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Old 11-10-2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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Tank Redesign - Substrate, Filter, Lighting questions

I have a 50 gallon tank FW Lightly Planted Community Tank. I have been running it for about 6 months now I guess. Here is my setup:

50 Gallon Tank
Glass Hood
Single Bulb (5 months old) in cheap light
Rena SmartFilter 30
AquaClear 70
2 large sponge filters (run by Rena Air 300)
9w Green Killing Machine (UV Sterilizer)

Live Stuff:
Silver Tipped Teta – 5
Rosy Tetra – 5
Australian Rainbow – 2
Albino Glow Light Tetra – 1
Dalmatian Molly – 1
Red Long Finned Tetras – 4
Red Wag Platties – 2
Red ‘fat’ platties – 2
Sun Burst Platties – 2
(I think there are more but I just can’t remember HAHA)
And 4 live plants

I want to do some more plants, and I think what I am going to do it redesign the entire tank. In order to do so I am going to need to upgrade the lighting, thinking a 2 bulb T-5. I am also considering building my own canopy. I am going to need to remove the air pump, losing to much CO2. But I would like to change the filters too. I want to replace the HOB’s and replace it with a canister. I am a HUGE fan of over filtration. I aim to have my tank turn over 10 times per hour. As you can tell, I am at 450 GPH now with just the HOBs. I have cheap blue/green gravel in the bottom of my tank now that I am wanting to replace. So here are my questions:

What Substrate should I use in my tank for a medium planted tank? (I want to avoid needing CO2)

What canister filter should I use for my tank? I was looking at XP4 or a Fluval 405? Any other suggestions?

If I do build my own Canopy, what type of electronics should I buy for it?

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Old 11-10-2010, 12:00 PM   #2
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Substrate is up to you. You could use something like eco complete or just regular playsand or pool filter sand. 3" is what you are going to want to shoot for. Substrate has nothing to do with needing co2. CO2 is required once you hit about 2.5wpg. Algae will become an issue without it. At 2.5+wpg you will probably need to start dosing ferts as well.

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Old 11-10-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by meegosh View Post
Substrate has nothing to do with needing co2.

Oh yeah I am totally aware of that. My comment about not wanting CO2 was directed at my comment about not heavily planting the tank.

Thanks for the information on the Substrate.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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Either one of those two canister filters that you have your eye on would be perfect. I personally prefer the Filstar XP over the Fluval.
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filter, light, lighting, substrate, tan

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