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Hello,

I will be setting up a new planted tank after being out of the freshwater hobby for many years. I've kept a reef tank for the last 15 years, but this will be my first freshwater tank in at least that long.

I've ordered a Waterbox 4820. It's approximately 4' x 20" x 20" and 72 gallons.

My goals are to have a naturalistic planted tank featuring a large school of neons, maybe a few dwarf gourami, school or cory's, some shrimp and maybe a harem of bettas if possible.

I plan to get a nice piece of large driftwood from my LFS and then use that as my focal piece and then scape and plant around that. I don't really know a whole lot about freshwater plants, but I would like a variety of sizes, colors, etc.

I would like suggestions on filtration, lighting, CO2 etc. I want to set it up right from the beginning and not be limited on what I can do later.

As far as filtration, would you suggest going with one large filter live a FX6 and splitting the intake and returns or would it be better to use two smaller canister filters?

On the lighting, how many pendants and what size?

Which CO2 system is the best and what is the best way to implement it?

Thanks for any help and suggestions.

Ritchie
 

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Wanted to respond to this, to make sure it doesn't get lost and, hopefully, draw other members' attention.

Sounds like you are going for what is called a "high-tech" tank, meaning high light and pressurized CO2 (which is necessary with high light). I'd suggest ordering the forums' "Planted Tank Guide (https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/PlantedTankGuide.html) for an overall picture. You might also benefit from this guide: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/

Once you get an overall idea of what you need, you can then pose questions regarding individual items for opinions, as well as researching them here on TPT.

Generally, think in terms of light as the main driver of everything. Decide on the light and understand the PAR and PUR that it will deliver at the substrate . My preference is for LED's, but other members prefer CFL's. Then, figure out how you are going to deliver the CO2. I'd recommend dual STAGE regulators (don't confuse this with dual GAUGE terminology). Secondly, decide if you are going to use reactors (which I prefer) or diffusers to dissolve the CO2. Then, decide upon a substrate type: active or inactive. Lastly are the fertilizers, which can be easy if you get the light and CO2 right.

Other considerations:
- Start with easier plants (although high light can support more difficult plants) and gradually replace them with more interesting plants, if you wish.
- I always recommend "level one" UV sterilizers. They make a big difference in ensuring fish health.
- Circulation should be throughout the tank and cause all plants to very gently sway from top to bottom. In addition to filters, pumps may be needed to accomplish this and be sure to get good surface agitation for gas exchange.
- You already know that testing is important. For fw, I like these tests:
NO3: Salifert (good precision in the 5-20 ppm range and easy to use)
PO4: Salifert. Note: for both, above 3ppm, dilute 5:1 with RO or distilled water, then multiply result by 5
K: Salifert (good precision up to, at least, 50ppm), JBL is acceptable
GH/KH: API or Sera (modified: use 5x the water, then divide results by 5)
KH: API or Sera (modified: use 5x the water, then divide results by 5)
Total ammonia: Salifert
pH: use a pen
- Filters: we all have varying opinions on these. Basic guide is to plan for at least one canister filter with enough capacity to drive water through the UV sterilizer (if you get one) and the CO2 reactor or diffuser.
- Expect algae problems until you gain consistency in control of your variables and have a good, healthy, plant mass.

I'm sure i missed some things that others may add.
 
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For advice, I been watching "The Water Box" videos on Youtube. He has a good sense of humor and offers practical advice.

Same as you, I want to do this right from the beginning for a new 75 gallon tank I am getting. A priority for me is making water changes easy, my setup will have connecting to house plumbing system.

I plan on building a sump using 1/2" PVC sheet purchased from Home Depot (link below). This material comes in 1/4", 1/2" and 3/4" thickness in 2'x4' or 4x8' sheets. Use heavy duty cement or under investigation,
Christys Red Hot White Adhesive which has a slower set time. Note: this material has little structural strength and may need exterior reinforcement. I also have (2) 20 gallon tanks which may be connected to my sump ie: one filter for 3 tanks. These tanks can be isolated if needed. My sump will have an emergency overflow drain connected to my sewer line to prevent flooding.

For water changes, I plan on building an overflow type siphon tube which will maintain it's prime and will remove a specific amount of water. This will be directly connected to my sewer lines (yes, it will have a trap). See link below of how they work. The concept here, just put the tube in the tank with no worries about completely draining your tank in case you are watching football.

For refilling the tank, putting tap water directly into the sump may kill the filter bacteria, I need to put the water into the tank. To be designed, putting an activated carbon filter in the hose connected to my fresh water facet (hot&cold) using PVC pipe. I will also add a meat thermometer for water temperature, that should be simple. Since my sump has an overflow drain, I can slowly refill my tank with no worries about flooding in case my ADD kicks in, NFL football is about to start :)


https://www.homedepot.com/p/24-in-x-1-2-in-x-4-ft-White-PVC-Trim-1506280/207036628

 

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I’m new to the forum and I paid 19.95 for the aquarium guide that Deanna mentioned. But I never received anything and now I have no clue how to get my guide or get my money back! I sent an email to the only contact I could find but no one has replied. I would really like some help! I want the guide!
 

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I’m new to the forum and I paid 19.95 for the aquarium guide that Deanna mentioned. But I never received anything and now I have no clue how to get my guide or get my money back! I sent an email to the only contact I could find but no one has replied. I would really like some help! I want the guide!

@somewhatshocked: this is the 2nd or 3rd report of this type that I've seen in the last week. I don't recall who you suggested contacting, in another post, about this. Can you repeat it here?
 

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That's not something moderators have control over, unfortunately - it's @forumadmin.

@KTLady: You should file a chargeback with PayPal if they don't get the guide to you. Feel free to private message me if you want me to reach out to them on your behalf.

And @Deanna: seems like the 100th report but I could just be miffed that @forumadmin is continuing to allow this to occur. Thanks for tagging me.
 

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The moderation team has reached out to admins in a final attempt to get this resolved. I won't apologize for them - it's on them - but please know the moderation team would resolve these issues with the guide if we were permitted to do so.

FYI - the original author (a fellow longtime moderator here, @Wasserpest ) put the guide on Amazon Kindle. Here's a direct, non-affiliate link.

You don't need a Kindle to access it. Can be done via the web or app on nearly any device you're using. So if someone really needs a guide, that's probably a better route. And you won't have to rely upon Adobe Flash to read it.
 
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