Advice needed on new set-up

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by amy4342, 26 Jun 2008.

  1. amy4342

    amy4342 Member

    Messages:
    336
    Hi all
    I've got my new tank on the way - this is the one I've always been waiting for. It's a solid pine cabinet with matching hood, and opti-white glass 30"w x 30"d x 20"h. Yay! So, I want to get it right this time. I already have the lights 4x55w Interpet twin lights- a cool Christmas present. So, I have two plans:-

    1. The full dennerle system

    Substrate - 25w heating cable, Deponit mix, Black Quartz Gravel
    Co2 - Classic line exclusive system along with pH controller and solenoid
    Fertilizers - all the appropriate ones

    2. A mix of stuff

    Substrate - ADA amazonia (would I need anything else?)
    Co2 - probably a FE aslong as it will fit with the Dennerle ph controller, since I already have it? If not, a JBL kit
    Fertilizers - Tropica PN+ (is this enough by itself?)

    So, I would really welcome any opinions and/or criticisms.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Definitely the second of those options. Aqusoil is great substrate to use and produces superb results. As the the CO2 I'd go with a decent reg and an FE to save money. Personally I wouldn't use the pH controller as you will have more problems setting it up when all you want is stable CO2 at 30ppm while the lights are on. A pH controller will alter the CO2 levels to manage the pH and this is a very bad thing!

    You don't mention it but the other thing you need to think about is filtration. You want to look at turning over the tank's volume at about 10 times an hour.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Yes I agree with Ed as there is no point in spending more money for name brand equipment and you definitely don't need substrate heating cables. As mentioned, you will need to give serius thought to filtration. Something on the order of 3000 LPH for a 300 Liter tank. You may wish to consider something like and FX5.

    220 watts of T5 is a fair amount of lighting so depending on your water supply you may find it expensive to dose TPN+. You may wish to consider dry ferts as a cheaper alternative. Review the EI dry dosing article as well as the Dropchecker measurement article in the tutorials section. The Tutorial section also has a Tank Setup article as well, so it's worth checking that one as well. You'll also find a FE article there.


    Cheers,
     
  4. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Hi Amy,

    i'm glad you've found this site before ordering.

    Because unlike me, i got suckered into the Dennerle scheme, and paid about £1000 more for equipment that i did not need.

    I do have the full dennerle range, including 2000G classic line co2 with ph controller, 2 x 75 watt cable heaters with temperature controller, and basically will be removing the heating cables and controllers when i change my existing gravel and deponit mix to an ADA substrat. The only thing i will keep is umm, the 2000G co2 bottle, as my Dennerle co2 regulator somehow broke after the warranty. I now use my original JBL one which is 7 years old!

    As for Dennerle ferts, well there are soo many to add, and they (Dennerle) insist you add them all at different days/weeks etc or you will get Algae. This cost me another £160. Don't bother, Tropica's TPN+ is the one to have, and i only use this.

    So personally i would recommend the JBL co2 systems, any ADA equipment, and i only use TPN+.
     
  5. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    I agree with Ed.. stay away from PH computers.

    Have a read of this article on drop checkers its the only way to be sure.
     
  6. amy4342

    amy4342 Member

    Messages:
    336
    Hi all

    Thank you all so much for replying! It seems your advice has saved me from going down a very bad road, since I had been planning the Dennerle route for some time - I really can't thank you enough!

    So, it looks like I will be going with ADA as a substrate. Approximately how deep should the substate be, and do I need to do anything to stop it from going anerobic, or will the plant roots sort that? What about using some power sand under it?

    I'll use a FE as a co2 source with a solenoid for night time shut-off, and wont use the pH adjuster - thanks for the advice on that one, and also the dropchecker articles - very useful. There is one thing I'll buy from Dennerle (unless I can get it somewhere else?), which is the micro perler special - it fits onto the filter intake, so co2 is forced through the filter and then out into the aquarium. I like it because it does away with the big diffusers.

    Thanks for the advice on the ferts - I'll stick with TPN+ for now, but I'll have a go of the EI method when the tank is stable and I'm feeling a bit braver :D

    With regards to filtration, I was looking at an Eheim thermofilter because I have one in my other tank and I've always found it reliable and easy to maintain. My tank will hold approx 200l when full, including displacement, so I would optimally be looking at a turnover of 2000lph. However, i'm using the tank to house a shoal of discus, so I dont want to flow rate to be to high. So I think I'm either looking at the 2128 model, which is suitable for a tank of 600l with a turnover of 1050plh, or the 3180, which is suitable for tanks up to 1200l with a flow rate of 1700lph. Any suggestions?
     
  7. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Personally I would use it. It's supposed to help in the long term make up of the substrate and add extra nutrients for the plants. It's doing a great job in my tank. And you can't add it afterwards if you feel you want to without taking everything out of the tank!!!

    The discus won't mind the flow really and if you have a large filter then you can always turn the flow down. I use a 2128 on a 180l tank and don't think it's quite got enough flow ideally. I'd go with the bigger one every time.
     
  8. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Bank it up at the back as it helps make the tank look wider and you get more of a scape. One thing Ive noticed is that if its too shallow, it can be hard to get plants to stay put in as its quite light and moves around alot.. so Id aim for no shallower than 3cm at the front.

    Power sand under it is a common move, but I didnt as I think its no time at all until its not under it! its in it! But thats your choice :)

    It wont go anaerobic as its designed to let water flow through it constantly.. it really is very high class stuff.. Ive only had it for a week and I woudlnt go back.

    When you start using it, carry out water changes every couple of days though as it does leech a bit of NH4 into the water in the short term. But thats no biggie if you can be conscientious about your maintenance.

    If you have hard alkaline water, go for the Amazonia II.. its designed for this water type and will do a good job softening things up.
     
  9. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I'm with CEG on the lights!!! 220W-PC T5 over 80USG = 2.75ish WPG (more like equivalent to 4 with PC) and this would be very high and hard to control for a newbie. I would use 110W and if necessary use the others for a noon burst in the middle of the photoperiod. Personally I would just use the 2 and forget about the other 2.

    I have to add I am well known for moaning about lights. lol and always suggest T5/PC cannot be used with the WPG rule.

    An 80USG tank is also non applicable to the WPG rule as it is quite a large tank and therefore doesn't need as much. I would guess that being a cube the light will not be as spread out wither making it more intense which is another reason for less lighting needed.

    Andy
     

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