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I need help coosing Lighting for a 10ftx4ftx4ft 1200uk gallo

ukapstt77

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22 Mar 2009
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Hello All

I was recommended this site from some one on aquaticplantcentral.com as they said you'd be best to answer these questions.

Basically I'm getting a 10ftx4ftx4ft 1200uk gallon tank for my Mbu Puffer who will be 2.5ft when fully grown

I need to know what lighting and how much to light a tank this big and deep. I'll only be planting different kinds of moss and maybe a few low light/easy plants. I've been told I should only need 1watt per gallon for these kinds of plants

The thing is I'm new to the lighting world and have done some reading but had mixed idea's about different lighting. Someone on another forum said I should use Metal Halide lights and another said I should use T5 midday tubes.

Also I'm told that .eg a 150w Metal Halide will produce the same amount of light as a 300w normal light, would this mean that I only have to get 600w worth of lighting and just make sure it covers the whole tank?

I've just realised the light will only have to go throught 3ft of water not 4ft.

The reason being the window at the front is 6inches from the top and 6inches from the bottom, also the gravel/soil will be 6inches thick and I'll only fill the tank with water to just above the top of the window so leaving 6inches clear in the top of the tank

I was also thinking of maybe having rocks 1ft high with moss on top and trying to have a kind of lord of the rings scenery look (see pic 1 attached below. If you cannot see pics go to http://www.adana-usa.com and click galleries). This would then mean that the majority of plants are only 2ft down from the lights!
PIC1
1.jpg


Do you know the names of the following moss?:-

The kind that droops down?

The kind that point upwards?

and the kind that grows quite bushy, rounded?

The reason I want to know is because I want to add bog wood and make it look like different kinds of trees. I want the droopy moss to hang down off the branches of one, I want the moss that points upwards on the ends of another and the same with the round bushy type (see pic 3 attached below for tree example). I want them to look like Bonsai Trees. I also like the look of pic 27 which reminds me of when Luke Skywalker crashed into the swamp and met Yoda
PIC3
3.jpg


PIC27
27.jpg


IDEA FOR TANK LOOK/LAYOUT
If you imagine these three pics/styles mixed together so that you've got the big cliffs from pic 1 on the left and right of the tank with a few old looking trees ontop from pic 3 and then in the middle of the tank the cliffs drop down to a kind of over grown forest that looks a bit like pic 27. I think it'd look amazing!

I want to get away with the least amount lighting/wattage possible to keep running costs down (this is why I've only gone for moss and low light plants)

So in short what lighting and how much for a moss/lowlight planted 1200UK gallon 4ft deep in parts tank (I want to be able to see the bottom of the tank clearly)?

Thanks in advance for your time and expertise
 

George Farmer

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Welcome to UKAPS!

Wow, what a project! I'll strike a deal with you. I'll tell you how about lighting if you share a journal on UKAPS!?

Seriously now. I think you may be ok with 4 x 150w MH. Plants will grow with surprisingly little light if nutrients and circulation are good. These two aspects are worth investing in as much as lighting if you want a healthy, long-term problem free planted tank.

If you can afford it and are going for an open-top tank, 2 x 120cm overtank luminaires each with 2 x MH + T5 combos might be prudent investment i.e. Arcadia or Giesemann units.
 

Garuf

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Glad to see you popped over. I agree with George it's going to be a mammoth project, forget wpg rules and such they're rarely ever right these days.

The only point I'd contradict George on would be that LED would be a perfect candidate for this tank, especially since running costs will be huge with filters and metal halides and heating and in these economic climates I think Led's longterm cost savings would really come into their own.
 

ukapstt77

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22 Mar 2009
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George Farmer said:
Welcome to UKAPS!

Wow, what a project! I'll strike a deal with you. I'll tell you how about lighting if you share a journal on UKAPS!?

