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abnormalsanon 06-09-2006 05:47 AM

Filter and CO2 for 30gal?
Hi all, newbie here :) I've had a planted 30gal tank with moderate success for about a year now. I'm in the process of redoing the tank. I've learned a lot on here in the past week or so, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and could use some expert advice!

I have an Emperor 400 and am not happy with it. I'd prefer something with less surface disturbance and more circulation in the lower half of the tank. Particularly since I'm using DIY CO2 and have high pH to begin with (7.6-7.8 )--I need that CO2! Is a canister filter overkill for a 30gal tank? What would you recommend?

I have DIY CO2 running in my tank, two bottles. I might be willing to spring for a C02 system in the future, but again, is that overkill for a tank this size? If not, what should I consider?

I'm not rolling in money here, but I am willing to spend good money to see this tank flourish. I just don't want to spend money on something I don't need!

hoppycalif 06-09-2006 08:04 AM

My tank is about that size. I use pressurized CO2 and don't regret it in the least. It is not overkill. I tried a Fluval 104 filter for a couple of months or so and didn't like the constant problems trying to keep the inlet open - debris, snails and leaves kept clogging it. And, the flow wasn't sufficient to keep up a good circulation of water. So, now I use a Maxijet 600 powerhead with a sponge on the inlet, with my CO2 tube stuck thru the sponge into the sponge support grid. I get a good CO2 mist throughout the tank, good, if not too much circulation, and no worries about clogging. After about a month this is working very well. I wouldn't try this with DIY CO2 because the extra surface movement does dissipate CO2, causing me to just about double my bubble rate to keep up.

abnormalsanon 06-09-2006 12:04 PM

Thanks Hoppy, that's good to know. I will look for that powerhead, or a similar model. I was thinking after doing some reading that a powerhead might be a better option.

Should I look at any particular CO2 system? I'm not mechanically inclined, so I'd prefer an "all-in-one" kit that I can just set up. But I suppose that costs a lot more (?).

hoppycalif 06-09-2006 01:07 PM

All in one regulators are the cheapest way to go - Milwaukee or JBJ brand, but not by a lot. Try Rex Griggs website for a much better assembly: You have to email him to order. While you are at his website spend some time reading up on the basics - it is all good information.

abnormalsanon 06-09-2006 01:21 PM

Thanks, this is really helpful. What about this set-up? Do you think it's worth the money?

trenac 06-09-2006 03:25 PM

On my 30G tank I have pressurized C02 (10lb) setup along with a Fluval 304 for filtration. Nether of these are overkill for this tank, works out very well.

I got the C02 cylinder from a local restaurant supply store and bought my regulator from our sponsor AquaBuys. I bought a clippard needle valve off of another member of this forum. The filter I bought from Big Als.

abnormalsanon 06-12-2006 03:44 AM

OK, I ordered this set-up. I'm psyched to get it! It seems reasonably priced with quality parts, and hopefully I won't have too much trouble getting it up and running.

Do I need anything else to go with it? Should I buy calbration solution? How does that work?

Now I just need to find a place that sells/fills CO2 bottles. There's a beverage distributor nearby that probably does.

hoppycalif 06-12-2006 06:38 AM

The calibration solution is for pH probes. You can get pH 7.01, 4.01, 10.01 etc. solutions and use them to set the probe so it is accurate thru its entire range.

DJKronik57 06-12-2006 12:59 PM

I went the powerhead route for my 29 gallon as well, using an AquaClear 30 with the quick filter attachment. I just popped the bottom out of the quick filter cage and put my DIY yeast CO2 tube up in there like Hoppy.

However, I think I will purchase a canister filter. The original filter material that came with the quick filter was clogged in a matter of days, and even now when I use coarse filter floss it needs to be removed and repacked every week to two weeks or flow really suffers and the tank becomes dirty. That and even in a 29 gallon, the powerhead and filter take up too much space and are too ugly. I will admit, it does make a perfect CO2 diffusor! :thumbsup:

Hoppy, do you have to rinse out your sponge to keep flow rates normal?

freydo 06-12-2006 04:26 PM

yes you will have to rinse out the sponge of the waste material. just run it under some running water and squeeze out that fish poop :p. just do that when you do your normal tank maintenance depending on how clogged it gets.

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