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Re: New to list, substrate question
Tom gave you a nice answer regarding the gravel - keep it
simple. In my 75 I am using quartz gravel with Laterite in
the bottom layer. If I were to change the setup today I
would be tempted to wash the gravel clean (remove laterite)
and use just the gravel. If you have high light you will be
pulling plants and the laterite *will* cloud the water. Of
course careful and wise choices of plants and layout would
reduce the problem. I have had complex substrates in the
past, but always in a lower light / slower growth tank.
What prompted me to respond to your post - Tom writes -
> Also lights will most likley be replaced with an
> icecap 660 ballast with 4,
> 75watt 24" bulbs (2 over each side of the 48"
> aquarium) for a total of 300
> watts. Unless people reading this thinks thats
> too much I could stick with
> the 120 watt setup I have now, and put the VHOs
> in the salt tank :)
> This is going to be my first real attempt at live
> plants, I had a plant tank
> before (60 gallon hex with a 175watt halide and
> tetra CO2) and had a bad
> problem with hair algae and gave it up, tho the
> plants did grow nice and had
> HUGE root systems.
If you already have the 660 consider starting with 4 NO
lamps. This is what I have done and I think it is a great
configuration of lamps and driver. I have no trouble
growing plants with high light requirements and the system
is very stable, meaning that I don't get algae outbreaks
with a little neglect or dosing error. Heat is manageable
without fans, but does require some design consideration.
Once you own the driver, lamp replacement is affordable. I
use two $5 lamps and two $8 lamps that are all replaced
after 12 months. I have seen one setup that used a 660 with
a mix of VHO & NO lamps. The tank was gorgeous, but
required intense amount of management and glass cleaning.
Here is the Ice Cap Q&A section of Reef Central
4a9a899a1d7d10a5c3e84318&forumid=32 might find helpful info.
T8's can be run with the 660, but may need to use a fan.
OTH, if you don't own the 660 yet, consider browsing through
past months to look at other ballasts / drivers. Some
discussion has been had over the past year. You might try
searching the site for Fullham Workhorse drivers. These
would be a lower cost option. I'm not sure if they will
drive lamps as hard as the IceCap, but that might be OK.
Also would offer some flexibility to have lamps driven by
two different drivers.
BTW, what does your current 120 watt setup consist of?