Help selecting filters,lighting, etc for a new tank
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Help selecting filters,lighting, etc for a new tank

This is a discussion on Help selecting filters,lighting, etc for a new tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I'm setting up a 75 gallon freshwater tank. I'm want it to be planted and to house Rams, and various tetra's. I used to ...

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Help selecting filters,lighting, etc for a new tank
Old 10-25-2012, 10:42 PM   #1
 
Help selecting filters,lighting, etc for a new tank

I'm setting up a 75 gallon freshwater tank. I'm want it to be planted and to house Rams, and various tetra's. I used to have several tanks when I was younger including a 300 gallon discus tank and a 750 gallon reef with 150 gallon fuge. I'm sure a lot has changed in the 10 years I have been out, so I wanted input on which filter, heater, substrate, and lighting (led?) I should get. Back in the day I ran a wet dry on my discus tank, but I had a problem with Neon's getting sucked into the over flow. I've never tried a canister filter, but have been told by the lfs that it's the best route to go. I trust my fellow hobbyist over the lfs so any input would be great. Thank You and I'm looking forward to being back in the hobby
Greg
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:59 AM   #2
 
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Filter:

For this, yes a canister is best. They are the filter of choice in most freshwater tanks. For brand, the most popular is Eheim. Other popular options are Rena and Fluval. For a planted tank, get one sized for your aquarium as the plants do most of the filtering.

Lights:

I assume this is a 4 foot tank? If so, a 48" dual T8 fourescent fixture will do you good for a 'moderate' light tank. Whatever you do, avoid at all costs getting a T5HO fixture of any kind (unless you somehow find a single tube one, but those are extra ordinarily rare). T5HO is more for marine reef tanks that need intense light for corals. In Freshwater, all you will have is an algae farm.

This of course assumes you are going 'low tech' with the plants, which is the most popular as it is the simplest. If you go 'high tech' which means CO2 injection then you will need the higher light T5HO provides.

Just don't make the mistake in believing you have to do CO2 to have a good looking fully planted tank, that is simply not true. Some plants do require that, but there are lots that do not.

Heater:

Get two, one on each side of the tank to ensure good heat distribution. Place one near the filter intake, and the other near the filter outlate. For brand, this may be more of a personal choice. I would say the highest rated I have seen right now are the Aqueon Pro line of heaters, but everyone has their own favorite with these things. Just don't go with the cheapest you can find, as a failed heater can super heat a tank before you notice it is on the fritz.

For size, this depends on the temperature difference between the room and the tank. Use the largest difference (usually winter).

5 degrees would need 250W total minimum.
10 degrees would need 300W total minimum.

So two 150W heaters would probably serve you well.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:08 AM   #3
 
Thanks a lot, I was preferring to go low tech and keeping it simple. What type of canister filter do you like, or think is the best? I've been having a hard time trying to make up my mind. Also what spectrum of bulb would you go with?
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #4
 
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I've got a Rena Filstar XP3 on my 75 gallon and am LOVING it! I also agree with the two 150W heaters at either end of the tank since that's working really well for me too.

Good luck! I find myself wishing that I had a new large tank to set up again :)
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:58 AM   #5
 
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The light spectrum best for most plants is 6500 K. The daylight tubes in home improvement stores are typically 6500K and are less expensive than pet store brands. Play Sand seems to be more and more popular as a substrate. I have switched two of my tanks to play sand and I really like the appearance. The plants seem to be doing better also.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:02 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregoryalln854 View Post
Thanks a lot, I was preferring to go low tech and keeping it simple. What type of canister filter do you like, or think is the best? I've been having a hard time trying to make up my mind. Also what spectrum of bulb would you go with?
As mentioned, Eheim is the most popular and probably highest rated. They are also the oldest company in the canister filter business. But that also comes at the cost of being the most expensive.

I've heard good things about Rena also, and that was going to be my choice for my 125g tank. However, I decided to take a risk with a new brand to save $50 and try it out (Aquatop CF-400UV). It's working, but I don't have high confidence in its quality.

For lights, you want 'daylight' bulbs. For a standard 48" T8 setup the cheapest solutions is actually going to a hardware store and buying regular old 6500K daylight tubes. They usually are sold as a pair for around $10. Anything around 6500K is good though (say 5000K to 7000K). Avoid ones marketed for plants, they tend to actually be weaker in intensity.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
 
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Anything from 5000K to 8000K will be appreciated by plant's or combination's thereof.
I would go with two heater's also but would myself,, go with 200W to 300W and in this way ,,neither will have to work as hard to keep water at temp selected.
I would recommend two eheim 2217 filter's but one would prolly suffice .
I ran one eheim2217 on 80 gallon and it worked well until plantmass became large enough that flow throughout the plant's began to decrease and plant's began to struggle as well/
I believe the increased flow, helped deliver nutrient's better to all area's, and plant's began to improve shortly with no other adjustment's made to the tank.
Not many tetra's enjoy the warm temp's that the blue ram's? thrive in with exception of Cardinal tetra's and perhap's rummy nose.
most of the other species of these fish seem to do better ,longer,,at temp's around 73 to 76 degree's as well as many of the corydora's.
Hope some of this help's.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:28 AM   #8
 
What temps do the rams like? I remember my discus liked it hot! As for substrate, do those substrates specifically meant for plants actually help? one of the filters I was looking at was the Fluval G3, they look nice but I'm worried it's all about appearance. Thanks everyone so much for the input
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:36 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregoryalln854 View Post
What temps do the rams like? I remember my discus liked it hot! As for substrate, do those substrates specifically meant for plants actually help? one of the filters I was looking at was the Fluval G3, they look nice but I'm worried it's all about appearance. Thanks everyone so much for the input
Ram's enjoy same temp's that Discus enjoy.
Specialty plant substrates in my view are over rated, and get expensive for larger aquarium's.
Small grained gravel or sand can and does grow plant's, and is cheaper for larger tank's.
Can check out lawn and garden stores for fine gravel, and hardware stores for regular playsand.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:37 PM   #10
 
So I picked the tank up tonight, it's going to need some work since it was used for salt, and has salt creep everywhere. the one problem is that the light ballast is broken, so where do you get your light ballast at?
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