more questions :D mostly filtration / stock related.
20 gallon high
whisper 20 gallon rated HOB filter - 3 years old
aqua clear 20 powerhead + quick filter attachment.
airpump + airstone
Aqueon full cover 18" 15w T8 8k full spectrum light
gravel substrate seems pretty smooth
stock so far
12 black tetras
intend to stock
other suggestions ?
i have a small amount of floating plants in the tank. think its salvina + something else mixed in that i am not sure it may be babytears hc i think i will take pics. i intend to plant the tank with more low light plants like java fern an moss.
in the mean time hows my filtration and should i use the carbon bags or not (currently have one in)? after reading about carbon i am leaning less towards using it so long as i do proper water changes, which i am pretty use to from when i had the tank setup previously.
in the mean time is their anyway to improve my current cheap whisper filters capability?
how much extra mechanical an biological filtration is the powerhead quick filter attachment going to providing me with an is it enough?
any opinions on sponge filters DYI or otherwise for use in this setup here. I mean i can easily make one if its going to help and its worth it already have the airpump an extra stones.
In the near future what should i aim for to up my filtration to ideal for a heavy stocked tank? as i start working again pretty soon. :)
how long to wait before i add some more stock? a week or two is what i was aiming for.
thanks in advanced to all you lovely people that take the time to respond.
Not really familiar with the footprint of a 20 high, but a couple of quickies - is the tank new or cycled? (your post sorta reads like established 3 years). What do you want - colour, movement, numbers?
General rule of thumb - go for double filtration rating for your size of tank. From personal experience DIY sponge works fine, picture it as mechanical filtration on the outside surfaces and biological on the inner surfaces to get your head around how it works. If your tank is cycled and stable, add your new stock slowly, and monitor your parameters ( ammonia, nitrite and nitrate), to ensure your bio filter (beneficial bacteria) has the capacity to cope with the increasing load. Have a read of the cycling stickies to get an understanding of how it works, will really help with your stocking decisions.
What you are probably looking for would be a small population of bottom swimmers (as you intend to be heavily planted) and a mid of mid level and surface swimmers. Good luck!
Sorry forgot re carbon - only necessary after medication
RE: CYCLE i was doing a fishless cycle which went oddly http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...d.php?t=111169
and now i think i know why. my tap water according to api test has nitrates at 10.0 ppm
pretty sure that i am still properly cycled possibly after not seeing a spike. if my tap was 10.0pm and at the time i determined it was finished it was 80.0 ppm that means the rest of my nitrates came from cycling?. Regardless at this point i have fish in the tank and will be watching closely trying to get that down to 10-20 range and keep it their or lower if possible with heavy planting.
The api nitrate test is a major pain just got a new kit with the new card ,still have my old cards individual test cards should i compare to those also later when i test again as i noticed they are ever so slightly different?
re:stocking i added the black tetras 2 days ago, so i am watching it closely and most definetly going to make sure its stable before i add anything. Definetly want the corries but was going to wait and get them last after planting more and possibly getting something else ? originally i intended to house a male betta in the tank but he started flaring at the tetras so that idea is out of the window now. So maybe something else thats ok alone and adult size is similar to the crowntail male betta i was going to house in that tank.
re:sponge filter/filtration which i think i am going to build one for now any possibly suggestions on a guide? Also is it possible to stick a roundish sponge in the canister for the quick filter attachment to just grow bacteria on or some other type of material like the stuff for fluval or aqua clear filter stages? i mean the water is being pulled through a tightly woven wool i think and up the canister and out the power head i imagine this would work? Also should i toss a tiny sponge over the impeller to keep plant mater off + grow BB? i took the carbon bag out of HOB filter can i also put media like a sponge infront of the existing one to grow more bb ? hehe i am just thinking of all the possible angles :) i know its a lot. honestly thinking of picking up a fluval or a aquaclear HOB rated for double my tank at some point after i am done planting etc, then removing the whisper filter as i am growing to hate it and i am sure its starting to see its better days as i didn't do the best maintenance on it monthly when i previously had it running.
* i wrote most of this earlier before the site was offline i am going to do my nightly test in the next few minutes :)
Last edited by justanothertank; 03-27-2013 at 01:40 AM.
ammonia: some where between 0.0 - 0.25 can feeding effect that as its only been couple hours.
nirtrites : 0.0
Nitrates : 40.0 3 females that aren't color blind claim its this again.
same as last night when i changed 75% of the water my tap source is nitrates at 10.0 so i imagine this is making it alot harder to drop that despite the large amounts i am doing ? go higher ? quick suggestion o would be nice on getting that down as i plan to do it within the hour or so. should i clean the filter properly no tap water take some tank water leave the sponge in that unplug it and clean the impeller + the housing i guess you would consider it. its been running for 32 days from when i first dosed ammonia during my attempt at fishless cycle.
If I were you I would not be drinking your water or using it for cooking if you have 10ppm nitrates. That isnt good for you.
As for your fish I dont have a lot of experience with high nitrate tap water so I can be a ton of help. If you were to use a mix of tap/ro water that would bring nitrates down. There are also some commercial nitrate removers (havent used them so I have no experience). Also I believe the use of an algae scrubber can be useful here ( you mave want to ask Cremet as he using an algae scrubber on a freshwater tank.)
A scrubber doesn't need to be fancy. Even with a food safe plastic container and a cheap ebay pump you can already do a lot.
Reading the water... if that was coming into my house I'd invest in an RO unit for drinking water.
If you are indeed going to get an RO unit and not an ion-exchange softner (which will do nothing for you) then for now concentrate on keeping your stock alive. Get 2 handsful of amazon frogbit and let them grow, best nitrate filtring plant I've seen so far.
defiantly working towards convincing the household into getting RO in the kitchen but that can be month or two before its over and done with at least.
oh an i figured id point my failure in my original post as i was being vague, to not have any confusion they are black skirt tetras not black neon tetras
Testing came up with
nitrites : 0
nitrates : 40.0ppm AGAIN for the third time. any ideas on how to get this down more via the changes % wise how much should i do when i do it again tonight ideally sooner vs later :D