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. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Seeking Advice for 40 Gallon Breeder, potential next tank

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Doc7, May 8, 2011.

  1. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    I hope to move my current 20 G High (with Coralife 2 x 14 W T5NO fixture - going to replace it back with the stock 17 W fixture/bulb) into my bedroom and keep it as a plastic-planted only Cory / Tetra tank. The reason is that I want to keep it on a play sand substrate for the cories in that tank, and have a desire to try a dark-substrated, eco-complete/fluorite/ADA/whatever tank as my living room tank. Figure I'll upgrade to a 40 Breeder as I have read that that is a good footprint for the "small-medium" size tanks and wouldn't be completely overwhelming to "moderately / heavily" plant it.

    I am looking to have a 40 breeder with an appropriate number of Otos, a BN Plec, and Amano shrimp, and I'll probably, accidently or intentionally, get malaysian trumpet snails as well. Then, depending on available bio load space and temp requirements after that I may look into either the apistogrammas or tetra varieties, maybe other catfish, or whatever else catches my eye and is appropriate for a planted tank with size, bioload and other necessities for the species.

    I want it to be planted in such a manner that it provides a good deal of interest to both me and guests in my house and probably NOT Iwagumi style, more like Nature Aquarium style though I don't quite have a hold on the style yet. I do know I will want a "carpeting" or "grassy" plant in areas and a variety of other plants and a moss type in other areas.

    I do not want to have to trim more than weekly, but I also don't want the tank to implode if I go on vacation for a week or want to go 2 weeks between a trimming now and then.

    I will inject pressurized CO2 and I have the following dry fertilizers: K2SO4, KNO3, Plantex CSM+B, and KH2PO4 - I have not ever used ferts (which I just bought from GLA) or CO2 (which I am still assembling and will have ready for the new tank).

    I cannot put holes in the ceiling to support lights so the fixture would need to be either on the tank, or preferably come with OEM legs to raise it up. For example the Hagen GLO T5HO fixtures come with legs but unsure if they raise it high enough to keep this tank in the "Moderate" light which is what I believe my goals lead to?

    Am I looking at T5NOs, T5HOs, and a multiple bulb fixture or multiple single-bulb fixtures spread out? I know there are differences in brands and reflectors so suggestions are great!

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,691
    Likes Received:
    711
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    40 gal tanks are very nice shape etc.
    You can scape pretty well, they are just about right after the 10-20 gal stages.

    You might think of 3rd's/triangles etc..........and consider a nice set of rocks making a nice mid ground dividing line.
    Building up the back level and plant stems in the rear.
    These will creep over and partially cover the rock. On the rocks, moss, or anubias, or ferns can be placed.
    Wood can also be used in a similar manner.

    Then some nice foreground plant, maybe Gloss, dwarf clover etc.......
    GH booster might also be needed.

    Light bar rails from electric conduit might be a better solution to modify the light than the legs, they are not the best since they only have one light height.
    2x 39W Tek, or 4x39W with the outter two on are good options, then use the single wire suspension kit.

    You can tape up and paint the fixture also to suit.

    CO2 use will be the biggest issue and something you should really read up on the most.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,624
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Hi,

    Given your goals and experience level with c02 and ferts, why not try using a nutrient rich substrate, lower light levels, and very low macro/micro dosing?

    You can use a commercial brand like ADA or a diy mineralized substrate. You can grow many healthy plants w/o c02. They will grow slower and smaller in general but are very manageable.

    C02 as Tom stated is a whole world of things to know. Very easy to kill fish using it. I and many others have done so unfortunately...

    You can always switch to c02 and EI dosing if the growth is too slow or you want to try something else. The good substrate will work here as well.

    As for light over a 40gal breeder, I have used 60 watts of T12 light and black flourite and gotten good growth...Have not tried carpet plants w/o c02 but there are many 'carpet' plants and not all require c02.

    Using excel (a carbon supplement) is also an option...

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    I appreciate the advice from both of you! Both from Tom and also from Gerry who I had PMed before anyone had responded, as I had seen him elsewhere on the forum giving lighting advice.

    Gerry - to be honest I am very interested in taking the step towards CO2 as it intrigues me quite a bit as a method (the chemical engineer in me as well as my occupation as a process engineer) ... I do have a drop checker ready to go and from what I have read elsewhere on this forum, my dual stage regulator and precise Swagelok metering valve which at least one person has said is better than the Ideal due to lower Cv etc, my biggest worry will be "Operator Error" as opposed to failure of equipment. I have been reading for literally dozens of hours on the topic (night shift) and at this point the only way I can think to learn more is by "doing", and I would absolutely start off without fish until everything was adjusted properly for plant load and I verified that equipment was operating properly.

