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Old 07-05-2018, 11:05 PM   #1
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need help. aquarium setup with protein skimmer, canister filter, co2

so what im looking for is some pictures of a complete aquarium setup with a protein skimmer, canister filter, co2 and inline heater. i want to try and go with more high tech materials and a bit more ease of managing the tank along with more consistency. all of this will be for a 75g tank.



i also would like to get everyones thoughts on protein skimmers. do you use them in your tanks? if so which ones do you use? if not then what do you do about the proteins building up on the surface of your water or how do you keep it from doing so?



for co2 do you use diffusers or do you use co2 reactors? could you give some pro's and cons for whichever you use?


do you use inline heaters or in tank heaters?



for the canister filter i think im going with the eheim 2217 because ive seen so many great reviews on it but if you have any other recommendations please say them.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:51 AM   #2
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I use a CO2 probe with ph control which seems more common here (probably as we all go to the same shop ). It has saved my tank a few times from getting gassed but many tanks go fine without it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:03 AM   #3
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need help. aquarium setup with protein skimmer, canister filter, co2

IMO the use of protein skimmers in freshwater is not very effective compared to SW. Unless there is a high amount of proteins and surfactants present, you won’t get a decent production of froth. What you could get is a surface skimmer for the removal of surface scum. The most common brand I hear about is Ehiem.
The canister you’ve listed should be fine though you will want supplemental circulation in a tank that size. Ehiem has a great reputation for reliability; I cannot say the same for SunSun or Fluval (just my experiences with the 206 models). A strategically placed power head or two will help keep the movement at the surface and reduce dead spots. Good flow will help if you are using a traditional heater. Good surface flow will help promote decent oxygen levels and allow you to safely pump more CO2 in the tank without jeopardizing the livestock. As mentioned above, a pH controller will give you more precise control on CO2 delivery and take the headaches out of making fine adjustments after changing a tank or cleaning a diffuser.
I hear reactors are best for CO2 injection especially in larger tanks or when unsightly CO2 mist is not desired. For that I would use a dedicated pump or second canister to power it. Or you could add an inline diffuser to the existing canister. Really depends on if the CO2 mist bothers you. I used to run a “poor mans” in-line diffuser by placing the diffuser (GLA knock off) in the path of the canister output. The bubble size was much smaller and the number of bubbles was much higher.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:07 AM   #4
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High tech gizmos are so tempting, but are they really needed. I run 2 A.C. 110's and a Eheim Jager heater on my 120 long. I consider that a little technological overkill, and frankly I'm a little embarrassed. I've been following threads and posts from BBradbury and Calibano, learning about more simplistic, natural methods of water purification. That might be a better more satisfying way to go.
Recently my LFS had a big sale on Fluvals heavy hitter canister filters Fx4 & Fx6. So tempting.
Would Installing one of those really improve my water quality and diminish the need for WC's?
Of course not. The only real benifet of a new canister would be the ability to install an inline heater. Regarding a Protein Skimmer install to a FW tank seems truly unwarranted. Ones water quality would have to be quite rancid to generate enough surface scum to derive any benifet.
My next move regarding filtration will not be considered a high tech advancement but a regression back to a solid air pump and a couple of oversized sponges. Which is more impressive, an Aquarian using basic simplistic methods successfully keeping a complex bio system with minimal equipment, or an Aquarian using a large array of mechanical contraptions accomplishing the same thing? Just something to think about.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:27 AM   #5
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great to get replies from experienced people like you all. i really do appreciate it.
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:03 PM   #6
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Well if you're after pictures here is a canister filter running an inline heater and inline CO2 reactor. Not Eheim, it used to be but the flow was just too little for this tank.

As others have said don't bother with a protein skimmer, you could use a surface skimmer if need be but expect to have to inject more CO2 to balance the offgassing the skimmer with create.

