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Old 08-25-2008, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

I just recently bought a new 90G DAS tank 36x18X31. I am planning to transper my 40g tank with lots of plants and 4 discus. The 90G tank has a overflow with 3 holes and I want to put a 30G sump. Things needed help with:
1. Lights... I saw a 36" 192watts PC light in ebay. It will have a little more than 2watts per gallon. Is This enough.
2. 30 gallon sump. Needed a pump that will circulate the tank more than 5 times of the water and will not heat the water to much.
3. I have a fluval 205 in my old tank and a magnum 350 that not using is this enough for biological media for my new tank? How can I inject that nitrifying bacteria in my new tank and how long will I have to run it?
4. 3 holes in the overflow whats the 3rd hole for. they told be for (close system)? I dont understand.
5. Can I put those 2 cannister filters as a return line of my water or just run it in the sump and put a pump.
6. Needed help in setting up a sump with 2 cannister filter.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

>I just recently bought a new 90G DAS tank 36x18X31.
>1. Lights... I saw a 36" 192watts PC light in ebay. It will have a little more than 2watts per gallon.
>Is This enough.

It should be enough on a wattage basis, however, if 31 is the height of the tank, it might not be enough to reach the bottom of the tank at sufficient intensity. For a cool look, you could also consider a 250watt metal halide fixture. I bought fixtures from this place and had good results. You would want smaller ones than I used (400watt), I would recommend this 250watt retrofit kit which will require a bulb (6500 or 10k) and you'll want to build a housing for it. The single point source light of MH creates a cool shimmering effect in the water. As long as you get an electronic balast (as opposed to a magnetic or pulse one) you can run any kind of MH lamp. The most important thing is to never touch the bulb when installing it or servicing the tank as the oil from your hands will cause it to heat unevenly and fail sooner. I built a nice housing for a 150watt one I put over my 60g 24" cube tank. I raised it 3.5" above the tank to reduce the intensity and heat transfer and it's been great. If you come to the next plant meeting, you can see it.

> 2. 30 gallon sump. Needed a pump that will circulate the tank more than 5 times of the water and
> will not heat the water to much.

Quiet1One pumps are well priced and if you absolutely must spend the least, they can be ok. However, I've had them fail in a variety of ways and can't really recommend them anymore. I just replaced my Quiet1One 9000 with a ReeFlo pump that is smaller and significantly quieter, plus it's direct-drive as opposed to magnetic impeller. Granted, it was nearly twice the price, but it's worth it compared to the headaches of the 9000 (doesn't like to restart after power failure for instance.) Get a pump that is rated higher than you need. The GPH rate drops off quickly the higher it has to pump the water, and the more plumbing bends it goes through. The pump I got says you can put a valve on the output line to restrict flow as necessary and it will actually consume less power when restricted in that way!


3. I have a fluval 205 in my old tank and a magnum 350 that not using is this enough for biological media for my new tank? How can I inject that nitrifying bacteria in my new tank and how long will I have to run it?

As long as the pumps are running currently and you keep the media in circulating water until you add it to your running filter in the new tank (assuming the water was dechlorinated), it will bring the bacteria with it. If you allow it to sit in stagnant water for a couple hours, the bacteria will die and create sulphur gas. You might need more filter media, but you can simply mix the new stuff in with the old and it'll be fine. If you bring a large mass of plants over with it, you shouldn't have to worry about nitrate or ammonia spikes, especially if you don't add to the fish load right away.


> 4. 3 holes in the overflow whats the 3rd hole for. they told be for (close system)? I dont
> understand.

All three are inside the overflow? My guess would be that with the water pressure provided by a pump, more water can be pushed through the return pipe than would naturally drain out of the same size pipe by gravity alone. So you would use two as drains and one as the return. This also provides a level of redundancy in case one becomes clogged. I know I have a breeding tank setup next to my 240g tank. I have a 1.5" gravity siphon from the 240 into the 20g tank and a 1" sponge covered pipe goes to a Quiet1One 3000 pump that pumps water back into the big tank. I have to restrict the flow from that pump or it will pump water out faster than it can siphon it in from the big tank even though the siphon pipe is 50% larger.

> 5. Can I put those 2 cannister filters as a return line of my water or just run it in the sump
> and put a pump.

I don't have experience with using a sump, but having used canister filters on an overflow system, I would definitely choose a sump next time. In that case, typically the drain to the sump is gravity fed and it's pumped back to the tank. The drain is inside the overflow so in the event of a power failure, you must make sure that the water that could drain out before it drops below the overflow will fit inside your sump. I wouldn't rely on your canister filter(s) to be that return pump. Invest the money in a real pump. You won't get reliable flow otherwise.

If you have a hole drilled outside the overflow, plumb it as a drain to your sink with a valve. That way you can do water changes by opening the valve for 30min or so, then close it and refill. I have an auto-fill unit on mine so I unplug the auto-fill, open the drain valve for 30min which is the time it tanks to drop to a good level in my tank, then close the valve and plug the auto-fill back in. It handles refilling for me. With another electronic valve, I could fully automate the process, but that's a bit risky. If you don't have a hole outside the overflow, you would benefit from plumbing a drain "T" connection into the pump lines, but you won't be able to drain past the overflow level without a siphon.

I guess it's not an issue for you since you can put it in the sump, but from experience, putting the heater inside the overflow box doesn't work as well as you would think. It works ok, but you have to be super careful that the box never drains fully when the heater is on!

You can see photos of some of my setup on our site. I have more that I still need to document there, but like I said, I'll be hosting the September meeting so if you come, you can see it all in detail. I also have a shop full of tools you're welcome to make use of (at the meeting, or some other evening or weekend.) I'm in downtown Dallas and like to build stuff.

