advice on set-up 125 gal aq - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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advice on set-up 125 gal aq

Hi all-

I am getting ready to set up my 125 gal fully planted aq. I will have a c02 system with automatic ph monitor. I have a wet-dry filter and everything I've mentioned has already been purchased. My question concerns lighting. I have been reading and looking at different light set-ups. I would like a medium/high to hi lighting. My aq has a wood canopy. I would like some ideas on what system lighting. I plan of having glass covering AQ so lights would have to sit on that. Would 2 48inch bulbs or 4 24 inch bulbs be better..Thanks in advance..I will also have a light timer system. This tank will eventually be a discus show tank with neons catfish and bristlenose plecs as well as a loach for snails.
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 05:09 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

The lighting will have to be sufficient to balance the CO2, and other nutrient fertilization will be essential as you may know. The mention of discus is significant, since these fish will be better with less light. Is the CO2 an absolute given?

I'd like to have a better understanding of where you are going with this tank, hence my question.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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My plan is to start breeding Discus. I have3 other tanks the breeding will be happening in. I am just going to heavly plant this tank and add a bunch of neons right now. Down the road I plan on moving a few of the discus that I like. Probably will be a while for that. I just can't figure out the best way to do the lighting and amount of light I need. I have a planted tank at office thats doing well with 2.5 watts per gal. I know my plants are limited for a Discus tank. C02 is a necessity for me. Thanks for response and will await what you think would work for me
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipster55 View Post
My plan is to start breeding Discus. I have3 other tanks the breeding will be happening in. I am just going to heavly plant this tank and add a bunch of neons right now. Down the road I plan on moving a few of the discus that I like. Probably will be a while for that. I just can't figure out the best way to do the lighting and amount of light I need. I have a planted tank at office thats doing well with 2.5 watts per gal. I know my plants are limited for a Discus tank. C02 is a necessity for me. Thanks for response and will await what you think would work for me
I'm also using dry ferts for the ei system
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 06:55 PM
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Like Byron said, Discus prefer low lighting. They come from a habitat where they get little sunlight, and prefer this type of setup. When you keep Discus in a high light set up, they will be stressed out. They will still survive in a high light setup, but it will be harder to get them to breed and their lifespan may be shortened. The same thing goes for neon tetra's who come from a similar habitat.

On the other hand, if your going to go with CO2 then your going to need high lighting to balance the CO2 out. You can always go with a lo-tech set up without CO2, which would be ideal for the Discus. You can still get heavily planted tanks with a low-tech set-up, if you need an example just look at Byron's tanks.

In my opinion it would be best to either go with a low-tech setup or a different fish that is more tolerable to high light, but that is your decision to make.

I recommend you read this article that Byron wrote, it goes in-depth about how lighting affects fish. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...er-fish-81982/

Good luck with your project
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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OK I do appreciate your input..I'll have to do a little thinking..My heavily planted tank has alot of shade from taller plants and the neons seem to be doing well as I haven't lost any since I bought them, but what you said does make sense. Thanks
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 07:26 PM
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Amazon21 has mentioned my thinking correctly, so enough said. However, if by "needing" CO2 you are meaning to lower the pH, I would suggest a better method would be to dilute the tap water (which reduces hardness proportionally) and letting the pH fall naturally. That way, no CO2 is needed. One less thing to go wrong; as another experienced (with CO2, unlike me) member mentioned in another thread this week, killing off fish with CO happens. And discus being sensitive, it is one less thing to worry about.

I would not keep neon with discus, due to different temperature requirements. Discus need the warm of 82F+, neons will quickly burn out above 77-78F. Cardinal tetra are better, and maybe some Brilliant Rummy Nose tetra with them [click on shaded names to see that profile]. Both manage fine at the warm temperature and naturally occur with discus in the wild so a good match. And these fish also do not like light; cardinals have what Baensch called a light phobia. So do most forest fish actually. You might want to have a read of my article on light and how it affects fish, here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...er-fish-81982/

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Amazon21 has mentioned my thinking correctly, so enough said. However, if by "needing" CO2 you are meaning to lower the pH, I would suggest a better method would be to dilute the tap water (which reduces hardness proportionally) and letting the pH fall naturally. That way, no CO2 is needed. One less thing to go wrong; as another experienced (with CO2, unlike me) member mentioned in another thread this week, killing off fish with CO happens. And discus being sensitive, it is one less thing to worry about.

I would not keep neon with discus, due to different temperature requirements. Discus need the warm of 82F+, neons will quickly burn out above 77-78F. Cardinal tetra are better, and maybe some Brilliant Rummy Nose tetra with them [click on shaded names to see that profile]. Both manage fine at the warm temperature and naturally occur with discus in the wild so a good match. And these fish also do not like light; cardinals have what Baensch called a light phobia. So do most forest fish actually. You might want to have a read of my article on light and how it affects fish, here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...er-fish-81982/

Byron.
Thanks for all your inf. I read your article which was very interesting. Never thought of that before. Thanks again
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 10:38 PM
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Please be cautious with the CO2. Start low and watch the fish's behavior. A pH meter is not necessarily an absolutely accurate way to determine your actual dissolved CO2 levels. Much depends on your particular water chemistry and that specific chemistry's interaction with the CO2 determines how "accurate" an estimate the pH is for your tank CO2 level. The only way to accurately determine CO2 is with a (very expensive) CO2 probe that literally costs thousands of $$. That's why pH is used instead, for referencing changes caused by carbonic acid increases. pH works as an estimator IF your water chemistry falls in certain parameters.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-08-2011, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Please be cautious with the CO2. Start low and watch the fish's behavior. A pH meter is not necessarily an absolutely accurate way to determine your actual dissolved CO2 levels. Much depends on your particular water chemistry and that specific chemistry's interaction with the CO2 determines how "accurate" an estimate the pH is for your tank CO2 level. The only way to accurately determine CO2 is with a (very expensive) CO2 probe that literally costs thousands of $$. That's why pH is used instead, for referencing changes caused by carbonic acid increases. pH works as an estimator IF your water chemistry falls in certain parameters.

Thanks for your reply, I'm very familar with C02 systems as I have a complete system on my 75 gallon with heavy plants running now. As for ph controllers, I guess thats an indivdual choice. Mine is working great and all plants are robust and growing (some to fast). I seem to be pruning every other week. By all means there are many different ways to achieve the same end result. I'm really trying to find out opinions on lighting equipment as its been a few years since I bought any high light items. In fact the LED's are completely new to me. Thanks again for your thoughts.
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