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Old 04-26-2005, 04:44 AM   #1
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Filter/lighting Q

I acquired a used 90 gal (48x18x24) that i'd like to set up as a planted tank. The tank came with an AC 500 filter and a NO 40 watt strip light. I have a few equipment questions regarding an additional filter and PC lighting for the future setup.

I realize I will need additional filtration. What would be the best option? I was looking at maybe something from the XP series or another AC 500. In anticipation of Eheim suggestions; it really isn't in the budget this year. I realize HOB's aren't recommended for planted tanks, but I plan to keep water levels high and I definitely want to use the AC500 that came with the tank. No sense in wasting it. If I opt for an XP, should I go for the XP3, or given the additional filtration of the 500 would an XP2 be enough? OR should I just get an XP3 and run it and try and sell the AC500 or save it for an emergency?

Lastly, PC lighting options. I'm shooting for 2wpg at this time as I want to avoid injecting CO2. I can get a 4x65 watt coralife aqualight for $280 CDN. Perhaps I could only run half the bulbs along with my 40 watt strip light and full power for an hour or 2 or if I get CO2 down the road. OR I could opt for an AHsupply 4x55 watt kit. What differences in quality can you see between the AH and coralife fixtures? What would you guys suggest is best option at this time or if you have any other suggestions feel free to pass em along?

Thanks again for any help you can provide.


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Old 04-26-2005, 07:46 AM   #2
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Congrats on the 90!

I'd run the AC and an XP3 if I had my druthers, because I can't see the XP being enough by itself, and the AC will provide more flexibility with filtration.

If you can find a 2x65w fixture, that plus your NO 40w would get you up there close to 2wpg. I think if you are handy you should go with AH Supply. You can even call them and explain what you have and what you want, and they can fix you up. I think their reflectors are superior and you'll get the most from the bulbs.

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Old 04-26-2005, 09:20 AM   #3
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I have an XP3 on my 75G goldfish tank and it seems to be plenty of filtration for me. I have an AC500 that I could be running with it, but it just seemed unnecessary. And HOB is only a problem on CO2 injected tanks - if you are not doing CO2 yet the AC is perfectly usable. I find the XP3 to be quieter and require less maintenance than the AC did though. Another AC500 will be quite a bit cheaper than an XP3, so its your call which way to go.

I don't know about the lights - I've used the coralife fixtures and am happy with them, but I've never seen the AH supply stuff. Everyone here seems to like AH supply though, so you are probably going to be happy either way. I have the coralife 2x65W over my 75G, and I had thought about keeping the 40W fixture with it at the same time, but it just seemed too crowded and looked kinda silly (no canopy).
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:21 AM   #4
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I use an XP2 on my 75gal planted tank. An XP3 would've worked too, but I"m not having problems.

I have, however, thought about adding a powerhead at the opposite end just for better current.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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