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Thread: A Humble Beginning
03-12-2013, 04:49 AM #11
What are you going to do for lighting on this?
As to filtration, a hob is an option, a small external is another and that would probably be quieter and certainly easier to hide. The choice is yours.
03-12-2013, 05:22 AM #12
Great suggestions on the leak test. I had planned on doing that already, but Lord knows I would have cleaned that sucker spotless before I ever checked for leaks. This way will save me a lot of time and energy should it leak. I talked a little more with the previous owner via email and it apparently was a tank used in a school classroom. So it was well taken care of and loved while it was in use. As to its weight...the think already weighs a ton. Pretty sure it's glass, not acrylic. And the frame on it is substantial. I had been planning on a 10g for awhile and thought I had a stand worked out...I'll have to rethink that a bit now.
I've thought about filtration only once or twice. Not because I thought it unimportant, but it seems to far away for now. However, I guess it never hurts to keep my eyes open for a good sale. My initial thought was a HoB filter, though if it is going to be a bedside tank and those type of filters are significantly louder than an external, then maybe that's the way to go? Are there pros or cons to each?
My issue with the tank I picked up is there is no lid, or cover, or lights, or anything. It's just a tank. I know you can buy a light bar separately...are lids or covers the same way? I would imagine so, but maybe I'm way off on that. For a 20g planted tank that's 16" deep what sort of lights would be best? Wattage? UV or LED or any other namey thingy?
03-12-2013, 01:44 PM #13
If you want to plants you need lights, is that simple. 1 watt per gallon works as a rule of thumb with T8 or T5 tubes. Leds, I find them rather expensive.
Hob filters are pretty rare here, the ones I've seen I found noisy affairs. A good external can be hidden out of sight and will be as quiet as a laptop's fan. That would be my preference. At the end of the day both will do a proper job unless you do anything foolish like changing all the contents at once.
03-12-2013, 02:01 PM #14
Please do a sand substrate -- please do a sand substrate -- please do a sand substrate --------130g: 4 Angelfish, 2 Roseline Sharks, 12 Conga Tetras, 5 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Otocinslus, 1 Corydora
03-12-2013, 04:33 PM #15
There are some hang on the back filters that are almost as quiet as canister filters. The main source of noise on them is if the water level is low (you get waterfall noise), or if something isnt sitting right in the filter, (then taking it apart and putting it back together works great).
As far as lighting what you choose will matter a lot with how other things are in your house. I have cats and small children so I choose to keep all my tanks covered with either glass tops or full hoods. A glass top for that tank should be less than 15 if you buy online with free shipping. Hint buy your filter at the same time to get to free shipping. Also add on your water conditioner (like seachems prime), if you still need a few bucks.
Equipement and supplies are so much cheaper online, the exception would be if someplace is clearancing stuff out.
Good luck with your leak test.
03-13-2013, 07:14 AM #16
So I've decided I better start narrowing my questions to specific things and focusing on those before moving on. Information overload is starting to hit hard. Instead of absorbing new thoughts, ideas, and suggestions, it seems like they're just bouncing right back out of my brain. Which probably isn't the ideal way to do things...lol.
With that said, I've randomly decided to talk filters first. Not sure why, but I'll go with it. From what I've seen and read, there are internal, power, and canister filters. I have yet to see a suggestion (at least in this thread) for an internal filter. I don't really like the ideal of these anyway since my internal space already is limited. That leaves me with power and canister. Am I right in assuming power filters and HoB filters are the same, or are those two separate things? The canister filters make sense and seem to be there own sort of beast.
My one question about canisters for now is about price. Am I just looking at the wrong filters or website, or should I expect to pay $100 for a canister that can filter a 20g tank? I like the idea of a canister, but Mrs. Switch is already hesitant and that price tag isn't going to help me win her over quicker.
Power or HoB filters (and I'll just talk as if they're the same thing for now) also seem like a decent choice, but there are a LOT of options I'm getting lost in. I know I want to shoot for a filter with a 40g+ capacity for a 20g tank, correct? From there I'm a little lost once I read biological filtration, filtration media, sponges, floss, volts, watts, tubes, aeration, etc, etc, etc. I'm sure that list of terms goes along with all types of filters, but it's still daunting.
Knowledge aside, I'll ask a question I'm sure to get a wide range of answers to. Which brand is most highly recommended? I've been around long enough in life to know I'm bound to get as many different answers as there are people, but I wanted to see if there are some accepted norms within this community. I know on Amazon I've seen ten different brands from super low prices to the rich and famous category. All brands have pros and cons; it's just part of life. But I'd love to have some suggestions to help in my search. I pride myself on getting a good deal and am willing to shop till I find it. With no real timeline on when this tank will become reality, I have nothing but time.
So there's all of that and anything else you'd care to add about filtration I'll take. Thanks!
03-14-2013, 02:01 AM #17
Remembering how it is for someone who wants a fish tank, but does not want to be extremely serious about fish, I would get a HoB. They've never failed me so far. Marineland is often considered to be at the top of power filters (which yes, are one and the same as HoBs.) I like their products, and a few extra dollars is well-spent on one, IMO.
Make sure to research biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration. This is vital knowledge to beginners. A typical HoB will supply mechanical and chemical filtration, as well as a spot for the growth of bacteria (the good kind). All you need to do is replace a disposable cartridge and you're done with filtration. However, don't do this on the same day as gravel cleaning; it's bad for beneficial bacteria, and beneficial bacteria is vital.
The only other tips I'd give are these: always research first, not after (though you seem to get this), and not to get fish that don't work well together. Fin nipping=problems.
Good luck on your first aquarium!
03-14-2013, 02:53 AM #18
For a HOB filter I would recommend Aqua Clear. I like them because thet a simple design, don't make a lot of noise, and you can get a lot of biological filter media in there. I used to run mine with just a small spong and the rest of the media container was filled with biological filter media. I would suggest a aqua clear 30 or 50 for your tank.If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]
03-14-2013, 04:10 AM #19
Thanks for the couple of filter suggestions. Those were two brands I was looking at already, so I'll keep on looking! I know I should have a filter rated for double my tank size, but what does that equal in gph? 200? Would either the Aqua Clear 50, Marineland Penguin 200/Emperor 250 be sufficient? Or would that depend on the fish I have ad the bioload? I rather buy a little bit bigger than I need if I were to expand my stock then have it not be enough.
Let me see if I have this right. Mechanical filtration would be either the sponge or floss, correct? It filters out the larger debris. I get confused between Chemical and Biological though. Would the Biological (at least in the case of the aqua clear) be the ceramic (or whatever the while pellets are) and the Chemical would be the carbon? Or do I have that backwards?
I understand the desire to have healthy bacteria. Would that grow on the sponge, the carbon, or the ceramic (again, I have no idea what it is)? It sounds like whichever item it is does need cleaned occasionally, but not vigorously.
Looks like I could find a great deal in my price range with a HoB.
03-14-2013, 09:17 AM #20
You got it - mechanical is to take out the lumps. Chemical is carbon, only necessary to clean up after medication. Bio is ceramic or plastic, designed to allow waterflow while having maximum surface area to allow bacteria to grow/colonise - ceramic hollow beads, plastic strucures, sponge to an extent, etc. As far as cleaning goes, when flow starts to decrease, give the mechanical filtration -(sponge or floss) a bit of a rinse out in old tank water, your biomedia should only need a bit of a swish around in old tank water every 3 or 4 months - most filters have the mechanical filtration before biomedia, so it stays reasonably clean