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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
im about to plant my 125. right now i have a shallow layer of black sand, an xp3, and 2 emp 400s. i wonder if these emp 400s will be a problem with pressurized co2? i want to run a medium light tank with pressurized co2. im planning on ordering a 4' 260 watt PC fixture ( http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+13733&pcatid=13733 ) to go with the 120 watt fixture i already have, giving me 380 watts or 3.04wpg. as well as this co2 kit ( http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3747+9935&pcatid=9935 ) are these lights and co2 kit overpriced and are there other options i should look at? I already have two co2 tanks that i used with a kegerator. will these work or are they a different type of co2? also what should i do for substrate? I was thinking i would mix in about 5 bags of flourite black sand with the black sand i currently have, but i heard that this substrate was very dirty. so i guess i will use the regular black flourite? what is a good website with fast shipping to order plants from? i would like mainly amazonian plants. maybe there is a website that offers plant packs or something as i dont know much about specific plants yet. thanks, richard.
 

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aquariumplants.com gave me good service and plants arrived in good condition. I'm looking at the Coralife 36" and plan to order from F & S also. Saw it cheaper elsewhere so look around, but I got good service and price from F & S on my Canister filter. You also might want to check out AquariumPlants own substrate. About $45.00 for a three inch layer in a 55 gallon.
 

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I totally agree with old man on aquariumplants.com. I am using their substarte and it is waorking really well for me, and a helluva lot cheaper than many others. The shipping is killer but probably better than with other substrates, even if you pick it up.

As for lights, what I have read is that woth larger tanks the wpg rule is a little skewed. The 3wpg on a 125 is probably bordering on high light. The good thing is you already have pressurized CO2. The tanks you have are fine it's all the same CO2.

I would suggest checking out www.rexgrigg.com for fertilizers and just excellent general information. He also sells CO2 reactors which is something I think you will want to look into for your size tank. There is are also instructions on how to DIY it in the DIY forum. Definitely an advantage when I got mine for my 55g.

If you like to DIY things you can look into AHsupply's lighting. They sell retro fit kits that are top notch.

Having the HOB filters may gas out a lot of your dissolved CO2 I would suggest some power heads if you want to increase the circulation in the tank. Also post a thread asking how the xp3 will do for a 125g (or just search the equipment forum) cause I am not familiar with that filter and it's capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
thanks you guys you are a big help. maybe i will do two 3' 96 watt pc fixtures in stead of the double 4'. this will give me better coverage over the whole tank instead of having a foot on each side not lit as much and will come out to 2.5 wpg as opposed to 3. these are the plants i want to order. does this look good for 2.5wpg in a 125? i ordered some aquariumplants.com own substrate and will be dosing with flourish line of ferts. i will be using excel until i get my co2 set up within the next 2 weeks. as far as the HOB filters, i know they arent good for keeping co2 in the water, but i need the filtration for my fish. can i just turn up my co2 and be ok? (its cheap anyway and i have two BIG tanks so it wouldnt be any trouble) thanks alot



Java Fern (Microsorium pteropus) Huge!



Amazon Sword "Giant Mother Plant" (Echinodorus bleheri) Pot (20"-24+")



Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red "Giant Mother Plant"



Sag, Dwarf Subulata (Sagittaria subulata)(10 plants per order)



Vallisneria "Dark Red Jungle Val" (sold 10 plants per order)



Java Moss (Vesicularia Dubyana)



Anubias Afzelii



Caladiifolia (Anubias barteri v Caladiifolia)



Anubias barteri v angustifolia



Tiger Lotus, Red (Nymphaea zenkeri)


Gracilis (Anubias gracilis)



Congensis (Anubias ‘Congensis’)



Barteri Round Leaf (Anubias barteri v. ‘Round Leaf’)



Sword, Ozelot (Echinodorus ‘Ozelot’)


Nana (Anubias barteri v. ‘Nana’)



Coffeefolia (Anubias barteri v. ‘Coffeefolia’)



Green Temple (Hygrophilia corymbosa)



Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae)(One Square Foot)
 

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You will have a high light tank with either of the lighting options you mention, either the 3+ or the 2.5 watts per gallon. I'm assuming those lights will have good reflectors in them. If not, you won't have high light.

So, with the high light you need to be using CO2 from the day you first plant it, you will need a fertilizing routine set up to dose NPK and trace elements - see the fertilizing forum stickies for a couple of routines that work well. And, you will need to heavily plant the tank from the beginning with fast growing stem plants, not the plants you listed. (Heavily planted, means cover almost all of the substrate with single stems planted about an inch or less apart.)

