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looking to start a low-med light CO2 tank

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by jrock, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. jrock

    jrock Junior Poster

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    What are some basics or starting hints (equipment, general care taking etc)
    I am having difficulty finding this precise method through google but I did see Tom refer to it in his newbie must read article

    oh, I should note that I have a 55 gal tank and just ordered some ADA amazonia

    beyond that I have not purchased a thing and am trying to research what would work best
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd suggest 2x 54 W T5's.
    Cheap and nice.

    More than enough light to grow anything.

    A good CO2 system is critical, search around for that, you can search CO2 mist here for more.

    ADA AS is great, you will have little troubles there. It's not a sediment you will want to uproot things a lot with, and if you do, do only 1/8 to 1/4 of the tank at most at any one time.

    Add lots of zeolite and carbon to the filter when you start the tank, also, plan on 2x a week 50% water changes for the first 4-8 weeks, and anytime something does just not seem right. Otherwise, 1-2 week water changes are fine at about 50% etc.

    Dosing will be light the first month or two, maybe 1/4 EI, then move up to 1/2 EI dosage after things are grown in.

    Clean and prune as needed, clean filter monthly etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. jrock

    jrock Junior Poster

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    thank tom.

    after reading through this site, I have since purchased a test kit and will start looking into the EI dosings shortly.

    I have a local pet shop that is discounting a Rena Filstar xp4. Will this work for what I am trying to accomplish?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes!
    That's an awesome filter for this size tank.

    For CO2, a simple easy to use method is using the a small powerhead, ex: maxi jet 600-900 series.

    Then do the modification for the needle wheel.

    It's pretty easy to do. A lighter, heat a needle and poke small holes in the impeller blades.

    Then bubble the CO2 directly into the powerhead suction side etc.

    This produces a very fine mist.

    Add CO2 only during the day, so put the solenoid and powerhead on a timer that also turns the lights on/off.

    CO2 is by far the most troublesome of the things folks add to planted tanks.
    And it creates many myths and issues for folks.

    Never underestimate the CO2, it drives growth 10-20X faster and has the largest impact on growth and algae than anything else.

    Best to have good CO2 with med to lower light. That makes it easy to dose and get good CO2 without algae.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. jrock

    jrock Junior Poster

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    thanks again Tom.

    I was looking at the list of Low Light Plants; of these plants, off the top of your head, what are some of the more hardy background/foreground plants that are good for newcomers to the planted tank world.
     
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