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View Full Version : Where to start? I'm so confused!



Robin12265
02-16-2008, 01:09 AM
I've been reading some of the threads here and it's only making me more confused.

We recently got a new bowfront corner aquarium and we were going to sell the pentagon one but I've decided (to my husbands chagrin) to keep it and try my hand at a planted tank. (if it goes well, then I'll plant the tank in the living room too - instead of the silk plants it has now)

details:

44 gallons
2 light bars that currently have 2 new light bulbs, but they're the basic ones that came with the "all-glass" tank we just got.
Still need to get a filter and heater (planning on getting another bio-wheel)

Starting from the bottom up, what do I NEED?

What types of gravel/sand do you suggest? (always used a small pea gravel in my tank before)

What is this CO2 business? Do I need some expensive fancy schmancy machine for this?

Since the tank is fairly tall, I'd like to get plants that grow tall for the back and then shorter ones in front (logically)

What is the best type of light to get - and for the best price?

Are there special rules for cycling the tank when you're planting? (and how long should you wait to add fish?)

It will be in a corner near a window, but the window has a wood blind on it that I usually don't open. (If it's nice enough to actually open the window, I'll open it, but otherwise we don't because it's kind of in a place that allows our neighbors to see in our home.)

Anything else I should know before I head to the LFS tomorrow?

Here's a stock photo of the tank
http://www.pets-warehouse.com/pic-a/APF16501.JPG


THANKS!!!!

Incredulous_Ed
02-16-2008, 04:13 AM
I've been reading some of the threads here and it's only making me more confused.

We recently got a new bowfront corner aquarium and we were going to sell the pentagon one but I've decided (to my husbands chagrin) to keep it and try my hand at a planted tank. (if it goes well, then I'll plant the tank in the living room too - instead of the silk plants it has now)

details:

44 gallons
2 light bars that currently have 2 new light bulbs, but they're the basic ones that came with the "all-glass" tank we just got.
Ho wmany watts are the bulbs, and what type of lights are they?
Still need to get a filter and heater (planning on getting another bio-wheel)
For a larer planted tank like this you really should go with a cannister filter. That way less co2 gets dissolved from the water.

Starting from the bottom up, what do I NEED?

What types of gravel/sand do you suggest? (always used a small pea gravel in my tank before)

There are two special substrates that stand out, both are made for planted tanks. One if fluorite, and the other is Eco Complete. I perfer fluorite because of its color. Bth are good though.

What is this CO2 business? Do I need some expensive fancy schmancy machine for this?
For optimum plant growth, its reccomended. For that size tank, you would probably go with pressurized co2. You can see how the plants grow without co2, and if they do bad, then try co2, but if they do good, well you're set then
Since the tank is fairly tall, I'd like to get plants that grow tall for the back and then shorter ones in front (logically)

What is the best type of light to get - and for the best price?

Coralife fixtures are really good, so are most T5 fixtures.

Are there special rules for cycling the tank when you're planting? (and how long should you wait to add fish?)

It will be in a corner near a window, but the window has a wood blind on it that I usually don't open. (If it's nice enough to actually open the window, I'll open it, but otherwise we don't because it's kind of in a place that allows our neighbors to see in our home.)

Anything else I should know before I head to the LFS tomorrow?

Here's a stock photo of the tank
http://www.pets-warehouse.com/pic-a/APF16501.JPG


THANKS!!!!
Yeah thats basically all i know. Hope it helps

smaug
02-16-2008, 04:22 AM
everything Ed has said I agree with except for needing co2.Seachem excel works wonders if you are not using intense lighting,in your case under 125 watts.Excel is a liquid co2 supplement that I use with great results .

Lady Hobbs
02-16-2008, 04:42 AM
Smaug......I had 0 algae when I used Florish excel and would like to use it again but I have vals and it's said to melt them. Do you have vals and what has been your experience if so.

Robin, you might have a problem finding a fixture for a tank shaped like that. The coralifes are great but I wonder if one would fit your tank with it being 3 cornered like that?

smaug
02-16-2008, 04:45 AM
Smaug......I had 0 algae when I used Florish excel and would like to use it again but I have vals and it's said to melt them. Do you have vals and what has been your experience if so.

Robin, you might have a problem finding a fixture for a tank shaped like that. The coralifes are great but I wonder if one would fit your tank with it being 3 cornered like that?
I have never had vals,mostly because I have heard you and others talk about excel being a problem for them,I also can not keep moss balls because of that.

smaug
02-16-2008, 04:52 AM
Smaug......I had 0 algae when I used Florish excel and would like to use it again but I have vals and it's said to melt them. Do you have vals and what has been your experience if so.

Robin, you might have a problem finding a fixture for a tank shaped like that. The coralifes are great but I wonder if one would fit your tank with it being 3 cornered like that?
Thats a good point on tank shape,here is link of a light that may work.They have adjustable mounting clips that may work for a hex,I have the 36" dual mod.I realize that its probably a little wide but it may be still the best option.
http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/204893/product.web
sorry check it out now.

Lady Hobbs
02-16-2008, 04:57 AM
Missing link or it's in vanishing print. LOL

A couple clip on lights might work if a person could find some that put out decent lights. I could use a couple of those myself.

Robin12265
02-16-2008, 03:57 PM
Answer about the existing lights - the bulb says "All-Glass Aquarium Lamp 15W"


Question about the light fixture -

Can't I just get the special bulbs and use them in the light strips I already have or do they require a special power supply?

Here's a pic of the actual tank and the top. The cover actually has 2 designated spaces for the lights. I don't know if a dual strip would work.

smaug
02-16-2008, 05:44 PM
Answer about the existing lights - the bulb says "All-Glass Aquarium Lamp 15W"


Question about the light fixture -

Can't I just get the special bulbs and use them in the light strips I already have or do they require a special power supply?

Here's a pic of the actual tank and the top. The cover actually has 2 designated spaces for the lights. I don't know if a dual strip would work.
If those are the lights that you wish to keep then you will be very limited to what type of plants,possibly java fern and java moss would work.If this is the case then you will save yourself some money by not having to get any special substrate or co2.You are likely very limited in light fixture choices that would work with the type of tank you have.

Incredulous_Ed
02-16-2008, 05:49 PM
If those are 24 inch fixtures then you arent so limited after all. Wouldn't you just be able to get like a 24inch Coralife fixture?

zeon
02-16-2008, 10:33 PM
Hey Ed that is my tank! lol The one I was asking you about lighting for...Getting the light to penetrate to the bottom for plants. Anywho, it is 25 inches tall and the bulbs are only 18 inches, got out my handy dandy tape measure for you. Robin I hope you get it to work with plants for you. I have just put my driftwood in mine. I am changing it up for java moss and java ferns.

Algenco
02-16-2008, 10:46 PM
Answer about the existing lights - the bulb says "All-Glass Aquarium Lamp 15W"


Question about the light fixture -

Can't I just get the special bulbs and use them in the light strips I already have or do they require a special power supply?

Here's a pic of the actual tank and the top. The cover actually has 2 designated spaces for the lights. I don't know if a dual strip would work.

15w is the only thing that will fit.
Dual strips are wider and wouldn't fit the slot. You could replace with a retro kit ( Not cheap) http://www.ahsupply.com/36-55w.htm
the 2x55 bright kit would be nice
$70+bulbs+shipping

Robin12265
02-17-2008, 12:24 AM
Well the LFS guy told me to try some AquaGlo lights, so I got 2 flourescent bulbs, the eco-complete (they only had the red, but I wasn't sure about black anyway LOL) a heater and a Rena canister filter. (DH was OK until he saw the filter price. Had to do some working on that one...) He suggested starting with a corkscrew val and since it was only $3 I figured it would be an OK starter piece. (wanted something for the background - hopefully it will grow fairly tall!) Plantgeek.net says it needs medium light, so hopefully this will be adequate for it. I know I can't do any plants that require a lot of light, but that's ok.

I almost got sucked into buying one of those plants at Petsmart - (the sealed TopFin - "snail free!") but figured I'd better check it out first. It was so pretty too. Entered it into plantgeek.net and guess what -- it's NOT an aquatic plant! (Aqua Fern/trichomanes javanicum) Glad I didn't waste my money on that. But it sure was pretty...

I'll let y'all know how it's going. I'll try to be patient with this and look up the plants before I buy them.

BTW - love how quiet the Rena is! And it was SO easy to start up! Not sure what the difference is between the powerjet nozzle and the sprayer bar - put the sprayer bar on, but it's easy enough to change. Anyone want to offer advice on that, or should I post that question somewhere else in the forum? I assume, either way, that it goes below the water level, right?

smaug
02-17-2008, 04:18 AM
Well the LFS guy told me to try some AquaGlo lights, so I got 2 flourescent bulbs, the eco-complete (they only had the red, but I wasn't sure about black anyway LOL) a heater and a Rena canister filter. (DH was OK until he saw the filter price. Had to do some working on that one...) He suggested starting with a corkscrew val and since it was only $3 I figured it would be an OK starter piece. (wanted something for the background - hopefully it will grow fairly tall!) Plantgeek.net says it needs medium light, so hopefully this will be adequate for it. I know I can't do any plants that require a lot of light, but that's ok.

I almost got sucked into buying one of those plants at Petsmart - (the sealed TopFin - "snail free!") but figured I'd better check it out first. It was so pretty too. Entered it into plantgeek.net and guess what -- it's NOT an aquatic plant! (Aqua Fern/trichomanes javanicum) Glad I didn't waste my money on that. But it sure was pretty...

I'll let y'all know how it's going. I'll try to be patient with this and look up the plants before I buy them.

BTW - love how quiet the Rena is! And it was SO easy to start up! Not sure what the difference is between the powerjet nozzle and the sprayer bar - put the sprayer bar on, but it's easy enough to change. Anyone want to offer advice on that, or should I post that question somewhere else in the forum? I assume, either way, that it goes below the water level, right?
you made good choice with your equipment,conratulations.You dodged the bullet with the aqwua fern,2years ago I didnt!It rotted an dfell apart i was confused and spent all kinds of time trying to save it,I didnt have the internet then.As for the rena,I use the spary bar but I have it submerged with the jets facing towards the surface at a 45deg to get a slight rolling on the surface for a currant and small agitation.I also use the adjustable flow valve and only have it turned to half on.The power jet is useful for a more forceful flow to areas of the tank that you wish to keep moving ,its really personal choice but I feel the spray bar to be better with plants as long as its not used as an actual spray.For some other plants Im sure you can use a java fern and those sealed tubes have them and they are good .Good luck and keep us posted.