after 3 year hiatus... i'm back to fishkeeping - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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after 3 year hiatus... i'm back to fishkeeping

joined the military and went overseas. had to break down my tank.
now i'm back stateside and ready to go at it again.

Got this beauty here for $160.
57 Gallon rimless with stand. 36x18x20.
Not sure if i wanna try and take a razor blade to the overflow or just try to hide it with plants.

I've worked with aquasoil before and liked it alot. the price seemed to have jumped up a lot since the last time i bought it. i think i remember it being about $30-$36 for a 9L bag.

i still have my co2 tank and eheim filter from my last set up. i hope it still works.

need lighting, i'm thinking LED's but i've got no clue on what's a good budget fixture... something reliable and moderately priced. Looking for suggestions if you have the time to chime in.


i'll be lurking around more often now since i've got my feet wet with a brand new (used) tank.
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Last edited by MiSo; 06-16-2013 at 02:21 AM. Reason: attached photo
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 02:03 AM
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First off, thanks for your military service! Welcome back.

For the overflow, maybe you could plant it somehow or at least use it for extra filtration. Since you already have it and its there.

As for lighting, I've heard a lot of good things about Finnex LED lights. Seem to be popular.

Filter, if your eheim doesn't work and you don't want to purchase another eheim, as they are pretty good, I would suggest Sun Sun canister filters. They are super cheap on [Ebay Link Removed] For a tank your size, you could get a Sun Sun for about $75 shipping included. They have some good reviews here on the website. When I finally decide to get rid of my HOB, that is what I'm getting after a lot of research.

Do some searching here on the forums and most of your questions will be answered. Good luck.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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the finnex light seems to have decent reviews. i've only seen them on amazon and they're sold out. is there another place i can get these lights are sold?

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 06:35 AM
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+1 for the Finnex. You may need an extension cord for it since the power cable that comes off of it is only about 3 or 4 feet long. When I check amazon for 36" Finnex Ray 2 it shows them as in stock.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 06:36 AM
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Welcome back! What branch were you/are you serving in?

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 07:07 AM
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Welcome back

55 gallon Rainbowfish species/Harlequin rasboras community Dutch scape low-tech planted tank
60 gallon Bala shark low-tech planted tank
250 gallon Community Tiger Oscar/Red hook silver dollar/Silver dollars/BR Parrots/ PB Jack Dempsey/Clown loaches/Tinfoil barb/Roseline sharks/Barbs Monster fish tank
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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i'm still active duty now. i'm a flute player for the army band. its an incredible job. i pretty much go to work and play music all day.

amazon has the actinic/daylight one in stock. its a great deal but would prefer the daylight version. (dual 7000k). i can't seem to google a site that has these in stock.

i just put in an order for some ferts.
eheim 2215 and co2 tank still works. its been unused for 3 years and is still kicking.
about to order aquasoil and now now i'm thinking about what type of plants i want to do.
i'm thinking ferns and anubias to hide the overflow. i had a dhg carpet before and i liked it a lot. I will most likely do the same again. i'm a big fan of driftwood. don't know how it'll work though with an overflow smack dab in the middle of the tank. i'm also toying with the idea of a moss wall.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 07:10 PM
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To clean the overflow fill the tank with water and add 1-2 gallons of regular ol white vinegar. Let it run through the sump (are you using a sump?) or run a powerhead to circulate it around.
Let it circulate for 1-3 days and give the crud on the overflow a test scrub every now and again, once it's ready it will probably just fall off with gentle scrubbing.

After that the tank just needs a good rinse and you should be good to go
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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i wont be filling the tank with water just yet. i don't have everything yet. plus i still need to figure out a way to connect the drilled holes to my filter. i'm sure there's some kind of bulkhead fitting that will output to a 1/2 hose on my ehiem... any suggestions? i've never had to look for something like that before. the diameter of the drilled holes are 1.5 inches. i figure i'll use one to feed right into my filter and i'll cap the other one off.

i did go out and buy some vinegar. i'm gonna soak paper towels with vinegar and place it directly on the overflow and hope it'll be enough. the glass was easy enough to scrape clean.

i got 3 9L bags of amazonia, filter media, and co2 reactor coming. i used powersand on my last setup and decided to skip it this time. i'm sure i'll be fine though.
still need to find a site that has the finnex ray2 in stock, or a comparable unit if anyone has a suggestion, i'd like to hear it.

still need to decide on the rest of the plant list. where's a good place to get drift wood from? and what kind of drift wood are people using now? the tank in my sig has manzanita, but i hated how it never fully water logged and had trouble so i'd like to try something different this time.

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Last edited by MiSo; 06-17-2013 at 01:16 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 03:07 AM
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Try a local salt water store for bulkheads, 1.5" bulkheads should be easy enough to get even if you have to go online to get parts somewhere like marinedepot.com.
From there you may need to go to home depot or a plumbing store to get fittings to reduce the bulkhead down to 1/2" barb fittings for the Eheim.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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after many hours of searching online for drift wood, i've came up empty on good pieces.
looks like manzanita it is for me. it looks great but the floaters drove me crazy. i think this time i'll weigh them down with slate. i shot an email to marinedepot for some help on the fittings i needed.

looks like i have everything now except the lights and plants. the plants i can find pretty easily. I'm still looking for a led fixture though. if someone has any great suggestions, i'm all ears.

Update: i found a site that had that ray2 for about $143. i just hope i dont get an email saying they're sold out. *crosses fingers
also in my search, I did find the ray2 on Sears's website. but a total rip off at about $270 for them. yikes!

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Last edited by MiSo; 06-17-2013 at 06:56 AM. Reason: update
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2013, 05:53 AM
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Go online to aquabid and look for some pieces called Amano driftwood. They're very nice looking.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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So i bought a lot of fish stuff thinking they'd all get here around the same time. i got plants on the way and no word about the Finnex Ray2. I emailed them to see what was the hold up. their website says the order is still processing. I made payment 5 days ago. If it turns out they don't have this fixture what do you guys think about the Aqueon Modular LED 36 Inch Light Fixture? its comes with one led strip but can support 3 strips. i'm thinking of doing 3 daylight strips if the finnex turns about to be a dead end (maybe 2 day and a colormax.. who knows right now). I also just read one someone else's thread that their plants aren't really getting lush red's with the finnex. wish i'd known that before i paid for the fixture. the plants will most likely be put in a tub near the window until i get a fixture. =(

does anyone have a heavily planted tank with the aqueon fixture? i'd love to see some pictures. what are some other fixtures out there that would suit my needs? i'm looking for med-high light capable LED's.
i would prefer to keep everything under $200, but can stretch the budget to $300 if there's no clear front runner for lights. please help.

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Last edited by MiSo; 06-23-2013 at 03:08 AM. Reason: added sentence
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 03:35 AM
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I don't have any experience with the Aqueon lights, but I will chime and say that I'm really happy with my Finnex Ray. I'm planning on getting a Ray2 for a future project. Sorry your having a hard time finding one, I think you'll be happy with it if it ever arrives...
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2013, 03:50 AM
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I'm gonna vote for taking a razor to the overflow. Shouldn't be too hard to remove and it kinda ruins how nice the tank is IMO

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