How Do I Starting A New 56 Gallon Column Fresh Water

peter78

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Hi everyone,

I’m starting a new 56 aquarium. It has a cover and it came with a single strip led light. I plan to use black sand and I have some driftwood from the previous one. Other than that, I will have to come up with the rest of the equipment.

The current plan is to have some schooling fish and a planted aquarium. Kuhli loaches and some snails as well. I’m setting it up for kids.

I have two hob filters from the previous one, but I want to go with a canister this time. I’ve been looking at canisters online and there seems to be quite the difference in price. I hope that is justified in difference in quality but I also thought I’ll ask. I have been looking at at the Fluval 306, but there was also Sunsun for quite less. I can get the Fluval if it is worth it.

What do you think guys/gals think? My only concern is that I read somewhere that canisters tend to not run the water through the media, but around it, which is not optimal. I will appreciate any feedback. Also if someone thinks of a piece of equipment that I should get for my aquarium, please chime in. I’m not on a tight budget, but I would rather get equipment that is worth it.
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max h

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I don't know where you heard canisters run water around the media. If you have the money get Fluval, and even upsize it to the 406. Nothing wrong with over filtering.
 
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peter78

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I don't know where you heard canisters run water around the media. If you have the money get Fluval, and even upsize it to the 406. Nothing wrong with over filtering.
If I get to 406 I start thinking on two 206 filters to accommodate for a failure. What do you think? A bit less filtration with the two 206 vs 406, but then no worries if one goes out...
 

max h

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A 206 operating on it's own if the other goes out would be overtasked. I'm all for dual filters once you get around the 55 gallon size, but each filter should be able support the tank by itself. Meaning it has the gph as a single unit to take care of the tank.
 

BusterBot28

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Hi everyone,

I’m starting a new 56 aquarium. It has a cover and it came with a single strip led light. I plan to use black sand and I have some driftwood from the previous one. Other than that, I will have to come up with the rest of the equipment.

The current plan is to have some schooling fish and a planted aquarium. Kuhli loaches and some snails as well. I’m setting it up for kids.

I have two hob filters from the previous one, but I want to go with a canister this time. I’ve been looking at canisters online and there seems to be quite the difference in price. I hope that is justified in difference in quality but I also thought I’ll ask. I have been looking at at the Fluval 306, but there was also Sunsun for quite less. I can get the Fluval if it is worth it.

What do you think guys/gals think? My only concern is that I read somewhere that canisters tend to not run the water through the media, but around it, which is not optimal. I will appreciate any feedback. Also if someone thinks of a piece of equipment that I should get for my aquarium, please chime in. I’m not on a tight budget, but I would rather get equipment that is worth it.
View attachment 488221
Canisters run water through the media. And do you have a heater? You should plant the tank. It would look so good!
 
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peter78

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Canisters run water through the media. And do you have a heater? You should plant the tank. It would look so good!
I have an aqueon 250w from the previous setup. I started a 55 gallon sometime in 2016, it kinda never really took off, I was just way too busy with other stuff, I had to move last year, ended up giving up the tank itself, but kept some of the gadgets. I think this time I will get to have it running at full speed.

Planted is what I am thinking too. I was actually looking at co2 systems today. Here are couple things on my radar:





ISTA co2 controller and a reactor. I’ll source the co2 bottle locally. I know I will need a power cord with a timer. Am I missing anything for the co2 setup?

What do you guys think on uv lights?
 

max h

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If the light that came with the tank isn't capable of giving a high light level, CO2 really won't help that much. Most of the common LED lights sold with tanks only give off low light, so CO2 isn't needed. As far as an IR sterilizer, unless you have an algae problem it's not really needed.
 
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peter78

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If the light that came with the tank isn't capable of giving a high light level, CO2 really won't help that much. Most of the common LED lights sold with tanks only give off low light, so CO2 isn't needed. As far as an IR sterilizer, unless you have an algae problem it's not really needed.
I briefly browsed on lights too. I was thinking something like that:



My aquarium is 30 inch length....

So don’t go the co2 route? Not much gain from it?
 

max h

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I briefly browsed on lights too. I was thinking something like that:



My aquarium is 30 inch length....

So don’t go the co2 route? Not much gain from it?
Unless the light is a known high output light and you buy high light plants then there isn't much benefit from CO2 for the cost. There's plenty of plants that do well with low light and then just liquid ferts, root tabs, and a liquid CO2 compound. You could probably get a really nice LED 30" light for less money then that one.
 