Seriously now. I think you may be ok with 4 x 150w MH. Plants will grow with surprisingly little light if nutrients and circulation are good. These two aspects are worth investing in as much as lighting if you want a healthy, long-term problem free planted tank.

If you can afford it and are going for an open-top tank, 2 x 120cm overtank luminaires each with 2 x MH + T5 combos might be prudent investment i.e. Arcadia or Giesemann units.
Thanks George for the quick responce and info

And sure I'll post a journal on here, won't be for a while though as I'm currently doing my home work

I've got the tank sorted, I'm now researching the heating, lighting, circulation and a water change system that'll make things easy

Garuf said:
Glad to see you popped over. I agree with George it's going to be a mammoth project, forget wpg rules and such they're rarely ever right these days.

The only point I'd contradict George on would be that LED would be a perfect candidate for this tank, especially since running costs will be huge with filters and metal halides and heating and in these economic climates I think Led's longterm cost savings would really come into their own.
I've only briefly looked into LED and these are what I've found
http://www.hellolights.com/index.asp?Pa ... tegory=735
They use 40% less energy than the 400W MH 15k fixtures it replaces. The life of the LEDs is approximately 50,000 hours (about 6 years), so it almost eliminates metal halide and fluorescent bulb replacements. Only thing is they're not sold in the UK.
I just found these
http://www.onlineaquariumstore.com/acat ... pical.html
But I'm not sure how good they are or how many I'd need as it doesn't state a comparable watt rating etc

Do you know anything about LED's or where I could get them?
 

gratts

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7 Mar 2008
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Do you have any pictures of Mr. Mbu? :D

As for mosses - flame moss grows upwards, weeping moss droops down, and fissidens fontanus grows quite compact and bushy.
 

aaronnorth

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the WPG was based on T12, so if you are using T5's, Metal Halides, or LED's then it throws it off a lot.
It might be worth looking at this 10ft scape by our sponsors: http://www.thegreenmachineonline.com/Aq ... aquascape/

It is slightly smaller :lol: 10 x 2 x 2ft
they use 4 x 150w MH and extra T5 tubes, PM them to find out the wattage so you can compar.
 

ukapstt77

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gratts said:
Do you have any pictures of Mr. Mbu? :D

As for mosses - flame moss grows upwards, weeping moss droops down, and fissidens fontanus grows quite compact and bushy.
Hey Gratts

Thanks for the info on the Moss, much appreciated :)

My Mbu Puffer is called Naboo after the charactor from The Mighty Boosh, I also have a South American Puffer called Bollo

Naboo is only 3.5inches at the moment including his tail, they're suppose to grow an inch per month for the first year!

Here's some pix
The Puffer Forum • Information

The Puffer Forum • Information


I love this face he pulls just as he's going to strike (note the I'm holding the crab on the outside of the tank)
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information

Fat belly after scoffing Red Claw Crab
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information

You can see my SAP Bollo in this pic (The lil guy with the black and yellow stripes on his back)
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information

Resting
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information

Here's a couple of Bollo
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information
The Puffer Forum • Information

here's a vid of Naboo feeding


I tried showing the pix here but I think I added to many as the page was taking ages to refresh/view, so I've just pasted the links to the pix on ThePufferForum

If you're intrested in Puffers there's no better place to learn about them on ThePufferForum.com
 

ukapstt77

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aaronnorth said:
haha, how long does it take before he gets to full size?
In a year he'll be 1ft, 2 years and he'll be 1.5ft, 5/6 years and he'll be 2.5ft (and that's just his body including his tail fin he'll probably be around 30inches!)
 

Garuf

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Imagine if you had the money and the time to have a tank this size... I'd have me a massive Bolbitis and ferns low light low growth tank, with a million neon tetras.
 

Garuf

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Okay a million might be a bit too many.
Just a thought, have you looked into pumps and lighting meant for reefs? They're quiet often huge and like planted tanks require lots of flow, maybe this is a good place to start?
 

