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Newbee just filled the tank with H20...

623 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  LordMaximo
and need advice...

Filter: already cycled Magnum Canister 350 (got rid of the wet/dry)

Lighting: VHO ballast and Power Compact 65WX2 (no bulbs yet)

Tank: 90 gallon 48x18x25

Substrate: 3 bags Black Flourite and Black Gravel (3 inch total)

A few questions:

1. I am not going the CO2 injection route but they told me that with the amount of lightning I have (about 2.5watts/gal) I could grow med. to hi light plants without CO2???

2. I have powerheads are they beneficial or necessary?

3. Would a dechlorinator such as Aquasafe bind heavy metals in the water making it unavailable for the plants?
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3. Many people use Seachem's Prime. It's good stuff.

"Prime™ is the complete and concentrated conditioner for both fresh and salt water. Prime™ removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia. Prime™ converts ammonia into a safe, non-toxic form that is readily removed by the tank’s biofilter. Prime™ may be used during tank cycling to alleviate ammonia/nitrite toxicity. Prime™ detoxifies nitrite and nitrate, allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them. It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels. Prime™ also promotes the production and regeneration of the natural slime coat. Prime™ is non-acidic and will not impact pH. Prime™ will not overactivate skimmers. Use at start-up and whenever adding or replacing water."

"It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels." I haven't read about any problems caused by Prime in this area.
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It might be tough without co2 with that much light, but plenty of people run low tech non-co2 tanks with great success. Just do a search for non-co2 tanks.
Powerheads are nice for extra circulation, as they disperse ferts and what co2 you have to the plants throughout the tank. the magnum 350 is rated for 100 gallon tanks, but these ratings may not apply to planted tanks. I like to overfilter my tanks, so I might use an extra filter as well, but this is just a suggestion, and the powerheads will help to move water around the tank more evenly to prevent dead spots.
I use Seachem Prime dechlorinator, and it's great. It's concentrated, so it is actually very cost-effective. I have never used aquasafe, so I'm not too sure about it
I have the Aquasafe Stresscoat stuff.

The pet shop told me that as long as you don't OD it should be OK.

Maybe I am thinking too much...
I don't think it will be harmful to your plants. They should still be able to access the necessary nutrients

How about the lighting???

Could I have too much and run into algae problems???

I have kept reef, oscar, and community tanks but I am new to planted tanks...
Actually, I'm confused on the lighting. it says you have 2X65, is this correct? I'm wondering where you got 2.5 w/g. Actually, watts per gallon isn't very accurate, it is just considered a guideline. Have you read Rex's guide? It's very helpful in understanding lighting and everything else for planted tanks. The thing you need to learn and understand is that lighting, CO2, and fertilizers all need to be in balance to prevent algae and encourage good plant growth. You need to make sure there is no limiting factor for growth. If you have good nutrient levels (lighting, fertilizers, carbon) your tank will flourish. But, if you only have good lighting and ferts, but not enough CO2, CO2 will be your limiting factor, which can lead to algae problems. This goes for any of the nutrients.
A couple of things:

Like mpodolan said, I am not sure how you got 2.5 W/gal. 2x65 would give you 130W. 130W/90g would be around 1.4, which is not very much light at all. And it is also true that the watts per gallon rule is not a very accurate one, although it will work as a rule of thumb in your case. If you did, in fact have 2.5 w/g, that might be enough light to drive up your CO2 consumption to the point where you would need CO2. Whoever told you that with enough light, you wouldn't need CO2 doesn't really understand how it works. The more light you have, the more available CO2 you need. If you have enough light where it will take more CO2 then what you have naturally, you will need some kind of supplementary CO2 or carbon.
Thank you. You guys give me a good first impression.

I have a VHO ballast which I think puts out 40 watts/bulb plus two 65 watts.


I understand the limiting factor part.

I just want to remain low-tech as far as CO2 is concerned.

Knowing myself I will only refeill it once as I don't have much time.

I have kept reef tanks before I just hope this is less complicated though I know some of you guys can actually estimate the number of electrons in the Krebs cycle at any given point I am just feeling this out.
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You will do fine....don't cut yourself short by all means.
I have used the Prime stuff quite abit myself, and use low watt lights.
Never really claimed to have an octopuss' garden though, never used Co2 either. Have been putting some ideas into motion on usage of more sturdier materials over 2L soda bottles though.
No such thing as too over filter a home aquarium, I run large systems on my small tanks and on the large tanks, I use industrial sized equipement on the large tanks. Guess after living in Florida for so long and helping built water plants and the being involved with the large aquariums down south, I was spoiled and always used more then adiquate for the home systems.
Good luck and have fun.

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