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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,
Newbie to planted aquarium.

I have a 55 gal tank that I am going to repurpose into planted. The water flow will be provided by a Filstar (formally Rena) XP3 -(supports up to 175 gal). I have always run this filter on my 55 and it does great.

Reading some here on the subject, it seems that to a degree you want to limit movement of the water surface so as to prevent CO2 from escaping. As I am planning on adding fish to this tank eventually, I wanted to better understand how best to oxygenate the fish while keeping the CO2 in the water.

I currently have my water return spray bar a couple inches below the surface pointed upward at a 30 degree angle. That provides mild disturbance and has always seemed sufficient for my fish. (which I don't overload).

Note: I am planning on adding a diffuser into the CO2 system (hi tech).

Thanks for your input,
Shrimp
 

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The mild ripple at the surface is just right. Any less and you start getting scum at the surface, and poorer oxygen below.
Yes, it blows off some CO2, but not very much, and is a good compromise between too much and too little.

I also use that filter and similar sized filters for tanks that are about 45-60 gallons. It is not enough for larger tanks. I would use 2 on my 72 gallon and larger tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Diana! Yes, they probably over rate their filter's abilities. I have always believed in overkill when it comes to filtration, and that philosophy has served me well. I can control the surface disturbance by the depth and angle of the spray bar. I suppose the thing to do is to just watch the fish. If they are migrating to the top then just increase the water disturbance a little more. Kind of a minor thing but I thought I'd ask.

On a somewhat related note, I read of a small HOB filter that is set up to skim the surface. I found the filter on-line, they come in two sizes, where for that purpose the small should do fine. I thought this was a good idea and I was interested in if anyone is using them?
 

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You can also buy a fluval or toms surface skimmer to add to your canister, I have one and wouldn't run my tank without it.
Hello mott, thanks for the tip. I like that idea.
Does it run in parallel to the main intake of your filter or does that become the main intake? Kind of hard to tell from the pictures. Is it possible for it to suck air if the water level drops too low?

Thanks!

Re: Skimmer:

I found this thread:

I have a Filstar Rena Xp2 filter, will it work? I dont know the tube diameter. Also, does this only suck from the surface??
Yes it will work. And No, It doesn't just suck at the surface. The unique thing about it is; It draws from both the surface and its lower screen at the same time. the adjustment screw is located above the water line and you adjust it until you get the right balance at the surface. If your suction hose doesn't match up exactly with one of the supplied adaptors, I've found that I can take the adaptors to the plumbing isle at the hardware store and easily add a tee into my main canister suction line with PVC or CPVC or tubing, depending on which works best with the size I'm trying to get to. You'll find their diameters are slightly different and one will usually work.
 

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Hello mott, thanks for the tip. I like that idea.
Does it run in parallel to the main intake of your filter or does that become the main intake? Kind of hard to tell from the pictures. Is it possible for it to suck air if the water level drops too low?

Thanks!
Looks like you found the answer! Top skimmer an lower intake, works great you only need to adjust it once or so a week, takes two seconds. Only way it would suck in straight air is when the lower intake is completely clogged and your water level is so low that the skimmer hits it's lower limit, very hard to do unless your on vacation and no one is there to stop it.
 
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