Hardware suggestions for new 38 gallon tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by 1hawaii50, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. 1hawaii50Valued MemberMember

    I got a 38 gallon aquarium for Christmas and I'm looking for hardware recommendations to set it up. The tank is 36" x 19.5" x 12". Tell me if I'm on the right track here:

    Small, dark stone

    Flourescent hood

    Top Fin XP-60 air pump (dual outlet) with inline check valves added

    AquaClear 50, or 70 filter
    The 50 is for a 50 gallon tank
    The 70 is for a 70 gallon tank
    Would the larger filter be better?

    Marineland Stealth Pro heater (either the 150w, or the 200w)
    The 150w is recommended for a 45 gallon tank
    The 200w is recommended for a 55 gallon tank
    Which would be better for my tank?

    For decorations, my daughters got me some fake vegetation, and a small draw bridge. You hook the air pump to the draw bridge, and the bubbles cause the drawbridge to go up/down. I am going to run one outlet of the air pump to the drawbridge, and run the other outlet to a 5" flat air stone which I'll put either under the gravel, or under some fake coral that I'll also add.

    There is no air stone on the drawbridge, the air line goes right to the outlet on the drawbridge...is this a problem? Should there be an airstone there somehow?

    Am I on the right track with this hardware, or am I missing anything? I wouldn't mind getting a canister filter, but I have NO experience with one, and I'm not sure I have the money for it.

    Any feedback is appreciated.

  2. bettafish2816Fishlore VIPMember

    generally with equipment, larger is (usually) better :) however, the ratings on the filters are important, do you know what the GPH is on both of those (gallon per hour turnover rate)?

  3. JSKValued MemberMember

    I'm new at this, but one thing that I have read over and over on this forum is that it is almost impossible to over-filter, and very easy to under-filter. The rule of thumb that I have seen emerge from reading here is that for your filter, you want the GPH to be 10x the size of your tank for an HOB-type, and 5x the volume of your tank for a canister. The Aquaclear 70 has an advertised GPH of 300...which would still be a little less than you really want for a 38 gallon. I know this seems like a lot of filter, but this is what the experienced people on this forum seem to suggest. What I have learned is that the manufacturers grossly overestimate the volume of tank their filters are good for.

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  4. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    AC110 does 500 gph
    emperor 400 does 400 gph

    I'd go with one of these. I've heard very good things about both filters.

    I think with heaters, you don't really need to go with bigger, so I would think the 150 would be fine.

    I have a fluval canister, and it is great, but you don't have to have one. The AC's have an excellent reputation, and so do the emperors.
  5. 1hawaii50Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the suggestions. As far as the air pump goes, is it ok to have on outlet going to an air stone, and the other outlet going to the drawbridge?
  6. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello 1Hawaii. You should be fine running the air line to the draw bridge and a line to the air stone as long as your pump is strong enough.

    I can highly recommend the Aqua Clear (AC)110 with 500gph. I had to order mine on line as my local fish store (LFS) does not carry them that large. The largest PetCo had to offer was the AC 70. Think about the fish that you want to stock and then decide between the AC 110 and the AC 70. You don't want your fish being blown around the tank by the current. An AC 70 with 300gph may work just fine. I also have the AC 70 on my 26g Gold Fish tank. The water is crystal clear and these filters are so quiet I have to check to make sure they are running :) I ordered the AC 110 from drsfostersmith.com. There is link to them at the top of the page by On Line Fish Stores.

    Heaters: I love my Marineland Stealth Pros. Very accurate within 1 degree. ooooo Look at the pretty lights! teehee They have colored indicator lights glows red when it's heating and glows green when the selected temperature has been reached or surpassed. For a 38g, personally I would go with a 200w.

    Best of luck with your new set up. I hope you can share some photos with us along the way.
  7. DRock914Valued MemberMember

    The Aqua Clear 50 is rated for at most 50 gallons and you shouldn't by a filter for a tank that is its max capacity. The 50s should be used on 20 gallon tanks. My dads 29g uses an AC 70. Visitherms are also good heaters and will last a very long time. Hope this helps.

    I think your air pump will be fine going to 2 different things. You will need to buy one that will be strong enough to support 2 different things and I don't know what size pump that is. For a long time my dad had his air pump going to an air stone, space dog, and treasure chest until they stopped operating. I would recommend the fusion brand pumps because you will not ever hear them. I sleep 10 inches away from 2 pumps and they have never bothered me at night.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  8. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    I would say funding should be more of a determining factor than experiance when it comes to getting a cannister filter. I have a Fluval 205 in my 36 gallon tank. It works great, is easy to maintain and very quite.

