Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 30 gallon tank, about 2 months old with the following fish

6 green tiger barbs (returning tomorrow for picking on roseline sharks)
5 glofish danios (about an inch)
2 Roseline Sharks (2-3 inches each)
2 syno petricola catfish (1.5ish inches each)

I have two filters running.
50 gallon aqua clear filter with sponge, carbon, and bio.
20 gallon aqua clear with 2 sponges and 1 ammonia blocker.

The ammonia blocker frankly isn't necessary, I for whatever reason seemed to have "skipped" the cycling process when I started out this tank. If some of you remember my other topic "New, Naive, possibly Ignorant and in need of Enlightment", I had gotten the tank very recently and tried to ensure a healthy start. The several times I've gone to the fish store for free water testing for the first few weeks, I didn't have any traces of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. The fish store guys were thoroughly confused as well and said "well, whatever you must be doing is working". After that, I got the ammonia blocker and second filter just in case.

Now that I have two filters, I'm just wondering what might be the best variation for optimal filtration. Any ideas of what should I have in each of the filters?

Lastly, any personal opinions on when I should buy new sponges, carbon, and bio? I know the box tells me how often, but I've a feeling it isn't as necessary as they say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
get rid of the "ammonia blocker" and carbon all together. neither of these are necessary. fill these empty spots with more bio-max.
also, if you want to add some water polishing, you can buy a roll of poly-fill. that will last you a long time. just be sure to change it out regularly.

as far as when to change each thing. the sponge can last you years before needing changing (as told to me directly from hagen USA), and your bio-max should never be changed unless for some reason it is falling apart.
as long as you keep up proper maintenence (regularly cleaning your sponges, and rinsing your bio-media to prevent clogging) you will only need to change these things every few years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
get rid of the "ammonia blocker" and carbon all together. neither of these are necessary. fill these empty spots with more bio-max.
also, if you want to add some water polishing, you can buy a roll of poly-fill. that will last you a long time. just be sure to change it out regularly.

as far as when to change each thing. the sponge can last you years before needing changing (as told to me directly from hagen USA), and your bio-max should never be changed unless for some reason it is falling apart.
as long as you keep up proper maintenence (regularly cleaning your sponges, and rinsing your bio-media to prevent clogging) you will only need to change these things every few years.
Ok, now I got a few questions for clarification purposes.

I shall be getting rid of the ammonia blocker.

As for the carbon, is it really useless? I thought it's suppose to remove impurities, clear up the water clarity or something something. You sure on that?

What is a roll of poly fill? I don't think I've ever seen that for sale for Aqua Clear products.

How should I clean the sponges and how often should it be done?

To clarify, the bio-max are the little cylinder mint looking things that bacteria is suppose to grow on?

Lastly, according to you, I should set up the filters in the following way.

50 gallon aqua clear filter with sponge, 2 bio.
20 gallon aqua clear with 2 sponges and 1 bio.

Does this sound good? Or some other combination? Why are so many bios necessary though?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Ok, now I got a few questions for clarification purposes.

I shall be getting rid of the ammonia blocker.

good job. :)
chemical medias (such as ammo-chips and carbon) are nothing more than a bandaid over a bigger problem. a properly cycled and established filter will take care of the ammonia and nitrites with absolutely no need for such things. also, ammonia chips can stunt your bacteria colonies and slow its production by reducing the amount of food going to your bacteria.


As for the carbon, is it really useless? I thought it's suppose to remove impurities, clear up the water clarity or something something. You sure on that?

100% sure.
i dont use carbon in any of my filters (much like many hobbyists around the world), and can assure you my water is crystal clear and has absolutely no "impurities".
activated carbon is only "active" for apx 5-7 days, at which time not only does it stop "working" (not that it does anything in the first place) but it can begin to leech toxins/phosphates back into your system. carbon should only be used to remove chemical medications from your water. beyond that there is absolutely no need for it. all you really need for a healthy filter system is mechanical and biological filtration.


What is a roll of poly fill? I don't think I've ever seen that for sale for Aqua Clear products.

poly-fill/quilt batting is a chap alternative to aquarium filter floss. its sold in the craft section of stores and used for pillow stuffing or quilt making. its a very fine filter floss which is great of filtering out tiny particles in your water column. it will remove much smaller specs than the sponge alone.
because this is a very fine media, it will clog faster than your sponge, so it will need to be replaced regularly. i change mine out weekly.
a huge roll will run you between $5 and $10, and will last months.
many LFS sell a similar product (it looks like pillow stuffing in a clear bag). its the exact same thing, but marked up and they change the label.


How should I clean the sponges and how often should it be done?

during your weekly WC, fill a bucket with water from your tank and use this water to clean your filter.
to clean the sponge, simply remove the sponge from the filter and drop it in the bucket of tank water. give it a few squeezes in the bucket and you will see all kinds of debris coming out of the sponge. after you squeeze it out a few times, put it back in the filter, fill the media chamber with water, and plug the filter back in.
for the bio-max, i usually just drop the bag of pellets into the tank while i clean the sponge. if the pellets look dirty, you can dunk it in the bucket a few times to get the loose stuff off. just be sure you dont let the pellets dry out.
if you keep up with regular cleaning of your sponge (and use a fine media on top of that) your bio-max should not get dirty at all.


