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Old 06-19-2007, 07:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

On the note that Laith mentioned about the cost of the plants, definitely keep your eyes on the For Sale or Trade board here. You can get some mighty good deals on quality, homegrown plants. I'm sure a lot of people here will be more than happy to help out.

when you first set the tank up, fast growing stem plants will help suck up excess nutrients so algae can't get to them. However, for a tank that size, I can't imagine trying to trim and keep after some of the happy weeds that are possible, so it would definitely help to plan a long-term aquascape and plant collection so you are not chest-deep every week trying to control everything.

I have a 125g, and while it is dwarfed by the size your tank will be, it's still amazing how much of a daunting project tanks can be when they go over the 6-foot mark (it seems). Smaller sizes are easier to tear apart and play with layouts, etc. However, even with my 125g, arranging or rearranging is a real all-day undertaking. Make some sketches, form some solid plans and look around at other's big tanks to get some ideas so you can make it beautiful and yourself happy the first time.

Aquabid and Ebay are also really good sources for new or gently used equipment without the massive cost.

I wish you tons of luck! This is really an exciting and respectable project you've taken on!

Oh, and here's a page with tons of eyecandy, and most notably -- a section of XXL tanks to help contribute some ideas to the effects you can create. Keep in mind, this guy has access to all the diamond-encrusted bells and whistles, but you can at least see some big tanks and how they're laid out. http://www.plantella.com/
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

With sound being an issue, I'd look into some of the remote inline bathroom fans.
I havn't used this brand, but HERE'S a link so you visualize what I'm talking about.
Its a way to ventalate the area, while having the fan in another part of the building.

What are your plans to keep the studio lights from creating a glare on the acrylic?
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

SKS, those fans look promising. I'm going to do some more research on those. Glare will be eliminated because the lights will be very high shining down. There will be NO way to eliminate reflection however. The key is to control what you are reflecting. Cameras, lightstands and people would obviously look bad. However, a large strategically placed black curtain will look like no reflection at all.

Thanks a bunch to everyone contributing.

After a couple lengthy discussions with other volunteers, I really don't think we are going to be able to use Metal Halide. I would LOVE to but, I'm extremely concerned about the heat issue and the fact that to run enough fans to keep it cool is going to sound like an airplane hanger. In our studio, we run about 2500 watts of metal halide for our softbox lighting. Our studio easily reaches 90 degrees after 45 minutes. The electric guy says we are going to be pulling a lot of power and he is concerned. He wants to run florescent lighting of some sort.

If we are willing to give up certain species of plants, can we get away with CF units? How would 12 X 96 watt units sound? That gives us a total of 1152 watts of light.

I'm thinking 6 of these with homemade reflectors:

http://www.hellolights.com/index.asp...ROD&ProdID=201

I've made up a little diagram in photoshop, please take a look at it. The wall this is enclosed in is 10' 3" tall!
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

Have you considered T5 lighting? I don't know much about them, but the Tek reflectors are supposed to be the bee's knees.

Here is a thread to help you.

https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...long-tank.html

Also, If you do decide to go with PCs, consider AHSupply lights. Their retrofit kits come highly recommended!

http://ahsupply.com/
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

I would recommend the 30" tall. 1- its easier to reach the bottom. 2- the light gets to the bottom better too. Lighting, think about your layout. If the tank is to be a room divider, do you want the plants to be thick in the middle? thick to the ends with the middle open? or what. That may dictate the lighting layout. I know of a similar tank with 4-175 MHs with 2, 6" VHOs one on each side of the halides. Vent with a fan that has large blades, computer fans, and bathroom fart fans wont cut it. There are some small/powerfull fans at Wallmart, also cheep.
Also think about filtration, I would go through the bottom with large eheims. You can use inline eq. such as CO2 reactors and heaters. My point is - think about hole placement.
Have a look at ADGs website, there is lots of large plant tanks for inspiration.
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

Tony,

I would be happy to show you the results to date with my set up (CF 6x55) on my 110 gallon if you're interested. I worked with AH Supply to put the lighting kit together out of Phoenix and found Ken to be very helpful there. He spent a lot of time with me on the phone to help me put everything together, over an hour.

Also, I was actually looking more closely today at my glosso and it is starting to pearl a bit, so after 2weeks it is recovering slowly from shipment (Baby tears not so good yet). So even the high maintainence ground cover is starting to show positive results from CF at my 30 inches depth.

Don
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

I have Tek T5, they are awsome, shouldn't be a problem getting to the bottom of the 30" tank, and if it is, for the shallow substrate area, use lower light and shade needing plants and build up some substrate really high in the back corners and there you can plant ground covers that like high light and have grassy hill tops in your tank, and then the T5 will be more then enough.

A couple of the Tek 3 foot or 2 foot x 4 or 6 lamp fixtures should work well and will get more light over all of your tank then the smaller focus the MH bulbs cover, unless you get alot of them and then you might deal with higher temps and of course lots of $$$$$

Not that the Tek is cheap, but is cheaper and cheaper to run.

Either way, great project you have here. Be sure to keep us posted with lots of pics of this progression.

And Welcome to APC
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

Sure, I'd love to see pictures, if you have them. I'm a visual learner.

If going the CF route, I'm definitely going with AH. Several people have told me great stories, so I don't think it's a coincidence. Also, their prices seem very good!
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

Thanks for the suggestion, goalcreas. Could you provide a link with more info about the Tek T5's?
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Big Tank. Big Lights. Need Advice.

www.sunlightsupply.com

Look at the Tek line and the Sun blaze and New Wave for T5

They also make amazing MH and MH / PC or MH / T5 combo lights (Maristar) but they are $$$$$$$$$ with $ being cheap and $$$$$ being expensive. Great lights though.

They have other options for MH and T5 also, they have a great line of lights there.

For prices, don't go by their online prices, you can get them cheaper on E-bay and they are drop shipped from sunlight supply all the same.

You can even contact sellers on e-bay and they can do better then they sell on e-bay sometimes.

the seller SEEDS is a good one to check out on e-bay and contact him thru e-mail and when you are no longer communicating thru e-bay, see what he can do.
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