Starting Off Large - pH Controller, Ferts, Test Kits - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 08-29-2006, 08:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Starting Off Large - pH Controller, Ferts, Test Kits

Hello all,
Been away from the community for a LONG time... I keep getting close to setting up and I keep getting set back. I'm trying to make a push currently and get up and running though, and need some advice...

I have a 115G tank, internal overflow/box filter (DAS H-99 tank, if you are familiar with them). 6x55W PC lighting (4x GE 9250k bulbs, recommended here and 2 others I forget... 10K whites?), 20# CO tank, Azoo regulator w/ solenoid, bubble counter, a Gomer-made CO reactor, and I picked up a Eheim 2028 this weekend. Substrate is a mix of probably 70/30 Flourite and pool filter media-type gravel. Decorations are a very large piece of driftwood and some locally collected rocks (sandstone?) that I've muriatic-acid tested to make sure they wouldn't leech anything.

I know I want a pH controller. I figure I will need some basic ferts and test kits, but to be blunt, I'm once again running out of money I can put into this thing... So - I would appreciate some recommendations for a pH Controller (looking at a Milwaukee), and what are the minimum ferts and kits you'd start off with? Are there any other pieces of equipment you'd recommend purchasing?

Hope that's enough info to give you guys a clear enough picture of my setup / equipment / etc. If you have more questions, I'm back and hoping to stay this time. :P

--Blake

PS. -- Paid $115 for that Ehiem, new, on clearance... They have a 2026 for the same price if someone wants it, let me know. Or I'd consider buying it and swapping for plants if someone could provide me a "starter pack" big enough for a 115G.
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Old 08-29-2006, 09:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If your running tight on money, I would skip on the controller,its more of a luxury item. Just plug the solenoid into the power strip that controlls your lights (to turn Co2 off at night). Might not want to waste money on test kits. They are helpfull to learn, but in the end you wont really use them. Spend the money on aquasoil, get ferts from gregwatson, I use seachem flourish for micros. Pack the tank with plants, pump the Co2 until your fish get stressed, then pull back.

I don't know, I see a lot of people worrying about deficiencies and looking for answers with test kits. People don't really focus on what grows plants correctly. Things balance them selves out, wether the No3 in you tap water comes out at 20ppm. Just make sure you have everything else available, having to much Po4 or No3 or watever comes out of the tap isn't going to be a problem.
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't misundrestand me.... I'm running low, but not broke, on funding. I do have a reasonable amount to play with still. I just want to make sure I don't overlook something I really need. I guess I'm morely interested in a suggested set of "baseline" ferts and tests I'd "be wise" to have on hand... I just moved into this region, and I'm told the water is pretty hard. Haven't tested it in any way as of yet though.
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