    I'm not shooting down the "don't use CO2" advice especially after I had specifically asked for your input but one of the entire reasons I want to get a new tank for planting is to delve into the Pressurized CO2 world!
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,624
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Hi,

    No worries. If you are determined to go this route just keep this in mind.

    It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to measure C02 in-situ w/o the use of expensive meters. A drop checker (DC) can only tell you what the c02 MAY have been at that specific spot as many as 1-2 hours IN THE PAST...having two will help and moving them around will also assist..

    So, c02 measurement is as much be 'eye' and experience as anything else. Part of this is observing fish as they have many different levels of toleration....so you will not have it 'set' w/o fish. Plant growth is assessed in terms of leaf shape, color, size, etc. Does branching occur? Are ALL varieties of plants growing? Are some not doing well?

    C02 also needs to be increased/decreased in accordance with bio-mass. Ferts and c02 are needed more with higher bio-mass and HIGHER light.

    Light levels are what drive plant growth and the DEMAND for c02 and other nutrients. Limiting the light reduces the need for these items and can be used to control growth..

    I think you can use T12, 8, or 5(NO) and c02 and have great success. A nutrient rich substrate provides an alternate source to water column dosing...

    I will NOT debate a swagelok vs ideal needle valve :) I use swagelok post body brass components and they are of high quality! I used ideal NV...

    How will you DIFFUSE the c02 into the water? This is a huge decision with many many options as well.

    You also need to think about plant species a bit.. Some do require more light than others, but MANY 'difficult' plants require good c02 rather than more light...

    There are many DIY methods to hang a fixture...Google is your friend....
     
    #5 Gerryd, May 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2011
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,624
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    when injecting c02 it is also vital to think about 02 as well...

    Adding some surface turbulence or an air stone while c02 is on it always worthwhile and a safety factor.

    C02 should only be run when the lights are on.
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,624
    Likes Received:
    20
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    What type of filtration do you plan to use???
     
  8. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Gerry,

    This is essentially a learning experience for me. I do have 2xT5NOs on my current 20G High tank and a low bioload plants in there(corkscrew vals, a crypt wendtii are the main growers), but I'm not comfortable with deep sand and i really want to keep it sandy for the cories but no more than 3/4 of an inch, and i'd like to use a more plant friendly substrate in this other tank. I know there are good looking tanks on sand but i'd much rather move this tank and get the beautiful 40-breeder footprint and put a darker substrate in it and do without the cories. it's not a definite yet - i can get any size tank but 40B is the biggest i can have in my apartment so i wouldn't have "bigger tank envy" :p

    I am confident in my ability to fishless cycle and set up a tank for corydoras which is what i've done thus far in the 20, not much help for where i'm going with this tank!...this project is completely new to me so as for the planted 40 breeder, i have to learn about each part of the process.

    as far as filtration I was thinking of dual 2215s, with an inline CO2 reactor on one of them, with the inlets and opposites on different sides of the tank so A's outlet was on the B inlet, B's outlet was on the A inlet so that all water was diffused to all aquarium areas. Otherwise a 2217.

    I have a Burkert 6011 solenoid valve for the CO2 and will get a timer.


    I am OK with raising fixtures to lower light and even limiting use of ferts and CO2 etc, but i don't want to do what I did with the 20 High which was buy stuff, and then a month later upgrade it, and then 2 months later upgrade again! that's expensive! If i get equipment that can be adjusted (fert dosing rate, CO2 PPM, Lighting Intensity) without having to make whole new rounds of purchases i will save a boatload of money! IE if I go out now and buy 2 dual bulb T5NO fixtures and then 2 months from now want to get 2 dual bulb T5HO fixtures, or whatever, now i'm sinking half a grand into just lighting alone...when I may be able to start with a T5HO fixture lifted higher off the tank and lower it down as time goes on and I am comfortable with higher intensity.

    The Tek sure is expensive though...I have seen one good review of the T5HO GLO dual bulb fixture that someone said I would only need the 1 over a 40 breeder...still reading and asking questions though!
     
  9. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    although now i must admit with all the aspects i wonder if i should just get a 2nd 20 gallon tank to mess with instead of a huge 40 breeder!
     
  10. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Catalina will sell me a fixture 8" wide (think it is for 4 or 6 bulb fixtures) with 2 T5HO bulbs in it for a very reasonable price relative to regular 2 bulb fixtures.

    Think this sounds like a good lighting solution? Seems to me like it's about the best I can get, dollar for dollar as far as manufactured set ups out there. Unless Catalina has some kind of horrible reflectors...
     
