The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After seven years away from the hobby, I am attempting a planted tank once again. In 2015, I set one up but never got it started, because I moved out of state.

It will be a 45p standard rimless tank with an external canister filter and Co2 system.
Right now I am making a list of the supplies I will need. I have been looking at places online and pricing things, so I can project a budget.

Look at my list below if you have time and feel free to give suggestions and edits based on your experience.
I have not purchased anything yet, and I am open to any advice.

Aquarium Stand:
-Commission/handmade $ price still unknown

CO2 System - $228 (total) or $134

-Co2 diffuser $20 at BucePlant
-Co2 clear tubing $10 at amazon
-Check valve $7 at local petstore
-Glass drop checker $12 at amazon
-Co2 dual regulator $150 at co2art or eBay $56
-Sodastream adaptor $29 at co2art
-Sodastream contister $0

Rimless 45U 9 gallon tank:
-$120 at glassaqua

Stabilizing mat:
-$8 at amazon

Canister filter:
-SunSun HW-302 $64 at chewy.com

Filter media:
-Purigen with net at eBay or amazon
-Neo Media Pure $12 at buceplants
-Filter media floss $12 at amazon

13mm clear tubing for canister:

Lily glass pipes:

-$42.49 at ebay

Substrate:
-Ada aqua soil Amazonia and powder
-Sand or ada Colorado sand (any sand?)

Thermometer: $10

Plants (Possible Types):

-Mini bolbitis - small fern
-Echinodorus Vesuvius - Longer curling leaves
-Bucephalandra Lamandau mini red- smaller bushy red/green
-Elatine Hydropiper - foreground plant small mossy
Hard Scape Decor:
-driftwood
-Rocks

Fish:

Fertilizer:

-UNS plant ferts all in one $20 at buceplant
-ada liquid fertilizers

Tools:

Led Light:

-Twinstar LED B line $61 at BucePlant or eBay $45 (similar light with more watts)

Water test kits:
-API aquarium freshwater test kit 800 $25 at Chewy

Water conditioners:
-dechlorinate

Water siphon/changing equipment:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I was in the same boat until recently. The one suggestion I'd make is ditch the sand. It's near impossible to keep separated from the soils without a lot of hardscaping to create fences. Shrimp and cats will do their best to ruin your neat organization. I'd go soil everywhere. It's the one thing I would change from my setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was in the same boat until recently. The one suggestion I'd make is ditch the sand. It's near impossible to keep separated from the soils without a lot of hardscaping to create fences. Shrimp and cats will do their best to ruin your neat organization. I'd go soil everywhere. It's the one thing I would change from my setup.
Thank you for the suggestion. I will make note of that.
 

·
Registered
120G planted, 10G breeder
Joined
·
12 Posts
I was in the same boat until recently. The one suggestion I'd make is ditch the sand. It's near impossible to keep separated from the soils without a lot of hardscaping to create fences. Shrimp and cats will do their best to ruin your neat organization. I'd go soil everywhere. It's the one thing I would change from my setup.
After seven years away from the hobby, I am attempting a planted tank once again. In 2015, I set one up but never got it started, because I moved out of state.

It will be a 45p standard rimless tank with an external canister filter and Co2 system.
Right now I am making a list of the supplies I will need. I have been looking at places online and pricing things, so I can project a budget.

Look at my list below if you have time and feel free to give suggestions and edits based on your experience.
I have not purchased anything yet, and I am open to any advice.

Aquarium Stand:
-Commission/handmade $ price still unknown

CO2 System - $228 (total) or $134

-Co2 diffuser $20 at BucePlant
-Co2 clear tubing $10 at amazon
-Check valve $7 at local petstore
-Glass drop checker $12 at amazon
-Co2 dual regulator $150 at co2art or eBay $56
-Sodastream adaptor $29 at co2art
-Sodastream contister $0

Rimless 45U 9 gallon tank:
-$120 at glassaqua

Stabilizing mat:
-$8 at amazon

Canister filter:
-SunSun HW-302 $64 at chewy.com

Filter media:
-Purigen with net at eBay or amazon
-Neo Media Pure $12 at buceplants
-Filter media floss $12 at amazon

13mm clear tubing for canister:

Lily glass pipes:

-$42.49 at ebay

Substrate:
-Ada aqua soil Amazonia and powder
-Sand or ada Colorado sand (any sand?)

