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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a first time running a planted tank and to tell the truth I really have no idea what I'm doing. Comments and criticisms are very welcome.

Current equipment list:
30g perfecto tank
Jebao 303 canister
Coralife Deluxe 96w pc
DIY CO2
DIY moonlight
DIY surface skimmer
Plain gravel

First off I'll start with a little background. I found the tank for free as curb alert on craigslist. Someone had moved and just kicked it over in their front yard, complete with two plecos and two turtles. The filter was purchased on ebay from a local seller for $50. I know its a no name brand, is not UL listed, and will probably burst into flames, but it was cheap. IMO it also works better then my brothers xp2. Snagged the light for $35 off ebay along with a 6700k bulb for another 20. If you haven't noticed yet I'm poor and an ebay/craigslist addict (they go hand in hand).

The list of plants is pretty short right now but will become longer at some point hopefully. Right now I have temple, corkscrew vals, java fern, java moss, ludwigia repens, and some type of crypt (I think).





The cave is a kind of make-shift bell diffuser for the co2 and it seems to work well. It was left over from my brothers tank as well as the rocks, gravel, most of the plants, and the platies.
 

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Looks interesting! Was the light bulb used? Right now you've got enough WPG to do more than lo-light plants that you have, but these bulbs tend to last a year and then the spectrum/light intensity becomes deminished. If it was used and you don't know how old it is, it might be better to get a new bulb.

I really like that cave.

-Dave

Edit: I forgot, if you aren't already, you'll need to dose ferts with that much light (N,P,K, and micros).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Bulb was purchased new off ebay. I know I can get pretty crazy with different types of plants under that much light but no idea what to get just yet. I currently dose flourish 2-3 times a week which is obviously nowhere near enough. I get a pretty serious algae bloom which is currently being held back with some phosphate absorber. The order for dry ferts will be going in soon as I figure out what kinds to get.
 

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Good to hear. Just make sure you get a source for N, P, and K. The Flourish is only a source of micronutrients (and might be part of the cause of the algae...plants don't have the Macro's they need to be able to absorb the micro's).

I actually had this problem when I first set up my planted tank. When I stopped using the Flourish, my algae slowed down. So, I stopped it altogether until I had all the Macro nutrients. Currently I dose the full line of SeaChem liquid ferts (EI method) and have good results.

As far as dry ferts, I've never tried them so I can't make any recommedations. Try looking through the "Science of Aquatic Fertilizing" forum for some great info.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/science-aquatic-fertilizing/

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Finally got around making a bubble counter. Turns out my co2 wasn't lasting very long because I was using more then a few bubbles a second. More like a solid stream a second. Made it out of a plastic tube used to protect one of my old paintball barrels. It just happened to come with some tight fitting rubber end caps. How convenient.

The airlines are disconnected while the glue dries.

Turns out old dressers make amazingly good tank stands. While old, it is still very strong since its made from oak. I turned one side of the dresser into a cabinet by removing the drawers and such and then using the drawer faces to make a door. Yes the door looks like crap for now but I don't have any power tools. (I live in an apartment) The storage rack is an old shower caddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My order for dry ferts went in a few days ago. I went for the fertilizer combo pack from Rex Griggs. I've read that he is not feeling good lately and is taking longer then usual to ship orders out but I knew that before ordering. Until my order comes I broke down and bought some algae killer today.

Landed another great deal on ebay today. Won a regulator for $17 shipped.
My diy co2 is working good for me but I already have most of the things needed for pressurized so why not right? I found a needle valve and all sorts of fittings in my parents garage the other week and I have quite a few tanks from playing paintball.

One question I have for everyone. I read somewhere that 30ppm of co2 is about a 1 point drop in ph. Is this anywhere near being true? With about 2bps I get a 1 point drop and my plants do pearl some throughout the day so I assume I must be doing something right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its been awhile now and the tank finally looks like something. I've learned a lot from this forum and from the members on here.
Shot from a couple months ago when I first received my plants.

What the tank looks like now.

The Sunrise/Sunset.

What I wake up to every morning. (Brightness is a bit off in this picture. It should be the same as the previous one.)

Moonlights
 

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I like the moonlights on a planted tank idea. (not really IDEA I guess people have been doing it for a while now) you just don't hear people mentioning the moonlights on their plants much. I think I'm going to have to put some on the 75 when I finally get the scratch for the filters and lights lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
jargon:
The moonlights were cheap. Bought a 50 pack each of white and blue leds on ebay for about $10 and used an old cellphone charger. There are two "pods" with two white and two blue lights each. I sanded the tips flat and wrapped them in shrink tubing to give a nice even light to the tank. You would want to sand less for your tank to get better penetration.

jeepn:
Thanks. The contrast used to be a lot better before the black gravel started turning white. Then again, there used to be a lot more platys.
 
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