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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm considering creating my first planted aquarium and have a few questions regarding equipment necessary for a planted tank.

Obviously I will need filtration, heating, lights but my is which of what?

As far as filters go, I have seen that a lot of people use canister filters (from my short research). Can I use a traditional HOB filter that I am much more familiar with? Or how about an internal one? Is there one that is "generally agreed upon" as better (or most effective) within the planted tanks society?

I suspect a regular all around heater would suffice (granted its a good quality one).

Also, I see a lot of LED talk when talking about planted tanks, would I absolutely need LED? Can I get away with a regular tanklid light?

This is all for a 10 or possible 20/30 gallon tank setup. Also what brands would work best? I suspect Fluval or Marineland (if HOB) would be ok, but not sure for any other types of filtration. Best brand of heaters? Light bulb output and brand?

Thanks in advance for any input.
 

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As far as filtration alot of people here use Eheim classic canister filters, or Aquaclear HOB filters. Heater I am going with a Eheim Jager, in my opinion this isn't something to be cheap on, electric + water + cheap = trouble lol. As far as lighting goes there are alot of different types led is one, clf, T5ho etc etc most of it all comes to what plants you want to grow, also, tank size etc etc. You may want to research CO2 also, some plants/light combos need that and ferts. Get an idea of the plants you want to use, tank size, if you want to use CO2 or ferts, and how much you are willing to spend, toss all that info out there and folks probably can help you more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm a beginner of beginners here so I want something real simple to start with. I want to grow really simple plants that would form like a carpet on top of white sand if possible. Then add plants much later on when I get a better understanding of planted tanks. 10 Gallon.

I would never skimp on heaters for sure. So Eheim Jager for a heater. What about HOB vs. Canister in a 10 gallon tank with minimal plants for now but room for expansion later on? Avoid CO2 for now probably...Ferts I am not familiar with and am not sure if I would need it..Please refer to this for a better understanding of how I want my setup..

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?p=2110236#post2110236
 

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An Ebo Jager for a heater is a fine choice.

For your filter, you can go with either a HOB or a canister filter. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages.

HOB filters are cheaper and easier to maintain, but are noisier and have smaller media capacities.

Canister filters are more expensive, and slightly harder to maintain, but are much quieter and have larger media capacities.

You do not need to have LED lighting, though they are increasingly popular nowadays because of the decrease in cost.

If you are going to use the light fixture that came with your 10 gallon aquarium, do not use incandescent bulbs; instead use compact fluorescent bulbs (these are your so-called "energy saving bulbs" that can be bought at the hardware store).

I took a look at your other thread that you started in the Aquascaping section; most carpeting plants require high light and thus, also require CO2 injection and fertilization.

Since you are just starting off, I would recommend either a low or medium light aquarium instead. In high light aquariums, an off-balance in either light, fertilization or CO2 will quickly lead to algae disasters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
:( That is sad news. So high light automatically = CO2 and Ferts? I suspect high light must correlate directly with more sophisticated efforts.

Thanks for the input though. So it looks like I'll be alright with a Ebo Jager heater, AQ HOB filter, and fluorescent light bulb. Does the output of the light bulb matter? Is there a general rule of thumb that says I should automatically use the higher outputs?
 

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:( That is sad news. So high light automatically = CO2 and Ferts? I suspect high light must correlate directly with more sophisticated efforts.
Plants require (simply put) 3 things to grow: nutrients, CO2 and light. If any of these 3 things are out of balance, then they will do poorly, algae will take over, etc.

With higher light, plants are photosynthesizing more, so there is more demand for nutrients and CO2.

An analogy of this is that:

light = accelerator/gas pedal (in a car)
fertilizer = gasoline
CO2 = oil? (or something)

In any case, when you pressing the accelerator more, the car goes faster, but there will be higher demand for oil and gasoline (as the car will use these up faster).

Thanks for the input though. So it looks like I'll be alright with a Ebo Jager heater, AQ HOB filter, and fluorescent light bulb. Does the output of the light bulb matter? Is there a general rule of thumb that says I should automatically use the higher outputs?
For the lightbulbs, rather than looking at the wattage of the bulbs, you should be looking at the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) that the bulb outputs.

Hoppy wrote a very informative and in-depth guide here:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368

If you are talking about the colour temperature of the bulb, then the Kelvin temperature does not really matter, so long as it is less than 10 000K. 3500-4500 is a bit orange/yellow, 6500 is very white with a tint of blue, and 10 000K is fairly blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. That was an EXTREMELY informative article and helped me understand it a bit more. That being said, I might opt for a Marineland Single LED Lighting fixture.

http://www.petmountain.com/product/aquarium-led-light-fixtures/11442-524764/marineland-single-bright-led-lighting-system.html

I believe Hoppy had that in his last graph and the Maximum PAR level was 40 at 10 inches. Which, according to his earlier statement, said that anywhere between 15-30 micromols of PAR would be considered low-light. So would that particular lighting be a good choice (for my low-light plants application)?
 

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I believe Hoppy had that in his last graph and the Maximum PAR level was 40 at 10 inches. Which, according to his earlier statement, said that anywhere between 15-30 micromols of PAR would be considered low-light. So would that particular lighting be a good choice (for my low-light plants application)?
40 mmol/square inch of PAR would put you into the low light/medium light border.

You should be fine in terms of growing low light plants, but you may find that algae might become a problem. You might also need to fertilize (the best judge of this is to just watch your plants).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
40 mmol/square inch of PAR would put you into the low light/medium light border.

You should be fine in terms of growing low light plants, but you may find that algae might become a problem. You might also need to fertilize (the best judge of this is to just watch your plants).
Alright. So fertilizer helps the plants grow/be more healthy, and CO2 combats algae..Do I have to use injected CO2? No dissolveable tabs or something along those lines?
 

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Alright. So fertilizer helps the plants grow/be more healthy, and CO2 combats algae..Do I have to use injected CO2? No dissolveable tabs or something along those lines?
DIY CO2 or pressurized CO2 are your two real options.

Those CO2 tablets are, to be blunt, a waste of money. They do not provide a steady supply of CO2 and will encourage algal growth instead.
 

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HOB filters are perfectly fine in a planted tank. If you are not injecting CO2, I actually prefer them, outside of noise. I actually feel that HOB filters require more maintenance, though it's quick and easy, just more often.


Without going into detail, on a normal, low tech planted tank (regular fish tank with plants), a HOB filter will oxygenate the water better, assuming you have the same amount of flow. On the flip side, a canister filter has much more media capacity.

Where I find the big advantage of canisters is when it comes to adding other equipment (outside of being more quiet, and further more quiet since it's in the stand). You can run all types of equipment inline, reducing clutter in the tank. They also don't off gas CO2, which can be important with DIY CO2 or if you have a small co2 tank.

I am really hesitant to say that a canister is better or a HOB is better, they both have advantages. I will say that all my tanks have canisters and that will probably stay that way from hear on out. Not because it's better, per say, but I find that their advantages fit me better than a HOB.
 
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