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Cube setup

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by AmirM, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. AmirM

    AmirM Prolific Poster

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    Hello Tom, Hello Everybody

    I'd appreciate your advice on this new setup. I kept an aquarium 15 years ago and trying to get my first planted one going, but its not going well... :( plants are slowly growing, with pale/yellowish colors, and thread/hair algae are evident.

    I got some advices locally, but I realized how much myths are out there...

    I love the scientific and practical nature of this website- so I thank you very much for your support.
    Amir


    The Cube's specifics:

    Dimensions:
    65cm X 65cm X 65cm (10mm thick glass)

    Lighting:
    One Metal Halide 150W (5200 Kalvin) 30 cm above water level (+ 1 fan)
    +Two 24W T5 bulbs located above the foreground plants (Gloso.): one cool daylight, one warm daylight.
    Is this too much / too little? I hope to have a low light high tech setup. Would you recommend changing to T5 only?

    CO2 Enrichment:
    Pressurized CO2 canister + ISTA regulator with solenoid valve.
    Mini ceramic diffuser (ISTA)- (I'm afraid this is not sufficient)
    I ordered 4dKH DI water for the drop checker, it should be here in a day or two.

    Daily cycle:
    CO2 on from 6:30 until 17pm; lights on from 8am till 18pm.
    At 18pm air pump starts and works until 6am.

    Water:
    Filtered through activated charcoal and UV system- this system is for filtering drinking water, not an aquarium dedicated system.

    Substrate:
    A.Substrate fertilizer from a local shop: based on peat moss, humus, pumice etc.
    B. About 8-9cm thick layer of black quartz gravel
    C. 1.5-2cm thick layer of ADA Aquasoil amazonia on top.

    Filtration:

    Atman External Canister (900 L/h)
    + extra powerhead (200-400 L/h) to improve circulation.

    Fish:
    5 small (apparently) false SAE, 4 black mollies, 10-15 shrimps (sp?)
    Is there a big difference in function of the true SAE?

    Plants:

    Glosostigma, Anubias nana, Valissneria, Echinodorus(es), Sagitaria, Riccia, Bacopa sp., Ludwigia glandulosa, Hygrophila corymbosa.
    Which plants are recommended for a beginner, and for this setup?

    Fertilization:
    I've been using a locally made set of NPK/ Micro+Fe, but I'm switching to the EI system in a few days.

    Thank you
    Amir
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd use the T5's only.

    The 150w only for a max of 3 hours a day.
    ...and not at all if you have algae.

    The CO2, place that powerhead flow such that the mist coming from the disc is blasted around the tank in a circular fashion.

    I have done several tanks this size and have 2 coming shortly.
    I use only the MH's, no T5's so you have options.

    I use a different method to vary the light(raise it up or down) as well as moving it on a rail to get a nice spread over the tank.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. AmirM

    AmirM Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom,
    Sorry, I'm a little confused- how many T5 bulbs (24W) would you use to create a low-medium light setup?
    Would you give up on the MH? (I have no problem with this)

    On your setups of similar size do you use weaker MH?

    I have placed the spray bar so that it throws the CO2 mist nicely in the tank. Do you think a reactor is required for this size tank?

    Sorry for so many questions, I'm in need of an experienced advice :)
    Thank you
    Amir
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

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    You are using glosso for a ground cover plant, and that requires a high light intensity. So, I don't think you want a low medium light intensity. If that's correct why not just use the 150 watt MH lighting? The tank has about 70 gallon capacity, so that gets you into the high light area.

    Once you get the drop checker working right you can adjust the CO2 bubble rate to get 30 ppm of CO2, then all that will be left will be to shift to EI dosing to be sure you aren't starving the plants.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Both T 5's ought to do fine over the life of the tank, 3hour midday lighting with the MH's is fine later.

    Plant very heavily or try the "dry" plant method from the start.

    24wx2 on a 60cmx60cm area grew pearl weed and several other plants very well for me.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. AmirM

    AmirM Prolific Poster

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    Hello Tom,
    I'll do that and keep you updated
    Thanks
    Amir
     

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