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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am new to the forum, and this tank setup is inspiring me to want to do live plants, i am wondering what the carpet type plant is throught the floor. I am unsure if i want to use Co2 or not, i dont know anything about it or how much it costs, but i presume a non Co2 tank would be much simpler. The tank i am thinking to setup is a 55gallon long plexiglass, and im probly going to go with a double llight housing hood. ive looked throught the forrum all night, but i am still very confused on where to start, and what to do. Basically i just need an explanation of Co2 injection and the costs of it, or what it takes to do a setup like the one in the link, thanks in advance.

http://www.aquahobby.com/tanks/e_tank0409.php
 

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Well, that carpet is Riccia.
http://members.cox.net/tulsaalstons/AquaticPlants.htm#High Pressure CO2
This is a great webpage for learning about CO2.

For someone just starting out, I recommend about 2 watts per gallon for lighting. Make sure you start with a decent substrate. I like a laterite/gravel mixture just because its cheap. A lot of people use Flourite or Onyx Sand and other store bought substrates with success. Non CO2 tanks are usually slower growing, which can make it easier to maintain. What are your water parameters?
 

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If you want to do a Riccia fluitans carpet, you will need to add CO2 to your aquarium. You can do this by the DIY method or the pressurized CO2 method. For an aquarium as large as a 55 gallon, I would recommend the pressurized CO2.

What you will need for pressurized CO2:
1. CO2 gas cylinder (5 or 10lbs) from a welding supply store
2. Double gauge regulator and needle valve
3. Regular airline tubing
4. CO2 reactor to churn all those CO2 gas bubbles and dissolve them into the tank
5. A pH kit and KH test kit, so you can measure your CO2 levels by using the pH-CO2 relation chart. You'll want around 25-30ppm.

That's it. It's pretty hassle free after setup. You can adjust the outflow of gas by turning the needle valve to fine tune your CO2 levels.

As for the Riccia carpet, I recommend buying nylon hairnets and flat, round river stones. Since Riccia is a floating plant, , you will need to weigh it down by spreading it across the top of a stone (small amounts) and then wrapping the hairnet around it. Place in the aquarium and trim as often as necessary to keep the fast growth tidy (and prevent it from floating up again).

The other plants in that tank have to be pretty difficult for a plant neophyte --Pogostemon stellatus and Rotala macrandra. You may want to try "easier" plants like Rotala rotundifolia, Ludwigia repens, and Bacopa caroliniana before moving on to these.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies guys, it looks like i will be starting out with a non Co2 tank for now. then add it later.
I went to my local shops today, and i am either going with a 55 gallon plexiglass tank which is $460 toal for the tank/lid canopy and stand (black/cabinet). or a 50 gallon glass tank which is $300 for the tank/lid canopy and stand (black/cabinet). Both are about the same size being 4ft long. One place i went to seemed to be biased towards plexi because of the lightness and durability against leaking, while the other store seemed to be biased towards glass because the plexi scratches very easily.
I think im going to go with plexi though, because for some reason it just looks alot better to me. What are your guys' thoughts on this? as well as the pricing for the setups, too much or about right?
For the plants, the guy said the kind is carpet plant i wanted is called java moss, and i wouldnt need Co2 to grow it. He recommended me getting a double housing light fixture, and getting two lights, one blue and one white, tottaling to about 110 watts or so. the price for the fixture was $140. Is this an ok price or is this expensive?
He also said i could simply use the 3 bottles of substrate for the plants and not need anything else. they are...Potassium Supplement, Comprehensive Suppliment, and Organic Carbon Source.

It would be greatly appreciate if you guys could point out anything wrong with whats going on here or give any advice on each of the topics and point me in the right direction before i jump into anything 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sir_BlackhOle said:
Well, that carpet is Riccia.
http://members.cox.net/tulsaalstons/AquaticPlants.htm#High Pressure CO2
This is a great webpage for learning about CO2.

