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 New tank setup begins...

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DL Lawrence
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PostSubject: New tank setup begins...   Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:07 pm

Hi all! After much discussion with my wife, we have decided on a smaller tank for our main "living area" than we had originally thought about, i.e., we were considering something like a 125. All our current tanks are in my office. After taking a bunch of time to consider the room, time, space, weight, maintenance, and cost, we've scaled back our project to a 46 gallon bowfront, which fits nicely between two windows in our living room, without taking up much space. Picked it up today off of CL, up in Fred-vegas. It has a pretty nice black stand, which we think will look good in the room. It's made by Marineland. I'm going to do some re-sealing (following flippercon's awesome video), and clean it up real well, and then we'll begin the build. Since August, with the help of everyone here, I've learned a few things....well, more than a few.

So..for this tank we know this:

It will be planted. UPDATE- no plants...sand and rocks....
We're going to use pool filter sand for substrate. Maybe even a "sub" substrate for the plants (I'm open to ideas on this).
We're going to "step our game up" on livestock, and get a bit more ambitious, methinks. Some dwarf cichlids, perhaps...Yep, looks like we'll have a Mbuna tank...
This one will have a black background (I don't like looking at the cords...)
Canister filter, no HOB's, on this one.
I've been pleased with how clear my water is in the 55 running one, so I'm going to put in an inline UV Sterilizer.

First question- I'd like to go the LED light route on this tank. Any advice (or anyone using) LED lighting systems on planted tanks with success? Does it make that much difference, or is it that big a deal? Advantages other than less power, and less heat? Things to watch out for?

Maybe I'll take a few pics, and make this a build thread....

Thanks in advance for all advice and opinions!

DL


Last edited by DL Lawrence on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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RylandVT
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:35 pm

I'll be following your progress to get ideas as I start accumulating things for my new tank. I'm also going to try the canister route on this one-what are you thinking of? I'm so used to my HOB that I can't decide what canister to get. I've been hanging out on plantedtank.net and they seem to love LED lighting, especially Finnex. I think I'm going to try that-the fugeray model seems to be for low light/low tech and the Ray2 seems to be for higher lighting/CO2 tanks-cost is great for LEDs too! For me, LED lighting will be less heat (I actually had to float ice bottles last summer to keep the tank below 82) and I am tired of ballast issues with my current fluorescent lighting.
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Deb
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:51 pm

It all sounds good, DL! Just remember, whatever you decide to put under your PFS must have a smaller particle size than the sand. If not, the sand will end up on the bottom which will not do much for your plants *lol* and which could have a general negative impact on aquatic life.

I'll be following this thread with interest, as I'm in the process of setting up a new 55. In fact, I have just finished leveling the tank.

Flipp has used the new LED lights on a planted tank so he would be a good one to reply here. Keep us posted on what you decide for a canister filter and do keep "blogging" the build here!
Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:28 pm

Sounds great DL!

Lot's of great canister options for this size tank and if you are patience you should be able to find a great deal.... and like everything lots of great opinions on which is best Very Happy

I also think the bowfronts make a super planted aquarium, you have a little more useful floorspace for additional species.

Definetly do the build thread, everyone would enjoy it.

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DL Lawrence
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:18 pm

I'll get some photos up shortly. I'm going to re-seal this tank, but....it may be going BACK on CL, as we're now waffling on the stand. So, we'll have to put it in the living room, and see how it looks. Since this will be in our primary "living space" where we spend most of our time, we want it to be right. So we'll see.

I had looked at the JBJ Reaction canisters with the built in UV sterilizer, but after having read some bad reviews (VERY bad) I think I'm going to go a more conventional route. DFS has the Filstar XP's on sale, and they seem to have good reviews, so we'll probably go that route. I'll order the background when I order the canister. Opinions on the Filstar XP's?

I guess I'll just stick with one layer of PFS for substrate, assuming plants will grow well in it, which I assume they will.

Pics to follow, when I can get around to it... Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:38 pm

what's DFS? because if there's a sale, I want to check it out!
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:33 pm

@RylandVT wrote:
what's DFS? because if there's a sale, I want to check it out!

Drs. Foster & Smith

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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:27 pm

@DL Lawrence wrote:
I'll get some photos up shortly. I'm going to re-seal this tank, but....it may be going BACK on CL, as we're now waffling on the stand. So, we'll have to put it in the living room, and see how it looks. Since this will be in our primary "living space" where we spend most of our time, we want it to be right. So we'll see.

I had looked at the JBJ Reaction canisters with the built in UV sterilizer, but after having read some bad reviews (VERY bad) I think I'm going to go a more conventional route. DFS has the Filstar XP's on sale, and they seem to have good reviews, so we'll probably go that route. I'll order the background when I order the canister. Opinions on the Filstar XP's?

Interesting comment about the JBJ. It looks suspiciously like the AquaTop cannister which several of our members have and seem to love. Nearly everything I have read on the AquaTop has been quite positive.

I have a Filstar XP-3 as well as a Marineland C-360 and love them both. I find the C-360 a little easier to maintenance especially when restarting, however, I don't think for the money you can go wrong with either one. I'm in the market for another canister filter and torn between which one I want along with trying an AquaTop.

