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-   -   filter/ lighting suggestions?? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/filter-lighting-suggestions-48251/)

Jmalone 07-29-2010 06:15 PM

filter/ lighting suggestions??
 
Hey Everybody!!

So I still havent decided on what setup to use on my new 30 gallon. I want to use a canister filter because ive heard nothing but good things about them, and im not sure which one to go with, I was looking at the Fluval 205, or the Eheim ecco 2232, however I heard the ecco is kinda noisy, any input on this??

Also, I want to plant this tank pretty heavily and I was wondering what kind of lighting setup to go with, just wanted some suggestions being as im a bit of a newbie on these subjects...thanks!! :-)

JohnnyD44 07-29-2010 08:14 PM

I have no experience with either the Eheim or the Fluval. So I can't really comment on these two specifically, but I can say I love my canister filter on my 55G planted tank, it's quiet and gets the job done in great fashion.

Before we can recommend lights, can you give us the dimentions of your tank? Is it a standard 30G ( 36x12x17) or a 30G breeder? (36x18x12)???

Jmalone 07-29-2010 08:19 PM

Its a 30 gallon breeder
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JohnnyD44 07-29-2010 08:35 PM

I would say you could go with two 18" bulbs, side by side. possibly even one....

I believe Lowes or Home Depot sell "full spectrum" or "daylight" bulbs, two 18" side by side would work across your 36" tank.

this is a basic low-light approach to your tank, and seeing as the breeder is wider than it is shallower, I think that it will penetrate to the bed of the tank quite easily. Others will be along to add their ideas

Byron 07-30-2010 12:00 AM

Is there a light fixture on the tank now, and if so, what is the length of the fluorescent tube it takes?

On the filter, for a 30g planted, nothing beats a simple sponge. I use only sponge filters on anything under 55g. I have a 33g with a sponge filter and one 30-inch tube and it works perfectly. You can see the photos of the 33g SE Asian Pond Tank under "Aquariums" below my name on the left.

Byron.

Jmalone 07-30-2010 01:09 AM

Hey Byron--
There was a light fixture, but it was messed up when I recieved it from my friend so Im just going to buy a new one, I dont mind spending a little bit of money on a new fixture....I just want one that has an output good enough for low and moderate light plants, maybe even some high light plants if theyre not too fussy....also with the sponge filter....how does that work?? is it a whole new filter set up? or will it work with my existing HOB....its an aquaclear 50 from Hagen, its a nice filter and two of the guys from the LFS reccomended it, but I feel like the intake tube is way too short for it as well

Byron 07-30-2010 01:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jmalone (Post 435542)
Hey Byron--
There was a light fixture, but it was messed up when I received it from my friend so I'm just going to buy a new one, I dont mind spending a little bit of money on a new fixture....I just want one that has an output good enough for low and moderate light plants, maybe even some high light plants if theyre not too fussy....also with the sponge filter....how does that work?? is it a whole new filter set up? or will it work with my existing HOB....its an aquaclear 50 from Hagen, its a nice filter and two of the guys from the LFS reccomended it, but I feel like the intake tube is way too short for it as well

On the filter, if this is new, can you return/exchange it? It will work, but is not the filter of choice in a planted tank for more than one reason. Primarily the fish kept in such aquaria generally come from quiet streams and flooded forest and the less water movement the better. Also there is the issue of nutrients and plants, as I explain in Part 3 of the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" at the head of the Aquarium Plants section. A sponge filter is basically a sponge with an airline connected to a pump. The reason these are so successful in planted tanks is that they move the water gently, and the sponge filters out particulate matter which keeps the water "clear." The plants do the main filtration job to keep the water "clean" so the two work together using nature more than filters.

If you are getting the light fixture, you can decide either on a full hood or a glass top (in sections that open for ease of feeding) with a light fixture that sits on the frame. I have this latter system on my larger tanks, it is far less costly. On smaller tanks I rather like the hoods. Your choice.

Whichever, I would go with a single-tube T8 fluorescent fixture. For a 36-inch long tank, the fixture will (should) hold a 30-inch tube. This will be fine (it's what I have on that 33g). A full spectrum or daylight type of T8 tube with a kelvin rating of 6500K or thereabouts is perfect. You can get these tubes at hardware stores for less money than "aquarium" types in fish stores, but either will work so long as it is full spectrum around 6500K. T8 should be replaced about every three years; the intensity lessens too much after that.

T8 is the regular fluorescent and refers to the tube diameter. T12 was the original fluorescent, a wider tube, now largely being phased out as the T8 uses less energy for slightly more light intensity. The T5 is newer, but not something I recommend wholeheartedly. There are two types of T5, HO (high output) and NO (normal output). The latter is approximately equal in intensity to a T8 tube of the same length, but the T5 NO are harder to find and come in far fewer types, whereas the T8 is widely available and the full spectrum by Phillips, Sylvania, GE are good tubes at a fraction of the cost. The T5 HO are approximately 1.5 times more intense than T8 in the same length and type (full spectrum) but the tubes are far more expensive, and having tried T5 HO I found it too bright and I took it back for T8. The fixture for T5 is different, so T5 and T8 tubes are not interchangeable. All considered, I prefer T8.

Byron.


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