This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A few newbie questions...

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by sdy284, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. sdy284

    sdy284 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well i just stumbled upon these forums and after a few hours of reading... I am very impressed with the knowledge here :)

    I have a 29 Gallon tank, am fairly new to the aquarium hobby, recently converted to live plants (and am hooked btw), and I'm leaning towards an "excel" type setup.

    Anyway, onto my questions:
    1. My current lighting setup consists of of 1x18W, T8 sized bulb, based on the fact that I'd like to have an excel setup, I assume i'd need more lighting?
    2. Airstones and live plants... not good friends? I would assume the answer is no, since they remove CO2 from the water.
    3. I really like the look of having a planted floor, using a small plant like a micro sword or dwarf hairgrass (or similar plants) Does having a setup like this require anything in particular?
    4. In addition to numerous fish, my tank also contains a ~4inch crawfish. Any of you have experience keeping a crawfish in a planted tank? So far he hasnt' seemed to take any interest in munching on my current plants.

    And I think that's all my questions for now. I'll leave you with some pictures of my current setup:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my experience, I've been able to grow some ferns, mosses, and some crypts with a sponge filter with an air stone inside. The 10 gallon shrimp tank had 20 watts of screw in CFL with no reflectors. I didn't do water changes and fed the shrimp daily. I don't really know if they decrease CO2 levels. I was always under the impression that there is some CO2 diffusion through air in the pump, but it may not be enough to offset the loss from surface agitation.

    With such little light the ground cover plants such as glosso may tend to grow up, but you should give it a try. I know when I first got into the hobby I thought I needed 3+ watts of light on every tank I did, but I soon found out that more light generally leads to more problems.

    I have a 30 gallon with a 2 X 55 watt bright kit from AH Supply. I wish I would have gone with something more along the 75-85 watts, because sometimes I neglect the tank and it gets a little crazy. It really depends on what you try to do with the tank. Everyone has their own tastes, goals, ect.

    Did the people at the pet store sell you a "Brazilian Sword plant"? If that's the same plant I don't think you will able to grow it submersed:( , but I could be wrong. I bought one for my first tank and it quickly melted:) .

    Might I also suggest on other thing? If you can at all help it buy or trade plants from other hobbyist. Aquatic Plant Central has a great sale/trade thread with tons of good stuff. Usually you will get much better quality stuff from other hobbyist than the pet stores or mail order retailers.

    Good luck & if you need any plants feel free to shoot me a PM and I'll try to mail you some plants. I don't have a very wide selection but I may have something you could be interested in.

    Have Fun,
    Creighton
     
  3. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    As an experienced Noob I can answer some of your questions.

    #1

    Definitely more lighting, I would look somewhere around 36-55 watts for your a setup. See ahsupply.com for their 36W and 55W retrofit kits. Or you could look at buying a fixture such as this for your 29g

    Coralife Freshwater Aqualight Deluxe-Single 30" Strip at Big Al's Online

    #2

    No need for the airstone. It is useful in some tanks where additional aeration is needed because of low O2 at night.

    #3

    With decent lighting and excel these plants will grow well but not fast. Without CO2 injection some carpeting plants will take a very long time to fill out.

    Will have to defer on the crayfish.

    Your pictures look good. You may want to purchase some faster growing stem plants, that will help compete against algae and hide some of your equipment.

    Good luck
     
  4. sdy284

    sdy284 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
  5. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I could do it all over I would have bought a light fixture that could hang over the tank. Something like a Current USA or JBL that sits on the rim of the tank. Have you seen Tom's setup? To me that kind of fixture looks the best. It may be a little more expensive, but in the long run its worth it. Then when your plants get to the surface they can grow emersed :) .

    Hope that helps a little bit.
     
  6. sdy284

    sdy284 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    if i didnt have a pesky little crawfish that likes to try and escape, that would be a viable option for me ;)

    Although I suppose if i bought a glass canopy, then that option would work for me... although i would imagine i would get a large portion of the light reflecting off the glass and not all of the light would be making it into the tank... :confused:

    Also, would you recommend a single tube kit, like the one fjf888 posted? or try and get a dual T5 kit? I do like the option of being able to use 2 different bulbs...
     
  7. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Go with the dual. If you need to reduce the light levels it makes it much easier :) .

    Do you really think the crawfish will try to escape? The canopy thing would solve that.

    I really like the look of a rimless tank, and its easier to do maintenance if all you have to do is lift the lights. And being able to still keep them on while working in the tank...man I wish I would have done that.
     
  8. sdy284

    sdy284 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I've personally watched him climb my air tubes numerous times & if it wasn't for my canopy, he'd be a free crustacean :p


    In regards to the dual setup, it comes with one Colormax Full Spectrum and one 6700K T-5 (5/8 diameter) fluorescent lamp. Each of these lamps is 18W, which will give me a total of 36W... which doesn't seem like enough light :confused: Should i stick with the bulbs that come with it, or get something else?

    After some more poking around, I just found this

    https://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=16770&prodid=36459&catid=3

    I'd obviously go with this model in particular CD-32828, which is the 30" Freshwater model. Here are the bulbs that come with this set: One SlimPaq 10,000°K and one SlimPaq Freshwater bulb. This would be a 48W setup...

    Which one would be a better fit for my tank?
     
  9. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    7
    :D
    1.Your current lighting would be well suited for a non carbon tank. I agree with Creighton on the AH lighting. I run 55w PC over 30 gals using excel with no problems. The retro kit can fit in your current factory hood, call AH Supply and they will help you.

    2.Airstones are completely fine in an Excel setup. There is no issue with CO2 in an Excel tank ie. the Excel is the carbon source.

    3. Again, with my current lighting on a 30 gal(55W PC) Excel tank I am able to grow carpet plants that cover most of the bottom. Substrate is Eco-Complete.

    4. Crayfish:rolleyes: IMO i wouldn't have them. 4" could uproot a lot.

    I advise against a glass cover. Might start OK but in time will get water spots and reduce light. Then one more thing to clean IMHO. All my tanks are open top, have had little to none in the way of jumpers.

    The T5's might be OK. I tried once, but wasn't my favorite. I lean toward the PC with high quality reflector.

    Also, you need waaay more bio mass before using Excel and more light as Creighton said. And of course dosing will need to be addressed also
     
  10. sdy284

    sdy284 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    answered :)
     
  11. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    7
    These are just suggestions on things that have worked for others, You are more than free to do as you wish.......
     
  12. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Its probably already clear, but the retrofit kit you can use in your current hood. The other is just a sample of the myriad of lighing fixtures out there. Stick around 2 wpg and you will be fine in an excel setup.

    Just keep in mind with a t-5 HO, as opposed to a standard t-5 or CF you will be fine with much lower then 2wpg.
     
  13. sdy284

    sdy284 Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
Loading...

Share This Page