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Thread: new 90g, new tank questions

  1. new 90g, new tank questions

    First time caller, long time listener.. I've been a member of sfbaaps and plantedtank.net for over a year, but I rarely post since I get almost all the information I need from searching and try not to bog down forums with questions that have already been asked. Although many of you will see me as new, I'm familiar with many of you already through your writing (sounds creepy, doesn't it?!).

    My questions:

    Fertilization-
    I've read here that new tanks should have their water changed twice a week and fertilized at lower concentrations than EI would call for.. I was wondering what the rationale was for this? Given that the range that nutrients can be dosed is so wide anyway, and the low cost of dry ferts, why keep the concentrations any lower than what would be suggested by EI?

    Lighting-
    I'm currently running 4x54 watt T5HOs over my tank. the spacing between each set of bulb/reflectors is a bit wide (2 sets of 2x54).. would this be less effective than if the bulb/reflectors were packed closer together, resulting in more overlap of light? The lights run 7 hours per day, with a bubble count of something like 12 bubbles/sec misted through two diffusers.
    I'd like to try MH lighting at some point.. would say, 2x70w give a similar output as what I'm currently running?

    # of Filters versus Flow-
    I only have one canister filter (eheim ecco 2236) right now, but I'm also running a power sponge filter (marine land powerhead 660R) to augment circulation. Should this be replaced with another canister filter, or is the main point of having two canisters in a tank this sized primarily for increased circulation?

    Thanks a lot, everyone!

  2. #2
    MH lights can't be judged by watts per gallon, in my opinion. That is because those lights are almost always suspended some distance above the water, and because they either have a lot of spill over light or they don't cover the entire tank. (The old round peg in a square hole problem). Then, there is the problem of limited sizes available in MH bulbs - 70 watt minimum, but 150 watts as the next bigger size, etc. Someone with the interest could devise a poll with the right questions and find out from the wide range of experience with MH lights, just what a "high", "medium", and "low" light tanks means with MH lights.
    Hoppy

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond_h2002 View Post
    Given that the range that nutrients can be dosed is so wide anyway, and the low cost of dry ferts, why keep the concentrations any lower than what would be suggested by EI?
    "Some" seem to think the excess nutrients cause algae...........
    However, if that where the case, then older tanks would also get algae for the4 same reasons......... but we do not see that........

    You typically have maybe 25% of the final plant biomass when folks plant a new tank, unless you have a lot of starting plant biomass.

    So you really do not need much to start off with.
    But adding less will not save you from algae...........

    Which is what some imply............

    The real issue for new tank issues: namely bacteria, and filter bacteria, 1/2 dead, rotting new plant parts, leaching from transplant stress, transportation etc.

    If you add Zeolite to the filter, pre cycle the tank with sponge/mulm etc from established tanks, do frequent large water changes, this removes.......NH4.........

    That, not PO4/NO3 etc is the issue here.
    Some common sense should be applied to the basic ecology of starting an aquarium............something often lost when folks give advice or suggest things.......

    Lighting-
    I'm currently running 4x54 watt T5HOs over my tank. the spacing between each set of bulb/reflectors is a bit wide (2 sets of 2x54).. would this be less effective than if the bulb/reflectors were packed closer together, resulting in more overlap of light? The lights run 7 hours per day, with a bubble count of something like 12 bubbles/sec misted through two diffusers.
    I'd like to try MH lighting at some point.. would say, 2x70w give a similar output as what I'm currently running?
    Pretty close, mixing a bank of the T5's and the 70W would be nice.

    # of Filters versus Flow-
    I only have one canister filter (eheim ecco 2236) right now, but I'm also running a power sponge filter (marine land powerhead 660R) to augment circulation. Should this be replaced with another canister filter, or is the main point of having two canisters in a tank this sized primarily for increased circulation?

    Thanks a lot, everyone!
    I am a fish person, and a plant person.

