Here we go again

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ewolfe315

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Just bought a brand spanking new 120 gallon extra high Glass aquarium. I also bought a Rena xp3 canister filter. I started the cycle up useing ammonia. Now here's my question. After the cycling process is completed, Can I add another filter onto it,or will this start the cycling process all over again?? It's only been cycling for 2 days now. I was looking at adding either another canister filter or a HOB filter. Most likely a HOB filter.

The tank is 5 feet long 18 inches wide and 26 inches high (it's deep). I was going to get a 6 footer but it would'nt fit in the wifes Jeep.

John
 

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I'd definitely add another filter to that tank, and I'd put it at the other end of the tank. This is a large tank and it will need good water circulation, and with one filter you're not going to get that. Unless your filter has biological filtration system powerful enough to take care of the entire tank - in which case you could simply get a powerhead for the other end of the tank, to circulate the water well. But if you don't mind getting another filter, definitely do that. You can't "over-filter". There will not be a new cycle if you add another filter I fact, maybe the cycle will speed up with to filters? (Just a guess, not sure myself). But I know that it certainly will not slow your cycle at all.

As far as I know, the general rule is to have a filtration of 5 x the volume of your tank if you use canister filter(s), and 10 x the volume of your tank if you use HOB power filter(s). If you mix a HOB with a canister filter, maybe aim for 10 x the volume of your tank as well, just to be safe. And don't forget to have a good water circulation.
 
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ewolfe315

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Isabella said:
I'd definitely add another filter to that tank, and I'd put it at the other end of the tank. This is a large tank and it will need good water circulation, and with one filter you're not going to get that. Unless your filter has biological filtration system powerful enough to take care of the entire tank - in which case you could simply get a powerhead for the other end of the tank, to circulate the water well. But if you don't mind getting another filter, definitely do that. You can't "over-filter". There will not be a new cycle if you add another filter I fact, maybe the cycle will speed up with to filters? (Just a guess, not sure myself). But I know that it certainly will not slow your cycle at all.

As far as I know, the general rule is to have a filtration of 5 x the volume of your tank if you use canister filter(s), and 10 x the volume of your tank if you use HOB power filter(s). If you mix a HOB with a canister filter, maybe aim for 10 x the volume of your tank as well, just to be safe. And don't forget to have a good water circulation.
Thanks Isabella . I'll add the other HOB filter I have it does 400 gph.

John
 

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Rena Filstar XP3 pumps 350 gph, and your other HOB filter pumps 400 gph, the two of which will give you a total of 750 gph. Your tank is 120 gallons, which means you'd normally need 1200 gph. But taking into account the fact that for canister filters you only need a filtration of 5 times the volume of your tank, maybe 750 will be enough (since the XP3 is a canister filter). Just make sure each filter is at the opposite end of the tank.
 
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ewolfe315

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O.K. just an update here. I added the HOB filter and ordered another canister filster. I love these xp3's.. Its so quiet it's unreal. I'm hopeing that the other canister filter gets here soon before the cycling process is over. Just a quick question, I have 2 power heads here but don't know a thing about them are they really good or not to have. Heck I don't even know if they work.

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John, powerheads can be very useful, especially in large tanks that need good water circulation. For example, you have a large tank and only one filter at one end of the tank. In a large tank one filter at one end will not provide sufficient water circulation. And water circulation is necessary as without it you'll be getting stagnant water and dead spots. These may cause the water to smell or "hot-and-cold" spots (since the water isn't circulating well) which can be dangerous to fish. So, a powerhead can help solve this problem. It is placed at the other end of the tank (submerged underwater) and simply turned on - then it just pumps the water, i.e. it helps move the water for better circulation. But since you'll have two canister filters, one at each end, you will not need a powerhead, unless you want one. You also have to be careful when a powerhead is very powerful, as it can suck small fish in! Just have the two canister filters for now and see how they both perform. If you determine them not to do a good job, you can then add a powerhead or perhaps the HOB filter than you already have. In a 120 gallon tank, it is not "uncommon" to have 3 filters. But it's really up to you, as two XP3's should really be great. Though again ... there would be no problem with two XP3's at each end of the tank and the HOB in the middle of the tank. This would really really ensure your tank is very well filtered and that water circulation is excellent.
 
