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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been in freshwater successfully for years and finally decided to start my first planted tank. I currently have a 55 gallon cichlid tank and and 54 gallon pentagonal with tetras and etc. Plants are a whole new challenge for me now and I have been researching quite a bit. I was originally planning to go low tech and bought a 50 gallon acrylic to start on. The tank looked great but NOTHING fit the tank right without modifications and I ended up returning it. I stumbled upon a great local sale and now have a 40 gallon breeder, 36" Hagen T5HO, and Rena XP2 filter for about $70 less than the acrylic tank cost. So I have read all about DIY yeast bottle nightmares and think the more automated/high tech systems are the route for me. Can anyone point me in the direction of a few decent lower cost CO2 systems. I want something that I can set up and not monkey with too much. I realize I will have some tweaking and will be watching the settings a bit. I just need a bit of guidance on what systems to look at and what is junk. Thanks!
 

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Hmmmm....let's see. You should get the following:

CO2 tank (obviously :) )
regulator
solenoid
needle valve
bubble counter
CO2 tubing
check valve
bubble couter
glass diffuser

Now the question is .... where to find all this stuffs? RexGrigg is one place to start. Florida Driftwood is another. Oh yeah...ebay too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fishman Dan...

I read another post on here in which you were talking about lighting and no CO2. I have a 2 bulb T5HO setup from Hagen and the guy at the store tells me he runs a 6700/18000 in the same setup. I know very little about lighting and wondered if you had an opinion here. I saw pictures of his tanks and they are just beautiful. His store was also nothing to sneeze at with MANY planted tanks. This is probably the biggest selection of fish stuff and livestock I have ever seen under one roof. He told me on a 40 gallon breeder that this would be perfect lighting to have anything from low to medium light requirements. I guess the 18000 was a color thing for him as well. He was also quite certain that the load from proper stocking was more than enough to not have CO2. Just curious... Thanks!
 

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I would have to agree with the owner on co2. I would not use the 18,000K It sounds very overkill to me that could cause problems. Also that setup on such a short tank low-high light plants can be grown. Make sure your plant load is high from the start to minimize algae problems until tank establishes. I have always felt that planted tanks can be maintained without co2 systems. With the correct substrate, lighting and bio load a very attractive planted tank can be maintained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dan,

He had me buy Eco Complete and enough to do 3 to 4 inches. He feels Flourite is good but messier than Eco Complete. He too emphasized a heavy planting from the word go and a fair amount of bunching plants. What might you go with other than the 6700/18000? Thanks again!
 

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The 18k will do you no good for plants. You want to be in the 6500-10000k range. But, I would advise to stay on the lower end. The plants seem to better at that spectrum being it is considered more "natural".

Plants without CO2 is completely doable. The driving factor for using CO2 is your lighting. If you're near the 3wpg, you will need CO2. As well, certain plants will require it to be healthy. The key is balance. You have to maintain the proper balance between lighting and nutrients.
 

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