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Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
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Gainesville, Florida
Hi All,

Long time aquarium hobbyist, I came across a deal for 75 gallon hexagonal and a 55 gallon rectangular tanks and had a few questions:

1. What planted substrates are people going with these days?
2. I have an old Rex Grigg CO2 regulator with solenoid and am about to get a new 5# CO2 tank from a fire extinguisher company, are people running reactors on canister filters or diffusion systems? Are those old regulators even able to be serviced anymore if necessary?
3. With the broader availability of LED lighting systems, are they preferred over CF bulb systems these days? Any recommendations for W or lumens generated for either tank to turn into planted tanks?

Thanks!
 

Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
275
0
16
Gainesville, Florida
Forgot to add:

Tank conditions: medium to high light output, peaceful tanks, moderate budget
The 75 hexagonal came with 3 rubber lipped pl*co, an SAE, and a sad panda cory in need of friends. It also had an old marineland cannister filter. The 55 rectangular came without anything.
 

Rbishop

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Dec 30, 2005
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Mr. Normal
Not wasting anybodies time. Maybe more tank details and information on how the tank is currently set up along with current tank parameters.
 

dougall

...
Mar 29, 2005
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  1. I'm personally a fan of commercial aquasoils, Tropica, Stratum or Landen would be my personal favorites.
  2. I prefer a reactor, plans supposedly (and marginally) prefer a diffuser. It depends on your preference, I'm not a fan of seeing the CO2 mist and like the gas to be dissolved. Not sure about Rex Grigg regulators, from memory he took existing regulators and switched out things like the needle valves for something more appropriate for aquarium usage. So it depends on the specific regulator body he used in that instance. I am sure he only used quality higher end ones though so chances are good it will still be serviceable likely only things like washers, O-rings, gauges and the like but you should be fine and most parts may not need to be serviced assuming there is no problem now.
  3. I would not even consider PC lighting any more, for the cost of a single bulb, you can get an LED fixture of the same length that will give more light output and last for years. knowing the dimensions of the hex will be useful especially the height and how the top is arranged. But there is a lot of variety around, I am more a fan of higher end lighting and prefer the color of the aquarium it gives my eyes... Your mileage will always vary, and especially depend on your budget.
 
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FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Joel
Signus, this forum can be a bit slow in August. I didn't catch your thread till just now.

I've got two 48"x12" 55's that are loaded with plants. They're not the ideal footprint/height ratio for a serious planted tank IMO. The hex tank would be way worse. Just throwing that out there for you to consider.

If you're talkin' anubia, java fern and other more basic stuff, they're perfectly fine.
 

Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
275
0
16
Gainesville, Florida
Thanks all for answering. I thought I was bothering everyone. Strange how this forum has changed over a decade.

I have 4 tanks and growing now. I have a 125 standard, a 75 standard, a 55 standard, and a tall hexagonal that was sold to me as 75 gal... I'm doing well flushed play sand in the 125, 75 rectangular and the 55 rectangular, but havent decided what to do for the hexagonal as I have friends in the local area who did that with fert tabs on their 20 gallon to 1000 gallon tanks to grow plants of all sorts... (That 1000 gallon though has a ripsaw catfish in it and constantly rearranges everything that isnt deeply rooted.)

It seems like LED is the way to go after visiting a few LFS that had planted tanks over even T5 bulbs... With the center braces, is it better to get an LED bank for each side? I've seen more often than naught that people run two sets of LED banks front to back. Why? is it because of the light spread?

I am happy planting the hex tank with something that allows anubia/java fern and even topwater plants, i just honestly dont know what allows for the intensity of light to reach the 28" height vs the 22" diameter. Everyone's talking PAR these days and I'm used to Watts/gallon and talking about MIrro4 reflectors...

I still have my 36w PC light fixture kit and 6500k bulb from AH supply... I doubt that the spectrums are still good. Kinda feel like a newby all over again although I know how to breed fish now.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Joel
Wow you jumped back in head first!! My condolences.

If you can get replacement lamps for your PC, I'd use it. The problem today is there's not a lot of effort or quality that goes into fluorescent bulb or fixture manufacturing. They're mostly short lived junk unless you can get German or Japanese made bulbs, etc. It's all LED and even those are low quality junk at the low $$$ end.
 

Signus

Aquarist, not Aquarius
Oct 17, 2004
275
0
16
Gainesville, Florida
Oh no... That's exactly what I was worried about as far as quality and longevity in terms of the products on the market. I read on another forum to go with aquaponics resources but I'm not really trying to flag myself for growing weird plants. I just want to enjoy a full spectrum color on my tanks and fish as if I was snorkeling in a crystal clear river.

As far as the LED banks, what's actually going to be worth the effort to purchase? (Do you or others recommend a brand?) Do I actually need two banks front and back and should I worry about heat output from them that could melt the center braces?
 
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