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Hello,

I have decided to start my first planted tank over the next two months. I have purchased a 50 gallon tank (36x18x18) that I would like to have visible on 3 sides like a mini room divider to separate my desk from the rest of the room.

I have purchased a 2x96w compact fluorescent retrofit kit with 6700K bulbs as I like the bright greens I see with these bulbs. I will be building my own canopy and stand, which is the main delay in this project. I plan on using ADA Aquasoil Amazonia for the tank, as well as an Eheim canister and a Tom's Aquatics surface extractor.

I would like this to be a 'lawn' tank, preferably with a dense mat of glosso and two medium stones sticking out of the substrate/lawn. I would like cardinal or neon tetras as a primary schooling fish, and I have seen longer 'dart' or torpedo bodied fish that have black and red striping on them but I don't know the name or if they would be OK in a 3' tank.

I know I will need CO2 for this setup. I am open to any recommendations on CO2 setups and on canister filters. I do not know what to do as far as flow rate or filter capacity in a planted tank. I would like to use my canister filter as the reactor.

I know there is an approach called EI but my tap water is very bad for plants (kH >20!) so I will have to RO or RO/DI all my water which is inconvenient given the location of the tank in my house. I remember reading about an alternative method that required less water changes but still tried to maintain proper NPK. If anyone can point me to that site or article I would appreciate it. I remember they had a name for it.

Any help of recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Hello,

I have decided to start my first planted tank over the next two months. I have purchased a 50 gallon tank (36x18x18) that I would like to have visible on 3 sides like a mini room divider to separate my desk from the rest of the room.

I have purchased a 2x96w compact fluorescent retrofit kit with 6700K bulbs as I like the bright greens I see with these bulbs. I will be building my own canopy and stand, which is the main delay in this project. I plan on using ADA Aquasoil Amazonia for the tank, as well as an Eheim canister and a Tom's Aquatics surface extractor.

I would like this to be a 'lawn' tank, preferably with a dense mat of glosso and two medium stones sticking out of the substrate/lawn. I would like cardinal or neon tetras as a primary schooling fish, and I have seen longer 'dart' or torpedo bodied fish that have black and red striping on them but I don't know the name or if they would be OK in a 3' tank.

These fish are Redline torpedo barbs or Puntious denisonii I believe. They get bigger than 5inches and usually like a lot of plant cover. They are also extremely expensive most of the time. As far as your set up go to the Aquascaping forum and look up Iwagumi. This is what you are describing. I have found that these set ups go well with small scooling fish and not so great with big fish. My opinion of course. You may also want to look into the rasbora species for other ideas, maybe two schools of 15 to 20 fish each.

I know I will need CO2 for this setup. I am open to any recommendations on CO2 setups and on canister filters. I do not know what to do as far as flow rate or filter capacity in a planted tank. I would like to use my canister filter as the reactor.

I am using a Milwaukee reg set up with bubble counter and needle valve with a 10lb CO2 tank. It is set at 1 bubble per second and I use a CO2 reactor rather than straight into my canister filter (I believe most would recommend this). As far as filters go I am using a Cascade 1000 at full bore. This is a good flow for me. You will probably get better answers on this since I have only used the on that I have.

I know there is an approach called EI but my tap water is very bad for plants (kH >20!) so I will have to RO or RO/DI all my water which is inconvenient given the location of the tank in my house. I remember reading about an alternative method that required less water changes but still tried to maintain proper NPK. If anyone can point me to that site or article I would appreciate it. I remember they had a name for it.

The other fert regimen is called PPS Pro or PPS. These are detailed in the Scince of Aquatic Fertilizing forum. There is a wealth of info in the stickies in all of the forums, but especially this one.

Any help of recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!
Welcome to APC and the addictive hobby of Planted Tanks.
 

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A tank set up as a room divider will look best with a minimum of hoses and equipment showing. If you get the tank drilled in the bottom for bulkhead fittings you can plumb a canister filter mounted under the tank in the stand so that almost nothing shows in the tank. The heater can go in the filter return line, and the CO2 can be added with an external CO2 reactor mounted under the tank. You will need to do some research about drilled tanks and bulkhead fittings, but it will be well worth it.
 
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