Help Can We Talk About Filtration? And A Quick Question About Pothos

Sadfish

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Mini question: I want to put pothos in my tank. I'm afraid to let the roots just hang, to much space for fry to hide. Can I put it in a mesh breeder basket and let it chill? Also: can I used the established root system, or do only cuttings work?

Big Question:
So, can we talk about filtration? I've had my tank running, with fish for about 8 months. I do weekly water changes of 30-40%. I've not had many problems with water chemistry until recently. My nitrates went out of control. I've made a post about that, issue is being handled. But! It was brought to my attention that my filter might just be squeaking by.

I run two filters:
HoB: Tetra Whisper ex70 (I have a carbon pouch on one side and a sponge on the other).
Sponge filter:
Powkoo Air Pump Sponge Filter Bio Filter for Aquarium Fish Tank Up to 60 Gallons

So, I went to watch some videos on filters. Which just left me more bewildered. I've boiled it down to two questions: can I beef up my current system, or, should I just buy a bigger filter. If I do buy a bigger filter, how do I switch from old to new without having to worry about recycling the tank?

Sumps seem... Like a bad idea for me. My cats can get into the aquarium stand, and often do. It's not an issue ATM, I just leave it empty and store fish things elsewhere. Also: they (the sumps, not the cats) just seem intimidating.

Then I watch a 40min video from Aquarium Co-Op about beefing up even little filters.

It got me thinking: why don't I just beef up what I've already got?

My idea:
1.) Get a sponge to fit over the intake on the HOB filter

2.) On the carbon side, I'm going to nix the carbon pad completely. Then get a bag of either Seachem Matrix or Seachem Purigen. I don't really understand the difference, more research is needed. If you've got helpful input that'd be awesome

3.) If there's room with the bag of which ever I pick, put more sponge.

Would this beef up my filter?

If I need to get a bigger filter how do I go about switching? I currently have both filters on the same side of the tank. One side has a lot of movement, the other much less. When I first put the sponge filter in I noticed my fish all started to act stressed (the Molly's got super aggressive, the platies kept darting around the tank or would just hide in the caves all day). Once I moved them to the same side everyone chilled out and/or went back to being active.

So if I do get a new filter I don't think I can run both while switching over. Will it harm my cycle to just pull out the old one and slap in the new? Maybe move then old sponge into the new?

I don't know.


Tank Specs
60 Gallons
Lightly planted (3 Java Fern, 2 Anubis, 1 Asian Water Fern, 1 I don't remember but it's in there)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10-20 ppm


Fish:
2 molly
7 Adult platy;
~10 baby platy (maybe some very tiny ones I can't see)
6 Cory Cats
 

Skavatar

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Jeffsglo

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Hello and welcome to Fishlore! I think you have enough filtration. You can add a sponge around the intake of the existing filter to get more beneficial bacteria. It sounds like you have figured out that the fish need consistency. Any big changes and they can get stressed. When making changes do small things a little at a time. Anything with fish is a very slow process. With the plant question, you can put the plant in the tank with netting beneath the roots but you will be fine either way. As long as the plant gets food and light. So be patient and you can turn off the lights when you do make changes to settle the fish down.
 
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Sadfish

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why would having too much hiding spots for fry a bad thing? unless you want the other fish to eat them.
yes, you can use a basket or pot for the pothos. soak the roots in a bucket of water to loosen all the dirt.

carbon isn't necessary so you can remove it and add more bio media, like sponges or biomax ceramic beads.
Diy Media Guide For Top Fin Silenstream, Aquaclear And Other Hob Filters
Thank you so much for the link! I read through it (I hadn't looked though the forum itself as much as I should have).

As for the problem of roots and fry: I have a huge problem with having to many babies. I use to have guppy grass, and a few more plants. About two or so months after having my swimmers I had a population explosion. I easily had over 50 little platies. Much to many for my tank.

Even with the majority of my plants removed a good number still randomly show up. I'm think about getting a fish to be a predator (and also for pretty) just so maybe even fewer make it to adulthood. I have been thinking angelfish, but I don't know.

I vastly underestimate both my ability to keep fish alive, and live-bearers abliltiy to reproduce.
Hello and welcome to Fishlore! I think you have enough filtration. You can add a sponge around the intake of the existing filter to get more beneficial bacteria. It sounds like you have figured out that the fish need consistency. Any big changes and they can get stressed. When making changes do small things a little at a time. Anything with fish is a very slow process. With the plant question, you can put the plant in the tank with netting beneath the roots but you will be fine either way. As long as the plant gets food and light. So be patient and you can turn off the lights when you do make changes to settle the fish down.
Thank you for the welcome! I didn't know the tip about lights to help settle the fish. I think I'll use that for water change night. It always seems to excite everyone.
 

Donthemon

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I would get a canister filter if you can. They hold so much more media for the BB and filtering polishing.Also allows the use of spray bar. A sponge filter is good to have also as a backup and a place to house additional BB. Just my thoughts after starting with a hob and then discovering canisters.i have a penplax cascade and a hydor . Like them both.
 

oldsalt777

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Mini question: I want to put pothos in my tank. I'm afraid to let the roots just hang, to much space for fry to hide. Can I put it in a mesh breeder basket and let it chill? Also: can I used the established root system, or do only cuttings work?

