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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone!

I am trying to be cash conscious with this build. I started with a dollar per gallon tank, a cheap Cascade 1000 (did my research and I am well aware of its flaws), bought an Aqueon proheater on sale, bought an MDF stand on the cheap, and the last two big purchases will be lights and CO2.

I want to get a medium/high light setup immediately and I am considering the Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0, AquaticLife EDGE LED, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, and the Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED+. I am looking at the 48"-60" flavor of each of these lights (will take any advice on these options). The great thing about cycling is that it takes a while and you DON'T need lights! So I can delay this purchase about a month as I will not have plants in the tank until after the tank is cycled (not an issue right?).

Then the CO2 setup, this will be the biggest purchase for the setup and I am hoping to delay this a month or two by using API CO2, Seachem Excel, or any variety of this and then transitioning to a gas CO2 setup. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? What obstacles may I find trying to do this? Any advice is appreciated.



In the photo you will find a very rookie mistake that I fixed before it caused problems. Brownie points to whoever can figure out the issue.
 

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I recently started my first planted tank. All knowledge of planted tanks, co2 etc I've learned from this forum. It's a great resource.

I don't know what issues you would have with the transition. For a first timer I found the co2 setup to be very easy. I was very intimidated by the thought of it to begin with but find it to be quite simple.

I'm running a semi automatic system on my 75G. I'm also using the planted + 24/7. It took me a bit to dial it in while observing the drop checker for a few days but after that it takes care of itself.

I am also still using the excel along with all the other seachem ferts.

Don't know if this answers your question but rest assured it's not as difficult a process as it many initially seem


The only issue I can see you having is prior to setting up co2. If you have too much light without the co2 you will run into some serious algae problems.
 

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Hello everyone!

I am trying to be cash conscious with this build. I started with a dollar per gallon tank, a cheap Cascade 1000 (did my research and I am well aware of its flaws), bought an Aqueon proheater on sale, bought an MDF stand on the cheap, and the last two big purchases will be lights and CO2.

I want to get a medium/high light setup immediately and I am considering the Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0, AquaticLife EDGE LED, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, and the Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED+. I am looking at the 48"-60" flavor of each of these lights (will take any advice on these options). The great thing about cycling is that it takes a while and you DON'T need lights! So I can delay this purchase about a month as I will not have plants in the tank until after the tank is cycled (not an issue right?).

Then the CO2 setup, this will be the biggest purchase for the setup and I am hoping to delay this a month or two by using API CO2, Seachem Excel, or any variety of this and then transitioning to a gas CO2 setup. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? What obstacles may I find trying to do this? Any advice is appreciated.



In the photo you will find a very rookie mistake that I fixed before it caused problems. Brownie points to whoever can figure out the issue.
I'm going with you filled the tank up before moving it closer to the wall.

I'm guessing that's a 55 gallon tank. If that's the case I'm not sure if either of those lights will put you into the high light zone. The Fluval may put you into the medium light area. Are you looking at the Current Sat plus pro? You should also consider the Finnex Ray2 as well.
 

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I too just switched from liquid to gas. As long as you keep the light intensity down then there shouldn't be a problem. Glutaraldehyde or "liquid co2" works as a mild algicide.

Have you decided on what system you are going to use? I was on a budget and picked this up.

Freshwater Planted Aquarium Plant Care: Drs. Foster & Smith Semi-Automatic CO2 System

It's worked well so far right out of the box. I'm not sure if they upgraded the bubble counter. In the reviews everyone said it was junk and leaked, however, it seems solid to me and has not leaked. I plan on swapping out the diffuser for a inline reactor.

I also picked up a 10 pound co2 tank from a local welding supply shop. 90 bucks for the tank, but they only charge 10 to fill it.

Not sure if you already have ferts. I was using bottled stuff, but if figured might as well go all the way. I've been using PPS-Pro and so far I'm pretty happy with it.