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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:54 am

I found this, Googling for the JBJ....

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=207507&highlight=sad

That, and several reports of leakage changed my mind.
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:44 am

This is what keep me from trying a canister. All these years I've never had one and just when I think I'm ready to try, a report of leakage comes my way. Liz and I were just discussing this in relation to the RENA Filstar canisters.

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DL Lawrence
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:04 pm

Well, I still think I'm going to go for "canister overkill", meaning I'm still going to go canister, but I'm certainly going to have the UV sterilization separate. There's got to be a canister out there with a solid rep- we really need for this new tank to be quiet, and I would like the tank (like all of mine) to be big time over-filtered.

Still researching....
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:44 pm

Check out Fluval 06 Series Filters. I did some research myself last year when I was thinking about purchasing one. If I ever pull the trigger and buy one, Fluval would probably be my choice unless someone has a better idea.

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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:51 pm

the fluval 06 series is on sale on amazon right now, that is the one I've been looking into
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:35 pm

Stock your tank with fish from Aquamania.
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:52 pm

I have, at last count, a Rena XP 1, one XP2, two XP3s, and an XP4. Most of these came with other tanks so my brand loyalty is slightly misleading.... Rolling Eyes

However, I think they are great filters. I've had my XP4 running for 8 years, at least, and never had a problem with it. They have a lot of power compared to some of my other canister filters (Eheim classic and Ecco series).

There is a lot on the internet about the XP's having problems with air being trapped in the top, and I have run into that with mine, but there is always somewhere that air is getting sucked in, usually a poorly fitted intake tube, the fill cap on the intake tube is loose, or something like that, allowing air to get trapped. Once you find the cause you can gently shake or tip the filter back and forth to dislodge the air. This is not a reason to avoid the filter. I have never had a leak from the unit (or any canister filter, for that matter *knocks wood*)

I'd buy one again in a heartbeat.

That said, I also love my Fluval FX5 (*make Tim the Tool Man Taylor barking noises here*) and I'd trust a smaller Fluval filter as well.

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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:04 am

You won't go wrong with a cannister whether it be a aquatop or xp series for your size tank. Both are super quite. The xp build quality is much better than the aquatop. And priming the xp is much easier too. That being said I have no regrets about buying two aquatop cf300.

Now my Marineland c530 is noisy as all can get.

IMHO most issues I see from cannisters is user error.
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:21 am

Thanks, all. After research, review and consideration, I've ordered an API (used to be Rena) Filstar XPL (used to be called XP3). Rated for 175 gallons. I believe 350GPH. Boo-ya.

On sale at amazon with free shipping! I Like that.

Liz- I did read some reviews about the air trapped in the top of the filter situation, but it did not seem to be a big deal for most owners.
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:31 am

That filter will kick the butt of a 46! lol I used to have an XP4 on a 55, though, so I can't talk....

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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:56 am

I saw a really inexpensive and easy to do D.I.Y led build on youtube by uarujoey that covers pretty much all the spectrums of light you need from fish only to reef tanks check it out..

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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:57 am

Have you looked at the Finnex LED lights? I'm considering a "RayII" for my 75.
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:38 am

Yes- looking a the Finnex systems now. They look pretty good! You can't seem to beat the cost in comparison to Marineland lighting...I think I'll pass on the DIY....while certainly interesting, I'm pretty much a "checkbook mechanic" when it comes to this stuff....Wink
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:50 am

OK, moving slowly along. When I got this tank, I did not like the black silicone on the front seams of the tank. Some of it was pretty ratty (someone cleaned the inside with something that tore it up a bit), so I resealed the two front seams with clear silicone.
Here's a pic of the tank, with the left side black sealant removed, and a shot of the black right side:




Here's the left side with the black removed, and the new clear applied- I'm leaving the black silicone in the back, as the background will be black.



We'll wait a week, then test for leaks. In the meantime, we're going to put the tank in it's spot, and see how we like it for a few days...yeah, we're wishy washy. We need to be sure we like the tank where it is going, and how the setup looks in the room. Once it's there, it's there, so we're going to be sure. Heck, this tank may end up back on Craigslist, and the search will start over- who knows! Hopefully, the seals will not leak after we move it back into the garage when they have dried for testing.
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:08 am

Nice job on the reseal, it really looks good. You may want to leave it in the garage while the silicone dries just for the smell.
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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:30 am

DL wrote:
We'll wait a week, then test for leaks. In the meantime, we're going to put the tank in it's spot, and see how we like it for a few days...ye ah, we're wishy washy. We need to be sure we like the tank where it is going, and how the setup looks in the room.
Seriously, I would do it exactly the same way. Even if there was only your opinion to consider, it's best to try it out in the location before filling and stocking. There may be some considerations of traffic flow or natural lighting or a reflection on the TV or something which you just didn't think of but which is now becoming obvious. I speak from experience! *lol*

Hope the reseal goes well. ThumbsUp It looks to be a good job so far.

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PostSubject: Re: New tank setup begins...   Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:45 am

That looks good! Nice work.

Did you get any fish from Azalea on Saturday? I got myself some pearl gouramis for my 125 that is finally getting switched over to Asian, and I was anxious to get them home, so sorry I didn't speak to you more!

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