To clarify, the bio-max are the little cylinder mint looking things that bacteria is suppose to grow on?

yes. the bio max are the porous pellets that come with the filter. this is your bio-media.

Lastly, according to you, I should set up the filters in the following way.

50 gallon aqua clear filter with sponge, 2 bio.
20 gallon aqua clear with 2 sponges and 1 bio.

Does this sound good? Or some other combination? Why are so many bios necessary though?

i would set them both up with the sponge on the bottom, poly-fill (or some other type of filter media) on top of that, and your bio-max on the top layer.
during your weekly WC you can just clean one of the filters and let the other one run. this will help safeguard your bio-media during WC. (tough if you do it properly, you run no risk of losing any bacteria)
assuming your filters are cycled and established, you are well on your way to a healthy system. i have used AquaClear filters for years, and would not exchange them for anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you sir, I shall do exactly that.

I have (I think), one last question.

What do I do if the water clarity isn't all that great?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
water clarity can be due to a number of things. Including:
- algae bloom
- bacteria bloom
- overfeeding
- poor circulation
- micro bubbles

Just to name a few.
Depending on the cause, that would determine how to fix it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I guess I might be overfeeding, I'm not too sure on how much food is too much food when they don't ever really stop stuffing their stomachs for me to compare.

Sorry for the multiple questions, but I'm going to have to ask some more concerning the polyfill

One of the guys from the local pet store who has thus far been really genuine with me showed me what their "version" of poly fill was. It looked like.... fluffy cotton stuffing. I'm not really sure if this was what you were getting at when you said pillow, so would you be able to direct me to a picture so that I know exactly what I'm suppose to get? When you told me about it, I envisioned a sheet of cloth sort of thing for me to layer over the sponge because of when you said "roll". And what kind of stores would sell it other than the LFS?

And if it is that cotton stuffing material, how much and how should I set it up? Just grab a bunch of the stuff and put it under the bio max?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
yup thats the same stuff. looks like white cotton (polyester blend actually. hence poly-fill) you can buy it in big rolls at big-box department stores like walmart, k-mart, target, etc. also if you have a fabric store or local craft store, they should have it too. its the stuff used to fill quilts or pillows.




basically, i just cut off a couple of pieces the same size as the sponge (maybe a tad bit bigger) and put it under the bio-max. i also use it in my wet/dry filters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
So I bought the polyfill.

Out of curiosity, couldn't the polyfill strands separate itself out from the water and get into the tank?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
...I did this, then left to go pick up some minnows to feed my 'gills... I came home and my smaller bluegill is dead! 0.0 What the hell happened!?!
 

·
Dude.... wait..... what?
Joined
·
3,080 Posts
I LOVE the AC filters! I've got an AC 30 and an AC 20 on my 20g tank.

(I agree with getting rid of the ammonia media... if the bacteria in your filters and gravel can't keep your ammonia in check, there's a problem.)

In the larger of the two filters that I'm using, I have a sponge, carbon and biomax. I know that some say the carbon is useless, but I like it, as it keeps the water from getting that 'fishy' smell, and helps with the clarity. (Unfortunately, it needs to be changed monthly.)

In the second filter I run Biomax and Nitrazorb (we have 80ppm Nitrates from our water source, so the Nitrazorb keeps that down.) I'm thinking of adding either a sponge to that filter, or some filter floss.

The sponges only need to be changed if they are falling apart or will no longer hold their shape any longer. Just squeeze them out in the bucket of dirty fish water when you do a water change to keep large pieces of debris from clogging it. (Mostly likely only needs to be changed once a year, or even longer.)

Biomax is the same. It only needs to be changed if it's falling apart or if it's reeeeeaally dirty. (Probably won't need to be changed for longer than a year.)

Carbon has to be changed monthly, and poly wool (filter floss) needs to be changed when it gets really dirty... so monthly or every other month.

Never change the media (or clean the filter) all at the same time... or on a week that you do a deep gravel vacuum. Leave a few weeks in between media changes.

Also, don't change the media in both filters at the same time. Try to stagger the changes so you don't get rid of all the good bacteria at once.

The impeller and tubing of the filter should be cleaned monthly, (just use bottle cleaners for that), to make sure they don't get clogged. You can do this in the dirty fish water bucket. The inside of the filter really only needs to be cleaned if it's horribly junked up. You can just give it a swish in the dirty fish water bucket if it's grungy. I wouldn't clean the impellar/tubing or inside of BOTH filters at the same time either - try to stagger that as well.

Hope this helps. :D
 

·
Dude.... wait..... what?
Joined
·
3,080 Posts
UGH! I just realized that this thread is over a year old!!! (Tehgyb re-newed it and I didn't check the date before posting, hahahah.) I guess what I just said has no point, lol... unless a new to the hobby person reads it.... :)
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top