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Discussion Starter #1
I have yet to have a successful planted tank yet and after 1 year with no tank I've got my 125gal set back up and plants on the way. If I could get some basic help it would be great. 125 gal-312 watts t5 ho lights-seachem flourite substrate, about 2 to 3 inches deep-canisters and emperor hang on back filters-co2 cylinder with a reactor deal from rex grigg-going with south amer. fish and plants, swords, chain swords, foxtail, sag, anacharis. What type of lighting schedule should I have, there are 2 6700k bulbs and 2 10kk bulbs in each fixture. Should my filters run all the time or should I give them a couple hours off each day, the tank is way over filtered which is how I like it. How many bubbles per minute is good for the co2? Lastly the thing I'm most ignorant on is fertz. I don't have to have the greatest planted tank ever but would like a decent one, what are the basic fertz or additives needed and what brand, where to buy and on what schedule. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
 

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You have a lot of light over your tank, probably way more than is needed.

In terms of lighting schedule, you should look at about 8 hours a day. However, I would first try to decrease the amount of lighting you have, or else you will get an algae farm (I am surprised that it is not an algae farm as of yet).

Your filters must be kept running all the time, and should never be turned off.

For the pressurized CO2, the best way to check whether CO2 levels are sufficient is with a drop checker. Calibrated with a 4 dkH reference solution, this is one of the cheapest and most reliable methods of determining whether you have enough CO2 in your aquarium. Another problem with large tanks is that CO2 dispersion throughout the tank will be difficult, and may require multiple injection points and/or powerheads to circulate the water.

You definitely will need to fertilize with your current lighting. Plants require both micronutrients and macronutrients. Micronutrients include iron, boron, manganese, etc. Macronutrients include nitrogen, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, etc.

Since you have a large tank, I would recommend that you buy bulk dry fertilizers (i.e. the bulk chemicals) and mix your own fertilizer. It will be much cheaper than buying commercially available products. As such, you will need a good trace mix (i.e. CSM+B), potassium nitrate, and potassium phosphate, at the very least. Depending on your water hardness, you may also want magnesium sulfate, potassium sulfate and calcium sulfate.
 

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I agree ou probably have too much light to run all the time, I would probably go with 8 hours a day with 2 lights on and add the other 2 in for a 2 hour boost in the middle.

As for fertilizers I would go with dry ferts, and dose the EI method. It has the best results as far as plant growth, the only downside being it requires a large weekly water change.
Here's a link to EI dozing: http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-index/2819-ei-light-those-less-techy-folks.html

The ferts you will need are something like this: http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizers-supplements/micro-macro-fertilizers.html

For filtration you should run your filter 24 hrs. You may consider ditching the hob filter, especially of you have enough filtration without it, because it will lower your co2 levels considerably.

And figuring out co2 bubble count depends on lots of things, the best way to figure it out is, like Darkblade said, using a drop checker with 4dkh solution and adjust your bubbles till you have the proper levels.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm at 2.5 watts per gallon, I understood it was good to have that much or even 3 or 4 watts per gallon?
 

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Discus33.

When it comes tolighting not all watts are created equal. I'm fairly new and it frustrated me too. I just read an article in which an expert stated the 2-3 watts per gallon rule without discussing the difference between light types. An inexcusable omission in my opinion. People spend money based on this info.

T5HO lights are nearly 2x the power of T8/T12. Good news is that you have all you'll ever need. You may find that as your plants get dense and some overshadow others that extra light could be useful. In the meantime, shut some of those bulbs down as others have suggested.

AB
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok, like I said I have 2 6700k bulbs and 2 10kk bulbs in each fixture, which lights should I use? should I use 1 of each in each fixture and remove the other 2 bulbs? If so how many hours would I run these bulbs?
 

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Which bulbs is completely a matter of personal preference based on which ones look best to you. Personally, I'd run a 6700k (yellowish light) in combo with a 10k (crisp white-blue light) in each bank.

I'd start off with 2 bulbs for 8 hours/day and adjust from there.

A lot will depend on your plant and bioload/nutrient levels.
 

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Don't forget that micronutrients occur naturally in water, and that regular water changes help replenish them.
This is only true in low light tanks. In a highly lit tank such as this one, the micronutrients that are provided during water changes will be used up in an instant by the plants. This is why micronutrients must also be dosed separately.
 
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