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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys!
I'm just getting started with a planted tank so I'm really new to a lot of the substrate and lighting requirements. Please bear with me. My tank has been set up for 3 yrs now with fake plants and crushed rock substrate. The tank is 65 gal (48x13x24) and the lighting is the same that came with the tank. Currently I have 2 angels, 1 pleco, 1 rainbow shark, a school of tetras, a few platys, and 1 gourami.

For the substrate I want to try out the Turface MVP (mainly due to cost constraints) just for something new to play around with. Any suggestions on using this product? Currently I'm treating my tank for Ich, how long after treatment should I wait before swapping out my substrate?

For lighting I'm looking at the NOVA Extreme T5 X2 set up. Here's the link to the one in particular that I'm looking at.
http://www.marineandreef.com/Nova_Extreme_T5_Aquarium_Lighting_Current_USA_p/rcu01129.htm

Any opinions...advice...suggestions???

Thanks guys,
Ashley
 

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I don't know much about the NOVA, but that seems like a good fixture with good bulbs. That would give you at least 1.6 WPG. That would normally be on the low end, but it depends on how good the reflectors are. Start off with some low-light plants and one or two medium-light plants and see how they do. You could also keep the original lamps as well and get more light that way. If the lamps that came with it are 15W each, that would give you at least 2 WPG.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Since I have angels in the tank I'm leaning toward putting some swords in as well. From what I've read, swords seem to take high-light. What would you reccommend? What would be some other good plants to put in with the fish that are in my tank?
Thanks,
Ashley
 

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Ich parasites can live in the substrate. Treating the tank and then stirring up the substrate to do a swap may not be the best approach. If it were my tank I would remove the old substrate, treat the tank for ich for a couple days and then add in the new substrate. I've done complete substrate swaps with all the fish still in the tank. It can be done if you take your time.
 

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Since I have angels in the tank I'm leaning toward putting some swords in as well. From what I've read, swords seem to take high-light. What would you reccommend? What would be some other good plants to put in with the fish that are in my tank?
Thanks,
Ashley
I've successfully kept swords in very-low and medium light conditions. I didn't get very good growth at all in the very-low light, but it lived. In medium light my swords are doing VERY well.

Other plants that would go well are Anubias, Java Fern, Mosses (those are all low-light) and you could look at others you are interested in. Check out the Plant Finder on this forum. You can search by your deisred light level, ease of keeping, placement...
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Dave! The plant finder was a big help. I've changed the substrate out in the tank and my few plants already look happier :) I think I'll try out the T5's next month. Never know how well it might work out til you try it...right??? LOL...this new tank set up is gonna be my playground for the next several months. Gotta learn somehow ;)
-Ashley
 
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