Do I need a bigger filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Do I need a bigger filter?

I set up a 182 litre dirted tank about two months ago and thought it had finnished cycling once the nitrites hit 0 but then they kept going from 0 to 0.25 day to day with only an Apple snail in the tank. Once they were 0 for about a week I thought it was time to stock but the nitrites are back to swinging. I've been dosing stability and the fish seem to be doing okay. The tank has a hang on back filter thar came with the set up, and I bought a wavemaker to help agitate the other side of the tank. Help?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 10:22 AM
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Looking at tank pic I’d say your doing great. I don’t see any kind of algae bomb. Sometimes between night and day cycles when a tank is newish water parameters will go weird on occasions. It will settle in around 6mo mark

Your at point you need to start sniping and replanting some stems and other sprigs to increase you plant load a bit. Do it in stages, take a few of polysperma and snip just below half way and replant tops, also do 1-2 of the corymbosa, let the the old stub grow you some fresh short shoots. Then next pruning bout you’ll have enough short and long stems to do nice full arrangement.

Then next week take hairgrass and breakitbup into 1”-.5” plugs and spread them out, which is what you should have done at start when you got them. Don’t plant whole pots like that it looks fake and forced and also slows natural spreading of plant.

Corymbosa are beautiful plant when you space it out properly so it fills in.... space stalks about 1.5-3” apart and don’t cram it in corner. Same thing applies to other stem plants, spend extra 15min and slightly spread stems out. It will look so much nicer.


Also move water circulator to back wall at surface pointing slightly down behind corymbosa and across back wall, that way it works with your HOB filter to create a current that encircles tank. Way you’ve got it now actually cancels out top right to bottom left flow from HOB filter. Get water current moving circling tank. Get back wall flowing left to right and front wall right to left and that circular current will sweep debris right over to your HOB filters input.

Last edited by DaveKS; 05-24-2019 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 10:26 AM
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What filter are you using with the aquarium? What filter media? If you are just using the cartridges it came with and no reusable media such as sponges or ceramic rings you might not have enough surface area for beneficial bacteria. You can dose a aquarium bacteria starter if you haven't already. You could also add more media to your filter. Google hotroding hob and you will find lots of people modifying hang on back filters in simple ways to get better results.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank your for the help! I knew I was probably planting things wrong and some plants I was abit scared of removing the pot since the roots were really tangled up in there. Also scared of the mess I'll make pulling up the plants in the pots. Also didn't even think of a circular current in the tank that makes much more sense. Thanks again.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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I added some sponges to it but they seem to make it overflow on the highest flow, thinking I might try ceramic rings and maybe remove one of the sponges. thanks!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dumbfish View Post
Thank your for the help! I knew I was probably planting things wrong and some plants I was abit scared of removing the pot since the roots were really tangled up in there. Also scared of the mess I'll make pulling up the plants in the pots. Also didn't even think of a circular current in the tank that makes much more sense. Thanks again.
Take a cut around pots youíve got planted with paring knife to leave roots behind. Go under pot with knife best you can as you pull pot up.

Donít be afraid to use knife if you have to separate whatís in pot but usually not needed to get them separated and get all rock wool off them. Most plants actually like having roots trimmed back to about a inch when you replant.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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So had a fiddle around with the filter and did some replanting of the pots and what not (haven't done the hairgrass yet) and think it looks much better! The water is way clearer as well, nitrites are still hanging around but I'll see where they're at in a few days. Moving the wavemaker really made a big difference to. Thanks for the help guys, appreciate it.

http://imgur.com/gallery/mizcoU7
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Dumbfish View Post
So had a fiddle around with the filter and did some replanting of the pots and what not (haven't done the hairgrass yet) and think it looks much better! The water is way clearer as well, nitrites are still hanging around but I'll see where they're at in a few days. Moving the wavemaker really made a big difference to. Thanks for the help guys, appreciate it.

http://imgur.com/gallery/mizcoU7
Your still missing point on water circulator. It should be at back wall top left, blowing down back wall left to right, pushing water and debris towards the input of your HOB filter. Then hob filter top right creates a current that hits front glass and circulates water right to left. Water along back glass is moving left to right, along front glass water moves right to left. A rotating current.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 02:05 AM
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It seems to me that the HOB would be much more effective if it was in the center of the tank instead of in a corner! Also, don't be afraid of sponge material. I think bio-sponge is as, or more, effective then ceramic or rock bio-media's. I once bought into the marketing hype for the more expensive and so called bio-medias. But after many years, I came to realize that sponge material was every bit as good or better, cleans easily, and lasts nearly forever and a day!
One last note: consider a black background to hide the filter and place [more] focus on plants and fish.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
It seems to me that the HOB would be much more effective if it was in the center of the tank instead of in a corner! Also, don't be afraid of sponge material. I think bio-sponge is as, or more, effective then ceramic or rock bio-media's. I once bought into the marketing hype for the more expensive and so called bio-medias. But after many years, I came to realize that sponge material was every bit as good or better, cleans easily, and lasts nearly forever and a day!
One last note: consider a black background to hide the filter and place [more] focus on plants and fish.

Excuse my ignorance but is bio-sponge a specific type of sponge or is it a term for how it is used?


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
It seems to me that the HOB would be much more effective if it was in the center of the tank instead of in a corner! Also, don't be afraid of sponge material. I think bio-sponge is as, or more, effective then ceramic or rock bio-media's. I once bought into the marketing hype for the more expensive and so called bio-medias. But after many years, I came to realize that sponge material was every bit as good or better, cleans easily, and lasts nearly forever and a day!
One last note: consider a black background to hide the filter and place [more] focus on plants and fish.
If that was his only water circulator that would be true, but he has 2, so setting them so whole tank is a rotating current is best way he could set them up.

Agree on foam, just get a really coarse foam that only traps big stuff and squishing it out clean in change water is only filter you really need.

Last edited by DaveKS; 05-28-2019 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 04:18 PM
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I'm surprised no one has said YES, you need more biological filtration! Personally, I cant fathom a single hob being enough for a tank that size. And there's no way sponge is as good as clay or ceramic media.

Why not add another hob or better yet, a cannister filled with a bio media like Hydroton, which is cheap and very effective. Give yourself the freedom to add more fish and delay water changes, and more importantly, provide a better Living environment overall.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 04:32 PM
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The first step I would take is to add an airstone. You have lots of surface area already in the tank and substrate, you can get more out of your beneficial bacteria by raising your oxygen level which by the looks of it could be low-ish.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 04:54 PM
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This is by my calculations a tank just under 48 gallons? The fish you have in here get huge- you know that dont you? A Bala Shark alone needs a minimum tank size of 568 liters.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 05:07 PM
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This is by my calculations a tank just under 48 gallons? The fish you have in here get huge- you know that dont you? A Bala Shark alone needs a minimum tank size of 568 liters.

How do you figure 568 liters since water quality isn't necessarily dependent on tank volume?
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