Hi APSA

Discussion in 'Please Introduce Yourself' started by mr_meen, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. mr_meen
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    mr_meen Algae harvester

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    Hi all.

    So I'm venturing into the world of planted tanks.

    I hope to be showered with wisdom and knowledge on the hobby as this is this is first for me :p. I have helped friends put a few cool setups together but this is the first time I am going at it alone.

    I have a pretty cool start setup with an empty Boyu HX800 (120 litre), a tetratec 600 canister filter and some ADA amazonia as a substrate.

    Lighting I think is not adequate with some random reeftek 24W T8 cool white and UV that came with the tank. So will definitely need some assistance there. Any suggestions. The ballast only takes two tubes, but with some DIY it can be customised to four.

    Plans for the setup for now will be pretty low tech. I have not decided on plants, livestock or style yet. But I want to keep it pretty simple for this build. So any suggestions here would be great.

    Most of all just excited!

    Cheers.

    M



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  2. AquaS
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    AquaS Green fingers

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    Welcome to APSA! ;)
     
  3. DaveAbes
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    DaveAbes Green fingers

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    Hello and welcome.
    As a not so old oldie just yet, I can say this site has many a diamonds of wisdom.
    Funny enough, AquaS being one of them. The Little ADA dealer she is.

    Apart from that the stickies are a great place to start reading.
    And then you're also very welcome to ask your questions to help you refine your research regarding anything you're not sure of.
    Ultimately however, there is no substitute for experience.

    Firstly you have quite a nice tank to work with.
    Yes you are right, you will want to redo the lighting there.
    I'm not sure how the lighting is setu in the tank, but ideally you wanna get T5 lights.
    If this is not possible with the current tank setup, maybe look at removing the top cover and
    going the route of getting light units that attach to the top of the tank and go the open top tank route. (Open tops are awesome BTW).

    For example, look at the Odyssey light units. Awesome little things.
    Clip onto the top of the tank and can have anywhere from 2 - 4 T5 lights.

    For now how does that sound?
     
  4. mr_meen
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    mr_meen Algae harvester

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    Hi Dave

    Thanks for the response.

    The tank is great. Spent a few hours cleaning it up and she looks good.

    Apologies I said T8 but they are indeed T5's. There is space to fit another two in there with some customisation so hopefully that should do. Will need to calc the watts per liter and see how I go.

    Any recommendations?

    The lights sit a bit far forward so will need to modify the reflectors to get light to the very back of the tank, but shouldn't be a problem.

    Will get the new filter next week from AquaS ;)

    From there will start planning the layout etc.

    Super amped!

    [​IMG]


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  5. quattro
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    quattro Green fingers

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    Very nice.
    I have the boyu 1.5m and i took my top lid off. Sooo much easier to work inside the tank and for me it looks nicer. Fitted some odyssea lights over it. If you going to do a DIY Rather fit 2 extra then you know you have enough when needed.

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  6. DaveAbes
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    DaveAbes Green fingers

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    I currently have 2x T5HO tubes and that places me at 1,5WPG.
    So far the plants have grown well.
    I could easily push up the lighting with another globe to be honest, for even bushier and happier plants, but just saying, in my oppinion, if you got at least 1,5 WPG, you can grow a jungle well, and maybe a carpet. But in both cases you will need CO2 and ferts.

    If you want bushier and better growth, get more ligthing and try push it to 2 - 2,5 WPG.
    T5 HO globes that is.
     
  7. mr_meen
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    mr_meen Algae harvester

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    Thanks guys.

    I have an odyssey lying around somewhere will check it out.

    What colour temp do you recommend for the lights?

    I also need to start looking at plants and rocks Any places you could suggest?

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  8. Joshua Tree
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    Joshua Tree Valued Contributor

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    Greetings
     
  9. Joshua Tree
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    Joshua Tree Valued Contributor

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    Look at combining 6500k/8000k/10000k (max)
     
  10. Chongkie
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    Chongkie Aquascaper

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    Hi and Welcome!
     
  11. Deadpool
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    Deadpool Algae destroyer Staff Member

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    oh...hello.jpg

    Welcome to APSA...hope you have lots and lots of fun :D

    With regards to your tank and upgrading your light, all depends on what you want to grow ;)

    In my anubias tanks...I run a single 4000K T8 tube...and that's getting excellent growth from them (and the Bucephalandra). If you want to grow carpets or red coloured plants...then yeah...you'll have to upgrade...
     
  12. mr_meen
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    mr_meen Algae harvester

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    Hi guys.

