re: 250G planted tank

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 13:31:46 -0500 (EST)
From: DIONIGI MALADORNO <MALADORD%A1%RNISD0 at mr_nut.roche.com>
Subject: 250 gallon planted tank
To: AQUATIC PLANTS <Aquatic-Plants at ActWin_com>
Don Hutton/Omnipoint <dhutton at omnipoint_com> wrote:

<<<<<Date: 10 Oct 96 10:47:50 
Subject: 250 gallon planted tank

...Tank - 84"x24"x30" deep reef ready tank with two corner overflow boxes.

Lighting - full canopy equipped with 8 36" 95 watt VHO 5000K bulbs with

I have a 180 gal (72x24x...?30 or less, I think) with 8  36" tubes (half
driven by an IceCap, there other half still driven by a magnetic ballast),
and in my opinion the lumen output of this combination is just adequate for
medium-sized and toll plants that do not have very high light requirements
(Echinodorus spp, Hygrophila spp, Mayaca fluviatilis). It is not sufficient
to grow small, lawn-like plants such as E. tenellus, since the tank is too
deep and, even in open areas, they barely survive. I know someone suggested
it, but I seriously doubt that Rotala macrandra would make it, unless you
place it in a pot in an elevated position. You might have slightly more
lumens than me because of the two Ice-Caps, but I doubt this is enough, also
because I feel the output of VHO tubes goes down very quickly after the
initial few weeks of use. An economically convenient solution for you
(certainly not the ONLY solution) might be to pile-up your fluorescents on
one side of the tank, and light the other with a metal halide. Another
creative idea might be to supplement your VHOs with some spot-lights
(compact fluorescent, for example) aimed at the areas where you want to grow
small or light-hungry plants. Please note that these are just suggestions,
and I do not have direct experience with either one. 

Undergravel heating is going to be very expensive (are you sure it's worth
to get started with it on such a big tank? Many people achieve excellent
plant growth without it). Unless you want to recycle an existing wet-dry, a
more convenient solution for filtration might be a combination of canister
and outside power filters (I have a Fluval 403 and a Magnum HOT, they work
fine). What could be very useful is in my opinion is to have available a
very powerful outside filter to quickly clean up floating debris when major
aquascaping jobs are needed. The few times I did that, I set up a Superking
with triple pads plus floss, and I run it for 1-2 days thereafter. A diatom
fliter would do the same or a bit more, but what I need to remove are
relatively large debris, and a superking is a simpler and more flexible

I am supplementing my RO water with PMDDs only, but I want to achieve
conductivity levels lower than normally required and I have been using this
for only a few months (so far so good...but I am still at 180 microS). What
about mixing some of your tapwater with the RO to achieve the desired
hardness, and adding additional microelements? Concerning the algae eaters,
it all depends on how much you like them and how much you need them. They
will however help to maintain algae in check after you have figured out how
to limit their growth by other means (proper balance if micro- and

Final note on automated CO2 injection: why not to start with a simple timer
to turn it off at night, and add a controller only if really needed?  

Good luck!