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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Please help...

I'm new to the planted aquarium hobby, but I'm really into it, and I have been looking online, for the best things in terms of equipment, and everything. I am clueless even after a 6 month search. I am planning on buying a 58 gallon oceanic. I want to know the best filter, I was thinking fluval 405, but i've heard good and bad things, also heaters. I heard ebo jager is the best, true? I don't know what media, substrate, fertilizer, how my maintainence schedule should be. how to gravel vac to avoid plant casualties. how often I should change media, the best way to change media w/out killing bacteria. what kind of CO2 if it is neccissary, lighting, anything. I saw the transformation on scolly's tank, and im hoping for the same for me. Please help...

anything that i am missing that i should know would be very helpful too.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 08:35 PM
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Start buying stuff and learn as you go. Get your tank, filter, heater and substrate first. Fluval 405 is fine. Check out AquaSoil, Flourite, ane EcoComplete for substrates, or go with one of the other options if you want to save some money the first time around. Get all that up and running, then start worrying about dosing ferts and what your maintenance schedule should be. After 6 months of searching you should have more than enough knowledge to get the basics started.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 08:37 PM
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The first question I have is, How much money you got?. If money is not a problem, search each sub forum for the bestest, i.e., equipment, substrate, lighting, etc. If money is an issue, spend some time in the DIY section. Asking which stuff is best on a forum is like trying to find the best brand of car at work......DC
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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money is not a concern, i've saved up quite a bit, and i know ill prolly end up spending all of it. I have heard good things about aquasoil. i think i will do just that, i will buy the tank and the fluval, and start from there.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 08:43 PM
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Welcome fellow Sacramento-ian! As far as the tank, its just personal preference. Oceanic is great -- I have a 90g Oceanic (fish only right now) and its real sturdy w/ clean-looking seals. A good rule of thumb for planted tanks is to get deeper tanks, to allow more room for aquascaping. 58g should be about 12" deep, which is fine, but I wouldn't go any less.
As for filters --- to avoid starting a debate -- its also personal preference and how much $$ you're willing to spend. Many folks like Fluvals and Rena Filstars, but others swear by Eheim. I have only ever had Eheim (3 to be exact) and have no complaints. It's so quiet that I don't even know its running. I also have never had to replace a part on any of them (had one of them for almost 2 yrs). They are, however, a little more expensive than the others.
Substrate is also based on how much $$ you want to spend and how good you want the plants to grow. Some folks have good luck with sand/laterite mix, and other people (myself included) have had good luck with Fluorite, Eco-Complete or Onyx. I've never tried ADA aquasoil, but its a little more expensive ($26 for 9 liters). Most people will tell you that ADA is as good as it gets.
Heaters? just get a submersible or inline (hooks to the outflow of your canister filter) that is around 150-200W for that size tank. I have a 300W on my 90g and it works fine.
Do a search on EI(Estimated Index) for your dosing and water change schedule.
Lighting? Power compact or Metal Halide are the best kinds to get. I have PCs (most do, I believe) and they work just fine and are very cost-effective, compared to MH. For a tank that size (others may correct me if I'm wrong), you'll want at least 110w for a lower light tank, or 220 (55w x 4) for a higher light. However, with this light, you will NEED pressurized Co2. For that you will need to buy a tank (5 or 10lb), regulator, needle valve, bubble counter(recommended) and solenoid(allows you to hook it to a timer, so it turns off with the lights --- Co2 isn't needed at night and may cause ph drops). You will also need a way of getting the Co2 into the tank --- either make a PVC inline reactor (cheap and there are instructions for doing it on this site), or you can try something else, like mist diffusers, etc.
As for the rest of the things, you just need to read, read, read.
For dry chemicals(dosing), check out Greg Watson's site

hope this helps.

