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.
  2. Unfortunately for Photobucket users, things have changed in a big way as of June 26th they are rolling out a $399 per year subscription fee for those who want to hotlink images from Photobucket’s servers to display elsewhere.
    This does not mean it only affects this site, It now means that billions of images across the Web now display an error message instead of the image in question. :(
    https://barrreport.com/threads/attention-photobucket-users.14377/
    Dismiss Notice

Confused newbie

Discussion in 'Articles' started by stonecrabber, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. stonecrabber

    stonecrabber Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recently purchased a 150gal tank( 72x18x27 ).I want to do a 'low-tech'/non CO2 set-up.I have a few questions about the lighting and substrate.I am not 100% sure about my whole plant list,but would like to have the following.

    Vallisneria
    Swords
    Cabomba
    Egeria
    Elocharis
    Ludwigia vert
    Java fern


    I am not planning on planting the entire tank.I want a section of the tank bottom to be 'open' sand,as I plan on trying to have geophagus in the tank.I will try to add a sketch of my layout below.

    My questions are as follows.

    #1 How much lighting will I need to grow the above plants.I will be DIY'ing the lighting so I'm pretty much open here.I was thinking of doing a T8 or T5 set-up.

    #2 Is 'Onyx sand' recomended in the article absolutely required or are there cheaper alternatives.The onyx sand (seachem) I looked at was $20.00 a bag
    and for the volume/area I would need starts to add up quickly.

    I'm sure there are several more questions I'll have but this will at least get me headed in the right direction.Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,471
    Likes Received:
    339
    I'd go with the T5's and mainly only in the rear. Leave the front with less light, anywhere there are not plants.

    I'd use perhaps 4x 39w at about 4" above the tank top.
    No, you do not need onyx sand.
    A nice small 2-3mm white sand would look nice.

    You may add a mix of 1/3 garden soil(soaked for 2-3 weeks in a shallow pan outside in water or boiled for 10 minutes) and 2 parts sand. Mix this good and add about 2" of this to the bottom of the tankl, add about 1.5-2" of the sand on top of this.

    Plant choice is good but I'd highly suggest adding lots of plants from day one.

    That planted section will need to be really packed well.
    Add Zeolite and activated carbon in the filter also, use a canister filter( 2x 300gph).

    I think a nice idea, especially give the design, is to put floating water sprite in the tank and direct the spray bars to corral the water sprite towards the front where the open area is to prevent algae and to block the light. Water sprite has access to CO2 and light there and it can look nice if you use the current well.

    Salvinia and other floating weeds may be used also, but water sprite is easy to grow both floating and submersed.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. stonecrabber

    stonecrabber Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the response,just a couple of things to clarify before I get going on this project.

    I may not have been very precise about the onyx sand question,I plan on using either play sand or pool filter sand for the 'open sand' area.After getting the stump into the tank this afternoon I think the amount of substrate I will require has been GREATLY reduced ,wich came as a pleasent suprise.

    #1 So my question is now would this subtrate mix work well for me.This will only be used in the planted sections. Laterite 'first layer' as a base layer,a mix of peat moss and sand as second layer,and a top coat/layer of the onyx sand.I also saw a mention of 'black diamond or diamond black' somewhere in one of the articles about non CO2 tanks,I googled it and I got a local hydroponics store that has a similar product called leonardite(sp?).Where would this go in the mix or is it something I shouldnt bother with?

    #2 The lighting you recommended only equals about 160 watts or just over 1 wpg,As Im going to build the hood/canopy I thought I would use 2 ballasts anyway so should I do 3 or 4 bulbs over the 'planted' side front to back and 2 bulbs over the 'back' of the other side?There by bumping up to 200-240 total watts or 1.3-1.5 wpg.I updated the sketch to include lighting.

    #3 Is there a reason you suggested canister filters,as opposed to other types of filtration?I'm not dead set on another type of filtration just curious.

    I liked your idea about the floating weeds/plants,I was hoping the Vallisneria would 'cover' the top of the tank in that area and was going to try a direct the leaves in that direction with the return/spraybars anyway so Its good for me to know I was on the right track there:D

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your knowlege.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,471
    Likes Received:
    339
    If you like the look of onyx sand, go with that, but I'm leary of two sand colors and the mixing issue.

    That is a temporary display, it's fine if you do not mind and know that going into to it.
    2 years down the road, it can look tacky having them mixed.

    I've done a few such tanks, I like them, they look nice etc, but I know it's only a matter of time and I'll mix them, even with a good rock hedge etc and wood, but.......
    one good thing, is the front decorative sand is cheap, where as the ADA AS or Onyx sand is not.

    You might also try the ADA soil, cost about the same as Onyx, bit nicer color.
    Then you just add the old "dirt" from any tank you have and add that.
    Ought to work well.

    I'd keep the light in the front for the fish(6x 39 w T5's) pointed back, towards the rear of the tank and the plant beds.

    The fish will look better than only having light from the top, it'll hit their sides instead. This will also direct the light away from the front of the glass.

    So yes, 4 or 6 bulbs would work fine. Realize T5's with a reflector are about 2x as bright as a T12.

    So that's a lot more light than you think.
    But it is more, you can reduce it and use 4x 39w also.
    That way you have some options also.

    Canisters allow for a few different flows, have decent steady flow etc, but you can use a sump and filter bag, sponges etc. The lok tubing that flexes and twist arund to point the return water any number of ways, DIY spray bars etc can be made for this type of filter as well. Those are nice and what I tend to use personally on large tanks. Tanks under 60 gal I use canisters, they are easy to use and quiet which is a huge issue for me personally. Some like 2 canisters for larger tanks and that works well. The sumps I make are a bit more complex but iof you are well versed with them and like, then by all means, use those.

    Up to you there, just an idea, as long as you have 600-1200gph and good particulate removal, you are in business.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. stonecrabber

    stonecrabber Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a new question about this project.Can I use standard T5 bulbs?I found a great deal on some T5 ballasts but unfortunatly they are not HO ballasts.I was thinking of 8 standard T5's that would give me a greater amount of lumens and about the same number of watts,but I am unsure about the standard bulbs penetrating to my tank depth 28"( btw my tank is a 150 gal. 72x18x28 ) any information would be very helpful.
     
Loading...

Share This Page