90 gallon plant tank, suggestions?


Well, I just took the plunge and ordered my "dream" tank.  A 90 gallon
reef-ready with a wet/dri sump.  So now, while I'm waiting for it to arrive,
I have a few decisions to make, and was looking for some suggestions.

First, is lighting.  I have read most, if not all, of the available material
on lighting, and for now I am planning to go with NO T-8 flourescents.  I am
considering 8 tubes, for a total of 256 Watts, this is a little under the
3W/gallon rule, but wondered if it would be enough; especially considering
that this 90 gallon is 24" high - maybe 10 would be better (boy that's a lot
of tubes!)?  I could go the VHO route I guess, and use 3 tubes for 330W - how
often does one need to change VHO bulbs?  Wait until they burn out, or
every 6 months to a year like the NO's?  At this point, I think MH is out
of the question, because I don't have the space to hang pendants, although
I guess I could use one of those retro kits with a fan, and put them in the
canopy?  How often does one need to change out MH bulbs?

Secondly is under gravel heating.  I am currently thinking about using the
150W duplaflex cables with my own 24V transformer, but am having a bear
of a time finding a 24V/8A transformer (needs to be 6.2A nominally, 8A for
safety).  Anybody have a source for this one?  Also, is 150W enough for a 90
gallon, and will I need to put a supplementary heater in the sump?

That's about it, the substrate is going to be small-grain gravel, with
laterite.  Oh, I almost forgot, I will be using CO2 injection, from a
compressed gas cylinder - manual control for now, hopefully electronic
control sometime in the future.  Anybody have any good plans for a CO2
diffuser that works well in a sump?  (I haven't checked out all of the plans
on the Krib yet :>)

Thanks for all of the great info I have gleaned over the past year, just
reading in the shadows!

david at joshua_medimg.emory.edu

*  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that     *
*   whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting       *
*   life."  -John 3:16 (KJV)        I'm a whosoever, are you?                *