Proposed set up for 20 gal long

JoshP12

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Hello everyone!

I have decided to upgrade my current set up to a 20 gallon long (length = 30 inches, width = 20 inches, depth = 12 inches). I've decided to go with this size because I think I have most of the things I need already, but I am not certain that they will work.

However, I should note that I do not mind buying new stuff, if my items are not sufficient.

I wanted some input on the things I have thought about for this aquarium and the advice on this forum, thus far, has been fantastic.

My goal: Monte Carlo carpet capability with some easy/medium plants —> potentially moving to harder plants once I get the handle.

Here we go:
Filtration: API Filstar XP-M Canister filter

I already have this which is why I am thinking of using it:

Specifications: Flow-rate: 300 U.S. GAL/h (1150 L/h) Aquarium volume: up to 75 U.S. GAL (280L) Canister volume (1.6 U.S. GAL (6.3L) Waterflow with filtration media and accessories: 160 U.S. GAL/h (605L/h) Number of filter baskets: 2 Power: 23W

Will this be enough flow for a co2-injected aquarium? I attached it to my 10 gallon and made a typhoon, so I am thinking the larger length and body of water will help make the flow perfect.

Question: Are the stainless steel tubes/glass lily pipes imperative OR will the flow be ok with the following intake/output tubes
upload_2019-12-25_19-59-2.jpeg


Co2 injection + tank: I have already and it is functioning.

Question: again, should I switch to the stainless steel diffuser/tubing or is my current tubing + glass diffuser from China sufficient.
51L1xJRjGqL._AC_UL320_ML3_.jpg


Skimmer: Eheim 350

Heater: I have 2 options; I either go with the in-line hydor and purchase it OR use my in-tank heaters by the intake. Any preferences?

Substrate: I need help here, but I’m thinking Tropica powder soil. I am perusing the substrate threads as well.

Light: I am restricted slightly because I am from Canada, but here is my line of thinking:

Finnex below (would have to find a way to import it).

a2-8380-f991d815586d._CR0,263,1152,356_PT0_SX970__.jpg

Which one from the above would suit my aquarium, given https://barrreport.com/threads/ada-lighting-at-aqua-forest-and-nice-low-par-values-who-knew.4865/

I think the only one I can get here is the Planted + 24/7, but it is way overpriced because the rest have been removed I think for some regulation.

Current USA:
Satellite_PAR.png


I know I could get any of these lights, but I am not as familiar with their brand; it seems that maybe the LED Plus would work with a 2inch substrate I will only need to penetrate down to about 10 inches -- any thoughts? I would prefer to buy a light that is stronger and with a dimmer though.

here is another brand:
upload_2019-12-25_22-27-59.jpeg



The BeamsWork I can get easily.

Some Chinese version -- or if anyone knows a Canadian supplier for the ADA or Twinstar lights.

I hope I didn't miss anything and I appreciate all input!

Cheers,
Josh
 

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JoshP12

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Ok, crazy idea:

Since I have 3 feet of space, I could go with a 65 gallon tall and have a planted discus tank.

Spend the first bit tuning in the CO2 in a fishless environment with solid WC routine with EI dosing and once plants are stabilized, then start adding the livestock -- any ideas?
 

Sacha

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Location
London
Josh - good luck with the scape and look forward to tracking your journey.

With regard to tank size my advice would be to go with the largest tank you can afford and that you have space for. Just bear in mind that once everything is set up with fish, a tank that size will be extremely difficult to move, so you need to be pretty certain you will be living in your current home for the foreseeable future. If there's any chance of a house move over the next few years, maybe go with the smaller tank.

Also, as I'm sure you're aware, discus have specific requirements in relation to water quality etc. so this will have implications for your maintenance schedule (e.g. do you have an RO unit?) If you're happy to take on this additional work then by all means give them a shot - but it might be an idea to set the tank up with some easier fish e.g. Cardinal & Rummynose tetra, and then you can add the discus at a later date if all is going well.

That filter should provide you with more than enough flow (it is 15x tank volume turnover), but I would definitely suggest adding a spray bar along the back wall to ensure even distribution of flow throughout the tank. The outflow tube in the photo would provide a narrow stream of flow which would likely result in quite a lot of deadspots, not ideal for the Monte Carlo carpet you're aiming for. You can buy plastic spray bars online for pennies, but you could splash out and go for some nice glassware if you prefer.

