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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Heyo. I am changing my 10g to a 20l..I would have liked a 12g long but I figure this is the next best thing. I have some questions about what equipment I need to add/replace/whatever.

1. Is my AQ70 enough for a 20l? Should I add another filter? Where should the filter(s) be placed for optimum water circulation/flow? *Another thing i'm considering is getting a canister filter. would that be a better option? I have no idea how to use one though.
2. What is a good 100watt heater?
3. What is a good cheap LED fixture for low-medium light?
4. What substrate should I get? I'm thinking either Flourite or Eco-Complete..I have eco-complete currently and find it really hard to keep things planted


As always, thank you for putting up with me.
 

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Plant Clown
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1. More than enough, but with the length of the tank, you'll probably want a powerhead.
2. Ebo/Eheim Jager
3. No clue. I like CFL's in brooder lamps for shallow tanks, and they're probably cheaper than any alternative.
4. Flourite and Eco are both good, are similarly priced, and have the same properties. But if you have problems keeping plants down with Eco, you'll probably have the same issue with Flourite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking about a powerhead. Are they very noisy? You have to put it on an undergravel filter though right?
I don't even know what a brooder lamp is..but I will google. The thing I like about LEDs is the blue "moonlight" option, because I like to watch my little ones all night without disturbing them. Oh I see what a brooder lamp is, we have some laying around the house. What type of CFL would I need?

I don't know what to do about gravel!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm very confused about powerheads now. If I get an Aquaclear will it work without an undergravel filter?

And I have decided on Flourite Black Sand. Sand is nice.
 

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I have a couple tanks with the Flourite black sand. I like them, but they're both caps over dirt, so I don't know exactly how they'll work by themselves. Most likely just fine - I just don't have any experience with that.

Depending on how high your lamps are, and whether you will have pressurized CO2, you could go with 13-23W CFL's. Without pressurized CO2, a couple lamps with 13w bulbs a few inches over the tank will work.

Powerheads are just in-tank fans, some with prefilters. They have nothing to do with UGF's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks! I don't want to do CO2 right now...I'm just doing basic low-light plants, wisteria, water sprite, and various mosses take up the majority of my 10g and I"m going to expand on that.

I was just reading that root tabs don't work well with sand, is this the case for Black Sand? I've also thought about doing dirt..but all of the dirt setups I see are for hi-tech tanks which I don't want so I don't know if it's actually useful to use dirt in low-tech. I might go with Flourite Black after all.

That makes sense, I will go with an AQ30 powerhead then and just put it on the opposite side of the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If I got something like shrimp sand would that keep the PH low so I could get 500 c.hasbrosus? my water is PH 7.4 now which is why I've decided against keeping them.
 

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For the filter, an Aquaclear 70 should be more than enough. The best place to put it on this tank is the side but that can make it hard if you are not hanging the light. You may want to go with two smaller HOB filters instead, if they have to go on the back of the tank.

My favorite heater I have had was an Aquaclear as well. It is super reliable, smaller than a lot of the same wattage, etc. I also like the Eheim Jager heaters but they are bigger. They also have a super thick cord which can make them hard to position but nothing that would keep me from buying another, I just happen to like the Aquaclear better. I haven't been happy with Aqueon or Tetra (very unhappy about the Tetra's I have owned).

No clue on LED's, I believe the Marineland one is good if you want something off the shelf, not sure which one for low tech. DIY is probably a better way to go if you want more features like dimming, color controlability, etc. I would only go DIY myself until somebody makes a light that is widely available that really takes advantage of how customizable and LED setup can be.

I am totally overFlourite myself, or any baked clay substrates. I have scratched too many tanks with it. If you use it, don't use any type of magnetic cleaner as it can stick to it. Even algae pads can get some stuck, especially if you are using sand, but it's harder to scratch the tank. Maybe it's just a lesson for me to be more careful but I would use ADA Aquasoil in the future or try the Fluval stuff on a budget.


As for canisters, that's a whole different conversation. I like them better for a few reasons but that doesn't mean they are better in practice, especially if you are not using CO2. What I don't like about HOB filters are even the quiet ones don't compare to my canisters, you have too keep the water level consistent so you may top off a few times a week, and lastly, when you change/clean the media, you can get a lot crap in the tank. They also require more maintenance. However, they work fine and add more oxygen to the water so they aren't bad, I just like canisters better.
http://www.googleadservices.com/pag...=pla&aid=450&kw={keyword}&rct=j&q=eheim+jager
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So far I've decided I'm going to get two CFL lamps instead of an LED fixture..so I'll be able to put the AQ70 on the side and then a powerhead on the other side if it's needed. I'm just going th get the Jager heater because it's cheaper. I think I can hide it behind the driftwood.

