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Old 07-13-2007, 11:51 PM   #1
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Assistance with 75 Gallon Planted

Hello all, I'm pretty new to the planted aquarium. I was just looking for helpful suggestions on various items such as filtration, lighting, water movement, etc. I have decided I will probably be purchasing 140 lbs. of Eco-Complete. I do have a Rena Filtstar XP2 laying around but wish to keep it for my 55 gallon. What do people perfer for filtration in similar setups? What kind of lighting is preferred? I eventually plan to have a fully automatic c02 system so was thinking of getting a 4 lamp HO T5 fixture. Was thinking of simply running 3 50/50s (or 2 50/50s and an actinic for a nice blue hue) and a 6500k for starting out and then adding 6500ks as I got the c02 up and running. Does this sound alright or too much for a 75 gallon? Any other necessary components I need to be thinking of? Powerheads? All help is greatly appreciated as,like I said, I am new to planted aquariums and have cruised this site enough to know that are a lot of knowledgable people .

Thanks in advance

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Old 07-14-2007, 03:34 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with HO. How many watts is that? PC bulbs seem to be the most popular - but HO should work just as well.

Canister filters seem to be the filter of choice for planted tanks. Personally, I like to buy a filter rated at double my tank size - but that is just me.

Power heads are not terribly important. I like your substrate choice and amount.

Personally, I think you are better off waiting to get the plants until your CO2 arrives. Then you won't need to spend money on actinic bulbs and low light plants.

What are your fertilizer plans? With a lot of research, you can skip some of the "begineer problems." With fertilizing, it is a very good idea to have a very specific plan, be consistent, and carefully modify the plan as needed.
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Old 07-14-2007, 12:24 PM   #3
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Have you checked out the stickies at the beginning of this forum? Everything a planted tank needs can be found there. Canisters are preferred for planted tanks, keeps everything neat and tidy and provides better mechanical filtration (a lion's share of the bio is done by the plants...a perfect arrangement). PH's are used primarily to remove "dead spots" and increase water movement but are not necessary.

Hashbaz is dead on regarding ferts, this is also addressed in the fert sticky.

Good luck.
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the assistance JChillin and hashbaz. Hashbaz, in terms of fertilizing I planned on doing Flourish Comprehensive for the trace elements one day and then dosing macro elements via the Flourish line of products for phosphates, nitrates, and potassium. However, I am still a little uneasy with the whole fertilization via estimative index. Don't know the correct amounts to start using of each macro and micro element as I am too new to this and the more I read the more I become confused. Any help that can be given in regards to dosing is GREATLY appreciated. I am still unsure after reading the stickys whether a 4 lamp HO T5 fixture would be too much as when using the WPG formula (as compared to originally figured T12 lighting) it appears that 4 lamps of HO T5 would put me at about 7 wpg which would be a lot...so though adding an actinic or two just to give a nice blue hue to bring out the fish's colors. Plus some day I may change this tank over to a reef or FOWLR tank some day so getting as much light as possible now would help minimize the headache of purchasing a new set of lights later. Please help. Thanks again.
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:26 PM   #5
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4x T5HO would be a great light choice. I use 6x T5HO over 72-gallons - which many would consider overkill. T5 is the way to go and do not waste your money on actinic bulbs. Just buy a fixture with two ore more switches so you can control the amount of light you are adding. Also don't go and buy the cheapest light you find - you will end up buying another to replace it later. IME lighting is one of the most expensive (if not THE most expensive) investments in getting you tank setup right. A Sunlight Supply Tek 4x 54w T5HO would be a great choice for example. I say buy the Actinic lights WHEN you decide to go Reef...

Don't waste your money on the Flourish Macros. Too expensive. Instead buy:

KNO3, KH2PO4 and K2SO4 and dose something like this on alternating macro days:

3/4 tsp of KNO3
1/8 tsp of KKH2PO4
1/4 tsp of K2SO4

Then don't dose anything the day before your water change - and dose your macros back in right after the water change.

The best filter for your $$ IMO is a Rena XP4. I run two XP3's on my tank and love it. This allows me to plumb a CO2 reactor (Aqua Medic 1000) and inline heater (Hydor 300w) into the output of one filter, which significantly reduces the flow. The second filter brings the flow back up - gives more more options for water movement and provides redundancy if one filter dies.

For your CO2 - check out aquacave.com -

http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=4

http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=612

http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=235

http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=1152

http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=3

http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=1161
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:42 PM   #6
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dapellegrini is completely correct that the Flourish Macros would be a waste of money on your size tank. They are fairly dilute and you would go through the bottles at an unbelievable rate. Dry ferts are the most economical way fertilize larger tanks.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:48 AM   #7
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Thanks all. Purrbox or dapellegrini, where is the best (cheapest) place to buy the dry ferts? I have only been able to find them at aquariumplants.com. I must be searching poorly. Go figure! Thanks again.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:59 AM   #8
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Here is where most of us buy our dry fertilizers online:

http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/st...cplantfood.php
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:48 AM   #9
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^ Yep that's the place to get the dry ferts:

KH2PO4: http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/st..._phosphate.php
KNO3: http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/st...um_nitrate.php
K2SO4: http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/st...um_sulfate.php
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:03 AM   #10
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EI is pretty simple once you've mixed or chose to dose dry. You can find the "targets" at Chuck Gadd's fertilizer calculator and then move on to Tom Barr's Estimative Index Article. This is in it's simpliest form.

After getting your feet wet, you can modify the amounts of ferts you dose simply by observing the plants over time.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:05 PM   #11
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Thanks once again everyone for all the quick responses. I don't know much about the planted aquarium but I do know one thing...where to turn for the best information when stuck. AA (no, not Alcoholics Anonymous) forums are very informative and have some of the brightest people in regards to aquarium setup and maintenance. Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:36 PM   #12
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I bought my dry ferts from Greg Watson. He's since sold the business to a friend, which is the site both An t-iasg and dapellegrini recommended. Rex Griggs also sells dry ferts on his site now.
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