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Re: [APD] Return to planted tanks and LFS

"First, I'm working with a guy who's converting his 120g reef tank into a fresh planted tank. He has two 250w 10K double ended HQI metal halides, and wants to use these for his tank, which seems like overkill, but also looks badass."
These will work fine if he addresses the dowstream growth issues, namely good CO2, nutrients, the nutrients will be relatively easy, the CO2 will be the main challenge. 9-10hours should be enough light.
" He has a large wet/dry, and although I know canisters are better since you don't loose so much CO2, this is what he's working with..."
No, there should be no difference in CO2 loss if you seal the wet/dry air vents and raise ther overflow to about 4" inches below the tank's water surface. Wet drys will not degas if you do these two simple things. 
Steve, George and myself all found this to be true many years ago independently. See APD Archives for more.
" Anyway, I'm making him one of these: http://www.gwapa.org/articles/inline_co2_reactor/, because I really like the one I have running on my tank. One thing though: Should I make it longer, since he will most likely have to run more CO2 than it was designed for? Speaking of that, I was thinking he'd really need to crank the C02 up... how much do you think he'll need per minute or second?"

2-3 bubbles a second. 

I'd use a sump model instead if he has a sump. You use a powerhead, fed the CO2 into the suction side(300-450 gph powerhead) and it blast over the same tube style reactor in the design above but has a side mounted outlet/elbow to direct the CO2 rich water directly into the return pump.

Plug the powerhead/(and solenoid if present) into the lighting timer.

You do not need CO2 at night.

This is more efficent than any design. Only CO2 poor water from the surface skimmer comes in, only CO2 rich water leaves to the return pump.

"Secondly, I'm setting up another 120 (popular tank these days, huh?) for a lady who wants to do it all right from the start. She asked about undergravel heating cables, and I said I wasn't sure how useful they were... thoughts?"

They are not useful.

 "Also, I was going to use the Eheim Pro II 2128 filter, and run the same inline CO2 reactor I linked above. Opinions and/or thoughts on these filters?"

I'd do a sump on anything 75 gal or higher. Maintains the same water level which will leaves lime deposits, reduces any surface films, easier to service, handles higher fish loads, and removes all the junk from the tank.

" What would you guys recommend for lighting this tank? I was thinking of 2x250w MH system, but that's only because I saw the aforementioned system and was awed.

Thanks forthe help,

220w of PC lighting. You can add 330w, but most do not need it.FYI, I've set up a 120 and have talked to the owner for a few years about it's health etc.

I'd go with Onyx sand, about 200lbs of it. This will allow for slopes, terracing etc. 

Same type of Sump CO2 reactor as above.

You can make the Sump reactors easily with Acrylic also, use a 2-3" dia tube, 12-18 tall, filled with bioballs and buy some thickened glue and some capilliary glue. Buy 2 2x2 or 3x3 squares and glue on the ends of the tube after filling with bioballs.

Drill hole into top square slightly smaller than a PVC threaded adapter elbow and plumb to powerhead.

Drill another hole at the bottom on the side tube(not on the square flat bottom). This will be the outlet. Add a PVC threaded slip and glue well.

Thick PCV glue should make the seal fairly good, but the main seal is the on top. Also, a little silicone, plumber's goop or epoxy can help get a good seal etc.

If you drill a 3/16" hole about 1/2 way down on the main tube reactor body and add a piece of rigid 3/16" tubing about 1" long, glue it, this can purge any gas build up in the reactor. Add a piece of silicone airline to the 3/16" tubing and feed into return pump(not powerhead). 


Tom Barr


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