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Old 02-21-2006, 08:41 PM   #1
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Choosing a filter, heater and hood. Help please.

Okay, so now that I have my 10 gal. tank filled with water/dechlorinated, my next step is getting a filter, heater and hood. Keep in mind that the reason I am doing this in pieces is the money factor. I'm just getting what I can, when I can.

So anyway, I went to the local stores and did some research on prices and available supplies. I found that filters range in price pretty drastically and I was told that getting a filter that can go up to 20 gals. might be a good idea. Here is what I have found:

1a. Whisper Power Filter 10 (up to 10 gal)
1b. Whisper Power Filter 20 (up to 20 gal)
1c. Whisper Power Filter (20-40 gal)
2a. Penguin Bio-Wheel (up to 10 gal)
2b. Penguin Bio-Wheel (up to 20 gal)
3. Aqua Clear (up to 20 gal)
4. Aqua-Tech (10-20 gal)
5. Cascade (up to 20 gal)

As for hoods, I discovered that there are 2 kinds of lights. What is best for tetras, platiess, guppies, killifish, rasboras, danios, etc? Is it fluorescent or iridescent?

Next, what about a heater? How important is this? I remember having tanks roughly 10 years ago and never had heaters and my fish lived for over a year. If it is a must, what is the best kind to buy? Keep in mind that I am on a tight budget, yet I still want to try to find the best I can while not spending a fortune.

Lastly, I noticed in 2 of the local fish stores that there are foam inserts for fish tanks that are hand-carved and painted to resemble rocks. They cover the floor of the tank as well as the back wall. Basically, it gives the tank a rocky look. It's unlikely that I will get one, as I think it would take up too much space in a 10 gal. tank, but if I were to gain an interest, how safe would this be for my fish? I just can't see how having foam submersed in water can be a good thing.

Thanks again for the help. I really appreciate the prompt responses you all have given me so far. Its nice to have a place like this to ask questions!

Matt
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:51 PM   #2
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For the filters, I like the 2b myself.
For the hood, you want florescent if you decide you want some live plants. I'd stay away from incandescent.
For heater, a 100W would work just fine.
As for the background, are you sure those are for fish aquariums? You will usually find things like that in the reptile department. Make sure it's made for fish aquariums. If it is, then you are ok.
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:54 PM   #3
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As for the heater, those are tropical fish, and is best to keep the temp at around 78. Fish like goldfish and dojo loaches (coldwater fish), you usually don't need a heater unless the room gets too cold. So the filter and heater IMO is most important, then the hood and light and then background.
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:57 PM   #4
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Okay, sounds good. I have heart the Penguin Bio-Wheel is the best filter out there, but I wanted to make sure. The pet store actually had fish swimming in the tank with this background. I thought it was quite odd. In fact, I commented to my girlfriend about it and she just shrugged her shoulders.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:58 PM   #5
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I would go with the AquaClear filter instead of the Penguin. To buy these products cheaper, check out www.bigalsonline.com Even with shipping they are usually 50% less than the lfs.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:03 PM   #6
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For your filter I would go with the AquaClear 20 Big Al's has them on sale for about 12.00 now.
http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...721&pcid1=2885

I would just use the fluorescent type lighting IMO.

Yes you will need a heater, you will need about 5 watts per gallon. I would recommend the Vis-Therm also from Big Al's for about 15.00
http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...tegory_id=3055

The foam insert would help hold beneficial bacteria but with a 10gal tank it look to me like it would take up to much landscape and further limit the fish that you could stock.

As for your stocking list keep in mind the 1 inch per gallon rule. Guppies will multiple like crazy also. HTH

Good Luck
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:04 PM   #7
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I agree with Fishyfanatic, if you can, order from bigalsonline.com. I got my Emperor 400 for about 45.00 from them and they are at the lfs here for 129.95 (A big ripoff, IMO). More than 50% savings. And shipping wasn't very much either.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:09 PM   #8
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I was looking at other heaters, and the 50W were only rated for 5-7G. I'd probably go a little higher than that, like a 75W or 100W.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:25 PM   #9
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A 50 Watt Visi-Therm Stealth should be sufficient. The rule of thumb is 5 Watts per gal.
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:30 AM   #10
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If you shop at Petsmart, you can print their website price and take it in and most stores will price-match. You can get your stuff at huge discounts that way and not have to wait for the UPS guy to deliver your stuff.

My vote goes for the Aquaclear filter, Visitherm Stealth heater.

You can buy a VERY cheap hood that takes 2 incandescent lights and quickly convert it to an excellent compact fluourescent hood. Wal-Mart (and pet stores) sell screw-in compact fluorescent bulbs that give off great light for fish and plants. Wal-Mart is by far the cheapest for these bulbs at less than $5 each.

Plus, those tube shaped regular bulbs burn out ALL THE TIME and you will save money in the long run with the compact fluorescent.
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