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Old 05-21-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
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A new beginning!

So the short story is that I started out freshwater, then went into Reefkeeping and now that I have moved and realize I won't have as much time to devote to that part of tank keeping, I've decided to go back to a planted freshwater tank. The best part? I'm devoting a small open room to this tank "A relaxing room" if you will.

I've kept quite a few things from my saltwater days but would like to run by you more up to date plant aquarists my plan for the tank.

Tank: Is a 40G Breeder. The canopy and stand is of cherry wood and is brand new.

Lighting: I used to have a metal halide but decided to trade it in for 2X95 watt VHO but I also kept my 2X39 watt T5's. I plan on keeping Glosso with a medium size piece of driftwood (In in the corner of the tank... I will explain later) and that's about it. As for fish it's still somewhat in the air but I was thinking a group of neon tetras or maybe a pair of exotic angelfish. The two VHO's alone would produce 4.75 watts per gallon in a shallow tank which should be enough to keep Glosso happy but I would rather an approval form y'all (I live in SC now, learning the language). If need be I can install the T5's. I also would like to know if I do stay with just the VHO's what bulbs to get, and if I add the T5's... what four bulbs should I get?

I forgot to mention the ventilation for the lights isn't a problem... I've got a very nice "vent" fan that took care of the halide and the T5's.

Filtration: For now I have an AC 500 and an Emperor 400. I plan on getting a canister filter and either operate it alone or in conjunction with a lower set AC 500. Again I would like to hear your opinions

I also have a Phosban Reactor. If the AC500 alone was enough I was thinking of using this in conjunction for.. well.. I have no idea. I don't know anything about fertilizers or if I even need them for my glosso tank or if I can use the Phosban Reactor for anything. It was just a thought.

CO2: After reading around a bit I plan on doing the method listed here: http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html I plan on hiding the diffusion area inside the driftwood so as not to be seen by viewers. I can already feel the reply from more experienced plant keepers about getting a pressurized system, and I am sure I will in the future but I figured this would be a good re-intro to CO2.

Livestock: Though I already mentioned it in lighting, I plan on going with Glosso as just about the only plant in the tank. As for fish I am still deciding betweena group of neon tetras, a pair of angelfish, or something suggested by you guys. Again the theme of my room and tank is relaxed.. so if that helps.. great

Heater: I have a 150 watt Ebo-Jaguer that will be housed in the AC500 as I had it in the Reef Tank. When I do get a canister filter I plan on getting an in-line heater and attaching it to the output of the filter.

Substrate: I was planning on going with either Eco-complete or Shultz pond substrate. I am not aware of the differences from the two but have seen both of these used widely by aquarists on this site and others. Seeing as this is important as is lighting I would definitely like to hear what you have on this topic.

Thanks for reading!! Look forward to your responses.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to the wonderful world of planted aquaria. You've posed a number of questions but some of the stuff you already have is pretty darn good to start off with:

Quote:
Tank: Is a 40G Breeder. The canopy and stand is of cherry wood and is brand new.
An ideal set up. Lots of folks would give their right arm for that tank.

Quote:
but I also kept my 2X39 watt T5's.
Nice amount of light for growing most plants. I'm not sure about the glosso so those who do will have to chime in here.

Quote:
Filtration: For now I have an AC 500 and an Emperor 400. I plan on getting a canister filter and either operate it alone or in conjunction with a lower set AC 500. Again I would like to hear your opinions
For a 40g, that is a ton of filtration. If you do not wish to have bulky obtrusive equipment, get yourself an Rena XP2/XP3 or a Fluval 305/405. That is plenty filtration. You really need the filtration to provide water movement and mechanical. Plants provide the bio.

Quote:
Substrate: I was planning on going with either Eco-complete or Shultz pond substrate. I am not aware of the differences from the two but have seen both of these used widely by aquarists on this site and others. Seeing as this is important as is lighting I would definitely like to hear what you have on this topic.
I'm currently using a mixture of Shultz, flourite and reg gravel. I've found the Shultz to be very lightweight and not dense enough for fragile stem plants. Mixing it with reg gravel will do wonders. Eco-Complete is packed with micro nutrients that the Shultz does not have. Most of us non Eco folks use Flourish root tabs to make up for that.

Quote:
Livestock: Though I already mentioned it in lighting, I plan on going with Glosso as just about the only plant in the tank. As for fish I am still deciding betweena group of neon tetras, a pair of angelfish, or something suggested by you guys. Again the theme of my room and tank is relaxed.. so if that helps.. great
You were doing great until this point. In regard to the fish, neons and angels are not the best mix as Angels prey on neons. A school of small tetras would do better. You'll need a bottom feeder as well. Bristlenose plecos are ideal for this setup.

In regard to plants, nothing wrong with having a nice carpet of glosso or any other similar ground cover but your fish will appreciate more variety of plants as they are found in their natural environment. There are some very nice plants that would achieve the affect you want without interrupting the theme.

I've left the unanswered questions to my colleagues who dabble in those areas. Good luck with the tank.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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Hehe I must of worded it poorly but I meant that I was going to either get a group of neons OR a pair of angels. I wasn't going to have both of them together : )

Also I plan on getting the XP3 (I used to have one when I had a frshwater planted set up... great canister filter IMO) but until then I have my AC500 and E400 available for now.
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:34 PM   #4
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In reguards to the Phosban Reactor, I have seen one converted to inject CO2. I think it was Wizard who has one. Much nicer to have the reactor outside of the tank.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:05 PM   #5
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Ha.. I didn't think of that, sounds like a good idea! My only question to that would be whether the AC500 would be enough water movement for my tank?
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:52 PM   #6
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5x turnover is often suggested for planted tanks so the ac500 should be fine.
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:12 AM   #7
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Dang... I am used to minimum of 10x often approaching 25x when I had a reef tank... nice to come back to freshwater - I ordered my light parts that I was missing... thus far I am going to have a 2x95 watt VHO's and both tubes being 10K Aquasuns from URI. It gives me about 5 watts, and in conjunction with a reflector I would think it would be perfect for the glosso.

I am going to spray paint my tank today (The background) and I am going to take pictures of my projects (Including the canopy build, the DIY CO2 build, etc) to post here.

I still haven't decided what I am going to use to diffuse the CO2 bubbles into the water. I am still thinking about the CO2 chamber inside a corner driftwood piece or what rkilling1 suggested with using my Phosban Reactor as one.

I still need to order the following: Eco-Complete, Glosso plants, and once I decide on using either stones or driftwood for the structure in the tank I'll get them as well. Aha! That's what I wanted to ask... what stones do people with Glosso tanks use? I have seen member's tanks with them but couldn't find the type when I did a search. Thanks!

After reading around (Catching up on things missed in the last few years on planted tanks) I found a couple articles and posts on Drop Checkers. I think it a great measuring tool and plan on getting one. They're pretty cheap and would help predict problems in my tank should they come.

Also I finished spray painting the back of the tank. I took pictures and will be posting them shortly. I used an interesting paint which uses a sort of powder mixed in with the paint to give it a very slight shimmer effect... a dim shimmer (I know a bit ironic). After it dried I noticed that it was kinda expelling powder which wouldn't work for me so I gave it two coats of Polyurethane to keep it together. From what I see it should work out very well. taped the heck out of the tank to keep the spray away from the inside and furniture of the tank... it better have worked!

I guess I better get those pics ready
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