Originally Posted by Nelsontreyjones
For filtration should I spend a little more money and get the Fluval FX6 now or would I be better of getting two Hydor Professional Canister 600 (1 at first and a second to add later). And for the lighting do you think I could get away with 2 36" Current Satellite Freshwater LED
Plus or should I just invest in a 72" BuildMyLED 10000K Planted - XB Series with the Suspension Mounting Kit and dimming unit. The BuildMyLED is about double the cost. I'm just nervous about the Satellites Plus not providing enough light but they are returnable vs the BuildMyLED.
I just started a 220 build, planted, and are going through some of the same considerations.
I had and really liked the Satellite LED
+ on a small 45G. I did a way to web-control it. Very nice light. I debated and hemmed and hawed, and finally went with 4 of the LED
+ 48", so there's a 2' overlap where the bottom is lit by 4. I'll know in a few months if it is really bright enough; attempts to measure with a camera and compare to the 18" in my 45G (with one) to the 30" in the 220 (with 2 at the end) shows them about the same brightness, but I have no idea if the same power.
But I could buy 4 x 48" of them for the price of 2 x 36" of the Ecoxotic E-series. And I wasn't sure how much control I would have over the BML lights, which I really like the looks of as well.
As a nice side benefit, the LED
+'s have a LOT of LED
's. The light is very even, including at the surface. I've seen some of the super-bright LED
's where the lights are 3" or more apart, and this makes for real bright hot spots near the surface. Not a problem for plants, but visually distracting I think.
Anyway... good luck deciding. For what it is worth almost everyone warned me against the LED
+ as not being bright enough.
Filters: I decided to go out on a limb, and bought two of the SunSun 404B's instead of a Fluval FX6 which is what I originally planned. I did it mostly because my 3 month old Fluval 306's flow is awful. And I read a lot of people having that trouble. So I was annoyed at Fluval at the time and decided to go this way. I ended up buying 3 of them (something like $95 each), and put one on my 45G and now have 2 x 404B and 1x306 on the new build, and it seems to have plenty of flow.
They are pretty cheaply made, and don't come with media, but they hold a LOT of media, and have decent flow (nowhere near their rating, but that seems to be true of all filters). I measured it at 30" height with no media and with media as almost exactly the same, at 278 gph
, with a 5 gallon bucket test (they are rated 525 gph
One thing I like about this approach is redundancy. If a FX6 failed and it was my only substantial filter, I don't know how quickly I could restore flow. In this way I've got decent flow if any one of the filters fail, and lots more time to fix it.
I'll stop rambling now.... Anyway... good luck.