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Old 02-14-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
Elyssa
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Need advice on filteration


Hi,
Currently, I am running a Hydro V Pro sponge(rated for 125g) and a Penguin BioWheel on my 55 gallon community tank. I was wondering if it would be okay to just use the sponge filter exclusively or just leave well enough alone?

Thanks.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-20-2013 at 12:03 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
HD Blazingwolf
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if a sponge can handle 125 gallon tank, its
A. Huge
B. has a power head to move lots of water or
C. is vastly underrated for the task

i'd stick with the penguine for right now, the sponge could be used as an accessory, for bio filtration but don't count on it as the primary

low light tanks are Generall easy to maintain. if its low enough light, the fish + food and water changes should be able to provide all the nutrients the plants need

having lots of plants will also help prevent the occurance of algae.
the low tech section of this forum has a great list on low light/ easy to care for plants that should fit the bill quite nicely

if you don't mind how many and what kind of fish do you have?
what type of lighting do you have?
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:11 PM   #3
OldJedi
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I don't believe that any sponge filter is rated for a 125 gallon tank. You must mean 125 gal/hr powerhead flow. Personally, I would be running two power filters like the penguin or aqua clears.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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Hi,
I have both filters running at the moment. I have the sponge for redundancy, bio filter & more precautionary, I can just stick it on a battery backup unit and run for days with a small 1 watt pump, if need be.

I have 5 platys and 5 long-finned danios, 3 mollies and 1 false cory catfish & babies.

Lighting currently on 1/2 of the tank is T8's--18" 15w and 15" 14Watt (extra fixtures from different tanks), the other half is just the led in the hood. Temporary situation.

Right now I have some broad leaf water sprite in the substrate that is doing well and also a bunch floating on the top.

You stated my goal perfectly.

Thanks for your time and input.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-14-2013 at 08:32 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldJedi View Post
I don't believe that any sponge filter is rated for a 125 gallon tank. You must mean 125 gal/hr powerhead flow. Personally, I would be running two power filters like the penguin or aqua clears.

The specs say for aquariums up to 125 gallons. Like I just said I run that as precaution against power outages. I was running two HOB units & the sponge and a few weeks ago disconnected one of HOB's as the three filters were a bit overkill for the stocking level I have currently.

• Hydro Sponge Filter #5 PRO
*4" H x 5-3/4" W (Recommended for 40 gal. up to 125 gal flow rates up to 400 gph)
*New high Flow reticulated sponge for higher bio loads that tend to clog regular sponge filters!
*Up to 125 gal. and flow rates up to 700 gph

I based some of my decision off of this guys research and actual real world testing/experience.

http://www.americanaquariumproducts....ngeFilter.html

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-14-2013 at 08:37 PM.. Reason: link
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
The specs say for aquariums up to 125 gallons. I assume your correct w/ flowrate. Like I just said I run that as precaution against power outages. I was running two HOB units & the sponge and a few weeks ago disconnected one of HOB's as the three filters were a bit overkill for the stocking level I have currently.

http://www.americanaquariumproducts....ngeFilter.html
The main reason I went with the sponge was for bio filter and based some of my decision off of this guys research and actual real world testing/experience.
truly with decent flow, ur substrate and plant roots will house much of the bacteria in ur tank
the sponge is good for a power outage,

keep lighting simple to keep it low tech, that's a MAJOR factor as light drives the need for everything else in the plant world
also with low stocking such as you have, tank will be easy to maintain and will require less frequent water changes.
just watch for overfeeding, that's more damaging to water quality, than a fish that eats all the food, and utilizes it.
decaying food is horrible for water quality
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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I'm thinking now maybe I'll try to hook the sponge filter up as a pre-filter , if power goes out I could just hook it back up to a air pump. How much flow, in your opinion is considered good flow? Or maybe just leave well alone, I have the sponge filter in the back left corner and the HOB on other side of tank. There is a nice current and the fish really seem to enjoy the half where the HOB was removed and waters are slower.

I hear you with the feeding and water parameters.

