Suggestions For A Filter On A 16 Gallon Planted Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Tank Equipment' started by KimAnnKitz, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    I've been asking for help with this tank for quite a while but I'm not getting much feedback. I have a 4 month old 16 gallon tank. It is Fluval Vista Kit that came with an AC 30 HOB. That filter immediately began acting up. The water was filling up to the top and at times overflowing...and the tank wasn't clear for long. I decided to try the newer Sechem Tidal 55 HOB. Kind of had the same issues.... only worse! I know filters are supposed to be kind of dirty. I've had tanks for 5 years and have never really had issues with filters. The Tidal was constantly filthy and smelled like a swamp, making my whole tank smell. The water would cloud up suddenly and plants and fish died. I got fed up with the Tidal after a fish death tonight and went back to the AC 30. It's already filled to capacity with water and threatening to overflow and it's taking forever to clear the tank. I've totally had it with both these filters. Can anyone suggest something better??? I do not like filters with cartridges. I'm looking at a cheap canister filter option but have absolutely ZERO experience with them. A 4 month old tank that's getting huge weekly water changes (recently) should not be this dirty or smell bad. I don't know why my fish and plants are dying. Please help if you can.

  2. Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    Maybe you just have too much filter media in the filter box?

  3. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    In the AC I only have the sponge that comes with it and the bio media. I usually add Purigen also but mine is soaking right now. I run this same media in my AC 20 on a six gallon tank and it's perfect.
  4. Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    Okay but if it fills up and overflows then the water is not passing through the media fast enough. I know you don't like them but cartridge filters never have that problem. The beneficial bacteria builds up on not only the mesh of the cartridge but also on every piece of carbon inside the cartridge that the water flows through. In my opinion, a sponge is no better.

    Purigen-----just another useless and unnecessary chemical. In my opinion.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  5. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    Yes. I understand that, but this is the media that came with the AC filter minus the carbon. I can't remove the sponge or bio media. It's doesn't even seem like enough media right now to provide ample bb. The 30 seems undersized for the job it's supposed to perform IMO.
  6. aussieJJDudeWell Known MemberMember

    I know your considering going down the canister route, just hear to say that I highly reccomend them and never had major issues (unless it was due to me making mistakes).

    Biggest advise Id offer is to google reviews and watch videos of canisters for your type of tank to make an informed decision. Some I'd reccomend are eheim 2215, or 2213 or the fluval 106.
  7. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    That's the two I was researching! My biggest issue with a canister filter is space. I ordered a Fluval C3 power filter to give a try. Not sure how successful that will be. My last 16 gallon tank had a built-in filtration system that I could load with a large amount of media. Never had issues with that tank except for the horrible seal failure after 18 months. It was an expensive set up and I wasn't willing to spend the money for a new one. I do know the tank could have been resealed but I just didn't trust it anymore.
  8. WTFish?Well Known MemberMember

    I just bought the fluval C2 for my 10g and I love it, well so far obviously, hasn’t been very long. Plenty of room to add your own media as well.
  9. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    I'm so glad to hear that. I hope it works better for me than the AC 30 and the Tidal 55. The AC 30 is running currently and after a huge water change and cleaning on Thursday the tank is cloudy again. Never had a tank act like this. Wish I could get more help from people on here...forums aren't what they used to be...
  10. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    Purigen helps my water stay pristine and sparkling, so I use it in place of carbon. But that is also just my experience and opinion. I have had filters with cartridges and in fact I'm running one now. It has a cartridge plus a sponge and room for purigen. I rinse the cartridge in old tank water several times before I actually replace it. It's fine but it's also 5 gallon tank... I don't want to have to keep spending money on cartridges when I know I can run a tank with sponge, bio media, and purigen. I just cannot get enough media in this tank to keep it clear more than a few days. My next tank this size will have the built-in filtration that I prefer....if I had a spare $200 laying around I would go for the new Fluval Spec 16. It came out right about the same time as I bought this tank. I just didn't know about it at that time.
  11. Dch48Well Known MemberMember

    Cloudy water is usually caused by a bacterial bloom in a new tank. It shouldn't be happening in a 4 month old cycled tank. I don't know what to say.
  12. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    I am stumped by this tank. I have never had problems like this with any of my tanks. This tank gets cloudy sporadically. I do a huge water change when it clouds up. This time it is cloudy 3 days after at least an 80% water change. A LFS guy told me I am cleaning too much so I skipped a week. The water was fine but there was gross stuff flowing out of the filter. Usually I only clean filter media about once a month - or less. I can not go more than 1-1 1/2 weeks without cleaning filter media in this tank, sometimes less. I have no clue where all the "stuff" is coming from. When the water gets cloudy, plants start dying...

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