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Old 05-01-2012, 04:17 AM   #1 
Shirleythebetta
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new sorority setup advice

Okay, I got a 30 gallon long tank. I am planning on using sand. I am getting a new hood this week. This is my stocking plan.
15 females
6 albino cory
6 oto
2 mystery snails (maybe)

I have a choice of filters one is a Top Fin 40 and the other is a Top Fin 30

I also have two choices in heaters. Both adjustable. One a top light excel 300 watt the other is an unknown brand and what I believe to be a 100 or 200 watt heater. I need some opinions. I want to choose the best of what I have here. thanks
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:40 PM   #2 
sparkyjoe
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I have no answers cause I've basically got the same questions.

I will say that I've got the Top Fin 10 running on one of my 5 gallons & it's ok, but I find it a but loud.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:07 PM   #3 
MaisyDawgThirteen
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I'd use the 300 watt heater and the 40 gallon filter.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #4 
Shirleythebetta
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okay, 300w and 40g it is. Sounds good.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:52 AM   #5 
Thunderloon
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The Top Fin 40 is probably way too much jetting flow for the girls. It'd need quite a bit of baffling and the intake strength is high enough to harm any girls who perch on the strainer. The Top Fins aren't "bad" per se, they're just not well suited to betta. The main problem with a Top Fin is it is NOT a biological filter. I'd advise any combination of Aquaclear filters over the Top Fin and would myself prefer using an Aqua-Tech filter from Walmart instead of the Top Fin.

The 40, even with heavy biological additions, certainly isn't going to be enough to keep up with your stocking plans.
You've got about 38 to 45 inches of fish planned there in a twenty gallon tank. You'll be making around at least 20ppm nitrate per day at minimum.
At maximum you may end up producing 60 to 80 per day. Additionally you're dealing with overloaded filtration while the bottom develops and/or any stalls and reversals in the bacterial in the substrate. Heavily overloaded tanks with poor filtration equipment can go wrong very very quickly. For this kind of load you're looking at using not only additional biological capacity but I'd advise getting one or two "Tripple Flow" box filters filled with Seachem Matrix (http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...es/Matrix.html) under a hand-cut layer of filter material.

To maintain these levels of over-loading I use fairly hard core equipment and material:
My 15R sorority (20 girls, five fancy guppy, one black molly, 60 trumpet snails) uses:
Fluval Skimmer
Fluval 105 loaded with Fluval bio-nodes, ceramic rings and a spray-bar return running at about 40gph return
Lee's Tripple Flow Box filter with 1/2" bio-sponge and 3/4 liter De*nitrate (seachem)

My 10R Tetra community (30 tetra, 10 fancy guppy, one chinese algae eater) uses:
Fluval 206 loaded with Fluval bio-nodes, micro ceramic rings, fine filtration card, bio-pro 30 Marineland Bio-wheel return.
Established three year old NPT bottom consisting of inch of dirt, 3/4 inch of aragonite and light dusting of rock. 60% coverage by plant.
24 hour lighting on a rotating position.

The amount of nitrate produced per day in the 15R is dropping steadily because of the box filter.
The amount of nitrate produced per day in the 10R is 35. This tank has $200.00 of filtration and more De*nitrate than the 15R.

Before I start advising special solutions what are your plans as far as planting and ornaments?

Last edited by Thunderloon; 05-02-2012 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:20 AM   #6 
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Ah, forgot to mention, the 10R has around 350 trumpet snails of varying size.
They sort the bottom out for me and keep pockets from forming.
Probably the best freshwater snail to put in a tank.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:43 AM   #7 
Shirleythebetta
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It's actually a 30 gallon long (I believe a breeder?) and this particular filter will be baffled well. It also has a flow controlled intake valve. I do not like the fact though that it is not a bio filter. I don't like the idea of adding my own carbon. I do plan on natural plants and sand substrate for the cory's. I do need a little advice on plants that will do well in low light. My house is very dark, I have blacked out windows because of my husband working third shift and the only light they will get is from the bulb.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:43 AM   #8 
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I like the idea of the trumpet snails too. My hub wants a mystery so I am undesided on that as of yet.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:47 AM   #9 
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I'd set up with a mix of different wendtii/crypt plants. They transplant well at first.

I've continued to like a mixture of Seachem's Flourite, actual soil and CaribSea "Tahiti Moon" topped off with a sprinkling of 5mm color stone of choice when using Trumpets as part of my "natural" planting solution.

The trumpets tend to push the tahiti sand up out of the muck and the large rock up to the surface and they pretty much take care of all the mulm while they're at it.

Biggest tip I have about planting in aquariums is to never let the plants get exposed to air. Also keep in mind to make absolutely sure that all the rock-wool from store-bought plants is removed - this material can get lodged in the labyrinth and cause an irritation swelling leading to asphyxiation. I separate using one of my old ten gallons so there's room to work AND have the waste settle out.

A 30 long is large enough to actually do three pleasantly sized planting zones that can be kept separate with carefully fit dividers down in the substrate. It's roughly the same dimensional ratio as the 6.6 bookshelf tank if you're looking for decorating ideas.

I'd still advise a couple of box filters set to low flow rates. They're exceptionally handy for settling out fine dust by using floss and tight woven cloth media while the main filter takes care of the rest.

For that size of tank and biological load I'd deeply advise going ahead and getting a nice canister with skimmer and spraybar kit. Even if just a Fluval 106, because you can put the intake at one end and the output at the other and get an even full-tank flow without needing to add current generating equipment.

I've tried using dual filters, a big filter and even a penguin 350b on the 15R and while the 350b did a great job as a filter, it still left strong currents and stagnant areas in the tank.

There's a library article at Seachem about canister filtration and how many times more effective per gpm it is when done right that is worth a read. A pair of maintained airstone box filters will do just as much work as that Top Fin without producing the jetting flow that the girls will hate.

Once the natural bottom takes over the only reasons to have a filter are trimming extra load, surface agitation and emergency chemical removal.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:56 AM   #10 
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My dad actually switched recently to a canister. You gave some great advice on the plants. I will check into all of this. I also like the idea of having the flow from one end to another. You have some good knowledge on this stuff. Thanks. What would you suggest as an appropriate "photoperiod"?
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