ups. Back then "aged" water" was thought to be better for the fish. Showing my age!)
Thanks again.
 

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Honestly, dude, even when you get your CO2 hooked up and you've filled your tank to the brim with plants, I think running all 4 lights throughout the entire photoperiod is going to be too much lighting. I recommend, AFTER GETTING YOUR CO2 HOOKED UP, running 2 bulbs all day long for about 8-10 hours, and the other 2 bulbs as a "noon burst" for about 3-4 hours.

That's just my opinion. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll try that Church. Most everything I read before ordering the light suggested 2 to 3 watts/gal for a well planted tank. At 90 gal I figured the fixture was within range. I should have joined this forum before ordering the light. I'll work it out. I eventually want to set up a reef tank anyway. Now I already have light for it!
 

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That "watts per gallon" rule is outdated, and definitely doesn't apply to high-output t5's. I mean, 2-3 wpg of t5ho is going to make a nice high-light tank, but you have to be careful with the photoperiod. If you wanted them all on all the time, the photoperiod should probably be 8 hours or less.
 

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I'll try that Church. Most everything I read before ordering the light suggested 2 to 3 watts/gal for a well planted tank. At 90 gal I figured the fixture was within range. I should have joined this forum before ordering the light. I'll work it out. I eventually want to set up a reef tank anyway. Now I already have light for it!
I'm running 39w T5HO x 2 on my "Florida inspired" tank, just below the mark for it to run without CO2 or algae. If I added CO2, I would not need to increase light unless I want explosive growth that is unmanageable for me at the moment. I would however need to add CO2 if I increase the light.

WPG is out the window once you get passed power compacts, even then it's a bit of overkill, but common PC fixtures are nowhere near as efficient as T5HO fixtures. You get less restrike with the single linear tubes which are very skinny, the distance between bulbs is usually streatched a bit, and the reflectors are often folded to each lamp or there are multiple reflectors. WPG is also more easily used on an average size tank, well under 90gl but above 10, for instance 3wpg on a 300gl tank would be insane overkill for a PT, plants' light requirements do not continue to increase as the tank volume goes up and up as WPG implies, but there are some factors to take into consideration like surface area, depth etc, which is why 100w works on a 50gl but not on a 10gl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks jaidexl. Makes sense. In fact the light was just delivered this morning. Using 2 10k that came with it and replacing the 2 Actinic with 2 Life Glo 67K. And yes it is bright! Can't wait to get this tank together.
 
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