92 gallon 4 foot planted freshwater setup.
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92 gallon 4 foot planted freshwater setup.

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92 gallon 4 foot planted freshwater setup.
Old 11-11-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
 
92 gallon 4 foot planted freshwater setup.

Okay so i found a very nice tank 1200mm l x 650mm H x 450mm D totalling to 351 Liter, which is around 92-93 Gallon. The tank comes in a cabinet and is already drilled for a sump, and actually includes the sump( I dont have the sump dimensions). So the system wil hold more like 400 Liters of water at least.

Here is a picture of the tank


As i said i would love to go planted, and since the tank is nice and big, i can actually do alot. Dont know what plants yet, but will definitely get Anubias barterii, and java fern and java moss because those are the hardiest plants i know of, i dont want hygrophillia or something similar because it makes the tank seems very crowded.

As for substrate i was thinking about pool filter sand to cap a more nutrient rich substrate. dont know if it would be appropriate. im still considering the walstad method of low tech all natural aqaurium.

I have a t8 lighting fixture that can house 2 x 40 watt tubes, which will be phiilips or osram 6500k.

thats what i have planned so far but im writing exams now so will only start looking for a return pump for the sump in December. Any suggestions on what a decent flowrate should be?

after i get the sump dimensions ill work on what media to use, but will probably go with some filter wool, bio balls and some of those plastic shavings.

Im stoked. waited for quite a while before getting a nice tank.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:09 PM   #2
 
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That is a great find, well done.

There are several methods for planted tanks, each with its own issues; as you seem to be leaning toward the low-tech approach, the 4-part series of articles at the head of the Freshwater Plant section entitled "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" may be of interest. That is just one method, but it is the simplest. The photos of my tanks [under "Aquariums" below my name on the left] illustrate such setups.

Byron.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:20 AM   #3
 
Thanks Byron, i read the basic aproach a while ago, and it was very helpful. Im still researching all the possibilities though. Your setups looks very nice Byron, and seems like your plants are thriving. Maybe high tech is not neccesary after all :P.

The tank has a few scratches, which ive heard can be polished out, not sure about that yet, but ill be doing some reading. I dont want to be over eager, i want to set this setup once, and run it for a while to give plants time to settle and grow properly. The tank was used for a marine setup, so there is quite a bit of cleaning up to do, and the wood of the cabinet may need some sanding and treatment, which ill attend to first after that ill focus on getting the tank spotless, and see if i can get some of the fine scratches out. while all this is going on, im on the lookout for a return pump. The sump is about 60cm (L) by 45cm(H) by 30cm(D) so its 81 liter capacity, but ill probably only fill it to 50 liters at most. it will consist of 4 chambers, one for equipment, one for filter wool, one for the bio balls(which will be the largest) and one for the return pump. If algea become a problem ill get an uv filter that all connect from the return back into the tank. I think the filtration should be sufficient for this size tank? and a 2000L/H pump should also run fine?

I am concerned about the lights, i dont think t8 lights would penetrate deep enough for the plants, because the water level reaches 63 cm from the bottom of the tank. so im not sure what lights i should use.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:43 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikkie View Post
Thanks Byron, i read the basic aproach a while ago, and it was very helpful. Im still researching all the possibilities though. Your setups looks very nice Byron, and seems like your plants are thriving. Maybe high tech is not neccesary after all :P.

The tank has a few scratches, which ive heard can be polished out, not sure about that yet, but ill be doing some reading. I dont want to be over eager, i want to set this setup once, and run it for a while to give plants time to settle and grow properly. The tank was used for a marine setup, so there is quite a bit of cleaning up to do, and the wood of the cabinet may need some sanding and treatment, which ill attend to first after that ill focus on getting the tank spotless, and see if i can get some of the fine scratches out. while all this is going on, im on the lookout for a return pump. The sump is about 60cm (L) by 45cm(H) by 30cm(D) so its 81 liter capacity, but ill probably only fill it to 50 liters at most. it will consist of 4 chambers, one for equipment, one for filter wool, one for the bio balls(which will be the largest) and one for the return pump. If algea become a problem ill get an uv filter that all connect from the return back into the tank. I think the filtration should be sufficient for this size tank? and a 2000L/H pump should also run fine?

