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Old 10-30-2007, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

I currently have a 75 gallon tank which has been set up for a couple of months now. Its pretty sad looking, ive negelected it for the most part. Im looking to basically restart it sometime soon.
I want to buy a new substrate, new light, im probably going to buy a plant package from freshwateraquriumplants.com, but first i have a few questions.

First, the substrate i think im going to buy eco complete, and i want to know how many 20 pound bags to buy for a 75 gallon tank, im guessing four (one pound per gallon?). I also noticved that most people add some extra ingredients to their substrate like peat and other stuff, i want to know what should be added and how much?

As for lights im having a hard time finding lights between 187 watts(2.5wpg) and 225 watts(3wpg), maybe im not looking in the right places, can someone direct me.

Lastly once i have the substrate and lights in place, would it be okay to go ahed and add plants and some fish with no co2 for a couple of months then add the co2 after i save money for the equipment, or should i wait and do the co2 at the same time?

Oh yea, also, what test kits should i buy, what parameters of my water are the most important. I curently have a Mardel 5 in 1 Test Strips test kit that tests pH, Hardness, Alkalinity, Nitrite, and Nitrate. Is there anyting else i should be testing for?

I have found a few helpful links and if you have to share please post im looking to get as much info as possible before i go and spend my money.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

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Originally Posted by DMHdispute View Post
As for lights im having a hard time finding lights between 187 watts(2.5wpg) and 225 watts(3wpg), maybe im not looking in the right places, can someone direct me.
You're not necessarily looking for one or two big bulbs, but rather several smaller structures. Depending on the dimensions of your tank, get might be able to get two fixtures that hold two 55W bulbs each for a total of 220W. Again it's dependent on the length of your tank and if you have any existing lights. (For retrofitting I recommend you check out AH supply online if you're not afriad of DIY.)
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMHdispute View Post
First, the substrate i think im going to buy eco complete, and i want to know how many 20 pound bags to buy for a 75 gallon tank, im guessing four (one pound per gallon?). I also noticved that most people add some extra ingredients to their substrate like peat and other stuff, i want to know what should be added and how much?
You will need no extra's if using Eco, it has all the nutrients needed. Here is a substrate calculator... http://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html

Quote:
As for lights im having a hard time finding lights between 187 watts(2.5wpg) and 225 watts(3wpg), maybe im not looking in the right places, can someone direct me.
You will not be able to find those exact wattages, you'll have to look for something close. Satellite has a 192 watt fixture & Nova has a 216 watt T-5 fixture.

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Lastly once i have the substrate and lights in place, would it be okay to go ahed and add plants and some fish with no co2 for a couple of months then add the co2 after i save money for the equipment, or should i wait and do the co2 at the same time?
Add plants from day one, as many fast growers that will fit. If you plant heavily from day one you can add a few fish in 3-5 days. If you can't afford pressurized, at least start with DIY C02 from day one. This will help out a good amount until you can do better.

Quote:
Oh yea, also, what test kits should i buy, what parameters of my water are the most important. I curently have a Mardel 5 in 1 Test Strips test kit that tests pH, Hardness, Alkalinity, Nitrite, and Nitrate. Is there anyting else i should be testing for?
Ditch the test strips and buy test kits with reagents. I recommend getting PH, KH, N03 & P04.

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Old 10-30-2007, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

I agree with Trena, except I wouldn't bother with nitrate and phosphate test kits. You can do at least two different fertilizing methods without doing any testing for nutrients. And, I think a GH test kit has some value too, to make sure your tank has sufficient calcium in it. GH tests are reasonably simple and accurate, while nitrate and phosphate test kits seem to give incorrect readings far too often.

Another light option is two 96 watt CF bulbs, either a AH Supply kit or a ready made fixture. You are shooting for pretty high light intensity if you use good bulbs with reflectors. If you use T5 I don't think you need that much in wattage - less than 150 watts would likely give you high enough light intensity.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

woah i need a hundred pounds of eco-complete. Thats a hundred dollars, wow. can i buy 80 pounds of eco complete and the rest regular sand/gravel. Or should it all be eco-complete?

And as far as the lights go i already have one 40 watt 48'' long fuxture i guess ill keep that up there and add one or two extras to get the amount of wattage im going to need.

And it sucks that test strips are no good because i just bought them today, oh well. But next time im out ill get the right kind.

Thanks alot for all the answers, i diddnt think id get so many answers so fast. I probaboy have more questions but i cant think of them now. Thanks again.

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Old 10-30-2007, 08:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

Just so you know I used 5 bags of eco in my 55 for a 3 inch bed.
You may want to make a sand section a lot of people do it look around, that way you wont need so many bags of eco which for a 75 gallon I think you would need at least 6 bags...
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

You can mix Eco with other substrates. I have never done it, but I have read from various folks who mix Eco with 'Tahitian moon sand'. I would suggest adding a dusting (read- very light) of peat on the bottom under your substrate.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

Im a little lost as far as ferts go. How do i know when, how much and what kind of ferts to use? Can somebody post a link to a writeup on ferts please?

Thanks for the responces, i think im gunna try five bags of Eco Complete and if thats not deep enough ill buy another, but the calculator says five will make a 2'' substrate. Id like it to be deeper but ill decide based on how it looks.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...ing-guide.html is one way to fertilize. https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...n-systems.html is another way to fertilize. http://www.pfertz.com/ is a ready-mix way to fertilize. You can read up on them, then pick the one you want to try. Just don't try to do too much combining of the various methods. Stick to one and see how it works for you.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: restarting my 75 gallon (lots of Q's)

That phertz one is almost perfect, i wont have to become a chemist to have a nice looking fish tank, but on the other hand i bet that gets expensive.
Im thinking im just gunna have to do a lil research on the topic, but do you basically grow plants then keep adding more or less of each fert till you find the combo that grows them the best?
In other words, everybodys tank is different, correct?
If thats the case, how long does it usually take people to find the right combo?
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