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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone I'm about to delve into my first planted tank. I'd like your thoughts on my planned setup. Main thing I'm concerned with is the lighting. I'm worried I went to big but considering the depth of my tank hopefully it's perfect.

Tank: acrylic 36"H x 36"W x 12"D (already up and running as community tank) built in overflow with 20G wet dry sump.

Lighting: on order, Current USA Outer Orbit HQI, includes 1x150W MH, 2 x 96W dual actinic & 4 moon white lunar lights. Total wattage is 342W. Also ordered the Coralife Dual Power Center Timer to control the lights.

Co2: on order, Complete Choice CO2 System from Green Leaf Aquarium with Milwaukee SMS122 PH controller.

Substrate: on order, AquariumPlants.com's own: Freshwater Planted Aquarium Substrate, Color:Black Diamond, Bucket Size:6 Gallon

Plants: on order

  • 8 Corkscrew Val
  • 6 Jungle Val
  • 3 medium Amazon Sword
  • 1 medium Red Rubin Sword
  • 2 Anacharis
  • 3 Cabomba
  • 3 Narrow-leaf Ludwigia
  • 5 potted tennellus Chain Swords
 

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Your big problem is going to be lighting. That is a deep tank. I am not sure how many WPG you will need but I can tell you the fixture is all wrong.

You want lights that emit light in the 6700k range for plant growth with a mix of 10,000K for color. The fixture you ordered will have th MH at probably 13,000K and the actinic are way wrong.

I would look at a T5 high out fixture or power compacts in the proper wave length. An example would be: http://www.catalinaaquarium.com/product_info.php?cPath=71_136&products_id=1418
 

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Welcome to TPT!

Unfortunately I see three problems with your current plan.

I think that fixture is going to give you some trouble since it is for saltwater. The actinic aren't going to do anything for your plants. As hal3146 mentioned, freshwater planted tanks like light in the 6700-10000K range.

A 36" tall tank will be a pain to work with. Arms just aren't that long (at least mine are not). Even a 20" thank has me getting my shoulder wet. This makes maintaining the tank tough, plus it is that much harder for light to reach the bottom. Ground cover plants will be very difficult.

Lastly wet/dry sumps do not work very well with pressurized co2 tanks. They lead to a lot of out gassing.

HTH
 

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Hi and welcome! What both posters above just mentioned I would take heed to. I agree with them from experience. I have a 36" deep tank and it's more work than what I wanted to get in to. That being said... It can be done! Be prepared to not have any decent ground cover/carpet plants. Be prepared to have battles with algae in the top areas of your tank. Be prepared to have your stem plants look somewhat top heavy, due to poor lighting at low levels and very good lightin towards the middle/top. Be oprepared to have a hard time scaping , because you must constantly take your arm out of your tank, get off of your stool then look to see if it is ok every few minutes. Just be prepared. ;) like I said it's not easy,it's just more work and patience. If I knew then what I kbew now, I woldn't have bought a deep tank tbh. Have fun!
 

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Yeah, I'm afraid I'm going to have to echo what BottomFeeder just said. That tank is going to be hell when it comes to planting your plants. I have a 24" tall tank and I already have to drain some water if I'm going to be reaching down to the substrate.

That light was, in my opinion, not the right light to choose. It can be worked with though, so not all hope is lost, it's just, ideally what you would have gotten is a pair of MH's so you can spread the light out over a rectangular-shaped footprint, which is what you have there.

So right now, you have a 150w MH that will be directly in the center of this footprint, so directly in the middle of your tank is where the highest of light will be. Then on the left and right edges it will be not so bright. If you replace the actinic PC bulbs with daylight ones, you will correct these shadowy spots, but the center of the tank is going to have a LOT of light now, and you might have to deal with algae spots.

Also the color spectrum of the MH bulb that came with it is probably going to be too high, as someone already mentioned. You'll probably need to replace every single bulb that came with that fixture if you want to use it, to be honest with you. :(

So the truth is, you should return it. Then what you should do is get a pair of 150s that can be suspended over the tank side by side. In my opinion that's the only way you're going to be able to substantial amounts of light down through 3 feet of water column to the substrate. If you were planning on just attaching ferns and anubias to driftwood and not necessarily scape the substrate itself, then you might could get away with a 4x39w T5HO fixture. As bright as high output t5's are, I still question whether they would reach down a full 3 feet.

Best of luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. The MH is a 10,000K but if it should be 6,700K I guess I'll do a return and try again.
 

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it all seems cool to me except the actinic part.

i didnt notice you say anything about ferts. you have to have those too. you should look up ei dosing.

dont worry about your tank being deep too much. theres things you can do to make it easier to deal with. when you do ei dosing you do a 50% water change at the end of the week. when the tank is half full it'll be easier to do your maintanance and planting
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again. Okay, I've ordered 6,700k daylight bulbs to replace the dual actinic. I haven't gotten any ferts yet other than a bottle of flourish. I'm googling ei dosing now, thanks for the tip.

Also as for the CO2 being incompatible with my sump. My aquarium and sump will both be sealed to help counter it. I've read of quite a few others successfully doing the same.

Any other obvious things I've missed?
 
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