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View Poll Results: Which filter would you recommend?

Voters
20. You may not vote on this poll
  • Tetra Cartridge Filter

    0 0%
  • Aquaclear 50

    12 60.00%
  • Biowheel System

    4 20.00%
  • Other

    4 20.00%
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Exclamation HELP: A bunch of beginner filtration questions+random ones


    0 Not allowed!
    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.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    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.
    125 - big fish - BGK
    125 - cichlid community - cichlids (red severums, chanchitos, bolivian rams, blue acara, chocolate), rainbows (yellow, turquoise, red and boesmani), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, pearl gouramis, golden wonder killis
    90 - african community - Congo tetras, african knife, african butterflies, spotted ctenopoma, palmas bichir, african featherfin
    10 - female pink convict
    5 - betta/ADFs

    QTs - 2x29, 20H, 20L

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ownage Machine
    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)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ownage Machine
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ownage Machine
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ownage Machine
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ownage Machine
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ownage Machine
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ownage Machine
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ownage Machine
    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.
    300 gallon mega tank: build in progress
    75 gallon community tank: tetras, danios, corys, platies, otos, pearl gouramis, bristlenose pleco, assassin snails, red cherry shrimp, bamboo shrimp
    70 gallon growout tank: clown loaches, sailfin pleco
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish
    29 gallon frog tank: 1 bullfrog
    10 gallon and 5.5 gallon betta tanks: 1 male betta each, sometimes snails

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    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.
    Last edited by Cermet; 06-06-2010 at 07:32 PM.

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