I got a tank to fill a corner, its a 30 gallon hexagon. My question is since the water/air surface air is smaller than a regular rectangle tank, should i use a bigger power filter, like one that is made for 50 gallons? Also will i need an aerator?
I'm not entirely sure about the filter, but if you want to be safe just go for the bigger one (this is just my opinion, so don't base your descision for the filter etirely on what I say). As for the aerator, all tanks need one or else the fish will have little if any oxygen to breathe. Also, a tip for when you get the aerator, If you don't place the air pump above the tank's water line, your gonna need a check valve. The check valve keeps water from ever being siphoned back into the pump (which is bad). They're also small, cheep, and can probaly be found at any LFS.
Whether it's a filter or aerator, the main thing is to keep the surface water agitated, since that is how the water is oxygenated. I like to use power heads on top of the riser tubes for under gravel filters. If you aren't using an undergravel filter, you can attach a small foam filter to a power head and sitll use it in the same way to keep a good current going on the surface.
Alright thanks for the replies and the advice, i went with a Aquaclear power filter that's made for a 50 gallon and does 200gph, and got an aerator, made sure to get a check valve for it. I'm painting the stand right now and trying to decide on some fish, will probly finish it up tomorrow and get some water in it and let it cycle. any quick tips on this?
I'm not a big fan of aerators, i use them in some of my tanks, but i prefer powerheads. its nice having a current in the tank. Powerhead might not be a good choice for a hex tank though. Anyhow, you need aeration. If using a powerhead, set it low to allow it to cycle the water at the bottom to the top. if you use an airstone, set it where ever you want, i like to put them in plants to make the plants move a little.
Whats really important is dissolved oxygen in the water. All gas exchange is done at the surface, so limit the surface, limit the gas exchange. To Effect any appreciable oxy x-change with a bubbler would take so many bubbles you couldnt see the fish, and the water would be boiling, because there is so little absorption of oxygen from those bubbles before they reach the surface, its a futile effort. For this reason i would never opt. for a small surface area tank, thats tall as well, and if you do you will have to adjust your stocking rate as well.
Along the lines of what Jim said, but a different perspective.
The limit on fish load depends on the tank shape. In a wide shallow tank, the ability to remove contaminants using a filter can become the limiting factor but in a tall tank with a small surface area, the surface area for gas exchange can become limiting. As others have already said, more bubbles only really helps by stirring the water more and removing any stagnant areas in the tank. It does not directly add oxygen to the water in significant amounts. As long as you are aware that your fish load needs to be kept on the lighter side of things, a tall tank can be a very nice attractive tank.
I use air pumps on about half of my tanks because I like the look of bubbles in the water. I know they don't do much for me but I like them anyway.
The filter you have picked will be fine for your tank as long as you take care of it.
Be careful with paint around any fish tank. The stuff in paint that makes it smell the way we all know it should smell is deadly if it dissolves into the water. Wait until the stand is thoroughly dry before setting up and filling that tank with water.
I like the Whisper but I also like the EHEIM Liberty HOB filter for small tanks and it is so easy to deal with the filter media on that one. It is a small paddle with a sponge for the biological filter and the carbon filter is a paddle with a waffle type of carbon insert. I never have to touch the media and the flow regulator is so easy to adjust. The maintenance is easy and it is not that expensive.
Its always adviseable to get a bigger filter than what your actual aquarium size is. I run a 50 gallon penguin bio-wheel filter on my 30 gallon, a 15 gallon on my 10 gallon tank, and a 75 gallon filter on a 56 gallon tank. Airstones area always great to use because they help to move around the water more, and make the water more oxygen-enriched.
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