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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bride has bought me a new 125 gallon tank. I intend to set it up as a planted tank. I will have two triple tube T8 All-Glass fixtures with Eco-complete as the substrate. I would like to use existing plants in the tank plus I'm looking for a planting plan suggestion.

Plants are:
Crypt Wendtii Brown (many)
Crypt Crispatuila Balansae (6)
Echinodorus Ozelot (1)
Echinodorus Ruben (1)
Nymphaea (1) pink leaves

I have mopani driftwood to add to the tank. Other plants that I had thought to add were gymnocoronis spilanthoides and green rotala rotundifolia. Anyone care to give me some ideas?

The tank is 72 inches long by 22 inches high and 18 inches wide.
 

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Welcome, great to see another large planted tank.

What is your desire for the tank? Low Maint, low light, low tech? High Light, heavy maint, fast growers? or something in between.

The lighting you have 2 x 3 tube AGA fixtures, 6x 25w or 150w or 1.2wpg if I figure correctly that these are 3' fixtures is barely sufficient for the plants you already list. You may want to revisit the lighting plan and look at some more efficient lighting. If you are married to the 2 x 3" fixtures AH Supply has an inexpensive kit to replace the guts with a more efficient reflector and PC (power compact) bulbs.

What type of filtration do you have planned, looking at CO2 injection or not?

Looking forward to seeing those pictures of another big tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lighting

My original post indicated about 180 watts for the tank (3 lamps x 30 watts x 2 fixtures). I currently run one triple fixture on a 30 gallon with good growth on the swords, nymphaea and crypts with 14.5 inches from light source to gravel. The transition to the 125 will add about 6 inches to the distance from light source to gravel.

I am not locked into the fixtures. No problem in moving to 36" dual CF fixtures from All-Glass and boosting the wattage to 220. No desire to add CO2 at this time as plant growth has been acceptable.

Filtration may be Eheim with an Aqua Clear or I may go wet/dry sump.

I have attached a pic of the existing 30G.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lighting?

Will this unit be appropriate lighting?

Lunar Aqualight 72" 53409 Lighting- Power Compact Strips Coralife/Energy Savers AQUALIGHTS GO LUNAR! 72" Aqualight™ Lunar Series - Double Linear Strip with 2-96 watt Actinic and 2-96 watt 10,000K™ Compact Fluorescent Lamps Square Pin Base, 5 3/4 watt Lunar Blue-Moon-Glow LED Lamps with Cooling Fans 3 On/Off switches and 3 power cords for separate timers Built-in Electronic Ballast and Cooling fans Sleek Black Aluminum Housing Highly-Polished Reflector Acrylic Lens Cover Dimensions: 72" x 7" x 2 1/2" $379.99 $364.99 (Savings: $15.00)
 

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Seems like your set to go with lighting (hope you are using CO2), but you should try to get a set of bulbs that is in the 6700k-10000k range (5500k is good too). You do not want to use actinic bulbs, which are meant for lighting reefs.

Carlos
 

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To say what Tsunami said in a different way, the fixture you have chosen comes with bulbs meant to light a saltwater reef tank. Coralife makes fixtures meant for freshwater planted tanks (green boxes, I think). You want the ones without the blue (actinic) bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I understand

Han,

I want a 6 foot fixture for the tank. Unfortunately Coral Life does not offer a 6 foot fixture that is configured for freshwater just the 6 foot fixture configured for salt water. I am playing "Let's Make a Deal" with a LFS for the fixture substituting 6700K lamps for the actinic lamps. I have a good price on a new unit with prices for the 6700k lamps from an internet source. Lamp price is $27.50 plus shipping.

What are your thoughts on the combination of 192 watts of 6700k lamps with 192 watts of 10000k lamps?
 

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You mentioned that you didn't want to dose CO2 in this tank.

2x 192w of light on this tank without CO2 is going to lead to all sorts of problems...

I would suggest either getting a CO2 system or reducing your lighting to under 2wpg.
 

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The plants are going to want to grow rapidly with all that light but they'll be missing one of their major (if not the major) nutrients: carbon.

So they'll stop growing very quickly. Once the plants stop growing, algae will have a field day... :shock:
 

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Also, as the plants begin to photosynthesize with that lighting intensity, they will be pushing up the pH to very high levels -- which may not be what you would like for your discus.

With lighting so intense and CO2, you are guaranteed to have horrid algae outbreaks and an aquarium that will be impossible to balance.

Carlos
 

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Bob Wesolowski said:
I would like to use existing plants in the tank plus I'm looking for a planting plan suggestion.
It looks like you got great answers to parts of your question. I'd like to add a little on your planting plan suggestion part ...

There is a lot of design theory used in Art, Architecture, Advertising, and yes <grin> ... even Aquascaping ... one of the basic concepts is to not prominently feature something directly in the middle but rather off to either side ...

Without going into any details, when you prominently feature something in the middle of the tank, the visual effect is often a tank that has been divided into two tanks, one on the left, and one on the right ...

So when you are looking for Planting Suggestions ... I'd encourage you to check out http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org ... look for pictures of aquariums you like, then try to figure out what design elements each of them have in common ...

The key to a planting design is that you like it ... but often times, a small rearrangement of existing plant layout will make a significant change in the overall visual appeal ...

I'm not personally into "rules" ... but you can also do a quick search on Aquascaping Rules and pull up a number of websites that have introductory articles on layouts and design principles ... just remember, the perfect design and the perfect planting plan is one you do yourself!!!!

Enjoy your new tank .... its the perfect size for a planted aquarium!

Greg
 

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tsunami said:
...With lighting so intense and CO2, you are guaranteed to have horrid algae outbreaks and an aquarium that will be impossible to balance.

Carlos
You did mean with lighting so intense and *no* CO2...

Yes, Laith. Sorry. I should have proofread my post better.

Carlos
 

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You have two choices. If you keep your lighting at 200 to 250 watts total, I would consider that low to moderate light and stick with Echinodorus, (Sword) plants, Cryptocorynes, Crinums, Vals, ferns, and Anubias without C02.

Or you can go with the last fixture you mentioned that has four 96 watt tubes for almost 400 watts, but then you would definetly need C02. You would be able to grow any stem plant, or just about any plant you can imagine. (Except those plants that do not like high temps if you keep a high temp for your discus) The only problem with that fixture is you do NOT want the Luna model with the actinic bulb. You want all daylight bulbs, 6500 kelvin.

High light and C02 will enable you to have more fancy, exotic stem plants and those grassy "lawns". A low light, low tech tank would limit you to the rooted, bulb, tuber, rhizome plants that grow more slowly and do not require much work or maintenance.
 
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