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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I've been reading up for the past few months and am pretty well confused by now. I get the basics, but with my luck, I will end up with a tank of green soup if I don't get it right the first time. I just bought a 180 gallon Seaclear. 6x2x2. I am planning on it being a Rainbow fish species tank but with the corresponding cleaners too-problem #1. Rainbows like shrimp. No shrimp=algae. I was told about Olive Nerite Snails, but can the get to the fine leaved plants?
#2-lights, I am thinking these... http://www.aquacave.com/36-tx5-5-lamp-t5br-fixture-by-aquactinics-1588.html

It should be in the low-mid range of light, yes? 10 bulbs @ 39w.

#3-substrate, I have been tole to use Flourite, but there are like 30 different kinds and then there are ones to add as a thin layer and others to use as the substrate itself. I have no problem using the Flourite as the substrate like this... http://www.aquacave.com/flourite-black-br-aquarium-substratebr-154-lbs-by-seachem-2067.html

but my concern is longevity.

Oh yeah, then there is dosing. In a 180, I'm guessing 100 gallons would be a decent change every week, but when changing the water, do I have to build up the CO2 and macro/micro nutrients before putting it in the aquarium? I am afraid of a PH crash. Which is why I'm getting this...
http://www.aquacave.com/detail.aspx?ID=1364

I have a brand new Fluval FX5 to use for this tank-is that a good idea or will the biological media compete with the plants?

Ok, I think that is it for now. Sorry for the rant, but to see what I'm after, here is a link to an awesome article I just read and this particular page had a picture of almost exactly what I am after. imagine this image 6 feet long, seen from both sides.
http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/basics/pages/05_light.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have no problem going with a lesser amount of light. I am aiming for a low/mid to mid range. I have always read that 2-3 watts/gal. is a low/mid area to shoot for. If I am going to use T-5 fixtures, what should I shoot for in the wattage? As for dosing with ferts, I am still very in the dark about the whole thing. as with water changes, do I have to prep the new water and get all the minerals in the correct balance first or just add and start checking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've been doing some more reading. Then I did some reading. Then I read some forums from ingg and BryceM. Both doing a 180 and both an extreme help. And don't think I forgot you Tex Gal and the sweet thread you pointed me to for dosing. My tank and stand show up on Tuesday, I have my FX5 but am leery about the true flow rates and may install a pump and its own plumbing. I'm still on trying to figure out a way to get my CO2 into the tank. Hints???? I will set the tank up and make sure it hold water. Then I'm off to Colorado for a Rockies game and to scavenge some rocks and drift wood. Then I get to do some setting up :D I have decided on using Tek Light T-5 fixtures. Each holds 6 bulbs but I can cut it down for my needs. I have a thin canopy to work with. I'll get some pictures up as soon as it shows up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I figured I'd get the TEK lights with the plan of only running 4 or 5 bulbs per fixture. I'll probably wire in a few T-8 for veiwing while I have the TEK lights off. I picked up the tank, stand and canopy today. It's bigger now sitting in my living room than it was in the LFS show room. ME LIKIE!!!! I'm setting this up to be a room divider so it will be seen, from 3 sides. I am headed up Colorado tomorrow so I will leave it wrapped up until I get back-around the 20th of July. Then I shall be posting up a storm and bugging quite a few of you. I want this done right the first time and am grateful for what info I have so far, it's awesome. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey guys, sorry for being absent for so long. Life hit and finances are being stretched. I have my tank and stand set up (no plumbing yet) and did some measuring. With the canopy on, I have 4 3/4" between the top of the tank and the bottom of the canopy. Is this going to cause heat issues being so close to the acrylic tank. I had already planned on installing fans in the canopy but what about radiant heat into the tank its self? I have never used T-5 lights so I am unfamiliar as to the heat out put. If things look grim, I will send this canopy back and build one myself that is taller. So, your thoughts....?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, so I am trying to figure out the hard scape. I have been looking over many pictures but I see a completed tank. It's rather difficult trying to figure out how it was all laid out prior to the plants. I've heard a lot about "the golden rule" or triangle or something....Yep, I don't get it. So here are a couple of quick sketches so you guys can tell me how a proper layout is supposed to look, and what I am doing wrong-if anything. They are to scale with the image size being the tank detentions, and the one with without the tree branch is using rock shapes and sizes of those I just acquired. I have yet to get any wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I know that the hard scape is covered up in 95% of the tanks out there, which is why I need advice like this. In my head I envision a tank of mostly swords and very short plants on the edges. I am planning on seeing this from both 6' sides and one 2' side so I am going to plant the high stuff straight down the middle. I have no clue if this will work but it is, for some reason, what I have stuck in my head. I'm still retarded on plant names so I will make another sketch with some plants and see if I can get the advice of this forum on what makes sense where. My problem is that I don't know what a mature plant of any type actually looks like. I have never seen a planted tank in person and this is my first attempt. Like I said before, I could be setting myself up for a huge failure. We will just have to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The tank of this thread? That would be my bad. Laziness I guess. Tell ya what. I will take photos tonight and post them. I'm still scraping together my funds so I only have the tank, stand/canopy and filter as of yet. The rest is slowly coming together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Ok, here is my tank and stand/canopy. It's a 180, 6x2x2 Sea Clear acrylic. Stand is a hand built using 23/32" 4X8 AC Pine Exterior plywood from Lowe's and sealed it with a heavy black outdoor seal to keep the moisture out. There are some 2x4's and 2x2's in there too;) I have left the back off to make it easier to built the plumbing. I got the plans of the internet-I love the internet. I was going to buy one, but it is so much more rewarding when you build something with your own hands. Only problem is the canopy is only 4 11/16" from the tank top. I didn't think this through and now I am worried that the acrylic may discolor and warping from the lights. So I may go with a retro light setup rather than the TEK lights (same ones as ingg) I had planned on using and add a couple fans to the end of the canopy. Pay no attention to the location, I am in the middle of a move and it will be the center piece of the living room.


 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
thats a great tank !! wondering how would the piping goes ... fill it up alreaid and do the water cycle !!!
Yes, I am wondering how the plumbing will go also. Trial by fire my friend. After I move, I begin the actual assembly. At which point, I imagine I will be posting tons of threads through shear desperation. But, I will get it done.
 
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