Thermometer: $10

Plants (Possible Types):

-Mini bolbitis - small fern
-Echinodorus Vesuvius - Longer curling leaves
-Bucephalandra Lamandau mini red- smaller bushy red/green
-Elatine Hydropiper - foreground plant small mossy
Hard Scape Decor:
-driftwood
-Rocks

Fish:

Fertilizer:

-UNS plant ferts all in one $20 at buceplant
-ada liquid fertilizers

Tools:

Led Light:

-Twinstar LED B line $61 at BucePlant or eBay $45 (similar light with more watts)

Water test kits:
-API aquarium freshwater test kit 800 $25 at Chewy

Water conditioners:
-dechlorinate

Water siphon/changing equipment:
Well, welcome back I guess! My only thoughts would be to make sure you get a good check valve - and the $7 option doesn't scream high quality, if you can - opt for a stainless steel unit. I'm using a CO2ART kit myself and the bubble counter has a check valve built in (the one you mentioned probably does too) and I found it works better without an external CV.
As for the canister filter - that's the one essential piece of equipment I would not buy based on value. I'm not disparaging the brand per se, I just tend to find peace of mind with brands that have reputation, a history of performance or 'track record', and a good warranty. I'm not personally familiar with the brand you mentioned, but some extra due diligence in choosing here will serve you well...
You might also consider an inline diffuser if you're using a canister filter as you'll free up a lot of eyesore with the pipes, tubing, diffuser etc. Its a small tank (imo) so you'll want to consider the amount of clutter...
With your plant selections...make sure you have lots of light - at least .5w/L and the proper spectrum with adequate par. You'll probably want to consider macro and trace ferts, iron, and testing for the aforementioned. Some of the plants you mentioned are very particular about their water and light parameters and somewhat demanding so hats off to you for your conviction!
Oh, and I second Scurvy's suggestion to ditch the sand....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,902 Posts
Welcome back to the hobby!

Some thoughts in no particular order.

The canister filter you picked is rated at 264 gallons per hour. Even taking into account that half of that flow is mythical in nature this will be a lot of flow for this tank. I'd recommend getting a ball valve to turn down the flow on the outflow. Something like this. Another option is replacing that filter with a smaller rated one. I am using oase thermo 100 on a 8 gallon tank (also turned down with ball valve but its not so severe a reduction). That is a very good way to go because the filter has the heater built in so it saves you needing one inside the tank. I also own a polar aurora (rebadged sunsun filter identical to the one you want to buy) turned down on a 30 gallon tank because that tank is housing newts and they need a slow flow. The problem is this filter does not do well turned down a lot. Its really really really noisy. This is all due to air trapped in the filter that the filter can't purge when the flow is turned down. I recently bought a cascade 700 for that tank but it hasn't arrived yet so I can't comment on if its better or not. The polar aurau is the model with uv though and the uv sadly broke after a year (the fixture itself broke, not just the bulb). Sooo.. I can't really recommend the filter anymore.

If your stand will house it I would also suggest getting a proper co2 tank instead of sodastream. A proper 5 or (preferably) 10lb tank will last longer and be cheaper then a sodastream cylinder replacement. If you go this route, call around and find out where you will be getting the tank filled as they will probably a) sell the tanks, and b) may only do tank swaps, if that is the case you won't want to buy a shiny new tank only to lose it in the first swap.

I would under no circumstances put filter floss in a canister filter. Filter floss clogs way too quickly. Instead use sponge. You will likely only need to clean out that canister filter 2 to 3 times a year. If you use filter floss you will need to open it up every few weeks.

Also pick a fertilizer line and stick to that. If you use the UNS ferts you do not need (or want) the ada line. The UNS ferts are an EI system which means its a lot of ferts in the tank. You do not want to double up on ferts after that.

Regarding sand, if you are planning to cap the aquasoil with sand, then you can use any sand you want. I have used pool filter sand this way with good results. If you are planning to create an aesthetic sand area separate from an aquasoil area then I agree with the previous comments that this is a pain to keep clean and free of aquasoil.

Check valves.. It doesn't matter how much you pay for them, what matters in my experience is how they are built. The best are ones with a spring and steel ball that controls the flow. The worst are silicone or rubber membranes. The latter wear out a lot quicker. I bought some nice valves off of mcmaster carr for 4 dollars a valve but they are not being up charged as aquarium valves.

As someone who has made/adapter stands for a couple of tanks, I'd be interested in knowing what you end up finding for a commissioned stand if you don't mind sharing.

