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Variety of Questions on 65g tank

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by rharlow, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. rharlow

    rharlow Junior Poster

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    I've got a variety of questions, mostly minor, but trying to nail down the planning stage, so I can move on to the filling/cycling stage.

    Through previous experience, I have a variety of miscellaneous equipment (don't we all) that I'm trying to use as efficiently as possible.

    I'm planning on a heavily planted tank, high tech, press c02, substrate SMS charcoal, primarily a S American biotope.

    So, tank is 65gal, tall, 36x18x24 tall. It has a canopy with 6 T-5 39w lights with reflectors for a total of 234 watts. They are set up such that I can individually control in groups of two. Lights available (meaning I already have them) are 3 Giesemann midday 6000K, 1 GE Sun 10,000K, 3 Actinic+ , and 3 Aquablue plus 11000K. So, what lights and combination should I use. I'm looking at using all 6 lights, 2 Aquablue and 2 midday, with a bust of miday and ge in the middle of the day?? Any thoughts

    Plumbing issues: how do I plumb this thing all together. I have a RO/DI I'll be using. I want as much as possible, below the tank, but no sump. I have a Pentair fluidized bed filter, magnum 350, a Eheim 1262 900g/hr pump, and a Sedra 900g/hr pump with mesh needlewheel. Also I have an oceans motion 4 way with locline for a return. My thoughts were to use the Magnum for mechanical, and fluidized bed for biological, with the eheim after all this and pumping back to tank. My thoughts were to use a Mazzei (w/ poss bypass loop) for CO2 injection. So questions: can I put the eheim after the magnum, and will this cause problems? Could I use the needlewheel pump w/venturi instead of the Mazzei? Where should valves be, preferably gate valves (better control)? My thoughts were to use a 36" spray bar along the back pointing forward so that flow would be down the front and across. Would I be better using the OM w/ locline so that I can have better control over flow?

    Nutrients - I'd like to use my manostat dosing pump, to dose nutrients from one location/container into the tank, using a timer. Thoughts? TMG? Time of day (morning)? etc??

    Aquscaping - I've got this big piece of driftwood that I want to basically have one end sticking up into the center of tank. How would I do this. All I thought of doing was to support it with a clear acrylic rod. Ideas?

    Rocks - any type I should stay away from (leaching issues)??

    Any ideas suggestions on aquascaping a tall tank, special considerations etc.???

    Thanks for any and all ideas and suggestions!!! If you need more info from me, just ask.

    Chip
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I suggest not using actinic lights nor any bulb with a color temperature above 10,000K.
    Don't try to premix all of your nutrients in a single solution - the iron will form an insoluble precipitate with the phosphates.
    Test any rocks you use with muriatic acid or other swimming pool or spa acid - no fizzing allowed.
    Clear plastic doesn't remain clear in a tank - it accumulates biofilm, usually brown.
    3.6 watts per gallon is too much light for the tank to be enjoyable and not just a chore, especially 3.6 watts of T5 bulbs with individual reflectors.
    Unless your tap water has a very high KH, I suggest not using DI water - it is just one more thing to have to control. High GH is not a problem.
    For that size tank I wouldn't use any complicated filtering arrangement - just my personal preference.
    Again, for a 65 gallon tank, the CO2 injection scheme doesn't have to be complex. But, get a drop checker to guide you in determining if you have enough CO2 in the water. If you have enough experience to judge CO2 by looking at the plants, that works too.
    The single best thing you can do, plumbing wise, is to plumb the tank so you can change water by just opening and closing a couple of hand valves. Water changes quickly become drudgery otherwise.
     
  3. jfthomas

    jfthomas Junior Poster

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    Vaughn,

    Can you explain why not to use actinic, is this to reduce algae? Also, I don't know if I agree with the recommendation for less light. If the tank is 24" deep; I think that it will take at least this much light to penetrate down to the bottom of the tank for low growing for ground plants and even lower leaves of stem plants. I have 36 w power compacts and a 150 w halogen (4 hours a day) over a 12g tank that is a little over 18" deep. Algae problems are non existent, however, as we know all tanks are different.
     
  4. jfthomas

    jfthomas Junior Poster

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    The simpler the better for the filtration setup. Make the canister filter easy to get to and even easier to purge air from if need be. Magnum may be better, but I have an ehiem that frequently gets too much air in it when I service the filter. I typically have to hold the whole thing sideways until it bleeds out all the air and start running correctly. Or it may be that I am an idiot and just cant figure out how to service the filter without making this happen.
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Actinic bulbs produce a spectrum that is of little use for growing plants, so those are largely wasted watts. Until a tank gets beyond 36 inches deep the water isn't absorbing a significant amount of the light, so depth is not an issue, other than, with poor or no reflectors the amount of light drops off approximately proportional to the distance squared. If you have perfect reflectors, giving a parallel beam of light, there is no drop off with distance, but such reflectors aren't possible for any real light source. The "watts per gallon" "rule" accounts for the depth of the tank, since the water volume is directly proportional to the depth of the tank. And, once you get beyond 2 watts or so per gallon the problems increase at least as fast as the improvements in growth.
     
  6. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    I have the FB300 and used it on my fish only tank. It works like a charm, but I took it off and dont use it on my planted tank - its kind of redundant. But I really like it and its a shame to have it just sitting there. It would have been nice during the setup of my aquasoil tank when the substrate was leaching ammonia, but I wouldn't think its really necessary in an established planted tank, unless you want it as a safety backup for your fish, or if your fish are heavy waste producers.

    -Mike B-
     
  7. rharlow

    rharlow Junior Poster

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    Thank you all for your responses. I'm kind of still stuck on the plumbing/CO2 part. What I'm planning on is tank to Magnum canister -------return to tank via spray bar aimed horizontally back to front. I'm stuck on the section between canister and spraybar. I was leaning toward a Mazzei venturi for my CO2, using a bypass loop. Does this complicate things too much vs. a reactor? I thought of using my Eheim 1262 (900gph) pump to feed this. Would I plumb the suction of the Eheim to the output of the canister? Thanks

    Chip
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have become disillusioned with spray bars. It is hard to make them invisible to the viewer, and it represents a big piece of equiipment sitting in the tank waiting for BBA to settle on it. I have used a transparent spray bar - it quickly clogged with biofilm and was hard to get clean again. Now I have the Rena Filstar spray bar in use. It hasn't clogged up, since it is black plastic, but BBA really loves it as a homesite. And, it doesn't look good.

    I'm replacing it with this: Aquarium Plumbing: Directional U-Tube which I purchased from customaquatic.com for about $10 shipped by first class mail. It looks pretty good, and I will be able to use it at the end of the tank, making the water flow down the length of the tank and back. Best of all, much less acreage for the BBA to colonize.
     
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