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View Full Version : HELP: A bunch of beginner filtration questions+random ones



Ownage Machine
06-04-2010, 03:05 AM
I have a pretty jankey aquarium setup, (20 gal, two filters, heavy bio-load, smallish heater) and I have a bunch of questions. First off:

I am running a 20 gal. tetra "cartridge" filter, and am getting quite sick of buying new cartridges for it. I also have an Aquaclear 50, and I am trying to decide whether or not it's worth switching to this system. I also have considered buying a biowheel filtration system, but I am unsure of the benefits.

This leads me to a few questions, and some additional random ones:

1. In an Aquaclear filter, is carbon necessary? I have heard of just using biomax inserts and/or foam

2. How often will I have to change the filter media in the Aquaclear 50?

3. How often will I need to change the filter media in a penguin biowheel system?

4. Which system would you forum users recommend?

5. Why in the world is my Aquaclear impeller rattling and creating so much noise? How can I fix this?

6. Is it ideal for running a filter on it's tank size-limit, or is it better to have like 10 gallons of buffer room? (Aquaclear 50 on a 50 gal, etc)

7. Is brown Algae bad? It's green in places but brown in most others, it's ugly, and I'm worried.

8. How can I keep guppy fry from being eaten? I have hide-grass, rock caves, and any number of other things, but they always just get eaten by my carnivores.

Thanks for your input. :l24:

jaysee
06-04-2010, 06:48 AM
Aquaclears are the best HOB filters, IMO, and an AC50 is the perfect filter for a 20 gallon tank that's overstocked. I use AC50s on my 20 gallon tanks.

Brhino
06-04-2010, 02:00 PM
1. In an Aquaclear filter, is carbon necessary? I have heard of just using biomax inserts and/or foam

Carbon should not be necessary in ANY filter system so long as you're doing everything else right (maintenance, water changes, etc)


2. How often will I have to change the filter media in the Aquaclear 50?

Rarely if ever. The only thing you'll need to do is rinse the sponge out now and then (maybe once a month) in tank water when it gets all gunked up.


3. How often will I need to change the filter media in a penguin biowheel system?

not familiar with penguin filters, but in general as long as you can rinse any clogged media in tank water, you shouldn't have to replace it unless it's falling apart. This is true even for the tetra cartridge filter, although those cartridges don't rinse out very easily. I have one myself.


4. Which system would you forum users recommend?

I have a tetra filter and a AC50, and the AC50 is just miles ahead of the tetra. No contest.


5. Why in the world is my Aquaclear impeller rattling and creating so much noise? How can I fix this?

These could be some crud that got sucked up in there. Have you taken it out and inspected/cleaned it?


6. Is it ideal for running a filter on it's tank size-limit, or is it better to have like 10 gallons of buffer room? (Aquaclear 50 on a 50 gal, etc)

More filtration is better! Many people on these forums have twice as much filtration as the filters themselves call for. Some have even more than that. So long as you're not stressing your fish with too much current, you can't go wrong with extra filtration. An AC50 on a 20gallon would be quite fine.


7. Is brown Algae bad? It's green in places but brown in most others, it's ugly, and I'm worried.

It's probably Diatoms, if it's a brownish coating on your decorations and glass that wipes off easily. It's not particularly harmful and it's extremely common in new tanks. It generally goes away after a few weeks or month on its own. You can wipe it off of things if you don't like the looks. If it persists there's probably other issues like overfeeding.


8. How can I keep guppy fry from being eaten? I have hide-grass, rock caves, and any number of other things, but they always just get eaten by my carnivores.

More hiding places gives them better odds of survival, but depending on what kind of fish you have they may have a rough time. To ensure they live you'll have to physically separate them from your adult fish. They make little boxes/nets you can install in your aquarium that the fry can live in until they get bigger. That's probably your easiest option.

Cermet
06-06-2010, 07:28 PM
Remember, no filter will remove nitrates (final breakdown product from ammonia.) You must change your water every week - amount depends on the nitrate reading (don't buy tabs - get a liquid test system for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates and pH.) Many people get away with 15-20%. Discus keepers have to do large WC every day.

In any case, the more WC you do, the better your fish will be (up to a ponit - complete changes can harm the bio-media.

When they say use tank water to clean your filter they mean the throw-away water from the WC - not wash the filter media in the tank ... . Yes, every one knows that but it should be said from time to time.

Get another heater! The worse thing you can do (after not doing regular WC) is letting the tank get to cool. Don't skimp on a heater - the best types are submersible and are mounted near the bottom of the tank. This allows could vertical mixing of the heated water through the tank.
Good luck.:hmm3grin2orange: