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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone! I'm in the process of considering getting back into aquariums and looking to jump back into the nano world with a Mr. Aqua 6.5. I still have my Current Satellite Freshwater + which I plan to use on it until I order the Plus PRO, but I've run into some stand stills in ideas that I wanted to run by some people to see if I could get some input.

One of my main concerns when it comes to nano's is thermal consistency. Before with Power Compact lighting, which I was using years ago, I had to worry about the little setups overheating, but now with LED's I find it's harder to keep the tanks warm due to ambient temps from lighting. That said I'd like to find a heating solution that not only fits but doesn't take up space. My only real option is inline heating to get a clean look. I plan on running a Finnex 360 canister, so running a Hydor inline made sense, but I was unsure if it would be overkill for a 6.5 gal since they are rated for 28 gallons. I'm also unsure if this should be connected to the input of the filter or the output. I'm thinking the output to keep particles of stuff from building up, even though I'm probably going to run a prefilter.

I'm considering trying to hide a much of the hardware as possible so lily pipes on the canister filter are a long term goal as well as an inline CO2 diffuser. I'm use to the U.P. Aqua or Do! Aqua diffusers which just connect via airline from the regulator so inline diffusers are new for me to setup. Again, like the inline heater, I'm un sure if I should put this on the input our output of the filter. I've run CO2 through the intake of a canister filter before so the impeller assisted in diffusing as well as the gas passing through the media, but I'm not sure if that's healthy for the pump let alone the buildup of gas being healthy for the anaerobic bacteria that lives in the filter. Since I moved I've somehow miss placed my 20lb tank so I'm considering either moving to a smaller option of the disposable cartridges since it would be a more compact setup. I do understand that the 12g/20g cartridges do expel gas fairly quick, as well have a higher overall cost, but I'm interested in seeing if this is a more manageable setup.

Anyone have any takes on those hardware questions?

The longterm goal with the setup is to have medium to high light requirement plants. To give you a mental picture I'm going for a lush foreground carpet of UG, S. Repens patch (not really light dependent from my experience) and a patch of L. Mauritania. I have a nice small piece of drift wood that I'd like to attach some Anubias Nana "petite" to as well as a fill in the rear of it with Windelov Java Fern. Right now it sounds very green and I plan to add some stem plants in the rear to add some reds as well as an accent with a tiger lotus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After a little bit of reading it looks like I'll be looking more into an Eheim rather than the Finnex option I was going for. I've used Fluval's for years, but they never seem to be able to hold up in the long run. Would a 2211 or a 2113 plus an inline heater and inline diffuser be slow enough to no be blasting the media around in the tank, let alone the plants and inhabitants?
 

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If this is the mr Aqua 6 gallon long (2 feet wide 9 inches tall 5ish deep) then I have the same tank. I use the Tom Aquarium Rapids mini with the original piped switched out for 10 mm clear tubing and glass inflow and outflow. As for the heater, definitely run it on the outflow so like you said you dont get unnecessary buildup of organics. I have my co2 using a regular diffuser, but my buddy has one of the glass inline ones that he keeps on his outflow as well. I think the closer to the filter on the outflow side the better as it gives more time for the co2 bubbles to diffuse into the water. Just throwing out some of my own experiences to try to help.
 

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I have an Eheim Classic 2213. I've had it for 9 years and still works perfectly. I also am in the same boat about wanting to use an inline heater for a nano (Fluval 6g Edge). I also have concerns about a 200-watt heater running on it. People have said that a good failsafe is to have a heater controller, but that's adds to the investment. Man, I wish there was a nano inline heater!

As for CO2, I plan on using a diffuser vs inline. Inline heater plus inline diffuser would require a pretty complicated set-up for a nano.
 

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The freshwater+ is probably going to be strong enough for what you need. Always use a temperature controller. The $25 is the best insurance you can buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
If this is the mr Aqua 6 gallon long (2 feet wide 9 inches tall 5ish deep) then I have the same tank. I use the Tom Aquarium Rapids mini with the original piped switched out for 10 mm clear tubing and glass inflow and outflow. As for the heater, definitely run it on the outflow so like you said you dont get unnecessary buildup of organics. I have my co2 using a regular diffuser, but my buddy has one of the glass inline ones that he keeps on his outflow as well. I think the closer to the filter on the outflow side the better as it gives more time for the co2 bubbles to diffuse into the water. Just throwing out some of my own experiences to try to help.
That's the dimensions for the 6.5 gal. How is the Rapid's filter? I use to run 501's on my 2 gallon cubes, but realize they are very inefficient and will not really support a larger setup. Plus they clog quickly it seems and I'm not a fan of their hoses.

I have an Eheim Classic 2213. I've had it for 9 years and still works perfectly. I also am in the same boat about wanting to use an inline heater for a nano (Fluval 6g Edge). I also have concerns about a 200-watt heater running on it. People have said that a good failsafe is to have a heater controller, but that's adds to the investment. Man, I wish there was a nano inline heater!

As for CO2, I plan on using a diffuser vs inline. Inline heater plus inline diffuser would require a pretty complicated set-up for a nano.
Would there be any reason for me to go with a 2213 over a 2211 for a 6.5 gallon? I do get that inline devices will slow the flow, but will the inline heater and diffuser kill the flow too much on a 2211? I'm planning on going with the Hydor and a thermostat in the tank to be a failsafe. After raising reptiles I've come to be familiar with thermostats and how much they can save the day.

The freshwater+ is probably going to be strong enough for what you need. Always use a temperature controller. The $25 is the best insurance you can buy.
The freshwater + is a nice piece of hardware, but I like the configurations that I'm able to do with what I've seen with the plus PRO. I actually got out of planted aquariums right before the PRO was released and this is one of the reasons I want to get back in with nano's! Agreed with the controller 100%

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Fauna wise I'd like to keep this setup packed when it comes to fauna. Yea, I know I need to be careful with the bio load and give the animals there space, but here is what I'm looking into:

- Cherry shrimp
- Thai Micro Crabs (Limnopilos naiyanetri)
- Danio margaritatus
- Boraras brigittae
- Pygmy Cory's (Corydoras pygmaeus)

That's about it. Might consider some nerites or ottos?

Edit:

Anyone know the diameter of the 2211 and/or 2213 hosing? I'm trying to figure out what diameter inline heater and diffuser to get.
 

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Would there be any reason for me to go with a 2213 over a 2211 for a 6.5 gallon? I do get that inline devices will slow the flow, but will the inline heater and diffuser kill the flow too much on a 2211? I'm planning on going with the Hydor and a thermostat in the tank to be a failsafe. After raising reptiles I've come to be familiar with thermostats and how much they can save the day
The benefit of the 2213 is that if you ever upgrade to a larger tank you can use the 2213 on there. Otherwise, the 2211 might be enough. The 2213 flow can be reduced by the valves by the way. I use the 2213 on a 6-gallon and the flow is pretty good, and I still use a powerhead. Also I have a lot of plants. I'd rather have too much flow that can be reduced than not enough to begin with.

Edit:

Anyone know the diameter of the 2211 and/or 2213 hosing? I'm trying to figure out what diameter inline heater and diffuser to get.
Both 2211 and 2213 have outflow diameters of 12/16mm (1/2").
(Source:
2211:
http://www.bigalspets.com/classic-canister-filter-with-media-2211.html
2213:
http://www.bigalspets.com/classic-canister-filter-with-media-2213.html)

Which thermostat do you plan on getting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The benefit of the 2213 is that if you ever upgrade to a larger tank you can use the 2213 on there. Otherwise, the 2211 might be enough. The 2213 flow can be reduced by the valves by the way. I use the 2213 on a 6-gallon and the flow is pretty good, and I still use a powerhead. Also I have a lot of plants. I'd rather have too much flow that can be reduced than not enough to begin with.
Good point. I'm use to these 'larger' canisters on larger tanks so I'm concerned with blowing everything around with the output and either ruining the substrate layout or stressing inhabitants out. Do you happen to have a link to your 6 gallon? I'd like to read up on what you have done for inspiration.

Both 2211 and 2213 have outflow diameters of 12/16mm (1/2").
(Source:
2211:
Eheim Classic Canister Filter with Media - 2211
2213:
http://www.bigalspets.com/classic-canister-filter-with-media-2213.html)

Which thermostat do you plan on getting?
Thanks for that info! That helps a lot now I know what products to filter out.

As for thermostat, I'm going to look into that tonight. I posted a question up about that and all the other hardware in the equipment section and I'll merge findings here. I'm thinking I might lurk on my old reef forums to see if I can find some accurate products that they use.
 

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Good point. I'm use to these 'larger' canisters on larger tanks so I'm concerned with blowing everything around with the output and either ruining the substrate layout or stressing inhabitants out. Do you happen to have a link to your 6 gallon? I'd like to read up on what you have done for inspiration.
I had a 10 gallon that was the original tank for the 2213. I got rid of that and then got the 6 gallon. I was hesitant at first about using a 2213 on the 6 gallon, but it turned out fine. I have a link in my profile, but that info is old. Here's a somewhat more recent journal (that I need to update!):
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12-tank-journals/922809-fluval-edge-6g.html

It's a Fluval Edge, a "special" (aka pain in the butt) tank.

