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Old 11-14-2005, 03:50 PM   #1
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lights & co2 for 55 gallon what EXACTLY should I buy?

So I recently took all the decorations out of my 55 gallon and put in a bunch of driftwood. I also took out all the fake plants and scattered some java fern around. My husband has offered to upgrade this tank as my Christmas gifts so we can try to do a "real" planted tank the "right" way for once. Rigt now the tank has the standard lights that came with the setup so plants don't do well, except the java fern of course.

Now from what I understand, it does me no good to buy better lights without buying a co2 system too, right? So what exactly would be my best buys for this tank? If the total is over $300.00 then I may have rethink everything...but if I can upgrade for $300 or less I'm good to go. I searched Bigalsonline but I'm just not understanding exactly what it is I need to buy. (I'm a moron) So links to what I need would be great. Also I read the sticky on lighting....but it's all kinda greek to me. Sorry. Oh and no DIY advice cause if I can't even understand most of what's in the sticky on lighting then I doubt I'll be successfully doing anything myself. I am nothing if not a consumer
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Old 11-14-2005, 04:05 PM   #2
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I'm thinking that for a pressurized CO2 system alone, $300 is about average. You need a diffuser, regulator with needle valve and bubble counter, and a cylinder for the CO2. There is an excellent article written by madasafish in the articles section. It contains pictures as well as prices for these items, and it explains how it all goes together.

The options for lighting are very broad. I built my own canopy and used a brite lite kit from ahsupply.com. Check there to see what's available.
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Old 11-14-2005, 04:25 PM   #3
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Errr..... I was going to tell you that it can easilty be done for way less than $300.00 if you do some DIY stuff. You can build a DIY CO2 for under $10.00. You can also go to Home Depot and get some 48" flourescent fixtures and bulbs. Get 2x two bulb fixtures and hang them over your tank. This gives you about 3wpg for about $20.00. So with some DIY, you have converted your 55 gallon standard, into a 55 gallon planted. And, you are left with $270.00 for plants and fertilizers.

But.... you said no DIY..... soo.......

For CO2 - I have not used this item, but I have heard good things. I believe with a 55 gallon you will need 2 of them; 2x $21.99 = $44.00
http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=3349;pcid2=


For lights: THis is not the only, cheapest, or best choice - but it is a good choice.
http://www.hellolights.com/482xcofraq2x.html $106.29 - on sale
http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=1843;pcid2= $116.99 - same item

So by ordering online, you are at about $150.00 (plus Shipping). And you have a little over 2wpg - which is still plenty of light for most plants.

Don't forget fertilizers - Start with Flourish, and then as you gain experience you will want to move to ferts that give you more control.
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Old 11-14-2005, 08:31 PM   #4
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A milwaukee regulator runs about $80 from a place like www.aquariumplants.com
They sell CO2 tanks too, but check locally. A 5lb should be less than $100 to lease (deposit) or buy, a 10lb isn't much more to lease and maybe $40 to purchase outright.

You certainly don't need a pH controller yet, especially if your dKH is at least 4. YOu can always hook up the solenoid to a regular lighting timer if you didn't wish to run it 24/7, but there's really nothing wrong running Co2 all the time. Its cheap to refill.
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Old 11-14-2005, 08:34 PM   #5
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I found this while researching lighting......is this a good option? Does anyone see any problems with it assuming I can find the shop lite fixtures? Or am I better off buying the lights Zezmo suggested?

http://www.hallman.org/plant/lights.html

"If you're lucky enough to have a 55 gallon or close-sized tank, good lighting can be quite cheap. Our local hardware store sells Liteway shop-lite fixtures which hold two 4-foot fluorescent bulbs for $8.99. I use two of these fixtures (holding four 40 watt bulbs total) over my 55 gallon tank, with Phillips F40D bulbs ($3.99 each locally) in them. (Many people say that they can't fit two fixtures over a 55 gallon "show" tank, but the brand Liteway is only 4-1/2" wide and a pair fit nicely just laying on the cover glass. Other brands I have seen are unfortunately wider.) This setup satisfies three important factors for aquarium lighting"
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Old 11-14-2005, 08:55 PM   #6
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It isn't just wpg but how much of the light is reflected back into the aquarium. I don't think shop lights work well because so much of the light isn't directly put into the aquarium. Those lights are meant to light large areas and much of the intensity is focused away from the aquarium. Part of what you are paying for in aquarium lighting is the reflective properties of the reflector itself. The bulbs alone can be very expensive when you add in the cost of shipping.

I'm trying to remember what I paid (on line), for my CO2 system. Milwaukee regulater was $89.99. The CO2 reactor was about $30. I did get a pH controller (not essential), for about $100. Add in the tubing and check valve, another $25. The tank is an initial investment. Refills of CO2 about $11. All in all I spent over $300 for the whole system.
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Old 11-14-2005, 08:57 PM   #7
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Thanks Brian!
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Old 11-14-2005, 08:58 PM   #8
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http://cgi.ebay.com/JEBO-48-220W-55w...QQcmdZViewItem This light has enough capacity to run 4wpg and grow anything you want when you feel comfortable with adding 2 more of the 10k bulbs and will give you 2wpg out of its box which is a good starting point for pressurized co2.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-JBJ-CO2-SOLENOID-REGULATOR-W-FREE-BUBBLE-COUNTER_W0QQitemZ7723772729QQcategoryZ46314QQssPag eNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem and this regulator has everything except the diffusor and tank.


http://www.aquatic-store.com/ the aqua-medic bubble swirler will be fine for a diffuser at $23.50 search for co-AM73008

We'll help you get an order together for Greg Watson so ferts will be about $25

A tank will run about $100 locally from a welding supply and I think that's everything for about $300 with growing room
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