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Hi Folks,

Setting up a new planted 2ft-er, and planning on using Dupla products from an online source. Planning on this being a practice for a bigger tank in the future, so all advice is appreciated.

Substrate
Does any one have experience with Dupla Ground, and could they please advise me on the amount of Laterite required.
Can you overdose when it comes to Laterite in the substrate?

CO2
Options are:
a) Going for a DIY job connected to a small powerhead, powerhead to turn off when lights do, therefore expecting CO2 to rise directly to the surface when lights out and have small influence on water chemistry, is this realistic?
b) Tablet and diffuser setup
Any other recommendations regarding CO2 in a tank of this size.

Filtration
Looking to reduce gases lost, therefore is it advisable to remove the Fluval 101 I have. Is there any recommendations for alternate filtration, how much do I need on a planted tank this size?
Fish load is going to be minimal, 4 cories, shrimp, and oto's, and a pair of blue rams. Is a SAE kinda mandatory for planted tanks as well?
Also, when it comes to water changes, what would be the recomended amount/frequency on a planted tank this size?

Lighting
A double power compact with T5's, will that be adequate, and can someone recomend which of the various types and colors of "bulb" are best?
I don't envisage penetration being a big issue on a tank this size, so is there any need to remove the tank lids?

Thanks heaps in advance people, imagine how many questions I'll have once I start:rolleyes:
Just want to get things started on the right foot, not have to clean up afterwards

Cheers
Adrian
 

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Hey, first off, welcome to apc. Let me try to tackle a few of your questions.

I don't see too many folks using Dupla and laterite these days. Are you in Europe, by chance? I have never used either of these two, so can't say much. Regarding laterite, if you're going to use it, a small amount is enough. I would not overdo it.

Regarding CO2, diy is an option on a tank that size. Excel would probably be also, though pricier. You will get some dissolution even turning off the power head at night. I can't say anything about 'tablets'. Pressurized is also an option. Pressurized on small tanks is just as easy as on large tanks. I would consider it.

Personally, I don't worry too much about filter types, though canister types are preferred. I have an HOB on a 10gal tank, and maintain my CO2 levels fine. It just means you might have to use a little more CO2 than otherwise. Water changes depends on how you plan to maintain your tank, your fish load, and your fertilization routines.

For lighting I would shoot for somewhere in the 2.5-3 wpg range on that tank. It should be able to grow most plants.

If you haven't seen them, here's a couple of links you should find useful:
http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/basics/pages/index.html
http://www.rexgrigg.com/
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...ums/14684-new-tank-setup-guide-parts-1-a.html

Again, welcome to apc.
 
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