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Old 04-05-2008, 02:24 PM   #1
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Hello,

New guy here, I just bought a 29 gallon rectangular tank for freshwater and now I am researching what lighting system I should use and substrate is best. I have an external filter already.

What I am looking for is what the most reliable manufactures out there are. Who sells the best lighting fixtures would be a great start. What name stands out above all the rest? I am leaning towards compact fluorescent.

Later, Gerald
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:49 AM   #2
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Gerald,

What are you planning on doing in the tank? FW is broad you could have planted or no plants. Tell us what you plan on housing and that will help us help you.

TEK is a great option for T5s. Is there a reason you want to go with PCs?
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ziggy953 View Post
Gerald,

What are you planning on doing in the tank? FW is broad you could have planted or no plants. Tell us what you plan on housing and that will help us help you.

TEK is a great option for T5s. Is there a reason you want to go with PCs?
I have not really decided yet on a planted tank or nonplanted, but in the words of Mel Brooks, "I'm thinking [nonplanted], but leaning more to [planted]." If planted is to much work for a beginner, I will go fake. What are your thoughts on CO2 systems? Do I really need a CO2 system with live plants? The local expert at my fish shop says no, if I do not need a CO2 system, I will go planted, if not I will go fake.

Thanks! Gerald
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:19 PM   #4
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Send a pm to neilanh he is very knowledgable with FW tanks. He will be able to help you out better then I can.
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:53 PM   #5
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Hey Gerald,

I'm getting ready to set up my 29 gallon tank as well and I've been doing some research. Normally planted tanks are harder for beginners, but if you think you can handle it, then go for it! : p

CO2 is an essential plant nutrient, most plants show increased growth when you increase CO2 artificially, so if you think you're going to become a hard core aquatic gardner you may want to look into including one of these generators. All the reading I've done has told me that to have a successful first tank it's best to keep things simple, so no planted tank for me just yet, I hope to stick with the hobby and work my way up to it. : )

Good luck with everything!
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:46 PM   #6
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Gerald, You'll really need to decide what you want to do with the tank before we can start to make recommendations for you WRT what equipment to purchase. For example, if you want to run a planted tank, you're going to need a whole lot more light than you would if you go non-planted. The effects work both ways. If you get a big light and don't go planted, you'll have algae problems. If you get a small light, you won't be able to grow plants, so it's all a big mix of things that really have to be considered before you purchase any equipment.

It's the same for the other half of your question, your substrate. Non-planted you can go with a standard gravel or sand in any color of your choice, but if you want to go planted there's several other variables that need to be considered.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:16 PM   #7
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to add to neilanh and paty..there are a number of plants that will do well in lower light situations, but plants always grow 'better' in high light. if u have a low to medium light tank and easy care plants, then u can skip the co2. if u go and get a crazy t-5 or power compact set up, then u may very well need a co2 system. in other words...the more light u have, the faster and healthier the plants will grow, but will at the same time consume more co2 then what is available in the tap water...hence the need for co2 injection. u will also need timers, fertilizers and some other goodies, just for a basic planted tank.

if i may suggest...start w/ a fish only tank. it's best u learn the ropes of basic fishkeeping, before u go and dive into something as complex as planted tanks. also, u may decide u aren't really into fish keeping [which happens quite often] and then what will u do w/ all the expensive lighting and such. u can get play sand at the home depot for a fraction of the cost of gravel or lfs sand and maybe some plastic plants to tide u over for a few months, and provide fish cover.

whatever u decide....make sure to post some pics so we can watch the progress!
good luck!

a few links of interest...

Welcome to Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks
everything u'll need to know about equipement and keeping planted tanks

PlantGeek :: Index
good all around plant info forum

Aquarium Plants, Pond Plants, Freshwater Aquarium Plant & Aquarium Accessories – Arizona Aquatic Gardens
good classification of easy care to difficult plants, as well as specific care packages.

ps...u asked about equipement...all u really need now is a heater [recommend visitherm-stealth] and lights [a cheapo flourescent all glass or perfecto light strip will work fine, if ur not planting] the sand or gravel of ur choice, and a thermometer[anything w/out mercury...i like the thermo strips] oh yeah...fish!
if u really want to plant...stick w/ fish that don't eat plants. always a good idea,lol.
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