New to planted aquariums - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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Arrow New to planted aquariums

Hello everyone, just a little background on myself before I start to get into the nitty gritty. I have had a 20g aquarium for around 1 year which is mainly fish with a plant here and there, nothing too intense. After seeing all of these nice lush aquariums I have decided that I want to try my luck with one. Ok so now onto the good stuff....

I have decided that Iím going to buy a 20g long, and the main inhabitants of the tank are going to be Cherry Shrimp and Otto catfish. For a substrate Iím thinking about using Seachem Flourite black sand (2 bags). I also plan on adding a DIY co2 system to the tank.

Now on to my questions.

1) I have been looking into lights for the tank and I have come down to 2 choices. The one Iím leaning towards is http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...esingle30strip and adding the adjustable arms to it for easy access. Now the second choice that I have found would be 2 of these http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...lestriplight30 .
Now what Iím wondering is what are the pros and cons of each of these lights. I understand that having the 2 sets will allow me to have a few different types of bulbs but I guess what my question is, is this really necessary?

2) I have been looking at all glass tank lids. Will this really be necessary as all Iíll be housing is shrimp and a couple catfish? I have read that with the lid water evaporation will be greatly decreased, but I have also read that the glass will need to be cleaned frequently.

3) The main consensus seems to be that a canister filter is the best bet for a planted tank using co2, the only problem with this is that Iím a college student and that's really out of my budget. Now Iíve read that with a power filter the turbulence on top of the water will cause the co2 to escape from the tank. So would I be better off using an internal filter or is the co2 loss not really something that I should worry about? If I were to use a power filter it would be http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...00bpowerfilter
and if I were to use an internal filter it would be http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...derwaterfilter .

I have been reading these forums for a few days looking for answers to these questions but havenít found exactly what I'm looking for. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

-Mark
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 07:16 AM
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Hey there Mark,

Glad to see you've done a bit of research already, before asking your questions.

What plants are you trying to keep?

1) Fixture 1 has 65 watts of PC lighting. Fixture 2 has only about 36 watts of T5NO. Even though one is PC lighting (less efficient), it'll still be more light than half of it's wattage equivalent in a T5 fixture. Having multiple bulbs lets you pick and choose to see if a combination suits your eye better than a single bulb. Is it crucial? No.

2) I wouldn't think a glass lid would be necessary.

3) Yes, a HOB filter will outgas your CO2. An internal filter might be OK if you find a way to prevent shrimp from getting sucked into there. I recommend scouring Craigslist for deals on a canister filter. An Eheim 2215 or Rena Filstar XP2 will do you well on a 20 gallon tank.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick reply epicfish,

For plants I don't really have anything set in stone. I was going to wait until I had my lighting all picked out so I could match some plants to my wattage. I'm thinking HC for a carpet plant, and I'd like to have some sort of moss as well. As for stem plants I havenít really done all that much researching as of yet.

I took another look at canister filters. Would I be able to get away using a Filstar XP 1? (250 GPH), or an Eheim 2213 (116 GPH)?

As for lighting I think I'll just go with the single bulb and no lid for the tank.

Thanks again,

-Mark
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 08:10 AM
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If you want a carpet plant, you'll need more than the T5NO fixture. The 65W Coralife will be a good choice.

An XP1 or Eheim 2213 would leave something to be desired for in terms of filtration/flow rate.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodmark View Post
I took another look at canister filters. Would I be able to get away using a Filstar XP 1? (250 GPH), or an Eheim 2213 (116 GPH)?
Everybody has different answers to this and overfiltering is alway a plus, but I have two 20H with XP1's and I have been very happy with the performance. I have more than adequate flow with them. I even backed off the flow in one of the tanks. I am looking at putting together a couple more 20's and will go with the XP1 again.

Larry Bugg
Atlanta Area Aquarium Association
North American Discus Association - Vice President
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfish View Post
If you want a carpet plant, you'll need more than the T5NO fixture. The 65W Coralife will be a good choice.

An XP1 or Eheim 2213 would leave something to be desired for in terms of filtration/flow rate.
I actually think that any of these filters would work, as well as either light fixture. You may have to stick with lower-light carpeting plants (as in, probably not HC or Glosso) but there would still be numerous other species to choose from, including Marselia, hairgrass, E. tenellus 'narrow' or 'micro', etc.





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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 02:45 AM
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i have two of the coralife t5's. great lights, great results. get some 10K bulbs tho so you can configure the bulbs to what looks best for you. HC wont do well with only one though. also have a 2215 on there. i have it turned down to about 65% flow (the valve is closed about 35% of the way so it wont blast away my subtrate). its probably overkill so you could do with a 2213 or xp1.

good luck
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help everyone, now it's just a matter of banking up enough money to pay for all of this .
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