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Old 12-04-2021, 11:00 PM   #1
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New Tank

I've had my 10 gallon tank for a while. It's doing okay, but it is kind of an eyesore. I got it for free from somebody. It's just a cheap tank with a waterfall type of filter and some rocks in the bottom. One of the bulb sockets is broken. I have three brilliant rasboras in there. For Christmas, my wife wants to get me one of those glow-in-the-dark setups with glow-in-the-dark fish because it is the top seller on Amazon. I'm not sold. I think glow-in-the-dark fish are unnatural and belong next to a lava lamp in some college dorm. I would like to upgrade my tank. I think I might like a different type of filter. I think I remember seeing something that can go on the bottom under the gravel that is supposed to be good? I dunno. Does that make sense? What else should I be looking for?

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Old 12-05-2021, 04:15 AM   #2
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I would first get a clear idea about what you want to achieve.

Are you wanting a new tank to replace your current one? A new tank and keep your current one? Or upgrade some of the equipment and aquascape in your current setup?

The filter you mention is called an undergravel filter. These are old school, not commonly used any more but still very effective. It would mean a complete tear down of your tank to put one in your current tank which would be disruptive.

Glofish arent to everyones taste, and are actually illegal to keep in many countries as they are genetically modified fish. They are not very hardy fish either. We get a fair amount of posts about why are my glofish dying? Usually these threads start appearing around school holiday time or shortly after christmas.

Maybe a natural looking planted tank is something a bit more grown up you might consider? Or go marine? We really need some more information on what you want before anyone can give some direction. Space available, budget etc?
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Old 12-05-2021, 01:23 PM   #3
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I agree with you 100%, glofish belong beside a lava lamp in some kids bedroom lol.

This day and age filters have come a long ways from what they used to be. I remember maybe 25 years ago when undergravel filters were the in-thing, you just don’t really see them around anymore these days.

Do you have any live plants or plan on having any live plants? Undergravel filtration would not be ideal for a live planted tank.

But we need a little more input from you, what your thoughts are and what direction you plan on going (a whole new setup or just spruce up what you’ve got)
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Old 12-06-2021, 12:13 PM   #4
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I'm thinking about a whole new setup. My wife just popped it on me, so I didn't think it through. But I want take take advantage. I want to stick with fresh water. I don't have plants, but maybe it would be nice. I like a natural look. I like my rasboras. I used to have some sword tails that I really liked.

I pretty much just want a nice tank that isn't all cheap black plastic and sloppy beads of silicone. Nice light (hard to do much worse than what I have). And for the filter my only real complaint is the noise if the water level drops too much. But if there is something that would keep the tank cleaner for longer, that is an obvious plus. I don't know what I don't know. I don't have an air pump, so I always figured the waterfall did double duty.
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Old 12-06-2021, 12:34 PM   #5
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For a beginner i like fluval setups. They tend to come with everything you need, fluval products are everywhere so if you want to upgrade a particular piece of kit you can easily find something compatible, or if something breaks you can easily find parts.

For something smaller that can sit on an existing sturdy table there is the Flex range. Except for a heater everything is built in on these tanks and they come in 3 sizes. Although the larger of the 3 i would recommend getting the cabinet.

https://fluvalaquatics.com/us/flex/

For something a bit bigger there is the Roma range. Comes with a good light, filter and heater. I would get the cabinet for these as well.

https://fluvalaquatics.com/uk/roma/

There are endless possibilities depending on available space and budget.
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Old 12-06-2021, 12:40 PM   #6
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I'm sitting on a sturdy side table that matches the rest of the dining room set.
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Old 12-06-2021, 01:05 PM   #7
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20 gallons is the maximum i would put on something not specifically designed for it. That would cover the 2 smaller flex aquariums. Remember you arent going to be sat on there constantly for the foreseeable number of years and you dont explode in a torrent of water all over the floor if the table collapses beneath you at some random point in the future. Entirely up to you of course how much risk you are prepared to take.

And its not just risk of collapse. If the table just flexes and goes off level this can cause seams to fail and again cause water all over the floor.
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Old 12-06-2021, 01:41 PM   #8
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I’d have to agree there, a loaded 20gal tank is going to weigh close to 200lb by the time you add up the water, tank, substrate and accessories (160lbs just water alone). Make sure you have something structurally sound and has a good solid and flat surface to avoid stress points on the tank.