Hopefully this is helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, welcome back I guess! My only thoughts would be to make sure you get a good check valve - and the $7 option doesn't scream high quality, if you can - opt for a stainless steel unit. I'm using a CO2ART kit myself and the bubble counter has a check valve built in (the one you mentioned probably does too) and I found it works better without an external CV.
As for the canister filter - that's the one essential piece of equipment I would not buy based on value. I'm not disparaging the brand per se, I just tend to find peace of mind with brands that have reputation, a history of performance or 'track record', and a good warranty. I'm not personally familiar with the brand you mentioned, but some extra due diligence in choosing here will serve you well...
You might also consider an inline diffuser if you're using a canister filter as you'll free up a lot of eyesore with the pipes, tubing, diffuser etc. Its a small tank (imo) so you'll want to consider the amount of clutter...
With your plant selections...make sure you have lots of light - at least .5w/L and the proper spectrum with adequate par. You'll probably want to consider macro and trace ferts, iron, and testing for the aforementioned. Some of the plants you mentioned are very particular about their water and light parameters and somewhat demanding so hats off to you for your conviction!
Oh, and I second Scurvy's suggestion to ditch the sand....
Thank you for the advice! I checked, and you were right. The co2art kit did include the check valve with the bubble counter. That's one thing I can take off my list.

You're not the only one to mention the canister filter. I will probably go with the smaller Eheim 2211. I think this one has a good reputation.

I hadn't considered the inline diffuser. Thanks for the tip. I will probably wait on that until the later. I am worried about overwhelming myself in the beginning with the high tech stuff (since this is my first tank). I agree it is a good idea.

I haven't done enough research on the fertilizers yet. I am still not sure what I need. The plants I mentioned were just ones someone suggested in a video for this size tank. I will do more research for that as well.

And I will definitely be eliminating the sand.

Thank you for the help. I am sure I will be making a lot of changes before I get everything. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome back to the hobby!

Some thoughts in no particular order.

The canister filter you picked is rated at 264 gallons per hour. Even taking into account that half of that flow is mythical in nature this will be a lot of flow for this tank. I'd recommend getting a ball valve to turn down the flow on the outflow. Something like this. Another option is replacing that filter with a smaller rated one. I am using oase thermo 100 on a 8 gallon tank (also turned down with ball valve but its not so severe a reduction). That is a very good way to go because the filter has the heater built in so it saves you needing one inside the tank. I also own a polar aurora (rebadged sunsun filter identical to the one you want to buy) turned down on a 30 gallon tank because that tank is housing newts and they need a slow flow. The problem is this filter does not do well turned down a lot. Its really really really noisy. This is all due to air trapped in the filter that the filter can't purge when the flow is turned down. I recently bought a cascade 700 for that tank but it hasn't arrived yet so I can't comment on if its better or not. The polar aurau is the model with uv though and the uv sadly broke after a year (the fixture itself broke, not just the bulb). Sooo.. I can't really recommend the filter anymore.

If your stand will house it I would also suggest getting a proper co2 tank instead of sodastream. A proper 5 or (preferably) 10lb tank will last longer and be cheaper then a sodastream cylinder replacement. If you go this route, call around and find out where you will be getting the tank filled as they will probably a) sell the tanks, and b) may only do tank swaps, if that is the case you won't want to buy a shiny new tank only to lose it in the first swap.

I would under no circumstances put filter floss in a canister filter. Filter floss clogs way too quickly. Instead use sponge. You will likely only need to clean out that canister filter 2 to 3 times a year. If you use filter floss you will need to open it up every few weeks.

Also pick a fertilizer line and stick to that. If you use the UNS ferts you do not need (or want) the ada line. The UNS ferts are an EI system which means its a lot of ferts in the tank. You do not want to double up on ferts after that.

Regarding sand, if you are planning to cap the aquasoil with sand, then you can use any sand you want. I have used pool filter sand this way with good results. If you are planning to create an aesthetic sand area separate from an aquasoil area then I agree with the previous comments that this is a pain to keep clean and free of aquasoil.

Check valves.. It doesn't matter how much you pay for them, what matters in my experience is how they are built. The best are ones with a spring and steel ball that controls the flow. The worst are silicone or rubber membranes. The latter wear out a lot quicker. I bought some nice valves off of mcmaster carr for 4 dollars a valve but they are not being up charged as aquarium valves.

As someone who has made/adapter stands for a couple of tanks, I'd be interested in knowing what you end up finding for a commissioned stand if you don't mind sharing.

Hopefully this is helpful!
Thank you for all of the advice. This is so helpful!
I'm glad you pointed out the canister issues. I was worried about it, others have already mentioned it. I decided to go with the Eheim 150. It's the smallest of their canisters, and I am hoping the flow will be lower. I will get one of the ball valves to regulate the flow. Thanks for the link.

