Safe to turn filter off?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Safe to turn filter off??

Iím new, the tank is used but new to me, 29g, cycled, planted. With water samples and the blessing of the LPS I picked up a black molly, a silver molly, and two platties today. The tank has an over-the-tank filter of unknown capacity that creates a pretty strong current inside the tank. Iíve planted ludwigia repens, java fern, java moss, dwarf baby tears, an anubias nana petite, and some moneywort. The black is active constantly and the platties go back and forth from active to relatively still, but the silver, if the filter is running, seems to only want to find a spot with low current and hang out. Iíve tested to see what happens with the filter off and he becomes much more active around the tank, even stopping occasionally to eat some algae. Do I have enough plants to leave the filter off and not worry about oxygen for 4 little fish? Would this create problems with ammonia? If I need to run the filter, can I run it on my light timer (5 on, 5 off, 5 on, 9 off overnight)? Or should I not be concerned about the silver molly and just let the filter run 24/7...?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 03:35 PM
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Filter should not be turned off... How do you know the tank is cycled?


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 05:21 PM
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Changing the direction of the flow would be better e.g. point it at the glass to help defuse it more.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 07:38 PM
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What brand is the filter? Perhaps a pic of the filter and tank? It may be possible to turn down the flow or put in more media to slow it a bit.

Or, it may be just fine as is...
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. The tank has been cycling for awhile. Been running daily water tests using an API MK plus took the water to be tested at the LPS before buying fish.

The filter can’t be turned - it hangs on the rim of the tank. No clue on brand but I don’t think there’s going to be any way to turn it down or reduce flow. Any restriction will simply result in water flowing over the restriction. Pics to follow. That said, I’ll keep the filter running. The silver is getting around more. Something’s up with the black though. He’s been hiding this afternoon and didn’t eat when everybody else did. I think he’s not doing well. The other three seem good though.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:41 AM
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I think you mean LFS (local fish store)?

Anyway, it takes about a month to cycle a tank assuming you are adding a source of ammonia to the tank during that month such as ghost feeding or aquarium ammonia or an active substrate or a fish in cycle. Has your tank been running with the same filter media for a month while adding an ammonia source?

If not it's likely your tank is not fully cycled. During a cycle your tank can have swings in ammonia/nitrite that will go from nothing to .. well something. That's why it takes a month to be safe. Anyway fish acting strange, especially more than one fish is most often a water issue so it sounds like your tank may not be as cycled as you might wish it to be. At this point I would go buy a bottle of tetra safe start at your nearest fish store and dump it into your tank. Do this as soon as you can. Also buy yourself an API master test kit so you can test your own water when stuff like this happens.


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
I think you mean LFS (local fish store)?

Anyway, it takes about a month to cycle a tank assuming you are adding a source of ammonia to the tank during that month such as ghost feeding or aquarium ammonia or an active substrate or a fish in cycle. Has your tank been running with the same filter media for a month while adding an ammonia source?

If not it's likely your tank is not fully cycled. During a cycle your tank can have swings in ammonia/nitrite that will go from nothing to .. well something. That's why it takes a month to be safe. Anyway fish acting strange, especially more than one fish is most often a water issue so it sounds like your tank may not be as cycled as you might wish it to be. At this point I would go buy a bottle of tetra safe start at your nearest fish store and dump it into your tank. Do this as soon as you can. Also buy yourself an API master test kit so you can test your own water when stuff like this happens.
It’s been about 3 weeks. The “API MK” I referred to is the API Master Kit. Been using it daily, had a few days of 0/0 on ammonia and nitrites. As for LPS/LFS, mine isn’t specifically a fish store, it’s all sorts of pets, but it isn’t Petco or PetSmart... and it’s just the one fish acting weird. I’m thinking the silver molly just needed some acclimation; it and the two platters are doing great. They’re active, eating well, etc. The black molly that was so active yesterday is the one that’s hiding in the hardscape and not doing much today. He was fine this am, not so fine this pm. They’ve been in the tank 24-28 hours now
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamsin View Post
Changing the direction of the flow would be better e.g. point it at the glass to help defuse it more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ustabefast View Post
What brand is the filter? Perhaps a pic of the filter and tank? It may be possible to turn down the flow or put in more media to slow it a bit.

Or, it may be just fine as is...
Pics of the filter
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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I also forgot to mention water changes. One yesterday (mostly to try to clear the water up some for the tannins) and one again today just in case there was a water issue. Tests before and after the water changes both show similar results - no ammonia/nitrites, very low nitrates, pH holding steady pre-changes and similarly lower post-changes (I come up with 7.6 on the API and the store comes up with 8.5; tap tests 7.0 at home and 8.0 at the store). 29g tank, each change was about 8g. Dosed Prime for the chlorine and let the water set a little while before putting the new water in. The molly started acting weird probably 18-20 hours after the first change and we’ll before the second change.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 05:43 AM
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I wouldnít worry about that one fish, heís obviously a weirdo if other fish are handling it just fine.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 06:00 AM
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Are you sure the molly is a male? If it's female it could be pregnant, hence the odd behavior. I've kept mollies and platies for a while, and seems like the females always act oddly before giving birth.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 07:03 AM
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Filter cannot be turned off, they should be running 24x7...
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 10:54 AM
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I think you could probably put a piece of filter floss in the outflow and cut back the current a lot. That's what I do with mine.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 12:30 PM
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If you want to slow the flow, place a block of filter foam around the HOB inlet tube (the tube hanging into the tank). The Fine the pores in the foam, the sooner it will plug with debris and slow the flow. Note, you will need to clean it in the same way people clean sponge filters. A sponge filter, or a fluval pre-filter would be good starting options to see what works.

Don't turn off the filter, things may seem OK for a while, but the ammonia produced by the fish could spike and kill your fish.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinster8108 View Post
Don't turn off the filter, things may seem OK for a while, but the ammonia produced by the fish could spike and kill your fish.
Also the bacteria in the filter will die off if the filter is turned off for longer periods of time.
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