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Thread: A Humble Beginning
03-14-2013, 11:31 AM #21
Beneficial bacteria grows on everything in your tank: in the rocks, all over the filter, in the filter media - everywhere. However, you want as much as you can in the filter, with water actively running through it. Like they're saying, you can jut add a sponge to the filter for a place inside the filter for bacteria to grow. This is because of the huge internal surface area of the sponge. A regular kitchen sponge would work fine (as long as it's never been used).
+1 Cliff, AquaClear is also a good brand.
With the mechanical filter, you can usually get "filter floss" at any LFS. It's just a mesh-like material that you place in the filter. It needs to be replaced from time to time, and washing it out a bit before replacing it never hurts.
However, as it holds bacteria, it may be a good idea to wash it in tank water from a partial water change. If your sponge for bacteria ever gets grimy - and I mean REALLY dirty, not just a different color - you can wash it in the used tank water as well. However, don't do this often, and never wash it in sink water, if for no other reason than the difference in pH.
You shouldn't have chlorine in your tap water because it's from a well, but it may have a lot of minerals, which would make it hard. Make sure to test for this once you get a test kit. If it's too high, you can always get a water softener pillow, which is something you can just add into your filter.
03-14-2013, 10:45 PM #22
Awesome info everyone! I think I officially understand filters (or as much as I can at this point). I've found some great deals on Aqua Clears, so I think I might head that direction. One last question concerning filters, and this was already answered a little, but how often do I need to buy and completely replace the sponge/floss, carbon, and ceramic?
My next area of focus I'll look at is heaters. Same general questions: recommended brand, wattage for a 20g, things to look for or avoid, etc... I have a lead on a free heater, though at this point I know nothing about it. Could be good, could be a bust.
On a different note, I think I had both a setback and a break through with Mrs. Switch today. I nabbed my free tank one day on my way to work with first letting her know that I was going to do so. When I got home from work I told her, but all that was done out of order. Tell first, get second. lol. Anyway, today we took a trip to a nice locally owned pet store. They are amazing when it comes to fish and aquarium supply, and they have a huge stock of fish to look through. I never once brought up trying to purchase anything, the future of the tank, which fish I liked most. I just observed. It wasn't long before she started remembering what she loved about her families fish growing up. She actually found a couple of favorites too! On our way home she said, "So where are we going to put the aquarium?" HA! A breakthrough! I tried to play it cool. Hopefully after a few more trips and conversations it could really happen.
Not that anyone really cares about the behind the scenes family stuff, but it was relevant to the original post, so I thought I'd update my situation.
03-17-2013, 05:10 AM #23
I'm trying to figure out who to insert images, so pictures are on the way, but I water tested my tank yesterday morning. I realized after the first hour there was a leak. A couple hours later there was probably three inches of water gone. Twenty four hours later it's at the same level, so I guess that means the leak is toward the top. But from what I've been reading, it's better to just reseal the whole thing. that may become my next project if I decide it's worth it to invest some time, money, and energy into this thing.
I realized today that my line of questioning is probably better answered in some equipment specific areas instead of generally in one place. And, the way this is going, I guess I may be better suited with a journal than an open thread of thoughts and ramblings. We'll see I guess.
Last edited by Switchfoot55; 03-17-2013 at 05:17 AM.
03-17-2013, 01:01 PM #24
Hi Switchfoot, if the glass is in good shape then it is worth resealing. There are some good threads here on how to do it and it really is pretty simple.
03-17-2013, 11:36 PM #25
0First 29g Tank: In process
04-02-2013, 03:53 AM #26
I figured I would post some more questions here before starting new threads and jamming up the forum. We'll see if anyone responds...otherwise I'll start a new thread. lol
I've made a lot of progress on my setup so far and had a specific question or two concerning substrate. I've decided I'll be adding some Corys to my tank whenever I get to that step. As far as I've been reading, I'll need sand, or a finer material instead of larger gravel or fluorite. Is that correct? Reading has also shown me that I can get sand at a local home store. Is that right? My concerns are now my filter and the sand. Will I be able to run something like an Aquaclear 50 with a sand substrate? Or will it clog it up?First 29g Tank: In process
04-02-2013, 04:59 AM #27
+1 to cliff. i just swapped from a 20 gallon rated tetra whisper to a aquaclear 50 on my 20 gallon high. Much less noise hardly any at all and much more room for options with filter media. great filter overall :). as far as heater goes i have fluval m series 100 w i think http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-M-100-W.../dp/B0027VQ0WM. i haven't swapped my substrate to sand yet can't help you there i know you have to be more careful when doing a vacuum job and keep it like an inch above it .