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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone im new here and planning on starting a planted tank soon. Ive kept f/w tanks before and enjoy them a lot but thought maybe I should try a planted aquarium. I'm thinking of setting up a 55 gallon, but i have some questions as to what kind of lighting and filters should be used etc. If anyone can help out here i would appreciate it :)
 

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For what it's worth, it might be easier going with a smaller tank, so unless you already have the 55g tank and/or stand, I'd recommend something other than a 4' x 1' footprint. If you like the long look, a 20 long would be perfect.

A 40 breeder is arguably the perfect sized planted tank.

Standard 10g tanks can be made into AWESOME planted tanks, and because they are small, it's much easier and faster to achieve the lush, filled-in look.

Welcome to TPT!
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Welcome to TPT!

If you've got the room for a 55gal tank, a 75gal would be an even nicer footprint to work with and only a few inches deeper. 40 breeders are also very nice, though.

If you've already got the 55gal of course go for it; it's just that the ideal dimensions for "aquascaping" involve more depth (front to back) to allow more layers of plants and hardscape arrangements. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I dont have the 55 gallon yet. I was thinking about a 75 though. Thanks for the info. Id like to get some input before i go forward into this :)
 

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I would agree with the above ideas. Tanks that are deeper front to back lend themselves well to plants, as you have more room to plant more plants! The 40 breeder or a 75 standard tank are both good options, and can often be found inexpensively on craigslist.

Now to actually answer your post, which hasn't been done yet...

As for filters, most everyone uses canister filters. Stick to a good name brand like Rena or Eheim, as they're pretty much bulletproof. For a 40 gallon tank, a Rena XP3 or Eheim 2217 would be a good option (these filters can be found used for a good price on eBay).
On a 4 foot long tank, I would probably use two separate canisters, or a single large canister.

As far as lighting, this depends entirely on if you are going to use CO2. Do lots of reading here, as making the decision one way or another will dictate how your tank will run. You can keep a planted tank successfully without adding pressurized CO2 (Yeast based CO2 isn't an option at this tank size). However, non-CO2 tanks can be tricky to balance, especially if you use too much light like many people tend to. Here is a good link, read the sticky posts and try to understand which "method" you will be following. Using one of these methods will yield the best results.

Good luck, and bargain hunt! Taking a little time on the beginning of this project will likely save you hundreds of dollars down the road! Buying a tank too small, or in an awkward size (like the 55) will likely end up getting replaced or upgraded. Piece together the best parts you can find, and when you construct the whole I think you'll be happy with the results.
 

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The first question is, hi tech (CO2 injection), high light, or low tech, no CO2 or DIY CO2, low light. Hi tech will give you many more plants to work with, but will also mean a higher initial outlay of money. Every thing is really dependent upon how big your budget is.
 

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Welcome to TPT! I'm fairly new here too and I have to say this is a great forum. I've been able to find all the answers to my questions here and more. The Swap N Shop is great too.

I don't really have much input on filters and lighting except that canisters seems to be best way to go (at least from what I gathered from various posts on this forum). You'll be able to find all you need to know through the search feature too.
 

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Welcome, be sure to look at the stickies in each category, they provide alot of great info without waiting for responses. Ive come to see this place as a treasure trove of information with really helpful people. And the best way to see how to setup a planted tank is to head to a lfs and look for their planted setups. I cruised into a few and just started opening cabinets and rifling through their stuff. If they think you might buy something most of them will let you check just about anything out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think i might get a 75 gallon instead. What kind of substrate would be best to use? I was looking at Seachems flourite. Is this good to use or is there something better. If I go with the 75 gal which filter would be best?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just out of curiosity.. How much would you say starting up a 75 gallon tank would cost rough guessing.. I was doing a 155g saltwater reef and I figure this cant be as much money as a freshwater planted tank.
 

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Hmmmm... a lot depends on what type of setup you go with...

Just to give you an idea, I spent around the following for my 90gal:

Tank and stand- $500 (used tank, new stand)
Lighting (Catalina Solar T5HO 4x54watt)- $200
Substrate (mix of Flourite black & Colorquartz) - $200
Filters (Rena XP3 + Rena XP4, both used) - $300

+plants and fish... however much you want to spend :smile:

HTH!
 

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I think Laura has a pretty good estimate. You can go with the Flourite, but I'd pass on it personally. I doesn't actually contain much in the way of nutrients, and you'll be dosing nutrients in the water column anyway (you are going to fertilize right :) ). I prefer sand, black sand looks best to me. The colorquartz laura mentioned is probably the cheapest around if you can find it, do a search on here for more info about it. You could also go with something like Schultz Aquatic Soil, which has the ability to soak up nutrients from the water and store them for the plants to utilize later. It is very light however, which poses problems when planting, or when you house fish that dig in the substrate.


I think you'll be very happy with the 75, I've seen them on Craigslist locally for around 200-400 for tank and stand.
 
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