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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just recently got into the hobby. I bought a 75 gallon setup off of craigslist. I thought I got a good deal but I have no idea lol. Came with the 75 gallon (a little scratched up), stand, Fluval G3 filter, co2 tank with regulator, heater, two 20 watt LED floodlights. Came with substrate and some Mopani driftwood, was fully planted. Was a ***** trying to move that big of a tank with 4" of water and substrate in it lol. Will not make that mistake again. I paid $250 :biggrin:


I have since got it all setup in my basement about 3 weeks ago. We had to angle the tank to get it down the stairs. All the substrate and plants slid to the bottom, so I had to do a complete rescape. All the sand and substrate got mixed up (I think its eco-complete). Anyways, I just want to know what I need to do to keep the plants nice and healthy before I start stocking fish. I'm aware that plants will melt when replanting. I'm not sure if this is related to the melting but some plants have developed tiny holes in them. Could this be the snails munching on them, or is it malnutrition?


Next question I had was how much lighting do I have? I couldn't find much data on the floodlights. I would just like to know what kind of plants I can grow with this, and also how much these lights would have cost (He said almost $300 but that seems a little steep to me.)


Also, a gauge on the regulator looks busted, can I still use the co2 system? What would I need to fix it? Would I need anything other than a reactor to use it?


I dosed a fertilizer once. I have been dosing Flourish every 2-3 days, and Excel everyday.

I was hoping to someday add dwarf hairgrass and jungle val. I really have no idea what's in the tank right. I can definitely ID the java moss, anubias, and I'm pretty sure is the java fern in the middle. That's about it though.
 

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Lots of new stuff to learn, lots of questions. I can address the gauge question. The working pressure gauge (low) looks like it might have been a problem. Before your turn the valve on the CO2 tank on, it is good practice to turn the pressure almost all the way out counterclock wise. This may not have been done. This lets the high pressure come through the reg and hit the low pressure meter with way more pressure than it can handle. One of two things might happen. Really high pressure willkick the needle as far as it goes, bend the mechanism and then blow the seam on a little tube inside the meter. Leaks with no fix short of replacing the meter ($10-12). Or if the pressure was less it may only bend the mechanism and not leak. Usable but not reading right. I find no way to tell which you have short of hooking it up and checking for leaks. I probably would look at changing the meter as it is a pretty generic item. Just look for a nice meter of about the same size with the same right hand threads normally. Check the threads before buying, I never trust things to be what they should. I find one that reads 0-60 to be better for the pressure s I use. 0-140 gets hard to tell if you want to bump the pressure from say 22 to 24.
Good enough tank and equipment, logical price but just a few flaws to deal with. Looks like you are going the right direction!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response! It has been a lot to take in.

I'm considering just replacing the whole regulator. It seems a bit rusty. I'm pretty sure the low pressure valve will not work because the glass on the outside of the gauge is smashed in. So I doubt it would hold any pressure. I have to get the tank filled before I can test it. I'm on a budget so I'm trying to keep costs down if I can.

I guess to sum up my post, I am asking if the equipment I have is sufficient, or should I be putting more money into either the co2 system or the lighting? And which would have priority?
 

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I would go with the Co2 first. You can have Co2 with low lights and that's ok, but having strong lights without Co2 is a problem for algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are the lights I have now even strong enough to grow anything? I wanted to at some point add jungle val, dwarf hair grass, and maybe dwarf sag.


Also, as a cheap alternative would the U.P. Simple Regulator work? My current setup does not have a solenoid either and is looking a little beat up. Would it be better to get the Aquatek kit? Or just keep my current setup and get a new gauge, bubble counter, etc?

Sorry for all the questions lol I'm just trying to get everything in working order.
 

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Okay, with budget being a priority, been there done that and I know how it hurts. So with that in mind, there are some ways to cut some corners. Go slow and think carefully before laying down the money. Like Hunter says, go with fixing the CO2 first. Way, way too much talk about good lights to grow plants. What light does is open up the range of plants you can grow well but it also opens up having too much light and fighting algae far too much. Takes lots of study. Getting CO running could be as cheap as unscrewing the broken gauge and screwing in a brass plug to fix that part.
I would start with finding if it is blown and does leak. When you hook it to a tank and turn the valve, you may hear a hiss coming out around the meter. Broken meter and needs replaced to work. But then there is a question about how bad you need the meter.
Like a speedometer on a race car. They are nice but you can also see how fast you are going anyway. Form the brass plug or new meter, it is a big step to go for a new regulator, solenoid and needle valve. Often quite a bit more than $100 to get above some of the really questionable sets. That's a whole field to study by itself. Quite a lot can be saved by DIY but that can get pretty tricky and be really hard if tools and experience isn't on hand.
As far as the questions, don't worry about that. It would be really dumb to have a forum if everybody already knew all the answers! This is a good place to share what we might think we know. We all have to work through the questions and find what works best for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do appreciate the help, believe me :smile:

I'll take the tank in soon and get it filled/checked. It's empty right now, so I can't test it. I'm sure someone at the refill station will know a thing or two about regulators. Just got to find a local place now!
 
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