Hello everyone. I love the website.
I have been keeping a reef tank now for over 17 years and thought it was about time for a change.
I would like to convert a 75g tank to a freshwater one. I was at my LFS last week and saw a very nice set up. I have uploaded 2 photos (I know they are not great) on the type of tank I would like to set up. What do I do first?
I am in the process of reading the 1000's of post here but can still use any advice you want to share.
Here are some questions that come to mind. Can I still use my T-5 lighting system? What equipment to buy? What is the best beginners guide or book to get?
Thank you in advance for all you thoughts and advice.
Yes, you can use the t-5 lighting system, i use one on mine. However, freshwater plants use a different spectrum than reefs, someone correct me if I'm wrong, and you may need to change the bulbs or risk getting excess algae growth.
At 75g I would recommend a canister filter. Fluval or eheim have great reputations with their canister filters. You will need many of the basics such as thermometer, gravel vac, algae scrubber, etc.
Yes, the lighting will need new tubes. First, the "colour" (expressed in Kelvin) for reef tanks is very blue (actinic for example) and this on its own will inhibit good plant growth but algae will flourish. Full spectrum tubes (around 6500K) work best; you can find out more in Part 4 of the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" stickied at the head of the Aquarium Plants section. The entire series explains the basics for low-tech natural planted tanks. Comments on filtration, etc. will also be in that series.
The danger with T5 lighting is the intensity; one T5 HO tube is approximately 1.5 times as intense as the same length and type in T8 (the regular fluorescent tubes). If you get T5 NO (= normal output) it will match up better. There is a critical balance that must be achieved between light (intensity and duration) and available nutrients (all 17) and if not the plants will not thrive but algae will. Not difficult, but takes a little bit of preparation at the outset. That article series should answer your questions, but feel free to ask further.
And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:-)
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