Filter or pump?

samanther98

I currently have a double sided sponge filter in my 20 gallon tank but it doesn't seem to be enough. Do I need a stronger air pump or a second filter? I don't know how air pumps affect the filters, I know it raises GPH but will it increase the water flow too? I need to keep it gentle for my betta and baby rasboras (which yes are an odd combo lol but my betta is super docile)
Tank mates are currently:
1 female betta
5 adult rasboras + 2 babies, (plan to get +2 adults too once this is figured out)
2 nerite snails
1 lemon pleco
 

Flyfisha

Hi samanther98
Welcome to fishlore
you wrote

“it doesn't seem to be enough”
Why do you think it is not enough? Is it because you have ammonia in the tank or because you have solids on the substrate?

If you have ammonia yes you need more surface area for the bacteria / a second filter.
 
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samanther98

Yeah that's exactly why, thank you
 
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Islandvic

Consider getting a larger airpump woth dual outlets so you can run a second sponge filter.

A Tetra Whisper 60 or 100, or a Fluval Q1 are examples.

If you are having ammonia, then the tank isn't cycled.

Try doing a thorough cleaning of the substrate with your gravel siphon to remove any uneaten food and fish waste. If organic matter starts to build up in the substrate and begins to decay, it can lead to spikes in your water parameters as well.

Also conisder larger and more frequent water changes. Try 50% WC 2x a week.
 
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Flyfisha

I am going to suggest if the bacteria are in low numbers the last thing you should do is deep clean the substrate or even disturb it .
Do lots of water changes to lower ammonia but don’t clean any hard surface. Adding another filter is a good idea but that should not be cleaned for many weeks nor need cleaning.

With some nitrates and some ammonia the tank is going through a mini cycle. Multiple water changes are needed to keep the ammonia at almost zero . And an undisturbed home for any bacteria that in my opinion includes not cleaning any glass. Certainly not the back and side panels if you possibly can put up with looking at the obscure glass for a month or so?
 
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Islandvic

I am going to tag mattgirl on this thread.

mattgirl can give better advice on tank cycling than I can.
 
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mattgirl

since we aren't dealing with sick fish the Nitrogen cycle template may be more helpful. Nitrogen Cycle Template | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 494741

It will help us figure out if another filter is needed or if the tank just needs more time to complete the cycle. Just fill in as much as you can and we will try to get to the bottom of what's going on.
 
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