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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, like the title says I am setting up a 50 gallon tall. It's 36x13x26 ish, inside dimensions are 36x12.5x26 making it just a shade over 50 gallons. I have done absolutely nothing as of yet because I want to start this right rather than work by trial and error.

The first issue I am challenged with in my mind is the depth. This is a very deep tank and lighting is most likely going to be an issue. With that in mind, and keeping my limited budget in mind I have been considering a T5HO lamp. Edit: can't post links for awhile..... :icon_roll fishneedit t5ho-3ft--2lamp-aquarium-light
Will this be sufficient to grow i a low tech environment?

Oh, that brings me to my next set of issues, CO2. I've been pondering the use of a DIY CO2 system. I'm not entirely sure if I should or whether it's worth the hassle.

I do plan on trying to dose ferts. Again, I am absolutely new to this and I'm honestly open to suggestions here. I'm guessing I should test my tap water for hardness and ph and buffer from there. I believe we have extremely hard water so I don't know that I'll need to buffer. What types of ferts should I use? Can I get them at any farm and garden or should I use the expensive stuff from the LFS? I've read that nearly everyone uses Excel.... Again suggestions here are great.

Lastly I am wondering about substrate. Should I go with a simple sand mixed with eco complete or some other brand name substrate or am I fine going with just sand or pebbles substrate? What about 3m colorquartz?

I plan to raise angels and hope to try to breed them and leave the fry in the tank until they need to be moved for growout. I'd like to simply leave them in the tank until the get to quarter size and trade them to my lfs for store credit. This means I'll need to have a stable tank that can handle the increased bio-load. I'm also considering emergents and making it a paludarium sp ... I'm guessing that takes a bit more work..

So, I need plants that will work for this water depth. I need suggestions for Angel specific plants (think biotope, though I doubt I'll stay pure biotope). I'd like to have a grundcover but I realise I may need more light. Can I do this at this depth without co2? Do I need more light or will my light suffice?

Thank in advance for your thoughts and suggestions. Once I get the basics down and firmed I will begin a thread for the tank setup itself.

For those that are into the DIY aspect of aquarium building, I have made a calculator for glass and acrylic thickness. You can find it here: Edit: appearently you can't since I am a new member.. I will link later once I get the required 5 posts.. :icon_roll
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Welcome to TPT! :smile:

I'd recommend a Coralife T5NO fixture for your tank rather than T5HO if you want to stick with low tech. With a T5HO fixture you'll need pressurized CO2. I've run the 36" Coralife T5NO fixture over my own 46gal for several years and it's perfect for a low tech/no CO2 setup.

I'd get a pack of dry ferts for dosing, that's the most economical way to go. Check out the sticky at the top of the water parameters forum for some dosing guides, also www.aquariumfertilizers.com and www.greenleafaquariums.com sell dry ferts and have some good links for fert suggestions. Your fert regime will depend largely on your lighting; the more light, the faster plants grow and the more ferts they need.

Echinodorus tenellus, Sagittaria, and Marselia minuta can all carpet in low light. If you add CO2 to the tank and T5HO then you could try just about any of the carpeting plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the welcome. I was just reading your 90gal low tech thread. The reasoning behind the t5ho was the extreme height on the tank, however I have no problems with going for a t5no. I'm jst a bit worried about 26 inches of water to penetrate.

If I do elect to go with co2, should i go with a pressurized canister or are the diy options fairly stable?

As for substrate, I'm still open to suggestions. I saw that Laura used 4+ types of substrate.... any particular reason?
 
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