Which is the best 10 - 15 gallon aquarium for beginner?
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Which is the best 10 - 15 gallon aquarium for beginner?

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Which is the best 10 - 15 gallon aquarium for beginner?
Old 11-01-2010, 11:26 AM   #1
 
Which is the best 10 - 15 gallon aquarium for beginner?

Hi

Can't decide on which tank would be best, regarding lights / filter / swimming space for fish and cost. Would like to spend under 100 if possible but if you know of a good aquarium, in particular good lighting, I could go higher.

Don't have much room to put it so can only have a small tank upto a max of 60cm at a push. Ideally want to put it on a cupboard that I already have thats 50cm but would be willing to go bigger for the right aquarium.

Been looking at the Fish Pod 48 (also called the Fishbox 40). Does anyone have this tank? What is the lighting like? Should I get a better filter than the one that comes with?

Also thinking about the Aqua One Aqua Start 500 Aquarium? What is the lighting like on this one? It says it has Lighting: 2 x 11W PL lamps. Is this good enough for good plant growth?

What about the Juwel Rekord 700 Aquarium. This is on the max of my budget. This comes with 1 x 15 W T8 tube, is ths one any good? Does anyone have this one and would they recommend it?

Does anyone have another aquarium that they would recommend?

I am thinking of keeping about 6 Neon Tetras, 4 Endler Guppys and a few Playties depending on the size tank I get.

Any help much appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:36 PM   #2
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

When I set up tanks, I tend to do it myself, by which I mean I buy all the bits individually so I get exactly what I need/want for what i intend to keep in the tank. And this last point is significant: decide on the fish, then buy the tank and equipment to suit the fish. If you can buy a complete system in one for the fish you intend, it may or may not be less expensive; it somewhat depends upon what you'll need.

Always buy the largest tank you can manage (the space you have for it, and/or the money). No matter what you get, most of us find that we always want something larger. Plus, the larger the tank, the easier to maintain as more water volume is naturally more stable. Between a 10g and 15g, I would absolutely say the 15g; the difference in length makes a vast difference in the fish you can have (both type and number).

The fish you mention do not need a lot of swimming space, but it is still best to get a long rather than high tank. Most fish are forest fish from slow-moving streams, pools and flooded forest. A longer rather than higher tank means more surface area (for gas exchange) plus longer swimming space.

With respect to the light, no matter which tank system you buy, you will probably have to replace the bulb/tube, although not being familiar with those you mention I won't insist on this point. You are I assume in the UK as you mention "pounds", and in NA most aquarium systems and even light fixtures have completely useless lights for plants. You want a "daylight" or full spectrum type, around 6500K (kelvin is the measurement of colour and this is closest to the mid-day sun ) for good plant growth and natural rendition of fish and plant colours. A dark substrate, the darkest you can get, in small gravel, and you're all set for a nice planted aquarium.

At the head of the Aquarium Plants section there is a 4-part series entitled "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" that you should find useful for background information on all aspects of planted tanks. And we have fish profiles (second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the screen) with information on tank size, numbers, water parameters, compatibility for the fish species listed, and there are plants included too. Plus, we are all more than eager to answer questions along the way.

Byron.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
 
Hi, thanks for the reply.

Been having a think and trying to move some funiture around to make a bigger space. I can now fit an 80cm tank in

How do you work out the light rating of the bulbs? I have seen a tank that's got 1 of each of

Aqua Glo 24in 20w Fluo Bulb
Power Glo 24in 20w Fluorescent Tube

Would these together be bright enough for good plant growth?

This lighting comes with Fluval Roma 125 Aquarium 80cm legth, 35cm wide and 45cm high - Not sure if you get this aquarium where you are. The petshop where I am getting it from said I could swap and make of the difference of the filter as it only comes with a Fluval U3 Internal Filter. I was thinking of getting a Fluval U4 Internal Filter. Would you recommend going fo the U4?

Thinking of putting in:

10 Neon Tetres
6 Endler Guppys
6 Sunset Platies
2 Swordtails

Lightly to medium planted.

What do you recomend for bottom feeders?
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
How do you work out the light rating of the bulbs? I have seen a tank that's got 1 of each of

Aqua Glo 24in 20w Fluo Bulb
Power Glo 24in 20w Fluorescent Tube

Would these together be bright enough for good plant growth?
I know (have used) both these tubes, and would not recommend either over a planted tank with fish. The Aqua Glo is too little intensity, plus it is high in the blue and red so everything looks purplish. Power-Glo is a good tube, but not for plants and fish. Their Life-Glo is the best in the series, I in fact have one Life-Glo 2 tube as one of two over my larger tanks, and use a single Life-Glo over single-tube tanks. But only because I got them at 1/5 cost when a store was closing. Similar less expensive tubes are made by Phillips, Sylvania, GE. The Kelvin rating is one critical factor. A K around 6500 is close to mid-day sun, high in red and blue (important for plants) but balanced with green for natural colour rendition.

Quote:
This lighting comes with Fluval Roma 125 Aquarium 80cm legth, 35cm wide and 45cm high - Not sure if you get this aquarium where you are.
This is presumably a 125 litre tank, equivalent to a 33g. I have a 33g, it has one tube over it, a 25w 30-inch. It currently has a Life-Glo 2 tube. You can see it in the photos under "Aquariums" below my name on the left, the 33g SE Asian Pond Aquarium. I think two tubes over this size tank is too much light. If you look at mine, I have floating plants to further reduce the light.

