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Discussion Starter #1
i have a 55 gal with 2 HOB waterfall marineland filters - i grow watersprite - albeit slowly - i am fairly sure that the high agitation rate of the waterfall is blowing off CO2 - i need filter advice - probably a cannister type with an underwater return to stop the surface agitation - so , whats a good entry level filter for me that wont break the bank ? many years ago i had an old undersize dynaflow with the external motor that worked great - but it died on me - tank isnt overloaded with fish - only 2 plecos about 10 inches each - thanks
 

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Hi surpera1,

I can't believe you didn't get an answer. Watersprite grows like a weed if it is getting what it needs. Let's cover some basics, tell me about your lights and lighting period, ferts and frequency, substrate, and CO2 method. With that we should be able to figure out what can be done to improve your plant growth. BTW, I'm old enough to know what a dynaflo is, as well as a Silent Giant.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
right now ? i know my lighting is inadequate - 40 watt grow light - plain gravel substrate - no co2 - no ferts - but i'm thinking that co2 is the limiting factor for me - my filters agitate too much - many years ago i had tremendous success with java fern with the same setup - except in a 40 long with the way undersize dynaflo filter - man that stuff grew FAST top to botom , back to front and out of the water and hit the glass - and that with no ferts , no CO2 , no special substrate , and only 1 fish in the tank , an angelfish - but at this point - i'm thinking i will upgrade one piece at a time and maybe i can hit that sweet spot again - if anyone ever tells you that java fern is a slow grower - well- it can be - but if conditions are right - it grows very fast - and so does water sprite - so - whats the filter for me ? i have read that eheim is awesome - i have also read that eheim sucks - about 50/50 - having never owner a cannister filter i really dont know - i'm ok with about $100 on a filter - and i want the return under the water to stop the surface agitation - one thing i do know - is that i dont want any filter catastrophes going on - and dumping 55 gallons in my living room - hhahahaahhahah - so - as far as you guys go - i am a total novice here - but - wow - some of the pix on this site - really awesome work - i know i'm talking to the right people - its gonna be a low tech route for starters for me - thanks
 

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I just switched to Ehiem classics filters. From what I have read they are the best. Did you try the Reviews button in the yellow menu bar at the top of the page?

I'm wondering why you think the CO2 is the limiting factor when you say you have poor light, plain gravel and no ferts? If your tank is not filled with mulm and you have few ferts what nutrition will be available for your plants?
 

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Sorry no one answered your question earlier.

TexGal has good points for you to consider....

with regards to filters, I haven't bought a new one in over a year. At one point the Renas were a pretty good bang for your buck, but I've heard they went up in price and are now similar price-wise to other cannisters - this is unconfirmed though so I would validate that before purchasing.

The eheim classics have overall been well reviewed. I think the other eheims with not-so-glowing reviews were the more recent models.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
oh - in response to an earlier post - its an old tank - up and running for several years now - plenty of mulm in the gravel - but i'm here to learn - i'm reseaching my upgrades
 

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that should be sufficient for a 55 gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok - do i have to worry about any siphon disasters with this thing ? hahahahaahaahahaha - i never owned one before - i sure wish i had that old dynaflow sometimes - the waterfall ones are great for fish - but not plants - ok - i'll order me up an eheim - yeah - it was - oh - 25 years ago when i really had it going on with the plants - i had water sprite out the wazoo - had to throw away double handfuls each week i had so much - i'm getting old
 

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The classics require manual siphoning to start it, but it runs without a hitch once you get them started. No worries about overflow/leaks if you use it normally....
 

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that's a pretty good deal :)
 

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Hi surpera1,

OK, let's try to figure this out. You grew Watersprite well in your 40 gallon long but are having trouble in your 55 gallon. Same light, more filtration, no ferts, plain gravel, heavier filtration now.

First looking a light: Physically, your 55 gallon is about 4" taller than your 40 gallon was. With the increased height about 50% less light is reaching the bottom of your 55 gallon tank compared to your old 40 gallon (inverse squared rule for light intensity). You didn't mention your duration, but your intensity is certainly a lot less than it was on your 40.

Ferts: You don't use them, and you have an inert substrate. So the nutrients that the plants need to grow must come from organic matter such as fish waste or decaying food. If you tank is a relatively new setup, there will be minimum nutrients available to the plants. Possibly when you grew plants well, the tank had been set up for a while?

Heavy filtration: If you think it is a problem, why not turn off one filter for a while and see how your plants do?

If it were me, I would do the following: increase my photoperiod to 12+ hours to try to compensate for the very low wattage light; dose with an all purpose fertilizer to insure there are nutrients available to the plants for growth; turn off one filter to reduce surface agitation. Decreasing your surface agitation will increase your CO2 retention and light penetration.

Just my thoughts, hope this helps!
 

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It also may be that the nutrients that are in your tap water are different now. Where I used to live there was plenty of phosphate in my water, I always fed 3xs a day and had a heavy fish load. I had easy plants. They grew well. I moved, switched water companies and it was not the same. ...then I went high tech.

I had Rena XP3's. I bought them within 6 months of each other. They died in the 3rd year a month apart. The motors went up. Not a good track record for the price, IMO. That's why I switched to Eheim Classics filters.
 

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Hi surpera1,

I'm sorry, I don't have any experience with the light on the link that you provided. That said, if you don't have any problems doing DIY, I might have an alternative.

I did DIY compact florescent fixtures. I bought my kits from Kim at AH Supply http://www.ahsupply.com/. He was very helpful in providing information for kits that would meet my requirements for the type of set-up and plants I wanted to grow. I made my own enclosures per AHS instructions. Then I installed the kits which included everything and came with very easy, complete instructions. I have AHS kits on my 45 tall and 30 gallon breeder and can grow just about anything I want.

The bonus was I learned the basics of lighting systems and got the 6700K bulbs I wanted instead of the reef type bulbs a lot of the commercial fixtures come with.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
6700 K bulbs ? do you like them better than the 9325 GE ? thats what rex grig recommended to me -
 

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I know you already got a canister but if this will help anyone else thought I'd post it up. If anyone thinks this would/ might be a problem in the long run or if it will even work I'm also interested. I also have a 35g I may plant later already has emperor HOB filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
thats a good idea - thats why i shut down my HOB filters - but now i dont even run a filter at all - in the wild they dont have filters - i may hook up the eheim mostly for some circulation though
 
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