For someone just starting out, I recommend about 2 watts per gallon for lighting. Make sure you start with a decent substrate. I like a laterite/gravel mixture just because its cheap. A lot of people use Flourite or Onyx Sand and other store bought substrates with success. Non CO2 tanks are usually slower growing, which can make it easier to maintain. What are your water parameters?
Would the riccia just die if i wasnt to use Co2 injection?

and the tanks dimensions are 4ft long, 15" deep (i think), and not sure about the height, probably about 20" or so.
 

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I can't say to much about the pricing since it has been a while since I bought a brand new tank/stand.

On the lighting... Skip the blue light and go with a fresh water fixture with plant bulbs (5500k-10000K). Actinic blue lights are better for reef tanks and have less effect on plants. You can find better deals on-line for lighting, you can get more wattage for less.

Java moss is not normally used for a carpet plant, but attached to wood or rock. It would be very difficult to attach Java moss to the substrate. IMO, I would make another choice for a ground cover plant.
 

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Frankly, the person you talked to does not really understand planted aquariums well, other than for just getting customers to buy products and setups. He sounds like the "plant" guy in the Chicago LFS I visit.

I would go with the 50g glass tank, as it has MUCH better dimensions than a 55g. You will appreciate the extra width later on as you advance through the hobby.

Judging by the tank you showed us, I really don't think you are going to reach your goals with a non-CO2 injected aquarium. For example, your Riccia won't die but it certainly won't look pretty without CO2 gas. Another plant for the foreground would be a better choice --this site has an excellent plant database called Plant Finder to use while making these types of decisions. All the descriptions make mention of CO2 needs, lighting needs, ease of growth, etc.

I guess the person means Kent Freshwater Plant Supplement, Kent Botanica K+, and a Flourish Excel-type product (basically, you're duping the CO2 and adding this to make up for it). Plants will need nitrate and phosphate, however, in small amounts. If you have enough fish and the tank is non-CO2 (or even low light with CO2), then you won't have to dose anything but some Flourish about twice a week.

I would get lighting from www.hellolights.com or www.ahsupply.com, they are significantly cheaper.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
trenac said:
I can't say to much about the pricing since it has been a while since I bought a brand new tank/stand.

On the lighting... Skip the blue light and go with a fresh water fixture with plant bulbs (5500k-10000K). Actinic blue lights are better for reef tanks and have less effect on plants. You can find better deals on-line for lighting, you can get more wattage for less.

Java moss is not normally used for a carpet plant, but attached to wood or rock. It would be very difficult to attach Java moss to the substrate. IMO, I would make another choice for a ground cover plant.
what kind of carpet plants are there that would be ideal? and easiest to take car of. and are there any bulbs that are powerful enough to be able to use just 1 bulb for the whole tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
tsunami said:
Frankly, the person you talked to does not really understand planted aquariums well, other than for just getting customers to buy products and setups. He sounds like the "plant" guy in the Chicago LFS I visit.

I would go with the 50g glass tank, as it has MUCH better dimensions than a 55g. You will appreciate the extra width later on as you advance through the hobby.

Judging by the tank you showed us, I really don't think you are going to reach your goals with a non-CO2 injected aquarium. For example, your Riccia won't die but it certainly won't look pretty without CO2 gas. Another plant for the foreground would be a better choice --this site has an excellent plant database called Plant Finder to use while making these types of decisions. All the descriptions make mention of CO2 needs, lighting needs, ease of growth, etc.

I guess the person means Kent Freshwater Plant Supplement, Kent Botanica K+, and a Flourish Excel-type product (basically, you're duping the CO2 and adding this to make up for it). Plants will need nitrate and phosphate, however, in small amounts. If you have enough fish and the tank is non-CO2 (or even low light with CO2), then you won't have to dose anything but some Flourish about twice a week.