Big Question:
So, can we talk about filtration? I've had my tank running, with fish for about 8 months. I do weekly water changes of 30-40%. I've not had many problems with water chemistry until recently. My nitrates went out of control. I've made a post about that, issue is being handled. But! It was brought to my attention that my filter might just be squeaking by.

I run two filters:
HoB: Tetra Whisper ex70 (I have a carbon pouch on one side and a sponge on the other).
Sponge filter:
Powkoo Air Pump Sponge Filter Bio Filter for Aquarium Fish Tank Up to 60 Gallons

So, I went to watch some videos on filters. Which just left me more bewildered. I've boiled it down to two questions: can I beef up my current system, or, should I just buy a bigger filter. If I do buy a bigger filter, how do I switch from old to new without having to worry about recycling the tank?

Sumps seem... Like a bad idea for me. My cats can get into the aquarium stand, and often do. It's not an issue ATM, I just leave it empty and store fish things elsewhere. Also: they (the sumps, not the cats) just seem intimidating.

Then I watch a 40min video from Aquarium Co-Op about beefing up even little filters.

It got me thinking: why don't I just beef up what I've already got?

My idea:
1.) Get a sponge to fit over the intake on the HOB filter

2.) On the carbon side, I'm going to nix the carbon pad completely. Then get a bag of either Seachem Matrix or Seachem Purigen. I don't really understand the difference, more research is needed. If you've got helpful input that'd be awesome

3.) If there's room with the bag of which ever I pick, put more sponge.

Would this beef up my filter?

If I need to get a bigger filter how do I go about switching? I currently have both filters on the same side of the tank. One side has a lot of movement, the other much less. When I first put the sponge filter in I noticed my fish all started to act stressed (the Molly's got super aggressive, the platies kept darting around the tank or would just hide in the caves all day). Once I moved them to the same side everyone chilled out and/or went back to being active.

So if I do get a new filter I don't think I can run both while switching over. Will it harm my cycle to just pull out the old one and slap in the new? Maybe move then old sponge into the new?

I don't know.


Tank Specs
60 Gallons
Lightly planted (3 Java Fern, 2 Anubis, 1 Asian Water Fern, 1 I don't remember but it's in there)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10-20 ppm


Fish:
2 molly
7 Adult platy;
~10 baby platy (maybe some very tiny ones I can't see)
6 Cory Cats
Hello Sad...

Filtration is really simple. You remove and replace at least half the tank water weekly. That's it. Mechanical filters, no matter how fancy and expensive are very poor water cleaners. This is because none have the ability to remove the old, polluted water and replace it with pure water. Gradually work up to the point you change out most of the water weekly and you'll have no tank problems.

Old
 

david1978

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Also the thing with filtration and its ability to hold beneficial bacteria. Once its able to hold 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites its adequit. No matter how much you add beyond that point it will not have more bacteria since it will have no extra food (ammonia) to feed it. Now extra filtration isn't necessarily a bad thing but after a certain point its a waist since your pumping extra water.
 

86 ssinit

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Old are you saying use no filter? Sadfish your idea on what to do to your filter is perfect. Add sponges and matrix(bio-media). Add these things slowly. First remove your carbon and replace with the bio-media. Let it stay like that for 2 weeks than remove the polyfil on one side and replace with a sponge wait 2 weeks and do the other.
How good your filter is working for your tank will be determined by how fast the nitrates build up again.
When cleaning this new media just rinse it out in the old water change water. Which can than be used to water plants .
 

Skavatar

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Old are you saying use no filter?
How did you get that from what he said?

He's saying that filters do a specific job and no matter how many filters you have, they don't take the place of doing water changes.
 

oldsalt777

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Old are you saying use no filter? Sadfish your idea on what to do to your filter is perfect. Add sponges and matrix(bio-media). Add these things slowly. First remove your carbon and replace with the bio-media. Let it stay like that for 2 weeks than remove the polyfil on one side and replace with a sponge wait 2 weeks and do the other.
How good your filter is working for your tank will be determined by how fast the nitrates build up again.
When cleaning this new media just rinse it out in the old water change water. Which can than be used to water plants .
Hello 86...

A filter is good for the tank as a means of agitating the water surface and this adds oxygen to the tank water. As a water cleaner, it's extremely poor. It simply moves polluted water around the tank. If you change most of the tank water every few days, you remove the dissolved fish waste material and you keep the water clean. If you're this aggressive and diligent in changing the water, you really don't need a filter. An airstone attached to a length of plastic tubing and attached to an air pump will aerate the tank water. I keep a large tank and change the water so frequently, no filter is needed. If I had one, it would just be filtering water that's already clean.

Old
 

86 ssinit

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Old that’s what I thought you meant. Yes it’s a great practice. Me I’m happy with my filters and changing the water once a week.
 
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