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Old 06-30-2006, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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hey guys! I'm a newbie here. I came over from the reefing side of the hobby. I sold my reef about half a year ago and now I want to turn my 70 gal into a plant pond thing. Anyone know where to start? What kind of equipment I would need to sustain a 70 gal tall? Lighting? filtration? pumps? I have my reef pumps but I think mag12's and so forth are a bit too strong? What fish are safe with plants? Anyone live in the San Gabriel area?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Tephanis, welcome!

Hang out here for a while and you'll be planted tank expert in no time at all.

I'm not sure who from the SCAPE group is in your area, but you can look at www.frappr.com/scape to try to find some folks. Add yourself while you're there.

Also, it looks as if we'll be having a meet in Mission Viejo (South Orange County) on July 29th. Keep an eye on the SCAPE forum for some details.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Tephanis, there are quite a few websites that will help you get started with a planted tank. Just remember it's a lot of diligence, and I've heard a lot of reefers say that planted tanks are harder than reefs. Luckily, however, you're in good hands here at APC! There are some good links in the "New to aquarium plants" section that should help you be a little knowledgable before you even get started =].

We can help you get started with your equipment once you answer a couple quick questions. Got any fish in mind? If so, how many do you think you'll be keeping in your 70 gallon? Also, do you want your tank to be high maintenance or low maintenance? High maintenance will mean you'll have quick, vibrant growth (hopefully) that will require trimming every week or so. Low maintenance will mean that you'll have slower, still vibrant growth and won't have to trim as often. Most of the smaller fish will be fine with plants. As for fish, although I've had no experience with cichlids, I hear that some of them either uproot or eat some plants. Tetras, armored catfish (corydoras), rasboras, and the rest of the smaller fish do extremely well in planted tanks. My personal favorite is the cardinal tetra. Pumps that are too strong can be nerfed by aiming the output at a tank wall. I've noted that with better water circulation, you don't have as much algae, and more of the junk in the tank gets moved around and is more easily removed by the filter.


*edit* Mission Viejo? You and Greg discuss the issue already? Dang that was fast =].

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Old 06-30-2006, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Welcome!!

THis is really a great bunch of people you have found!
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Hi guys =) I don't consider trimming to be maintance... I think like dosing, water changing... that pain int he arse stuff to be the real headaches. I want a rainforesty look to my tank. I think with a 70 gal I can do a lot but we will see. As for fish... I really havent' had anything in mind. I was hoping for something really colorful =) or schooling fish... Also in plant tanks do you need to have stronger fish? I mean if you are dosing all the time doesn't that mess witht he water chem? Fish go out of wack? I think all my pumps are external... I'm really bad at the whole technical aspect of this aquarium hobby... not a bit do it yourself guy...

so yeah start of slow.. then mopve up but as for equipment I don't want to buy low and change out later... but at the same time Id on't have a huge budget at the moment. I sold my MH so I have no lighting at the moment. I don't htink a protein skimmer is good for FW tank... so I need new eq for heating.. filter... whatever tanks I need (co2?? Id on't know) Someone point me somehwere. I will read the newbie forums tomorrow!
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Old 07-01-2006, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The levels that we keep our chemicals is actually fine for just about all fish. So it's not a matter of "stronger" fish. You get what you want and enjoy them

Is your 70g a 4ft tank? If so, you'll want 2x65W at the least, and as high as 300W or so. At the low end you can get away with little to no water changes, minimal fertilizing, and slow but healthy plant growth. At this end you don't need much more than a filter and the lights.

At 200W to 300W you probably need CO2, ferts will be a daily addition, water changes are weekly, and plant growth can be explosive

I've actually got a light for a 55g tank that would work just fine on a 70g as well, assuming the 55g tank gets sold to someone who doesn't need a light.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I believe it's like 36" tall so 3ft? It's been awhile =) Haven't taken a measuring tape to it for abuot a year. I'll prob try to go for 200W or so. If anyone has any lighting for sale please let me know... Also is there a "cycling" time like reefs? I know I can't just pour tap water in... I need to start loading up on my RO. Also anyone know where I coul dget substrate for cheap? Is there anything like "seeding" the soiling (we do that for reefs as well).
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Old 07-03-2006, 09:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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OK...first off you don't need RO! Tap plus dechlorinator (Prime is my choice) is it.

Second...here's a link to some standard tank sizes. A typical 70g is going to be 20 inches high and 4 feet long. A 2x96W light fixture would be ideal for this setup. If you've got a hood, AHSupply has a great retrofit kit at a great price. This is just one option. A 2x55W plus a 36W is another option, and so on. If you had an unlimited budget, ADA makes some killer lights

For planted tanks, as long as you set them up right, they are ready right away for fish. The first thing to do is get mulm from someone else. Sometimes the lfs will give you some. Otherwise, ask the folks around you when they will be cleaning their filter. If you time it for the day after the SCAPE meeting at Carl's house, you can get all sorts of mulm This is the equivalent to seeding and jump-starting the cycle.

For substrate...you've got a few choices. Soilmaster Select is the cheapest clay based substrate you'll probably find locally. I've got a call in to a Soilmaster Select salesman right now (Not Lesco, for those who know). A direct competitor and almost identical option is Turface which seems harder to locate. After that, it gets a bit more expensive with Seachem Flourite, Carib-Sea Eco-Complete, or ADA Aquasoil.
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