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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I humbly request the help of the experts on this forum to help make sure I buy the best parts for my new build at the best possible prices. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I am fairly new to the hobby and have only setup a few planted tanks so far, and this will be my first rimless Amano Nature Style aquarium.

This will be a low/med. light Excel based tank - Anubias, java ferns, mosses, etc.

Aquarium:

  • Mr. Aqua 33.6 Gallon Frameless Glass Aquarium Tank 24.8 x 17.7 x 17.7 Inch - MarineDepot $169.99 + $43.00 shipping.

Lighting:

  • Zoo Med AquaSun T5-HO Double Light Linear Fluorescent Hood, 24-Inch - Amazon $56.32
  • Zoo Med Ultra Sun Trichromatic Super Daylight Bulb T5 High Output 24 Watts, 22-Inch - Amazon $13.19
  • Zoo Med Flora Sun Plant Bulb T5 High Output 24 Watts, 22-Inch - Amazon $14.24

Filtration:

  • Eheim Classic Aquarium Filter 2213 - Amazon $79.99
  • Eheim Fine Filter Pad for 2213 Canister Filter (3 pcs) - Amazon $7.37
  • Blue Filter Pads for Eheim 2213 Canister Filter - 2 pk - Amazon $6.03
  • 13mm Lily Pipes - eBay $30.00 + $16 shipping

Heating:

  • Hydor ETH 200 In-Line Heater UL 200W f/12mm & 1/2" Hose - Amazon $56.06

Substrate:

  • 2 bags - CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate 20 lb - Petco $33.98 + $5.99 shipping.

Total cost for equipment: $532.16

Now, onto my questions:

  • Is the Eheim 2213 enough filtration? Should I consider the 2215 instead, or perhaps look at one of the cheaper SunSun/Perfect filters?
  • Where can I find clear acrylic tubing for the Eheim filters? I find the green tubing ugly and would like to keep a minimal footprint above the tank.
  • Will the 2x T5HO be too much lighting? I plan on suspending using wire about 6" above the rim. Tank depth is 18", minus about 2-4" for substrate.
  • Is 40 lbs. of substrate enough? I've used Eco-complete before so I like it, but not sure about the dimensions of this tank.
  • Am I spending too much money on any components? Are there better components that are cheaper? I really want to keep this low cost so I can save more money for flora and fauna.

Thanks again for your critique of my build! In case anyone is interested, my fauna selection will most likely be the following:

  • 5x Amano Shrimp (algae control)
  • 4x Otocinculus (algae control)
  • 10x Ember Tetra
  • 10x Cardinal Tetra
  • 10x Dwarf Cory
  • 84% stocking level according to Aqadvisor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I use a 2215 on my 11.4 mr. Aqua I would use a 2217.
Thank you for the critique. What if I were to switch to the 17.5 gallon Mr. Aqua, which is pretty much the same as the ADA 60-P? Would the 2215 still be ok?

I'm actually considering going with the ADA tank, since it is only a few bucks more expensive than the 17.5 gallon Mr. Aqua.

Thank you for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You need more substrates. 2 bags of eco-complete will not fill up the bottom with the required 3" substrate depth. Try 4 bags.
Thanks, would the 2x bags be enough for the 17.5 gallon Mr. Aqua? It is exactly the same as the ADA 60-P, 24"x12"x14". Or do I need 3 for the 17.5 gallon?
 

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The light may be on the high side, depending on the reflectors. I imagine it will be fine with CO2 but with just Excel, maybe not. If you set it up to be able to raise it higher than 6 in, just in case, you will likely be fine. .


I would say you should get a 2215 minimum. A 2217 may be a better investment in the long run if you are going to be running more than the heater inline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The light may be on the high side, depending on the reflectors. I imagine it will be fine with CO2 but with just Excel, maybe not. If you set it up to be able to raise it higher than 6 in, just in case, you will likely be fine. .


I would say you should get a 2215 minimum. A 2217 may be a better investment in the long run if you are going to be running more than the heater inline.
Thanks for your feedback. Is there a better light fixture that you would recommend? Maybe one of the clip-on lights like this? http://www.adana-usa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=72_74&products_id=452

The only issue with that light is that it's only 18.5" wide so it wouldn't completely cover the edges of the aquarium.

I could just raise the fixture up about 12-18" off the top of the tank using the wire hanging kit.

I really appreciate your feedback so please let me know if there is a better light fixture for low-light/excel.
 

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Even though most people will tell you to use the larger filter...you don't necessarily need one. A 2213 would be fine for a 17.5G (a 2215 would work too) and a 2213 could even ben fine with a 33G.

It all depends on what you want to do and if you have future plans for upgrading.

Since your tank will be low tech, you won't need a lot of flow in there to disperse CO2 or ferts so you could get away with just a 2213 in a 33G. I learned recently that many people on TPT use a 2213 on even larger low-tech tanks.

If, however, you hope to inject CO2 in the future or would want to upgrade, I would invest in a larger filter. This way, if you do inject CO2/ferts/etc, you won't need powerheads which you'd need with your 2213.

If you can figure it into your budget, I'd go with a 2215 since you're deciding between a 17G and 33G. Its not too much more than 2213. The jump from 2215 to 2217, however, is big. A 2217 would be too much for a 17G low tech and is not worth the investment for a 33G low tech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If, however, you hope to inject CO2 in the future or would want to upgrade, I would invest in a larger filter. This way, if you do inject CO2/ferts/etc, you won't need powerheads which you'd need with your 2213.

If you can figure it into your budget, I'd go with a 2215 since you're deciding between a 17G and 33G. Its not too much more than 2213. The jump from 2215 to 2217, however, is big. A 2217 would be too much for a 17G low tech and is not worth the investment for a 33G low tech.
Thank you for your detailed reply. You also explained to me why Aqadvisor says the 2213 gives me 200% filtration capacity, yet it might still be too low for high-tech/CO2/Fert flow dosing.

I really appreciate the education here. I think based on these responses I'm going to go with the T5HO and hang it 12" off the substrate. If I run into algae issues I can do a separate timer on each bulb where I have one bulb on for 8-9 hours and the 2nd bulb only comes on for a noon burst for a couple hours.

This gives me the option of lowering or raising the bulbs (using the wiring kit) in the future if I decide I want to try to grow high tech plants and use CO2

For filtration it sounds like the 2215 gives me the most options because I can lower the flow for low tech or up the flow if I decide to do CO2 and EI dosing.

Thanks again everyone for your responses!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think you mean 12 inches above the top of the tank. If you have sitting right on the tank your def going to need co2.
Yes, I meant 12" off the tank. Thanks!
 

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MarineDepot (if you end up getting the Mr Aqua tank there) has Azoo Plant Grower Bed which might be worth looking into as a substrate option.

Your plant list doesn't include a ton of root heavy plants so I guess it won't matter much but I personally get tired of putting root tabs into eco-complete tanks (or dosing the water column heavily).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
MarineDepot (if you end up getting the Mr Aqua tank there) has Azoo Plant Grower Bed which might be worth looking into as a substrate option.

Your plant list doesn't include a ton of root heavy plants so I guess it won't matter much but I personally get tired of putting root tabs into eco-complete tanks (or dosing the water column heavily).
Thank you for the suggestion on substrate - I will check that one out.
 
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