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Planting and lighting new 40br

732 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Aquachromis
I just purchases a 40g breeder (36x18x16) this past weekend and I'm in the planning stages of setting it up right now. I've already decided on the fish and the filter, now it's on to lighting and plants.

I'd really like to do a 95% Cryptocoryne tank. I have a 1X96w cf light from a previous tank that I'd like to use. I also want this to be a non-CO2 tank. So...with 1x96w over this tank (~2.4 wpg) can I get away with no CO2? I'd like to use some of these crypts: wendtii, balansae, beckettii, willisii, lucens, and parva. Not sure which ones yet. Will some do better than others with this lighting/no CO2? I'll probably add some Java ferns and maybe some moss as well. Any other plant suggestions for this tank?

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I am curious as to what suggestions will be posted here for you as I am in the planning stages of making my 20 tall into a planted tank. I just upgraded my light and now have ~ 2.4 wpg also. I plan to use DIY CO2 though. But I think it is feasable to do without adding CO2. You gotta think about what your plants need. Fertilizer, for macro, and micro nutrients, CO2 and lighting are your main considerations.

As far as the 2.4 wpg goes, that is a decent amount of light. You should be able to grow a good variety of plants. And not just low light plants.

Suggestions, heres two I'm considering for starters:
Hemianthus Calitrichoides - low foreground plant
Green Hydro - Hygrophila Polysperma - tall background plant

BTW, I am a beginner myself. I have one recovering java fern right now. I had it in a tank with some gold barbs for a while. They munched it pretty good. I've had other plants but they did not fair as well I'm afraid.
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Are you opposed to dosing Excel? That would really help the growth of the plants.
I have a 1X96w cf light from a previous tank that I'd like to use.
Does a single 96w PC fixture illuminate the whole 18" width of the tank fairly evenly? This is from the front of the tank to the back of the tank. I'm just curious.
At 2.4wpg I would guess that there are plenty of variables effecting whether or not You will need C02. However, I did run this tank for several months without C02:

24" 65w Aqualight over a 20L (3.25wpg), Many Crypts, but other plants also.

Here's the thread that gives the tank specs and other information:

Chinese Watersnake Upgrade--20L--56K Warning!

The setup is Atypical, so I'm not quite sure of its value here. The 3.25wpg is over 24" of the tank--not the full 30". So, in some respects the wpg was Higher, but there was also a wood rim frame and a glass top--what effect that had I'm not sure. Left end was quite dark. Back was much brighter then the front, etc, etc, etc. I did add Excel periodically, but not regularly at all. Very sporadic. If the tank Needed it regularly--I would have known. A short stint with diatoms toward the beginning was the only issue that I had--and that's to be expected.

My overall experience says that with 2.4wpg You will need either C02 or Excel, but, in the end: You'll just have to roll with it and let the tank tell You what it needs....

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AaronT: I'm not opposed to using Excel. Anything that helps the plants grow is great.

Left C: The fixture is actually a 2x96 JBJ fixture but I'm planning on only using one bulb. It doesn't evenly illuminate the whole tank. But, I'm planning on leaving most of the front open anyway at this point.

Naja002: I'll check out your thread. I'm not completely opposed using CO2 if i need it. Is it feasible to do DIY on a 40 gallon tank?

I'm still trying to plan out all the plants to use for this tank. The main reason I said 95% crypts is just because I love the way they look. And I love the Amano tanks that are all/mostly crypts. But other plants are welcome too. :)
First off, have you seen Bill Harada's crypt tank? Amazing!! I myself have been contemplating of setting up one...

Now, my 40g long has 2x54W T5 HO. Without pressurized CO2, it would be an algae tank in a week or so :icon_evil . So your 96W, which is only 8 watts less (wow, I can do math! :tongue: ), *might* need CO2.

IMO, since you're still in the planning stages, I would already set aside some money for pressurized CO2 (sorry, I'm just not a fan of DIY CO2). 5, 10, 20-lb CO2 tanks can be found cheap, but invest in a very good regulator (I like the one I bought from Rex Grigg waaaaaayyyyyy better than the Milwaukee). This way, you can start off with no CO2, or with Excel, and if just doesn't work out like you wanted, you have the money for pressurized CO2 (or go DIY until you can buy pressurized).

Pressurized CO2 is a very good investment. Expensive at the start, but cheaper than DIY/Excel in the long run.
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I've been thinking over my stocking list the last week and I've decided to make a few changes. I'm going to make it a more South American tank as far as the fish go. So, now I'm leaning toward more SA plants and less crypts. I still want the crypts, just not 95% as I said previously. So, what would be some good SA plants for this tank. Any smaller swords that would work that anyone would like to recommend?

As of now, I'm planning on a school of rummynose, group of corys, and either a group of 5 bolivian rams, or a pair of rams and a pair of apistos.
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