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Old 08-05-2014, 07:52 AM   #1
Fryman
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Starting out in Korea: equipment advice?


I moved to Korea for work, and about 6 months in my wife says I can get a planted aquarium! I had a beautiful 90Gal reef tank before we moved but I haven't kept freshwater since high school, and have never done a planted tank before. I'm still doing research, but I wanted to get the cycle started so I thought I'd run a few things by the experts first

I've always admired ADA tanks so I found a store that distributes in Korea for ADA. I picked up an ADA 60P. I also got some Amazonia substrate, rocks & driftwood while I was there. The ADA store had beautiful displays but was rather expensive. I did NOT get a stand or a filter. I just didn't see the need to pay $400 each for what appeared to be standard stand or glorified (stainless-steel?) canister filter. Why does the filter need to be steel anyway? Also the lighting they had was what looked like old PC-type flourescents, and yet the fixtures were over $800. No thanks.

So I still need a stand, canister filter, CO2 setup (still debating this one) & lighting. Also the pet stores here have NO test kits (huh?). The ADA store had those Seachem pH monitors, but no real test kits I could find. Very odd. I might have to order a set online. I got the standard stuff like a heater, net, dechlorinator & thermometer at a local pet store.

I'm thinking about getting an Ikea "besta" for the stand; I've read that some poeple use them so I guess they are sturdy enough. There's an Ikea store in Seoul I think.

For the canister filter I found some options on gmarket.com (they also sell media), but I don't know what size to get.
http://item2.gmarket.co.kr/English/d...code=483862991
My 60P is only 60liters (17 gal) but I heard a lot of people ignore the ratings & go over-size. I suspect overkill won't really hurt but it does have to fit in the stand & I don't like wasting money.


For lighting I was thinking about a buildmyled kit, if I can get them to ship here (they haven't responded to my email yet). If they blow me off I did find an ADA knockoff LED unit on ebay from Hong Kong. ADA does apparently sell LEDs but they are way too much. I didn't see them in the Korea store anyway (not sure why). The chinese knockoff looks identical and is less than half the price so I might roll the dice on it. I know Finnex is a good brand but I have no idea where to get that here, and I don't know for sure if the Finnex drivers will take 220V (although I suspect they do).

Not sure if I should start without CO2. I heard that starting without CO2 could mean more algae growth? Don't understand why that would be.

Any advice would be welcome. One of the biggest challenges here is finding good quality stuff at decent price, so I'm thinking online shopping will be key. On the off chance anyone knows where I can get quality equipment in Korea, I'd love to know. More specifically, we are in Songdo, Incheon but not too far from Seoul.
Thanks!

Last edited by Fryman; 08-05-2014 at 08:12 AM.. Reason: update location
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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hey man. sweet move!

from the looks of it, that filter you posted may fit in the beste stand. keep in mind there are shelves in there and moving 1 is ok, but I wouldn't move 2 out of the three.

CO2 regulators in korea are pretty cheap. you should be able to score one easily.

i'd start looking at the aquarium stores to see what they are using lightwise. Lots of places in korea have just started getting into the whole fw scene again (mostly from the chinese aquarium replica industry taking off). I wouldn't bother going through the hassle of getting a converter and dealing with plugs and light fixtures. Just find something that fits locally.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:48 PM   #3
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Well it may work.. Makes the woodworker in me shudder..


Quote:
Product description
Top panel/ Bottom panel/ Side panel/ Adjustable shelf: Particleboard, Honeycomb structure recycled paper filling, Fiberboard, Foil, ABS plastic, Foil
Back: Fiberboard, Foil, Foil
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80134048/
Over 170lbs filled..
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Well it may work.. Makes the woodworker in me shudder..



http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80134048/
Over 170lbs filled..

Wrong Besta stand.


Get an eheim filter. Amano used those before he came out with his own.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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Wrong Besta stand.

good.......... so which one? The whole "line" seems similar in construction..
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fryman View Post
So I still need a stand, canister filter, CO2 setup
If you get something like BeamsWork 18"-22" Hi Lumen you wouldn't need a Co2 setup. It is just a matter of choosing plants for the lights you get that don't require Co2.

If you get bitten by the plant bug and want a Co2 setup. You can do a paintball setup for $108. That is if you can wait until Amazon goes to Korea, which I read could happen next year. Refills are $4 done at sports equipment stores in USA.

Aquatek Paintball CO2 Regulator w solenoid at
Amazon Amazon

Paintball tank at
Amazon Amazon

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Originally Posted by ThatGuyWithTheFish View Post
For the canister filter I found some options on gmarket.com (they also sell media), but I don't know what size to get.
http://item2.gmarket.co.kr/English/d...code=483862991 My 60P is only 60liters (17 gal) but I heard a lot of people ignore the ratings & go over-size.

