Start of a planted tank journey

Discussion in 'Planted Tanks' started by nealos6, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. nealos6

    nealos6

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    Hi guys, I have been a member for a while now but haven't really posted anything. I have just admired other peoples tanks. Its school holidays for myself now so I decided that in these next 6 weeks I'm going to set up a planted tank. I thought that this was the best place to get opinions and advice.
    I have 2 tanks and neither of them look nice in my opinion. I'm terrible at decorating tanks and I use to think that you could just have a plant in a tank with a light bulb and it would grow!
    I have decided to go for the planted tank method on my bigger tank. It is a Boyu EA80, I think it's about 140l. In the hood I have the standard 2x 20W lightbulbs that came with the tank. I'm looking at going for a low tech planted tank. Any ideas on how to sort out the lighting in the hood? Do I have to replace the whole hood?
    Thanks!planted tank.jpg

    planted tank.jpg
     
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  3. FishLover

    FishLover

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    Sort out? You didnt mention the problem? Anyway.............. Low tech can work very well as long as you use the right plants. You can use vallis, crypts,ambulia,anubias,java fern etc. I am also doing a low-tech planted tank this holidays. I hope that your tank turns out nicely.
    P.S. Your tank doesnt look THAT bad. :)
     
  4. manicmonkey

    manicmonkey

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    u know what they say once u go planted ... MTS kick's in no seriously
     
  5. OP
    nealos6

    nealos6

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    I have decided that I'm not going to go planted on this tank, rather on my 40L. What light would you guys suggest and what substrate? sorry for all the questions, just want this to be as successful as possible with very little newby mistakes.
     
  6. FishLover

    FishLover

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    Use fluorite mixed with PFP if you want a not too expensive route, if you are willing to spend more buy onyx sand or eco-complete substrate or ADA aquasoil. Use flourish excel and flourish excel iron,carbon.... etc. Lighting, I would go with a cool daylight bulb that fits your canopy. 40l is small so maybe use one of those mini lighting systems they sell at most LFS.
    P.S @manicmonkey is right, once you start, you will end with many tanks. I am only on no. 3 but I dont plan on stopping now.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  7. OP
    nealos6

    nealos6

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    how many kgs of fluorite? and where can you buy PFP? I'm trying to decide if I should get rid of the canopy and just attach a Clip on light? MTS is already kicking in and it doesn't help with all the amazing tanks on TASA!
     
  8. Hawk

    Hawk Clown Fish :-)

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    Whoa...slow down...The suggestions for substrate are cool but flourite is R310.00 for 7kg's! You could start with silica sand/gravel (R90.00 for 40kgs), flourish root tabs (R120.00 for 10) and column dosing (Flourish Excel and Flourish comprehensive - R70.00 each for 60ml). I'm using this in my tank (thread - 300l of responsability).
     
  9. DewaldC

    DewaldC Magikarp

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    seachem onyx sand is R250.00 for 7kg.
     
  10. OP
    nealos6

    nealos6

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    Will the onyx sand be fine for success in a low tech tank?
     
  11. Hawk

    Hawk Clown Fish :-)

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    Better, but he will still need 2 bags of the stuff. So R500 for 14kg of Onyx sand or R45 for 20kg of silica sand but each to their own.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  12. OP
    nealos6

    nealos6

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    Oh and will 7kgs be enough for a 40l tank?
     
  13. DewaldC

    DewaldC Magikarp

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    Probably,you can cheat by adding normal gravel in stockings at the back.(you're hills will be more stable)
    Hope this Helps.
     
  14. OP
    nealos6

    nealos6

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    okay thanks for all the help. so far I'm leaning towards buying 1 onyx sand for R250. Any suggestions on lighting?
     
  15. DewaldC

    DewaldC Magikarp

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    What ever light you choose, make sure you can get a replacement bulb.
     
  16. manicmonkey

    manicmonkey

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    ive got two *** tank's suprelow-teck planted, one breeding tank ,one fully 40l planted tank and the GF has her own110l low-teck planted and im getting a 430l for Christmas
     
  17. manicmonkey

    manicmonkey

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  18. Hawk

    Hawk Clown Fish :-)

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    If you have an unlimited budget then go for a manufactured T5 unit otherwise look at DIY for a canopy. You can grow plants with T8's and they run much cooler than T5's but T8's have a 6 month effective life as opposed to T5's which are effective for their lifespan (which I think is about 2 years). Whatever you go for, try to get tubes in the 6500k or above region but avoid anything over 10000k (designed for marine tanks) as you will probably get algae!

    I have 65w of T8's on my 100l and the plants grew well.

    HTH
     
  19. OP
    nealos6

    nealos6

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    @MarcHawke I have about R500 to spend on substrate and lights. So minus 250 for the onyx sand and I have 250 left for lights. I see you are also from Cape Town, could you tell me what store you would suggest to look for a lighting unit? If you can't let me know on this thread, please send me a PM. Oh and would 20W of light be sufficient?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  20. tracyp

    tracyp Lotus

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    Sorry if I'm sounding pedantic - but you can't mix pfp with anything... if you use pfp it must be capped, and well capped, otherwise you'll end up with a fine mess!
     
  21. Hawk

    Hawk Clown Fish :-)

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    Cool man. Thats a pretty good budget. Not to harp on but is there any particular reason why you want specialised substrate when you can get away with much cheaper options for a low tech tank.

    Regarding my lights, the 65w of T8's are the normal LFS tubes and ballasts. My 300l has a dual 54w T5 ballast and has an 8000k and 10000k tube running. I went the DIY route on my T5's as they will work out at less than half the price of a manufactured unit. What canopy is on the 40l tank you intend using?

     

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