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I will soon be setting up a 55 gallon aquarium. I have been away from the hobby for over 20 years and have never used a canister filter so I have some questions about how to set it up. The tank will be fairly heavily planted using Eco-Complete substrate. The planned stocking is 2 pair of blue rams, 12 or so golden pencilfish (or some tetras), a few ottos and perhaps 5 or 6 small corys. There will be a couple pieces of driftwood and several flat rocks. Depending on how things go I may add some apistos or other dwarf cichlids later. I have ordered an Eheim 2026 canister filter with the optional attachment kits.

What is the best way to set up the canister's intake and output (spray bar) to insure adequate surface agitation and appropriate circulation in the tank? I had originally planned to install the spray bar across one end of the tank directed along the surface with the intake tube at the opposite end but thinking about it I am not sure that will create an appropriate current to carry waste to the intake. Should the spray bar and the intake tube instead be on the same end?
 

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I usually either put them on opposite ends. On one tank I have a tubing limitation and didn't want to buy more the day I set it up so I just have the input and output right near each other (horizontally not vertically) and have the output spray away from the input.
 

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I'd have the intake and spray bar on opposite ends. I'm not a planted tank master but my understanding is that with a heavily planted tank you want little or no surface agitation as it depletes the co2, so I would probably point the spray bar so that it doesn't agitate the surface.

I'd suggest checking out this site for more info on planted tanks.

http://www.plantedtank.net/
 
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