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Old 11-10-2012, 06:38 AM   #1
glassguppy
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Plz Help me quickly make the right choices


Hey everybody, I'm very new to this forum but I need some help. I recently aquired an eheim aquastyle 9 as a birthday present. The person who got it for me also needs me to supply them with a list of what I need for it... I'm not sure if there's a budget involved but I figure if there might be I could aim for higher quality and maybe get the less expensive items myself at a later time if need be.

Alot of this seems like I would have to research for weeks and I only have about 4 days lol so, if anyone could help me speed up the process that would be appreciated.

I would guess the first thing I would need to pick is the substrate system. I want one that's going to last a long time and keep my' plants fed. I want a tank with minimal maintenance and high performance and from what reading I've been doing - aquasoil looks like the choice.. I also want a natural looking beach area in my' scape ultimately, I've been reading articles and forum threads but I'm still uncertain. I could go with just using aquasoil but I want a layered and organic/mixed natural look if that makes anysense. I was thinking I could use aquasoil and then cap it with aquasoil mixed with some kind of decorative sand. Speaking of sand, I've seen some heaters you can line at the bottom of a tank, it's a cable and you put sand over it ...is that a better option than say, the kind you hang in the water?

Also, are the additives "such as bacter?, iron. penac" are they worth getting? - I want my' plants to keep a nice green color "unless they're supposed to be red or something" I also want my' water to be absolutely crystal clear "as does everyone here I suppose lol" -- Help, complete total noob here.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:59 AM   #2
steven p
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soil>sand>eco-complete, just for fun...

heaters.... id get a shielded one with a small pump or an in-line with a canister.. if i got to pick and choose XD

what do you want to live in it?
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
glassguppy
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Originally Posted by steven p View Post
soil>sand>eco-complete, just for fun...

heaters.... id get a shielded one with a small pump or an in-line with a canister.. if i got to pick and choose XD

what do you want to live in it?
Could you give me examples? of the heaters you're talking about? And why soil sand and eco complete? lol
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
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well if budget isnt a problem then i'd go with aquasoil, but depending on how large your tank is it could get expensive, i dont suggest the undergravel heater, they could get annoying if something goes wrong and you have to remove it esp when your plants has rooted in it.

If it was me and i had a choice in equipment, id ask for either a lighting fixture or a co2 unit, they're usually the most pricey item when it comes to the hobby.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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id say for me aquasoil is probably worth it if you want a really full lush tank. you wont have to worry too much about fertilizers. but it tanks longer to cycle i hear. i dont think capping aqua soil is really necessary. they have some lighter colored ones but the chemicals inside might be different im not actually sure. i know there is africana amazonia and one more and their colors are all different. soil obviously trumps because it gives good space for roots to grow and also feeds directly to roots. sand has no nutrients but has the ideal porosity for roots to grow. then the stuff you find in most regular aquariums the gravel stuff doesnt really do well for plants because its harder for them to root in. but you should tell us the size of tank you're working with. also what plants you're looking at and what fish you're looking at as well.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ddrfreak_tung View Post
well if budget isnt a problem then i'd go with aquasoil, but depending on how large your tank is it could get expensive, i dont suggest the undergravel heater, they could get annoying if something goes wrong and you have to remove it esp when your plants has rooted in it.

If it was me and i had a choice in equipment, id ask for either a lighting fixture or a co2 unit, they're usually the most pricey item when it comes to the hobby.
The eheim aquastyle 9 - Comes with an led fixture and filter.. here are it's specs...

http://www.eheim.com/en_GB/products/...s/aquastyle-35

I'm not sure how bright the light is as it's LED, uses 7 watts and so-on. I did a search on here and from what I've gathered, people seem inclined to say it's medium light approaching high. But I'm not sure... as for Co2, I'm not sure about budget either...but I think I'm going to skip out on that for now and just focus on getting the substrate right. I' need help with figuring out what I'll need for the water parameters too... Which products will give me the greatest advantages and so-on. Lets say from now on that the budget is around $100. The tank is only around 9 gallons and it's footprint is approx 12 inches by 12 inches and 14 inches tall..


