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aa few questions

soton_dave

Member
Joined
28 Mar 2009
Messages
142
Location
Southampton
over the last few months ive been toying with the idea of closing down my marine tank and replacing it with a smaller planted tank,ive currently got a 600mm planted tank running so was going to get rid of that as well and replace it with a 900mm but after seeing Alistair & Big Toms tanks its really got me thinking about a bigger low tech set up.

my marine tank is 48"lx30"wx20"d and is drilled and sumped,the main reason for thinking about closing it down is condensation resulting in mould patches throughout my house.

ive been reading a fair bit but im getting a bit confused with differing opinions so thought I'd start this thread to try and clear a few things up in my mind and help me decide which path to take.

I like the idea of using my marine tank due to the size but evaporation really concerns me,i really don't want to shut down the tank just to be confronted with the same issues so could I use coverglass over the tank and sump to help combat evaporation and build a trickle tower or would this cause more issues?

how much flow/circulation should I be aiming for,ive tried looking but cant find a definite answer.

lighting over the marines is 8x54w but the tubes come on in pairs,will 2x54w be overkill on a low tech or would I be better off with just the 1 tube?if I use coverglass I could put something on it to reduce light penetration or would the glass alone be enough to cut down the intensity?

ive got a lot of things bouncing around in my mind like ferts,substate etc. but i'll leave those for the time being till I know what direction im going in.

cheers dave
 

Danny Walton

Member
Joined
31 Dec 2013
Messages
36
Hi Dave,
Cover glass will definately help will condensation and evaporation too.
How ever the glass itself will not diffuse much light at all so to combat this you could tint the glass quite easily with just normal black spray paint, do it in thin even layers until it suits you :) Obviously you'll want to paint the top side of the glass not the underside.
Sadly i can't help in regards to your lighting since im new to all this low tech stuff myself.

All im using is 2 18w 24" T8 tubes, about 2" thick sand substrate and dosing with Easy Carbo and Profito seems to be working alright so far for me.....
 

sa80mark

Member
Joined
2 Oct 2007
Messages
859
Location
Leicester
Cover glasses on the sump and tank would help massively with evaporation also you with a bit planning on the stock side of the tank you may be able to lower the temp this will also help massively, also a cover glass on the tank will help cut light intensity so you may very well get away with 2 X 54w

with turnover if you aim for a minimum of 10 times an hour your in the right ball park but don't be afraid to go higher, as a rough idea I had nearly 30 times turnover, flow is more important than actual turnover so things like spray bars can really help

hth

mark
 

soton_dave

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Mar 2009
Messages
142
Location
Southampton
I suppose I could use some greenhouse mesh across the coverglass to help cut down the light if needed

so flow is pretty much the same a high tech?

im using a couple of mp40's for flow in the marine tank currently,they give a nice broad flow so could keep one of those to help with the flow although im a bit concerned about shrimp and small fish (galaxy rasboras) getting sucked in.

cheers dave
 

OllieNZ

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Joined
11 Nov 2009
Messages
990
Location
Witney, UK
2x54w should be good I run 1x54 over my 48x18x18 if you can space the pair apart that would be even better.
Cover glass helps massively with the evaporation.
Keep the sump and add a trickle tower:D i wish I had the space to do that in my cabinet.
Forgot to add. Flow is not as big of a deal in a low tec but I still like to see everything waving gentley
 

sa80mark

Member
Joined
2 Oct 2007
Messages
859
Location
Leicester
Yes I believe flow is the most important thing both in high and low tech, there are tanks out there that seem to break the rules but I think it's widely accepted that flow is king and good flow will stop problems arising
 

soton_dave

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Thread starter
Joined
28 Mar 2009
Messages
142
Location
Southampton
thanks for the replies:thumbup:

like I said in the OP theres a lot of conflicting views with low tech,flow in this case.

im really trying to get my head around all the different opinions because if I do convert the current tank i'll be investing a fair amount of cash and time so really want to make it work first time round.

cheers dave
 

OllieNZ

Member
Joined
11 Nov 2009
Messages
990
Location
Witney, UK
If youve got all the kit to provide masses of flow then keep it and add or remove as required. No sense in selling stuff until your sure you dont need it. Have you thought about running the tank unheated? This would cut down on evaporation aswell. My unheated tank sits at 21-22c
 

Tim Harrison

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UKAPS Team
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5 Nov 2011
Messages
8,633
Location
UK
Two bulbs over cover glass should work fine...just adjust the photoperiod to suit - start with around 6 hrs and increase to around 8 once the tank becomes established. 10x flow is probably best. Plant densely from the outset and use a high organic content soil mix - something like 1:1 aquatic compost and moss peat.

I'd use fertz (about 1/10 - 1/5 of the recommended dose for a high-energy tank) but with the right plant choice - so called big root feeders - and a good soil substrate you don't necessarily need them.

I've tried to make the advice in the tutorial linked below easy to follow, and it's tried and tested, it works fine for me and has done for many years. That's not to say there aren't other routes to success, but its a good place to start, and I'm sure you'll fine your own way with experience.

Before and after - 4 months growth of my latest low-energy effort Cryptic Haven Low-energy Update Pics | UK Aquatic Plant Society

11528332916_5d60a159ce_b.jpg
 
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