Christmas present quandry

newton

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Hi Folks

Been lurking a while and decided it was time to post something.

I recently purchased my young son a new fish tank as a Christmas present - a 35l Arcadia Arc Tank which comes with a 35W ArcPod light and small internal filter. The original intention was to just 'keep fish' but a while ago we stumbled on some old photo's of a (modestly) planted Jewel Aquarium I used to own. This has sparked an interest for him in setting up a planted aquarium which i am keen to encourage as best i can.

I'd like to give it my best shot, but am concious of the limitations that Santa has offered him with this initial set up. I would rather not go the full CO2 route, but have been encouraged by some of the wonderful results demonstrated on this forum using products such as Easycarbo, Tropica Plant Nutrition + etc. Can anyone offer some advise on what may be a relatively sound approach and what products (substrate/fertilisation/plants) would be suited to this set-up - my intial concern is whether the very modest filter is up to the job.

Comments would be greatly appreciated.

Phil
 

GreenNeedle

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I think the light will be 11W not 35W. You could do with 2 of those really over this setup.

Nice little tank and somewhere on here there are a few of them being used. Can't remember who at the moment but I seem to remember someone using one at the Festival of Fish do maybe if you search for FOF it will turn up in one of the threads somewhere.

You should be able to find a few little setups of equivalent size that are using EasyCarbo. Just don't let little children use the EasyCarbo. Can be a little dangerous and it doesn't have child proof lids!!! Maybe a good idea to find a container with child proof lids or keep it locked away.

AC
 

scottturnbull

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Have you seen the PFK Video Blog where George Farmer does Matt Clarke's aquascape? Matt's tank is a different size, but the species of plants, and the overall low-maintenance approach should be relevant nonetheless.

You might have to register with PFK to watch it. It doesn't cost anything.
 

Ed Seeley

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It might be best to see if Santa can stretch to a slightly better filter too, maybe a small external filter? :D You ideally want turnover around 10x the tank volume with lots of filtration capacity and the little internals often supplied with these kits don't really do that.

Other than that I'd stick with the one light to start with and use plants that will do well in lower light (Java ferns, Hygrophilas, mosses, anubias, small swords etc.), then add another once the tank's up and running and you want to grow trickier plants. The lower light levels will give you a bit more wriggle room with your dosing and hopefully reduce the chance of algae getting going at first. I ran a 12" cube on just 11W and grew a range of plants under that. I dosed DIY CO2 and Easybarbo at the same time on that and it worked well.
 

Nick16

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i recommend a layer of fertilising substrate. something cheap, as it is a small tank even the expensive stuff wont cost loads if you get me as you wont need lots. JBL aquabasis is good stuff and then cap it wit something (gravel sand etc) this is really cheap and works well. diy co2 may be an option on this tank as it costs this much:

2L coke bottle
some airline
a couple of airline connectors and non return valave
some bicarb
sugar
and yeast.

so cheap and will keep going for a few weeks.
 

amy4342

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I happen to have this version of the arc tank ( I also have the 20l :D ) It's a great tank, but I found the filters were a bit useless to be honest, so I use an Eden 501 on the larger and I've got an Eheim HOB on the 20l which also works very well. I also found the lights on both to be a bit underpowered because I was going for a high-tech setup (the 35l comes with 11w and the 20l has 9w lights). I considered using using 2 11w lights on both tanks, but I didn't like the way they looked and whilst the respective lights were on the tank, I had some problems with the lights nearly dipping into the water because the joints got a bit sloppy. I now use ASL light units on both tanks (http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/catalo ... -units.asp), and I made a hood out of acrylic to house them. I use eco-complete as a substrate - I use it in all my tanks and find it great, and I didn't even use a whole bag for the 35l so it's quite cheap. I use co2 injection - the bottles I use are only £8 for 600g (from Machine Mart) and it lasts for ages because the tanks don't use a lot. The 20l only has one light running, but I use both on the 35l, and with this light, co2 injection and daily TPN+ I find the tank very easy to maintain.
 

newton

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Thanks to eveyone who posted feedback - all really helpful stuff. Availability of information in this hobby seems to have changed for the better in the 12 or so years since i first dabbled in setting up a planted aquarium, aided considerablty by forums such as this.

So........it looks as if i will need to uprade the filter, most likely to an Eden 501 which seem to to be well regarded. I think i will see how we go with the lighting, but adding another ArcPod seems to be the easiest option - i guess we'll have to tailor the planting to accomodate the lower lighting levels. As for substrate, i thought i would purchase some ADA Aquasoil......any views on this as a first venture - there seems to be some feedback that suggest it is a difficult product to use?

As for CO2, i'm still undecided - as this will be the 'boys' aquarium to look after, i think i will leave it up to him. I do have an old Dennerle regulator and cylinder i could use, but just feel it may be a bit over the top for him at this stage. Given that i will be dosing with Easycarbo, will the lack of CO2 make a huge difference?

As or decoration, i quite like the look of the Seiryu rock from Aqua Essentils, but am a little uncertain about ordering this type of product online....surely it's pot luck as to what you get?

I think it's all starting to make sense....odd thing is, i'm now tempted to have a go myself. Feedback, as always, would be welcome.
 

GreenNeedle

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You can buy wood from both AE and TGM per piece where you can see a picture of the actual piece and each piece has it's own price.

AC
 

Ed Seeley

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Sounds like a good plan, but I would get a larger filter than the Eden. It doesn't hold much media and the build quality isn't always as good as some other brands. The smallest model in any of the mainstream filter brands would be a better buy IMHO. And you can always turn the flow down using the taps if you really need to. As long as you have room to site it under the tank of course.
 

newton

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4 Dec 2008
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Ed

Whilst fearful of turning a £50 Christmas presnt into a £250 project ;) any recommendations in terms of external filters? I've already convinced myself that i could justify this on the basis of giving some scope for the 'next' project.

Phil
 

Ed Seeley

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Can totally agree with that! I was looking at the online shops and the manufacturers ranges seem to start at about £50-60. To be honest I've only used an old Fluval 203 (which ran for 15 years and was/is excellent - it was retired for a larger Ehiem) and an Ehiem 2128.

Just looked and you can get an Ehiem Ecco Pro 130 for £48.99, a Fluval 105 for £51.82, Tetratec EX600 for £56.72 and various others for similar costs. Have a look in the filters section for a few discussions of the different types and then make your choice!!! Personally I wouldn't get the Fluval unless I replaced the ribbed tubing (which is then another cost) and would probably get one of the Ehiem Ecco Pros (I'm a fan of Ehiem - though I'd probably get the next model up as I like to have lots of flow!!!!). They've recently improved the specs on these though so I'm not sure anyone on here will have one. Maybe there are some online reviews somewhere? I know lots of people have used the Tetratecs.
 

amy4342

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Hydor Prime do an external filter, rated for 75-150l for £38 in my LFS. I don't know what it's like though. I use an Eheim HOB on my 20l, it was only £20, provides extremely good flow (even the carpeting plants sway) and we've even got a heater housed in it which means less equipment in the tank.
 
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