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Old 08-26-2006, 01:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Suggestions on hardware for new 75 gal

Hello fellow forum members. I am on the brink of an exciting new point in my fish-keeping career. I have until this point only had 10 gallon up to 37 gallon tanks and I have only now decided to buy my dream tank. I had always liked my friend's 55 gallon tank that was 48 inches long, but I thought it could be deeper to give the plants and rock structures more room. I'm happy to say my new 75 gallon tank gives me that with the same width as the 55 gallon. I've never cared for such a large body of water so any base-line suggestions could be helpful.

Next to hardware.

I'm staring at an empty tank and a stand, nothing more. Your suggestions will help decide the possiblities of this new tank. Let me start by saying that I currently have two young Discus that would likely find a home in this new 75 gallon. I also have a Golden Sunshine Pleco. Since the tanks that these fish are currently in have been stable for 5 years, I have a lot of time to set up the tank before adding fragile fish.

I would like to set up the tank to be based heavily around live plants. I would like the filtration I have to be gentle so as to not disturb the plants with a heavy return flow. I had to replant live plants almost constantly with regular HOB powerheads and I really think it is adverse to a plants growth and my free time.

For lighting I was considering using existing hardware, but only if it is feesible. I have a 30 inch lamp that has 2x65 watt bulbs. It would only fit over half of the tank unfortunately, so there would be one noticably darker area of the tank unless I would coordinate a lower powered 20w flourescent on the opposite side. If it is fully neccisary to use a 48 inch setup I will have to consider that.

I hope the final look and feel of the tank will include ground cover plants, flat rocky surfaces, small caves and a colorful presentation.

Please reply with some suggestions about your experiences with tanks that size, filtration setups for plants, fertilization for said plants, substrates, plecos discus, or lighting.

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Hey Brad,

With your existing setup, you have a low light setup. I would tie some Java Ferns and anubias to some driftwood, rocks, and use those plants are your primary scape. For a slow growing foreground, I recommend some dwarf sags. Crypts are another good plant to go with rocks. See APC's plantfinder (gold tool bar to the left) for more detailed info on plants.

Rena Filstar XP3 would suit your filtration needs.

For ferts, low light setups don't need as much ferts, so you'll probably can get away with the minimum, which is adding some Seachem Flourish about once or twice a week.

-John N.
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I have never used a canister filter sofar, but the idea isnt hard to grasp. I am just not quite sure about how the inlet and return are situated in the tank. I did a little web searching on that Rena XP3 filter, and it seems that the XP2 is suited for up to 75 gallons and the XP3 is for up to 175 gallons. Granted with Discus in the tank, I will probably want all the filtration I can get, especially if its planted. The difference is about $20 dollars between filters. I'm not trying to skimp on the hardware, just that with a 75 gallon i'm going to have to get used to bigger and bigger price tags than i'm used to with smaller tanks. I'd like to set up the tank with the best beginning I can give it and keep it up.

I estimated that with my 2x65 compact plus a 20 watt flourescent I'd have 150 watts and 2 wpg. Is 2 wpg still low light? Also, is it worth entertaining the idea of using that type of lighting setup? I realize it creates something of a cold and hot spot for light in the tank. Should I just buy a new lamp?

Thanks!

Last edited by Isthan; 08-27-2006 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I just got this Coralife 4X65W 48" via UPS today for my 75G & I just realized that I have green water! (compared to the 110W that is now up im my attic).

Seriously, it has two very quite (afer a minor, ahem, adjustment) fans & I actually have that "LFS" look going on now. Aquascaping (for me )is something else entirely.
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Green water? Must be some bright lights. I am really thinking of getting the same light setup. I'm selling my old light for my 37 gallon to a friend, so i'll have the cash to get one of those 4x65. I'm not sure if that will be too much light though, because I had some serious algae problems with my 2x65 light on that 37 gallon. Can anyone suggest the best lighting? I've decided on the rena filstar xp3 filter and eco-complete substrate already.
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