    More filter = better for fish
    More current and a good pattern (up to a point)= better for plants.

    I'd suggest 2 good sized ehiem's, maybe a surface extractor if you can hide it, I typically add a sponge prefilter to most canister intakes.

    So say a 75 Gal tank:

    2 x 300GPH canisters is a typical arrangement.

    I prefer wet drys and sumps, + a closed loop canister for client and personal tanks.

    So a 75 gallon might have 400-500GPH of Wet/dry, 300-400gph of canister, since the tank is 48Long, a pendent w/ either 2x150w+ 1x70W (AM sexy series), or a 2x54w T5 + 2x150 w. I deal with very high light (like the sun or lots of MH's) by setting up a telescope worm drive that moves the lights slowly across the tank and this gives a nice light spread without blinding and without losing light due to high suspension. every 12 hours, the lights move about 16 inches across a 24" wide tank, then they reset slowly. This gives a different look to the tank, just like in nature, to the tank at any one moment.
    It's a DIY novel set up, but if I spend 1000$ on a light, I want it to do precisely what I want, I can engineer most things.

    Creativity is not listened to the what is inside the tank

    That's for a high light.
    Less? A bank of T5's with a wide reflector and DIY install/cabinet for the hood.

    Say 2x 54 for lower light, or 3x54w for med or 4x 54 for high light.
    Note, running these in pairs can reduce the light for most of the photo cycle, while you can still get a nice high light spike of 2-4 hours midday.



    Up to you, however, more light= more CO2= more nutrients, and it's always easier to keep any plant tank with less, not more light.

    Go to Aqua Forest and see the 70 Gallon across from the cash register.
    It's got a 2x54W T5 set up and looks every bit as nice as most any high light tank scape you will see on the web.

    So any clown that claims you need high light and that you can achieve such tanks easier with high light, I'd listen to advice else where.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  4. Thank you, VaughnH and Tom for your detailed responses.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post

    Say 2x 54 for lower light, or 3x54w for med or 4x 54 for high light.
    Note, running these in pairs can reduce the light for most of the photo cycle, while you can still get a nice high light spike of 2-4 hours midday.

    Would it be ok to run one 2x54w bank at 8 hours, and then have the second 2x54 bank run 2-4 hours for the spike? Or is it important to have both run equal times? It would be more convienent to have one run at the full 8 hours so i can piggyback the CO2 solenoid off the same timer.

    On the other hand, is it really important to have the CO2 turn on an hour before the lights do? If it is, then I'd have to run a 3rd timer for the CO2 regardless..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post

    Go to Aqua Forest and see the 70 Gallon across from the cash register.
    It's got a 2x54W T5 set up and looks every bit as nice as most any high light tank scape you will see on the web.
    I know which one you're talking about and I was very amazed by that tank.. So to achieve that, takes nothing more than ample fertilization and CO2?

    I ran my 90g using the same lights (2x54w T5) for a while and then decided to add the 2nd bank of T5s when I got impatient waiting for the ground cover to grow in (glosso and HC).. Once they do cover the floor, can I cut back the lighting to 2x54 and still keep the same (but slower) growth patterns? i.e., without leggyness?

    Would 2x54w be just as effective for me as it is for them, despite the difference in tank height (their 70g vs. my 90g)?

  5. A typical T5 with single light reflectors will produce more light per watt than a typical MH setup. This is a constant debate in the reef community (I think because the MH people dont want to admint flourscent has come a long way), but there have been many people that have done meaurements between T5 and MH. The result is T5 produces as much light or sometimes more than MH.

    With the right mix of bulbs you should be able to get the same spectrum with T5s with much longer bulb life.

    Reef Central Online Community - T5 PAR not as good as we thought?

    That link is 1 such comparison and if you scroll to the bottom and look a the pictures, the T5 234 (6x39) watt setup has more light reaching the bottom of the tank then the 250 watt MH.

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