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Old 04-16-2010, 12:26 AM   #31
TLE041
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I found the 2211 on eBay. It was a toss-up between this canister or a Zoo Med 501. After a lot of reading I decided to go with the Eheim because of the generally positive reviews.

This is my first canister ever (all previous filters I've ever had were Aquaclears). I was pretty nervous at first because the many connections had me worried about my hardwood floors. In the end I went with it anyway because I figured it was a small tank and I hated the look of the HOB (it looked like a third the size of the tank). The streamline look is the reason I went with the in-line heater as well. I wanted a minimal glass tank with as few visible equipment as possible.

I was hesitant about the 200W heater being overkill for 4 gallons as well, but from what I've read from people using it on their nanos, the thermostat on the unit is decent and there haven't been any overheating problems. Plus, I have it set on the lowest temp since I find that the CF light fixture alone provides enough warmth to heat the water to around 76F (the heater is mainly for the winter when the room temp is much lower).

Installing all this was definitely a new experience for me. Like I said, I've never had a canister before. The instructions that Eheim provided were basic to say the least (it's good if had an interest in learning different languages, bad if you are a newbie like me). The hardest part was priming the thing. Eheim suggested either buying a suction starter (for $$$), buying the deluxe intake tubes with a dedicated hole for priming (even more $$$), or sucking the water with your mouth and pray that you you won't get a mouthful of tank water, Luckily for me, the filter pretty much primed itself. All I had to do was toggle the control valves on and off. It was pretty loud for the first 30 minutes or so but it eventually became whisper quiet.

As predicted, the flow from this filter puts my Aquaclear 20 to shame. Between the filter's stronger output and the vortex action created by the lily pipes, hopefully the problems I've been having with surface scum and detritus collecting on the plants will be gone. There's also about 5 times the amount of biological media on this filter compared to the HOB (this is a good thing because I've just discovered that a local LFS has dwarf cories and I'm trying to fight the urge to get a few).

As for the pipes, they look quite attractive. However, I just know that they won't stay this clean for long. Cleaning it won't be a fun job.

Here are the pictures. There are micro bubbles on everything because I just did a water change.

Before:




After:



Close up of pipes: (no idea why the water looks so yellow)



I also put in a drop checker. Until I've decided on the which pressurized CO2 equipment to get, it's just going to be used with DIY for now.




Here's a little video showing the whole tank and the water flow.
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:53 AM   #32
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You get that much CO2 with DIY? How are you diffusing it? I don't see it stuck into the lilly pipe
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:16 AM   #33
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That was taken when my Aquaclear was still on. I diffused it with the chopstick in the AC method (see the thread in DIY). The combination of that plus champagne yeast can even compete with pressurized CO2. I've done all the requisite CO2/KH/pH tests.

Right now, I'm only using a glass diffuser, so it's not as efficient. It's only temporary until the in line diffuser that I've ordered from Rex Grigg comes. I'll use that with the CO2 equipment I'll pick up some time next week.
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:21 AM   #34
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Quote:
champagne yeast can even compete with pressurized CO2
careful here lol. Yeast can absolutely "compete" with pressurized if you're talking in terms of supplying enough Co2 for a tank that small. However, stability is the key, and with yeast based systems, that's all up to the owner. I did it and I was NOT very good at keeping up with it lol. You seem to have the knack so far though.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:29 AM   #35
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Everything's doing well so far (*knock on wood*).

The glass diffuser I'm using with the CO2 is working great, but I wanted to try something different, so I replaced it with an Eheim air diffuser.



I like that it's adjustable so I can increase or decrease the CO2 output if I need to. Here it is in the tank:



Placed beside the glass filter input pipe..




As for the Hydor ETH heater, I'm quite impressed with it so far. For a 200W heater that's used on a 4 gallon nano, it keeps the tank at a constant temperature of 76.0F (even though I've set it as 72F on the heater). The digital thermometer I use doesn't fluctuate at all.



My only concern is that it does turn on and off very often (about every 5-10 minutes). I hope that this doesn't shorten its life. Only time will tell I guess.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:35 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLE041 View Post
Everything's doing well so far (*knock on wood*).

The glass diffuser I'm using with the CO2 is working great, but I wanted to try something different, so I replaced it with an Eheim air diffuser.



I like that it's adjustable so I can increase or decrease the CO2 output if I need to. Here it is in the tank:



Placed beside the glass filter input pipe..

That Eheim air diffuser looks very interesting. Where did you get it from, and for how much? And will it stay down by itself, or does it have to be attached to the suction cup? Sorry for so many questions
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:08 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by ZooTycoonMaster View Post
That Eheim air diffuser looks very interesting. Where did you get it from, and for how much? And will it stay down by itself, or does it have to be attached to the suction cup? Sorry for so many questions
I got it from a Big Al's store locally, but you can buy from the Big Al's website. It's available from many other online retailers as well.

