New 210 litre set up equipment list....the boy is learning..

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Music man, 9 Jun 2008.

  1. Music man

    Music man Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    I almost wish I'd never found this place.

    I was going to throw some eco complete and plants together and see what happened !

    Now Ive seen whats possible, Ive got to almost go the whole hog and have a proper planted tank.

    Right, this about where Ive got to so far..... -

    Tank -48 x 12 x15 Rena -already own

    Lighting - currently 2x 30w T8, room for 1 or maybe 2 T5'S. I was thinking of having 1 T5 come on for a few hours as mid day, but am open to advice.
    Cheapest supplier anyone ?

    Filtration - 2x Eheim 2028 Pro 2. Own 1, was looking to ebay or maybe Zooplus for the second.

    C02 - Aquatic magic Regulator/bubble counter and rhinox diffuser
    Are these folks reliable ?
    Ebay Fire extinguisher 2kg

    Eco complete substrate - I was thinking 4 bags ?
    Cheapest supplier ?

    Now, plants ? TBH, I was just going to buy a pre picked mix from Greenline, but Im not sure if this is a good thing to do or not ? On the face of it Tropica plants look dear, but I guess you get what you pay for.

    I was going to dose TPN + along with the C02 as well.

    Fish - I have a few in another 3 foot tank I was going to re house, but I have 3 Botia Striata and I really like the idea of keeping shrimp, so I guess thats a no go ?

    I quite like the idea of running a powerhead during lights out to give the fish a breather to, so maybe another recommendation.

    Ive never done a proper aquascape before, so am looking forward to it. I really like London Dragon's set up.

    Thanks for reading this far, Ive read about 80% of this forum over the last week or two and am picking up iformation almost daily.
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Hi,
    Yes I definitely recommend the whole hog. If something is worth doing then it's worth doing right. The fatter the hog the sweeter the ham. :idea:

    Not sure about cheapest. It depends what you want to do. Do you want to replace the hood or just modify it? If modifying you need to think about the two choices which are to mount the lamps/reflector in the hood with remote ballast or mount the combined unit. Another wrinke is that you should decide whether you want to mount longer tubes or Compact Fluorescent. The CFs don't have as wide a coverage but they also don't take up as much space so you could mount more of them to make up for that and they fit easier. You'd want about 80 watts total. You could even rip out the T8s and just have all T5s. Plenty of options here once you start mixing and matching the variables.
    Yes this looks good. You'd be looking for about 400 GPH rated so this would be on target.
    Yes they are reliable. This should work.
    There is a substrate calculator here=> http://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html For a 3 inch average depth you'll need about 100 ponds of Ecocomplete.
    My suggestion is to get the Greenline mix. You can always add plants that you think you might like later on, but you need to figure out how to grow plants - any plants. Science works on Greenline plants the same as on Tropica plants.
    Well, hang on - you think Tropica plants are expensive yet you see nothing wrong with paying 100 times more than you need to for nutrients? Reality check time: Remember that you have to dose nutrients for the rest of your life. Think about the economy of dry powders.
    Not sure here. I think not but I have neither. I'll let an invert person cover this one.
    Competent CO2 injection and nutrient dosing normally generates enough oxygen to last the night. Turning off the CO2 earlier helps as does high flow rates and rippling of the surface. This one has to be evaluated in situ. Powerheads are ugly and don't do much for your scape.
    Nothing wrong with copying his design. I think he even provided a map. Paulo take a bow... :D
    Yep, reading is fundamental. Well done mate!

    Cheers,
     
  3. Music man

    Music man Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Many thanks for the intensive reply !.

    The reason I was thinking about doing TPN+ is primarily I havent got my head around the EI thing yet, and as such, couldnt even begin to contemplate costings, let alone quantities/chemistry.

