just got a aqueon mini bow 5 gallon!!! (UPDATED 27 watt cfl and Aquaclear 20 Pics ) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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just got a aqueon mini bow 5 gallon!!! (UPDATED 27 watt cfl and Aquaclear 20 Pics )

So, one of my guppies had some babies, so i decided to setup a fry tank for them. I must say there is a lot of really cool small plastic tanks today!!! When i was younger the best you could get was the classic Tetra ones with the screened plastic top and little clear plastic window ontop to open...
So many choices... I decided to go with the aqueon mini bow 5 gallon. It looks just like my 36 gallon bow...
The light it came with is a 15 watt incandescent screw in bulb. I didnt even put it in. At the store they had a 10 watt screw in compact flourescent for $11, but i read that walmart had the same bulb in their aquarium section for $4. Sure enough walmart had it, and i must say that 10 watt bulb is very bright and is a nice color.
I was gonna buy eco complete, but every store was out of it, so i settled with Caribsea Floramax in Midnight. I layed down about 1.5"-2" of this. Any more and i think it wouldnt look right.
Found a really nice small piece of driftwood at the store. Put an Anubias Nana on it. Added a few other plants. And put in a few fish i'm giving to a friend, to help cycle it....
Being i set this up for fry i put a Sponge filter / prefilter over the intake. The little pump/filter it came with is odd. It sits inside the tank on a special ridge. It definatly blocks a little light, but its ok for now. I dont think it takes much to filter a 5 gallon tank...
About the only thing the tank does not come with is a heater. I had an extra tetra 50 watt heater i stuck in it.
One thing that surprised me is the top is already precut for a HOB filter, yet it has this funny filter. And theres a spot you can notch out for a heater.
One thing i do plan to do in a few days is to take the carbon out of the filter thats currently in there. I figure i'd give it a couple days to get the initial crap outa the tap water... I'm guessing i can just cut the filter and pour the carbon out? Doesnt look like any room for any bio media, but the sponge on the intake should do the trick hopefully.
Oh and one last note. I'm sure this is true about all these plastic mini aquariums. Have you ever taken something like a mcdonalds napkin and wiped the gauge cluster cover in your car? I made that mistake when i was younger and it will scratch the crap out of the clear plastic. These aquariums are like that. It already came with a few very minor scratches and i put a few more trying to clean it... I guess micro fiber is the way to go with these things.
Oh, one last thing. The hood has the light filter/reflector assembly screwed into it, and if you were to remove it, it would give you the fill width of the hood to put something like a small t5 in there. Theres more then enough room, and i know home depot sells 12" T5 type lights for under cabinets for dirt cheap. Should be really easy to retrofit... but i must say the 10 watt screw in cfl is plenty bright... Anyway heres the pics. They came out of, but nothing does justice like seeing things in real life.

Last edited by fast93accord; 01-02-2011 at 07:49 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 06:31 AM
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WowOWoW..... Thats a neat little tank! How much and where did you buy it? It looks a lot smaller than my 5G AGA.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 12:30 PM
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Very cool!

"Aquarists are a brave lot. We mix water and electricity every day."
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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It was about $50. Petsmart, petco and some lfs sell them. I really liked a bow from tetra with clip on led, but no specs on the led and filter inlet was funny...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Well i decided to change around some equipment on this little tank.
1st i ditched that POS filter in the top, this system came with. I decided to get an Aquaclear 20. Its rated for 5-20 gallon tanks, has a nice flow adjustment, and has the biggest media chamber then any HOB filters i've ever seen. I have an Aquaclear 70 on my 36 bowfront and love it, so i figured the 20 would be great on this 5... and i was right. I had to put a prefilter sponge on the intake to keep babies from getting sucked up. After all, this is a fry tank... Oh, and i had to notch out the section on the top of tank where the factory pos filter sat. A soldering iron works well for cutting though plastic fast...
For days i was trying to figure out is i should mod the hood to add a 2nd bulb. It already has the socket in there for 2 bulbs but you need to do some minor mods... I decided to ditch the lid and bought a Home Depot Hampton Bay 27 watt CFL 6500k booklight. It is very nice... Heres the pics of everything.

Now heres my question to all of you.
Should I
1. Leave everything how it is

2. Put a glass or clear plastic lid on it

3. Remove the bulb from fixture and put a real piece of reflector behind the bulb in its current housing.

4. Gut the new light assembly, install a real reflector in orignal Aqueon hood, and install the 27 watt light assy in the Aqueon hood.

I'm really kinda liking #4, but then i would not be able to adjust the light height is i wanted to...
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Any suggestions???
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