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Discussion in 'Introductions and Greetings' started by Wendy1B, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Wendy1B

    Wendy1B Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi all, I found this site recently and it was suggested to me that I should share my aquarium experiences and location with you all. I live in the United States, in Eastern Washington. I have been out of the hobby for over five years, but I used to have a low-tech 55 gallon freshwater live planted setup. I maintained it for about 5 years. I was an awesome Anubius keeper! Prior to that tank, I had several reef aquariums, ranging in size from a 50 gallon soft coral & Captive Bred Seahorse setup to a 125 gallon Large Polyp Stony Coral reef. I started keeping reefs in 1995. I miss it, but have been bitten by the freshwater plant bug. I had to tear down my 55 gallon due to a change in living situation, and have never had the space for another one since. So, within a month or so, I will be trying my hand at my first ever small tank. I've chosen a 12 gallon Fluval Edge because I am in love with the artistic elements in the design, I am stoked about the top-down viewing aspect, and most importantly, the footprint is just right for my current space limitations. I will be purchasing the tank at the end of this month, and have my wood hardscape soaking as we speak. My biggest potential challenge is a severe case of Collectoritis. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!
     
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  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello Wendy welcome to ASW you certainly have a wide wealth of knowledge in Aquariums, do you have any photos please.

    Re the Fluval Edge before you buy it I suggest you ask about that tank here on ASW.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  3. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    the Fluval edge and 12 gallon Collectoritis dont really mix well. As the Fluval edge is a great tank to start with its light isnt very powerful and somewhat difficult to upgrade plus limited by the HOB filter, which will restrict your Collectoritis.

    The Aquanano range may be a better choice with similar foot print, but benefits from interal sump filter, plus easy to upgrade light.

    Son has the Aquanano, whilst daughter has the fluval edge, if I had to choose would go for the aquanano, but there will be others too, if planning CO2 would be better off with external canister filter IMO. Take your time and weigh up your options with your budget.

    Hope it helps and welcome to the forum.

    Zeus

    keep us updated, starting a journal is a good idea too, then all the replies you get are in same place for reference as you progress
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
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  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to ASW!

    I will go a step further than Zeus and say...is there anything I can do to talk you out of an edge? The setup and design do not work well for planted tanks. While aesthetically modern and interesting, they have very poor lighting only capable of growing very low light plants, the reduction in surface area exposed to the air limits gas exchange making supplemental CO2 difficult if not unwise, and the filter just doesn't do a lot of work needed for a nice planted aquascape. You are much better off looking for a nice rimless tank and buying your pieces and parts separately. Think it over.

    Your adventures in reefing sound very interesting. Feel free to share some photos and experiences in the reef section. A seahorse breeding setup!?:notworthy:

    We are glad to have you here and look forward to seeing your new freshwater aquascape develop.
     
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  5. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Have to agree with ShadowMac.

    I said great as in you get a lot for a very basic start, can pick them up pretty cheap too. Daughters BF got her it for Xmas - personally think its to limiting. Even the aqua nano son has been upgraded, he tried to grow HC in it first and failed, then monte carlo which got off to a limited start even with a light upgrade, coming on better now as I got him a decent CO2 setup of Xmas plus got him on EI ferts. Got a text off him today saying the few HC that is still in is tank was pearling. Hes struggling to clear staghorn algae too. But he will rush in :rolleyes:
     
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  6. Shane P.

    Shane P. Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice to see a new member! Hope you enjoy the loads of information and aquascaping advice found on this forum!

    Shane


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  7. Wendy1B

    Wendy1B Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok, here goes, these photos are somewhat embarrassing. I was looking for anything of my reef tanks, and I didn't have a cell phone back then or a Facebook account to upload it to. Unfortunately, I think the only photos I had printed are in the photo albums I lost to the divorce :(. Here are the scant few I had of my first attempt at a freshwater planted set up. It was 55 gallons an low-tech. The picture of me trying to do a yoga pose was at my old apartment, and the full tank shot was after I moved the tank to my current home. I liked the way we had it viewable from 3 sides as a room divider. This picture is not a good one, though, because it was right after my one and only attempt at online plant ordering and everything was still in its emergent form. Most of these stems I just ordered because I had never seen them in person and wanted to choose among them first hand what I really liked the looks of. The last is my Dwarf African Frog, Dookie. I had 5 of them in this tank, but Dookie was tame and would beg for food, eat out of my hand, and sing to us in the dark. I really loved that frog!
     

