Equipment for planted tanks, PROs and CONs

Lord Barium

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
May 30, 2007
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Monday
Hydor Koralia Water Circulation Pumps
Pros: Doesn't generate any heat, powerful, quiet, scatters water instead of blasting it in one small area.
Cons: None
Cost: fron 35$-80$ (also depends on where you buy it)
*****
 

hillbilly

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Nov 25, 2005
1,864
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63
Western North Carolina
Lord Barium;1927762; said:
Hydor Koralia Water Circulation Pumps
Pros: Doesn't generate any heat, powerful, quiet, scatters water instead of blasting it in one small area.
Cons: None
Cost: fron 35$-80$ (also depends on where you buy it)
*****
I just bought two Hydor Koralia 1 pumps. They work great, but I found the power cords are way too short for a deep tank. Definite con. I'll have to purchase extension cords to run them in my 31" deep tank. On sale for $28.99 each at Petsolutions.com
 

jcardona1

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jun 5, 2007
11,506
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South of Heaven
Ok guys,

Got my light in today and I must say that overall first impressions were very good! Catalina Aquarium is based out of Sacramento, CA and they build all their lights in house.

I purchased their 4ft 4x bulb Solar T5 HO fixture that puts out 216 watts (54x4). This light is regularly priced for $275 but for some reason its been on sale for $149 for a while! The light sells w/o the mounting legs which are an extra $10, but when I called and asked about the legs, the guys said he'd throw them in for free :) The lights ships with two 10,000k and two actinic bulbs. I asked for the actinic to be replaced with four 10,000k and there was no problem with this request! I should have asked for two 6,700Ks :nilly:Here is the direct link: 4ft Solar T5 Light

The light is built very solid and sturdy. Its made out of light weight aluminum and the ends are plastic. I'm not sure how I feel about the clear plastic mounting legs, but they are very effective and very sturdy. I'm thinking of painting them black but i'm not sure yet.

The light has two switches and two plugs which is a nice feature. The reflector is a fairly thick piece of a metal material that is bent to create individual reflectors for each bulb, its shaped like this: \_/\_/\_/\_/ Of course, this isnt as good as the true individual reflectors of higher priced lights but for $149, i think its good enough. The light is amazingly bright, it lights up my whole living room!!! im positive it will be more than enough for my planted 55g. The fixture gets warm, but not too hot. It does not come with fans but does have the cut-out if you decided to add a fan.

Their website says they use "Work Horse 5" ballasts and come with a 5 year warranty - Nice!!! SO, id say im very happy with the purchase and id recommend them :thumbsup: reviews ive read about Solar lights are all positive, so im not too worried. only complaints ive heard is their customer service. but that doesnt really bother me. i dont ask for much. as long as i get what i ordered and it arrives quickly, and its not a piece of junk, then im happy :)

here's some pics. enjoy! let me know if anybody has any questions





















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WyldFya

Baryancistrus demantoides
MFK Member
Dec 23, 2005
20,791
64
132
Moscow, ID
One major downside to that fixture, is that you will have to put in a barrier between the bulbs and the water. Otherwise, that fixture will be dead in a couple months. That unit isn't sealed for humidity, which will mean shorts, which can cause fires, and easily wind up costing thousands.
 

jcardona1

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Jun 5, 2007
11,506
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South of Heaven
yeah i noticed that. it appears to have a rail for adding a splash guard, but do you think i could just add two rectangular pieces of acrylic to lay over the openings of my tank?

would that address the problem you think?
 

WyldFya

Baryancistrus demantoides
MFK Member
Dec 23, 2005
20,791
64
132
Moscow, ID
It will help, but it isn't the best option. Make sure if you use acrylic, use cast acrylic, otherwise it will likely warp, allowing humidity to escape.
 

Yokomo99

Feeder Fish
Aug 27, 2008
4
0
0
Hamilton, Ont, Canada
I have been using an Aqua Medic Reactor 500 CO2 diffuser for a couple of months now and I am very pleased with it's operation.
****
Pro's - Very few CO2 bubbles escape without being absorbed. Disassembles for easy cleaning with the included brush.
Con - Requires an additional 125 to 250 gph water pump for operation.
 

Sorine

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Sep 20, 2008
6
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0
Moscow, ID
jcardona1;2056440; said:
Ok guys,

I'm not sure how I feel about the clear plastic mounting legs, but they are very effective and very sturdy. I'm thinking of painting them black but i'm not sure yet.

I would suggest using a vinyl dye instead of a paint for the support legs. It will actually permeate the plastic/acrylic and be less prone to chip, crack or degrade through general wear and tear. Just a thought.
 
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