    Oh yeah, I get the impression from your screen name that you live in Hawaii. I just want you to know that since I'm such a nice, giving person, that if you fly me out there and let me stay at your house for two or three weeks, I could really give you some good pointers on setting up a cannister filter.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  9. 1hawaii50Valued MemberMember

    I wish I lived in Hawaii. Sorry for the letdown, but I'm in NE Ohio where it is currently 20 degrees out with 2" of snow on the ground! My screen name is a play on the old TV series Hawaii5-Oh ( I guess now I'm dating myself). I'm a police officer and use that screen name on most of the forums that I'm registered on!. As far as the filter goes, the AC110 isn't much less than a canister (found it for $80 on sale), so I'm going to go back up to my local fish store and see what they have. drsfostersmith has a Fluval multi-stage 05 for $150, a Marineland multi-stage for $130, and a Marineland Magnum 350 Pro for $112. If I've read everything correctly, then I would want a canister filter that will flow at least 5x my tank size (at least 200gph)?

    I've been thinking about fish, and I definitely want a dwarf gourami (I'm torn between the fire/blue/honey varieties). I would also like some freshwater angels. I wouldn't mind a few gourami's, but from what I've read, they probably will not play well together. Other than that, I'd want a few cory cats and a couple of algae eaters of some kind (I know pleco's are too large for a 40 gallon tank). I would think that those fish would handle an AC110 without too much trouble? The dwarf gourami is a must, so I'm also open to fish recommendations too! I might as well get it all handled in the same thread!

    I'm hoping to have all of my hardware in place within the next week so I can start my fishless cycle! I cycled my daughter's 10 gallon and 2.5 gallon with bottled bacteria and fish. I lost a few fish along the way, but I still have 5 of the originals in the 10 gallon tank. I don't want to stress any of the fish now that I know better, so I'll put the filter media from the 10 gallon into the 38 gallon once I get it up and running (the 10 gallon filter is due for a change in the next week anyway).
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  10. 1hawaii50Valued MemberMember

    Also, the air pumps I'm looking at are rated for 60 gallon tanks or larger, and have dual outputs, so I don't need to use a tee.
  11. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    All of that sounds great. A Fluval 305's output is 186 gph, I think, so that might be a good option for you also, since it's really close to the 190 gph you need.
  12. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    You know, on second thought I can probably be just as helpful from my home!

    I got two DG's before I learned that they sometimes do not get along. I've been lucky in that they do seem to get along well with one another.
  13. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

  14. David CWell Known MemberMember

    For the heater wattage, you need to see how much you want to heat the water above your ambient room temperature. You need a larger heater only if you keep a cold house, otherwise the smaller heater will actually keep the tank a more even temperature. I keep my house cold in the winter to keep the bills down so I run an extra heater in the tanks to keep the temperature steady and remove them in the summer. I don't remember the exact wattages, but I think you keep the appropriate sized heater if you heat the water 6-8 degrees above ambient, but you go with the larger size if you need to heat it more than that.

  15. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I think you're off to a good start
  16. 1hawaii50Valued MemberMember

    OK, I just got an AquaClear 110 on sale for...$71 out the door...brand new. Now I just need to decide if I'm going to keep that, or go for a canister filter. I'm going to run back up there tomorrow and check out the canister filters that they have. They did not have a Fluval 305 in stock, they had the 205, and the 405. They do have a couple of Marineland canister filters, a magnum, and another one. I've just got to check the flow specs. If I get a canister, I need one that flows AT LEAST 190gph, correct?

    Thanks for the help guys, I appreciate it.
  17. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, 190 is good for a canister (although I did recommend the fluval 305, which is 4 gph short of that ;) )

    My 30 gallon has a 305 running, so it's actually 6x filtration. The tank stays clean, but the flow of water is kinda aggressive. I can't say about the other brands, but Fluval hs a thing on it I can push to reduce the rate of water flow. So the 405 would work for you if you are insterested in that brand. If it's too strong a flow, you can reduce it.
  18. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Stick with the AC110! It'll be MORE than enough for even a heavily stocked tank. One of the benefits of getting a larger AC like that is the flow control. 500 GPH is a but much for a 38, but you can turn the flow back so the fish can swim. With all the extra media in the AC110 and the flow rate turned back, it'll function very much like a canister.
  19. 1hawaii50Valued MemberMember

    We rearranged the living room to make a space for the new tank. I currently have it set flush against a wall. If I keep the AC110, I'll have to pull the tank/stand away from the wall a few inches to allow for the filter. That worries me having it set off the wall. I'm afraid it will get tipped over. If I go with a canister filter, I can leave it pretty much flush with the wall.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  20. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, a canister will allow that. I think you'll be happy with Eheim or Fluval. Not too sure about other brands. :)

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