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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have no experience with keeping fully planted aquariums.

This will be my very first fully planted aquarium and the tank that I will be using is the Tetra Wonder's 16 Gallon Aquarium.

The stock aquarium includes a fully covered plastic canopy that house's a 15W T8 bulb and an internal whisper filter.

The dimensions of the aquarium 22"L x 12"W x 16"H.

Because of the lighting system that is integrated with the canopy I have decided to remove this canopy as the lighting is clearly not enough and I'm not able to install a retro fit lighting system with the space provided.

At the moment I have the choice to either put 96W 6,700K Fixture or 2x96W 6,700K/10,000K Fixture, but I am open to other suggestions.

***Please note that I want to make my aquarium the ultimate planted aquarium so I am open to any and all suggestions.

For heating I have a 100W Aqueon Submersible heater, which I will use to heat the aquarium's water. Also I will be using Red Sea's Root Therm 160 Heating Cable to heat the substrate.

For filtration I'm currently using Current USA's SubCurrent Filter. The reason why I'm using this filter is because it limits water surface agitation(depending on how the dual nozzle is positioned) and allows the surface to be skimmed as the filter acts like an over flow box.
I'm finding that this filter does not provide the water circulation that I want in my aquarium. Also because it is an internal filter it does take a bit of plant real estate, which I need if I'm planning to create a Moss Wall
One of the key issues with this aquarium is that I need enough flow within the aquarium without causing a lot of surface agitation.
If anyone can make a better suggestion for filtering I'm all for it.

I will be using a Red Sea CO2 Pro System (Paintball) for CO2 Injection. I will be planning to produce about 45 BPM. Any and all sugestions on this is greatly appreciated as I'm new to this.

As for fertz I will be using Seachem's Line not including Flourish Excel as I have CO2 being injected already.

For substrate I will be adding Seachem Flourite. I have not decided on the color or whether to get the gravel or the sand. I'm also not sure on how deep of a bed I will be needing?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

As for livestock I only want a group of Cardinals and the rest of the livestock must be specific to algea eating fish/shrimp.

As for plants I have not decided as of yet as I'm planning what I want my tank to look like.

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank You!
 

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First off, welcome to apc.

A couple of quick comments regarding your plans. While I agree that 15W on a 16gal will not cut it, putting on 96W is overkill. :eek: Also, if I read your dimensions correct, your tank is 12 inches wide, while a 96W fixture is 36 inches. I would suggest you check out AHSupply 36W system.

As far as heating, I wouldn't bother with the heating cables. No benefits from them, just more expense, and can be a pain when you're working in the tank/substrate.

I am not familiar with that particular filter, but it looks interesting and theoretically should work. Regarding CO2 injection, I would recommend a drop checker for an accurate determination of CO2 levels. Starting between 1-2 bps, is usually a safe starting point.

The moss wall looks interesting. Keep in mind you will want to trim that eventually, and if you cannot remove the wall entirely, be prepared for particles of moss floating all over your tank when you trim it.

When you do get it all set up and going remember to have lots of fast growers in there, and don't worry about your final scape until your tank stabilizes.

Again, welcome to apc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
WoW Quick Response!

Ok So the 96W Fixture is going out the window.
Ok so I'm going to see if I can find a fixture that produces 36 - 40 W total.
Should I go PC or T-5?
Also what is the best Color Temperature for plants?

I will have to use the cables as the substrate is very cold compared to tank's water temperature and heating the substrate will allow rooted plants to absorb nutrient more readily so I will be keeping the Heating cables.

I'm using the Red Sea indicator that changes from blue(oxygen rich) to Green(Ideal CO2) to Yellow(TOO MUCH CO2) how accurate is this indicator? Should I trust it?

The moss wall will be kept up by suction cups that will be inserted/installed to the grate I use to sandwich the moss.
 

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The Red Sea indicator works fine, but only if you ignore their directions. Instead, fill it with distilled or deionized water with just a tiny bit of baking soda, so you have 4 dKH carbonate hardness. Now, the indicator works fine that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So how much substrate should I use? 2-4 inches deep?
T-5 vs PC for lighting?

Also I would like to know what people are using to create flow within the aquarium without disturbing the surface area?

I perhaps might to an UGJ - System? But instead of jets at the spouts I might rig spray bars to be fitted. That should create a more even distribution of water movement minus surface agitation? Any thoughts?

Also what is the very best clean up crew to maintain a clean planted aquarium?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
is 6,700K in combination with 10,000K bad?
I'm asking this because I might be purchasing the Current USA Nova 2x24W Freshwater fixture.

Also there a couple of questions in the earlier post.
 

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s 6,700K in combination with 10,000K bad?
10,000K is about the upper limit considered for planted tanks. If it were me, I'd make them both 6700K or the 8000K bulb kakkoi refers to.

So how much substrate should I use? 2-4 inches deep?
3 inches will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Will I benefit more if it is 4"? Also aren't there detrimental effects with having too deep of bed?

Thank you for everyone's help!!!
 

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Will I benefit more if it is 4"? Also aren't there detrimental effects with having too deep of bed?

Thank you for everyone's help!!!
Personally, I cannot see any benefit to going to 4". Too deep a bed could give you occasional pockets of hydrogen sulfide which is toxic. You could get some mts which would aerate the substrate by their burrowing actions.
 
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