I am concerned about the lights, i dont think t8 lights would penetrate deep enough for the plants, because the water level reaches 63 cm from the bottom of the tank. so im not sure what lights i should use.
A general comment first; any planted tank method will work, so the method you choose will depend upon the effect you want and how much money and time you are prepared to spend, initially and long-term. The plants will obviously respond to each method somewhat differently in terms of their growth rate. The vast majority of aquarium plants will live and grow in any setup, be it low-tech or anything above. Very,very few require high light and massive nutrients (such as CO2 diffusion). Only you can decide what you want in the end, and then use the method to achieve it.

Re the light, your tank is identical to my 90g in dimensions, and two T8 tubes over my tank provide more than enough light. At least for the plants I have in there. Also remember that you need some depth to the substrate, again depending upon plants. I have 3 inches at the front and 4-5 sloping toward the back in that tank, due to the Echinodorus (swords) which have extensive root systems. The substrate also is the "bed" for the bacteria, essential for a healthy system; this is not nitrifying bacteria, but aerobic and anaerobic bacteria associated with plants and organics. I tried T5 HO lights last year, for one week before I returned them for T8. The tank was way too bright. And it is the fish for which this is a concern. Forest fish do not appreciate bright lighting overhead, it is not natural. Which is why I also use floating plants in all my tanks, even with minimum (as some would call it) lighting.

On filtration, if you read the series you know that minimal filtration is best. In planted tanks the filter is only there to move the water around (and removing suspended particulate matter in the process), and you do not want much water current unless the tank is to contain all fish that need this. Another aspect of fish compatibility--similar water movement needs. And over filtration actually is detrimental to plant health because it is competing.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:36 PM   #5
 
Hey. Its been a while since i started this thread. but here a quick update, ive got the tank running and sump is fixed, have a lifetech ap 3500 pump in there attached to a hose, and then a spraybar so that there is minimal surface agitation and prevent a current from forming. Im going to get two 54w t5 lights hopefully this week.

Ive read and interesting thread on a local forum about plant fibre peat capped with silica sand as substrate and apparently the local fishkeepers had great success with that, so im giving it a try. i havent planted anything yet, but im very keen to make a plant order on monday. tank is coming along nicely :)
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:44 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikkie View Post
Hey. Its been a while since i started this thread. but here a quick update, ive got the tank running and sump is fixed, have a lifetech ap 3500 pump in there attached to a hose, and then a spraybar so that there is minimal surface agitation and prevent a current from forming. Im going to get two 54w t5 lights hopefully this week.

Ive read and interesting thread on a local forum about plant fibre peat capped with silica sand as substrate and apparently the local fishkeepers had great success with that, so im giving it a try. i havent planted anything yet, but im very keen to make a plant order on monday. tank is coming along nicely :)
Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:33 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikkie View Post
Hey. Its been a while since i started this thread. but here a quick update, ive got the tank running and sump is fixed, have a lifetech ap 3500 pump in there attached to a hose, and then a spraybar so that there is minimal surface agitation and prevent a current from forming. Im going to get two 54w t5 lights hopefully this week.

Ive read and interesting thread on a local forum about plant fibre peat capped with silica sand as substrate and apparently the local fishkeepers had great success with that, so im giving it a try. i havent planted anything yet, but im very keen to make a plant order on monday. tank is coming along nicely :)
If uyou go with T5 you limit your options in tubes. NO (normal output) will work, but they are not always easy to get locally. HO (high output) will in my view be too bright to balance the nutrients; I tried two 48-inch HO tubes last year and after a week took them back, and that was over my 5-foot tank.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
 
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I want to know more about this peat substrate. I do love the tank BTW.

From what I know peat is used in part to acidify your water and create brown water though the leeching of tannins a la swamps and rainforests. Is this what the goal is? Or does the silica sand cap keep this from happening and as a result, the peat is just great organic matter for the roots of your plants? I've just never heard of this being done and want to know more!
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