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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all-

I'm transitioning a 46-gallon bowfront from a (yawn!!!) Malawi Peacock tank to a heavily planted tank (the Malawi tank was transitioned from a tropical community tank, where I could not keep a plant alive). I'm new to planted tanks, although not new to fishkeeping. I have some questions about the equipment involved.

I currently have 12 harlequin rasboras in residence with some plastic plants. Substrate is 3" of Eco-Complete. I currently have a Rena XP2 running.
Here's my new equipment: Eheim 2217, Gamma 8W uv sterilizer, pressurized CO2 system from GreenLeaf, inline glass co2 diffuser, Current T5 HO 39x4 lighting (I swapped the 2 actinic blue bulbs for 2 freshwater bulbs).

I was going to retire my Rena and just use the Eheim, but now I'm rethinking that and would love some advice. I would like to set up the UV sterilizer as an inline unit; I would also like to add an inline heater. And obviously the co2 diffuser is inline. Should I run these all off the Eheim and forget the Rena? Should I keep the Rena and use it to run everything off of so the Eheim's flow is not reduced? Should I mix and match? If so, how? Of course, the point of running everything inline is to reduce the clutter in the tank, but if I have two filters, that's going to be a lot of clutter!!!

I also have some questions about the fish stocking, but should I start a new thread for that? (I'm also a newbie to forums!!!)

:help:
Thanks!!!
 

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Let's start with the basics: you can make a 4 x 39 watt T5HO light work on that 21 inch deep tank, but it isn't likely that you will do so without either raising it several inches above the tank, or spending much of your efforts fighting algae problems. It is far more light than you need. One single 39 watt T5HO will give you medium light intensity for that tank, and two will give you high intensity, where the plants grow very fast, and you need to practice very good tank hygiene, have very good CO2 distribution in the tank, fertilizer very well, and prune at least weekly, to avoid algae problems.

Not everyone agrees with me on lighting, but you should know that Amano uses far less light than you will have, and he has some success with his planted tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Hoppy
I'll definitely look into that. Fortunately, I can remove bulbs or just turn on two at a time.
I would, however, like to keep this thread focused on my equipment question for now, and in the meantime, I'll do some more research on the lighting issue.
Lori
 

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Hi Lori,
Warning you about the huge amount of light you are talking about is on topic. If your nose gets thin when someone suggests that, well I can only wait to see what happens if they say something else you don't want to hear. Hoppy has helped a lot of people just like you "could not keep a plant alive". Better to listen to what he said, without the attitude, IMHO. If you can remove two bulbs then you are better off with just two bulbs over the tank and keeping them on separate switches.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oops!!! I tried soooooo hard to compose that reply without sounding like I had attitude because I really, really don't. I even looked for one of those smiley faces to add to my post to emphasize that I wasn't being snippy, but I couldn't find one.
I am totally going to look into the lighting issue. I really don't have a thin nose about this. BTW, I did research lighting for weeks before buying that unit, which so many people on so many forums said was the right one. I'm very open to alternative views. I just really want to make sure that my question doesn't get diverted into a forum discussion of what lighting level is appropriate. I'm happy to open another thread to talk about that, or if you have a link to a prior discussion, I will read it with great interest. But I really also want to make sure my question about in-line plumbing gets addressed too.
Ah, the limits of text-only discussions!
 
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