I'm interested in what you get for the thermostat. The Finnex Max-300 (Amazon.com : Finnex Max-300 Digital Aquarium Heater Controller : Finnex Heat Controller : Pet Supplies) might be a decent choice.
 

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That's the dimensions for the 6.5 gal. How is the Rapid's filter? I use to run 501's on my 2 gallon cubes, but realize they are very inefficient and will not really support a larger setup. Plus they clog quickly it seems and I'm not a fan of their hoses.
I have only shrimp in mine, and it is great. I went with the lily outflow and inflow with inflow on opposite end of the tank from the out and things seem to be good. I had the round glass pipe like this one
but it cut the flow too much in my opinion and I didnt have enough surface movement so buildup accumulated quickly
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have only shrimp in mine, and it is great. I went with the lily outflow and inflow with inflow on opposite end of the tank from the out and things seem to be good. I had the round glass pipe like this one ***IMAGE REMOVED FOR QUOTE*** but it cut the flow too much in my opinion and I didnt have enough surface movement so buildup accumulated quickly
I'm planning to go lily in and outflow as well. I considered going on opposite ends, but I'm unsure. I've always done that in the past with canisters and loved it, so I might just put the inflow in one rear corner and the out flow in the other rear corner. Again, those are not set in stone.

I was considering that exact style of outflow! But you bring up a great point about surface agitation, without that I will have scum build up and that's not good. I can't even run my Eheim surface extracting pump because I'm aiming to have zero visible hardware in the tank besides lily pipes and CO2 checkers.
 

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Oh you have an edge... I give you credit on going with it and love what you've done! I was working in the Aquarium industry when those originally came out and I liked the modern design but hated the lack of functionality and PITA management that seemed like would come with it.
Thank you! Yes, the tiny hole at the top drives me nuts since it makes the tank very hard to manage. I've wanted to take the top off, but the glass top makes it nice and enclosed.
 

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I'm planning to go lily in and outflow as well. I considered going on opposite ends, but I'm unsure. I've always done that in the past with canisters and loved it, so I might just put the inflow in one rear corner and the out flow in the other rear corner. Again, those are not set in stone.

I was considering that exact style of outflow! But you bring up a great point about surface agitation, without that I will have scum build up and that's not good. I can't even run my Eheim surface extracting pump because I'm aiming to have zero visible hardware in the tank besides lily pipes and CO2 checkers.
With a tank as long as mine I opted for the regular style lily pipe for the outflow on the left and the inflow in the opposite corner on the right as you said. I think in a cube tank the round outflow is great (my roommate has it) but for the length that we have it just cuts flow too much (as it's designed for)

Bump:
Does anyone make feet risers for rimless tanks for lighting? I'd like to raise up the Satellite FW + by 3" to 4" in this setup.
I cant comment for the Satellite, but there is a guy Fuse who is selling them for the finnex lights currently on the for sale section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Which brand pipes did you go with? Are you running a pre filter on the inflow? That's the only hardware I wouldn't mind seeing as I'd like to not catch a majority of shrimplets in the filter, plus it's something I can easily pull out with the inflow pipe when I feel like having a moment with my DSLR.

Edit:

Also, did you find your tank in NJ or did you have to order it online? GF is originally from NJ so I could make a NJ trip more interesting with an LFS trip :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As I run through my list of hardware I've come down to choosing that I'll be running a Eheim 2213, Hydor 200w inline, Current Satellite Plus PRO 24", U.P. Aqua Inline Atomizer & a Rhinox drop checker.

I'm still torn on the lily pipes to run. I've been checking out users posts on different brands, but China orders take forever, but then again domestic 'knock-offs' are not exactly cheap. Catch 22. Any strong recommendations on lily pipe brands/models, etc?

Also, my main concern is having too much flow with the 2213. Is there a way I can throttle the flow without using the inline ball valves? I don't want to put back pressure on the system and wear out seals or an impeller.

Another thing up for debate is substrate. I know I'll most likely be building more Osmocote tabs as I have some O-cote left as well as capsule cases, but I'm considering either using Fluval's Shrimp Stratum or S.T. International's Aqua Soil. Recommendations on either way? I don't want to use Flourite products (been there done that) or ADA (not sure why, just not interested right now.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update:

Ordered the tank from MarineDepot this afternoon as well as the Eheim 2213 and the Mr. Aqua Aquarium Placement Mat from Amazon. I'm excited to get this started!

