Advice for first time keeper Help 

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houiej

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I'm planning for my first aquarium and have been doing some research for the past week or so. All that information out there is rather overwhelming so some advice perhaps?

I'm considering an aquarium with these measurements: 3 feet by 18 inches by 18 inches. How many gallons does that work out to?

I plan to have one male and 2-3 female guppies in there with driftwood and live plants. For a tank of this size, should I get an overhead filter, an external filter or an internal filter? And what kind of power level should it be at, considering the tank size? There are so many types of filters in the market and I'm stumped at what I should narrow it down to. What's the most convenient for maintenance and cleaning?
 

jetajockey

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first off, welcome to FL, great people here.

those measurements come out to a little over 50 gallons, there is a calculator on the bottom of the page.

I suggest to get a canister filter, but it really just depends on what kind of budget you have. I'm sure people have more specific types that they will recommend.

You can definitely stock it with more than 4 guppies or so, but definitely start with only a few until your tank is cycled (or do a fishless cycle), and once its cycled you can start adding more fish, only a few at a time with a week or two in between.
 

NMfishman

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Welcome to Fishlore
Your tank is a 50 gallon
I would recommend a hang on the back filter, here is my favorite:
You should get the 350 model, it is a little more money but the extra filtration will really help.

typing at the same time jetajockey
 
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houiej

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Thanks for your replies. I know the guppies will reproduce like crazy so I wanted to get a larger tank to accommodate them. I might get other types of fish in the future but I'm just thinking of guppies for now.

So I shouldn't consider an internal filter (either an undergravel filter or a filter that's submerged at the back of the tank)?
 

jetajockey

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UGFs are pretty old school, and can make maintenance complicated. Canister maintenance is easy once you learn how their inner workings go. HOB type filters are probably one of the easiest since they are right there on top, but personally I like canisters because you can hide them and it gives the whole setup a more clean look.
 

chunkdaddy

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HI houiej,
Personally, I recommend the Aqua Clear filters. I don't know the model you would, but its recommend that your filter(s) run 10x the gallons per hr. so you should be looking for something that is rated 50gpr.

I also recommend at least 1 bristlenose pleco. They help fight algae & are super cool!
 
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houiej

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The supplier I'm getting my tank from usually packages it with a sump and cabinet. But I'm placing my tank on a concrete ledge so it wouldn't make sense to get a sump. I'm drawn towards the canister filter after reading up on it but how does the HOB filter work?
 

NMfishman

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Mine Work fine, I think the canisters are best for large, like 75+ gallons or for really sensitive/messy fish. Your tank with just guppies or similar fish should be fine.
 

jetajockey

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the basic HOB filter hangs on the back of the tank, sucks the water up through an intake tube, pushes the water through some sort of filtering media, and then lets it pour back out waterfall style into the tank.
 
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houiej

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If I get a canister filter, how often should I replace the carbon? And what types of filter media work best with a canister?
 

NMfishman

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I totally missed what he was asking. I thought he meant if it does a good job! Guess this is what I get for posting while tired!
 

NMfishman

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houiej said:
If I get a canister filter, how often should I replace the carbon? And what types of filter media work best with a canister?
I would not use carbon at all after the tank is established, but about once a month or so.
 

jetajockey

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NMfishman said:
I totally missed what he was asking. I thought he meant if it does a good job! Guess this is what I get for posting while tired!
lol~
 

Aquarist

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Good morning and Welcome to Fish Lore!

I would recommend the Aqua Clear 110 @ 500gph for a 50 gallon tank. They are great filters, very quiet and highly recommended. This will give you the 10x the tank volume filtration as mentioned in one of the above posts. Link below:


This size of filter may have to be ordered on line. My PetCo does not carry this size. Their largest (at least at my store) is the 70 @ 300gph.

You can also slide a sponge onto the intake tube to prevent your fish from being sucked into the filter or onto the filter strainer. This sponge will also house more good bacteria to keep the tank cycled and you can rinse it in siphoned tank water just like you would do your filter media. (never rinse your media in tap water as chlorine will destroy the good bacteria).

Ken
 

Tigerfishy

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Just a note, if you can't get the Aqua Clears in Singapore, you can do an internet search for "hang on filter" for example to see what you can get in your country, I had trouble in UK with these filter brands, so that's my tip!

Just look and make sure it is at least 500gph when comparing them all as Ken mentioned!

Welcome!
 

claudicles

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You can get them in Australia pretty easily so my guess is you should be able to get them in Singapore.
As for carbon, people will argue forever on the pros and cons. It isn;t compulsary but some people swear by it.
 
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houiej

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Thanks for the tips. In the Singapore forum, people have suggested EheI'm Classic canister or Gex hang on filter. I've heard that the latter gets really noisy though and my aquarium is going to be in my bedroom so I'm hoping for something quieter.

I'll keep a lookout for Aqua Clear.

Ken, the sponge is a great idea. I wouldn't want guppy fry getting sucked up. And I guess it would help house bacteria if I needed some for a quarantine tank.
 

Prince Powder

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From what I can tell after a quick google search of the GEX hang on filter I would recommend the canister filter over the GEX brand. From what I can see the Gex brand filters use cartridges where as a canister filter allows you to choose what kind and how much of what kind of media you prefer to use.
 
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houiej

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Okay so I ordered my aquarium. I decided on a 30x18x18 so that's 40 gallon. I've also decided to get the eheI'm classic canister filter, perhaps the 2213. Is that sufficient for that size?

What comes with the filter and do I need to get anything else for it? Like carbon or additional tubings and rings?

Just one area I need help with - what purpose does a powerhead with airstone serve and do I need one?
 

claudicles

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You won't regret the EHEIM. According to their website that should be the right size but I just looked at their numbers and it turns over 400 litres per hour. Your tank will be 150 litres. That doesn't sound like enough to me but this is where someone else chimes in and tells you that canisters should have flow rates of X times the volume of the tank. I just can't remember what the X is

Sorry, didn't notice your other questions - the filter comes with several different foam pads. EheI'm market their ceramic media separately. It is good stuff though. Tubing is all included.

A pump with airstone serves several purposes. It increases water movement so more oxygen is taken up. It generates water flow which some fish love and it is pretty. It is not compulsary but useful particularly if you have a heavily stocked tank or one at a higher temp where less oxygen is disolved.
 
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