A question about the use of a canister...for additional purposes

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by chrt396, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    I have set up a African tank. I have added pictures for your viewing critique as well as suggestions.

    Having a feeling that nitrates are going to be the main maintenance issue with this setup. I strategically placed the pebble sliders...to create more hiding spots for some of my less aggressive mbunas. The large Holy rock looking decoration is a faux rock. It can be removed fairly easy for vacuuming the substrate. However,,,the REAL rock is going to be an absolute pain. Other than re-decorate the tank...let me share an idea.

    I have a Fluval 406 canister and a sponge filter already operating. The 406 filters at 383 gph. I was going to add a Fluval 306 and extend the output hose down to within 3 inches of the bottom of the tank and use a directional nozzle directly aimed behind the rock at the right of the tank to hopefully blow out any poop and uneaten food towards the front of the tank so that it can be vacuumed up or directed to the two intakes at the left side of the tank.

    Am I thinking straight? Is there any problem with putting the output hose that low and close to the bottom? It is a crushed coral substrate..so I wont get a lot of soil being kicked up. I am going after the nitrate causing debris.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    You have ammonia before you have nitrate. Once the ammonia is exhausted then it turns to nitrite then nitrate. I know you know this, but... If you are not over feeding and are keeping up with water changes, then you won't have a problem with nitrates.

    Adding a filter to remove debris from the tank is not a bad idea, but that debris will still end up in the filter. ( waits for someone to say canisters are nitrate factories )

    Filters don't cause nitrates. Neither do rocks that may trap debris in your tank. The fish and uneaten food cause nitrates. Once the food and fish waste have given off all the ammonia they can, then you have nitrates. So if nitrates are your main concern, do very frequent and large water changes. Or add a sump and plant that. Or add some house plants like pothos to your main tank, or sump if you go that way.

    Adding a filter like you have suggested should work fine. But don't expect your nitrates to be affected by it.

  3. DolfanFishlore VIPMember

    Your idea seems like it may work, but is a lot of hassle just to stay clean back there. I would get a clean up crew of some scavengers like ghost shrimp and snails. Get 10-20 ghost shrimp and add them at night when the fish can't see. Some will get eaten, but enough should live in the cracks and holes and they will help break down waste and debris so the filter can do it's thing.

    Also when doing water changes be sure to use the new fresh water to stir that area up. Should be fine.

  4. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Why not just direct the spray bar return down the back of the rocks, which should help push the malm out.
    Always worked fine for me over the years of keeping Malawi,s.
  5. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    Been doing daily water changes of about 50-60%. The Nitrates are maintaining at 20ppm. The ammonia is at .25 and the nitrites are at over 2.0ppm. To preserve the health of the fish, I'm monitoring closely. Every night, I test the parameters. I've added enough bacteria, that it should be attached to the bio media by now. 2 1/2 bottles of TSS. The big bottles by the way. I tried flushing the areas between the stones with the hose. I dont have the sump pump working at full flow..but it did kick up a little debris. I was thinking of adding the extra canister for the extra filktration..but just modifying it to blow out at a lower point in the tank to help flush out the debris. Beats having to remove all those rocks just to clean. Once the tank stabilizes, I think the Nitrates will stabilize. I THINK!

    I was going to do that with an additional canister filter. I have the 406 running. I was going to add a 306 with a lowered output nozzle that was directed at the base of the back of the rocks.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  6. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Your tank is not cycled.. Yeah adding the extra filter will only help and not hurt a thing. How did you cycle the tank? Or did you?

    Nitrates are never stable. They are either rising from waste. Or being removed with water changes.

    Is this the 55 gallon in your profile?
  7. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Id definitely find a way like BDpups said to throw some pothos in there somewhere, its great at soaking up nitrates. Wether its in the sump or you can find a way to put it in the tank with just the roots in, ive noticed a big difference in Nitrates in my big tank. Heck if youre ever down near Bradenton/Sarasota you can swing by and take a bunch, it covers about 1/4 of our property.
  8. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    Going through cycle now with the 55g. Fish in cycle. I bought three tank set ups when Petco had the tanks at $1 a gallon. 29, 40B and a 55g. I already cycled the 29...now the 55...next the 40B. I'cve been busy to say the least. Tonight...did all 4 Betta tanks and the 55g. Tomorrow, I do the 29g in bedroom and the 90g in entryway. At night, I'll probably be changing the water again in this 55g. This is a lot of ecosystems to care for at one time! You'd think that I don't actually have a life!

    I do water changes weekly...so usually, for me..they are pretty stable. Always 10-20ppm. If they creep up to 40...it's only for the day as..I'm on it as if the fish will die in 1 hour if I don't do a water change. .I go into emergency mode...even though they won't actually die...I imagine they will. Gives me motivation!

    I was just down there today!! Actually went to Nokomis..then came back to Pinellas via 41. Stopped by Seascape Aquarium in Sarasota to see what was unique. Is it me..or did that store get kind of sloppy?

    As a side note....would a submersible powerhead work at the base of the rock? I dont want a bunch of machinery sticking out everywhere...but just thinking..if I positioned it behind the rocks and built around it....hhmmmm???
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2015
  9. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Ive only been once, they had a decent variety, but yes their organizational skills could use some serious work. Lemme know ahead of time if youre gonna be in the area and want some Pothos, Ive currently got the golden variety, green and gold colored stripes. Enough to supply a nursery lol
  10. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    I used to plant variegated Pothos at the base of a HUGE Camphor tree that I have in my front yard. Those little boogars would climb up that tree..and as they got higher on the tree, the leaves would look like Elephant ears. Then a hurricane threatened..and the rains and wind kind of ragged it out...so I took it all down. The vine and about 10 pounds of bark from the Camphor tree. Those vines really grab hold of the tree!

    I swear...I walked into that store and walked around for 30 minutes and NO ONE said BOO to me. I picked out a Gang Valve for one of my tanks for the sponge filter and an airstone. Stood at counter for 10 minutes and no one came up at all. I left it on the counter and walked out...sat in my truck for 10 minutes..then decided that I actually needed THAT particular brand...and went back in. The guy just HAPPENED to be up at the counter. While I was there at the counter, I asked him about an African Cichlid that was in one of the tanks. He said.."It's an African Cichlid!" I asked..is it a Mbuna or a Hap..as it was a juvenile. He said..".well..it is an African". He gave me one of those looks as if to say...I'm trying to act like I know what I'm talking about..but in reality...I really don't know JACK!. I tanked him..gave me a look...and left. Some of these fish stores shouldnt wonder why the internet is putting them out of business.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  11. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    Beware of the store staff that will tell you everything you need to know about Rift Valley Cichlids.
    Also beware the www, sites telling you the same, at least with a store guy you can see his expressions, while the wonder-web is faceless.
    I kept Rift Valley Cichlids for more than 20 years in the UK, and I am the first to admit that I really know very little about this complex group of fish.
  12. chrt396Well Known MemberMember

    Everyone has a story to tell of something they were told not to do...and did. Worked fine!
    Everyone has a story where they followed advice...and it didn't work.

    It appears as if the facts are not always "FACT"

    Wow..this is deep!

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