Quote:
The petshop where I am getting it from said I could swap and make of the difference of the filter as it only comes with a Fluval U3 Internal Filter. I was thinking of getting a Fluval U4 Internal Filter. Would you recommend going fo the U4?

Thinking of putting in:

10 Neon Tetres
6 Endler Guppys
6 Sunset Platies
2 Swordtails

Lightly to medium planted.
These fish do not need currents, so in a 125 litre/33g I would recommend a sponge filter. That's what I use in my 33g. It happens to be an Eheim self-contained sponge filter with its own little motor; I gather they no longer make these (figures, a terrific filter) but a simple sponge with an air pump will work. The Hydor series is fine, I have one in my 10g. If you read that article on planted tanks I mentioned previously, you will know why minimal water flow is so important for plants and fish.

Quote:
What do you recomend for bottom feeders?
In a 125L/33g with tetra and livebearers: corys (several species are included in our profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar), odd catfish (Farlowella, Whiptail, BN pleco...) that don't get large; the dwarf loaches if your water is acidic or very slightly basic; shrimp, though may become food for some livebearers.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:05 AM   #5
 
You have some real nice aquariums. Really impressive. Is your 33g got a T5 or T8?

I have found that these lights mentioned above in my aquarium are T8. Do you get Life GLO 2 for the T8? I could only find them for the T5.

Been reading your posts about planted aquariums and want to ask your opinion whether the Fluval U3 Internal Aquarium Filter is good enough or should I get Fluval U4 Internal Aquarium Filter from the outset? Or will both of these produce a too powerful water current?

Is 1000 lph to much on a tank with 125 litres? The U3 only does 800 lph which according to AqAdvisor is not enough for what I want to put in the tank.

Fluval Underwater Filter U Series

Thanks for your help on this.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:56 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
You have some real nice aquariums. Really impressive. Is your 33g got a T5 or T8?
Thank you. All my tubes are T8. I do not like the T5 because the HO (high output) is too much light, and the NO (normal output) is very difficult to get (the tubes), I have never seen them locally, and others on this forum have mentioned difficulty in finding them in "good" lights. When one of my fixtures gave out a year ago, I got a T5 HO and had it on the aquarium for a week, then took it back for a T8; it was just far too much brightness. I expected the poor fish to be asking me for sunglasses.

Quote:
I have found that these lights mentioned above in my aquarium are T8. Do you get Life GLO 2 for the T8? I could only find them for the T5.
T5 is becoming "popular" but T8 is still around, at least here. But aside from the Life-Glo 2, the "daylight" tubes made by GE, Phillips and Sylvania are just as good; as long as they have around 6500K they will work; my second tube on one tank is the Phillips "Daylight Deluxe" they call it, with I believe a 6500K rating. They are nearly identical.

Quote:
Been reading your posts about planted aquariums and want to ask your opinion whether the Fluval U3 Internal Aquarium Filter is good enough or should I get Fluval U4 Internal Aquarium Filter from the outset? Or will both of these produce a too powerful water current?

Is 1000 lph to much on a tank with 125 litres? The U3 only does 800 lph which according to AqAdvisor is not enough for what I want to put in the tank.

Fluval Underwater Filter U Series

Thanks for your help on this.
I am a proponent of minimal filtration in planted tanks. Plants do more (and frankly better) filtration that anything we can use, so let nature do it. Filtration is for me a matter of water movement, and this is quite important for fish and plants. On a planted tank, adding bigger or more filters is not doing anything but moving the water more/faster. The bacteria can only work so fast, and there is evidence that too much water movement through a filter actually impacts the bacteria negatively. Bacteria competes with plants for the ammonia (ammonium), although plants are faster at grabbing it. In a well-planted tank the nitrosomonas and nitrospira bacteria are at lower levels than in non-planted tanks simply because the plants use much of the ammonia produced by the fish and other bacteria. Bacteria colonize every surface covered by water, and in a planted tank there is more on the plant leaves, substrate, wood, etc. than in the filter media. So we are back to simply using it to move the water to filter particulate matter (keeping the water clear, which is different from clean), dispersing nutrients evenly, and maintaining stable temperature better.

Unless there are fish requiring more water movement, I would use a sponge filter in any tank under a 55g; above that, sponge will still work, though I like canisters. They have directional adjustments so you can direct the flow against the end wall and with a spraybar, further reducing current down the tank. But in the smaller tanks like my 33g the sponge does this admirably. The Fluval is no doubt a good filter, but I see no reason for all that water movement. I've not owned one of these, so I can't say if they are able to be adjusted with respect to flow and direction; from the description in the link I suspect not, at least the flow, since it states 1000 lph.

Many fish do not appreciate water movement; these occur in slow-flowing streams and flooded forest. Others like some current. And there are those that need a lot. This is one aspect of a species that I consider before acquiring the fish, as it is part of the compatibility of the fish in any aquarium. They must generally share identical preferences/requirements respecting water parameters, movement and environment (wood, plants, rocks, caves, floating plants all fit here). This is one key to success.

Byron.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
 
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I agree on not buying kits... If you buy name brand everything, then they might be a bit cheaper...

As an example though-
For about $55 (minus plants and fish), I bought everything to set up BOTH of these tanks-


One tank was used ($12) and another was free on freecycle.

I use soil in my substrate and lots of plants which cut down on the need for heavy filtration (sponge filter is still a good choice).

May not be the most attractive, but I'm thinking about attaching some plywood around the bottom of the shelf to hide the light..
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