For the heater I was looking at eheim's/jager? - it's the smallest one and only costs around $20. I figured I'd ask around about the cable one I could hide in the sand because it would help my' tank look less like it's got gear in it.. The filter this tank comes with I intend to obscure with tall plants "which I've not yet decided on yet."

Last edited by glassguppy; 11-10-2012 at 10:04 AM.. Reason: Wanted to touch upon the heater aspect
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by inthepacific View Post
id say for me aquasoil is probably worth it if you want a really full lush tank. you wont have to worry too much about fertilizers. but it tanks longer to cycle i hear. i dont think capping aqua soil is really necessary. they have some lighter colored ones but the chemicals inside might be different im not actually sure. i know there is africana amazonia and one more and their colors are all different. soil obviously trumps because it gives good space for roots to grow and also feeds directly to roots. sand has no nutrients but has the ideal porosity for roots to grow. then the stuff you find in most regular aquariums the gravel stuff doesnt really do well for plants because its harder for them to root in. but you should tell us the size of tank you're working with. also what plants you're looking at and what fish you're looking at as well.
I think I might go with aquasoil but I like the look of the photos of planted tanks which use more than one layer visible and a little beach area... something about that seems more impressive, visually impacting to me.. I suppose because it brings the tank further away from the standard colored pebbles and treasure chest - and closer to nature itself.. -- If I get aquasoil I might get the finer granules but I don't want them to be so fine that it provides problems because the scape I want to do will have an incline/slope to it... not sure if it's the bigger granules that are ideal or the finer ones... - Anyway I just think mixing substrates and layering them tastefully looks better but I don't wanna do anything that'll potentially make me wish I hadn't in the long run.

So, if I decide on mixing the aquasoil surface layer with something like pea gravel or turface or some sand or even a little bit of everything, it'll give me an idea of what size bag I should get and that will also help me to conserve costs and leave room for other important things. - The idea here being that I want to get things now that I won't regret later for not having. So that's why I'm focusing on the substrate and heater.

I haven't decided what plants I want to use or what fish. The only thing I'm fairly certain is that the fish will likely be tropical and small, like neon tetras. I've been out to a local aquarium shop and the ones that caught my' eye were alot of the small shoaling fish. I'd like to get a school of fish with a playful, fun lighthearted nature and personality if possible. Small and very peaceful. - The plants I think I want to use will help me to get a look that reminds me kind of like a forest floor after a spring rain lol... with a few rocks, a little beach, and bedding of something with fine leaves that grow low like baby tears only perhaps something that doesn't demand such high lighting and looks similar... I seem to like round leaf plants like bacopa variations and penny wort. Later on I'll gather images of tanks with the kind of layout and vibe I like as well as photos of plants/names etc if that will help. I know that certain rocks and woods effect water parameters and I'd like to consider both but I'm a little apprehensive about buying either off the internet without personally selecting them myself for their' shape so I'll have to get out and find some myself at a later point perhaps.

