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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, first would like to say this forum is very nice overall. Well on to the new toy. I picked up a 78 gallon All glass bow front tank set-up. It included 4 68W power compacts, 1- Ehiem 2222 Pro filter, Aqumedic UV sterilizer, and a Marinland Magnum Pro with bio-wheel return. I have a older Red Sea CO2 system from my old reef tank with a 5gallon cylinder also. My questions are

1. What should I use for substrate? I would like something neutral/dark in color. Plants will be swords/java moss/ vals with drift wood

2. Do I have enough light? My apartment has 6 8ft tall windows in the room the tank will be in also, but none of it will fall directly on the tank.

3. I have 6 discus that I will transfer to the tank after it is up and going for awhile. They have been raised in a 6.6ph. Will the plants be ok at that ph?

4. Any other concerns, tips, tricks, comments are appreciated.
Thanks Orange
 

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Welcome!
1. Try Eco-complete or flourite black, both are pretty dark. ADA Aquasoil Amazonia is also awesome stuff, it has much more nutrients than other substrates. It will also lower your pH and kH.

2. you have too much light, at least for the beginning. use 2 of the 68w, and focus on getting your co2 and ferts right first. When you get those dialed in, you might realize you have no need for more light. Be wary of advice to the contrary, and look at some of the veteran hobbyists on here if you doubt it. This is the reverse of reefing, where we're putting in nitrates and phosphates. ;) As a result, if there is too much light you'll just have a tank full of algae.

3. Plants will be happy with lower pH. Some plants demand it, and I haven't found any yet that do poorly in it.

4. as for other tips and tricks... watch your plants and fish for growth/health, instead of trying to follow random ''rules'', get a drop checker for easy co2 readings, and keep an eye on the swap and shop sub-forum here for great plants for cheap. you might rethink vals and java moss when you see some of the alternatives. Post a thread in the journal section so we can see how it progesses! :)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks will have to check the light when I pick it up in a week or so. I think from the pics its a all in one unit, but should be able to just pull the bulbs on one side. What spectrum should I look for in plant bulbs?

As for the plants I'm looking for a South American/Amazonian look for the tank. Will have the discus, a school of columbian or glow light tetras, my herd(8) of panda cory's, maybe a pr or too from my Dwarf ciclids, and maybe a few Zebra plecos. For algy I'm thinking a few octo's and some S American shrimp if I can find some.

This tank is going in my bedroom. Have a 60 cube in their now that I'm out growing plus would really like to try a planted tank.

Another question is setting up the CO2 system. Before it was installed on a calcium reactor. Basically have a bottle, regulator, and bubble counter. What else will I need to use it?

Sorry for the long string of questions. Just prefer to get the tank started off on the right foot. Will defiantly get a progression log going for it.
 

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You will need a needle valve if you don't already have one.

Other than that, you may want a solenoid so that you can put it onto a pH meter and/or a timer.

You may also want to get a diffuser/reactor so that your CO2 can be efficiently dissolved into the water. Finally, a drop checker with a 4 dkH reference solution would be an easy way to determine your CO2 levels at-a-glance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You will need a needle valve if you don't already have one.

Other than that, you may want a solenoid so that you can put it onto a pH meter and/or a timer.

You may also want to get a diffuser/reactor so that your CO2 can be efficiently dissolved into the water. Finally, a drop checker with a 4 dkH reference solution would be an easy way to determine your CO2 levels at-a-glance.
Where is the best place to look up and purchase these parts? Here in Sedalia we do not have much for a shop. I do go to St. Louis anyone know of a nice shop that does a lot of planted tanks?
 

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Most of the things that you want can be found online.

The solenoid can be purchased from eBay, the timer from your local hardware store, and the reactor (I would recommend a reactor for a tank as large as yours over a diffuser) can be DIY'ed from parts from your hardware store as well.

The drop checker (and the accompanying solution) can also be purchased online. Alternatively, you could purchase just the drop checker and make the 4 dkH reference solution yourself.
 
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