The Planted Tank Forum banner

Tell me what to buy..please

1889 Views 23 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  EllynE
I have been doing planted tanks off and on for a few years but am basically starting all over again and am overwhelmed now that I have read Rex's guide and so much other information.

So if some wonderful person would help and take me under his/her wing and give me a good idea of what to buy I would be so greatfull!

I have three tanks here is the, the main one I am working on right now is the 20 gallon but eventually want to get them all planted and set up well! But for now tell me what to do with the 20.

First is the normal 20 gallon (24" x12") Currently there is just the normal full lame hood with a 15 w bulb. What is my best bet? Should I buy a glass top that I saw yesterday and buy lights to put on top? What lights should I buy? Where is a good place? I would like a medium light tank.

I plan to just have shrimp, plants and some endlers in there and have eco-complete mixed with regular gravel. And of course no CO2, I don't even know where to start.

I am really not ignorant, I have read and read and still don't know where to start, and would rather get some opinions so I can do this right the first time.

Another question I have is nutrients...I know read the guide:help:
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
How mush are you looking to spend? this will really dictate where you are going here.
Hmmm, I hadn't really thought of that--can I get anything for around $100?
Sure can...are you handy at all? Not talking like building anything crazy here, but Ah Supply sells a retrofit kit that is out of this world. Will give you grea light and is inexpensive. there reflectors are some of the best out there.


All you need to do is rip out the guts from your old fixture and fit in the new.
If it's 24X12, then it's a 20 gallon High, right? I have one of these that I have converted to a planted tank. I bought a retrofit light kit from AH Supply, as I already had the lame hood that you mentioned. I bought the 55 watt kit, which is listed at $41.99. Then I just ripped the guts out of the hood and installed the new lights. It seemed more complicated than it actually was, but if you are uncomfortable with some simple wiring, then maybe it might not be for you. I find that this works well for me, along with pressurized CO2. I put the lights on a glass hood, which seems to work well. I only have experience with these products, so I can't speak to the lighting systems from any of the main manufacturers. However, many others seem happy with manufactured lighting systems, which aren't much more expensive at places like Big Al's

As for fertilizers, I dose with dry fertilizers that I got from Greg Watson. I dose KNO3 for nitrates, KH2PO4 for phosphates, K2SO4 for potassium, and CSM+B for trace fertilizers. I would definitely recommend these dry fertilizers (which Rex also sells), as once you read enough and get a good understanding, they are simple and very cheap in the long run. Hope this helps
See less See more
Ok, thanks for the info so far--so most of the higher intensity lights I am looking at are still safe to set directly on a glass top? I am guessing I should just chuck the plastic/glass hood (minus the strip)?
How about this one:

I don't have trouble with diy stuff but I just want it now. And I am guessing I am going to have to figure out the diy co2 thing. If I am going to buy a glass top and get rid of the rest of the hood anyway it just seems easier to buy the strip, no?
looks like that would work fine. yea, you should be able to set it right on the glass. mine works fine like that
What exactly is the point of a lunar light? Is that mostly for inverts?
I'm not sure about the lunar light. Actually, now that I think about it, it looks like this light might be better for you

It's got a 6700K bulb, which is probably better for your plants than the 10,000K bulb in the Current USA model.
Thanks for looking at that--that is where I get confused when we start talking about watts, lumens, k, etc. I have strep throat and just can't process anything too intense right now. Ok, ok I am just lazy too...:)
According to the lunar light allows you to "View the noctural habits and feeding of your aquarium inhabitants with these lights. This 470nm blue light casts a mysterious nighttime glow over your aquarium creating a viewable and beneficial nocturnal environment.
Research studies have shown that using rhythmic moon luminance is very helpful in spawning captive animals. Ideal for use in all freshwater, saltwater, reef aquariums and terrariums.
Add it to your existing hood or canopy for a complete 24-hour lighting solution"
Yeah, it can get confusing. Try looking here for a decent simple explanation of bulb specifics
And don't worry, I'm as lazy as they come, but I eventually figured most of this stuff out:icon_wink
lunar light = fun and excitement at its just a "cool neat thingy you turn on at night for the fun of it".

DIY CO2...THATS THE SPIRIT!! :proud: no problem...its easier than you think it is and with that wattage light fixture your going to want it or your going to be growing Algae like mad. you may also need to get into some basic fertilizers too...:eek:. Have no fear...we can get you going there
So would you go for the other fixture since it has the neato-cool lunar light (might be cool to look at my shrimp).

How about this as a beginner CO2:

Then I am assuming I can make my own refills for it?
yes...nutrafin system makes in simple. I own one and love it. and can make your own need to buy them after they run out.

Or if your filling can build one in a half hour right now. i guarentee you have all the ingredients and parts in your house.

airstone, Airline, used sode bottle, yeast, sugar and water. (and baking sode if you got it)
Got everything but the soda bottles--we only use cans :)
Gatorade? juice?

Do some searching around about those fixtures first. There are bound to be some reviews on this forum about them.
you could go with the 10,000K fixture if you want, but I prefer the 6700K look (and the plants seem to like it, too). It's really all about what look you're going for. They also sell add-on lunar lights. I've never even seen one, I'd be curious to see what they actually look like
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.