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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,
I just got a great deal on a 150gal Marineland deep dimension tank 36"x36" and looking forward to setting up as a planted tank. I'm a newbie :icon_roll when it comes to planted tanks but do have experience with freshwater aquariums. What are some recommendations from your experience ?


  1. What type or brand of Substrate ?
  2. Lighting?---- I was planning on using 36" Marinelnad 24 hr lighting - are these any good... i currently own a 48" reef capable, but not to sure it will provide the proper lighting I need.
  3. Co2 setup ?
  4. What are some good starter plants? ... for creating grass bed?
  5. Drift Wood ? are there treated types of wood that do not leech ?
 

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1) There are many good substrates available such as Ecocomplete, ADA Aquasoil, etc. But there are trade offs to each - for instance, Ecocomplete is innate (has little/no nutrients in it) but comes pre-cycled and also has great granule sizes for plants. Aquasoil has a lot of great nutrients, but it only lasts about a year until it too becomes innate. A good option for planted tanks is a mineralized topsoil:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html
Cover it with an innate substrate like Ecocomplete or gravel and it keeps the nutrients to only the plants and away from algae.

2) Since your tank is so wide, I would definitely get multiple fixtures spread out evenly. How deep is your tank, and what bulbs are you using? A great thread posted by Hoppy about finding the correct lighting for you:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html
For the light cycle I would recommend around 9 hours to prevent the growth of algae.

3) Depends on your lighting - low light, I don't think you'll need it. If you have a mid-high light, I would start looking into it.

4) I would recommend a low tech setup for you as it is the lowest maintenance, lowest cost, and easiest to start with. Unfortunately, low tech tanks have a hard time growing groundcover, so your best bet will be try it, see if it works, and stop if it doesn't. Good plants are java fern, anubias, various swords/crypts for low light tanks. This forum has a gallery of plants on it (not all are available to purchase from shops):
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/myplants/
My favorite place to buy plants is aquariumplants, they have really healthy plants as well as a lot of them.

5) The most popular driftwood on this forum to my knowledge is manzanita, as it has the most diversity and also leeches very little. There may be places that sell treated driftwood, but I am not aware of any as of yet. If you don't like the look of manzanita (which I doubt) then you can look into Malaysian driftwood. Some manzanita sellers here are Plantbrain (Tom Barr) and PC1:
Tom's driftwood:http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/s...gnarled-manzanita-driftwood-batch-6-will.html
PC1's driftwood: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/s...131607-manzanita-manzanita-buy-2-get-1-a.html

Hope this was helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank You loneplant.... Very helpful advice.

The mixed substrate makes perfect sense, I didn't think of that. The tank is 27" in depth so I'll check out that post and see what lighting options are best.

I'm unfamiliar with co2 systems so a beginner setup, easy to maintain, will be best for me.

Manzanita is definitely what I was looking to get. I was not sure if they leeched excessively since I've had never ending leeching problems in the past with pet store driftwoods. Seems like they treat those with brown sharpie markers lol.

Thanks again!
 

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Capped soil is my preferred substrate for planted tanks. Eco is not pre cycled, your tank will go thru a cycle regardless of what substrate you use. It also will not keep algae away from the plants, it's said to have higher CEC, so it will absorb nutrients for the plants (and algae) to use. I like black Flourite, but have used Eco, both work well. The one draw back with using a soil substrate is it limits your fish choice, as you can not have fish that dig in the substrate.

I always go to Hoppy's chart when deciding lighting. I would suggest a fixture with separate switches/cords and suspending the fixture, to give you lighting options.

If you decide to go "high tech" and use Co2, I'd def go with a quality regulator. I use one of GLA's regulators for over 2 years now, it's never failed me. Orlando is a vendor here, his customer service is amongst the best.

I haven't found a driftwood that won't leech. It doesn't seem to bother plants or fish in my tanks, pre soaking it helps a lot.

It takes longer to plan a tank than it does to set it up. Deciding what direction you want to go with this tank before purchasing will save you money in the long run.

Good luck with your tank!
 
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