Down under




Bigger / nicer reactor:




Light arrangement

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Old 07-12-2018, 03:14 PM   #7
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Z, I consider you to be one of the "Go To" members for aquagardening. My question is, can an aquagarden be established without a Co2 reactor? Can a slightly over stocked tank generate enough waste and nutrients, coupled with appropriate lighting, to grow an aquagarden.
I understand a Co2 system is a big plus, but are some becoming too dependent on them.
Over the years I've grown Anubias, Java Fern & Moss with no extra equipment. I know those varieties are very easy to grow.
I liked your filtration configuration. You forgot to mention some of your vital equipment, the pictured screwdriver and exacto knife. Lol.
This is my filtration system running on my 120. Two AC 110's. Essentially the 110's are nothing but glorified sponge filters with a powerful water flow. Nothing special under the hood, just a power strip.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V227 View Post
Z, I consider you to be one of the "Go To" members for aquagardening. My question is, can an aquagarden be established without a Co2 reactor? Can a slightly over stocked tank generate enough waste and nutrients, coupled with appropriate lighting, to grow an aquagarden.
I understand a Co2 system is a big plus, but are some becoming too dependent on them.
Over the years I've grown Anubias, Java Fern & Moss with no extra equipment. I know those varieties are very easy to grow.
I liked your filtration configuration. You forgot to mention some of your vital equipment, the pictured screwdriver and exacto knife. Lol.
This is my filtration system running on my 120. Two AC 110's. Essentially the 110's are nothing but glorified sponge filters with a powerful water flow. Nothing special under the hood, just a power strip.
A tank can provide enough nutrients from live stock waste and whatever is in tap water, yes. Your example of anubias / java fern / moss is a perfect example of the types of plants that will do well in those conditions. Will they benefit from CO2 and fertilizers? .... yes absolutely, we can't argue biology Can they grow just fine without? Yes of course, they do it in "nature" without increased CO2 concentrations and specific measurements of salts / sulfates etc.

Lighting is the gas peddle, CO2 is the air and nutrients are the fuel. What happens when you floor it in your brand new sports car? More throttle = more need for fuel and air. More lighting = more need for CO2 and nutrients.

The issue with relying on fish waste and tap water is this. Plants will grow and live, no question, but they will not THRIVE. When we see beautiful planted tanks, those plants are THRIVING not just surviving. The low light tank relying on fish waste alone leaves a lot on the table in terms of room for plant improvement. The tanks with non-limiting factors (high light, CO2 and a good nutrient program) there is very little room for improvement which is why the plants THRIVE.

I'll attach some pictures of some of my old tanks that have no CO2 and use light fertilizer dosing plus a medium - high stock level. Mostly root tabs and some very lean water column dosing.

90 gallon. Single Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0. Custom DIY root tabs "whenever I feel like it". Very lean macro/micro dry fert dosing. Limited water changes and NO STOCK.






65 gallon. 196 watts power compact. Eco comp substrate. Flourish tabs. Very lean flourish comprehensive and flourish iron. Weekly 20% water changes. Straight hard tap water. Medium stocking.



Same 65 gallon with a different scape



20 gallon long with CO2 and 2 x 24 watt T5-HO, BUT NO PHOSPHATE dosing. So all PO4 is coming from fish waste light stocking.

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Old 07-12-2018, 05:31 PM   #9
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thanks to all of you for this wealth of info. i think i will skip the protein or surface skimmer and do as fresh said and add a powerhead on the opposite side of the tank to get better surface agitation and circulation. i use some cheapo hang on back filter right now and i never have any build up on the surface in this tank. the issue is its not really that powerful and doesnt filter all that well. also when my water level drops from evaporation i start to hear the waterfall effect and the water then starts diving down more instead of across to the other side of the tank and i feel i lose a little circulation. i want the canister filter, in line co2 and in line heater so there are fewer things cluttering the tank. also the glass lily pipes look way better than the black intake on this hob. thank you guys for the pics and your tanks are beautiful ZxC.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:01 PM   #10
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This looks like a good place to ask this, because several of you have experience with planted tanks.

What type, strength, brand of lights would I need to penetrate a 24 inch deep tank. Also are their any fluorescent lights that fit the standard hoods that come with most tanks.

In retrospect, I should have bought a wider more shallow 60g, but I got it a few years ago before I was really into planted tanks.

I have a bulb at home that is suppose to do well for planted tanks that I got for a future project on a 40g breeder (much shorter tank). I can give more info on it when I get home. If that type will work on the deeper tank, I'll pick some up.

Sorry if it's rude to hijack your thread.
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