    Im trying to find a sort of middle ground here....
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Well..I mean...you've been reading right? So try reading 80% of this=> viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1211

    In fact if you read 100% of it you'll realize that EI is as easy to wrap your head around as making your morning tea. ;)

    This tank is a 40 USG so all you have to do is double the dosages given in the article. Here is an extract:

    Here is a sample of how the reference 20 US gallon tank could be dosed:

    Sunday – 50% or more Water Change then dose [3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [½ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Monday – 1/16 teaspoon CSM+B
    Tuesday - [3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [½ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Wednesday - 1/16 teaspoon CSM+B
    Thursday - [3/16 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [½ teaspoon MgSO4]
    Friday – Rest
    Saturday - Rest


    So for your tank you would just double everything so that for a 40G it would be:

    Sunday – 50% or more Water Change then dose [3/8 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/8 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [1 teaspoon MgSO4]
    Monday – 1/8 teaspoon CSM+B
    Tuesday - [3/8 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/8 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [1 teaspoon MgSO4]
    Wednesday - 1/8 teaspoon CSM+B
    Thursday - [3/8 teaspoon KNO3] + [1/8 teaspoon KH2PO4] + [1 teaspoon MgSO4]
    Friday – Rest
    Saturday - Rest

    Now this seems pretty easy to me. The only thing that is fiddly is measuring the fractional teaspoon but if you look further down in the article it shows you how to make up a liquid solution for a 20 USG. Just double the values so it looks something like this:

    Macronutrient Solution
    Add 4.5 teaspoons KNO3 + 1.5 teaspoons KH2PO4 + 12 teaspoons MgSO4 to 600ml of tap water. This is 12 doses. Add 50 ml of this solution 3 times a week in lieu of the dry values given up top.

    Trace Element Solution
    Add 1 teaspoon of chelated trace element mix to 200 ml of water and dose 25 ml two times per week.

    You can buy 1/2 kilo (70 teaspoons - that's a 15 month supply) KNO3 for £6 here=> http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/potassium-nitrate-p-210


    You can buy 1/2 kilo KH2PO4 ( a 46 month supply) here=> http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/potassium-phosphate-p-213

    The trace element mix and the MgSO4 can be purchased on that same site=>http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/chelated-trace-element-mix-p-887
    http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/magnesium-sulphate-p-894

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
     
  5. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,285
    Location:
    London
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Guess Clive has answered everything as usual cegipedia hehehe ;)
    Go for the dry ferts its pretty simple and will save you a fortune, you can then invest your money in some EasyCarbo that will help the plants and combat the algea, worked wonders in my tank, glad you liked my tank also :)

    Good luck with the new project and you have come to the right place, with the help from these guys as you can see on my journal I have achieved what I didn't think possible in a very short time.

    Keep us posted :)
     
  6. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    West Midlands UK
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Assuming you are wanting a tropical set up, there is one thing you have missed, a heater. :lol:

    As to using TPN+, if the cost isn't bothering you then go for it, it's a perfectly good fert.

    I have to disagree with Clive about going for a greenline mix. I personally feel that selecting your plants yourself is a better route to take, that way you can research and chose plants that you KNOW will do well with your lighting etc. IME when you get a mix you end up with a mix of low, mid and high light species, and at least a couple of none aquatics. I actually get all of my plants from Greenline.

    For lighting, do a google search for Hagen+glo+T5. Hagen kit is considerably cheaper than Arcadia, and does just as good a job. I would avoid been tempted by power compacts, I have read to many horror stories of them burning out the lamp holders within months, not to mention the higher amount of restrike and difficulty getting reflectors to fit them. I got a 2x39 watt unit for less than £30 from AceAqua on ebay. Of course a couple of months later and I have replaced it with a luminaire.... lol My Axlotl will be getting a lighting upgrade soon methinks. :D Paludarium time!!! :lol:

    Ade
     
  7. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    The problem with mixes is that they seem to think people one 1 or 2 samples of lots of different species. It's a good way of seeing plants you're not familar with, but otherwise I'd go for bigger groups of less species. It depends what you want in the end but personally I'd look around at the different plants and then go for those. The problem with non-tropica plants is that the quality is a little suspect in some cases. So you could get a mix of 5 stems of this and 5 stems of that, but if those 5 stems are beyond help, it's all gone.
     
  8. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,285
    Location:
    London
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    When I started my planted tank, I got a few hardy plants and some fast growers just to see things went, I just went for what looked nice at the LFS didn't even bother checking much on them, and I been adding more here and there ever since, I have about 15/16 different plant species in my tank now and I like the way it looks, I like the effect off wherever you look you see something different, even though its a small tank.
     