    Thanks Deadpool (great movie by the way:p)

    Here's my thinking for wattage so far.

    My tank can only accommodate 2 x 24 Watt 600 mm T5's. Which will only give me 50 watts.

    At 2.5W per gallon I need about 75W.

    100W is easily achieveable if I add another 2x24W ballast and lamps. There is enough space.

    Will talk about lamps soon. Just want to get the power right first.

    I also want to ensure I have enough light to get the most out of the tank as far as growth goes. I guess what I'm saying is rather have too much than too little.

    Any thoughts or recommendations?



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  13. Deadpool
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    Deadpool Algae destroyer Staff Member

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    Its all about balance...too much will give you algae as well ;)

    The whole Watt per gallon thing is just a theory (and there are quite a few). If you have 150W over your tank, but the lamp rating is 2000K each, you not gonna grow anything either.

    Planted tanks...as with most things in life...is fine tuned by trial & error. It's good to have the theoretical knowledge...but functionality and practicality wins hands down ;)

    In my Anubias tanks...I run a single T8 (30W) per 3ft tank. That's 30W on 26(ish) gallons...far below the "suggested" 2.5W.

    In my 300L hightech tank...I run 108W (I scaled down because I got algae). 108W/80G = 1.35 WPG

    Granted...I am an Anubias freak, but I grow Monte Carlo, a variety of stems, crinum calamistratum and a variety of crypts in there as well. It simply works FOR ME. So before you blast your tank with the sun...figure out what you want to do...i.e. what plants do you fancy. Do a bit of homework...it will save you hundreds (if not thousands) of rands. You dont want to buy plants and find out your lights are too weak, or to strong. Same thing...you dont want a multitude of lights...but find out the plant you fancy...can be grown with 2 candles.

    Nice thing with too much light...you can always remove some tubes (especially easy if you going DIY and running more than one ballast).

    So after rambling like an excited teenage girl...i will say again...NUMBER 1 RULE IN PLANTED TANKS ... find the sweet spot/balance that works for you :thumb:
     
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  14. mr_meen
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    mr_meen Algae harvester

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    Thanks again.

    Here are my thoughts on plants. Depending on availability of course.

    Foreground

    HC
    Cobra grass

    Mid

    Anubias barteri
    Rosaefolia
    Hemianthus micranthemoides
    Rotala mexicana

    Back

    Rotala
    Java fern
    Hygrophila coryombrosa

    Here are my thoughts on livestock. Again depending on availability.

    Denison barbs
    SAE/Ottos
     
  15. Deadpool
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    Deadpool Algae destroyer Staff Member

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    Denison/Torpedo barbs are quite easy to find...they just grow quite big hey...around 10cm...which is quite big for an active fish that likes open swimming space. Recommended minimum size tank for them has a footprint of 120 x 45cm
     
  16. mr_meen
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    mr_meen Algae harvester

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    Cool. Noted.

    I am a fan of barbs. Will check it out.

    Any comments on my plant selection?
     
  17. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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  18. mr_meen
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    mr_meen Algae harvester

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    Hi. Thank you.

    Quick question. Not of an aqautic nature at all

    I am running a thread for my planted tank build on TASA.

    Can I share the link here so I don't have to duplicate posts?

    Thought it silly to run 2 separate threads on the exactly the same subject.

    Thanks guys.




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  19. Joshua Tree
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    Joshua Tree Valued Contributor

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  20. mr_meen
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    mr_meen Algae harvester

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    Pity.

    Will post my latest progress.

    Tank cleaned and ready to recieve some new gear.

    [​IMG]

    While I was waiting for some equipment to arrive. I started taking a look at the hardscape.

    [​IMG]

    I love the path idea as it resembles a river or are path on a tropical island. I have been warned though keeping it clean is going to be a task. So will see how it goes.

    I have been a designer for many years, so I thought I would try something different.

    I used some of my photoshop skills to do a demo layout of the plants.

    [​IMG]

    Plants.

    FG

    Dwarf hairgrass
    HC

    Mg

    Anubius Barteri
    bacopa caroliniana yellow
    Ludwigia Rubin
    rotala mexicana
    alternanthera reineckii

    BG

    rotala rotundifolia
    Rotala green
    Valis
    Amazon sword

    This way I am not completely in the dark and have a good visualisation as a starting point.

    If anyone is keen to try this out, I can post a quick tut on how.i did it. A lot easier than it looks. The hardest part is good source imagery for the plants and putting them on a transparent background. But I have a small library already and will gladly share it.

    Let me know what you guys think.

    M

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