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Hey guys, some I'm trying to convert my parent's old 55gal tank into a planted one. So far I've gotten some water wisteria, xmas moss, and marimo moss balls in it. Substrate is eco-complete.

Anyways, I've been reading up on c02 systems and I'm either going to go for a inline atmoizer like this Amazon.com : CO2 Atomizer System Diffuser 16 / 22 mm Hose Air Regulator Bubble Counter for Aquarium Fish Tank (#2) : Pet Supplies or I'll just DIY a Cerges reactor.

Basically, my main "problem" right now is filtration. It's a custom build cabinet/tank etc and has the intakes and exhausts on the bottom of the tank and the canister filter (Fluval 403) sits under the tank. I'm not to sure how to approach this. I covered the intakes with some larger pebbles before layer the ecocomplete on it, so right now the intake is completely covered and "inside" the substrate. Would this filtration be ok? We'd prefer everything to stay underneath the tank. Should I change the return spout into a spray bar? We'll be having a couple of fish, mainly fancy guppies.

Here are some pictures, I will be getting more plants soon, just want to get the c02 setup first! Let me know what i should do about it or what you would do, thanks!


 

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Welcome to the Planted Tank(s)! :)

I would not cover the filter inlet with substrate, and instead extend it above the substrate. Finer particles (EC) have a tendency to work their way down into larger ones (pebbles), and I would worry that your inlet will eventually get really blocked. Inlets should really be accessible and clean-able if you want to maintain good filtration. Perhaps you can route it to some more inconspicuous spot, like all the way to the left, if the tank is visible from both sides. Or just see how it goes.

Is the return spout also covered? Won't it blow away the substrate?

I have had bad experiences with those sort of atomizers. If they break, a disaster is very likely. The plastic doesn't hold forever, and the ceramic in them needs to be cleaned once in a while. I would go with some maintenance-less external reactor design, or, if your canister can handle it, just bubble the CO2 into the inlet. Some canisters choke when you do that, others work just great as reactors and distributors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ahh thanks for the info! I'll see what I can do to raise it.

The return spout was blowing the substrate so now there's a rock in front of it to direct the water upwards. It's hidden behind the wood in like a "cavity".

I don't think my canister can. Thinking about changing out the canister too to get one with more flow since I'm worried it might not be good enough if i throw a reactor into the mix.
 

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403 is not big enough for this tank. I use this size on 29 gallon tanks, where they work pretty well.
If you like this filter, you could get 2 of the same but you only have 2 holes in the bottom of the tank. I would certainly double the capacity of the filtration, then you have a bit extra so it is OK to slow down some with the reactor.

Filters do not like having the intake blocked. This tends to cause a strain on the plumbing, and it is possible to end up with air inside the canister. Much better to add more aquascaping materials such as stones (fairly large) and driftwood, and you can hide the intake in there. Much wider open area, just camouflaged.

As for the outlet, look around the tank and make sure you are seeing really good water movement in all areas of the tank. When you 'scape and plant it some of this will get blocked. Most people end up with the outlet near the surface. This adds to the surface movement of the water, so encourages gas exchange, and reduces surface scum. You could add a water circulation pump if you find there are still dead spots.
 
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