Michael
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

Thank you very much for quick responce. I will be looking for Metal halide fixture coz my tank is tall. I will also look for that reeflo pump to see if fits my budget. Thank you.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

I looked at that reeflo pump its not submersible. I saw one its called mag drive 12 it has twice the flow I need for my sump. Have anyone of you used this one? I saw the metal halide 250w on ebay but they only come in 14000k spectrum. I saw a 10000k spectrum bulb but I didnt saw a 6700k spectrum bulb for this one. Is 10000k spectrum ok for planted aquarium?

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Old 08-26-2008, 10:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

I'd suggest using T5HO bulbs. Go with a halide if you want, but by no means buy any Power Compact lights. They do not produce as much light as T5HO. The shimmer from a halide that Mike is talking about is an amazing thing to look at. T5HO cannot do that, but I'd say everything else is better with them.

A sump is cool, but it wastes a ton of CO2. You will have a hard time keeping your CO2 level at a number good for the plants. But it can be done. Ah yes, it can be quite noisy too.

For the bacteria - empty the canister filters in a bucket. Squeeze the sponges in there too. You will get wonderful dirty water full of live bacteria. Just pour this into the tank. It will cover everything with a layer of mulm, but what you see is not really dirt and it will disappear in a few days. It's the bacteria itself that is now all over your new tank.

10,000K bulbs are allright for a planted tank. The red colors of fish and plants will not show very well, the tank will look washed out. Also one manufacturer's 10K bulb is not like another manufacturer's 10K bulb. They differ greatly. Comparing bulbs using Kelvins is like comparing a performance of a car by using the paint color.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

My plant tanks are all 10k lighting. Some people prefer 6500 but I find 10k to be whiter. Once you go beyond that it gets bluish which detracts from the green plants.

Be sure to compare pricing to this site:
https://diyreef.authsecure.com/shop/...roducts_id=421

I've bought lots of stuff on Ebay for my aquariums and more, but it's not always the best deal. This is the site I bought my lighting from and was happy with it, but it's far from the only place. If you can find a fixture that doesn't require any building, you might prefer that. I also like pendants, but I don't have any. I will look into possibly using them for the river tank I want to build some day.

I don't know if they make high-volume submersible pumps. Just check the reviews on whatever you're considering. I ended up going ReeFlo instead of Dolphin based on reviews, though either would probably have been fine. I just can't really recommend Quiet1One pumps anymore. They're only a good deal if you don't have to replace them and I've had to replace several.

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Old 08-26-2008, 10:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

Kelvin ratings aren't a measure of color reproduction. They're a measure of the color of the light, defined by the color a piece of metal is when heated to that temperature. Light, as you know is made up of a range of colors. At varying kelvin values, the intensity level of each color in the spectrum might differ. This Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-spectrum_light) has an animated graph showing the average distribution. As you get into higher kelvin ratings, the lower wavelength colors (blues, etc) become more intense while the higher wavelength colors (red, yellow) become less intense as Niko observed. The chemical makeup of the gases and materials in a bulb will affect the exact distribution for any given bulb, so they will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. As long as it averages out to 10k or 65k or whatever, it still qualifies for that rating. That's why bulbs often come with a CRI or color rendering index value, a measure of how accurately color is reproduced when lit by that light source. It will also be influenced by the glass (if any) on your fixture, how far your fixture is from the surface of the water, and the depth of the water it must travel through to get to the plant or whatever it is lighting. Light is absorbed and reflected along the way and that will change its qualities somewhat.

Ultimately it comes down to a matter of personal preference. My first tank had a combination of 50k and 65k, I later got a deal on some replacement bulbs that were 88k and liked them, but it's a rating you hardly ever see. So I went to 10k and liked that so that's where I stayed. In the case of bulbs that degrade over time, you will also see the spectrum change, though you won't notice it until you replace the bulbs and see the difference. I just replaced the compact florescent on my 150g and was amazed how dim the old ones had become.

(As an aside, I studied printing in college and because the color of lighting influences our color perception so highly, commercial printing is always viewed under 50K lighting. The customer always sees the proofs and signs off on the job under the same lighting. If they take it outside into sunlight or view it under the lights in their office, it may look different. The only way to get consistency is to use a standard value and 5000 K is what is used there.)

Michael
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

Thank you very much MacFan and niko for all your help that help me alot to decide what light fixture I will have to get.
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

My two cents....

I agree with Niko on the use of a sump for a planted tank. Sumps oxygenate tanks which is great for a reef tank but not so good for a planted tank. Built in overflows are also great as they hide the equipment normally associated with tank filtration. I think the problem you'll have trying to plumb canister filters into the overflows will be too much air getting into the drain lines causing suction problems with the canister filter. I've never tried it, but in theory, the overflow works off of gravity and the use of a return pump to push the water back to the display tank. Canisters use suction to pull water down and create an airtight path to push the water back up. Attaching a canister to an overflow will, in theory, break the suction and you'll end up with filter without the "juice" to push the water back into the tank. Also, with sumps you do open up the possiblity over overflow, so if you go this route be sure to mount any power stips you have away from they drains and up off of the floors.

Regarding lighting, MH's look great and if you ever want to convert to a reef tank will be awesome, T5HO get the job done cheaper and are what I use. I use a 4 strip T5 with 2 10K's and 2 6500's. The 10K's do help bring out the color of your fish, and if have discus, you know you want to show them off as much as possible.

good luck
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Needed help in setting up a 90G planted discus.

I saw this light it has 150w metal halide + 2 39w T5. Is this enough for a 90G tall tank.
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