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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, i am planning on setting up a planted aquarium with rainbow fish and i need some advice. I have a 29 gal tank and i am going to go with low light plants, and no co2, what kind a lighting fixture will give me about 1.5 or so watts per gal. (can you give some brand names?) and that fits over a 29 gal. aquarium and also what size glass canopy should i buy? I have always been afraid to try plants because i don't know about the equiptment i need. The tank size is 30-1/4 x 12-1/2 x 18-3/4. and will a hob filter be ok for a planted tank? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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Here is a glass top that might work:
http://www.aquariumguys.com/glasscanopy3.html

I'm not sure what light fixture to get. HOB filter will be okay ( I use one), but canister filters seem to be better (at least in the opinions of most planted tank folk).

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really need some help with lighting, i have been doing some reading but there is so much information that it gets confusing. Will a 55 watt compact flluoresent fixture work with the set up that i want , what brand is better and what size should i get for a 29 gal. Thanks
 

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Check out www.ahsupply.com for some wonderful retrofits, and probably the best reflector on the market. A 55W should do what you're looking for. You would not need CO2, but I would recommend going with Excel for a carbon source. An HOB filter will work ok for you in these circumstances, just be sure you have good circulation in the tank.
 

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I really need some help with lighting, i have been doing some reading but there is so much information that it gets confusing. Will a 55 watt compact flluoresent fixture work with the set up that i want , what brand is better and what size should i get for a 29 gal. Thanks
A 55 watt 30" fixture will work perfectly for what you are looking to do. I know that All-Glass makes a 55 watt 30" compact flourescent strip light for around $100 (depending where you get it). I'm sure that there is some other brands out there with the wattage you are looking for, just look around.

I personally like Coralife fixtures, which I use on all my tanks. However I believe the lowest wattage they have is 65 watts, which is a little more than what your looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was looking at the coralife 65 watt fixtures, would that be to much light ? I really don't want to try the co2, but i would like to be able to grow some nice plants. thanks
 

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I have a 29 gal with 65w Satellite and I'm able to grow a nice variety of plants. I do dose glutaraldehyde (Excel substitute) at about 1/2 the daily dose for Excel and I have very little algae. A bit of green spot and occasional green dust is usually the worst I have to deal with.
 

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I was looking at the coralife 65 watt fixtures, would that be to much light ? I really don't want to try the co2, but i would like to be able to grow some nice plants. thanks
No, thats no means too much light. However, it is highly recommended that some type of C02 injection be used over 2 wpg. If you use 65 watts then you would have 2.24 watts. You could go the Excel route only, but I've never had much luck with the stuff myself.
 

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So should i go with a different power compact light fixture with a 55 watt bulb?
I would, if you really don't won't to go with C02 injection and to stay low light/low tech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When i start planting my tank, how many plants should i start with, any ideas what to plant? I want to make sure i do everything right from the start.
 

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With a good 55 watt fixture on a 29 gallon tank you won't have low light. It will be moderatetely high light, so that you can grow most of the plants that are available, except for the very low growing plants used as carpet plants. The standard recommendation is to plant heavily from the start, using lots of fast growing stem plants. That is because algae are triggered to grow by small amounts of ammonia in the water, from fish droppings and decaying matter. With lots of fast growing plants, the plants will consume any ammonia almost instantly, and the algae spores will never see it. Later, as the nitrifying bacteria colony in the tank and filter build up, you won't need that many plants, so you can begin removing and replacing them with plants you prefer.

Something a lot of us had trouble with is what "plant heavily" means. A few months ago I learned, by watching one of our members here plant his tank, that "plant heavily" means plant individual stems about an inch or less apart over almost the entire surface of the substrate. Don't ever plant those stem plants in a bunch. You want them to get lots of light so they can quickly grow fast. A 29 gallon tank has about a 360 square inch substrate area. One plant every square inch is, of course, 360 plants. That is a very dense planting, but it does give you an idea about just how many plants should be initially planted. It is dozens of plants, not just a half dozen plants. If you buy a bunch of 6 stem plants, you can cut them in half to get 12 stems to plant. There is 12 square inches covered.
 

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With a good 55 watt fixture on a 29 gallon tank you won't have low light. It will be moderatetely high light, so that you can grow most of the plants that are available, except for the very low growing plants used as carpet plants. The standard recommendation is to plant heavily from the start, using lots of fast growing stem plants. That is because algae are triggered to grow by small amounts of ammonia in the water, from fish droppings and decaying matter. With lots of fast growing plants, the plants will consume any ammonia almost instantly, and the algae spores will never see it. Later, as the nitrifying bacteria colony in the tank and filter build up, you won't need that many plants, so you can begin removing and replacing them with plants you prefer.

Something a lot of us had trouble with is what "plant heavily" means. A few months ago I learned, by watching one of our members here plant his tank, that "plant heavily" means plant individual stems about an inch or less apart over almost the entire surface of the substrate. Don't ever plant those stem plants in a bunch. You want them to get lots of light so they can quickly grow fast. A 29 gallon tank has about a 360 square inch substrate area. One plant every square inch is, of course, 360 plants. That is a very dense planting, but it does give you an idea about just how many plants should be initially planted. It is dozens of plants, not just a half dozen plants. If you buy a bunch of 6 stem plants, you can cut them in half to get 12 stems to plant. There is 12 square inches covered.
That is sooo much good information. I wish I knew this when I first started planting.
I planted my stem plaants in bunches and some died due to the lack of light.
:icon_hang
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all of the great information, so should i start with all stem plants or can i add others as well, as long as i start with alot? What kind of foreground plant can i grow with the 55 watt fixture?
 

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Thanks for all of the great information, so should i start with all stem plants or can i add others as well, as long as i start with alot? What kind of foreground plant can i grow with the 55 watt fixture?
The intensity of the light in the aquarium drops as you move farther from the light source. For tubular lights it drops about proportional to the distance from the source. Therefore, the substrate gets the lowest light intensity in any tank. That makes it hard to grow one of the typical "carpet" plants, most of which require more than low light intensity. Marsilea quadrifolia is the only one that will grow reasonably well with low light - as I recall. Or, you can tie moss to small flat stones and lay these on the substrate for a mossy carpet.
 
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