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Discussion Starter #21
carseatdust, I’d like a HOB filter with custom media options and a place for a heater in the intake. Not familiar with Rena model (though I’ve come across some disparaging remarks about their products). Are there any other HOBs with those options that you know of? Thanks again.
 

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I'm not sure what your budget is, but planted tanks can be infinitely expensive, especially if you track down the sleekest looking everything. If the money is no object to you then ignore me and have fun, but my recommendation for a first planted tank is to go for modest, reliable equipment and then get more plants. You can upgrade the equipment later if you want to, but your opinions about what you want might change with experience. This hobby does have a learning curve and that can't be entirely avoided even with research and planning and I think it's smart to get your tank up and running for a while and then regroup.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
My thoughts exactly, ElleDee. I’d never say that money is no object, and though I have a budget for the fancy-level equipment, I really want to keep it modest and simple at this point. That’s how I’ll learn. I can always upgrade later if and where I see a need to do so. My first step towards self-imposed modesty in purchasing was to buy a good value used tank, figuring I’d add the $ saved towards plants — I know they can add up in expense. Same with the filter approach — I’ll start with a simple solid HOB and see how it goes. Thanks for your help so far!
 

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@mickmac don't know of other HOBs with built-in heater off the top of my head, but am also new to this caper so haven't surveyed extensively. After doing a bit of a search just now, I'm not coming up with a whole lot. Seeing how design circulates in aquarium stuff, I suppose I figured if one company had done it then others would too! The Rena has been a reliable unit here so far. My better half sourced it early on in the planted tank journey, and it is a happy companion.

Oh, I do see that Seachem have a pretty fancy looking HOB, the Tidal, which has a heater clip on its intake (for the 55 model and up), and all kinds of other options. Might be a slight deviation from @ElleDee's v. sound recommendations, or it might not!
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Thanks once more, caeseatdust. very kind of you to look around online for my benefit! I also came across that Seachem Tidal filter. Looked good but decided it might be even more obtrusive than the AC HOB since it’s solid black in color and it seems to protrude into and above the tank. Who knows — shooting pretty blind here!
 
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