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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 27 gallon cube tank that I want to make planted. I was thinking of a T5 HO light fixture with two bulbs giving around 64W of output. What do you pros think?

Also , what's a good place to buy driftwood and nice decorative stones? Can either be online or instore, I'm flexible.

~Metal
 

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I have a 27 gallon cube tank that I want to make planted. I was thinking of a T5 HO light fixture with two bulbs giving around 64W of output. What do you pros think?

Also , what's a good place to buy driftwood and nice decorative stones? Can either be online or instore, I'm flexible.

~Metal

not sure on the light but ebay is going to be the best for selection but shipping and prices are a little high. id check craigslist, maybe a local fish forum amazon maybe even. as for rocks i went to a garden supply store here and picked up my black obsidian from them for very cheap since they price it by the ton.
 

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I just bought a 48 watt T5HO light fixture, but I haven't set up my new tank yet. I have read that it is good to supplement with CO2 at high levels of light like that, but I am really knew in the high lighting world, so I could be wrong.
 

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You will more then likely run into algae problems with a light fixture like that on your tank without Co2 dosing like All that is fishy mentioned. You can try it and see but just be aware that this might be the case. Then again with enough floating plants you might be alright. I don't know as I don't have that bright of lighting on my tanks and every setup is different.
 

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You apparently have the same fixture I have. You will have to play w/ the time the light is on to avoid algae. Contrary to the advice that the real pros give I found that using Excel twice a week helped reduce algae. My plants grow like weeds with the increased light. I also use Flourish Comprehensive once a week just after WC.
 

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Excel is just a liquid supplement for C02. It can be an expensive alternative to pressurized Co2 over time. Some plants also don't like it and can cause them to melt.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All good Advice

So this is what I have picked out:

AquaticLife T5 HO Dual Lamp Light Fixtures (36W)
Aquarium Lighting T5 Fluorescent Light Fixture: AquaticLife T5 HO Dual Lamp Light Fixtures

and

Semi-Automatic CO2 System
Freshwater Planted Aquarium Plant Care: Drs. Foster & Smith Semi-Automatic CO2 System

What brand of lights do you have All that is Fishy and avraptorhal? It seems like 36W is the max i can get in a 20" fixture, is this still good to grow most plants?

Thanks for the help peeps!
~Metal
 

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I also got an AquaticLife T5HO, except it is a 30" and is 48 watts. The CO2 system you are looking at is the same one I am looking at! I am thinking of ordering it.

I am guessing your light intensity is medium, though I am figuring this out still. I read that T5HOs give off light with an intensity of about 1.5 times that of a standard fluorescent light. If that is true, you'd be getting the equivalent of 2 watts per gallon, which I think is medium. Using that same idea, mine would be about 2.48, and I don't know if that is medium or high. Anyway, I am looking into what plants I can grow. I bet both of ours will grow most plants, but I am not sure. I bought two books that have been helpful so far:

-The 101 Best Aquarium Plants, by Mary E. Sweeney
-Miniencyclopedia: Aquarium Plants, by Peter Hiscock


If you order the CO2 system, will you let me know how well it works?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I also got an AquaticLife T5HO, except it is a 30" and is 48 watts. The CO2 system you are looking at is the same one I am looking at! I am thinking of ordering it.

I am guessing your light intensity is medium, though I am figuring this out still. I read that T5HOs give off light with an intensity of about 1.5 times that of a standard fluorescent light. If that is true, you'd be getting the equivalent of 2 watts per gallon, which I think is medium. Using that same idea, mine would be about 2.48, and I don't know if that is medium or high. Anyway, I am looking into what plants I can grow. I bet both of ours will grow most plants, but I am not sure. I bought two books that have been helpful so far:

-The 101 Best Aquarium Plants, by Mary E. Sweeney
-Miniencyclopedia: Aquarium Plants, by Peter Hiscock


If you order the CO2 system, will you let me know how well it works?
Sure thing. I have a solid week off of school and work the 20th, so that's when this transformation will begin. How do you like the aquaticlife fixture?
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Discussion Starter #11
I'm going to make my purchases this Tuesday. Its gonna include:

2 Dual T5HO Light Fixtures from Aquatic Life
Dr. FosterandSmith CO0 Semi Automatic CO2 System
10lbs CO2 tank from MarineDepot
60lbs Flourite Substrate (dont know which yet)

This will be for my 27gallon Cube. I'll do some quick reviews of the stuff as it comes in. Wish me luck!

MetalArm3
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The Conversion!

Well, the change took place last Tuesday. It took all day, but it looks really good.

So as promised, here are some brief reviews out the items I ordered to convert my 27gal cube from artificial decor to live plants.

2 Dual T5HO Light Fixtures from Aquatic Life
Very well built, quite (no fans) and the bulbs it comes with look great. I did find the lack of directions annoying, especially when you are connecting two fixtures together. Overall, I would recommend it.
Dr. FosterandSmith CO0 Semi Automatic CO2 System
For the price, I dont think you can get a better deal. The regulator feels solid and the needle valve works well. The timer is easy to use and the ceramic diffuser works as described. However, as many reviews say, the bubble counter is trash. I didnt even try it after feeling of cheapily it was made. But, the ceramic diffuser also acts as a bubble counter, so problem solved.
10lbs CO2 tank from MarineDepot
Actual went with the 5lb tank since the place I got filled at couldnt do 10lb tanks. Its a text, so for the purpose of reviewing I will just say, its a tank....nuff said.
60lbs Flourite Substrate (dont know which yet)
I ended up get 3 bags of Seachems Flourite Dark substrate at 15lb each. I strongly recommend you rinse it as it extremely dirty. It took me about 20min a bag to get clean. But, I must say this stuff looks very much natural and would recommend it.
 
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