I've sourced some UG locally so I plan on starting up my emersed setups again but a little differently this time. Rather than use the 15 gal or the half 10 I'm going to use small seed starter containers with the same substrate I plan to use in the tank as well as base heating from a mat to keep the temps constant for growing. I will also be using CFL's for the grow lights until I order my Satellite Plus PRO and then I'll suspend that above the 'grow station'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Who ever thought options for glassware and substrates would be this hard.

Let's start with glassware... I'm still looking for options with inline diffusers to clean up the tank, but at the same time in tank glass/ceramic diffusers are not only pretty but easy to monitor. The U.P. Aqua inline diffuser seems to have mixed reviews, but for the price I think it's worth trying. My main concerns with this product is the plastic housing either not arriving with a good factory seal or the plastic being brittle and cracking under pressure. That said, those are fairly big concerns, because leaks are never a good thing. With that concern in mind, I started to look into inline glass diffusers. Cal Aqua[1] seems to have a decent selection of glass products in general and a few inline diffusers. I'm confused by the design options for two out of the three. Two are inline diffusers with ceramic disc style diffusers that either user a 25mm disc or the nano model using a 20mm disc. I don't see too big of a difference in the disc sizes. The nano model seems to be more compact, but I don't know if that is for aesthetics or function. The normal 13mm model does have slightly more space around the diffuser which looks like it should slightly reduce flow (not really too noticeable.) The third product is an inline diffuser that's part of a lily pipe. I'm not sure it's the most efficient setup, but it's neat and is extremely compact. Anyone have experience with CAL Aqua products?

So onto the next, substrates. I've experienced a lot of products over the years; Flourite Red, Flourite Dark, Flourite Onyx/sand, Eco Complete, ADA Amazoinia, and ADA Africana. I'm looking to try something new with a new substrate. My options at this point are either Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum [2], Mr. Aqua Aquarium Soil Substrate [3], S.T. International Aqua Soil [4], or Azoo Plant Grower Bed Substrate [5]. I know they are all basically made in the same place, but the products do vary a bit. The only draw back I've had from ADA is the huge ammonia kick for the first month while cycling. I'd like to avoid this because it gave me a pH flux with previous tanks that were running CO2, though this could have been due to DIY CO2. That is one thing I'd like to avoid as well as 'dusting' with particulate matter when flooding a tank that's starting with the DSM. The price break down per pound also varies. The break down per pound is as follows:

Fluval ~$1.99 (17.6 lb bag)
Mr. Aqua ~$8.60 (~2 lb bag)
ST International ~$6.43 (4.4 lb bag)
Azoo ~$2.91 (per 12 lb bag)

***Prices quickly based off Amazon & Marine Depot***

I'm not too worried about the cost, but more so the 'performance' I'd say. I know some products break down to dust fairly quick and I'd like to avoid that, otherwise I'd go back to soil.

[1] CAL AQUA Inline Diffuser Product Page
[2] Fluval Shrimp and Plant Stratum
[3] Mr. Aqua Aquarium Soil Substrate
[4]
[5] Azoo Plant Grower Bed Substrate
 

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Which brand pipes did you go with? Are you running a pre filter on the inflow? That's the only hardware I wouldn't mind seeing as I'd like to not catch a majority of shrimplets in the filter, plus it's something I can easily pull out with the inflow pipe when I feel like having a moment with my DSLR.

Edit:

Also, did you find your tank in NJ or did you have to order it online? GF is originally from NJ so I could make a NJ trip more interesting with an LFS trip :)
Mine were a knock-off brand from china. Took about 2 weeks to get here, but the quality is perfectly fine for my needs and I have had no issues. Best part is that I got them for $15-22 a set. Also I had to order mine online. It came packaged great and because it was over their cut-off i got free shipping which was pretty amazing.

Bump:
Another thing up for debate is substrate. I know I'll most likely be building more Osmocote tabs as I have some O-cote left as well as capsule cases, but I'm considering either using Fluval's Shrimp Stratum or S.T. International's Aqua Soil. Recommendations on either way? I don't want to use Flourite products (been there done that) or ADA (not sure why, just not interested right now.)
I have ADA amazonia 1 in a tank I just set up and to be honest I prefer the "Brightwell Aquatics Florinvolcanit rio escuro-f" that I have in my other tank. With the ADA I have to wait forever for the ammonia leaching to stop and the grain sizes are very non-uniform. the Brigthwell product costs pretty much the same thing, but has much more uniform grains and no leaching of ammonia.
 
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