Back In The Saddle Again After Being Gone For Years…

Cichlidude

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Being absent from this forum for about 6-8 years I decided to come back and look around to see what was happening in the fish world. Why I came back is because I had an impeller failure after cleaning my canister filter.

OK, so here is my story and my thoughts of how my fish have done so well with almost no maintenance. Mainly because I think folks are doing too much and screwing up their fish tanks.

I started my 75 gallon freshwater in 2008 and joined this forum to see how thing were done. I did have a 29 gallon years before but stopped it a long time ago.

I bought a Marineland C360 canister and an Aquaclear 70 for filters. During the first 3 years or so all was just fine but I decide to buy a Sunsun 303B and another Aquaclear 70 to put on the shelf as spares in case anything failed. Well yes, 3-4 years later the Marineland C360 started acting up by spewing out air bubble and rattling every 6-7 hours.

So I switch it out and put in the Sunsun 303B and this is a much better filter. Totally silent. Been running over 6 years with no issues until I cleaned the impeller for the first time.

Let me say that I only clean the Sunsun maybe 2-3 times a year and the AC70 maybe 4 times a year. Change about 50% of the water maybe 3 times a year also, but I do add water.

Before everyone starts crabbing here and starts going off in a tangent, let me say also I have not tested my water for anything in the last 5 or more years either. Why? Fish are all fine. Granted for the last 6 years I only had 3 fish in the tank, big Africans and like I said, they were fine and water crystal clear.

Fast forward to 2018, three weeks ago. I decided to get the tank prepared and maybe add more fish for once in 6 years. So I pull the Sunsun 303B and clean it out but this time I pull the impeller since it has never been removed. Long story short, cleaned impeller start making noise and rattling but the impeller was in perfect condition. So I check the pump head by turning it on and putting a screw driver in the hole and in pulled to the sides all the way around. Looks like the pump head is good. So I order a new impeller and another new Sunsun303B just in case the new impeller does not fix it. New Sunsun came first, so I installed just that since I don’t have to change anything. Well, I ordered the wrong impeller and order the right one and it comes a week later again. Put it in and the old Sunsun is now working just fine. I pulled the new filter and will package that up and send it back.

So, after reading the forum here I decide to try a new HOB filter. Since there is a new Sherriff in town by the name of Seachem Filters, I order and install the Seachem 55. Well so far this is a great filter and now I know why this one is taking the fish world by storm.

I now have about 14 fish in the tank. New assorted African Cichlids, Clown loaches, catfish, plecto and two crawfish.

When after 3 days I pulled out my API water test kit which has not been used in like 5 years or more. Blew off the dust, checked for any expiration date and found none. Shook up all the bottles, read the directions again and tested my water.

PH 6.5, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and 5 Nitrates. This after hardly no maintenance in 10 years. Filter media loaded as follows in the Sunsun. Coarse, medium, fine media pad (lower), Bio Balls, fine media pad (center) and just ceramic filter rings (top) and that’s it. New Sherriff in town (Seachem 55), course and pinky filter media on bottom, layer of bio balls to just fill the area once, then my old ceramic filter rings from the AC70 filter on top. This just to seed the bio balls until I replace this with the enclosed Seachem Matrix that was provided. Media should be a least 1 inch from the top of the inner basket. No more as this will overflow the filter just like it did on the AC70. FYI, I was never really impressed with the AC70 but it worked.

So this is what I have learned in 10 years with this tank:

1. Never leave your Sunsun UV light on all the time. It burns out in about 3 months and you never check it. When your impeller dies always have a spare on hand for fast replacement (they are cheap). Put in a new UV light and only use it when you have a water problem and only leave it on about 3-4 days when needed. Mine was burned out for 5 years at least and water has always been perfect.

2. Never pack your HOB filter with too much media that slows water filtration (and everybody does). Best to have less media and more water flowing through that media to keeps thing running perfect.

3. Don’t jack with your water if all is well. Doing so may get you into trouble and now you are stuck adding chemicals to fix what you screwed up. In my tank, water changes every 3-4 months is just fine. I have gone as long as 8 months with no issues.

I just added a new Aquaneat remote light with the 24/7 mode so we will see how that works out.

Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. My 75 gallon is a ‘Set It and Forget It’ aquarium.

I know I’ll get some wondering eyes with what I have done. But it works for me.
 

Goldiemom

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Being absent from this forum for about 6-8 years I decided to come back and look around to see what was happening in the fish world. Why I came back is because I had an impeller failure after cleaning my canister filter.

OK, so here is my story and my thoughts of how my fish have done so well with almost no maintenance. Mainly because I think folks are doing too much and screwing up their fish tanks.

I started my 75 gallon freshwater in 2008 and joined this forum to see how thing were done. I did have a 29 gallon years before but stopped it a long time ago.

I bought a Marineland C360 canister and an Aquaclear 70 for filters. During the first 3 years or so all was just fine but I decide to buy a Sunsun 303B and another Aquaclear 70 to put on the shelf as spares in case anything failed. Well yes, 3-4 years later the Marineland C360 started acting up by spewing out air bubble and rattling every 6-7 hours.

So I switch it out and put in the Sunsun 303B and this is a much better filter. Totally silent. Been running over 6 years with no issues until I cleaned the impeller for the first time.

Let me say that I only clean the Sunsun maybe 2-3 times a year and the AC70 maybe 4 times a year. Change about 50% of the water maybe 3 times a year also, but I do add water.

