Equipment for planted tanks, PROs and CONs


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 12, 2009
Nashua NH
Hagen GLO T5 24"

$129.95 LFS price sans bulbs, purchased in Salem, NH, USA, I've seen them online between 129 and 179.
Pros: Cheap and readily available from most LFS, comes with mounting legs as well as suspension kit (two j hooks and a chain), comes with waterproofing caps for the bulb ends.

Cons: Haven't found any yet.

Eheim Ecco 2264
$129.95-179.95 LFS price, available at petco, petsmart, and online.
Pros: Cheap, self priming canister filter, comes with two bags of the cheaper eheim canister material carbon pad, standard filter pad, and blue floss pad. Also includes necessary suction cups tubing, etc. Very easy to clean, as well as replace parts and media.

Cons: Very low flow system with a lot of bypass for a canister filter. Great Bio filtration, terrible mech filtration. Flow rate when fully loaded drops down to the area of 120-150 gph. Would not recommend for anything larger than a 30 gallon tank and even then, I'd recommend backup mech filtration or a prefilter, (system specific prefilter available from Eheim for around $15).


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 28, 2009
Hagen T5 twin tube.

local LFS suggested it for my first "real" planted tank and having had it a few monthes now I love the fixture. Very simple, set it and forget it.

Eco Complete substrate

also suggested as a planting base. very very easy to work with and have yet to find a plant that won't grow in it. particle size would be my only complaint from very fine particles to rather coarse crushed coral sized peices. But overall well worth the investment.

Flourish excel, Flourish ferts

easy to use, abit pricey if you have multiple tanks or larger systems. great for my 20gal. no problems with inverts in tank thus far. manageable growth, and nice color and substance to plants. liquid can be abit messy, but use a small syringe now.

All 3 great for the first time planted tank hobbiest. Been encourageing and easy to use/maintain. Deffinately reccomend for the starting planted tank enthusiest that gets boggled by the finer points of planted tank set-up. great stepping stone. All 3 where readily available threw Petsmart and local LFS.


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Sep 27, 2007
Seattle, Washington
Aquaticlife 72" 12x36" 39W t5HO fixture with 12 moonlight LEDs
700.00 LFS online prices about 780.00
Pros: Light fixture is great! With slots for 12 lamps, there is plenty of freedom to use varying temperature lamps to bring out the best both in plant growth as well as in the color of both the plants and the fish. Built in computer does fairly well for programming the timing of the lighting. This is the reason for the four out of 5 stars. Built in fans keep the fixture cool and are not intrusively loud.

Cons: There is only shut off and start up times for the three sectors that are controlled. 1st sector controls 4 of the 36" lamps, two on each side. The second controls the remaining 8 lamps, and the third the LEDs. It would be nice to have greater flexibility in which lamps are controlled, and it would also be nice to have more than one start up and shutoff option per sector.

Eheim Jager 250W, 300W heater.
29.99 (on sale regular price is 34.99)
Pros: Heaters work efficiently and have decent warranties. The feature that shuts off the heaters when water level drops is an invaluable addition.

Cons:I found that the advertised rating of the 300W being able to heat a 260g tank does not fit. I'm running a 250W and 300W on my 210.

2 Rena XP3 canister filters
Pros: These have been running for three years now, and I've never had a problem with either. Three large trays for media provide plenty of room for whatever you will need. (depending on the size of your tank)

Cons: I paid $100.00 for each of mine when I bought them three years ago. Now they are over $150 each. :(

Milwaukee MA957 Regulator kit

Pros: Inexpensive all in one auto regulator kit. I've been running it for three years and have never had any problems.

Cons: Needle valve is crappy. Fine tuning is difficult as a result.


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 13, 2008
plano texas
zoomed T5 h.o.(high out) light fixture.
used for two months, then sold it.

pro can't be the price, and it ready to use, just it out of the box and put the bulbs in. it also comes with free hanging suspension kit. it has two switches, one for each bulb so you could do a low to medium light tank, and then use both bulbs to do a high light tank.
cons - could use a better reflector, and I wish they would make six foot fixtures and I also wish zoomed would make 4 bulb fixtures too.

price $65.00 + tax. went in to a local petco and bought it but same price.
they make 24,30,36,and 48 inch

*** stars out 5. i will give it.


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Dec 8, 2014
Hoover, AL
I didn't notice anything about a FSB filter. They excel at filtration in planted aquarium because they do not wear off any CO2. I am currently in the process of plumbing in the TMC model #600 Fluidized Sand Bed Filter from I should have it up and running soon so I will update on how it functions and ease of use.