It's basically a fancy air stone that produces micro bubbles and allows for adjustment of the output. You would have to use the suction cup because it's pretty light and will float otherwise.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:17 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by TLE041 View Post
I got it from a Big Al's store locally, but you can buy from the Big Al's website. It's available from many other online retailers as well.

It's basically a fancy air stone that produces micro bubbles and allows for adjustment of the output. You would have to use the suction cup because it's pretty light and will float otherwise.
And you use this with DIY CO2? Does it create enough pressure to get the bubbles through? And isn't this just the same thing as a regular air stone/CO2 diffuser?

(again, I apologize for so many questions)
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:43 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by ZooTycoonMaster View Post
And you use this with DIY CO2? Does it create enough pressure to get the bubbles through? And isn't this just the same thing as a regular air stone/CO2 diffuser?

(again, I apologize for so many questions)
Yep, I have no problems using this or a glass diffuser with my DIY mixture using champagne yeast.

Like I said, this is basically an air stone, but the bubbles that it produces is much finer (similar to what you would get with a glass diffuser). Plus it has the bonus of being adjustable if you need it for whatever reason.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:54 PM   #40
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Pygmy cory napping on a laceleaf:

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Old 04-25-2010, 03:22 AM   #41
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Just barely avoided a disaster a few minutes ago. For people who think that they can't overdose with DIY CO2 - think again!

When I went to check on the tank I noticed that most of the fishes were either darting around the tank at near lightspeed or floating lifelessly at the surface. I tested the water and everything was normal.

Then I noticed this:




I quickly unplugged the CO2 line and ran an airstone to get the CO2 level down. Luckily, things have improved quite a bit. No casualties. The fishes are swimming normally again and the CPDs have regained their colour (they were nearly white before). We'll see how they do overnight.

The RCS and amanos didn't seem to be bothered by the experience at all.

I wasn't too concerned about overdosing CO2 before because it was DIY and the diffusion method isn't exactly the most efficient. I guess you can never take things for granted when it comes to a tank this small. The danger is even greater at night when the plants stop photosynthesizing (like in this case).

I'll hold off on the CO2 until I install the CO2 kit that I ordered arrives.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:00 PM   #42
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Glad to hear you didn't have any casualties!
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:11 PM   #43
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Where did you get your RCS, they look really red!

I think that the eheim is overkill for your tank. You should sell it to me it is a better size for my nano tank anyway. You can get something better with the money I give you for it. Say about $10 and you can have a nice sponge filter for your tank.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:33 AM   #44
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Where did you get your RCS, they look really red!
These shrimps were bred in my other tank (the Fluval Edge). I made sure the parents were two different strains (by getting them from two different fishkeepers) because I've read that repeated cycles of inbreeding causes the red colors to be more and more diluted. That's what these offsprings are redder than the parents, which were quite red to begin with.


Quote:
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I think that the eheim is overkill for your tank. You should sell it to me it is a better size for my nano tank anyway. You can get something better with the money I give you for it. Say about $10 and you can have a nice sponge filter for your tank.
Sounds like a fair trade to me! PM sent!

LOL. I actually need all the filtration I can get. In the tank now there are 4 CPDs, 4 pygmy cories, an oto, 3 amano shrimps, and last I counted, 12 RCS. I added more than recommended because the fishes are so tiny, so their bioload shouldn't be too high. Also, their small size makes the tank look uncrowded.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:38 PM   #45
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After browsing around at my favorite LFS yesterday, I picked four pieces of petrified wood to give the tank a makeover. I've always liked the look of them and how they resemble miniature sandstone cliffs. I selected four small ones with lots of texture to them. I took out the little piece of Malaysian driftwood and the larger manzanita branch that was currently in the tank.

Here's how the tank looked before:



Here it is after the makeover:



Front tank shot:



Close up of the petrified wood:



Also, I wasn't too happy with a few of the plants that were in there previously. The Brazilian sword's leaves were getting too large and seemed out of scale with the size of tank. I also took out most of the java moss because it was growing at a ridiculous rate and I didn't really like the look of it (I left a small chunk in the back corner because the shrimps seem to enjoy lounging around in it). I also removed the fissidens because it wasn't very attractive either. In their place I added a Cyperus helferi and a Micranthemum umbrosum (regular baby tears). I got the C. helferi because I wanted a grassy plant that would bend over at the water surface and frame the the tank to give it a natural look. I liked the baby tears because it provided a leafy contrast to the rest of the spiky plant but still small to keep in proportion with the tank.

Currently, the plants consist of:
  • Brazilian Micro Sword
  • Anubias petite
  • Cryptocoryne parva
  • Java fern
  • Madagascar laceleaf
  • Water onion
  • Cyperus helferi
  • Giant baby tears
  • Java moss

Closeup of the C. helferi (it looks almost identical regular lawn grass):



Closeup of the baby tears:



I was also concerned that there wasn't enough algae for the otos, amano shrimps, and RCS so I started giving them some dried seaweed (link) soaked in Kent's Zoe supplement (link) to make it even more nutritious.



Once again, all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading!
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