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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What is the best equipment or just what do you need to set up a medium light tank?

Edit:

  1. Just to add another question... What fish are largest + most compatible with plants?
  2. + Would blue dolphin cichlids be plant-compatible? (they do fine at pH of 7.0+)
  3. Yet another one :eek:! : My tank came with 4 T5HO ballasts w/ bulbs, should I use those with a metal halide fixture or just M/H?
  4. If my substrate is a flora-base or carib-sea plant substrate then do I need CO2 or anything else..?
Thing is that I don't want many small fishes as they are more sensitive and not as hardy as the larger ones (generally). And no, I do NOT want discus ;):rolleyes:
Sorry for all the questions, just want to know everything before I jump into planted! :D
 

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What size tank are you planning on working with?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I can either do a new 150 Gallon tank or change my existing 90 Gallon... depends what lights are on the 150 gallon tank I am getting.

Lets just say I have two 48" Lights Single with T8s bulbs with one being 6700K and other is 8000K or so (blue-ish colored light)

What else would I need for a medium light tank, I would get ferts, do I need CO2?


I can get details tomorrow nit as that's when I am looking at it...
 

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I'm sure there are more knowledgable lighting people in the group, but I had a 4*65W compact florescent on my 120G - JUST allowed me to grow medium light plants, without using ferts or CO2. I would think you need something in a similar range.
Just my 2 cents worth...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So basically 2 Watts per Gallon+ and you'll be set (or close to...)

The problem is that the new tank is most likely 30" deep and I don't know how far the light will penetrate so....
 

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I would think with that depth, you would likely want to be using T5 HO lightings - I've seen some really good deals offered by other members lately...
 

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T8's definitely won't be enough. I am running 4x36" NO t5 Coralife fixtures in my 125 gallon. 168 watts total. I can grow a lot of plants with that. But I am injecting CO2. Don't make the mistake of overcompensating with light if you have problems. Light is only a tiny part of the equation. CO2/carbon is a very large part. With a 30" deep tank (mine is 22 inches, you definitely may have problems getting light down into the bottom of the tank for demanding plants. However, if you light up the bottom enough, you may have too much light near the top (for driftwood or attached ephiphytes).

What kind of plants are you wanting to grow? What substrate are you planning to use? Metricide/Excel is definitely out at that size of tank. You'd be dosing it by the gallons.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I need to find out the plants part yet, I have been researching but need o decide...

I would also like to know what substrate to use (part of the reason I made this thread just forgot to ask :eek:)... I wanted to have a nice fine white substrate and make it with some rocks and driftwood. (I plan as I go along ;))

What kind of plants are you wanting to grow? What substrate are you planning to use? Metricide/Excel is definitely out at that size of tank. You'd be dosing it by the gallons.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also a huge problem I am encountering is the fact that no one around me has pure white sand that I could buy... I tried before, but people don't realize the difference between off-white (cream) and white-white... little frustrating
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I don't want those picky high light required plants... I would like carpet plants, but the tank is almost too deep for those I could just use mosses on driftwood or rocks...
 

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I have 2 flagtails i'm trying to grow... nothing destroyed yet, but not sure when they do grow giant...~

Btw.. correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't sand not good for growing carpets?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I wanted white sand... but so hard to find so might just go with eco-complete.

Clark's Feed and Seed aquarium store employee told me that I would need close to 200 pounds of sand or eco-complete to get a good plant base... thats a good amount of money :eek:

Good thing is that I have enough lighting at the moment (1.5-2.0 Watts/Gallon) for low light plants to grow on some rocks and driftwood for now... so I will make this tank a work-in-progress until I can fork out the money required. I'm going on holidays in 2 weeks or so anyways... ;)

I heard that sand WAS good for growing stem plants and such, but I doubt it works as well for carpets. Either way I would need a powerful M/H fixture to grow the carpets all the way on the bottom :rolleyes:

Would still like people's opinions on these question though...
 

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My tank is almost 4 feet deep, 7 t5 sumblasters over it and it grows Blyxa japonica great! I think you would like that as a carpet plant but it does grow to 6 inches or so tall... You want ground cover only?

I have no CO2 either:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thats a good sign :D but no I don't only want ground cover.... I want some of the nicer plants now that I see my options, but if I go 3.0 - 4.0 Watts per gallon do those high light plants need CO2 or are they fine with high light + eco-complete?
 

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Mine are at the low range really and they do not need CO2/ I use Metricide Faux flourish excel though for Co2 uptake without the cost and knowledge needed for pressurized. There are many good pressurized Co2 users here who can chime in if you wanna go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Okay, I expected the low light plants to not need CO2. If I have eco-complete at about 2" depth then wouldn't that supply most of the minerals needed, with carbon in the filter?
 
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