I decided to go with the Sodastream canister because I already own several and my roommate and I refill them ourselves with a large (very large) tank at home. I guess I could get a larger option but I already know how to fill the soda streams myself.

I will go with the sponge filter media. thanks.

I have yet to do much research on fertilization. thanks for the advice. I find the ada selection intimidating... wish I had a way to know what to use.

I found I don't need to buy a separate check valve... one is already included in the co2art system I am getting.

I am waiting to hear back about the commissioned stand. I am working with a friend who is a carpenter. I will be posting the plans for the stand soon and any progress on it. If you check back to this thread I will have more info.

Thank you for all the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,114 Posts
Thank you for all of the advice. This is so helpful!
I'm glad you pointed out the canister issues. I was worried about it, others have already mentioned it. I decided to go with the Eheim 150. It's the smallest of their canisters, and I am hoping the flow will be lower. I will get one of the ball valves to regulate the flow. Thanks for the link.

I decided to go with the Sodastream canister because I already own several and my roommate and I refill them ourselves with a large (very large) tank at home. I guess I could get a larger option but I already know how to fill the soda streams myself.

I will go with the sponge filter media. thanks.

I have yet to do much research on fertilization. thanks for the advice. I find the ada selection intimidating... wish I had a way to know what to use.

I found I don't need to buy a separate check valve... one is already included in the co2art system I am getting.

I am waiting to hear back about the commissioned stand. I am working with a friend who is a carpenter. I will be posting the plans for the stand soon and any progress on it. If you check back to this thread I will have more info.

Thank you for all the help!
I believe the eheim canister filters come with quick release ball valves, for easier maintenance. So you shouldn't have to buy a ball valve.

Fertilizer wise, you'll need macros and micros. Nilocg.com sells some ready to use fertilizers, both liquid and dry salts forms.

Good luck btw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I would suggest if you aren't on a specific timeframe to look into aliexpress for lily pipes, silicone tubing(game changer), inline heaters quick disconnects and such. When I just got back into the hobby as well I saved on average 35% compared to Amazon and ebay for a lot of items.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would suggest if you aren't on a specific timeframe to look into aliexpress for lily pipes, silicone tubing(game changer), inline heaters quick disconnects and such. When I just got back into the hobby as well I saved on average 35% compared to Amazon and ebay for a lot of items.
I like this idea. Last time I was in the hobby, I tried getting a few things from China suppliers on eBay. I was able to get a nice led light for a good price (and lily pipes). To my surprise, they were all good quality. I will try out AliExpress and see what I can find. I love finding a good deal... since I'm trying to do this on a budget.
Thanks for the suggestion!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There is finally an update. I have made a little progress towards my new setup.
I have knocked out about half of my shopping list. And on the top of that list is the custom aquarium stand I had built.

I designed the stand and gave the plans to a carpenter/friend.
He made a few improvements.
1029580
1029581
1029582
1029583
1029584
1029585
1029586
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After 5 months of saving and collecting supplies, my tank is finally up and running. I am so excited to have my first planted aquarium. I spend every day researching, just to keep up with the giant learning curve.

Here are some pictures of the hardscape and first few weeks of setup.

This is the hardscape:
ADA Amazonia V2, seiryu stone, and California ghost wood from aquaterra supply
1031818


Added water and plants. Used a lava rock to keep the driftwood from floating (took 6 days for it to sink).
Plants: Baby dwarf tears, dwarf hairgrass, staurogyne repens, and rotala rotundifolia
I did not realize how hard dwarf baby tears was to take care of. I will probably need to replace with an easier plant.
1031819


Using the Eheim 2211 and the CO2Art pro-se series dual regulator with the Sodastream adaptor. I am currently making a new sodatream canister stand... the current one isn't keeping it up straight.
1031820


I had a large bacterial bloom the first week that cleared up by the second week. The second and third week a large clear bacterial slime covered everything. It started to suffocate some of the grass and baby tears. But other than that wasn't a big problem.
1031821


Algea started to grow in addition to the slime. I purchased a few nerite snails and some amano shrimp from the local pet store. My tank wasn't completely cycled yet, but I heard from several sources that you can do this with algae eaters around the third week of setup.
1031822


Around week 3-4 I added a few more plants. I understand that things will be healthier with more plants. So I added giant hairgrass in the back, anubias nana marble on the driftwood, and alternanthera reineckii red mini mostly in the back right.
1031823


I understand I don't know what I am doing. If anyone wants to point out issues or give me tips, I would welcome it.
Thanks for looking!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top