Ed Seeley

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I'd be thinking more like a small koi pond. Same ideas with high turnover but they use much lower wattages. The filters can also deal with much higher flow rates so you could have just one large filter rather than multiple small ones.
 

ukapstt77

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Ed Seeley said:
I'd be thinking more like a small koi pond. Same ideas with high turnover but they use much lower wattages. The filters can also deal with much higher flow rates so you could have just one large filter rather than multiple small ones.
I've been told I could get away with using my current 55ukg as a sump for the 1200ukg

What do you guys think?
download.php

It's to scale so the Bio balls is about 1.5ft

I've been thinking about it today and I was thinking it'd be best to go for overkill with the filteration. I'm thinking of having a fibreglass moulded 150ukg 10ft w x 1ft d x 2ft h sump with filter media, bio balls etc at each end. There would be 4 2inch holes in each end of the tank evenly spread apart, 2 6inches down from the water level and 2 1ft from the bottom of the tank (6inches above the sand/soil). The water would be fed into 2inch piping from all 8 holes and 4 would lead to one end of the sump and the other 4 to the other end. The water would then travel from each end of the sump through the filter media, through the Bioballs and meet in the middle where it's pumped back into the centre back of the tank via a 9ft tube that stretches the whole length of the tank and sprays the water out through 100's of holes in the tube.

I was hoping this would be enough filterisation what do you think to the 55ukg idea and the 150ukg idea?

Could I get away with the 55ukg if there's enough media in there?

Or should I go for the 150ukg sump idea?

Ed Seeley do you think I'd be better off having a couple of koi pond filters instead of the sump?

The thing I like about using a sump is it adds more water volume to the tank (although it is a lot anyway!)

Thanks in Advance for your comments/suggestions
 

ukapstt77

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JamesM said:
Ooooh, sounds like a fun project :)

I wish my wife would let me have a bigger tank :(
lol yeah that seems to be most people's biggest obstacle when building a huge tank...The Wife :)
 

ukapstt77

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Ed Seeley

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Bead filters operate under pressure and that pressure increases the head which then increases the running costs! They also work by filtering out the waste with the beads and then the water flows through that waste breaking it down when you really want to remove it before that happens. The best bet is to get rid of the waste straight away and then use a filter that doesn't operate on pressure for fine filtration.

So the first thing I'd have is a vortex chamber. These swirl the water around and the wastes settle in the centre of the cone where there's a drain. If you plumb this in to the household waste or run it onto a flowerbed or something then this can then simply be opened to do your water changes!

Next chamber I'd have a static K1 chamber. This is a floating media that, when static, filters out even very fine particles of waste. You then have a air ring underneath this and to clean it all you do is close the valves to isolate the chamber, turn the air on, leave for 10-15 minutes so the air boils the media clean and then simply drain the dirty water away. You can easily convert a second vortex chamber to one of these filters by simply fitting a couple of strainers to prevent the K1 media escaping.

The tricky bit is the biological filtration. Koi bio filters are all based upon high oxygen systems to gas off lots of ammonia before it begins to break down, reducing the load on the filters. However in a planted tank this would gas off all the CO2 so wouldn't be a good idea. In koi filters you usually either have 1 or more chambers of fluidised K1 where air is constantly turning the media over (like the cleaning part of the static chamber). This means no waste collects in this chamber fouling the media and also the high amounts of air means that the bacteria are in very high oxygen conditions for best performance. The other option is to use a shower filter which is like a trickle filter on steriods with expensive ceramic media, but they work brilliantly. I might be tempted to have a final chamber with sintered glass or ceramic media in the last section as a compromise.

If you can find them 3 small vortex chambers could be the ideal system. The first will be empty, second with static K1 and the third wioth biological media. Fit a valve between each chamber so you can isolate each one for cleaning and then plumb the drain lines to a waste point somewhere and you'll have agreat filters that's dead easy to clean. After the last chamber you can then dry-mount an Oase Ecomax pump which are very efficient quality pond pumps.
 

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