Before everyone starts crabbing here and starts going off in a tangent, let me say also I have not tested my water for anything in the last 5 or more years either. Why? Fish are all fine. Granted for the last 6 years I only had 3 fish in the tank, big Africans and like I said, they were fine and water crystal clear.

Fast forward to 2018, three weeks ago. I decided to get the tank prepared and maybe add more fish for once in 6 years. So I pull the Sunsun 303B and clean it out but this time I pull the impeller since it has never been removed. Long story short, cleaned impeller start making noise and rattling but the impeller was in perfect condition. So I check the pump head by turning it on and putting a screw driver in the hole and in pulled to the sides all the way around. Looks like the pump head is good. So I order a new impeller and another new Sunsun303B just in case the new impeller does not fix it. New Sunsun came first, so I installed just that since I don’t have to change anything. Well, I ordered the wrong impeller and order the right one and it comes a week later again. Put it in and the old Sunsun is now working just fine. I pulled the new filter and will package that up and send it back.

So, after reading the forum here I decide to try a new HOB filter. Since there is a new Sherriff in town by the name of Seachem Filters, I order and install the Seachem 55. Well so far this is a great filter and now I know why this one is taking the fish world by storm.

I now have about 14 fish in the tank. New assorted African Cichlids, Clown loaches, catfish, plecto and two crawfish.

When after 3 days I pulled out my API water test kit which has not been used in like 5 years or more. Blew off the dust, checked for any expiration date and found none. Shook up all the bottles, read the directions again and tested my water.

PH 6.5, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and 5 Nitrates. This after hardly no maintenance in 10 years. Filter media loaded as follows in the Sunsun. Coarse, medium, fine media pad (lower), Bio Balls, fine media pad (center) and just ceramic filter rings (top) and that’s it. New Sherriff in town (Seachem 55), course and pinky filter media on bottom, layer of bio balls to just fill the area once, then my old ceramic filter rings from the AC70 filter on top. This just to seed the bio balls until I replace this with the enclosed Seachem Matrix that was provided. Media should be a least 1 inch from the top of the inner basket. No more as this will overflow the filter just like it did on the AC70. FYI, I was never really impressed with the AC70 but it worked.

So this is what I have learned in 10 years with this tank:

1. Never leave your Sunsun UV light on all the time. It burns out in about 3 months and you never check it. When your impeller dies always have a spare on hand for fast replacement (they are cheap). Put in a new UV light and only use it when you have a water problem and only leave it on about 3-4 days when needed. Mine was burned out for 5 years at least and water has always been perfect.

2. Never pack your HOB filter with too much media that slows water filtration (and everybody does). Best to have less media and more water flowing through that media to keeps thing running perfect.

3. Don’t jack with your water if all is well. Doing so may get you into trouble and now you are stuck adding chemicals to fix what you screwed up. In my tank, water changes every 3-4 months is just fine. I have gone as long as 8 months with no issues.

I just added a new Aquaneat remote light with the 24/7 mode so we will see how that works out.

Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. My 75 gallon is a ‘Set It and Forget It’ aquarium.

I know I’ll get some wondering eyes with what I have done. But it works for me.
. Thanks for sharing and welcome back! I wasn’t aware of the new Seachem filters and agree that the Aquaclear 70 is nothing to get excited about. I use it but not thrilled. Will have to check into the Seachem. My tanks always look clean but nitrates get me. With Goldie’s, I can’t ignore the bioload.
 

jacob thompson

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if he has a deep sand bed as well as rock work, he could have a lot of anerobic bacteria growing in his tank that detoxify the nitrate. that's just very rare in freshwater tanks though. also if he is currantly using matrix that is a hospitable growing place for the denitrifying anerobic bacteria since it is actually made from pumus a type of live rock.
 

Goldiemom

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I do have to disagree with the not testing the water. I feel we have a responsibility to our fish to know what’s going on in their tank. It’s much cheaper and easier to change a little water if needed then to wait and have to treat a sick fish. I don’t test too frequently but I do occasionally. Although I’m healthy and feeling fine, I get a yearly physical to be sure all is well. I feel water testing is like a physical...good, preventative medicine. Otherwise, the information is interesting and I can only wish my tanks were self maintained.
 
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Cichlidude

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if he has a deep sand bed as well as rock work, he could have a lot of anerobic bacteria growing in his tank that detoxify the nitrate. that's just very rare in freshwater tanks though. also if he is currantly using matrix that is a hospitable growing place for the denitrifying anerobic bacteria since it is actually made from pumus a type of live rock.
Nope just standard gravel that gets vacuumed when I change water. No Matrix yet but will swap out the ceramic with the Matrix in maybe a few weeks.

Welcome back. I say if it ain't broke don't try to fix it.

Do you have plants in this tank? Just wondering how you keep the nitrates so low without water changes.
Nope no plants. Just a plastic ones.
 
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mattgirl

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Nope just standard gravel that gets vacuumed when I change water. No Matrix yet but will swap out the ceramic with the Matrix in maybe a few weeks.
Nope no plants. Just a plastic ones.
I guess we can chalk it up to great filtration and low bio-load then. I would love to get mine down to at least monthly water changes but ain't gonna happen with the number of fish I have in my 55.
 
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Cichlidude

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I guess we can chalk it up to great filtration and low bio-load then. I would love to get mine down to at least monthly water changes but ain't gonna happen with the number of fish I have in my 55.
Well I do have more fish now so I will be watching this.
 
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