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Old 11-14-2012, 07:24 PM   #1 
Senshine
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Help making a 5.5g aquarium.

I'm putting together an aquarium for my mom's office for christmas. Originally I was going to buy a Fluval Edge, or Chi, or an Eheim aquastyle desktop aquarium but I did some reasearch on almost all available desktop aquarium kits and found they aren't the best for what I'm looking at doing.
I was to make an almost completely planted aquarium (all gravel covered in plants). If there is one that can grow many plants, do let me know!
I have the aquarium (5.5 gallons), a glass vera top, some fluval stratum for plants, and a natural very fine gravel.
I'm not sure what filter, heater, or lights to get, thats the main thing I need help with right now.
I'm going to have a layer of the fluval stratum and cap it with the gravel. I want to have a carpet of some sort, but can't have something so high maintenance as HC. I was thinking some sort of moss, maybe christmas moss but I'm not sure if I'll be able to find any.

So my main questions: (Keep in mind, I am in Canada)
What filter should I get?
What heater should I get?
What lights can I get that will grow a wide range of plants?
Is there a desktop set-up that will work to grow many plants?
What moss will look best for a carpet and how do I make it a carpet.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:38 PM   #2 
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http://www.aquamoss.net/How%20to%20c...oss%20wall.htm
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:07 PM   #3 
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For filters, you can't go wrong with an AquaClear 20 - they're excellent filters that have stood the test of time, seem to be built to never die, and are super customizable. I also have a Marina s10 Slim going in two of my 5.5 gallons and I really like it. It's very thin (though that does make it longer), the flow is very adjustable, and is EXTREMELY quiet if you prevent it from vibrating against the side of the tank. Only thing I'd change about it is that there isn't an option to get a filter insert without carbon, which can absorb fertalizers and nutrients that plants need, so you have to modify them to remove the carbon.

I just got a Fluval M50 and it seems to be doing a really good job keeping the 5.5 gallon it's in at an extremely stable temperature and it reflects the decor and plants around it. I got it on Amazon and it was way cheeper than getting it in-store.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:26 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurenmekal View Post
Will this stay down on the gravel by itselt or will it end up floating to the top?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pittipuppylove View Post
For filters, you can't go wrong with an AquaClear 20 - they're excellent filters that have stood the test of time, seem to be built to never die, and are super customizable. I also have a Marina s10 Slim going in two of my 5.5 gallons and I really like it. It's very thin (though that does make it longer), the flow is very adjustable, and is EXTREMELY quiet if you prevent it from vibrating against the side of the tank. Only thing I'd change about it is that there isn't an option to get a filter insert without carbon, which can absorb fertalizers and nutrients that plants need, so you have to modify them to remove the carbon.

I just got a Fluval M50 and it seems to be doing a really good job keeping the 5.5 gallon it's in at an extremely stable temperature and it reflects the decor and plants around it. I got it on Amazon and it was way cheeper than getting it in-store.
I'm concerned about the size of the AC20 since she has a limited space in her office, is the marina slim smaller? The heater is almost $50 on amazon and only $34 in petsmart, but I'm not sure I can spend that much on the heater.

I'm wondering now if It would be a better deal to get the 5.5 gallon starter kit. It is about $40, but I'm not sure what the max. wattage the hood has.
So far all the light fixtures that you attach over the glass hood start at $40 and up.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:29 PM   #5 
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Yeah, the Slim has a much smaller profile - it only extends an inch or so off the back of the tank, but it is about six to seven inches long. Which heater are you looking at? The one I was talking about is just under $20 on Amazon.

The 5.5 gallon kits that I've seen aren't horrible - it's an easy way to get the tank and a hood. I think the hoods can usually handle a 10-15W bulb. I think the filters that come with most kits are pretty big, though - a 5.5 kit I got a while ago came with a filter that is a bit bigger than the AquaClear but not as powerful. This kit on Amazon has a Slim s10 included in the kit, but it may or may not be the better deal depending on the situation:
[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Marina-Style-Glass-Aquarium-Kit/dp/B0035HBFWM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353014412&sr=8-1&keywords=5.5+gallon+aquarium]Amazon.com: Marina Style 5 Glass Aquarium Kit - 5 Gallons: Pet Supplies[/ame]
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:56 PM   #6 
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I use a 25W Hydor THEO submersible heater in my 5.5 gallon. I love it bunches. I've read nothing but great reviews on their models 100W and below. I plan on getting 2-3 100W Hydors for my 75 gallon.

I bought mine at PetSuperMarket for around $20.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #7 
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Originally Posted by pittipuppylove View Post
Yeah, the Slim has a much smaller profile - it only extends an inch or so off the back of the tank, but it is about six to seven inches long. Which heater are you looking at? The one I was talking about is just under $20 on Amazon.

The 5.5 gallon kits that I've seen aren't horrible - it's an easy way to get the tank and a hood. I think the hoods can usually handle a 10-15W bulb. I think the filters that come with most kits are pretty big, though - a 5.5 kit I got a while ago came with a filter that is a bit bigger than the AquaClear but not as powerful. This kit on Amazon has a Slim s10 included in the kit, but it may or may not be the better deal depending on the situation:
[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Marina-Style-Glass-Aquarium-Kit/dp/B0035HBFWM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353014412&sr=8-1&keywords=5.5+gallon+aquarium]Amazon.com: Marina Style 5 Glass Aquarium Kit - 5 Gallons: Pet Supplies[/ame]
I was looking at this one: http://www.amazon.ca/RC-Hagen-A781-F...3019835&sr=8-1
The length of the filter shouldn't be too big of a problem though should it?
I just feel like the aquarium kits look kind of cheap I dunno. What are your thoughts of other desktop aquariums? Like the fluval egde or the eheim ones, etc?
The problem with ordering online is that the cost of shipping is just as much if not more then the aquarium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
I use a 25W Hydor THEO submersible heater in my 5.5 gallon. I love it bunches. I've read nothing but great reviews on their models 100W and below. I plan on getting 2-3 100W Hydors for my 75 gallon.

I bought mine at PetSuperMarket for around $20.
I don't think theres a pet super market here, and I'm not sur I've ever seen it in any pet stores
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:16 PM   #8 
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*facepalm* Forgot you're in Canada. That explanes the price difference. I've had no problems with the length of the Slim on either of the standard 5.5 glass tanks I have them in.

I've personally never used any of the fancier desktop aquariums, but I know other people on the forum do - lol They can help you more on that than I can.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:50 PM   #9 
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Well if youre willing to shop online hydors are available online.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:11 PM   #10 
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I found the marina style 5 in two petstores here, for between $45-60. It says it comes with a 15W incandescent bulb, what watt of flourescent bulb can it handle? Are the elite heaters good?
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