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Old 02-04-2019, 05:59 PM   #1
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New 30/40 gallon breeder setup questions

Ok, Iím planning a new (low tech) tank, and the problems are many.
1) I would like to have it as 30 gallon breeder (110$ at the LFS) but a friend can selle me a brand new 40g breeder for 50$. I know is a huge deal but I wanted a lower tank to decrease the water column!


2) This is the ideal set up:

Ideally I would have 3 main planted areas (left, right and center) around rocks or driftwood. I am going to use Java ferns, cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze and green and buchephalandra.
Also, I would like to cover the back of the tank with something able to grow taller.
As substrate I would go for dirt capped with sand.
What would be an easy to care, low light, tall background plant?
(I hate anacharis and hornworth).

3) Illumination:
Since I want to avoid the classic and very expensive light fixture (130$ for a finnex 24/7 that would also trow in too much light) I was thinking about a DYO with 2
- 120-Watt Equivalent PAR38 Dimmable Energy Star Flood LED Light Bulb Daylight
(https://www.homedepot.com/p/EcoSmart...SD02/303574522)
And one
90-Watt Equivalent PAR 38 LED Flood Red
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Philips-...9106/300722714
For the reds.

Would it be enough or too much, for a NO-CO2 low tech planted tank?
Other suggestions?
And going back to question 1, with those lights, 40 or 30 breeder (aka 12" or 16" tall)?

The main protagonists of this tank will be pigmy corydoras (hence the reason for a lot a sandy area), 18 ember tetras (that will move here from a tank Iím dismantling) and neocaridina shrimp.
As for the cleaning crew, one or two mystery snail and maybe one or two Otocincus catfish.

Summing up:
30 or 40 gallon? The question is mainly about water column and light.
How about light? Would that DYO setup enough to sustain low light plants?
And what tall plant would be ok to over the back of the tank?



Thank you all,
and if Iím doing something stupid do not hesitate to tell me.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:16 PM   #2
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I can't answer for plant stuff but for the extra 4 " the 40g would have my vote just because it gives the shrimp & embers more room thereby giving the Cory's more room esp since embers are NOT shrimp safe, yes I do speak from experience. With lots of cover you are reasonably close to shrimp safe but they will go after babysitting if they see them so more room = more cover
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:43 PM   #3
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The finned 24\7 is well worth it and its dimmable. In the future you may want to change things up and go higher light and the finned would work great. Those bulbs will work, don't know about using the red one though. I use 13w par38 5000k bulbs from lowes on several of my 10 gallon tanks and on my 30 gallon paludarium. They aren't the best lighting but they are working out nicely. Its going to take 3 or 4 of them to get good coverage. Those bulbs have pretty focus beams and don't cover a large area. If you decide to go those types of bulbs look for ones that are 6500k rated. I hang these about 8" above the tank. Any closer and they start to cause a lot of algae.

For background plants are you wanting something with color or another green plant?

I also would go with the 40 gallon breeder.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:00 AM   #4
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I can't answer for plant stuff but for the extra 4 " the 40g would have my vote just because it gives the shrimp & embers more room thereby giving the Cory's more room esp since embers are NOT shrimp safe, yes I do speak from experience. With lots of cover you are reasonably close to shrimp safe but they will go after babysitting if they see them so more room = more cover

Very interesting consideration. I'll take the advice.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:25 AM   #5
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For background plants are you wanting something with color or another green plant?

I also would go with the 40 gallon breeder.

Green! I'm open to possibilities, but Ideally would be green.

Also, I'm working toward an expenses review. If the cost of light fixtures+ mounting bracket goes over 100$ I'll buy a factory made finnex 24/7
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:14 AM   #6
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I bought some limnophila heterophylla a few months back and have been loving it. You could try ludwigia repens. In low light it would stay green but it also won't be a fast grower. Maybe some jungle val? Crypt balansae would look nice. Water wisteria or hygrophila polysperma. Be careful with the hygro. There is a type called hygro "sunset" and it is a restricted invasive species in several US states.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:36 AM   #7
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I'm not big on planted tanks but it seems kinda ridiculous to spend $100 on a light for low light plants. I grow a handful of low light plants with a cheap LED strip light mounted under a plastic hood in my 29g which is taller than a 40g breeder. Amazon has a beamswork FSPEC with a timer hook up and day and night mode for sale right now for $36.95.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:35 PM   #8
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I'm not big on planted tanks but it seems kinda ridiculous to spend $100 on a light for low light plants. I grow a handful of low light plants with a cheap LED strip light mounted under a plastic hood in my 29g which is taller than a 40g breeder. Amazon has a beamswork FSPEC with a timer hook up and day and night mode for sale right now for $36.95.

I cannot agree more, that's why I'm evaluating a DYO light setup.
I've been burnt in the past by cheap LED fixtures, and that's why I wasn't considering the beamswork FSPEC, but fur sure I'll check it out.
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:53 PM   #9
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I got one and I've used it for about a year now without any problems. For the price if I can get a couple years out of it I'll be happy.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:32 PM   #10
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Chihiros ledís are good and cheap. Dimmable aswell so you could run it on 1 or 2. Liminophila sessifolia is a great plant for your background. However it does grow insanely fast.
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