I would probably just hold off on planting any high demand plants until you have everything ready to go.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm going with you filled the tank up before moving it closer to the wall.

I'm guessing that's a 55 gallon tank. If that's the case I'm not sure if either of those lights will put you into the high light zone. The Fluval may put you into the medium light area. Are you looking at the Current Sat plus pro? You should also consider the Finnex Ray2 as well.
I pondered how close to the wall to get, your comment makes me have second thoughts lol.

I hooked up the spray bar and intake to the wrong sides of the canister. That made priming a little tricky.

I did figure most of those options would just get me into the medium par values at the bottom of the tank. I looked at the Sat plus Pro but I did want to stay around $200.



I too just switched from liquid to gas. As long as you keep the light intensity down then there shouldn't be a problem. Glutaraldehyde or "liquid co2" works as a mild algicide.

Have you decided on what system you are going to use? I was on a budget and picked this up.

Freshwater Planted Aquarium Plant Care: Drs. Foster & Smith Semi-Automatic CO2 System

It's worked well so far right out of the box. I'm not sure if they upgraded the bubble counter. In the reviews everyone said it was junk and leaked, however, it seems solid to me and has not leaked. I plan on swapping out the diffuser for a inline reactor.

I also picked up a 10 pound co2 tank from a local welding supply shop. 90 bucks for the tank, but they only charge 10 to fill it.

Not sure if you already have ferts. I was using bottled stuff, but if figured might as well go all the way. I've been using PPS-Pro and so far I'm pretty happy with it.

I would probably just hold off on planting any high demand plants until you have everything ready to go.

Good luck!
Thanks for the well wishes! Like Nlewis said, the light I go with will probably leave me being in the medium light values which I hope will be an okay match with a liquid CO2 supplement.

I have looked at that CO2 kit. Which regulator did you go with?

I did look at this cheapo on amazon.com. It seems you can modify the fittings to fix its leak issues which happens to be the number one reason why people give it low ratings.

I have not bought ferts yet. I have a lot to learn in the next month. I will have to check out the PPS-Pro stuff.
 

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What type of plants will you be growing? A 24/7 on a 55 (standard) would be medish light at substrate. Most high light plants can also be grown with lower light but may not give you the low compact growth you might be going for in a carpet for example. If you are looking for super high light don't discount fluorescent lighting as well in your research. Leds still have depth issues for taller tanks for higher light.

And as others have said slowly transition light intensity if you are adding co2 after the fact.

Also, consider the regular planted+ if you aren't concerned about the 24/7 feature. The planted+ has better light spectrum spread with the reds that come with it but don't in the 24/7
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What type of plants will you be growing? A 24/7 on a 55 (standard) would be medish light at substrate. Most high light plants can also be grown with lower light but may not give you the low compact growth you might be going for in a carpet for example. If you are looking for super high light don't discount fluorescent lighting as well in your research. Leds still have depth issues for taller tanks for higher light.

And as others have said slowly transition light intensity if you are adding co2 after the fact.

Also, consider the regular planted+ if you aren't concerned about the 24/7 feature. The planted+ has better light spectrum spread with the reds that come with it but don't in the 24/7
Hey Willcooper,

I don't know if I will try a ground cover yet. I was looking at the Echinodorus tenellus if I did. It sounds like they can do okay with medium light. Other plants on my short list include, Anubias barteri, chinodorus 'Barthii', weeping moss, etc. I don't think any of these are really light intensive. I am sure the list will change as I learn what plans I can actually source online and at my LFS.

I am not forgetting about flourecent lighting but the LED packages just seem more up my alley.
 

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What type of plants will you be growing? A 24/7 on a 55 (standard) would be medish light at substrate. Most high light plants can also be grown with lower light but may not give you the low compact growth you might be going for in a carpet for example. If you are looking for super high light don't discount fluorescent lighting as well in your research. Leds still have depth issues for taller tanks for higher light.

