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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have decided after a long time away from the fish world to get back into it and revive one of my tanks and make that tank a planted. I had a low-tech planted tank before (proper lights but just DIY yeast c02) Eco-Complete. I am going to try my best to describe my intended setup and I am really just looking for input of areas i could improve on.

Anyways, I managed to get my hands on a super cool dimension Reef tank its 30wx20hx14t which is drilled with a built in overflow. I plan to have a sump...since I have a spare powerhead powerful enough to move the water from my sump to my tank.

Lights I was going to go with a 36" Coral Life PC Freshwater(since these run me only 100$)

Filter, I am simply going to run a Fluval C4 power filter. It is within my price range and I have heard nothing but good things.

C02, I read one of the DiY's about the paintball C02 and thats what I plan on using.

Substrate: this is where i need advice. I am most likely going to go with fluorite red...but should I have a bottom layer of MTS to help with my plants?


Plants: Plant wise I really haven't decided my plants, I plan on doing a carpeted tank (its a lot of work I know) and having a moss "stream" in my tank but with my setup I really don't know the best/middle easiest plant to carpet with.

Keep in mind this tank is being setup to be looked at from 3 directions so the whole low-high plant scheme may not work. unless of course its low-high-low


Hardscape: I REALLY want these rocks http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pGallery.php?do=view&rdo=homepage&id=1252&cat=6&order=None&page=3

but I have no idea what type they are or where to get them (LFS here aren't the greatest when it comes to exotic stuff)

Last thing Since the tank is drilled and ready for a sump...I plan on doing one, now I realize sumps are more for SW but this tank is going to be looked at from 3 sides and I really don't want filters and co2 and all that crap hanging off the tank and making it look cluttered. Is this a good idea? Does anyone else run FW sumps or am I just weird?


Any info you guys provide would be amazingly helpful!

Btw, I will be photo journaling this tank.
 

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Not sure why you want to use an HOB plus a sump. Put filtering stuff in the sump and even less clutter around the tank. I used to have a pail filled with bath scrubbies plus heater plus CO2 reactor plus the pump in there but have just installed huge blocks of foam instead of the space wasting pail.

Not a rock person but I often read that rock yards will let you sort through and buy small stuff. Google your area, there may be one nearby. Last time I was in the plant nursery I saw bonsai rocks that would work in a small enough tank so check out any fancy nurseries around as well. Take a mock up of your tank with you so you buy rocks in about the right scale if you find a place to shop.

Agree with the others. It costs more up front to buy a larger CO2 tank but the refills are much less per pound and you have fewer trips to the gas place each year. Get the largest one that will fit - including the height of the regulator - in the space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok So I scrapped the filter idea, Lights changed too.

I realized with the dimensions of my tank I may not get the proper light distribution with a single strip of lights. So I have changed it too two t5HO strips since they are cheaper anyway than the lights I was looking at before.

Second, I realized that a 5lb C02 isn't that big of an investment so I am going to do that.


One question I have....

If I use just straight Flourite Red..will I get the same quality growth as if I did a MGOPS base then with fluorite red to cap it off?
 

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Flourite is already messy enough especially if you rescape your tank on a regular basis. You should look into osmocote plus root tabs. Do a search of the site a bunch of threads should pop up. Twenty bucks would buy you a ton of fert tabs.
 
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