Setup opinions wanted??

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New Member
May 16, 2024
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Trinity, Florida
So, Hello guys and girls! My name is Dave! I'm not a newbie , nor an expert, but have kept many tanks for the past 30 years. 2 months ago I moved into a new place and got a Lifeguard Aquatics ultra low iron glass 16 gallon clear glass bookshelf aquarium. I love it! It looks much bigger than 16 gallons being 33 1/2 inches wide! I specifically chose this size for where I wanted to keep it! photo attached. It is in an old wooden bakers rack, and fits perfect! I have 2 Fluval Aquaclear 50's on it and it is completely cycled after running for about a month. My issue is that when I went to do my first water change and filter maintenance, I realized that it was super hard to remove the media baskets on the filters due to the limited space! I made quite a mess, and was getting really pissed off!! LOL. So, I bought a Fluval 207 canister unit, but havent taken out of the box yet. I want to ditch the Aquaclears, although they do a fantastic job, but space is limited, and just run the 207 by itself underneath the tank in the cabinet. Asking for opinions on whether the one 207 will do as good of a job or better that the 2 Aquaclear 50s? The 207 will make routine maintenance much easier! Also if I do decide to ditch the HOB's, I will be placing all the media from the Aquaclears to the 207, so do you think it will have to cycle again? Or should it be ok? All opinions appreciated!!
If you place the AquaClear media into the Fluval it should keep the filter bacteria and you shouldn't have to cycle the tank again.

AquaClears used to have (and might still have) Ammogon/ Zeolite. It is a bag of white granules that remove ammonia. You don't want to use this if it has it. The sponges and ceramic beads are fine to use in any filter.

A Fluval 207 external canister filter should be fine for the fish you have.


You need a picture on the back of the tank to help the fish feel more secure. And some floating plants to reduce the light glaring off the white substrate.

Dwarf gouramis don't like too much water movement and like floating plants to hide under. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is a good floating plant.

Tiger barbs are fin nippers and cannot be kept with slow moving fishes or fish with long fins.

Mollies come from hard water (GH of 250ppm or higher and a pH above 7.0).

Tiger barbs, glow light tetras and gouramis come from soft water (GH below 150ppm and a pH around 6.5-7.5).

The tetras and barbs do best in groups of 10 or more. The gouramis are territorial and should be kept individually or in prs (1 male & 1 female).

The molly would probably like some company but they breed and produce lots of babies. Your fish looks like a female and could be gravid (pregnant). Depending on the GH of your water, I would probably get rid of the molly or put it in a different tank where you can give it harder water (if your water is soft).

The GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water supply can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).
Dwarf gouramis don't like too much water movement and like floating plants to hide under. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is a good floating plant.
Just piggy backing off this comment to address the OP.
Also salvinia minima, water wisteria, Amazon frogbit, water lettuce, red root floaters, hornwort, anacharis, guppy grass, among others.
In addition to providing shelter for the gourami, fast growing floating plants are great for water quality. Because they can access the CO2 in the air, they grow fast. Which means they suck a lot of nutrients out of the water. Nutrients for the plants are bad stuff that fish produce like ammonia. They also give the other fish shade and shelter.
Floating plants are the easiest live plants. All you need to do is add a little liquid fertilizer. And every once in a while, remove some so they don't overrun the surface. The low effort to great benefit ratio makes them well worth adding to any tank.
That's a nice looking tank and the solid-wood stand is awesome!
Here is what I would do...if you are definitely going to switch to the canister:
Keep the HOB's running for about a month while your new canister builds up beneficial bacteria. Test your water parameters. Remove one HOB and keep the second one running for another week. Test your water parameters and see what happens. Do partial water exchanges as you normally would during this time. This will also give you a chance to see if you really like the canister filter. Personally, I always have at least two filters in every tank. One of which is always a sponge filter. The overhead light looks great too. You might want to verify if those live plants in the tank are truly aquatic. Some of them look like Dracaena sanderiana which if so, will eventually die, rot and foul the tank. And, stock the tank lightly.
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Beautiful setup, it looks like it's going to be challenging to maintain tho.

if you can remove the stems from the filters and lift the case vertically so it has space to pass over the aquarium without tilting it, it could be doable.

But if you cannot remove the filters with the tank in place, It could mean a super pita to maintain your cases and pumps.

I think the idea of a canister filter is more than founded for your installation.

Beside this, I think you could hang your light right under the top part of the bakers rack to give it more space between it and the water surface, more space for floating plants. And also the fact that you could leave the light in place for maintenance is a great +

Gouramies will have a tendency to jump a little more with dense floating plants, Some loves to crash somewhere on the surface of the plants to take a nap under the light. It's present risk with open top tanks and gouramies.

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