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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Decided to make the switch from a reef tank to planted due to maintenance, will be re-using a lot of what I had for the reef.

Tank: 36"x24"x24" 1"thick acrylic with a 20" wide external overflow.
Substrate: 160 lbs of eco complete
Ferts: Some N, P, K, and CSM+B to a bit of water and mixed in prior to planting (took a best guess at how much of each, not much) and a few root tabs on the bottom.
Lighting: vertex sr900 (LED's), it puts out a ton of par (red add-on 620nm led pads are in the mail). Will turn down the lights when I fill it (they dim/can be programmed) to about 30-40%.
CO2: plan on getting pressurized CO2 with a reactor.
Filtration: will be using a sump with (2)mesh filter socks for mechanical filtration and submerged media to cut back on CO2 loss. I have leftover kaldness k1 for a static bed or may use something else.
Auto topoff: another left over from the reef, best thing ever with a sump.
Controller: Apex controller for temp and ph + power control (from the reef)


For stocking I haven't decided on anything but was thinking about:
rummy nose's or bloodfin tetras (12+ of one or the other)
Apistogramma agassizi or Apistogramma viejita (pair)
few ottos
and maybe something else? pencil fish maybe or something that stays in the top 1/3?
Plants are undecided, I may stay away from stems so I replant less and do something like a java fern bush on the bottom of the right side wood or crypts ?


Currently im growing out a HC lawn, was planning to let it grow in for another month or so and figure out what else im putting in it.
The HC seems to be taking off, when I picked it up it was mostly light green/yellow with some dieing leaves visible but has colored up and started putting out new leaves.

On the emersed growth I went with:
14 hour photo period with a 1 hour ramp at the beginning and end of the cycle, LED's are at 95% white(48 leds), 15% blue(24leds), 10% royal blue(24leds).
The tank hits 92 degrees at peak and cools down to 75 every day for the last week.
.35mil plastic covers the tank. I take it off for the last ~3 hrs of the photo period and mist a bit, leaving it off for a hour or 2 after the photo period ends then place it back on.


On 8-22 when I started it


On 8-29 showing a weeks worth of growth


And a FTS from 8-29. I ordered 1 awesome piece of wood and shipping turned it into 10, so making due with the bits left.
 

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First, I love your setup, the tank itself is my dream footprint and i can't find one for under $400, second those leds are going to work out very nicely for you.

Couple decent stocking ideas

30+ bloodfins would make for a very exciting tank =p the smaller you go the more nippy and uncomfortable the fish are, rummies are awesome schoolers and i love their tails
Instead of ottos see if you can get a few awesome bristlenose plecos, they work hard and get to about 4 inches and are very nice to look at
Flag cichlids are pretty cool if you can get a hold of them, scientific name incase you are interested is laetacara curviceps. they will match your bloodfin personality should you go with them, not to mention they look awesome when comfortable and well fed, these are pretty territorial with their own kind and larger fish when spawning. they're very fun to watch if you get a good pair or two, they will require a cave for each one you have though, which can be simple overhanging large leaves =p crypts being perfect.
I look forward to seeing your progress and will be subscribing to this, again love the footprint!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mini update:
Algae started to take hold on the substrate and in some of the HC due to what i now believe to be too much water. It was a mix of green dust and thread algae I believe.

In mistaken efforts to combat the algae I drained the water down to about 1/2" below the lowest point in the substrate and left the tank uncovered for a day. I did this with out checking the weather and the inside of the tank was 96 degrees when I came home.
The plants dried out a bit and some of the upper most plants had some die off from the heat and lack of water.

Looking back I should of kept the water level lower while keeping the humidity higher.

So i've flooded the tank, added a bit of N & K to the water (added ~10 gal of RODI) with a dose of excel to help kill off the remaining algae.

The plan is to leave it flooded for 3-4 days while dosing with excel then drop the water level back down and finish the emersed grow out.
Worst case the HC does not respond well to going back to emersed and I reflood & add CO2, but wont have all my CO2 equip until next friday.
 

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Mini update:
Algae started to take hold on the substrate and in some of the HC due to what i now believe to be too much water. It was a mix of green dust and thread algae I believe.

In mistaken efforts to combat the algae I drained the water down to about 1/2" below the lowest point in the substrate and left the tank uncovered for a day. I did this with out checking the weather and the inside of the tank was 96 degrees when I came home.
The plants dried out a bit and some of the upper most plants had some die off from the heat and lack of water.

Looking back I should of kept the water level lower while keeping the humidity higher.

So i've flooded the tank, added a bit of N & K to the water (added ~10 gal of RODI) with a dose of excel to help kill off the remaining algae.

The plan is to leave it flooded for 3-4 days while dosing with excel then drop the water level back down and finish the emersed grow out.
Worst case the HC does not respond well to going back to emersed and I reflood & add CO2, but wont have all my CO2 equip until next friday.
I like your driftwood sucks it broke into pieces but still very cool pieces you salvaged.

I think sometimes there is just no fighting problems with the dry start method. I had a beautiful carpet going in a tank of mine with dwarf baby tears. After 4 months and about the time it was fully covering my tank bottom. I noticed a bit of white fungus and algae developing. It probably took out a good third of the ground cover within a weeks time. Before I flooded the tank and pumped the co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like your driftwood sucks it broke into pieces but still very cool pieces you salvaged.

I think sometimes there is just no fighting problems with the dry start method. I had a beautiful carpet going in a tank of mine with dwarf baby tears. After 4 months and about the time it was fully covering my tank bottom. I noticed a bit of white fungus and algae developing. It probably took out a good third of the ground cover within a weeks time. Before I flooded the tank and pumped the co2.

This is exactly what ended up happening with me, I'm not sure if it was fungus or mold but it was white and quickly killing off the HC.
I've flooded the tank and added CO2, hopefully things come back. I wont have my sump for another week or two so its running with just co2 + a power head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LED's upgraded

LED upgrades came in the mail today, added 12x red led's.

Upgrade kit



Upgrade/add on pad it's self.


Macro of the actual LED's


Before install


After install


Fixture up and running, the red really adds a nice warm look to everything. Was really surprised at how much the few red LED's helped.
 

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Great tank and a lovely scape, looking forward to seeing it grow.

Regarding the Vertex, are you using the Cree XP-G LED lights?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great tank and a lovely scape, looking forward to seeing it grow.

Regarding the Vertex, are you using the Cree XP-G LED lights?
I have one of the first vertex fixtures that came out using rebels, I can upgrade it to XP-G but with the par it puts out I dont see a point in doing so.
I think the red led's may be Cree however?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sump installed and running for a few days now, need to move all the stuff thats hanging in the display to the sump now (heaters, ph probe, etc)
Went with a custom design so the bio ball chamber would be sealed to reduce c02 gas off. Overflow is dead silent with no air bubbles being pulled down.


 

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I just added a vertex 900 to my tank but haven't planted it yet. Thanks for sharing your customization specs for how you adjusted the different color intensities. Did this light work well for your plants and will it support high light requiring plants? Has your light customization changed since your last post? Did you encounter any problematic algae with this light?
 
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