Enjoying Filters and Technology - The Planted Tank Forum
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  • 2 Post By Streetwise
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Enjoying Filters and Technology

I know everyone here likes plants, fish, inverts, etc. Me too!

I also really enjoy the technology of the hobby. I think as a kid (pre-web), I loved trying different under gravel filters, different air pumps, air stones, filter media, etc. In college and later, I got to try different canister filters for saltwater, and learned a tiny bit about lighting.

Getting into planted tanks, I have enjoyed finding the smallest internal filters and skimmers, and ways to play with foam to modify things, plus making the whole tank a filter. I wish I could try modern HOB or canister filters for fun, but I am sticking to small tanks and gear in my rental. I tend to go for symmetrical gear if it is visible.

I also like the automation stuff, and app-controlled lighting.

Who else enjoys the whole gear part of this hobby?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 04:07 PM
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I guess I'm quite the opposite. I think there is far too much gear available...the majority of which is totally not necessary. I run a lot of tanks in my fishroom so maybe I'd look at it differently with only 1 or 2. But I downgraded from HOBs and canisters to air driven sponge filters in almost every tank. I also dusted off some undergravel filters and am trying those again in a few tanks. I do have a few HOBs and one canister still running but if they ever fail they too would be replaced with sponge filters.

In the end I find that there really is nothing out there that prevents me having to do tank maintenance. Whether you run the newest most expensive canister filter or a sponge filter, you still need to get in there an do water changes every so often!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 04:30 PM
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I do agree that there is something interesting about filters. I think in part it's because of the interesting science behind them and that they help to make life possible in these little worlds we create.

I remember when I used larger aquariums. I took a 10 gallon aquarium and a 5 gallon aquarium, I removed the bottom pane of glass from the 5gallon, used a another sheet of plastic that I cut to size. Do you see where I am going with all this? I bought a pre-filter and blue plastic balls and, I made my own trickle filter!

I don’t recommend people play with this kind of glass but it was a fun project using things I had in the basement and it worked perfectly.
All the best, john
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 04:42 PM
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I can totally understand how those already inclined to the tech world would find the tech in the hobby a draw for them.
My brain works on different wave-lengths, however, so tech only confuses and frustrates me.

But, more fundamentally than that, for me, my fish hobby has kept me grounded and focused. That day to day "hands-on" care of each fish, each tank.
Through each move, divorce ( ahem), marriage, happiness or tragedy--- I have had 1-7 tanks running throughout for 30 years. If it had to be automated I would have given it up for something else a long time ago.

But, that said, I appreciate everyone's draw to this hobby- it makes us all unique.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 05:32 PM
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Not me. In the past I have had high-tech planted tanks and 220-gallon reef tanks. Now, I have two small low-tech planted tanks and couldn't be happier. Simpler is better.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 06:17 PM
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I really enjoy the technology as well. It reminds me of 15+ years ago when I got more enjoyment out of selecting and installing stereo components in my car than actually listening to them.

The plus side with these tanks is that I also really enjoy looking at them. Here is the control panel for my tanks from my home automation system:



I also use dosing pumps on my display tank.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 06:30 PM
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Wow!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 08:58 PM
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Interesting perspectives here; something that makes this hobby great!

I do enjoy technology, and have smart home as another hobby. I have collided the two of them quite a bit, which I have found enjoyable.

I think it also depends on your goals. For me I have two display tanks in my office, so quite and well functioning canister filters are key for me (swapping one out for a Fluval 407 now...). If I were running a fish room, I am sure I would have a different tank and want to run sponge filters.

pH controller with an inert substrate has been fantastic, and keeps things simple from the dreaded end of tank dump!

I am sure there are many others (water leak sensors hooked to smart switched to shut filters down, lighting innovation, etc.)

I do think at times things can be overwhelming for the new person in the hobby, thinking you NEED all these different devices. In the end though, it is the market that drives the innovation and us who drive adoption to adaption.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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These days I am enjoying finding the smallest filter tech to do the job.

I love the Top Fin MF10 units so much, but I want to try coarse foam instead of the fine foam included. What is the best tool for cutting your own foam, nice and square?

Style: Organic soil, sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech: Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Neptune Apex EL
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Last edited by Streetwise; 11-13-2019 at 03:59 AM. Reason: Spelling
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 10:05 PM
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I have an old sponge filter in my sun porch tank that I keep for 'odds and ends' critters, and I love it's simplicity.

My only problem with sponge filters in display tanks is dealing with the loud air pump which has to be elevated above the water level.

Otherwise, I's just go with those.

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Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
These days I am enjoying finding the smallest filter tech to do the job.

I love the Top Fin MF10 units so much, but I want to try coarse foam instead of the fine foam included. What is the best tool for cutting your own foam, nice and square?
I just use a good pair of scissors. Sewing scissors work great.
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