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  8. Wendy1B

    Wendy1B Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks for the recommendation! I like the looks of the Aquanano; I'd opt for the 51 liter size, but I am having a hard time finding a source willing to ship to the U.S. Do you have any idea where I could look into ordering one? I am definitely open to exploring my options! As far as the lighting limitations, I do have an upgrade on order from a company called UltraBrite. I met another hobbyist online who has this upgrade on two Fluval Edges, and he LOVES it. He says he is able to grow any plant with a high light requirement that he has tried. I could use this fixture on any tank I end up buying, though, so that wouldn't bother me a bit. As far as the low filter volume, I did find a video on youtube in which another hobbyist replaced the Aquaclear 20 impeller with an Aquaclear 50, and extended the intake tube length for better flow. I thought I'd give that upgrade a try, as it would only run me $18 USD. I also am looking at upgrading to a Fluval 106 canister filter. I had a larger size on my 55 gallon of this filter, and I loved how quick and easy it was for me to disconnect from the setup to clean and maintain. I never had to ask for help to get the top off - that is a definite plus for me. I wasn't sure if the HOB upgrade was going to give me satisfactory flow on its own, so I was thinking I'd try that first and add the canister if I felt it needed it.
     
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  9. Wendy1B

    Wendy1B Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Oh, I am definitely capable of being talked out of the Edge. I do like the looks of a rimless. Honestly, my preferred set up would be a display in a similar footprint with a sump/refugium which I could run lights on an opposite schedule of the display for the most aeration & stability possible. I really hadn't thought of the limited gas exchange causing CO2 to be a danger; I do want this to be a high tech setup with CO2. I've never had it before. I just used Flourish Excel in my low-tech 55 gallon. Now I'm trying to figure out how to do a rimless AND have my dream refugium...

    I didn't successfully breed my seahorses. I purchased captive bred juveniles, and kept them for 4 & 1/2 years. They do mating dances, which was probably my favorite thing to observe as an aquarist, but I didn't have the setup to rear the fry. I also had a pair of Green Mandarin Dragonets in that tank who would do a mating ritual. My filters got all the planktonic babies, though.
     
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  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Wendy

    I fully agree with you the Fluval edge is a nice looking tank but that is about all. Shawn and Zeus have given you excellent advice well worth considering.

    You tank that was viewed from three directions is not the easiest to do as nothing can be hidden.

    You have one massive difference to the average beginner here on ASW you have had plenty of practical experience in Aquariums and tank life.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  11. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Take it back about the Fluval edge - it doesn't come with a heater (n) found out last night when chatting with daughter. so its not an all in one basic solution. But aqua nano range does, plus its heater is hidden too which is always a plus IMO.

    Like ShadowMac said would be better off with picking your equipment individualy esp if going down CO2 route- but cost more short term, better suited setup long term
     
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  12. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, now that I have an idea about budget, size, etc I can make some more specific recommendations.

    While sumps offer benefits for tanks like increased O2, they are not as common in the fresh planted world. They do make CO2 a little bit more of a challenge since they can increase off-gassing of it. The chamber where the water is agitated (the trickle section) should be sealed in order to prevent too much off gassing.

    If you don't mind, I'll make some recommendations for a purchase that fall within the same price range as the redsea setup. Places to truly invest your cash: A quality tank, quality filtration, and a good CO2 kit. Secondary items: a good light, a good substrate.

    Stands are hard to come by for "scaper's" tanks. The dimensions are uncommon in the US so manufacturers just don't make them. If you or someone you know is moderately handy, nice stands can be built for a decent price. Some communities have community workshops where tools and equipment is readily available for use. I am preparing to build a few stands of my own.

    You have an ambitious plant list. Some of those can be quite challenging, UG for example.

    If you want a sexy overflow and sump you may consider looking at the mame overflow. Its made of glass and a beautiful piece of work.

    A refugium is not necessary for a planted tank. I would try to avoid over complicating things.
     
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  13. Wendy1B

    Wendy1B Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I appreciate any recommendations you can give me. Thank you! I want the refugium because I want to have the most stability possible. I saw a vast improvement in lowering of my saltwater inhabitants' stress levels when I started keeping a refugium on an opposite light cycle of the main displays. I know it's not really used in freshwater planted tanks, but I just kind of want to try it to see if it helps prevent shrimp losses. I don't like how the oxygen levels take a dive at night in a planted set up. Also, I think it would be neat to have a grow out tank, and I don't have room for a separate set up, so I feel the refugium would suit. I really appreciate the advice; if I do end up with a sump, I will make sure to seal that biological media chamber.

