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I just bought a 500 gallon acrylic tank. It's 8ft long, 3ft high and 3ft deep. I want to plant it for freshwater south american cichlids.  I plan on using fluval stratum. What kind of lights will reach 3 feet deep? And I know I will have to do CO2, what setup do you think i will need? I have 12 tanks already, so I know how to take care of fish.  But I am new to the planted world (except my 33 gallon long which gets all the light with my fluval sky). Please help, I need advice! 


Edited by Agentaprilh
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Wow, what a cool project. I'm envious, I'll admit!! Please do a photo journal for the set up and planting! I would love to follow along.  

14 hours ago, Agentaprilh said:

And I know I will have to do CO2, what setup do you think i will need?

I don't think you "have" to do co2 to have a successful planted tank, no matter the gallons. It'll depend on what you want to do in plant selection and scape. If you want to carpet it in dwarf baby tears, then co2 and high lights will be needed. If you want lots of val, crypts, bolbitis, java fern, buce, etc maybe you don't need co2. Sometimes I run co2 for the first few months on a tank to get the plants fill in quickly, then wean it off to maintain (and lower the light intensity and ferts dosing while weaning off co2, to prevent algae). In terms of what you should use for co2, I use GLA's regulators and diffusers and I'm happy with them. 

I don't have any anything near the gallon size you do, but I do have 2 planted tanks that are 30" tall (a 110 and a 75 gal). If you want to get spendy, I love the kessil lights for their shimmer effect, and I can tell you from personal experience they will carpet monte carlo, dwarf hairgrass, stauro repens and marseila crenata through 30" of water. 

Edited by Jessica.
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