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Old 09-27-2003, 05:03 AM   #1
Ollieo83
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I have a pinguin 125 for my 29 gallon tank, and the filter cartrage keeps getting so clogged that the water overflows out the sides etc. :shock: I take it out and wash it and like 2 hours - 3 days later the filter is covered with brown slimy stuff. :x My tank doesnt really have any brown Algae in it, except on some of the leaves! What should I do???

Thanks!!!!
John
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Old 09-27-2003, 09:59 AM   #2
jojomichael
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I ditched my penguin 125 for an aquaclear... the bio-wheel keeps getting stuck. I've read somewhere that carbon and bio-wheel are a no-no on a planted tank... the penguin is now on my quarantine tank...
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:14 PM   #3
m.lemay
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How bout putting a new cartridge in the filter. After a while old filter media just gets unusable.

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Old 09-27-2003, 08:38 PM   #4
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I used to cut the bottom of the new cartridge and shake out all the carbon that I could.

I've read somewhere recently of someone who tears all the pads off the frame and uses some of the filter pad sold in 36 inch sheets to cur replacement pads. A couple of notches in the frame for the rubber bands allows it to slide in properly. I'll be trying this when I run out of cartridges. I also bought a big block of foam from Big Al's and will try cutting that to insert in that space.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:45 PM   #5
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I thought that you should have to change a filter every 1-2 weeks, but I am changing mine 1 evry 3-5 days.... Is the activated carbon bad for my planted tank?
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Old 09-27-2003, 11:39 PM   #6
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I wouldn't say it's so much bad for the tank. However, the activated carbon cultivates bacteria that breaks down certain wastes that are typically undesirable in most aquariums.

But in a planted tank, some of those "wastes" are actually useable by plants as nutrients. So by filtering your water through activated carbon, you are actually robbing some of those nutrients from the plants.

The exception to this is if you have a very high fish load and the plants can't keep up with the amount of wastes in the water. Then activated carbon may be necessary.
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Old 09-28-2003, 12:13 AM   #7
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That's not how activated carbon works. It works by adsorbing certain compounds from the water that plants can utilize (not ammonia or nitrate, though). It's true that eventually the effectiveness of carbon runs its course at which point it serves no purpose other than as another place in which to house nitrifying bacteria, but that's true of any media you place in the filter. Essentially, using AC on a heavily fertilized tank is counterproductive and a waste of money. What anonapersona recommended is what I did until I wised up and switched to AquaClears, which I feel are much better filters for the planted tank.

John, as for why your cartridges are getting clogged up so quickly, I would suspect something is out of balance causing too much waste or algae production. Can you provide more detailed information on your setup, please? Include fish population, lighting, fertilization routine, and anything else you can think of.
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Old 09-28-2003, 01:53 AM   #8
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Alrighty, I do have a little of the 3 basic types of algae. (Hair, Brown, and Green). My tank is 29 Gallons, that has been set up for a little over 1 month. It is heavily planted with Cabomba carolina, Egeria densa, Green Hedge, Radican Sword, Red Flame, Amazon Sword, Corkscrew Val, and Dwarf Sagitaria.

As for Fish I have 3 Lemon Tetras, 3 Swordtails, 1 Dwarf Gourami, 3 Ottos, 2 Cherrie Red shrimp, and 8 ghost shrimp. Am looking to get 1 more Gourami, a Clown Loach, and some Rams as well.

The chemical peramiters are, P.H. 6.8-7.0, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 12.5, Havent checked KH and GH in a little while but at last check both were around 2 degrees. The Iron Concentration seems to remain at 0, as well as Chelated Iron.

The Equipment on the tank are as follows, 2 actenic 10K Coralife bulbs with 65 watts a-piece. One bulb remains on for 8 hours (about to up it to 8 1/2), and the other comes on for 2 hours a day. I have Carbo-plus with PH meter, and a Penguin 125 that gets clogged entirely too often!!!! :-)

I am just begninning to start a regular Fert. Cycle with Potassium, Trace elements, Comprehensive, and Iron. The substrate is also Flourite. I will also be adding Iodine for the shrimp once a month.

One quick question, is this a decent setup? This is my first tank by my self (My girlfriend who has had many tanks set one up with me), and I want to make sure I do everything right. Is there anything I need to get.
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Old 09-28-2003, 08:00 AM   #9
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My guess is that this being a new tank and all there may be a lot of dissolved organic compounds feeding the algae growth (this is a common occurrence in even the most advanced hobbyists' new tanks), and you may be feeding the fish a little too much as well. I suspect also that the your odd lighting schematic--weird schedule (are BOTH the lights ever on at the same time? And why the weird distribution of time on and time off?) and less-than-ideal spectrum--and lack of CO2 injection may be contributing to the algae problem.

Fishwise I would recommend you leave out the clown loach (this is a schooling fish that should be kept in numbers and eventually will outgrow your tank, albeit slowly) and build up your lemon tetra school as they are social fish also.

For your filter situation I would recommend discarding the cartridge and replacing it with a slightly oversized cut piece of filter foam (oversized so it will remain in the media chamber by simple friction). Right now you've probably got a lot of suspended material in the water, and so mechanical filtration takes precedence over the mainly chemical filtration that the cartridges provide. Save yourself some major bucks, too!
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Old 09-29-2003, 04:18 AM   #10
Cody
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Hi John,

When you clean your filter cartridges, are you also cleaning out the filter itself (everything but the bio-wheel)? I've noticed on mine that a lot of junk builds up on the walls and bottom of the filter which causes the foam to get clogged faster.

Like others here, I'm putting foam in the filter instead of buying those overpriced cartridges. Even so, IMO these Penguins aren't the best at mechanical filtration. I have a Filstar and an Eheim on other tanks. Happy with the Filstar, love the Eheim.
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Old 09-30-2003, 05:27 AM   #11
Ollieo83
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Where can I get the foam filter thing? or how do I make it? And one alteration to my tank specs. I have to powercompact 65W 10,000k bulbs, and the lighting schedule is as follows, 3 1/2 hours 1 bulb, 2 hours both bulbs, 3 hours one bulb. Is that a good schedule? I had a problem with both lights burning several plants, and am trying to recover from that mistake!!!! :-)
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Old 09-30-2003, 07:11 AM   #12
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Like I said, I think that weird lighting schedule gives algae an edge over the plants. That doubling of intensity right in the middle of the day probably isn't being utilized by the plants very efficiently at all while the algae is just loving it. I would disconnect one of the bulbs and leave the other one going for 8-10 hours a day.
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:29 PM   #13
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I thought that the two hours of extra light would give plants a sort of afternoon time, How does it hurt the plants? ( I just have all my information mixed up and need to figure out which is right and why)
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:29 PM   #14
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Oh and thanks for all your help 2la
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Old 10-01-2003, 04:41 AM   #15
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No problem, Ollieo. Algae will respond much more quickly to the sudden increase in lighting than plants will and will thus have the advantage during those two hours. Plants don't have the same ability to adjust 'on the fly'. Thus, instead of having one time of day when the plants must kick-start their photosynthetic activity (when the lights come on), they have another in the middle of the day when the lighting suddenly but briefly doubles. That's twice as much time for algae to have the upper edge.
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