  9. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    If you want the bulk buy option of the mix but don't want lots of random plants then just multiply up one of the smaller mixes, that way you end up with a larger quantity of each plant.

    This is what I did with mine, it meant I got good quantities of a few plants and could then add some specimen ones of my choice...

    Having said that, if I were to start from scratch now I wouldn't get the mix, they had some great plants in there but I wouldn't have chosen all of them and in future would like to choose everything specifically. (If only so I can actually name everything in my tank :oops: )

    If you like the idea of an all in one fert like TPN+ then there's a recipe on how to make your own. I've just bought the ingredients from ebay and AE for a 10l solution and the whole lot only came to ~£40 inc p&p (with enough left overs of most of the ingredients for the next 10l batch!) I shall be making it this weekend hopefully, I intend to use just plain filtered water rather than distilled/RO as I haven't found a reasonably priced source... though I'm sure if I wandered over to the chemistry dept they'd be able to help me out ;)
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Hi guys,
    Regarding plant choice I would tend to agree with LondonDragon. All of the comments about selecting plants individually is a bit misleading because each of the commentors has experience and understands what they like or don't like about certain plants as well as the idiosyncrasies of specific plants. But we are giving advice to someone who may have no idea about the various nuances or advantages/disadvantages of these species. Music Man is simply trying to get the basics of plant growth down pat. Do you really think it a good idea for him to spend lots of dough on super fine Tropica plants when he may not have CO2 figured out? Due to inexperience he can easily disintegrate those fancy plants within two days flat by simple (and perhaps inevitable) errors. An algae attack can easily wipe out the tank. One can always add more plants when needed but it's better to buy the cheapest package of crypts, swords, easy stems and to learn how to grow plants. Who cares if there are two of this or three of that? As Music Man figures out horticulture he will learn what plants he likes or dislikes and can add or subtract as required. Our suggestions need to be within the context of his perspective, not from our own.

    For under £20 one can get a nice collection of various plants as shown here at the bttom (the 48 inch or the 60 inch collection) http://www.aquaticplants.eu.com/acatalo ... NTED_.html

    Look at the list of plants. We may cringe at the crudeness of the plants in the selection but for a beginner this is an obvious choice. The list even tells you where to plant them. This simplifies the plant selection and Music Man can then spend his time, energy and money on more complicated issues such as lighting.

    On the issue of lighting, I can't see why anyone would have a phobia of CF lighting. :rolleyes: I've never used any other T5 lighting system in all of 21st century and I have never suffered a unit meltdown. Of the 9 double ballast units I use, I've had only a single half module failure, which is a no-light (not a meltdown) - so that is one sub-module failure in 18 with an average utilization of 10 hours per day for almost 8 years. This calculates to a mean time between failure (MTBF) of just over 525,000 hours and a mean cycle between failure (MCBF) of about 52,500 ON/OFF cycles. This is considered pretty good reliability and compares favorably with any other conventional lighting unit. I use the ASL lighting system.

    Cheers,
     
  11. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    West Midlands UK
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    That is just so wrong on so many levels Clive, mainly as it is following the "chuck them in and see what happens" approach, which I for one would never recommend to anybody who wishes to be a DECENT aquarium keeper. It take absolutely no account of the needs of the flora or fauna been added to a closed system, and most commonly leads to a very disheartening disaster!

    Instead I thoroughly recommend RESEARCH. Read up on the most commonly available species, get an idea of the ones that you like and the needs of these, and then and only if you can meet these needs, purchase the ones you have chosen. You are far more likely to get what you are really looking for, as opposed to an absolute mess, with half of the plants you bought turning to mush before your very eyes.

    You are quite right Clive, I am an experienced aquarist, I have been keeping aquatic flora and fauna for more than 20 years, and this experience has taught me that collections are actually really BAD for the beginner. Reading and research, and careful selection, wins out 9 times out of 10.

