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Old 03-04-2008, 11:02 AM   #1
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Upgrading to 29/30gal

Hey all, some of you have posted on my other forum asking about whether or not to use power heads with a ugf... I thank you for the replies!

Now that I know what kind of filtering I will need for a 29 or 30 gallon tank, now I am shopping around trying to find a good price. I was at Walmart last night and say the 29gal tank for $100 with everything except gravel and decor. I have also been looking at a local fish shop called Elmer's Aquarium and have been looking at their tanks. The LFS is obviously more expensive, but am I getting a lot better parts?

Walmart's filters are Aqua TECH 20-40gallon rated. Using the aqua tech brand would be nice considering that if I needed more filters I could grab them at wallys, rather than driving 40 minutes to the LFS.

Here is the link to the 30gallon long tank I am looking at over at Elmer's:
30 Gal Tank Prices

NOTE: I am not getting the power heads UGF or anything other than the tank, lights, heater, filter, and gravel. So with all that added up I'm looking at roughly $200.30+tax.

This is obviously much more than the Walmart setup but it appears from what reviews I read, the perfecto tanks, lights, aqua clear 50 filter, and visitherm heater are all better components than walmart's brand.

Any suggestions? I am not going to buying this new tank until around May, I just want to get things set while I work on the stand. Thanks in advance, you guys rock!
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:19 AM   #2
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The kit would probably end up costing you more in the long run. You might as well save yourself the headache of having to contantly upgrade the kit parts as they fail or you find they aren't working as well as needed.

With the Aquaclear (or most any HOB) you don't have to use the manufacturer filter cartridges. I always had great luck cutting polyfiber to fit and using it instead. You can by it in sheets and it's much less expensive. Plus it's much easier to run a new one in parallel with the old one to preserve your bio filter, since you can just cut it up as necessary to make things fit. Just keep rinsing it in used tank water to clean of the gunk until it's falling apart, then it's time to replace.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:01 PM   #3
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Thats some good advice, I will have to look into that. I am assuming Homedepot or lowes would have sheets of the polyfiber? I think I'm just going to save up some extra money and get the good kit from Elmers. I figure that they have been in business for a long time, they probably know what is best. I see that they have up-sized the filter to a aquaclear 50 (instead of 40 or whatever) which can't hurt I suppose.

One other quick question, they give you 40 lbs of gravel for ~$30, is that too much for a 30gal long? I didn't think so but someone mentioned that it might be too much?! I don't think that is right.

Thanks for the advice... I'm looking forward to the upgrade :]
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:20 PM   #4
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This is the stuff I was specifically referring to. I don't believe you'd find it anywhere other than an aquarium store, although there are probably usable alternatives elsewhere. I know that polyfil (which is available in Walmart's craft section) is commonly used in canister filters. The main thing is to ensure that it hasn't been treated with any chemicals that might harm the aquarium. Your LFS may even carry the polyfiber and one sheet will last you a pretty long time.

If planting with real plants the rule of thumb is ~3" of substrate, you can use significantly less if you're using fake plants or other decor. Basically you just need enough to cover the base of the aquarium and have it look good to you.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:33 PM   #5
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Update

Hey guys, its me again Got things going with my tank a little. I now have the 30gal long tank, hood+lights, substrate (50lbs medium sized, smooth rocks), aquaclear 50, and the longest 150watt heater I could find, which I plan on placing in the flow of the filter.

I was wondering if placing some of the new filter media in my current 10gal would be beneficial? If so, which of the three medias included with it should I put in? It will probably be a few weeks before I get the new tank setup. I am planning on taking the well-used filter out of my 10gal and putting it in the 30 when I finish building my stand for both tanks. But that is a whole different thread, probably in the DIY section soon!

So what are your thoughts of jump starting the cycle given my situation? Would using any of the old water be beneficial, throw some rocks in an unused panty hose and hang it in the new tank? I've heard many things, just seeing what has worked for you guys.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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Well I typed that late last night, made sense then, not sure if I got my point across however... Would adding the new filter media into my established tank help seed the new filter media? I've heard of running both for a while but I don't think my 10 gal could handle both running.

I'm building the stand for both tanks this weekend, painting it next week. So if all goes well I should be starting up the 30gal sometime next weekend. I'm going to be doing a fishless cycle (I learned from my 10gal, and you guys!) with pure ammonia and probably some gravel and media from my 10gal. Any other tips?
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:52 AM   #7
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If you use the gravel and media from your old tank you may not go through a cycle, especially if you don't add any new fish right away. Transfer as much of the gravel as you can (only rinse it in the old tank water). Take the filter bag and either reuse it in the new filter or some have just added some gravel to it and let it sit on the bottom of the tank until the new filter has a chance to catch up.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:19 AM   #8
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The only problem I see with putting the old filter media in the new filter is that I use those easy change cartridges (walmart filter). They are solid with fiber on both sides and carbon on the inside with a plastic frame. I am thinking I will just cut the fiber off and stuff it in the new filter.

As far as the gravel, it is not the same type or color so I don't really want it in the bottom of the tank. Should I add some gravel to an unused pantyhose like others have suggested?

Thanks for the reply tawolcott, greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:37 AM   #9
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Hey Meegosh, a few things:

1) Way to go buying from Elmers. They're a fantastic company and I'm always impressed with those who choose to support locally owned mom-and-pop shops over massive corporations. Amazingly, Elmers has done a great job competing with ultra-low cost competitors. I feel it's because the quality of service and products/livestock they supply.

2) When you told me you were getting the 20-40 gal Aquaclear (herineafter "AC") filter for your 19 gal I thought "That's WAY too little filtration." I run an AC50 on my 10 gal! It's super over filtered but an AC50 on your 29 gal will be perfect. It's a great filter, reliable, easy to maintain and very quiet.

3) I was the one who told you that 50lbs of substrate might be too much in another thread IIRC. I used 50lbs in my 55 gal and still got a VERY deep base (for planted tank). What kind did you get and do you have any other uses for the unused portion?

4) As to cycling with those pre-fab media catridges, you can just put the entire thing in your new tank, plastic and all. It will definitely help seed your new tank and I'd be willing to bet you won't hit a cycle at all. A friend of mine in PAPAS (Pittsburgh area planted aquarium society) took a look at water squeezed out of established filter media, and water treated with bio-spira and observed that the filter media housed hundreds of times more ben. bact. than bio-spira. You do need to give that bacteria something to feed off of though, so you don't want to seed it until you have some livestock in there.

I did exactly what you are in my 10 gal and never got a cycle ever. If you have any decor, fake plants, substrate, or anything else that would provide surface area for ben. bact to grow, you might want to put one or two pieces of that in your new tank to jump start the bacteria population even faster. It is really a pleasure having established tanks to forego cycles in new tanks. It's probably a big reason why MTS is so contageous and so easy to catch: it makes starting new tanks soooo much easier.

Kudos to you, my friend, for researching so much and asking the right questions. I'm 100% convinced you should go to Elmers.

OH I almost forgot! Elmers does sell that polyfiber stuff, I think they call it filterfloss. Anyway they have a big spool of it and you can get it from the CHEAP.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:49 AM   #10
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Thanks for the reply! I usually do support the LFS rather than a petsmart or anything like that. I got the two 25lb bags of it because I think 25 would have been too little. I want to add different levels in the aquarium so I figured I would be using quite a bit to 'build up' the scape to the way I want it.

Also, if things go my way, and I have enough left over I might replace the substrate in my 10gal. If I do I plan on doing it gradually, 1/4 at a time until it is all replaced. Maybe waiting a week or two before doing the next quarter of the tank.

I agree, going with the ac50 was a no-brainer once I looked at the reviews of all the filters. I cannot believe how much room there is for media! I love it! I did pick up a sheet of the filterfloss, I didn't see the spool but they had 3 8x10 sheets for a few bucks. What do you recommend I run in my filter? All three bags? Just floss and carbon? I've heard mixed things.

I will probably throw my 2 diamond tetras in the 30 gal once I get it cycled a little. They are probably the hardiest fish I have ever kept.

The part about bio-spara vs the filter media was interesting! Cool stuff, I wonder how many more tanks I will get before I feel content?!
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