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New to the hobby and starting a 30g freshwater tank!!

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New to the hobby and starting a 30g freshwater tank!!
Old 06-28-2013, 10:38 PM   #11
 
Do you know what kind of fish you are interested in?
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:18 PM   #12
 
thanks for the insight! I have definitely decided to just go with the pool sand. so I am gathering that i need 2 bulbs for my tank and i do want to go with fluorescents but i do not know what fixture to get. Every 2 bulbed i see is pretty expensive. Am i just not looking correctly?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:23 PM   #13
 
no i do not. Im sure i have shiny object noob syndrome so i want cool, beautiful, nemo looking, gracefull (like angel fish and bettas)... i know i have to do research and see if the fish i want are compatible and the type of water they like etc... Got any suggestions?

I plan on being very ocd with my tank maintenance...
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:47 AM   #14
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Byron, thanks for the advise. I will look into changing the substrate since i did read that a few times but i also read the great benefits of the flourite. There is nothing like it being directed at me though lol. in regards to the light hood, i was also just advised to use a freshwater LED set up... i though since i had plants i HAD to use fluorescents, is that wrong?
Going with straight sand is a good idea... so I won't harp on it again.

The issue with LED is that the stock kitted lights are not for plants, but that is the same for fluorescents as well. If you buy a fixture that is suitable for your setup there is less complexity than bulbs but more up front cost, although a good plant/bulb combo can be pricey as well. The best plan is to overshoot what you expect to need and compensate with surface plant coverage to reduce the light levels, or reduce your photoperiod or just cover some of the surface physically to create areas of shade.

Here is a shot of the top of my tank with the current LED plant specific fixture. It will provide light enough for almost all light level plants, I have TONS of floating plants to lower the light arriving at the bottom. My first fixture was also good for plants but I couldn't have as much surface coverage or it got a little too dark for medium light plants. It's all about balance. I happen to have lights on for 14 hours a day... I like the viewing time.

You can check my profile tanks and see shots with the first lower light LED setup, same manufacturer, different model. I really like the low profile and built in four stage timer in the new one... but the price tag was in the mid $200 range. Marineland is the make.

Jeff.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:06 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Cache86 View Post
thanks for the insight! I have definitely decided to just go with the pool sand. so I am gathering that i need 2 bulbs for my tank and i do want to go with fluorescents but i do not know what fixture to get. Every 2 bulbed i see is pretty expensive. Am i just not looking correctly?

Thanks again!
Jeff has now entered the thread with advice on the LED issue. Thanks, Jeff.

To your question here about fluorescent tube...I see you are in the USA, so check out online places for some the lower prices. Don't worry as much about the tubes themselves, because most of the fixtures will come with tubes that frankly are not worth having. I have always purchased my tubes separately. The fixture will last years, so the investment is solid. Tubes have to be regularly replaced regardless, every 12-18 months for T8, probably 18-24 for T5.

If you can find a single-tube T5 fixture, that is probably your best option. Second to this I would rate a dual-tube T8 fixture.

Comment on sand, with pool sand you have to be careful not to get white. Some places have black pool sand. I am not exactly fond of that either; I had black in one tank and got rid of it after 2 years for other reasons, but one disadvantage was that every bit of stuff stood out. I never have this with my mixed-colour substrates like the natural gravels and sands. I now use play sand, the Quikrete brand available from Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. One bag (25kg/55 lb) will do you for your 38g, and this is only a couple dollars.

Byron.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:33 PM   #16
 
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Jeff has now entered the thread with advice on the LED issue. Thanks, Jeff.

To your question here about fluorescent tube...I see you are in the USA, so check out online places for some the lower prices. Don't worry as much about the tubes themselves, because most of the fixtures will come with tubes that frankly are not worth having. I have always purchased my tubes separately. The fixture will last years, so the investment is solid. Tubes have to be regularly replaced regardless, every 12-18 months for T8, probably 18-24 for T5.

If you can find a single-tube T5 fixture, that is probably your best option. Second to this I would rate a dual-tube T8 fixture.

Comment on sand, with pool sand you have to be careful not to get white. Some places have black pool sand. I am not exactly fond of that either; I had black in one tank and got rid of it after 2 years for other reasons, but one disadvantage was that every bit of stuff stood out. I never have this with my mixed-colour substrates like the natural gravels and sands. I now use play sand, the Quikrete brand available from Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. One bag (25kg/55 lb) will do you for your 38g, and this is only a couple dollars.

Byron.
I did get the regular sand color. It's washed and I just put it in the tank. I want to start cycling the tank first before I add plants so I'm going to place my first order today. I'm doing some last minute searches.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:42 PM   #17
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If you plant enough plants you don't need to cycle it, plants use the ammonia before it enters the nitrogen cycle, most anyway. I don't have time right now to say but I have done two tanks this way now.

Jeff.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:59 PM   #18
 
I did read that, I will like to have a mostly planted tank. I will take it slow and see how everything works out.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:03 PM   #19
 
I can't seem to figure out how to add more than one pic in a post...
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:05 PM   #20
 
Out of the 50#s I have some left over to sculpt the floor a little.
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