Not sure if I should start without CO2. I heard that starting without CO2 could mean more algae growth? Don't understand why that would be.
Seems the filter ratings are done without media. For example Eheim ecco rated for 35 just barely enough for 20G long. The canister you have a link to looks good too. With canister filters you can decrease outflow with a prefilter and turning the know at the connection.

Even those whom inject Co2 can get algae. It is all a matter of balanceing lights, natural Co2, and nutrients. Living in a city I have found that the city sometimes adds substances, like phosphates, that can cause algae. Overfeeding fish with flakes food which has phosphates can lead to algae. Since I have been feeding my fish with small pellet food I don't have algae in my tank. You can't grow red plants without at least using a co2 additive.

Good luck in your endeavor.

Last edited by Hilde; 08-05-2014 at 04:09 PM.. Reason: added
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:17 PM   #7
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Eheim cansiters are just as good as the ADA canisters, if not better, for a lot less. Look into getting a 2213 or 2215. The lighting and stand can be improvised for sure, no need to go with ADA all around. You can get your co2 sutff and test kits from Evilbay. I’d recommend a pH and KH test kit to see where you’re at with co2, and an ammonia and nitrite test kit to ensure you’re past the cycle. I'd also wait for your co2 to come in before planting, flooding and starting the cycle. Plant heavily. Do some heavy water changes at first to help avoid BBA with the amazonia which is common. Also, inconsistent co2 levels can cause a lot of different types of algae headaches. Most folks do several heavy water changes per week, in the first two weeks. As for getting quality aquarium stuff in Korea, you might want to ask other local hobbyists, they’ll usually give you impartial advice.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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Are you going to do a fishless cycle?

Here are many tanks without Co2.

Here low tech tanks.

Last edited by Hilde; 08-05-2014 at 11:06 PM.. Reason: added
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:18 PM   #9
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I wouldn't use an ikea stand if it were since I think most of their furniture is particleboard and there are probably better alternatives.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:37 AM   #10
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It should be said that the ikea besta stand has been used many times for 60Ps.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
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It should be said that the ikea besta stand has been used many times for 60Ps.
Yup. I think most people think aquarium stands are very sturdy compared to normal furniture but I find the opposite. If my Besta breaks, I will retract that but it's used by so many people with 60P's.

Another way to go is using a standard 20H stand. They have the same footprint. I don't know how Korea is with tank sizing but anywhere that sells tanks will have a 20H stand, very popular size.


As for lighting and CO2, they go together so you really have to choose if you want to go with CO2 first. You can have CO2 in a lower light setup and it will still be a nice addition but you can't really go high light without CO2. ADA LED's will need CO2, I am sure the knock off will as well. Plenty of lighting info on the board, again, you can also pay attention to 20H tank lighting as it is a very similar size, just a bit taller.

As for filtration, I think an Eheim 2215 or Ecco 2234 is perfect. Some will say to go down in size, a 2213 would work, I still would go 2234 with the Ecco series as it has slightly less flow than the classics.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:33 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replys. A few things:

I was going to do a fishless cycle

The reason I was looking for a local filter is the input voltage. Korea electricity runs at 220V. Ehiems for the US market require 110V. I could buy an invertor but that's an extra $50 plus space. They sell 220V eheims for the EU but then I'd need to find an adapter for the plug. Plus it seems a waste to spend all that money and they have no use for the filter in 3 years. I suppose I should consider getting an Eheim + invertor if it makes that big a difference. I kinda figured the filter wasn't that complicated; just a pump & baskets for media..

The lights are a different story because most lighting drivers can take 110 to 240V. All I need is a US to Korea plug adapter, & I bought a bunch before the move.

The lights I see here are PC fluorescents and expensive. There are some beautiful displays using these lights, but I don't want to pay so much for out-of-date technology, plus we're most likely moving back to the US in 3 years so I want the expensive equipment to be able to come with us.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:40 AM   #13
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Eheim doesn't make filters that work in Korea?
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:49 AM   #14
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Eheim doesn't make filters that work in Korea?
Ehiem does make 220V filters that would work in Korea. I haven't found one locally but online I found some. the price was about double US prices though. It would be cheaper to buy a US model & invertor. Plus, I could use it in the US when we move back.

So I got sick of searching for a filter & just pulled the trigger on an Eheim 2215 US model. Cost was $166 after shipping & import fees. Including invertor, the filter cost more than the ADA, lol. At least it comes w/ media. And I can move on to more interesting things...

Last edited by Fryman; 08-06-2014 at 06:15 AM.. Reason: bought filter
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:37 PM   #15
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You won't regret the Eheim, it should last you a good decade before needing some minor upgrades. But at $166 I think it's still cheaper than the ADA filter.

For lights, I would do the same, go with a standard US plugin with an inverter and go with some proven LEDs like finnex or BML. I'm sure they would ship to korea.
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