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Re: filter question

I need to get another filter so I can use the Emperor 280 on another smaller
tank I'm setting up.  After digging thru the archives I have yet to find
anyone against the Eheim filters (at least the Pro II's).  I'm thinking that
I'd like to get one of the 2028's (it's likely a LITTLE bit of overkill for
a 30gal tank but it seems like a good investment for when i get a bigger
tank), but I'm a little confused as to where to buy it from.  I see that
there are a few Vancouver (2010 - yeh!!!!) people floating on this list that
might be able to point me in the right canadian direction here.  Big Al's
has the 2028 with media listed for US$199 on the american side of their
site, and on the canadian side they list it for CDN$469.  I know the
canadian dollar is pretty lousy, but that's just a ridiculous exchange rate.
Since I haven't ordered from Big Al's before is it possible to order from
the american side and get it shipped to canada? anyone else sell these
filters in canada at a reasonable price? or help???
Eheim makes a very good filter. Not very cheap, but very good and very long-lasting (mechanically). No idea if Big Al's will sell the US side prices to Canada. I don't know why they would have such big price differences. I think they *are* a *Canadian* company too. Strange. You could try MOPS (Mail Order Pet Shop)

I'd also like to rip out the UGF in the tank.  I think it actually does
pretty good, I can see the difference in water quality with it turned off,
but I don't like the look of the powerhead in the tank.  I'm thinking it's
probably a good idea to tear the tank down after I get the new filter
settled in.  That way I can replace the epoxy gravel.  I'm thinking of using
Seachem's Flourite for the job.  From what i can find it seems to be about
the easiest and safest ways to go.

You could also just turn your UGF off and cap off the lift tubes. I did that in some of my old tanks and did notice that the plants seem to do better when the UGFs are not running. If you're going to tear your tank down completely anyway then the Flourite will make an excellent new substrate. I'd put a bit more in than the recommended 2" though to allow more rooting area for the plants.

I think I'm going to make my own here, that way I can get the ballasts out
of the road and down below my tank.  2x36" fluorescent tubes was my plan.  I
see that people don't always recommend using the fluorescents from LFS's.
They are pretty expensive (~$30 each).  What do people here recommend for
tubes.  I've seen the GE Plant/Aquarium bulbs at canadian tire for about $6
each.  Has anybody used these before?  Thoughts???

The bulbs that the pet stores sell tend to be very overpriced. Many people on the list are using either Power Compact Fluorescents (PCFs) such as those from AH Supply (http://www.ahsupply.com), normal high-CRI high-color-temp fluorescents such as the GE Chroma 50's (which are available from Grainger among many other places), or even some Metal Halide (MH) users like me. I actually have a mix of PCFs and MH lights. Since it's difficult to get enough light from an unmodified stock hood, you may be better off just getting one of AH Supply's brite kits and installing it in your existing hood. The installation is simple and they have a good selection of bulbs. Most of the good "normal" fluorescent bulbs are going to be available in 48" lengths (standard commercial size), with fewer available in 36" and fewer still available in 24". For both bulb availability and light intensity you will probably be better off with a PCF setup. If you are going to use your dual 36" fixture than your best bet is probably to go to Grainger's web site and look at their light bulb table and pick the best light available that will fit in your hood. Something with a 5000K-6500K color temp and a CRI greater than about 70-80 should work fairly well.


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