I have been reading this board for a few weeks now and thought I would jump in. I have been keeping a tank for 4 years and have decided to make some major changes. The tank is a 25 gal high with an Eclipse2 hood. I try to maintain it as a South American tank, with mixed success. I have had to compromise a lot on plant choices due to only 30 watts of light. But I do what I can and add trace elements, potassium, and CO2 with a DIY system. The fish are happy, mostly tetras, and a pair of Rams that have bred 3 times in the last 2 months (none hatched).
So now I have begun planning an upgrade. I will do away with the Eclipse hood (no criticism of Eclipse intended, its just not adequate for my needs, my wife loves it--attractive and quiet...the hood, not the wife... no that's not what I meant, baby, of course you're attractive...wait, come back). So, last weekend I built a new hood from plywood, into which I am going to mount a 55w compact fluorescent from AH Supply (thanks Rex for the suggestion and the site) and the old 30w fl. fixture out of the Eclipse, switched separately. Nearly a 3-fold increase in watts.
And, after reading many postings on the equipment forum on the subject, last night I ordered the Rena Filstar XP2. Apologies to Fluvalistas and Eheimaniacs--what kind of kickback are these guys getting anyway? I like the design and the 2 baskets and it's supposed to be very quiet. Ordered from Big Al's, it cost less than the XP1 at Petsmart.
Now I just have to wait for the stuff I ordered to arrive.
Suggestions, ideas, thoughts, comments? Any would be appreciated.