I did more research on using dirt and I'm either going to do that or use U.P. shrimp sand or Fluval Plant Stratum...I need more info them though..
 

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An AC70 on a 20L? That's an insane amount of flow for a tank that small. I had one on my 50G and it was tearing up plants on the far side of the tank. I've got a 2213 and AC20 on my 20L now and it's just about perfect. If you're going with a finer substrate like dirt or sand, you're going to have a hard time keeping things rooted until they get established. I doubt you'll need a powerhead with an AC70 on there, btw. For lighting, something like the Coralife 30" T5NO single bulb would provide decent low-mid lighting on that tank, but It probably won't fit on there with an AC70 hanging on the side.
 

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You will have plenty of flow with an AC70. As a matter of fact it will probably create a hole in your substrate if running with the max flow. You will not need a powerhead imo.

Eheim Jager or Aqueon Pro heaters are my two favorite in tank heater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yup I have that problem now. I solved it by putting stones on the bottom where the hole was being created. I might replace the motor with an AC50 motor and see if that will still oxygenate the water enough.

I still can't decide on a substrate.
 

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A 100-watt heater is a lot for a 20 gallon. Unless the tank is in a cold place, like a basement, 50W would be fine. The problem with an over powered heater is that if it fails while on, it will cook your fish before you even notice a temperature change. I always use two under-powered heaters in each of my tanks. For a 20 gallon, I'd use 2-25W heaters. If one fails while off, the other will keep the temperature reasonably high. If one fails while on, it will take a long time to overheat the tank. More expensive and kind of annoying to synchronize them, but it gives me some peace of mind.
 

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Yup I have that problem now. I solved it by putting stones on the bottom where the hole was being created. I might replace the motor with an AC50 motor and see if that will still oxygenate the water enough.

I still can't decide on a substrate.
You won't have to get the motor but the actual impeller for the AC50. You can slightly reduce the flow of the AC70 by adding a prefilter to the intake and turn the flow lever of the AC70 all the way to the right. If the flow is adequate then you are set, if not get the impeller of the AC50.
 

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If you are looking for a cheap led setup, aqua traders has them set up for freshwater, they are like the marine lands only cheaper. I used one on my reef for a year and it was still working perfect. They have them in different powers like for planted tanks and fish only tanks. Just google aquatraders.com
 

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You won't have to get the motor but the actual impeller for the AC50. You can slightly reduce the flow of the AC70 by adding a prefilter to the intake and turn the flow lever of the AC70 all the way to the right. If the flow is adequate then you are set, if not get the impeller of the AC50.
I wasn't sure of this so I didn't post it. I knew the AC 20, AC30 and AC50 only have different impellers, didn't know if the 70 was the same. I liked to put my AC 20 impeller in my AC 50 on nano's for increased media (Purigen 100ml pouches fit perfectly in a 50) without too much flow.


I have found that my AC's add noise when you dial them back and can be harder to prime without adjusting back to full flow so I personally would swap out the impellers.

I still don't think the 70 is too much for a 20 long though, unless you have a bunch of tall stems close to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You won't have to get the motor but the actual impeller for the AC50. You can slightly reduce the flow of the AC70 by adding a prefilter to the intake and turn the flow lever of the AC70 all the way to the right. If the flow is adequate then you are set, if not get the impeller of the AC50.
I have a prefilter and the flow turned all the way down!

Also that is good to know about not needing a 100watt heater, that's one less thing to buy

I think I saw a thread about someone putting an AC20 impeller on an AC70 but it might have been an AC50. I will look into it. So far it seems like the only thing I need to get ASAP is substrate and lighting
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm looking into Aqua Traders now. I think I am going to do CFLs and just upgrade later if I want to.

For substrate I am down to either Flourite Black Sand, Fluval Plant Stratum, or MGCOPM capped with black sand. If I use potting mix I don't have to do liquid ferts, right? Some of my plants have melting leaves and I don't know why. I think I need Flourish Trace, I only have Comprehensive and Iron right now. I would like to not have to worry about ferts and CO2 but dirt also seems kind of hard to set up. I don't know!
 
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