  11. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    I suppose that you know that ADA Amazonia comes in a powder version that you can top off regular Amazonia with. Both the regular Amazonia and the powder Amazonia come in 3 liter and 9 liter bags. As you know, 1 liter ≈ 61 cubic inches. This will help you calculate how much that you need. The newest version of Amazonia will be in stock at ADGSHOP.COM very soon. I don't know when AFA will get theirs in.
     
  12. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    EDIT:

    After review, I didn't realize ADA Aquasoil was "soft" (even the non powder version)

    I still plan on my current tank housing the cories w/ play sand substrate, "unplanted", at least until I figure out where I want to go fish wise with the breeder. Except for algae-eating fish such as Otos and Amano Shrimp I don't know what I want to stock, but I'm not overly concerned about the cories going in there or not.

    I haven't decided on substrate yet, I had been thinking Eco Complete due to the complications I've read about with ADA, for my first go at a planted tank. But undecided.
     
    #12 Doc7, May 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2011
  13. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Left C: Just reviewed my PMs and noticed you were the person who put the idea in my head about contacting Catalina for a custom fixture, thanks for that one! Saves me a lot of money if I go with that 2 bulb fixture which I am thinking I will do, in order to put the whole "lighting decision" behind me. There are lots of tanks out there with beautiful growth in stand 2xT5HO fixtures on a 40 breeder and I imagine that I get a better spread with that fixture and won't have lighting to blame for problems. Hopefully I even need to raise the light a bit giving me even more even lighting throughout.

    I'm going to owe you for a lot of progress on that tank what with the help on CO2 regulator as well... Now maybe I need to stop asking so many questions on the internet and start putting this tank together!
     
  14. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Good luck on your new tank!

    You can thank Tom and not me for suggesting a "wide" twin bulb fixture.

    Amazonia, Flourite, E-C, etc ... all the planted tank substrates that I know about are safe for cories.

    I mentioned above and provided the link that there is a "new" version of Amazonia that will be in this country very soon. If it was me, I'd go with it. It uses a new manufacturing process. I believe that ADG is taking pre-orders.
     
  15. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Finally got around to testing my tank water...

    7 dKH , 125.3 ppm

    18 dGH, 322.2 ppm

    pH 8.3


    How difficult will this be, meaning do I pretty much have to use a substrate that softens water and/or go to RO? I know Amazonia has the ability to soften but how drastically and how often will it need to be 'Reset'? I wouldn't want my tank to go through swings as substrate depletes if that will happen. I


    Or does the talk about "Soft acidic water" matter as much as lighting and CO2, both of which I believe I will be able to provide in "reasonable" quantities with 2 x T5HOs spread out over a good portion of the tank and pressurized CO2...If the water params aren't as significant as I thought, especially if I'm not particularly worried about having fish breed, am I good to go and I should temporarily stop asking questions already? : )
     
    #15 Doc7, May 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2011
  16. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
  17. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Beautiful fish that I hadn't even considered (or heard of) before. I do think I would like Otos, Amano Shrimp and BN Pleco, both for their planted tank specialties as well as finding them all very interesting critters...plus the BN sort of meets the girlfriend's request for a "big ugly fish", of which few are suitable for tanks of this size (and even with a huge tank I would not be a big fan of blood parrots!!)

    My question was more or less directed at the plant species I could keep with those parameters.
     
  18. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    I think that most of the plants will work except for some of the ones that require very specific conditions. In other words, you will have a large group to pick from.

    You could mix your tap water with RO water, but that could be a PITA. I'd try it like it is before making changes. Many of the rainbow fish like planted tanks and water with a little more KH and GH. They sure are some pretty fish.


    Pseudomugil gertrudae: one of the blue-eyed species: http://watershed3.tripod.com/blue-eyes.html
    [​IMG]


    Boesemani Rainbowfish
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    double post
     
    #19 Doc7, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2011
  20. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    8:03 AM
    Just finished building a DIY stand:

    [​IMG]


    I did get 2 x DualT5NO Coralife fixtures (4 bulbs total) which will be right on the tank. If need be I can raise them but from what I heard from Hoppy - this should give me just about an even 40 mm PAR across substrate due to the poor reflectors.


    I will be getting back to finalizing my CO2 build soon - I did build the entire regulator (THANKS Left C and Matt F and the rest of the thread over there) - but never finalized my bubble counter check valve situation with leak back of mineral oil etc. I got a new batch of check valves off of eBay and haven't tested them yet, and want to build a new Rex reactor with 1 3/4" or 2" PVC instead of the 1" I used in my first build.

    Maybe water in the tank in a few weeks...

    Thinking dual Eheim 2215s - one with the Rex reactor and one with an inline heater.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice