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Old 03-22-2005, 02:15 PM   #1
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New 15T setup Qs: Filtration and Fish

Hi all, I’m new to the group. I’ve just purchased a new 15T tank, and have a few questions. I’ve had FW tanks in the past, the largest being a 37 gal with UG/HOB filtration. I had a female betta, some goldfish, and some white clouds in there, and they all did great. I really enjoyed the betta, and she lasted around 2.5 years. Who knew a little fish could have so much personality, and be such a good jumper?

Anyway, my fiancé says 15T is the largest tank he’ll let me get. I’ve built a stand for the tank, but I have a MAX of 3” behind the tank for stuff. (The stand was built to match the depth of the adjacent shelving unit.)

After reading many negative comments about UG filtration, I’ve decided not to use it for this tank. (although I never really had a problem, but yes, it does get dirty under there.) Q1: How much gravel do I need, since I won’t be using UGF?

I’ve purchased a standard flo hood for the tank (no, I don’t plan on real plants), but then heard about the Eclipse hood system, and I ordered one online. I really like the idea that everything is above the tank in a neat setup. But I keep hearing that they aren’t such great filters (i.e., the water passes over the media, not through it), and I’m concerned that I won’t be able to get my arm in there without removing the entire hood, which sounds like a hassle. Q2: Do you all have any experience with the Eclipse hoods/filtration systems? It’s on the way, but I can return it.

My alternate plan is to get two small filters: maybe one AquaClear mini (according to specs, it’s good for up to 20g tanks, and my lfs recommend it), and a Whisper Internal PF 2-10i. Q3: Do you guys think this setup would work? Is it silly, to use two smaller filters instead of one larger one? Or would two Aqua Clear minis be better? Are the Whisper internal filters good ones? And what about canisters? Is that just overkill for such a small tank? I think I could get a used one reasonably priced on Ebay… but I’ve no experience with them.

Q4: cycling. Can’t I just use one little hearty fish? I mean, staring at an empty tank for a month is just depressing.

I want to have at least one female betta, and some other various tropicals. (yes, I’ll get a heater). Would zebra danios work? They’re cute and active… I tend to like colorful fish…and maybe one relatively larger fish would be fun, too. Q5: Do you guys have any recommendations?

I’ve been impressed with the level of expertise on this forum, and look forward to your comments.


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Old 03-22-2005, 02:45 PM   #2
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Q1: How much gravel do I need, since I won’t be using UGF?
In general, 1 lb per gallon. It may very, depending on your dimensions. Start with 10 and go from there. You should have about 2 to 2 1/2 inches of gravel on the bottom.

Q2: Do you all have any experience with the Eclipse hoods/filtration systems? It’s on the way, but I can return it.
We have a 29 gal Eclipse tank and absolutely love it. You don't have to remove the hood to get into the tank. The back flap pulls back and exoses the filtration unit. Then the front flap folds back and exposes about 2/3 to 3/4 of the top of the tank. I'll warn you though, turn off the lights on the hood before you do this. They are nice beacuse it's like having a canopy/filter/light set all in one.

Q3: Do you guys think this setup would work?
You can NEVER overfilter. I don't know about adding any other filter to the eclipse system unless it's an internal filter. We haven't had any problems with water quality and we have the standard filter that came in the hood. There isn't room on the back of the tank to add another filter unless its internal. It's not bad to have two different filters in the tank. It will give you more flexibility.

Q4: cycling
It may be depressing, but your fish are not exactly happy being in an uncycled tank. Try to get your hands on some Bio-Spira. That works WONDERS for cycling. OR, find a friend that has an established tank. That will also speed up the process. The betta won't be too bad going into an uncycled aquarium considering the fact that most people have them in a bowl, without a filter. I'm sure I will get many groans from that statement but I cycled my 5 gal hex with the betta.

Q5: Do you guys have any recommendations?
Yes the Betta and Danios will work together. Mollies and Tetra's would also be an option.

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Old 03-22-2005, 04:48 PM   #3
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I have had no experience with either the eclipse or the whisper brands. I do use a fluvol 1 internal filter and it's a good little filter. Easy to use and maintain and it can also be placed at the top of the water level to add surface agitation. On the gravel I would say that 10lbs will be plenty. Seeing as how the 15t and a 10g have the same footprint it should give you the 2"+ required. As for the eclipse hoods/filter, again I haven't used them but that is becasue they have got some "bad press" by some who say just what you said about the water just flowing over the filter media and not through it. After watching one in operation at my LFS i could see the water just running right over it and back to tank. Good luck with the new tank and one last thing you WILL be much happier if you do the cycle. It'll give you a healthy start and the fish will love you for that...
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:04 PM   #4
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I only have an Eclipse 5 gallon hex with a betta in it, and I haven't had any problems with the filter. I can't tell you anything about the larger Eclipse setups though. If you decide to skip the Eclipse and go with a HOB filter, the Aquaclear is a great choice. I use them on 2 of my tanks and they are very quiet, customizable, and easy to use. My suggestion would be to bump up to the next size, as it filters 150 gallons per hour and IMO would be perfect for your tank. Then you wouldn't need the internal filter at all. I can't remember the name of that model though (they changed all the names). If you go with the Aquaclear you don't need to buy filter cartridges like you would with the Eclipse system, you can just rinse your sponge in old tank water every once in a while when you do your water changes. You would need to replace the carbon inserts though, if you plan on using them. HTH

oh, and WELCOME!
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:38 PM   #5
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yes, I am one of the proponents of using a small amount of hardy fish to cycle the tank, but to do it humanely you need very few fish and a lot of patience! And you need to pick a hardy fish that you like, since it will plan on living there after it has done the cycle for you. If you were to start with two hardy fish like 2 danios or 2 platies, and you were to feed very sparingly once a day, It would take about 7 weeks to cycle the tank! Then, after the tank was cycled, you would have a biofilter that can only support two fish, so future additions would have to be done in small increments, one to two weeks apart. Since you can only have so many fish in a 15 gal tank, choose your cycle fish wisely. But as you say, at least you would have fish to look at while you were waiting. If you are interested, check this out: http://home.comcast.net/~tomstank/to...s/page0017.htm

If you don't have the patience required to cycle with fish slowly, and the willingness to do lots of water changes if things go wrong, then go with fishless ammonia, Bio-spira, or a heavily seeded filter from an established aquarium.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:01 AM   #6
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For filtration, I would go with either the AquaClear or the Eclipse hood. I would probably also go with the AquaClear 30 -- this one filters at 150 gph. But I don't know if your max depth of 3 inches will accomodate the filter.

With the Eclipse hood, you won't have to leave room for a filter behind the tank. I have an Eclipse 5 tank like severum mama, and I like this Eclipse filter very much. If you have ordered the hood, wait and see what you think when it comes in. I was impressed with my Eclipse tank and hood. It's absolutely quiet and easy to maintain.

I wouldn't recommend the Whisper 2-10i for your 15 gallon tank. I have this filter in my 2.5 gallon QT tank. I do like it very much for this small tank, but for your bigger tank, I think the AquaClear or the Eclipse hood are better choices.


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