As far as filter noise goes you have to pick your poison there. About the only thing that is going to run silent, even when water level drops a bit is going to be an in-tank filter. But filtration is limited and it eats up valuable real estate inside the tank. They can be mounted low enough that the discharge won’t come out of the water and some have provisions for drawing in air so they act like an air bubbler also (so you’ll still get the surface agitation needed, without having to listen to an air pump rattle around)

Depending on how dry your air is (evaporation rate) I find that an hob works just fine. I fill up the tank fairly high and it runs dead silent for close to 2 weeks before the water has dropped enough for it to start making noise. By that time you should be doing a water change anyways
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Old 12-06-2021, 03:16 PM   #9
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I think 10 gallons is perfect. I was imagining something with frosted glass accents and brushed nickel trim on a teak base with intricate wood inlays. But that might get expensive.

Now, my best idea is keep the tank, but put a glass top and some snazzy lighting. Maybe something that hooks up to my google home network. And I'll just upgrade to a new HOB filter. I didn't check, but I assume I can put a HOB filter on a glass top.

Talk to me about putting a heater IN the filter. I ran into that and it sounds like a great way to get rid of a random thing with a wire in my tank.
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Old 12-06-2021, 04:23 PM   #10
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Ive never seen a HoB filter with integral heater. Doesnt mean they dont exist though. Canister filters sometimes have integral heaters or with canisters you can fix inline heaters onto the hose. Canister is a bit overkill for a 10g tank.

One of the good things about those flex aquariums is everything is hidden in a sump at the back.

Also you would have to cut any lid around a HoB. Might be tricky with a glass lid. We dont use HoBs much here in UK, so there may be a technical solution im not aware of.

If you wanted something more stylish then how about a Waterbox 10g cube aquarium? I think they look really swish and as the flex everything is hidden in a rear sump.

https://waterboxaquariums.com/products/cube
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Old 12-06-2021, 08:50 PM   #11
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A suggestion for figuring out what you want. Google aquariums and hit "images". Try it with "beautiful aquariums", natural aquariums, cool, unusual, etc. You'll start seeing a pattern in what you like - rocks, live plants, color, open spaces, lighting, decor. Lots of beauties out there and also videos of people explaining how they achieved the look they were after.
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Old 12-06-2021, 10:44 PM   #12
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A lot of the glass tops I’ve come across have a clear plastic strip across the back that attaches to the glass. You trim this plastic piece to allow room for filters or whatever you want

I haven’t come across any hob filters sized for a 10gal that have or can be used with a heater. I’ve seen 100gal+ sized hob filters that people have put small heaters into. I don’t believe this is going to be an option for a smaller setup, like mentioned the closest is probably a canister filter with an integral heater, but again wayyyy overkill for a 10gal, even a 20.

If you can find a small hob that has, or can be used with a heater that would be your best bet, but some aquascaping can hide a heater pretty easily. If your happy with the physical aspects of the tank you already have, it makes sense to just do some upgrades rather than tossing it to the side and starting over.

I’m not sure if there’s anything out there for fancy lights that you can use with google home (other than using a smart plug to just turn the light on and off). I’ve got an aquasky on my new 75g setup and it’s pretty nice. It’s not a ridiculously bright light but it’s enough to grow low-tech plants if wanted and you can set up lighting schedules with an app on your phone. You can make it as simple or technical as you want, just simple off/on timers or different levels of light at different times of the day and simply just turn it on or off from your phone.
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Old 12-14-2021, 11:19 PM   #13
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Really not finding what I'm looking for. All the cool looking tanks seem to come as kits with integrated filters and stuff. I was hoping to mix and match high quality standard parts kind of like building a custom computer. Fish tanks don't seem to work like that.

I'm not a fan of the black plastic hoods. If I can't make a glass top work, talk to me about leaving the top off completely. I'm not worried about fish jumping out. And adding little more water isn't such a big deal, I guess. Maybe that would be a cleaner look. Easier to feed and clean. A little extra humidity in the winter. I sort of like the idea of just having a small light on an arm (clipped to the back) instead of a bar that goes all the way across. That looks a little more elegant and easier access. But is the amount light far inferior? I'm definitely warming up to the idea of trying some plants, so I want to make sure the light will work for that.
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Old 12-15-2021, 12:04 AM   #14
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Nothing wrong with no lid, of course evaporative water loss will be higher but really is that even an issue lol

If you don’t have jumpers in the tank, I think the no-lid setups look very nice, especially with plants that extent above the water line.

As far as a light that will work with a planted setup, it’s definitely doable. Lots of people have planted tanks with the clip on lamps. Of course you’d want one that’s pretty high watt for the size of tank, or just low tech plants that don’t really require a lot of light and you should be Golden.
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