I would get lighting from www.hellolights.com or www.ahsupply.com, they are significantly cheaper.
Carlos
Just to clarify, the glass and plexi glass tanks are both 4ft long, so no difference there, the plexi is just a bit deeper.
The tank i showed was just sort of something that inspired me, and just really liked the carpet planting.
I plan to do a BIG school of tetras, and a few small bala sharks. Ill defiently check out the plant finder, and thanks for the links for the lighting, ill definetly be buying online.
now a couple more questions....how do u guys clean the tank when having a tank like the one i linked? how will u use a suction on the gravel, and my other quesetion is will a hagen fluval 304 filter be sufficient ? appreciate all the help guys....
 

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small bala sharks? they all start off small but they will get big pretty quick.

for cleaning my tank, i will vacuum if i see a large deposit of mulm, but i havent had to in about six months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sir_BlackhOle said:
small bala sharks? they all start off small but they will get big pretty quick.

for cleaning my tank, i will vacuum if i see a large deposit of mulm, but i havent had to in about six months.
yeah ive owned bala sharks before and they grow fast but i guess ill wont feed too much and ill just swap em out when they get too big. discus was also a fish i thought looked amazing, but i hear they are very hard to keep? is it possible to put them with tetras?
 

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i keep tetras with my discus in my 75. the most difficult thing for me with discus is feeding. they hardly touch anything but live blackworms, but if i feed them live blackworms too much they stop eating them....they are picky i guess.
 

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The light fixture I have on my 55G tank is a Coralife 2x65 CP fixture. I don't think you will be able to get a single bulb strong enough for a tank of this size.

The plant I am growing in the forground of the 55G tank is Dwarf Sag., very easy and undemanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sir_BlackhOle said:
i keep tetras with my discus in my 75. the most difficult thing for me with discus is feeding. they hardly touch anything but live blackworms, but if i feed them live blackworms too much they stop eating them....they are picky i guess.
aweome, i will look into them, anything else about them that is difficult?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
trenac said:
The light fixture I have on my 55G tank is a Coralife 2x65 CP fixture. I don't think you will be able to get a single bulb strong enough for a tank of this size.

The plant I am growing in the forground of the 55G tank is Dwarf Sag., very easy and undemanding.
any pictures of the foreground?

BTW guys, i ordered my tank today, i went with the 55G plexi. The ones they had at the shop had some scratches i saw after having them give me a light bulb to inspect the glass, and they would only give 5% off so i just had em order one and ill get it in two weeks, so bascially that gives me time to get everything else. The light housing can 2 lights easily, so can u guys link me to the exact lights i would need i am unsure of the dimensions but i know the tank is 4 ft long. ive also been looking at the plant finder, and saw alot of plants that i lied that were said to pretty hardy, maybe down the road i will setup some Co2 but for now ill do without it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ok ok, i searched and read all about doing DIY co2 setups and decided thats definetly not a mess i would want to deal with, i searched more and noticed that a pressurized co2 systemw ould only cost about 100-150 dollars...is this true? if so i would have no problem simply buying a kit and doing that, i would much rather do it the right way rather than trying to get by and going through all the hassle of making a cheap kit. would it be possible for me to get the plants that i want, although they wont be so healthy for the time being as i set the tank up, then just add the co2 later, like within a month or so?
 

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That sounds about right for aCO2 to me if you do some shopping around. And I dont think it would hurt too much if you waited and got the co2 a bit later. Im still saving for mine! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sir_BlackhOle said:
That sounds about right for aCO2 to me if you do some shopping around. And I dont think it would hurt too much if you waited and got the co2 a bit later. Im still saving for mine! :)
alright kool, is there anything wrong with getting a used setup? and guys, im still confused on lighting, do i want as much watts as possible? how many watts would be considered a low light setup and a high light setup in a 55 gallon tank. i still want to get a blue light for looks, i saw some 90-something watt bulbs on the website linked to on the first page and ill probly get one of those in white, then get a less powered blue bulb...hows that sound?
 

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IMO low lighting is 1.5-2 watts per gallon, high is 2.5 and up. If I could find a used co2 setup that worked I wouldnt have a problem buying it :)
 
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