    You wouldn't buy a random selection of fish and just chuck them in, so why the heck would you do it with plants? :twisted:

    Ade
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Ade,
    The answer is simple. The plants in the mix list are cheap and are great for beginners. Their care and requirements are very similar. Additionally, there are no difficult plants in that mix. Have you actually looked at the list of plants on that link? Do you see anything on that list that requires additional research? The beginner has no idea what he is looking for and will be happy if his plants do not melt within the week. At the end of the day the choice is up to Music man. There is nothing stopping him from getting a combination of a cheap mix as well as a few specimen plants to get his tank going, to get the biomass growing and to keep algae at bay. If a few plants fail so what? They were cheap. Now look at the quantity of plants on that list and at the price and see if you can even remotely get half that number of plants by getting specimen plants.

    Are you saying there are no DECENT aquarium keepers who have the following plants in their tank?
    CREEPING JENNY
    BACOPA MONNIERA
    TWISTED VALLIS
    ROTALA INDICA
    RED AMBULIA
    HYGRO POLYSPERMA
    CABOMBA CAROLINIANA

    After you learned how to drive what was your first car, a Ferrari? Whatever cheesy plants they send for £20 will be good enough. In fact that's exactly how I started my tank last year. I just filled it with plants to get the ecology of the tank started. While I was doing my research the tank was stabilizing and growing. So you don't think it's possible after 6-8 weeks to siphon off water and put the plants in that you've had 6-8 weeks to think about? During this time wouldn't music man have been learning how to dose, how to add CO2, how to trim etc? I don't understand what is so tragic about a beginner learning on inexpensive plants and then later putting in the plants he decides he really wants (and it only cost two tenners).

    An experienced aquascaper already has an idea of what effect he/she is attempting and so plans his tank and plant purchase accordingly. This is clear, but the beginner has too much to think about at the start so we need to simplify things. For research have a look in the Tutorials Section at Ed Seely's excellent tank setup guide=> viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1275

    Now, there is you research. Can you see what the important things are? Tank, Lights, Substrate, Filtration, CO2, Nutrients, Circulation, Water Changes and lots of plants - any plants - to get biomass going. That is a lot to think about for someone who has not thought about it before. If you can get all that right in the beginning then the choice of plants species becomes irrelevant. Music Man or any beginner, wants to learn how to grow plants and ultimately how to create a nice aquascape. He has plenty of time to figure it out while he learns the basics and does not need to get a Masters Degree in horticulture in his first go. He has plenty of time to become DECENT.

    Cheers,
     
  13. tanker

    tanker Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    i'm a beginner... i knew almost nothing when i set up my tank. what i did was i just selected the plants that looked pretty without knowing how to grow them. i had disastrous CO2, ferts etc....
    ceg's comment about beginners are especially true that we would be happy to see plants dont die off in the following week. i had bought plants such as HC, some red plants that i had not identified and then to see them die after a week. Went and bought more plants, more plants died. Very demoralising. i focused on the plants that i like, not on how to grow plants.

    so now i grow the more hardy plants. got some stem plants (though my tonina still look sick), chose glosso as carpet instead of HC, and no red plants. meanwhile learning on the dosing, CO2, lighting, plants trimming and tank maintenance. and trying to keep the algae at bay. once i get the hang of it, then i can rescape the tank, replace plants etc... just some insight from a beginner's point of view :D
     
  14. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    West Midlands UK
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    First off all Clive, you did not give a link, you merely suggested that he get a Greenline mix. I have been a customer of Greenline since the days that the also did dry goods, and know quite well that this means one of two options, as in either a random mix with no list of plants, or a labled mix.

    Now a random mix is a VERY bad idea in my experience (having purchased one before), usually they contain dribs and drabs of this plant and that plant, some of which wont even be aquatic plants, and not enough of anything to actually even make a half way attractive display.

    Their labled mix you also don't know what you are getting until it arrives, the difference been that this mix comes with the plants labled.

    Even amongst those plants you list there are a couple that aren't that great an idea for somebody just starting out. Take the 'red ambulia' for example, better known as Rotal Wallisii. This is actually quite a difficult little plant for somebody just starting out, requiring really quite bright lighting, and loses all of it's pretty leaves and drops dead if this isn't provided. Rotala Indica is much the same. That is 2 plants straight away from your short list that are not great for a beginner. Add to that that the odds are other plants in the collection may possibly include plants such as Barclaya Longifolia and other more demanding plants, and that £20 collection starts looking like much less of a bargain.