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Isabella said:
John, powerheads can be very useful, especially in large tanks that need good water circulation. For example, you have a large tank and only one filter at one end of the tank. In a large tank one filter at one end will not provide sufficient water circulation. And water circulation is necessary as without it you'll be getting stagnant water and dead spots. These may cause the water to smell or "hot-and-cold" spots (since the water isn't circulating well) which can be dangerous to fish. So, a powerhead can help solve this problem. It is placed at the other end of the tank (submerged underwater) and simply turned on - then it just pumps the water, i.e. it helps move the water for better circulation. But since you'll have two canister filters, one at each end, you will not need a powerhead, unless you want one. You also have to be careful when a powerhead is very powerful, as it can suck small fish in! Just have the two canister filters for now and see how they both perform. If you determine them not to do a good job, you can then add a powerhead or perhaps the HOB filter than you already have. In a 120 gallon tank, it is not "uncommon" to have 3 filters. But it's really up to you, as two XP3's should really be great. Though again ... there would be no problem with two XP3's at each end of the tank and the HOB in the middle of the tank. This would really really ensure your tank is very well filtered and that water circulation is excellent.
Isabella I tested those 2 power heads yesterday(1st time ever) and they work. Only problem I have is they are old and quite ugly,in my opinion. The other canister filter will be here on Wednesday. Now I just started the ammonia up on Monday and already Friday evening I'm getting Nitrite readings. So now it's time to cut back on the Ammonia dosage per day,instead of 60 drops it goes to 36 per day. My 55 gallon tank is just going to have to wait it out til I pick up a 150 gph HOB filter(currently its just running on 400gph as I had to use the other one on the big daddy). I'll just go pick one up later. So I'm crossing my fingers here that probably by the end of this week I"ll be able to start moving some of these fishies (a few at a time weekly)from 1 tank to the other. And then be prepared to get bombarded with live plant questions . Thank You very much for all your help.



One other thing I just read in one of the posts on here was about doing water changes,never knew this, but when I do my water changes I did'nt realize that you can actually kill the good bacteria if there was no water in the filter. My HOB filters I have can only handle about 17 gallons of water loss before I had to unplug them. Thus leaving me no other option to do the water change as I had nothing but problems with the cycle. THIS could have well been the reason why my cycle took so long in the 55.

Do canister filters also have this same kind of effect, I'm hopeing not..

John
 

Isabella

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John, I've never had a canister filter before, so I cannot answer that particular question. All I know about canister filters, especially the XPs and Eheims, that they're both excellent. I'll also be getting an XP for my 75 gallon tank

When I cycled my 10 gallon tank a while ago, I actually didn't change the water ONCE. I cycled without fish and added a few fish food flakes to the tank every day (and took them out the next day). The tank cycled in about 4 weeks. I think I began getting nitrite readings after a week or 1.5 weeks after the start of the cycle. I did a larger water change after the tank finished cycling (that is, when my ammonia and nitrite were at zero, and when nitrate was present).

Anyway, I hope all goes well with your tank. Good Luck Of course, ask if you need any more help.
 
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Thanks Isabella

BTW The other canister arrived yesterday and was hooked up last night. Would this be ok to do? I have a canister on each end with the spray bar on the sides of the tank. In other words the water is being shot across the length of the tank plus you don't really see the spray bar as much. And as close to the middle of the tank as I can get I am keeping that HOB 400gph filter.

It seems as though the cycling process has shot forward with the addition of the 400HOB filter as all I did was move it from 1 tank to another from an already established tank.

I know this much, I would rather have more filtration on this large tank to help with the cleaning then with the 55 gallon. The 55 looks like a baby compared to the height and width of this 120 xh tank. Plus I did pick up a smaller HOB for the 55,so everything is ready to go.

Now for live plants which are the easiest to grow in a tank. I am looking mainly for ones that really grow high and won't be eaten up by fish. I am leaning toward Amazon Swords as they will have lots of room to grow as high as they want(26 inches). I just am worried about the Angelfish and the clown loaches eating them.

Thank you very much for your help.

John
 

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Yes, it is OK to have two XPs running on your tank, plus the HOB in the middle - as I have explained above. You can't "over-filter" ... unless you have a whirlpool in your tank and your fish are having difficulties swimming, lol As for water circulation, you have to see for yourself. Does water circulation seem OK in your tank? If it does not, maybe remove the spraybars and point the outflow tubes along the length of the tank.

As for the plants, the easiest plants to grow are plants like Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss, and Water Sprite (in my opinion). These are all low-light plants that should grow under standard lighting. Unfortunately, they do not grow tall. Java Ferns, Java Moss, and Anubias grow attached to surfaces like decor or driftwood. If you have a tall decor or driftwood piece and if you dress it with these plants, it should look very nice.

Swordplants do grow tall and they're beautiful plants but they need at least medium lighting (I'd say at least 1.5 - 1.9 wpg in general, some species may differ). Vallisnerias grow tall as well and they're extremely beautiful to me, but they also need around medium lighting. In addition, usually all plants that need medium to high lighting will require a nutrient rich substrate and/or fertilizers. If you really want to be certain about which plants to get and which ones not to get, go to PlantGeek.net and research it. Plant Geek's forum is also wonderful if you have any questions about plants, lighting, substrate, and even filtration.
 
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