First Planted Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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First Planted Tank

Hi All,

I just got a 12 gallon long Mr. Aqua, and wanted to try my first planted tank. I will most likely be keeping a few small tetra, and some shrimp. I wanted to keep the tank fairly low tech, as I will not be planning on using CO2, but I could dose if needed.

Here is a potential setup:

Aquaclear 30 OR Eheim Classic 2215 (possibly with Lily pipe)

-->I have never had a canister filter before, how often does one clean it, what do people like about them vs HOB filters?

Finnex stingray
--> This fixture seems to put out moderate light that wont lead to algae blooms in the absence of CO2. I was also looking at Finnex Fugeray, Finnex 24/7, and current sat fresh water plus, but they seem like they might be too powerful for such a shallow tank

ADA Amazonia (9lbs)
--> I really like the look of ADA style tanks, so I was going to start with this substrate. Any thoughts on it? Should I get more than one type?

Any advice from people who have had this tank, or general advice would be greatly appreciated

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 05:25 PM
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if you got the money, i would go with the canister filter so you can run the pipes. both filters does their job. i would clean the filters the same. canister just bigger and out of sight.

i agree those lights are going to be bright on your shallow tank. go for stingray out of those 3 because you're not giving the plants a lot of co2 to work with, you should tone down the lights.

ada amazonia is all you need. if you want to beef up your substrate more you can add nutrients under it. maybe use clay balls and stuff for the very bottom so you get better water flow down there.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-28-2016, 08:26 PM
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I would go with the 24/7 or the sat +, with both you can raise and lower the intensity based on what's going on in your tank.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 01:51 AM
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First Planted Tank

1. Canister filters are more aesthetically pleasing cus you can use it to help keep equipment out of the tank. I clean my filter weekly at the start but you can get more lax once the tank has matured.
2. Lights depend on what you wanna grow, if you are going low-tech the Stingray should be fine. You can go for higher output lights if they are adjustable because then you are more flexible if you ever decide to change your setup to high-tech.
3. The Amazonia AS is all you really need. It is a really great substrate, just remember it leeches ammonia at the start, which cycles the tank. But, that means you have to wait before livestock (which you should anyway).

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 04:46 PM
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A 36" stingray sitting on top of a 12g long is a lot of light. I wouldn't necessarily condemn it to low tech/ light setups especially for nano sized tanks. On a 55g, it would be a great low tech light and you would probably need 2 for most plants if you aren't injecting co2. A 36" 24/7+ would also be a tremendous amount of light without co2 but as previously mentioned you can adjust the intensity to suit whatever you're doing but it's more controllable, which I like (I own both models).

If I were to do a 12g and I was debating between the stingray and the 24/7+, my first question would be budget. If I was trying to go "cheap" (in price, not quality) I would buy the stingray. If budget wasn't really a concern, I'd for sure get the 24/7+ dim it to about 60% and suspend it (or find/build some risers) atleast 7-8 inches from the surface, especially without co2 injection. I'd raise the stingray up atleast 4 inches also.

Canisters are nice, I like them. You can put whatever you want in them and for a nano, IME, the more filter space you can play around with, the better. You can run strictly mechanical, biological, or chemical filter media or run all three which most of us do. The issue I see is creating equal flow through out a tank that shallow and long. I've never setup a tank of those dimensions so that I'll leave that to someone else but if current isn't reaching to the other end of the tank you have quite a few options out there to increase flow. One I suggest for low tech no co2 tanks is constant surface gas exchange, I use an azoo palm filter with floss in it so it overflows and breaks the surface, creates a few short-lived large bubbles and a nice ripple for my 30cm cube (which I have 2 12" stingrays 7-8 inches above the surface) but I would love to put a little Ehiem with pipes on it.

You can go a long time (3-4 months) without cleaning them and they will still produce water flow but will also be producing other we don't want but since you want to have a good maintenance schedule anyways, I would shoot for atleast once a month. It's not hard and if you can open a cookie jar you can maintain a canister filter. Aquasoil may also stain your sponges brown if you don't keep up on your initial daily water changes. Ask me how I know lol.

Canisters can also be hidden out of sight very well and with glass or acrylic pipes, you will hardly even tell you have filter equipment. Consider an inline heater if you get a canister too. Not a lot of room in a 12L for most heaters. With an inline heater, glass/acrylic pipes, and raised light fixture, all you will see is your tank and almost zero equipment.

The amazonia is all you need like previously mentioned. I'd use the AS powder type though instead of normal. It will make your substrate look mor uniform and to scale.

For a low tech/light tank, if you can manage to not have too much light, Seachem Excel works very well for a carbon source.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the suggestions and advice above.

I ordered a 36'' stingray, since budget is a little bit of a concern, and I cant hang the light. I also ordered a Hydor in line heater (200 watt), an Eheim classic 350, a glass inflow/outflow by Jardli, and 9L of ADA amazonia. I should be able to set everything up in a week, pretty excited!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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So I finally got everything set up, and during priming I turned off one of the double tap valves, and it cracked! The grey lever is now cracked, but it does not seem to be leaking. Should I replace it? Do I need all 4 valves operational? Just kind of bummed it snapped on its first use.
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