A Few Questions : Please Help
Hello this is my first post on this forum but I have been following Aquariums and Aquacultures for a few months, There really is alot to learn in terms of different shapes, styles, capacity of Aquariums, Filters, Substrate, Air pumps, Heaters and Lighting aswell as cycling et al.
My few questions are below:
1. I have decided that I like the idea of cannister filters, They seem to be efficient not be too much of an eyesore as the main filter box itself can be hid away below the Aquarium. Now with regard to Cannister filters: It is my understanding that filtration consists of 3 key stages, Biological, Mechanical and Chemical. Would for example an Eheim cannister filter depending on the model in general do all three of these in the different "trays" contained within it? Or is Biological filtering done when you do the "Cycling" and not done by the Eheim? But the Mechanical and Chemical filtering is done by the Eheim?
2. Does LED lighting that is commercially available tend to come like the below:
With adjustable side arms so that the LED lights can sit comfortably above the aquarium and cater to different dimensions of Aquariums? Or are there other methods?
3. If I have the below am I missing anything I might need:
Flourite + Natural Gravel Cap substrate
Do I have the majority of the equipment that I would require?
4. Is "Eheim" a good brand of equipment, I have been looking at their equipment and it seems to be relatively easy to use, Are they reliable or is it cheap/poor quality, From what I can tell its been hyped as being "German" and therefore of good quality, Not sure if that is just hype.
5. Is the "Cycling" process one of the hardest if not the hardest process that is involved in maintaining an Aquarium? What other more "challenging" maintenance is there involved, Just trying to gauge how much time I would have to dedicate and how much work is involved.
Last edited by Jiang; 06-02-2012 at 05:40 PM.
1- Canister filters do perform mechanical and biological filtration as you have said. If you add media like activated carbon, you can also have chemical filtration. The biofiltration takes place in all the filter media since the bacteria that performs this function grows on all surfaces in the aquarium. What makes bio media effective is that they have a much higher surface area for the bacteria to colonize.
2- Yes there are commercially available LED fixtures like that. You can also find similar HOt5 fixtures that work well for freshwater.
3 - Thats about it, but dont forget consumables like water conditioner, if you use a city water source. The air pump is not really necessary unless your stocking is high and you dont have much surface agitation. You dont need a gravel cap if using fluorite unless you want to mix the both to keep cost down. Remember to rinse fluorite well.
4- Eheim is considered to be one of the best brands of canister filters
5 - Cycling is not difficult at all. Visit the following link to learn all about it - http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
Last edited by Aeonflame; 06-02-2012 at 06:01 PM.
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Hello, Thank you for the reply.
Originally Posted by Aeonflame
I must admit, The whole thing with Question 1 and the answer have me abit confused. The media that comes with for example an Eheim filter can perform all 3 types of filtering, Biological, Mechanical and Chemical provided that the media used is "activated carbon", Is "Activated carbon" the standard media that comes with Eheim cannister filters?, If I did not have "Activated Carbon" media, How then would I do the chemical filtration process?
I guess i am confused between the three types of filtration and cycling, I think I need to go and read more about what does what.
Also when someone says that they have a "50 Gallon tank" are they speaking about US Gallons or Imperial gallons? I think I will stick with litres anyway since its clearer.
I have the Marineland Double Bright LED lights. They are very low profile, probably less than an inch thick. They have arms that extent out of the ends of the fixture to fit different sized tanks. There are plenty of video reviews of it on Youtube, so you can get a better idea what they look like. The fixture is very slick and attractive looking. The moonlights it has are a nice added bonus.
It depends what you put in the canister. A sponge or filter floss will do mechanical filtration, filtering out debris. You need to rinse or replace this media every couple weeks.
Then for biological filtration you will have some type of biomedia, like bioballs, biomax, Seachem Matrix, Ehaim Substrat Pro, etc. This will go into a separate tray in the canister. You shouldn't need to ever replace this, maybe occasionally rinse it in used tank water (never chlorinated water, it will kill the beneficial bacteria).
Then for chemical filtration, you can put activated carbon, Purigen, Phoszorb, Nitrazorb, etc. in another tray in the canister. This is optional, and is usually not needed.
You can have all three types of filtration in a canister filter (or any filter, for that matter).
Activated carbon is a type of chemical filtration. However its purpose is for removing medications from the water after they have done their job. A well maintained aquarium should not need medications and the fish should remain healthy. There are other types of chemical filtration as well, but activated carbon is the most common in fresh water tanks. Saltwater tanks are a whole different story.
In addition the the items aeonflame suggested I would add a test kit for water quality. Most here use the API test kits as they have been found very reliable. Test strips, regardless of brand are not accurate in the slightest. In the long run they are also more expensive.
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Mechanical filtration is done by the sponge or other fine material you put in the filter. It removes particles out of the water column. This is a physical removal of particles out of the water, so we call it mechanical filtration.
Biological filtration is done by the bacteria grown on all hard surfaces in the aquarium and the stars or ceramic media that comes with the filter, I have never used an Eheim filter so I am not sure which shape the ceramics are in. the bacteria will also grow on the sponge and carbon. There are two main types we want to grow, one to convert ammonia to nitrite and one to convert nitrite to nitrate. Since the bacteria are alive we call this biological filtration.
Chemical filtration is done by the carbon. Carbon removes medications and other impurities out of the water that are too small for the sponge to catch. It's not necessary to use all the time, but many people do. It's handy to have in case you have to medicate the tank.
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