-Ryan

P.S. as far as $$ involved, you will likely spend a good deal of it. Just for a comparison, I've spent somewhere around $1000 for my 20g planted tank. Larger tanks will require bigger filters, bigger heaters, more lights, etc...so more $$ Also, consider the electricity cost of running everything and if you're on metered water(thank God I'm not), that will also be something to consider.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 08:53 PM
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Seriously, the best way to do this from what have I learned? Go up to the member list, search members, advanced search, put CA in the search field and find members close to you. PM them, most will help you out, let you see their setups, tell you where to shop, and start you off with plants. Best way to identify what works and get ideas for your setup before you buy and meet other hobbyists......DC
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 09:39 PM
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make sure to check out the swap'n'shop section here. You can get very good deals, like the price of shiping.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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thank you guys, ringram you are from sacto right? so ehiem is good eh? i heard they are a hastle to work with though...I don't mind to much maintainence, but i just don't want a messy floor, it's going to be on carpet so i don't want it to get all nastey
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 09:43 PM
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Ehiems are really the most expensive, well made filters. they often have extra features, that other filters don't have.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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i think im sold on the eheim, but do they make one with the water flow stoppege lever thingy? because i really liked that feature on the fluval, but i think i want an eheim.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:43 AM
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I think of myself as an equipment junkie (or geek, whatever), so I'll tell you what I think are the best things out there equipment-wise for a 58.

Lighting: For smaller tanks, I think T5HO is the best way to go, and the best of those are the Sunlight Supply Tek Lights. For an Oceanic 58, the 4 x 39 Watt fixture is plenty. You can use any tubes between 5000K and 10,000K, but I've heard nothing but good about the Planta tubes. Power compacts work fine, but T5HO is basically just the next step forward of that same technology. I think metal halide is a better choice for large tanks.

Filtration: (Most) Everyone agrees that Eheims are the best, but they are expensive. The 2126 is plenty of filtration for a 58, and it also has an integrated heater so you don't have one more thing in the tank. I've had Fluvals, and I don't like them. The Rena XPs would be my second choice.

Substrate: I've used both Eco-Complete and Flourite with good success, but if I were starting over from scratch, I'd go for the ADA Aquasoil.

Heating: I like the idea of not having the heater in the tank looking unnatural and all, so I'd rather use the Eheim with a built-in heater. If not that, then the Visi-Therm Stealth heaters are nice because they are black and blend in. Ebo-Jagers are nice, but they stand out.

CO2: Definitely get a pressurized system for a tank that size. DIY just won't cut it. I don't have many opinions about reactors, regulators, controllers or what not.

Finally, be sure that a 58 is what you want. My experience, and others have had it too, is that whatever size tank you have, you want something bigger. A 58 is not a very large tank. If money is no object, think about stepping up to a 90 or more.

Enjoy the hobby (read: obsession).
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 01:53 AM
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The 20 series Ehiem does have the easy release lever (2026, 2028, and all the Pro IIIs I believe). They are SO much easier to use than Fluvals, IMO! Just turn off the filter, pull back the lever, release the catch, and boom! It even keeps a syphon for you AND it will reprime itself. They are LOVELY.


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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 06:15 AM
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If you say money isn't a problem, then I highly recommend ADA Aquasoil with Powersand.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenThePlantGeek View Post
The 20 series Ehiem does have the easy release lever (2026, 2028, and all the Pro IIIs I believe). They are SO much easier to use than Fluvals, IMO! Just turn off the filter, pull back the lever, release the catch, and boom! It even keeps a syphon for you AND it will reprime itself. They are LOVELY.
Just to clarify, the 2126 is the same filter as the 2026 (and the 2128 is the same as the 2028), just with integrated heaters. The Pro III will soon be available with the heater as well.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenThePlantGeek View Post
Just turn off the filter, pull back the lever, release the catch, and boom! It even keeps a syphon for you AND it will reprime itself. They are LOVELY.
It seems to me that a lot of people don't realize that the classic eheims do not need to be primed after every maintainance. I unplug the filter, disconnect the hose valves, take the unit to the sink for cleaning/replacement of media, return it to the cabinet, reconnect the hose valves (which cannot be switched accidentally around), and plug the unit in. It starts pumping out water through the output hose immediately after it has filled back up.

Although you might choose a pro model over a classic for other reasons, you do not need a prime button to get an Eheim unit to start again. I think the pro models are not worth the extra $$, and the classics work beautifully.

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