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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! I have posted a few times in other peoples threads but this is my first thread. I currently have a 10 gal that is pretty much over stocked, many thanks to the clueless LFS. I have been keeping up with PWCs, about once a week (10%) but I think it's time to upgrade. This tank is fully setup and has been running for almost 2 years.

Did my taxes last night and I'm getting back a decent return so I thought, what better time to upgrade :) Now, into my real questions... I will provide some general information on my current tank and inhabitants.

10 Gallon:

1 Male Guppy
2 Diamond Tetras
4 Neon Tetras
2 Albino Corys
1 Synodontis Eupterus (main reason for upgrade)

The tank has all fake plants, but I do have two lily bulbs that I just recently added. They have not begun to grow roots yet. In my new setup I would like to consider doing some low light/zero maintenance plants.

Now as far as the new tank, I know I want to use a sand substrate (sick of my multi-colored gravel). People have told me that using inert quartz sand that is used in Pool Filters would work as a substrate. I will be adding driftwood pieces and some blue slate caves. The tank I plan on getting is a 30 gallon long (36x12x16) To my real questions:

1.) What filter should I go with that is sand friendly? (other forums have recommended aquaclear 50) What about canisters?

2.) Is one 110 watt heater good enough? I'm just thinking one end would be warm and the other colder....

3.) Any stocking recommendations? I want to bump up the number of diamonds and neons, also the cories.

Thanks for any and all input!
 

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As long as you don't put the intake too close to the sand, any filter except undergravel filters would be fine. I've had a canister with sand and no problems. 6 cories would be best since they like to be in groups , same with the tetras. The syndo gets big but i don't know how big..I'm not real familar with them but I know that others on the forum know much more about them than I. I don't know what your budget is but your best bet for substrate, especially if your going to do some plants in the future, is something like Eco Complete, Flora Base or something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Would using a substrate such as Eco Complete be neccessary in my case? I will still have mostly all fake plants, but maybe some java moss on the driftwood. As far as real, rooted plants.. I think my lily bulbs (if they grow) would be the only actual plants.

I do not want to get a medium or heavily planted tank for maintenance reasons. I plan on sticking to silk plants for my taller plants, maybe some java moss like I said to cover rocks and driftwood.

How about the heater? Would you just place one 110watt horizontally in the middle, or would two smaller heaters, maybe 50+ watt, work better?

The cories I am planning on getting are juvy pandas. They are less than half an inch right now. I will most likely keep them in my 10 gal until they grow up a bit and can handle the syno. My albinos have no problems with my syno, he even shares his algae wafers with them like a good fish. :)

P.S. - As far as the syno... I bought him under false pretenses from the LFS. Told me he would only grow to be 2 inches long max. Well I've had him for little under a month and he's well over 3 inches, not counting his tailfins. I've heard expect 7-9" but some can grow over 16"!!! :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Kind of a bump... getting my tax return this week so I will be doing some shopping this weekend. :) Any thoughts?
 

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I definitely wouldn't go for the eco complete if you're not planning on any serious planting - it's quite pricey.
 

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On the other hand, I would consider planting some cryptocoryne wendtii in there. That's a nice rosette plant that comes in a could color varieties that thrives in low light and requires little or no maintnance.
 

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Hi Meegosh,
check the pool filter sand closely and make sure it's not too sharp. I've heard it discussed that some pool filter sand is too sharp and may hurt your cories. Play sand is another option. I have play sand in my 10 gallon and it's working well for me. Although I don't have cories in there. I picked up a 50 lb bag for $5 at Home Depot. I also have the crypt wendtii in sand and so far it's doing fine.

As for the heater, if you put it near the filter outflow the current should distribute the heat more evenly than if it's away from the outflow. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Happy fish shopping! :D
 

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jeaninel said:
As for the heater, if you put it near the filter outflow the current should distribute the heat more evenly than if it's away from the outflow. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
Yes, I agree. I place my heater directly in the flow of my filter and have found it heats the water more evenly.
 

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Ditch the Synodontis eupterus. They are far too boisterous for the poor corydoras and considering they grow to 6-8 inches, they may try to eat smaller tankmates as well which is quite a big risk here unless you are dealing with Synodontis nigriventris. Eupterus need a 75g minimum for a group of 4.
 

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jeaninel said:
Hi Meegosh,
check the pool filter sand closely and make sure it's not too sharp. I've heard it discussed that some pool filter sand is too sharp and may hurt your cories. Play sand is another option. I have play sand in my 10 gallon and it's working well for me. Although I don't have cories in there. I picked up a 50 lb bag for $5 at Home Depot. I also have the crypt wendtii in sand and so far it's doing fine.
With any kind of sand, if you put in a sand bed of any depth, make sure you put in something to stir it up so you don't get anaerobic pockets sitting there just waiting for the first time you disturb them to spit Hydrogen Sulfide into the water and kill a bunch of your fish. I use Malaysian Trumpet Snails. They stay pretty much out of sight, except, if you overfeed you get a population boom and you'll have thousands of the little fornicators, at which point, an algae tablet in a jello cup will catch hundreds at a time and you can fish them out and euthanize them. Good thing about MTS (the snails, not the disease) is that they won't eat your plants, and you can usually find an aquarium store that will sell you them 10 for a buck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the responses. As far as the play sand is concerned, is there anything I should stay away from? I want either a nice white sand or a really light biege. That being the case, I found a few results when I searched homedepot.com for play sand, any of those 3 would work? They all mentioned they have been screened, washed, and dried.

On another forum they suggested using two 75watt heaters on opposite ends of the tank, should I still do this but put one in the outflow of my filter?

Also as far as the eupterus, I believe it is a Synodontis Eupterus and not something else. I have looked on many sites and it looks identical. You can check my pictures, for a look of him. I think I'm going to give him to my friend to keep in her cichlid tank. I think he'll be able to hold his own.

Thanks for the replies guys, I think I might be doing some shopping this weekend :D
 

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I'll have to check what brand I used when I get home (I still have half a bag left). Just make sure you rinse it REALLY well. Fill a 5 gallon bucket about halfway with the sand, then use a garden hose with a pressure nozzle on it and spray the water way down to the bottom of the bucket. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to really stir up the sand. Then dump off the water and repeat and repeat and repeat... until the water runs clear. I must have done this 20 time but it was worth it. I never experienced any cloudiness when I put it into my tank.

As for the heaters, whether you use 1 or 2 is really personal preference. I actually only have 1 heater in each of my tanks. But there are advantages to having 2 - you have a backup heater in case one fails. However, it is more expensive to buy 2 heaters initially. If using 2 putting them at opposite ends of the tank with one in the outflow of the filter sounds good.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the reply, if you could check on which sand you used that would be greatly appreciated. I rinsed my gravel probably 30 times before putting it in, I assumed it would be the same for sand. Like you said, it can be quite the chore but it's worth it.

I found some 75watt heaters for $20.89 a piece. I'm thinking I will just get two of them to be on the safe side. The one, 110watt (which is too small for a 30 long), was around $25.89 so it is a big price difference but price isn't that much of a factor.
 

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The brand of sand I have is Sakrete Premium Grade natural sand but probably any of the playground sands should be ok.
 
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