Help selecting first planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Help selecting first planted tank

I plan on purchasing my first planted tank to be alongside my reef tank. I have several options for a used tank and just wanted to see with you all on which is the better tank being around the same price. The first tank is a fluval evo 7g and the second is a lifeguard aquatics full view 7g. Those are the two local options I was able to find cheap and was wanting to possibly pick one up this weekend as long as one of them is a good option.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 01:43 PM
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I can not find a 7 gallon evo tank. I can find the 13.5 gallon and the spec v but no 7 gallon. Are you sure its not just a evo 5 (the saltwater version of the spec v)?

Personally I do not like tanks with slanted front glass. Much of the "gained" space by slanting the front glass is unusable for plants or decor because they would bump into the glass. Essentially increasing the tank footprint without the expected increase in water volume.

Neither tank will have an appropriate light unless its coming from the seller. The evo will have a saltwater light which really shouldn't be used for freshwater as it makes it easier for algae to grow, the lifeguard tank comes with no light out of the box. If the evo tank is a spec V then I will say that I am using a spec v saltwater as a freshwater tank. I bought an Asta 20 freshwater light and it works great. There is a lot of threads on this forum concerning the spec V and folks generally seem to be very happy with them. I am not sure I have seen any threads with the lifeguard tank. If you really like the look of the lifeguard tank then you should get that, otherwise I would go with a spec v (assuming that is what we are talking about).
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I can not find a 7 gallon evo tank. I can find the 13.5 gallon and the spec v but no 7 gallon. Are you sure its not just a evo 5 (the saltwater version of the spec v)?

Personally I do not like tanks with slanted front glass. Much of the "gained" space by slanting the front glass is unusable for plants or decor because they would bump into the glass. Essentially increasing the tank footprint without the expected increase in water volume.

Neither tank will have an appropriate light unless its coming from the seller. The evo will have a saltwater light which really shouldn't be used for freshwater as it makes it easier for algae to grow, the lifeguard tank comes with no light out of the box. If the evo tank is a spec V then I will say that I am using a spec v saltwater as a freshwater tank. I bought an Asta 20 freshwater light and it works great. There is a lot of threads on this forum concerning the spec V and folks generally seem to be very happy with them. I am not sure I have seen any threads with the lifeguard tank. If you really like the look of the lifeguard tank then you should get that, otherwise I would go with a spec v (assuming that is what we are talking about).
Here is a picture of the tank that I am talking about. It comes with no light, have no problem buying my own.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrisq0904 View Post
Here is a picture of the tank that I am talking about. It comes with no light, have no problem buying my own.
So that is the Fluval Evo VII which is a 13.5 gallon tank. This is a different weight class from the lifeguard aquatics so you just need to decide if you want a tank that big or not. Personally I am of the mind that bigger is better. However I will note that this tank 1) comes with no lid which will limit fish selection somewhat, and 2) the nozzle appears to be missing as well which makes me wonder if the pump is included/working?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisq0904 View Post
Here is a picture of the tank that I am talking about. It comes with no light, have no problem buying my own.
So that is the Fluval Evo VII which is a 13.5 gallon tank. This is a different weight class from the lifeguard aquatics so you just need to decide if you want a tank that big or not. Personally I am of the mind that bigger is better. However I will note that this tank 1) comes with no lid which will limit fish selection somewhat, and 2) the nozzle appears to be missing as well which makes me wonder if the pump is included/working?
I was told everything is included and working. I had already asked about that, but will be making sure it's there and that everything works.

There is also the $1 per gallon sale at Petco so maybe get an even bigger tank I dont know.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 03:40 PM
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You can't go wrong with a 40 breeder! According to many on here you just have to watch the silicone on the $1/gallon sale. I just picked one up and the seams were very good.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 03:54 PM
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If you want rimless all in one units then the evo is pretty good (I am assuming you are being offered it for less then half its retail price). Otherwise a 20 long from petco and a hang on back or small canister filter is pretty enticing for small fish and plants. It all depends on 1) your budget since you also need to buy a light, (possibly a heater), and in some situations a filter, and 2) what fish species / plants you want to keep.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Another option is a deep blue 80g reef ready. It's free but I would have to remove the overflow and cap the bottom holes with a bulkhead and plugs. I'm just not sure about the shallow height. kind of want to do discus

Regarding my post above, the discus would only be an option on a bigger tank like the 80g

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-24-2019 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 01:45 PM
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I think a 40g breeder would be perfect, big enough for many fish options and good dimensions for aquascaping.
The 80g reef ready dimensions will prove to be more challenging with scaping however if you feel like a challenge then you could give it a go.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 02:43 AM
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I would go as big as you can afford for your first planted tank. My first high tech planted tank attempt was a 17 gallon and it was a disaster, second was a 29 which went fairly well after a pretty bumpy start, finally moved to a 40 breeder which was perfection from start to finish. Smaller tanks are more difficult to balance, harder for someone new to scape with appropriate selection and number of plants for the size, and less forgiving for any fish or other inhabitants.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisq0904 View Post
Another option is a deep blue 80g reef ready. It's free but I would have to remove the overflow and cap the bottom holes with a bulkhead and plugs. I'm just not sure about the shallow height. kind of want to do discus

Regarding my post above, the discus would only be an option on a bigger tank like the 80g
This is a clear winner in my book. It's free and bigger then anything else under discussion. Undoubtedly you already have a stand and place for it as well.

You do not need to remove the overflow or change plumbing around unless you do not like the aesthetic or function for some reason. There are definitely planted tanks with overflows. Theres a pretty active journal right now of a former reefer with a 20 gallon plumbed with a beananimal overflow. He is having problems with very small species of fish getting into the overflow so he has been screening it off to keep them out. Otherwise no issues.

The 80 gallon seems like a pretty great sized tank as well. 4 feet by 24 inches by 16 inches high. The height will end up getting reduced to probably around 12" of water once you add substrate and take into account the overflow (if left functioning). But 12" is still perfectly adequate for MANY fish species in a tank that size. I don't know about discus having never raised them, my gut says no. But I would do at least one planted tank before jumping into the discus side of things anyway.
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