Canister Filter Media, Lighing

Discussion in 'The Planted Tank' started by pjracer, Jun 7, 2011.

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  1. pjracer

    pjracer Peppermint Shrimp

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    Hello, I just recently aquired a 46 gallon Bowfront. I already have a 72 Gallon reef and now i am starting my first planted tank.

    I need help with my filtration, Lighting, and dosing co2 or using a C02 injector.

    First. Do i use regular media for a planted tank? I plan on having alot of plants in the tank.

    Second. Will a 4 bulb t5 fixture do or do i need to have 1 halide bulb? What hind of T5 bulbs or halide.

    Third. Could i start out dosing c02 or is it better to use a co2 tank.

    I just picked up the tank yesterday and the only think i am keeping is the tank, stand, and glass tops. all filtration, substrate and lighting is going to be new.

    Thanks for the help.

    pjracer.
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I use filter floss and carbon only in my canister filter.

    A 2 bulb T5HO will give you medium high lighting.

    You can go either way with the CO2 dosing. I dose my CO2 on my 75 no injection.

    Congrats and good luck.
     
  4. pjracer

    pjracer Peppermint Shrimp

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    So would 4 bulbs be too much? Should i have any special kind of bulbs? 6500, 10k, pink.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  5. pjracer

    pjracer Peppermint Shrimp

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    Could you have too much lighting? I am looking at a 2 bulb or a 4 bulb and i plan on having my tankto hae the walls and ground covered with plants. Whats your opinion? should the bulb be 6500?
     
  6. Clonefarmer

    Clonefarmer Millepora

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    I used PC lighting when I kept planted tanks and they thrived under it, even flowered. So they don't need a whole lot of light. I had used 10k since that was all that was available at the time. For T5 I would probably stick with daylight bulbs and avoid the actinics.

    I'm not sure if 4 bulbs would be too much, but you could always run only 2 bulbs in a 4 bulb fixture or add more colored bulbs.

    You can grow a very lush tank without using a CO2 tank. I never dosed for it and got very good growth. I could never get the plants to produce the cool looking oxygen bubbles without it though.
     
  7. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Use 6500K to 10000K bulbs. One GE 6500K and a UVL AquaSun would work real well. The AquaSun will make your reds stand out. My tank has a GE and a UVL Actinic White on it right now.
     
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  9. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I used a 260W PC fixture on my planted tank for 3 years and got excellent growth. 2 T5HO will replace the PC fixture fine and use less energy and generate less heat. The PC bulbs needed to be replaced every 6 months or I notice a drop off in growth and health. You should be able to go 12 months with the T5HO. I like buying 2 bulbs once a year over 4 bulbs twice a year. Big savings too since the PC bulbs tend to cost a little more than the UVL bulb for each bulb. You can find the GE for $15.
     
  10. Clonefarmer

    Clonefarmer Millepora

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    PC does have have some usefulness. I keep a couple old PC fixtures on a FW 29 with bulbs that are a few years old. They grow lots of algae for my pleco and keep the tank warm ;)

    T5 is definitely the way to go. Although LED has some possibility. With the lower light requirements of plants the LED needed wouldn't have to be too powerful.
     
  11. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL agree, nice use for the plecos.

    It will be interesting with the LED fixtures. You definitely could get an excellent spectrum mix for plants from them.
     
  12. pjracer

    pjracer Peppermint Shrimp

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    OK. Now that i have my lights picked out i need some assistance with filtration.

    For my price range and tank I have narrowed it down to two canister filters.

    One doesn't have a prime valve but uses a spray bar to distribute the water back into the tank. (Rena Filstar XP1) Rated for 45 gallons.

    The other has a primer and it has a diffuser that dumps the water back into the tank. (the Marineland c220)Rated for 55 gallons.

    What is better for a planted tank? Does it matter.

    2in10 i know you use filter floss and carbon. Is that just for water clarity. Do the plants do most the filtering?