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mjt90

Pre-pre-pre-planning stages for new high-tech aquascape

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So as the title suggests, I am well underway in the early stages for planning a new aquascape - bigger, greener, better and more expensive than any before! (Well, any I have had anyway...)

I kind of have my heart set on a 3x2x2, purely because I quite like the dimensions and it will allow me to grow what I want to grow. But I am curious as to whether I would have any troubles getting depth penetration with T5HO bulbs, enough to grow HC wayyyyyy down the bottom? At this early stage I am thinking I will run with 4 bulbs (either 1x4 bulb fitting or 2x2 bulb fittings) but I shouldn't need metal halides should I?

I am not throwing this in the lighting section purely because I wouldn't mind a broad range of replies, experienced or non-experienced, opinions or not - any input is appreciated. I really don't have any specifics as of yet, all I know is that this time I am going to do it right and do it once - I have learned my lesson with my current scape!

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i would go 22 high and 4ft long, that way its more panaramic, more light penetration the time you have 2 inchs of aquasoil in there and you could grow hc at 20 inch

i would go custom 10mm rimless too if moneys not a worry, hope this helps

if you have your heart set on a 3x2x2 i have a 150 metal halide that will grow anything under it for sale $ 80 quick sale

i run 2x150 mh for my planted 8x2x2 and seems to grow anything

Edited by AussieDIYFK
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I just looked up a 120x55x55 and I actually quite like it thanks AussieDIYFK. Now you have only further complicated things for me haha...

I like the 90x60x60 because it seems to really appeal to my eyes for some reason. It's more compact and practical for me I think, and there is something I really like about the taller, shorter tanks. I don't know why though, and it does even seem counter intuitive a little bit because I know a lot of scapes use the shallower tanks. I know I want a decent depth (front to back) because I want to be able to properly contrast a fairly large foreground without compromising the space for my midground and background. I really like carpets so they're probably one of my biggest considerations.

Edit - forgot to add that I do really like your point that the 4ft is more panaromic - I agree. I think I probably need to go and have a look at some tanks side by side to see what I like more, and I am certainly not one to "stick" to what the professionals do, because I think originality is one of the most important factors in a successful scape.

In terms of money, it is a pretty big consideration but I am planning on saving for each component and putting it together slowly as opposed to my current setup which really just haemorrhaged my student-lifestyle budget haha. The other consideration is power consumption, and I know MHs will keep that meter churning. I have had decent success with T5HO thus far, but I might have to do some more research on the PAR at varying depths and see what I can come up with.

Edited by mjt90
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The T5 lights should be enough for most plants in a 2 ft deep tank.

What you need to do though is allow for depth of gravel and height above the tank for the lights.

If it was me, I would probably choose a slightly shorter tank say a 36 x 24 x 20.

I would go with 4 x single fitting and would run two with full daylight spectrum, one with a Moon Blue bulb for night time and the other with a redder spectrum.

Set them up onto timers so that you could simulate a real day / night.

That way you can have full control over how much light and what spectrum of light is on at any time of the day.

Graeme

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slow and steady wins the race and plenty of reserch too, i took me 9 months of savings to get my custom 8x2x2 (starfire) hightech setup complete

t5s are good but the bulb life decreases 50% in the first 6 months and 4 bulbs at $20 each aint cheap every 6-9 months, led are starting to get cheaper and really effiecent too ;-)

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slow and steady wins the race and plenty of reserch too, i took me 9 months of savings to get my custom 8x2x2 (starfire) hightech setup complete

t5s are good but the bulb life decreases 50% in the first 6 months and 4 bulbs at $20 each aint cheap every 6-9 months, led are starting to get cheaper and really effiecent too ;-)

Haha yeah that's a very valid consideration. I am looking at hopefully getting quality and longevity by spending my money wisely. It won't all be happening until I finish Uni this semester, but now is definitely the time I am doing more research and saving. That being said I have already learnt a LOT by building my first aquascape. It's been an expensive experience, but as one of my good mates put it, hobbies are all about the experience, and it's going to cost you in the short term for a long term gain. It would be naiive of me to say I know heaps of stuff, but I am definitely confident I can set up a sweet tank this time round using my experience gained. Preparation is going to be key this time around haha.

As for LEDs I am still in two minds I think. I will have to weigh it up when the time comes to buy lighting, there is plenty of it readily available. It will probably come down to how much I can save and justify spending in one hit on lighting that will do what I want it to.

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