I am new to the hobby and setting up my first freshwater aquarium. have done lots of research on stocking, cycling, and more, and I am now selecting all the equipment for the aquarium.
As background: Based on what I have read so far, I will set up a 29 gallon community tank. I want to stock it with smaller schooling fish (still undecided on final stock as I am still trying to match fish to my tap water pH and hardness, but limiting myself to the hardier and smaller tetras, danios, rasboras and platies... i think). Based on everything I have read and some feedback from forum members here I decided to try a planted tank. I will only have "beginner" low light plants which don't grow too fast (such as Java Fern, Anubias, Crypt, and maybe crystalwort or java moss for the foreground... but still deciding on exact mix). I would prefer plants and a low-tech setup requiring no supplemental CO2, if possible. I am trying to keep the budget for the equipment below to around $200 so the wife doesn't complain too much
: Petco is having their "$1 per gallon" sale, so i will get the 29 gallon there next week. I assume these are good tanks, reliable over the long term? $29, plus $15 for a glass canopy.
: Based on feedback from others in this forum I decided to go with canister filtration. The EHEIM filters look great. In some places I read that you need filtration capacity twice the volume of your tank, so i had selected the EHEIM classic 2213. However, I also read that in a planted aquarium too much current can be bad, as it depletes CO2, so I am concerned that the 2213 could be too much. Should i stick with the 2213 or, since I will have some plants in my tank, use the smaller 2211? 2213 is $80 (the 2211 is $63)
: I like the newer non-glass heaters, and for now selected the Aqueon Pro. The room I am putting the tank can get cold at night (down to about 60 degrees) so for safety I am using a 150 watt heater. Is this overkill? I'm guessing having too few watts is a problem, but having too many is not... right? Are there any recommendations on other reliable non-glass heaters? The Aqueon Pro is $27
: This is the part I am least clear on. I know that for a planted tank I need light around 6400-6500 K. I am sticking with low-light plants, so to avoid algae I should choose a fixture with just enough light, and not overdo it. The tank will be in a room with good natural light but facing west (so no direct sunlight coming in). The tank will be far from any widows and not exposed to direct sunlight. I love the idea of LED lighting because of their low profile. I also know that the rules of "X watts per gallon" do not apply to LEDs, so I am having a hard time selecting a fixture with the right amount of light. I saw and loved Marineland's hidden LED system
. It says it has 25 PAR at 12" (the tank is 18" high, minus 2-3 inches of substrate, and the light hangs just under the lip of the tank, so the distance to the plants will be just over 12"). I read that low light plants need around 20-30 par so, in theory, I should be able to use this light with no need for supplemental CO2... right? For comparison, I believe the Marineland double bright 24-36" is rated at 35 par at 12". Any thoughts? Are there any other "hidden" LED systems? The 21" hidden system is $45
Total with current selections is $196
If I go down to the Eheim 2211 and a less costly heater I could use those funds to upgrade the lighting.
Thanks in advance for all the help!