filter setup help

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by ebbandflow, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. ebbandflow Valued Member Member

    I posted this in a beginners forum topic but I thought I'd post it here to possibly get some more input:

    Ok. So I already have a filter. It is an aquaclear 200 (HOB). It has room for a spongy insert and a carbon insert. Going by the ten gallons per 1 gallon of your tank per hour thingy though, I do not have adequate filtration (I have a 30 gallon tank, it filters 200 gallons per hour.) What should I do? Should I get completely new filter that will do 300 gph? If so what type do you recommend? That website seemed to favor canister filters. Is there any brand that is particularly good? Or should I just get one to supplement the HOB filter that I already have? What type and which one in that case? Also, I couldnt tell from the website... are you supposed to get a separate biological filter? If so any suggestions on those (like specific brands and all) would be really appreciated. Thank you again... a thousand times. For all the thousand questions that will follow.

    PS. Oh yeah let me use one of them. My HOB filter only reaches down to a little under the half way point of the tank... (supposing I am supposed to keep it) should I get extendors for this so it pulls in water from lower down or is it fine this way? How far down should it go? (I'm not putting thanks here because... well... i think im covered.)

  2. Marc Well Known Member Member

    Is there a number other than 200 on it? Like 20, 50, 70, 110? It should be on a colored box in the lower right corner. I can't find the filter you're talking about.

    If you really don't have money to get a new filter, I'd leave it as is and monitor for dirty water/ammonia/nitrites and if it does get bad, see what you can get. AquaClear is great if you want a good filter for a good price, and if you order any filter it's almost always cheaper to order it online.

      is GREAT and I've saved lots of money ordering stuff from there. Saved almost $50 on my filter!

  3. atmmachine816 Fishlore VIP Member

    Yup I would go for a penguin bio-wheel 100 or another aquaclear but since you don't have any fish I wouldn't worry about filtaration right now.

  4. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Aquaclears are supposed to be one of the better HOB filters.  Since you already have a good brand, you may want to just supplement with another HOB to give you the gph you need.  You can not over filter a tank except by have too much current where the water goes back into the tank.  If you got another aquaclear like the one you already have, you would probably be okay.  Just place each filter on opposite sides of the tank.  I'd also throw away the sponge if you still have it, and get a new one for your existing filter.  The intake tube does not necessasarily have to be at the bottom of your tank for good filtration.  Unless you notice a problem once your tank is cycled and stocked with fish, you can probably make an extension for it to make it longer, or aquaclear may even sell them - not sure.
    I read some of your other thread in the beginners section, and these FishLore finatics have you on the right track.  Make sure you understand the cycling process which is the most important thing you will need to know so you don't keep killing your fish.  You can cycle with fish, but it's not recommended, because your fish are stressed and could die going through the process, and it's just not necessary to do this when you can just use pure ammonia and do the same thing.  There is also a product called bio spira, but that's a whole 'nother topic and something you should try on your next tank or if you have an emergency, but you are better off cycling the "old fashioned way" way the first time.  You will be a better fishkeeper in the long run because you will know how to diagnose problems in the future if you've been through this process.  Also, in the beginners section, please read the beginners articles especially those about cycling and ask any questions you don't understand.  I also have a sticky with a link to all the "must read" articles here on FishLore that will help you get started.   ;)

    P.S. I agree with ATM about getting a biowheel filter if you'd like that extra biological filtration. However, I think you should get the 2nd filter now and run it when you start your cycle. You want as much biological filtration going as you will have when your tank has fish in it. Otherwise, you could cause a mini cycle to your tank when you add the fish because one of the filters would not have any bacteria in it.

  5. Marc Well Known Member Member

    BIO-Wheels are not all they're cracked up to be and work nowhere near as well as a sponge. I had a Penguin 330 and the thing basically stopped working, the wheels are just for show.
  6. ebbandflow Valued Member Member

    Wow thanks everybody. I think I am gonna go for another aquaclear on the other side... for balance (im ocd like that). This filter is old... i think they renamed the 200 the 50. I'll just get whichever one has the same gph (200). Yeah i dont think I even have the old sponge... i found a couple of new ones in the storage part of my stand so I'll just use those.

    One thing I couldnt find (or dont remember reading) in the cycling article. What temperature should I keep the tank at? I want to get tropical fish once I am through cycling so should I keep it at tropical fish temperature (and if so what is that?) Thanks... again. ;D

    PS. "Finatics"... i like that. I didnt catch it at first.
  7. ebbandflow Valued Member Member

    One more question. What type of thermometer do you recommend for my tank? It already has a Penn Plax therma temp full range digital thermometer. Is this good enough? Also, should I get a thermometer for the bucket that I am gonna use to fill the tank back up (to make sure the water temp is right going back in?) If so which one should I get? Thanks.

    Oh yeah and I am looking at the aquarium pharmaceuticals master test kit and it seems good but it doesnt have a test for chlorine. It only has pH, and all the ammonia related tests. Should I be getting another test to supplement this one or testing for chlorine isnt important? Are other tests needed? Thanks.
  8. ebbandflow Valued Member Member

    I'm sorry I'm just looking at this online website so all these questions are coming to me. Where do I find pure ammonia? Big Al's online doesnt seem to sell it. Thanks.
  9. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    78 degrees is a general temp. for tropical fish. That is probably a safe number to go with. You definately need a thermometer for your bucket, and the one you have if fine as long as you know it still works! I just get the cheap $1.49 glass thermometers from WalMart that are held on the side of your tank by a suction cup.

    I don't test for chlorine. You should be conditioning your water with a product that dechlorinizes your water. It should also eliminate chloramines which are probably in your water unless you have well water. It's good to also look for one that deals with any heavy metals you might have in your water. You can also buy this at WalMart. I prefer the basic dechlors and not those with additives like aloe, but that is my preference. There is nothing wrong with the others.

    Pure ammonia can be hard to find. I believe WalMart carries it. Just look for one that has no coloring or additives.
  10. ebbandflow Valued Member Member

    Any suggestions on a particular brand of water treatment? Also, should I keep carbon and other ammonia reducing components out of my filter when I am trying to cycle it... because then it would be taking ammonia out of the water. There is this ammo-rid insert for the aquaclear filter. Thanks.
  11. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I generally use Start Right by Jungle which is available at WalMart. I also use aqua plus sometimes when it's available at the store I am at. Definately don't use any ammonia eliminating stuff while cycling your tank. If you are cycling with fish, water changes will be the way you should reduce the ammonia in your tank. ;)
  12. atmmachine816 Fishlore VIP Member

    Really Marc maybe you didn't do something right with your bio-wheel. My grandpa used bio-wheels ever since they were created. I have no problem with them at all and am quite happy with mine except that my propeller broke or something once.

  13. ebbandflow Valued Member Member

    Ok thanks... no I'm not cycling with fish. I wouldnt do that to them. It just doesnt seem right for some reason. Thanks for the help.