And as others have said slowly transition light intensity if you are adding co2 after the fact.

Also, consider the regular planted+ if you aren't concerned about the 24/7 feature. The planted+ has better light spectrum spread with the reds that come with it but don't in the 24/7
Hey Willcooper,

I don't know if I will try a ground cover yet. I was looking at the Echinodorus tenellus if I did. It sounds like they can do okay with medium light. Other plants on my short list include, Anubias barteri, chinodorus 'Barthii', weeping moss, etc. I don't think any of these are really light intensive. I am sure the list will change as I learn what plans I can actually source online and at my LFS.

I am not forgetting about flourecent lighting but the LED packages just seem more up my alley.
Ok cool. Those plants will do well in med/lower light. Led should be great. Do you have the ability to raise the light a bit off the tank? If so start up a couple inches and lower a bit at a time until you notice an algae problems

What type of plants will you be growing? A 24/7 on a 55 (standard) would be medish light at substrate. Most high light plants can also be grown with lower light but may not give you the low compact growth you might be going for in a carpet for example. If you are looking for super high light don't discount fluorescent lighting as well in your research. Leds still have depth issues for taller tanks for higher light.

And as others have said slowly transition light intensity if you are adding co2 after the fact.

Also, consider the regular planted+ if you aren't concerned about the 24/7 feature. The planted+ has better light spectrum spread with the reds that come with it but don't in the 24/7
Hey Willcooper,

I don't know if I will try a ground cover yet. I was looking at the Echinodorus tenellus if I did. It sounds like they can do okay with medium light. Other plants on my short list include, Anubias barteri, chinodorus 'Barthii', weeping moss, etc. I don't think any of these are really light intensive. I am sure the list will change as I learn what plans I can actually source online and at my LFS.

I am not forgetting about flourecent lighting but the LED packages just seem more up my alley.
Echinodorus tenellus (micro chain sword) may be difficult in lower light but the other plants will do well in med/lower light. Led should be great. Do you have the ability to raise the light a bit off the tank? If so start up a couple inches and lower a bit at a time until you notice an algae problem on the anubias
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Echinodorus tenellus (micro chain sword) may be difficult in lower light but the other plants will do well in med/lower light. Led should be great. Do you have the ability to raise the light a bit off the tank? If so start up a couple inches and lower a bit at a time until you notice an algae problem on the anubias
I could hang any of these lights so that is definitely an option.
 

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Echinodorus tenellus (micro chain sword) may be difficult in lower light but the other plants will do well in med/lower light. Led should be great. Do you have the ability to raise the light a bit off the tank? If so start up a couple inches and lower a bit at a time until you notice an algae problem on the anubias
I could hang any of these lights so that is definitely an option.
Good. Just a good rule of thumb to slowly increase light intensity while the plants get rooted and start growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Couple other questions have come up...


What differences can I expect from running a medium light for longer verse a high light for shorter? I am guessing the tank sees these two things separately.

To get the stock I want, I will likely have to order the fish/plants online unless I become willing to compromise.

My current stock list for fish:


The pleco I am looking at is L135, bristlenose, or pitbull (multiple), I picked one on the advisor that I thought would have similar bioload.


To save on shipping (overnight costs $$) I would like to ship the fish together.
What dangers do I face ordering everything together? My concerns would be to shock my cycled tank with the bioload. If I am prepared to do daily 20-25% water changes for the first week or two...should I be okay?

I really appreciate all of your responses. This website has been a huge help and resource.
 

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That's a lot of fish to add all at once. I'd break that up into a three/four parts or three at the least, if you have a cycled tank to transfer media over from that will go a long way to get you fully stocked earlier. You really should be patient when it comes to stocking a tank, last thing you want is to pay all that money for shipping and quality livestock and have then stress out and die from not properly acclimating them. Personally I'd pass on the pleco, they get way too big, especially for an aquascape that's presenting a smaller scaled scene like an iwugami.


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