You listed Amazon swords - big mistake. That plant very quickly gets far too big for any aquarium with high light. The Ozelot sword is only a little better.

Of the others you listed, only the Hygrophila is a fast growing stem plant. You could add Hygro difformis, ludwigia repens, stargrass, Rotala rotundifolia, willow leaf Hygrophila, Limnophila aromatica, and any number of other easy to grow stem plants. These will grow rapidly and absorb the small ammonia secretions from the fish and plant decay before any algae spores see the ammonia and start growing.

Once the tank is settled down, and you have learned how to fertilize and keep the CO2 concentration where it belongs, you can start replacing those fast growing stem plants, a few at a time, with plants you like better.

The XP3, in my opinion, will not be big enough for that size tank. You need lots of flow in the water in the tank to keep all of the water freely circulating. That means a big filter and/or a powerhead or two in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
You will have a high light tank with either of the lighting options you mention, either the 3+ or the 2.5 watts per gallon. I'm assuming those lights will have good reflectors in them. If not, you won't have high light.

So, with the high light you need to be using CO2 from the day you first plant it, you will need a fertilizing routine set up to dose NPK and trace elements - see the fertilizing forum stickies for a couple of routines that work well. And, you will need to heavily plant the tank from the beginning with fast growing stem plants, not the plants you listed. (Heavily planted, means cover almost all of the substrate with single stems planted about an inch or less apart.)

You listed Amazon swords - big mistake. That plant very quickly gets far too big for any aquarium with high light. The Ozelot sword is only a little better.

Of the others you listed, only the Hygrophila is a fast growing stem plant. You could add Hygro difformis, ludwigia repens, stargrass, Rotala rotundifolia, willow leaf Hygrophila, Limnophila aromatica, and any number of other easy to grow stem plants. These will grow rapidly and absorb the small ammonia secretions from the fish and plant decay before any algae spores see the ammonia and start growing.

Once the tank is settled down, and you have learned how to fertilize and keep the CO2 concentration where it belongs, you can start replacing those fast growing stem plants, a few at a time, with plants you like better.

The XP3, in my opinion, will not be big enough for that size tank. You need lots of flow in the water in the tank to keep all of the water freely circulating. That means a big filter and/or a powerhead or two in the tank.
wow thanks alot for all your advice. ok, so i get the idea that i want to kind of kickstart the growth and try and get off to a good start without too many problems, then later can add the plants i want and aquascape a bit more. as far as the filtration, i have the xp3 as well as two emporer 400s and a koralia 4 1200 gph powerhead. i realize the HOBs arent the best for co2 but they are what i have, and my fish need them, so i dont mind going through co2 quicker as long as things will grow ok. will i be all right if i just add a lot (pretty much covering the substrate) of the fast growing plants you listed to the plants that i listed? the reason being avoiding having to place another order later and pay for shipping twice. or will i just have to wait and make another order later once the tank has stabalized? also, on another note, im not 100% clear on the co2 setup. theres a pic of my regulator below. im trying to figure out what all else i need to complete my setup. for instance i know i need a bubble counter, reactor, solenoid, tubing, needle valve i think....plus probably some various adapters or thread converters. can anyone help me out? thanks again this forum is great. very helpful people!

 

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I have a 125g tank. I have 2 - 36" compact coralife 6700K 192 watt fluorescent freshwater lights. I have grown plants very well with these lights. I do have issues as I get closer to the bottom of the tank. I am getting a foreground of glosso, but only after I got new bulbs. My plants get red at the tops. The nice thing about these lights is that they have 2 switches so you could put them on timers so you could have a midday burst. Once your light bulbs age you will need them all on at once because PC's get dimmer with age. It gives you the option to go higher light when you want to without buying a new light.

For filtration I use 2 XP3's and I have a Korelia #3 850gph power head. It is PLENTY of water movement. I'm not sure how you'll use 1200. I think it will be hard to keep it from blowing your plants out of the substrate. I do have HOB's on my smaller tanks and just use more CO2. I have to make sure the diffuser is working well to get it around the tank since I loose some to the air.

As long as you have fast growing stem plants and lots of them your tank will cycle very fast. You will have plenty of plants to sell or trade to get the ones you want, including shipping! ;D I have bought plants from online retailers but have found the best plants are on this forum from other hobbyists.

Have fun with your tank. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
these are my revised plants to get started. if anyone else has any suggestions please let me know. also, reccomendations on how many of each plant i will need to fill a 125 "heavily" would be appreciated. i was thinking about 3 of each but really have no idea.



