newbie question: what to do with a pre-drilled 40 breeder?

RocksteadyGirl

Junior Poster
Mar 7, 2009
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dear everyone,

i'm somewhat new to the hobby. about seven years ago i had several planted tanks, mostly amazon swords, and was breeding rams and apistos at one point, but i ended up selling all my gear and getting out of the hobby because i had to move. i've missed having a planted tank, and am getting ready to set up my first aquarium since 2003!

here's the deal: someone gave me a 40 gallon breeder, pre-drilled, with a pair of holes at the top of the tank. one hole has a bulkhead. here's a picture: http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a91/ReadyRocksteady/breeder40.jpg. here's another picture: http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a91/ReadyRocksteady/breeder40-a.jpg

the guy at my LFS suggested i get a canister filter and use the holes as input and output. very easy. but i don't like the idea of having such a low, visible water line, and i don't like noise. i want a pretty tank, above all, not a high-tech one. should i go with the canister? or should i try sealing up the holes somehow and using a HOB filter? i've used aquaclears in the past and love them. or should i try to sell this tank and get one without holes? please advise!

my goals for the tank are very modest: i want to grow some easy plants and have some tetras swimming around. low cost, low stress. i might fiddle with diy co2 injection or fertilizing with excel, but i'm not planning on getting fancy. for the substrate i'm thinking of doing a layer of peat underneath a layer of plain sand. and of course i'll need another lightstrip or two.

here are some pictures of my past tanks (with some wildlife photos and cats thrown in): Animals - a set on Flickr

many thanks in advance!!
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
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Sacramento, CA
I suggest you spend some time reading http://www.barrreport.com/articles/433-non-co2-methods.html and following that method with your tank. Above all else, to meet your goal of low cost and little fiddling around, limit the amount of light you use - don't get a T5HO fixture of any wattage. T5NO fixtures are alright, but stay under about 50-60 watts or so.

A canister filter is a lot less bother than HOB filters, primarily because they need less maintenance. So, I would use the two drilled holes for bulkheads, and do as the LFS guy suggested. Canister filters are not very noisy, and probably less irritating than HOB filters are.
 

RocksteadyGirl

Junior Poster
Mar 7, 2009
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thank you, VaughnH. i must admit i'm a little scared of canister filters because i've always used HOBs, but maybe now is the time to try new things.

and thanks for the link. very helpful! i was thinking of going with two plain old 36" light strips with standard fluorescent bulbs -- should be about 50-60 watts that way. or maybe just go to the hardware store and get a shop light, if i can find one that isn't too ugly.

i had a nice little soda-bottle co2 system going once upon a time. no idea how much co2 it actually produced, but it made me feel like a mad scientist every time i shook it up!

many thanks again,
rg