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peter78

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So, is there a calculation for lights, something like watts per sq ft or lumens/par per sq ft? I want to be able to grow any plant. Tank is 25 inches tall.
 

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So, is there a calculation for lights, something like watts per sq ft or lumens/par per sq ft? I want to be able to grow any plant. Tank is 25 inches tall.
Some low light plants will burn if you put them in full on "high" light. So I do not think there is a light intensity that will grow "all plants." Some plants do grow better at higher strength lights, you need to choose the correct plants for the correct light.

A lot of this has to do with the depth of the plant. Bacopa in 5 feet of water gets less light than bacopa in 1 foot of water, with the same light intensity.

I got the cheaper sunsun filter. Run it without the untraviolet light if you want your nitrifying bacteria to live. I like the sunsun. I moved it to a smaller tank, and will move it again. It is a good filter even though it does not cost a fortune.
 

max h

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So, is there a calculation for lights, something like watts per sq ft or lumens/par per sq ft? I want to be able to grow any plant. Tank is 25 inches tall.
Before LED lights became popular watts per gallon was used. With the popularity of LED lights watts per gallon fell out of favor, these days PAR is actually used. A real good source for plant and light info is on Plantedtank.net I need to log back on there it's been almost 18 months since I really have been on that site. Life gets in the way sometimes.
 

Kalyke

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Before LED lights became popular watts per gallon was used. With the popularity of LED lights watts per gallon fell out of favor, these days PAR is actually used. A real good source for plant and light info is on Plantedtank.net I need to log back on there it's been almost 18 months since I really have been on that site. Life gets in the way sometimes.
The problem with these measurements is that they are all of the different things. PAR is photosynthetically active radiation, and it tells you if the plant will grow and make food (sugar) for itself. PAR does not tell you if your light is strong or weak. If you have a LUX/FC meter, you can usually tell, but I am not sure if they work underwater. (probably not). But that is the measurement for how intense a light is. Low light plants usually use 800 to 1500 (fc), medium 1500-3000 or so, and full light is considered high light. A summer day, full noon is 10000 fc. The watts per gallon measurements just tells you how many light bulbs you need to run your tank (forgive me if I am wrong on this one).

A full spectrum bulb includes the PAR wavelengths (400-700 nanometers) of the visible light spectrum are actually very limited, in other words, they do not include all the possible spectrum colors. It is absolutely crucial to plants that they get the correct blue and red, but the intensity will still burn them if that measurement is wrong.

A large aquarium needs high light especially when it pertains to the "carpet" because the carpet is farther away from the tank, and also because high light (full, unobstructed light) plants can take up to that 10,000 fc I mentioned above and where will you find that in a light bulb? So you go with the highest you can get.

On the other hand, low light plants are usually (in the wild) growing in shady forests, and they actually would shrivel up and die if they get too much sunlight. These are much easier for aquarists to handle because it means less cost in light bulbs and other things. I think the only alternative is to live in Florida or California or somewhere with the right year-round temps, and have a planted pond outside. All that light for free-- but you will notice in this environment, most greenhouses have some kind of light blocking shade cloth.

So what I am taking a long time to say is that you can't mix and match your measurements because they are of different, and not the same thing. It is not like inches and centimeters.
 
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peter78

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I guess bottom line with the plants is that I have to choose plants that have similar light requirements and then pick up a light.
 

max h

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Keep it simple, buy a decent LED light, there's plenty on the market at a decent price in the 30" width. Start with low light plants and work you way up to plants that need higher light levels. I have some that didn't really grown in my 55 when I had the old florescent light fixture, but they took off under a 6500k LED lights.
 
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peter78

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So I looked up some plants and I am thinking on Micranthemum Monte Carlo for a carpet, tall hairgrass for background and some Christmas moss to grow on the driftwood. I am thinking those 3 can live together....
I was looking at this light:
Finnex Ray2 Aquarium LED Daylight, 30-Inch

Will one be enough?

I also looked into this one:
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 CC Customizable Aquarium LED Fixture, 30 Inch

What do you guys think?
 
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peter78

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Hey guys, I got sidetracked with something but I am back on track. After looking into many options I have decided to go with Fluval fx4. I was wondering if the media coming with it is enough or should I look into some extras. The Seachem Matrix shows up as a possible addition, just not sure how much I need....
 
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