Glass diffusers are the least efficient option. You could go for a ceramic 'mist' - style diffuser and install it directly underneath the filter intake (so the Co2 'mist' is being sucked directly into the filter intake). Alternatively the better option by far would be to go with an in-line 'atomizer' type diffuser, plumbed into your filter hoses.

In-tank heater next to the filter intake should be fine.

For your Monte Carlo carpet you'd definitely benefit significantly from nutritious substrate - I know the Aquasoil gets great reviews. I'll let others chip in with their suggestions but my only comment would be to consider your livestock requirements e.g. if you intend to keep Cory / Shrimp you should go with a top layer of sand (and leave a 'beach' unplanted at the front of the tank).

I'll let others advise on lighting because there are people here with far more knowledge than me in that regard!

Best of luck.

Sacha
 

JoshP12

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Location
Canada
Hi @Sacha,

Thanks for the feedback!

These comments would be on the 20 gal long - I assume.
With regard to tank size my advice would be to go with the largest tank you can afford and that you have space for. Just bear in mind that once everything is set up with fish, a tank that size will be extremely difficult to move, so you need to be pretty certain you will be living in your current home for the foreseeable future. If there's any chance of a house move over the next few years, maybe go with the smaller tank.
I actually thought about that later - if we do move in the next 7 years or so, it will be a pain to move the tank ... perhaps not even worth setting it up until the new home (or I keep it for five years and figure out how to move it after).

That filter should provide you with more than enough flow (it is 15x tank volume turnover), but I would definitely suggest adding a spray bar along the back wall to ensure even distribution of flow throughout the tank. The outflow tube in the photo would provide a narrow stream of flow which would likely result in quite a lot of dead spots, not ideal for the Monte Carlo carpet you're aiming for. You can buy plastic spray bars online for pennies, but you could splash out and go for some nice glassware if you prefer.
Will this provide TOO much flow (like I said, my 10 gallon had a typhoon going with it hooked up); I had thought of a spray bar but haven't looked into them yet -- I think it's the way to go -- will the spray bar reduce the actual speed of the flow?

Could I set up something like I uploaded in the photo? I want to do this tank right in terms of flow etc.


Glass diffusers are the least efficient option. You could go for a ceramic 'mist' - style diffuser and install it directly underneath the filter intake (so the Co2 'mist' is being sucked directly into the filter intake). Alternatively the better option by far would be to go with an in-line 'atomizer' type diffuser, plumbed into your filter hoses.
I will note that the disc in the diffuser is ceramic (at least I think so), but maybe a picture would help me understand what you mean. In-line is the other option that I should consider.


In-tank heater next to the filter intake should be fine.
10-4!

For your Monte Carlo carpet you'd definitely benefit significantly from nutritious substrate - I know the Aquasoil gets great reviews. I'll let others chip in with their suggestions but my only comment would be to consider your livestock requirements e.g. if you intend to keep Cory / Shrimp you should go with a top layer of sand (and leave a 'beach' unplanted at the front of the tank).
I have been reading up on this as well -- and the common questions which when I read the threads come up are: powder vs. soil and cap vs. no cap -- there are several threads on this, but still trying to make a decision (will probably just have to go with 1 and see if I like it).


I'll let others advise on lighting because there are people here with far more knowledge than me in that regard!
The 20 gallon obviously allows me to cheap out a bit more on the lighting because of the PAR and depth -- whereas the 65 would require much more of an investment.

Some of the things that I am not sure we consider sometimes is the water change preparation (and I add this for anyone perusing); if I go with the 65, my buckets will no longer work and I will need a 40 gallon holding bucket in the laundry room (for 60+% water changes) with a pump/python + the increase in dry ferts + stronger bubbler to age/aerate the water (luckily my water is soft so I wouldn't need RO) --- if I go discus, the WC will need to be that much more regimented and flawless so the cost increase will be huge. And thanks to your post @Sacha, the moving.

Cheers,
Josh
 

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Sacha

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The spray bar won't reduce the speed of the flow as such but it will disperse it significantly. More holes means slower flow. If you are worried about 'too much flow' then just buy a spray bar with lots of holes, and run it all the way along the back of the tank.

This is what I meant by a 'ceramic' diffuser (an in-tank 'atomizer' that produces a fine mist rather than larger Co2 bubbles):

https://www.co2supermarket.co.uk/bazooka-atomizer-co2-diffuser-80mm-p314.html
 

JoshP12

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8 Dec 2019
Messages
441
Location
Canada
Hello all!

Boxing Day sales... I went for it: 65 gallon+ stand ... will start a journal and bring everyone on the journey!
 

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