New tank

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by ric25_78, 8 Mar 2008.

  1. ric25_78

    ric25_78 Newly Registered

    hi all

    Only found this site last week still tryin to understand everything :oops:

    Im thinking of upgrading to a 72"/24"/24" tank , running it with my existing tetratec ex1200
    plus a new one but have no idea what lighting to get?

    The hood has loads of room so anything is possible but my budget will be tight due to costs of tank so whats best way to start?

    I like the arcadia range and was thinking 3 5ft 58w t8 tubes but everyone seems to be keen on t5 tubes.

    Ive only had experience with amazon swords, baby tears and java fern so thought i start with these then progress slowly

    My heads banging with all these ideas/decisions

    Any help/ ideas are eagerly accepted

    cheers ric
  2. Garuf

    Garuf Member

  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    Hi, Welcome to the forum! :D

    The first thing you should think about is what direction you want to go with the tank. Do you want high tech high growth or do you want low tech low growth? The choice you make here determines the direction, difficulty and cost.

    If you decide to go low tech you will save yourself a lot of money and energy. The T8 lights will be fine, the filtration can be less and overall maintenance will be lower with lower growth. The choice of plants that can be grow are narrower but there are still a lot of nice plants within this range. Substrate choices are easier as you can use a mixture of potting soil and plain sand to save money even though this can be messy. They are plenty of options for substrate but you'd want to make sure it's rich. Here are some substrate choices: ... &cPath=220

    If you decide you want high tech then all stakes are raised. The T8 will have difficulty reaching the lower levels of the tank so T5 or halide lighting becomes a better option. Deltech do some very elegant T5 units called the Razor Twin ... x-80w-twin
    You could use a series of the 80 watt twins or combinations of 54, 39 or 24 watt twins. You ought to have sufficient light to grow just about any plant with 3WPG or 3 X 180G= 540 Watts, but likewise you'll be able to grow just about any species of algae if your technique is sub-par.

    If you opt for high tech, then filtration and flow are critical and you will have a better chance of success, depending on your plant choices, if you target the 10 X tank volume per hour filter rating rule of thumb = 1800 GPH filter rating. This rule of thumb seems high only because filters never come even close to delivering the turnover they are rated at.

    If you opt for high tech then CO2 becomes a must so you need to think about the regulators and a refillable source of CO2. You can see typical examples of regulators and solenoids here: ... th=194_251 but you can also find the Asian knock-offs here: ... m153.l1262

    High tech also requires high water changes so you'll need to think about how to make life easier to do 50% weekly changes.

    High tech also requires high nutrient dosing. This is an area where you can get by on the cheap by using the NPK dry powders and trace element mix. Dosages are easy to figure out. I would recommend the dry powders over the commercial products for this size tank.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Welcome along.

    People go for T5 lighting as they are more efficient and produce a greater light intensity than T8s so you get more light for your money. Coupled with good reflectors they should give enough light for your 2' deep tank, which I think you'd struggle to do with T8s.

    If I were you I'd start out with trying to get to about 1.5 - 2 watts per gallon of T5.

    You'll need some CO2 injection so I'd give Sam's thread on using a Fire Extinguisher for CO2 a read,

    You'll really want to upgrade the filter. Keep your current one and then look to get another so that you'll turn over the tank volume about 10 times an hour (I know that's a lot but it really helps to overfilter ANY tank IMO, but especially a planted tank).

    I'd start out with easier species, but you'll want some faster growing ones and you can't go far wrong with Hygrophila species as absolutely bomb proof IME. Any of the common stem plants will probably be fine though. They'll go well with some Echinodorus and Java ferns on wood or rocks.

    You'll also need to fertilise the tank. On a tank that size I think you'd be best using dry fertilisers as they won't break the bank! There's loads of info on these in the fertiliser section.

    Hope that helps.
  5. ric25_78

    ric25_78 Newly Registered

    thanks for replies guys

    Ive had a look at the razor lighting but it only comes with aquablue tubes, are these ok for freshwater, been on loads of different sites and think found good prices for 2 arcadia twin 80w electronic controllers, then ill buy 2 d-d aquaflora and 2 midday 6000 t5 lights.

    If i cant buy the razor with different lights than the blues would the above option be ok :?:
  6. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Yaxley, Peterborough
    I have the razor's, they do come with the marine bulbs as standard, but i went to my lfs to price match the internet price, and the D + D rep swapped these bulbs for the aquaflora ones too. I also have the midday's now, so these would be fine.

    Ask the supplier about swapping the bulbs, as the marine bulbs would be no good for your use. I did order 4 x 39" twin razors, they are really well made.
  7. ric25_78

    ric25_78 Newly Registered

    ohh right il try that mate, the site is also selling the d-d mega twin unit in their bargain basement are these just as good as the razors ;)
  8. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Yaxley, Peterborough
    I would off thought so, i needed the razor's as these where the smallest in dimensions i could find to fit under my hood after i had removed my original T8's.

    I did look at those first though. 8)

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