Improving my Eclipse 12? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Improving my Eclipse 12?

Hi all:

I'm new to fishkeeping and am attempting to start a planted tank in an Eclipse 12 system (12g). Unfortunately if I could do this over again, I would not have gone with an Eclipse 12 because the integrated filter/lighting/hood and unusual shape of the tank (acrylic) is not at all flexible and has restricted my lighting options. The stock light is a 13W PC (5300K). I have been trying to supplement the lighting from the top side using a 23W PC desk lamp (6500k), but I don't think much light is getting added to the tank this way. I have the lights on a 11 hr cycle.

My other tank stats so far:

Substrate: 20 lbs of Eco-complete (unfortunately only about 1.5 inches of coverage)

Ammonia = 0 ppm, Nitrites = 0 ppm, Nitrates ~ 5 ppm. ~ 7.0 pH. TDS ~ 150 ppm. Temp = ~80F.

4 Zebra Danios, 1 Clown pleco, 1 Blue Ram Cichlid.

A few Anubius Nana, a couple of Anubius swords, Wisteria, and the rest are unkonwn from Petco.

I am beginning to dose with Flourish. I use DI water conditioned with R/O right. I have started using DIY yeast CO2 with a Hagen bubble counter (pic below).

Here is my freshly planted tank set up. I'm having a little trouble keeping plates in the substrate.



Here is an unfortunately blurry shot of my bubble counter (lots of slowly rolling bubbles!):



And because for me it is the fish that matter most. Here is a pic of my Blue Ram.



My first question is about my substrate depth. I am just beginning to realize that many people suggest up to 3" while I just have half that. If I were to increase my substrate depth, is there something cheaper than Eco-complete that I can add without disturbing the current tank set up? Or should I just add more EC?

Has anyone seen a light retro-fit that works with this small system? I have emailed AHsupply.com and they do not have a solution.

I am open to any suggestions for improvements. Fish seem to be OK, but this is my first aquarium so I am still learning.

Thanks,

-mim
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-30-2006, 04:41 PM
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there are plenty of things you can do with the lighting, actually. you would could remove the original light and retrofit a kit from www.ahsupply.com or www.hellolights.com . i personally have an Eclipse system 6 and plan on putting hellolights' 29W nanoballast kit in it...

you just have to get a little creative.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 06:51 AM
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I'm not sure how crucial the substrate depth is but it would never hurt to increase it, preferably with more eco. But we all know how pricey it is.

Other than increasing your lighting you seem to be off to a very good start! Keep at it!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2006, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agdavis
there are plenty of things you can do with the lighting, actually. you would could remove the original light and retrofit a kit from www.ahsupply.com or www.hellolights.com . i personally have an Eclipse system 6 and plan on putting hellolights' 29W nanoballast kit in it...

you just have to get a little creative.
I emailed the AHsupply people and they said that they do not recommend their retrofit kit for the Eclipse 12 system. They said that there are two issues:

1. too much heat from the higher wattage system

2. how to deal humidity/water protection.

I realize that would could drill out the top and add a 12v computer fan, but I'm not sure I want to cut up the top in case I want to sell the aquarium.

My thinking was that it might be possible to add an over the tank light, like the Satellite (Current) and try and keep the over the tank integrated filter unit. The problem is that the tank is not rectangular, but more of a trapezoid shape (larger in the front than the back).

-mim
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 02:04 AM
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I retrofitted my Eclipse 12 with a custom 32 watt lighting job about 2 years ago now. On hot days where it was above 90 I had to keep the lid open and lower the amount of time I had the light on, but thats only been about 10 days out of the last 2 years. Adding a fan would help too I bet, but I don't use one.
The bulb is directly over the water, but I use a waterproof end cap, with no problems or breakage. I also don't have fish that splash though.
Your milage may vary..
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 11:25 PM
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Here is a thought/suggestion on the lighting - I recently bought a light from Catalina Aquarium because they had such a variety of sizes and wattage. I was very frustrated with my lighting options until I found their site.
The nice thing about the "legs" is that they are each separately attached to the body of the light. What this would mean in that the front legs can be spaced farther apart and then the back lags closer together (there really is no restriction to the amount of adjustment you can have) this would accommodate removing the top and setting the top on the rim of the tank. Although, if you are looking for a really clean look you would probably still notice the size difference from the front to the back because of the slight over hang in the back.

You might also want to see how the legs attached to other brands, maybe it is the same?

Anyway I hope this all makes sense? I am very happy with my light from them because it is only 16 inches long but allowed me to go with 2-24w bulbs. If you check out their site you will see they have numerous options!

Good luck!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 01:17 AM
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Duff, Could you post a picture? I'm not following you, but it sounds interesting.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 02:37 AM
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Here are two pictures to give you a better idea.

You will see the "legs" attach to the front of the light. There is a space about a 1/4 inch that you slide the leg into then tighten the screw to hold it in place. This “space” runs the entire length of the light. You have to secure each leg separately, so in essence you can adjust the legs to fit your tank. It was a bit of a pain to get the legs just where I wanted them, about 5 minutes of fiddling around with them.

The base on the end of the leg that sits on the tank is 1 inch deep. So I think even if your tank angles to the back you would still have plenty of room for the light to sit on the rim of the tank, taking the angle in to account. The only thing I did not take into account was the fact that the light had one switch to operate both bulbs. I think you can order it with two switches…

In researching Catalina I read different reviews from others on buying from them some happy some not. For me they were very responsive to my email questions and shipped it quickly.

Hopefully the pictures/description help? I really think it would work for what you are looking for. I am not a DYI girl myself so I figured this was the best for me. With an open tank and this much light I do have to top off everyother day at a minimum. But I like having an open tank as I can trim and poke around in the tank easily.



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