Green Temple (Hygrophilia corymbosa)

Heteranthera Stargrass (Heteranthera zosterfolia)

Ludwigia, Broad Leaf (Ludwigia repens)

Rotala Indica (Rotala roundifolia)

Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)

Limnophila ‘hippuroides’ (Limnophila hippuroides)

Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) Pot

Pennywort, Brazilian (Hydrocotyle Leucocephala)(6-8 stems)(8"-10" tall)

Hygrophila balsamica (Hygrophila balsamica)

Ludwigia, Needle Leaf (Ludwigia arcuata)

Potamogeton gayi
 

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I suggest avoiding Alternanthera reineckii. My experience with that has been disappointing for several reasons. Primarily it seems to be an algae magnet, which I think results from its very dense growth which doesn't allow water to circulate in it. There are other red plants that are much easier to keep free of algae - Polygonum kawagoneum, for example.

If you plant one stem per square inch of substrate that should be enough, so calculate the area of the substrate in square inches and that would be about how many individual stems you need.

The problem with planting both the plants you want and the fast growing stem plants at the same time is that the stem plants soon shade all of the slower growers, making life difficult for them. But, it shouldn't hurt to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I suggest avoiding Alternanthera reineckii. My experience with that has been disappointing for several reasons. Primarily it seems to be an algae magnet, which I think results from its very dense growth which doesn't allow water to circulate in it. There are other red plants that are much easier to keep free of algae - Polygonum kawagoneum, for example.

If you plant one stem per square inch of substrate that should be enough, so calculate the area of the substrate in square inches and that would be about how many individual stems you need.

The problem with planting both the plants you want and the fast growing stem plants at the same time is that the stem plants soon shade all of the slower growers, making life difficult for them. But, it shouldn't hurt to try it.
thanks, i removed it. ill just go with these fast growers till i get a hold on everything. theyre much cheaper anyway haha. the problem is i just dont know how much i will get of each plant per order. with the exception of pennywort, which says it includes 6-8 stems. im ordering from aquariumplants.com, and most of the plants i listed are 1.99 each, and are listed under the "bunched plants" category. so i need to know how many stems are in one order. surely more than one, right?
 

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You will usually get around 8 to 10 stems in one bunch. I think the best thing for you to do will be to contact aquarium plants.com and ask them how many is in each bunch. They are very helpful and don't mind answering questions. One thing to think about is foreground vs midground vs background. You will not want to get a bunch of tall plants so that your tank looks like a grow out tank. Maybe think about some HM as a carpet plant or lobelia cardinalis so that you have short stems that will cover the ground but not go too high into the water column. This kind of effect can be done with some of the stemmies that you are orderinh but it would take a lot of trimming for a bush effect.

Plan out the layout of your tank so that you like it from the beginning.
 

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There are several good layouts you can try, not just the high plants in back, medium in the middle, low in front layout. Right now I have a driftwood arrangement in the center of my tank, surrounded by Hygrophila "porto velho" and lobelia cardinalis, small form, with a few Limnophila aromatica directly behind the wood. That leaves lots of room for fish to swim and, best of all, for water to freely circulate. But, that's just one of many "aquascapes" that are possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There are several good layouts you can try, not just the high plants in back, medium in the middle, low in front layout. Right now I have a driftwood arrangement in the center of my tank, surrounded by Hygrophila "porto velho" and lobelia cardinalis, small form, with a few Limnophila aromatica directly behind the wood. That leaves lots of room for fish to swim and, best of all, for water to freely circulate. But, that's just one of many "aquascapes" that are possible.
yes, the swimming room is an issue, because this tank has 10 piranhas in it. i have decided that i dont really need a high light tank. i am going to be injecting co2, so i figured id just go all out on the lights, but for the plants i want, and the swimming room that i need i think its just overkill. what do you think about 2 78w t5ho fixtures, plus 4 30w t8s for a total of 276w or 2.2wpg. would this be low or medium light on a 125? like i said, im injecting co2, soil, and dry ferts. to be honest i would be happy with swords, anubias, sag, java ferns and moss, and some kind of carpet, but if im going through the trouble of compressed co2 i would like to at least have the option of growing most medium light plants if i wanted to.
 

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I think 2.2 watts per gallon, with half of it coming from T5 fixtures, would be enough light to grow almost any plant, with the possible exception of carpet plants. For the plants you want, if you stick to Marsilea minuta for the carpet plant, you should do fine, or even have a bit too much light. It would be a good light set up in my opinion.
 
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