Planted tank set up 3ft - Need Guidance by Experienced Ppl

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Planted tank set up 3ft - Need Guidance by Experienced Ppl

Postby Sanky » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:50 am

Hello Guys !!
I am Sanket From Mumbai.I am new to this forum and this is my 1st post.

Well i have 2ft (24x12x12 inch) Non- Planted Tank with Red line Torpedos (3), 2 Rainbows , 3 pink Zebras for past 1 yr and decided to go for a 3ft Planted tank . I did good research about Planted Tank and i have few doubts regarding the same.

So about my plans,I am going for a Low budget, Low tech Planted tank (No co2) , My budget - 10k for the whole setup with plants & fish.

1- Tank
What is the suitable thickness of glass for a 3 ft tank (36L x 18W x 17H inch ) ?
- My lfs guy told me to go for 8 mm glass, bt i have read in other forum where they have advised to go for 10 mm glass.

As i am going for a 3 ft tank (36L x 18W x 17H inch ) so i would be needing round about 27 - 29 kg of substrate to get the desired layout & depth for plants. And as we all know ADA soil is very expensive. Its costing me 1800 for 1 ADA 9l bag. #:-s
My LFS told me to go for river sand (not white sand), i am not sure its river sand , i think it is Laterite Soil . Just for reference i have given a link for the pic of the sand he showed me in one of his tank. please correct me if i am wrong or otherwise..
link for river sand -

He is giving me Laterite Soil for 60/kg. So 1 ADA soil 9l bag == 30kg of Laterite Soil (Enough for the whole tank :p )

Given the fact that ADA is the Best soil for Aqurium So my question is can i use laterite soil for the initial depth of the substrate & put the top layer of ADA soil for plants (i.e just one 9L bag at the top and 20 kg of laterite soil at the bottom).

- Could mixing (or layering) of this two different sand or soils could cause any problem ? Has anyone done this before & what are the results ?

- Can i do it this way or i should stick to one complete set up of river sand/laterite soil or ADA soil or any other soil alone ?

- Also what is the life span of ADA soil as my LFS person told me that it last for only 3 yrs then it melts away on the other hand laterite soil last for 5 or more yrs ?

- My other option is going for ISTA soil , JBL manado . which is better between the two ? Not able to get Contro soil here..

link for insta soil : ... oil-9l.cms

Has anyone used Ista or JBL soil ? What are your reviews.?


- I am going for SUNSUN 303A canister filter. Has anyone used this filter or have any insight for this filter regarding the built quality , its pros & cons of this filter ?

Also when i asked my LSF guy he told me not go for it as the filter spare parts (i.e Impeller) are not easily available here, he recommend me to go for BOYO's top filter .

- Is it advisable to go for top filters for planted tank of this size (180 liters approx)?

Link for BOYO top filter : ... filter.cms

Other option such as ehiem 250 (2213) or hydor 250 are quiet expensive ( Twice the price 8-} ) here compared to SUNSUN . Any other suggestion for the same.


This one is tricky .. i have read about the lumens, WPG (watts per gallon ) & stuff but cant get the hang of this things..

As lighting Set for a 3ft tank is way expensive again, i would go for custom hood.

So my questions regarding lighting is :

What is my best option - t8 or t5 or t5hO or pll's ? (Efficient & Cost wise) i think t8 is outdated now.. not sure about t5hO are required still...

For a 3ft tank how many tubes (t5 or pll's ) would be needed & of what wattage ?


I would be going for beginners plants like java ferns , anubias etc , as i need to learn a great stuff about growing plants & to maintain there health , later on will go for difficult ones or high demanding plants.

6 - Fertilizer

Where can i get dry fertilizers (Macro & Micro) for my plants in mumbai or any online store in india.

Thanks in advance , i hope you guys go through all the questions of mine and would really appreciate if you could answer those for me. It would help me clear my doubts and i would be more confident about setting my tank.

Thanks again & keep up the good work !! :ympeace:
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