Thanks

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-14-2013 at 10:16 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:29 PM   #8
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leave as is until your comfortable making a change!!

prefilters are best if the are coarse to allow better flow
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:10 AM   #9
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Hi,

Change, not afraid of...my mind is constantly changing as I take in new info that makes sense. But I won't act until I'm 100% sure and the facts all add up.

I read that bubblers/air wands are good for planted tanks, then I read you shouldn't use them, it takes co2 out faster, then I read it helps with co2 if your not injecting it, and on and on, back and forth.

Probably trying to put that on as a pre-filter, wouldn't work, without me cutting it down a bit. This filter is the reticulated foam and is pretty coarse compared to the others.

Could you recommend any good books? I know nothing is set in stone and constantly evolving.

Thanks.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-20-2013 at 12:05 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:48 AM   #10
HD Blazingwolf
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Walstad wrote a book, and has some good info on it
Plants unless growing fast or with great biomass cannot be the sole filtration of what we as aquarist consider a stocked tank

It requires lots of plants and very few fish.. so filtration and water movement are very good for us

As to the co2 bubble thing.. plants are going to use whats available and adjust their metabolism to such.. dirted tanks release co2 from decay as does food, and so on. But without good oxygenation these bacterium cannot produce said co2. Or better yet, they will but will use available oxygen and starve ur fish of it
So in a low tech tank its simple to have decent surface agitation which will promote gas exchange oxygen and carbon and plants will adjust
Bubblers dont remove co2 in a non injected tank. They only increase it by increasing surface agitation if no co2 is added.
The amount recieved is minimal, this is why you want low light, keeping things stable will allow the plants to adjust, much as you adjust to higher or lower altitudes for oxygen consumption

For your sanity, co2 isnt a factor until u increase light levels.
nless you want to know the science behind everything!
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:43 AM   #11
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Honestly, the vast majority of books are pretty out of date- especially in terms of equiment recommendations, as models are changing all the time.

Since you aren't setting up a high light/CO2-injected tank, really- just keep your life easier and don't worry about CO2, at all. (Most of the debates about surface agitation on non-injected tanks are just academic and nothing more than speculation, anyways.)

Stick with "low light" plants, and you should be fine.

A lot about planted tanks really is trial and error. Go ahead and use your current filter, and see how it works! If you find dead spots in your tank and need more flow, add more. If you find debris builds up and need more mechanical filtration, add more. If one species of plant just doesn't grow like you want it to, try something else.... Till you end up with something that works for you.

The one thing that low light tanks DO require- more than anything else- is patience. So be patient with yourself, too! You really don't have to absorb it all at once!
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
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HDblazingwolf, your analogy makes perfect sense and I get it w/ co2.

lauraleellbp, I do realize that everything is evolving, I was more looking for the principles and scientific type theories behind what is being recommended.

HD Blazingwolf, I checked your journal out and awesome! Your lights are great!!!! Your journal---very inspirational.

Thanks again to both of you.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-20-2013 at 12:08 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:51 PM   #13
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24x2 HO lights may or may not be medium-high light. IT depends 80% on the reflectors
and 20% on the quality of he ballasts used.

a well built t5 normal output fixture will probably suit all your needs. one that spans the length of the tank

THANKS!! im glad my thread is inspiring. a year ago, i was still growing tufts of algae, or having mishapen leaves.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:24 PM   #14
Elyssa
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Well, even more inspirational to hear how quickly you caught on! I over analyze everything and just want to know....I hate wasting time and like to be pro-active. Having any casualties because of my own ignorance...like to avoid that as much as possible.

Figuring out lights has been a challenge.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-20-2013 at 12:09 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:07 PM   #15
HD Blazingwolf
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i would go with one 54 watt

to affect light levels, u can adjust up or down by hanging the fixture
for instance, my 75 gallon has 6x54 watt bulbs suspended 10 inches above the tank
two are on for 9 hours all six are on for 4 hours
distance spreads the light intensity,
you will have more control with one fixture than having to change multiple fixtures
plus more fixtures, means more bulb costs
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