Newbie filtering question! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Please excuse me, because I am really knew at this, and haven't played with aquariums since I was 10.
I recieved a 29 gallon aquarium for Christmas, and I want to do a live plant aquarium (hence as to why I am here). I don't know jack about filtering these types. Sounds like anything that disrupts the surface tension is bad, because it releases CO2. So I am assuming the over the top hanging filters I was once used to are out of the question. I hear charcoal filters are bad as well, as are undergravel filters.
What do you recommend for a newbie?
Also, is water movement important? Do I need to invest in some sort of powerhead to create circulation?

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 07:48 PM
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Canisters are what are usually recommended. While they're a little more expensive, they offer a lot of flexibility and are very quiet and reliable. You won't need a powerhead, the canister will provide all the circulation you need.

www.bigalsonline.com has some great prices on canister filters. The Filstar series comes highly recommended.

If a canister is out of your price range, a hang-on-back power filter is still doable. You'll just need to put a sponge or something similar to smooth out the water flow going intot he aquarium and minimize surface agitation.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 08:19 PM
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And the eheim filters are great, though more expensive, if you know you will be keeping a tank for along, long time, the few extra bucks is nothing over the life of the filter. I hear of 10, 20, even 30 year old Eheims, most of those are of course the Classic series.

I have several Eheims, most bought used. If you want the top of the line, Pro2 thermofilter is it, IMO. If money is a bit tight, I love my very old Classic 2213 and with the baskets it has now, I have heard very good reviews. If silence is important, you can't beat the Eheims.

If I were to buy another filter new (I bought the thermofilter new) I would strongly consider a Classic for the money. Though the Ecco is great for priming, the handles are a bit "fiddly" as the British say. Once I found out the key to priming (which during maintenance is to have the output line dry and the canister dry, attach lines then open the input valves last -- so water comes in the input, air goes out the output.... if input line is dry, on initital setup or after hose cleaning, then attach open input lines but manually suck on output at the disconnect valve as it leaves the canister to start water moving, then you have quite a while to get the open output hoses connected before the canister fills up)
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 09:20 PM
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I fully recommend the eheim filters also. I use the pro 2026 on my 29 gallon tank and it works great. If you gor for the 2126 it has a built in heater and will be one less thing in your tank.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 10:34 PM
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The first question that needs to be asked before filter type or anything else is how much light do you have with that 29 gallon tank? And take a minute and read my FAQ it will answer a lot of questions for you.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 12:00 AM
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I run an Eheim 2126. Greatest thing since sliced bread. If the 2126 is out of your price range (I saved up to get mine) the 2026 is a great choice. Heck! Any of the Eheim models will do you right!

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 01:49 AM
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I'll chime in with more of the same. I just got an eheim 2213, and I've never seen a better, more quiet filter. Definitely worth the bit of extra money, especially since they now come with media and media basket. You won't ever regret buying an eheim!

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
The first question that needs to be asked before filter type or anything else is how much light do you have with that 29 gallon tank? And take a minute and read my FAQ it will answer a lot of questions for you.
I ordered the 55watt kit from AH Supply. So about 2WPG.
I've read your page b4, but so far everyhitng I've read (yours, and others) leave me confused about what i am supposed to use.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 01:36 PM
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Use as far as light? Well you want to get in the 2 wpg range at the bottom end. The AH Supply is close enough to work well. Now that we have that figured out I would recommend a Rena XP-2 cannister filter. I run one on a 29 gallon tank and it works great. I also run my external CO2 reactor on the output line of the filter. Once you get your hands wet you might want to get another 55 watt kit for your 29 gallon tank.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rex.
From my research so far, I was hearing more than 2WPG may be too much for a beginner. So I knew it was a safe bet, and definately upgradeable in the future.

What is the advantage of getting an XP2 over an XP1?
Does it come with the approtiate filter media, or do I need to purchase them seperately?

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 01:45 PM
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The XP-2 has two media baskets instead of one. The single basket in the XP-1 renders it pretty much worthless IMHO. And they do come with media.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 04:41 PM
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XP2 seems like a hell of a lot of circulation though. I mean, that's what I run on my 75gallon.

I just want to toss out that I used an AquaClear 300 power filter on my 29gallon planted, and it outgasses a lot less CO2 than you'd think. You can easily modify the waterfall 'ramp' on these filters to extend into the water, thus causing no splashing/outgassing whatsoever.

just something to consider as an option, that's all

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 05:02 PM
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I think I agree on the Aquaclear. If you trim the lip of the return, the water will just drop straight down instead of rippling on the surface as it bounces off that lip. And filter maintenence is SO much easier. You can't use an external CO2 reactor with an Aquaclear but you could always just use the impeller to break up the CO2 bubbles and let the filter be the reactor itself.
If your budget allows for a canister, fine, but I would place lighting and substrate far above filter choice when setting up a planted tank.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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If using something like an Aquaclear do I need to worry about creating water circulation with a powerhead or something similar?

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-09-2004, 05:18 PM
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No, an appropriately sized filter (like the 300) will provide plenty of water circulation in your 29g tank.

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