    I do have a tendency to dream a little too big. Attempting some of the plants on my list will probably end up being a pretty humbling experience. I was successful at LPS and soft coral keeping and propagating in my reefs, so maybe that gives me a bit of bravery when it comes to diving in to my high-tech freshwater planted set up.

    Do you have any recommendations on a complete Co2 setup I can research? I'm not really much of a DIYer. My Father In Law, however, does beautiful woodwork of all types. I think he'd be delighted at designing a stand with me and helping me build it.
     
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  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I usually always recommend Greenleaf Aquarium (GLA) regulators. Well built and fantastic customer service. They perform well. I have two of their older models still operating well after many years. They offer a number of options at various price points.

    The next choice you will need to make is how you plan to diffuse your CO2. A sump offers some additional options.

    Take a look at that Mame overflow. It is a beauty. Every time I look at one...I want one. lol
     
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  15. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    I'll hastily recommend you use either Aquasoil or Seachm Flourite as your substrate/gravel and an Eheim classic series canister filter for filtration. So much simpler than sumps IMO. HYDOR makes a great in line heater, the ETH.


    Aquasoil makes growing difficult plants so much easier, but can be small challenge due to it's nitrogen rich nature, often needing frequent water changes during the first few weeks, I've heard.

    Where will you source your water from? RO Unit? Tap water?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Flourite is inert...so I'm not a big fan. I'll second the Aquasoil comment. Nothing better out there and comparably priced with everything else that is similar.

    Another thought, a twinstar nano offers the same level of oxygen boost to the system as a sump. You can get that benefit without a sump. However...you are experienced with sumps and would like a refugium so I don't think it is a bad idea.

    Not a problem! As long as big dreams are tempered with realistic expectations. Rome wasn't built in a day type of thing. Your previous tank experiences will make the transition to a high tech planted tank much smoother than for those with no previous experience. A sump offers benefits that help with stability, you are absolutely right about that. If you can grow corals you can grow these weeds.

    Take a look at the 60-U tank at Buceplant.com. Beautifully made, great scaping dimensions and a good volume. I have one waiting to be scaped.

    There are lots of lighting options out there. I purchased a twinstar 600E for my 60-U. A good light level without being too strong and nice color rendering. The only downside compared to other LEDs is that it is not dimmable. Some other LEDs allow for some controller functioning and dimming which can make the light more versatile (moving from a high light to low light scape) and extend viewing hours without consequence by dimming down to a very low light level. There are also the Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0 lights...might want two due to spread issues.

    Add a mame overflow and a good sump with an eheim 2000 pump set to 200 or so gph . Canister you can run an eheim ( I prefer eheim) 2215 or newer model of similar rating. Generally 10x tank volume for flow/filtration is advised.

    Aquasoil substrate

    Hardscape considerations?

    Some scaping tools. Decent pair of pincettes is highly recommended. GLA sells good tools as well.
     
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  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Wendy

    How is the old brain ticking over now? My only suggestion now would be copy and print out all the information by doing that you will find it a lot easier to go over and study every thing.

    The decisions you make must be right otherwise you could be heading for a lot of problems.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  18. Wendy1B

    Wendy1B Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I have chosen SL-AquaSoil Fine Grade as my substrate. It was recommended by some shrimp keepers and a few breeders to me on another site. They say it's not as high of an ammonia spike initially, but that it does cycle your tank for you, just not as fast and with no water change requirements as the ADA brand has, and the mineral content is exactly what my creepy-crawlies will need to shed their exoskeletons. It has the buffering capacity of ADA Aquasoil, and I just got my bag in the mail today. It was $40 shipped for 8 Liters. Now that it has become pretty clear to me that I'll be getting a larger tank...Possible over 3x my original size intent, LOL...I'm going to need to be ordering more! My tap water parameters aren't quite ideal, so I will be using re-mineralized RO/DI water.
     
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  19. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Wendy
    One very important lesson learnt, don't buy anything until you have made the final decisions on exactly what you are getting.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  20. Wendy1B

    Wendy1B Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You have given me some good homework. I love it! I have been told good things about GLA as a company, so I will definitely be checking their Co2 products out. I am so grateful for sites like this and awesome hobbyists willing to share their experiences with me. When I go to any LFS around here and reveal I desire to move on from low tech, they look at me like I've sprouted another head. Eastern Washington is the anubius/java moss capital of the world, I swear it! The local clubs act like Co2 is 'The One Which Must Not Be Named' XD.
     
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