Last edited by glassguppy; 11-10-2012 at 10:20 AM.. Reason: .
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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hmm i think i know what youre saying about the beach thing. you want it to be planted then have a bare foreground correct? also with the aquasoil, it only comes in one grain size i believe. ADA makes soil and they also have sand. the soil does look like little pebble things but these breakdown into a fine silty looking stuff. you could definitely layer the substrate if you wanted so give a nice visual effect for the tank but im not sure about the plants benefits since they do get the nutrients from the substrate.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inthepacific View Post
hmm i think i know what youre saying about the beach thing. you want it to be planted then have a bare foreground correct? also with the aquasoil, it only comes in one grain size i believe. ADA makes soil and they also have sand. the soil does look like little pebble things but these breakdown into a fine silty looking stuff. you could definitely layer the substrate if you wanted so give a nice visual effect for the tank but im not sure about the plants benefits since they do get the nutrients from the substrate.
I've seen online and I think on their' usa site that they now have three to choose from for aquasoil, "were talking ada right?" - regular, sand and mixed. - And yeah you got that right about the beach thing lol I want this tank to really play on positive and negative space with the positive, planted areas kinda in the corner and a bare little area for the fish to swim freely. I figure this layout kinda gives the fish both an open area and a little forest to retreat into when they get into fights and wanna runaway lol and it also creates an unconventional atmosphere and plays on the tallness of the tank. I think doing it this way helps to make the plants and fish pop out more and gives the tank an overall jewel-like presence if that makes sense... kinda like a bonsai does when it's done well... - As for nutrition I figure most of my substrate can be the aquasoil on the bottom, maybe the next layer is a thin mix with the same aquasoil but mixed in with some other gravel and perhaps some sand in colors that coordinate and increase the inert stuff like the sand and gravel as the beach/bank begins.. at which there will be few to no plants and just the gravel, some sand and small rocks. - At the end of it all I want a great looking tank that doesn't look like a first timer's planted tank... I don't want it to look like a withered, unkept backyard lol. I realize I've got alot of potential hazards and things to run into before I'm apt to achieve what I'm wanting but I'd like to skip as many of those potential pitfalls as possible right from the start... maybe it's possible lol. I'm essentially asking a "what would you do if you showed up in a time machine back when you first started and had a few minutes to talk to yourself lol"
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:38 AM   #10
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I hope I didn't kill this thread...
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:09 AM   #11
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Okay I've been looking around on the ada website and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on what I would absolutely need for my' substrate system... As it currently goes I'm thinking since I have an eheim aquastyle 9 tank I could possibly just get a small 3 liter bag of amazonia and a small bag of power sand "not sure which yet" and forego the substrate additives or at least the super clear and bacter since from what I can tell: power sand contains both... can anyone provide some insight into this?
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by glassguppy View Post
Okay I've been looking around on the ada website and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on what I would absolutely need for my' substrate system... As it currently goes I'm thinking since I have an eheim aquastyle 9 tank I could possibly just get a small 3 liter bag of amazonia and a small bag of power sand "not sure which yet" and forego the substrate additives or at least the super clear and bacter since from what I can tell: power sand contains both... can anyone provide some insight into this?
Well i use amazonia aswell as some sand over the top and my tank is going great so far. i just use bacter its really good and just do what you want to do
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:38 PM   #13
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Hello, you still want the sandy area like a river bank yeah? ADA has some decorative sands to choose from:
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?m...cPath=76_12_22

you know about the aquasoil types already it looks like. Yeah you can add a layer of power sand underneath the aquasoil for more nutrients and the added bacteria. actually you would probably be fine using straight aquasoil too.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:00 AM   #14
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Hello, you still want the sandy area like a river bank yeah? ADA has some decorative sands to choose from:
http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?m...cPath=76_12_22

you know about the aquasoil types already it looks like. Yeah you can add a layer of power sand underneath the aquasoil for more nutrients and the added bacteria. actually you would probably be fine using straight aquasoil too.
Well what I want to know is if there are any particular advantages worth buying the bacter for example... especially if I get something like the power sand... I want my' water to be very clear as well and ada has products for that but if super clear is one of them and the power sand contains it and bacter, do I need to buy either? Also, I've been looking on ADA's site and have been wondering where they have a dechlorinator or if I even need anything like that with their' products.. If you were to compile a list of things you'd get based on what I've described so far, what would it be? Suggestions welcome definitely!
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:28 AM   #15
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use prime for a dechlor and yes you need to add a dechlor when you're adding new water. For clarity, i've kept many different substrates before and when it came down the how clear my water is, they all appeared the same. The only time it would change is if i added wood/peat, or something similar that would stain the water. Now of course when you disturb the substrate, the water will be cloudly but that's with most substrate and would clear up within hours. While the soil itself can play a big part in your success, other factors like light, co2, and the chemistry of your water is also important. People have had success using many things from ada soil to cat litter. Have you had issues with unclear water in the past?
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