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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice for a new planted 55g I'm planning.

I was thinking of EcoComplete for the substrate. How many bags do I need?

Do I need to cover the substrate with a layer of sand of gravel, or is the EC stuff safe for bottom dwellers like Cory's?

Is one strip with 2x 28W T5 enough for most plants (thinking about the Coralife Aqualight)?

Luca
 

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I need some advice for a new planted 55g I'm planning.

I was thinking of EcoComplete for the substrate. How many bags do I need?

Do I need to cover the substrate with a layer of sand of gravel, or is the EC stuff safe for bottom dwellers like Cory's?

Is one strip with 2x 28W T5 enough for most plants (thinking about the Coralife Aqualight)?

Luca
They're 20 lbs a bag, I think. I needed almost 2 bags for my 15 gallon, so I would say you'd need 5 or 6, depending how thick you want the substrate.

I have Sterbai in my 15 gallon and they seem to be doing well enough. Sand would certainly be ideal for the fish, but not such much for the plants.

2x28w will only be good enough for low light plants. Are you planning to do CO2, Excel, dosing etc? If not, and you want to keep it low light, you'll be fine.
 

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I used 8 larges bags of just regular black gravel for my 60 gallon, or at least around there! I'd expect maybe a good 5-6 bag for minimum~ =) but my mentor has spoken~ No need for me~
 

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Don't remember how many bags I used, but I have about 1/2 base of eco-complete, covered by 1 1/2 " of sand in my 120G. Plants do well and my loaches love it as they can burrow - 1 of my weather loaches spends most of his time 90% buried, just the tip of his nose showing
 

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You have to remember plain gravel is denser so will have less volume than fracted clay substrates, Jackson. Hence the reason for less weight I think. Actually I just remembered a calculator I used: http://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html

For a 48x12" tank it says 96 lbs for 3" which is about 5 bags. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They're 20 lbs a bag, I think. I needed almost 2 bags for my 15 gallon, so I would say you'd need 5 or 6, depending how thick you want the substrate.

I have Sterbai in my 15 gallon and they seem to be doing well enough. Sand would certainly be ideal for the fish, but not such much for the plants.

2x28w will only be good enough for low light plants. Are you planning to do CO2, Excel, dosing etc? If not, and you want to keep it low light, you'll be fine.
Maybe a layer of fine gravel instead of sand then? I'm sure it's going to get all mixed up over time, so probably a moot point. :)

I was thinking of using Excel, so I guess 2x T5-HO is probably fine? What fixtures do people like, is something like the Aqualight T5 HO Double Strip OK? What kind of bulbs for F/W?

Luca
 

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Yes, it'll get all mixed up.

The Hagen GLO's have much better reflectors than the Coralife T5 HO's, so will get more light into the tank, if that makes a difference to you. Bulb choice are personal preference partly, once you have met the plant requirements. I'm not currently running T5 HO's (just the NO Coralife's for now and PC lights) so I'll let others give you advice on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, it'll get all mixed up.

The Hagen GLO's have much better reflectors than the Coralife T5 HO's, so will get more light into the tank, if that makes a difference to you. Bulb choice are personal preference partly, once you have met the plant requirements. I'm not currently running T5 HO's (just the NO Coralife's for now and PC lights) so I'll let others give you advice on that.
Would this:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3060839&clickid=cart

be the GLO light you're talking about?

From their description, I can't figure out if this is a 36 or 48" light, from the description is both: :confused:

Highly attractive Glo T5 HO (High Output) Systems were developed for both marine and freshwater systems to direct maximum lighting to your aquarium. Due to the compact diameter of the T5 HO bulbs, up to two of these powerful bulbs can now be housed in the same space that one T8 or T10 requires, providing substantially greater light levels and reducing space requirements at once. The combination of the space saving design, energy efficiency and easy installation make the T5 HO System ideal for aquarists of all levels from the novice to the hobbyist.

This 36" Glo T5 HO Lighting System features a 39 watt high output format and a double light configuration. Integrated extension brackets adapt to a range of aquarium lengths (46.75" - 64"). The lighting system includes aquarium mounting brackets for a secure installation and vertical adjustments. In addition, the fixture includes mounting legs with adjustable heights. This assists in adjusting aquarium light levels as well as providing a variety of visual presentations. Water-resistant end caps provide safe, reliable performance that is made to last throughout the years.

The system includes a T5 HO electronic ballast, and polished internal aluminum reflector all housed within the polished aluminum canopy with integrated hanging and extending mounting brackets. Bulbs sold separately.

Product Features:

* Integrated Extension Brackets
54 watt unit adjusts to fit aquariums from 46.75 to 64 inches in length.
* Aquarium Mounting Brackets
Allows the fixture to be fastened to the aquarium at four different vertical positions and assists in adjusting the light levels.
* Integrated Suspension Tabs
Enables easy suspension over your aquarium but if not used they recess into the fixture ensuring a clean attractive look.
* Electronic Technology
Creates optimal bulb performance and longevity of the lamp and ballast.
 

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I need some advice for a new planted 55g I'm planning.

I was thinking of EcoComplete for the substrate. How many bags do I need?

Do I need to cover the substrate with a layer of sand of gravel, or is the EC stuff safe for bottom dwellers like Cory's?

Is one strip with 2x 28W T5 enough for most plants (thinking about the Coralife Aqualight)?

Luca
eco complete is definately safe for bottom dwellers, it is actually advertised as safe for soft belly's. Since the substrate will get mixed up, you could always start with a black sand/ eco complete mix, then top the last inch or two with just the eco complete. Dont skimp on the substrate, it'll give your plants the room to root more downwards rather than out. Sand Can be a pain for a top layer, especially when it comes to stems.

http://www.caribsea.com/pages/products/planted_aquar.html has more info on the substrate
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's the unit. But the writeup is all messed up. 48" long units are 54 watts while 36" units are 39 watts. But yes, that's the unit I'm referring to.
In the end I bought a GLO. So far so good. A little expensive, but usually you get what you pay for. I put 2x 6700 bulbs in it.
 

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i've been putting this off but I want to re-substrate my tanks.. it seems like a majority? of people like ecocomplete. or would you go for florabase? or fluorite? I heard one of these three like to dissolve over time and don't last long. is this true?
 

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A lot of people go with EC because it's black (or almost black). Florabase is brown. But you can get flourite in black now too. EC and Florabase is good for bottom dwellers and the granules are softer and rounded off. Flourite is a bit more angular.
 
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