11-11-2009, 04:20 PM
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The concept behind a freshwater planted aquarium is somewhat different than saltwater when it comes to equipment. Although I don't know your specific filter system, I am guessing from your stats that it will be far too much for a planted tank. One benefit of planted aquaria is that the plants are the real filters; the "filter" equipment-wise is only necessary to create water movement [the strength of this depends upon the fish species, some native to fast streams prefer/need a current, those from forest pools do not] and remove suspended particulate matter with the filter pads/media. Chemical filtration (carbon, etc) in a planted tank is not recommended. I don't know how much fiddling can be done with your present filter, but a simple sponge filter would be adequate on a 28g planted tank. Canister filters work fine on larger aquaria.
Your existing light is not good plant light. Plants use blue and red light, and while your tubes will certainly provide the blue they are lacking in the red. Plus the green, which is useful to create a natural appearance in fish and plant colours. A full spectrum tube with a kelvin rating of 5500 to 8000K is best, and when you have two tubes I suggest one full spectrum at 6500K and one cool white. Plants have been shown to grow strongest under this combination. And there is sufficient green light in the full spectrum to give a natural appearance. Actinic blue light such as one needs for corals does not work well with plants.
And 105 watts over a 28g is too intense. There has to be a balance between light (intensity and duration) and available nutrients. There are 17 required nutrients, including carbon normally obtained by plants from CO2 expelled by the fish and biological processes. Plants grow by photosynthesis, and will do so up to the requirement that is lacking, what we term the limiting factor. Light should be the limiting factor, as it is the most easily controlled by the aquarist. Nutrients can be supplemented with liquid fertilizer once the CO2 and light are settled. If you can indicate the length of the fluorescent tubes in your fixture, I can suggest some suitable types. I also find it difficult to imagine other tubes won't work, but I can check into that via the website if you can tell me the name of your fixture.
You'll probably have more questions, so this will get you started.
Last edited by Byron; 11-11-2009 at 04:22 PM..