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Old 10-03-2012, 10:57 PM   #16
golfer_d
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Great thread...lots of cool photos and interesting bits of information.

I am thinking I might change the filter on mine as well but I am a total noob and have no real clue what I am doing.

I understand the ceramic rings (like Fluval SPEC biomax??) are the biological filter and the foam is the mechanical filter? What kind of foam did you use?

Also, nice idea with the holes drilled into the filter box area....wish I had thought of that before I got mine all filled.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:27 PM   #17
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Great thread...lots of cool photos and interesting bits of information.
Thanks for taking a look!

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I understand the ceramic rings (like Fluval SPEC biomax??) are the biological filter and the foam is the mechanical filter? What kind of foam did you use?
In a nutshell, yep! I'm using Aquaclear Biomax (70g-size) and a small bag of some other brand, but it's all basically the same thing. The porous ceramic provides lots of surface area for bacterial colonization, which in turn helps to break down waste. I'm using two bags of ceramic rings; one in the first chamber and one hidden in the bottom cavity of the second chamber - the first bag provides some mechanical filtration, the second is simply additional surface space for bacterial growth.

In the first chamber both the rings/foam help to physically trap waste, but honestly most of my mechanical filtration comes from water changes; I still do a 50% WC every 36-48 hours and siphon out any visible detritus from the substrate / filter chamber. Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite are all virtually nonexistent but I still keep up with the WC's - I could sit here and list all the reasons why, but it boils down to a simple principal: there's no substitute for the benefits that regular maintenance / water changes provide to a tank.

Also, in your case it's not too late to modify the chamber if you want to go that route! Sure it requires some effort, but if it's something you're interested in doing then don't let some extra work get in your way I found the drilling to be very easy and had it drilled / cleaned / ready to use in less than 10 minutes. Best of luck to you!
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:48 PM   #18
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Thank you so much for your reply.

I think I am going to stop by the pet store after work today to get some of the ceramic rings to put in both chambers.

Should I leave the filter (the one that came with it) I have in there until the ceramic has a chance to get established?

My tank is not yet fully cycled and I am doing water changes daily. I am also going to try and do something with the water pump as it has progressively got louder and louder. Thinking some foam or something at the bottom might work?!!?

Thanks again, really appreciate it!

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Old 10-04-2012, 06:33 PM   #19
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Thank you so much for your reply.
No problemo! I'll be PMing you soonish (assuming I don't get distracted, still at work at the moment) with specific answers to your questions
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #20
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No problem....when ever you have a chance. Really appreciate your time!
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #21
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Similar to TheBigSleep, I use the biomax from my AC20 in the 2nd chamber. For the main filter (1st) chamber, I used the blue bonded pad I got from Petsmart:



I cut a 7" x 7" square and reused the blue frame to keep it in place. Works good!
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:51 PM   #22
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Whelp, I've been bad about taking photos and updating. Life has been busy - the local colleges are back in full swing and someone has to wear a green spandex body suit at all the frat parties.....

Anyways.... Day 42 Update:

A lot has happened since I last posted, I'll try to remember & keep track of it all. I've moved some plants, removed some and added some others - the largest Anubias, originally planted behind the wood, is now gone and has been replaced with a mixture of Bacopa, Creeping Jenny & Limnophila Aromatica. I've done a mixed planted of these three that sort of wraps around the wood on the left side of the tank (Anubias planted on the wood are still there) and adds a lot of height/texture/color to the mix.

A few weeks ago I added a second male Fancy Guppy, an individual who was entirely head-to-tail black and looked incredible. Unfortunately, this past Monday (10/8/2012) I lost two fish - I awoke to find the Bumblebee Goby dried up & dead on the floor, and came home later to find the black guppy in the same position. I'm not sure why they decided on a suicide pact but they passed on as heroes and were given Viking burials (AKA I made rafts for them out of paper & cardboard, put them in the toilet, sang an Estonian drinking song, took a shot of vodka, set them on fire & flushed). They will be missed. I'm now down to a single guppy and three Oto's and am considering getting a single Blue Ram. The LFS has a couple that look healthy enough but aren't very colorful so I'm planning to search around before buying one.

In other news the tank is fully cycled - I don't test nearly as often as I should, but did so every day this week after the jumpers (it freaked me out but after several days of observation I believe it was all a horrible coincidence) and found no testable quantities of ammonia/nitrate/nitrite. I'm still doing regular WC's every 2-3 days seeing as it keeps me occupied and the tank seems to enjoy it.

I'll try to post updated pictures soon, but probably won't get to it until next week - I'm hosting our annual "Hogtoberfest" pig roast tonight/tomorrow and will be awake for about 24 straight roasting a 79lb pig on a spit in my yard. Good times! Anywho, thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a great weekend!
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:19 PM   #23
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How is the tank going? Need some updates here !
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:25 PM   #24
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How is the tank going? Need some updates here !
Hah sorry I've been really bad about remembering to take pictures. I'll try to post something this week, should have some time with the holiday weekend!
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