    As to getting started out whilst you research more, then still better to buy selected, easy to grow, plants. Plants like hygrophila polysperma, hygrophila difformis, cryptocoryne wendtii, bacopa monniera and java fern. All of which will do the job very nicely, and create a nice display for even the most impatient person.

    However where lives of any sort are concerned (and yes, oddly enough, plants are alive! Or you at least hope they are!) I urge patience. Do your reading BEFORE you start buying (as the op already has been doing.). His tank is not going to go boom if he doesn't fill it right this minute! He is during that excellent phase where he has all the time he requires to get his perperations right, and to plan everything out. Rather than rushing in and spending £20 on something half of which are probably going to die. And no, the tutorials section on here is NOT enough research, it is just the opinions of a few hobbyists. The first thing I did when looking into going planted was to buy a copy of Windelov's Tropica Catalogue, which gave me a good grounding in what some of the more common plants actually require to grow healthily. The cost of the plants is not the issue here, but rather the cost TO the plants, and also to the morale of the beginner. Dead plants means that they have been wasted, and usually that the keeper may get fed up and just give up on this side of the hobby.

    As to your comment about a ferrari, that is just outright facetious. Comparing keeping aquatic plants to driving cars is rather silly really. Plants and cars have very little in common, with the exception that they both need oxygen at some point in order to go.....

    Oh and sorry to be rude, but in my book doing something for 1 year does not qualify you to style yourself a guru, and be dismissive of those with considerably more experience than yourself.

    My advise, for anybody who missed it, start with some of the known easy to keep plants, don't waste your money on things that are mostly going to die.

    Ade
     
  15. Music man

    Music man Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Blimey, I come back to several tomes worth of replies !

    Thanks for the advice guys.

    Ade, your correct in that time is not of the essence, so I do have time to learn, and Im trying to do that now.

    The technicalities of lights and co2 dont concern me a much as what Im actually looking at.

    Its quite difficult to choose plants as a novice, so initially, I feel I may speak to Greenline and order a selection of easy and quick growers that they/you recommend rather than a mix.

    Im hoping to start slowly getting the gear together over the next few weeks.

    As far as lighting goes, I think initially Im going tu use my 2 T8''s with reflectors and an additional single T8 I think.

    This should give me just over 80 watts.
     
  16. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Re: New 210 litre set up equipment list....anything missing ?

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. If you any specific questions when setting up, people here will gladly help out as best they can.

    As with most things in life everyone has different experiences and opinions. This is what makes things interesting. I'm sure that with the experience you'll gain you will formulate your own opinion as well.

    As Ade says, in a mix you'll get easy plants and not so easy plants. Whether you succeed or not with these is experience in itself. I will say though that even though I recommended not getting a mix, actually holding a plant, feeling it, planting it and growing it can never be replaced by reading about it and a mix is a good way of getting to know a plant and learning how it behaves...even if it does turn to mush in a couple of weeks!
     
  17. Music man

    Music man Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Ok, bit of an update.

    Have managed to buy another Eheim 2028, so thats the filtration sorted.

    In negotiation on a used FE c02 set up.

    Going to MA St.Albans tomorrow to have a measure up of light units.

    I think I can fit 2 x T5 59w into my hood, so thats the lighting done.

    Charterhouse offer free delivery over £50, so that where my eco complete will come from.

    Hope to buy a Tropica catalog tomorrow and decide on plants .

    Still going to use TPN+ for the time being though.

    This set up should allow me grow me most things, but Im not looking for silly fast growth, I want to set it up and maintain it, not take pics and and start again in 6 months, so slowish growth is the plan, with some fast stems to take up the nutrients.

    How am I doing so far chaps ?
     
  18. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    I have only just noticed this thread.....WOW it sure makes growing plants sound difficult!

    Give them sufficient, light, ferts and CO2 and it is easy. Maybe avoid carpet plants such as HC at lower light levels, but growing is far and away the easy part. Give the tank sufficient light for carpetting plants and you should be able to grow just about anything.

    Just wait until you try aquascaping Music man. It is by far the most difficult aspect, but also the most enjoyable.

    Dave.
     

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