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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Adding filters

I have a 10 gallon Marineland aquarium. It is planted with 8 plants, Mr. Aqua substrate, gravel and sand which is unfortunately stacked higher than desirable in order to cover the substrate. There are four Marimo moss spheres in there.
The filter is a penguin bio-wheel good for 20 gallons.
Has a dual outlet air pump good for 10-120 gallons with two 5" air stones on opposite sides of the tank.
The hood is led on 10 hours a day.

I have 4 "swimming" fish

2 zebra danio @ 1" each
1 silver molly @ 2"
1 redfin rainbow shark @2"

The rest are scavengers/catfish/cleaners

1 upside down @ 3"
1 otocinclus @ 1.5"
2 corys, one albino @ <1" one julii @ 1"
2 algae eaters, one @ .5" one chinese @ 1"
1 loach @ 2"

Also some ghost shrimp and some rapidly dwindling snail populations courtesy of Mr. Loach.

My water is clear, my ph was a little low @ 7.2, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are all at zero. Still, I am thinking of getting another filter for peace of mind.

Question: Which option or combination of options is the most worthy for cost/benefit comparison in your opinion. Please provide explanations for why this would be more beneficial because I want to be more educated on filter systems.

A. A larger penguin filter good for 70 gallons, in place of the current filter. $35
B. A nano canister filter that overhangs on the side of the tank in addition to the original filter. $30
C. A self powered in tank filter in addition to original filter. $15
D. Fry/bio sponge type filter in addition to original filter. $10
E. Get more shrimp, or scavenger fish.
F. Get rid of some fish, which ones and why. I figure, albeit arbitrarily, each plant can convert the waste from one fish into usable energy per day, essentially cancelling out a majority of the harmful waste products in the water. While the rest of the waste is being consumed by helpful bacteria.

Other questions would be: If I were to add a pea puffer, is it way more likely that he'd terrorize the other fish? Or since there are plenty of hiding places would they all be fine and happy?

Thanks and Merry Christmas
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 07:17 PM
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Honestly, please spend your money on a bigger tank. Please do some research on your fish.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Know of any 55 gallon kits for $35?
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 09:21 PM
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Much of the question/answer is going to involve personal choices but here is my thinking?
First is there need of more filter since readings are all zero. I might question the zero nitrate as that tends to have some at all times but it might be true. Beyond that:
A. I don't like the bio-wheels. I have lots of mineral in my water and the wheels are dificult to keep them tuning. Your experience may be different.
B. no experience
C. We may both be in like ares as far as AC being more expense than heating. For my area, fighting to keep tanks cool is sometimes a problem so I moved away from internal heater. The design leaves the heat from the motor all in the water rather than outside the tank where air carries it away. Still in the house but not in the tank. A 5-10 watt heater that can't be turned off but just keeps collecting heat.
D. I like to get my flow from other than air driven. Airpumps tend to be noisy and need maintenance too often. I may value quiet more than you, though. Personal choice as they do a good job and are cheap. Somewhat awkward for sight, maybe?
E-F Stand pat on fish, you are nearing full house. But then if a puffer is what is wanted, many things work when not expected to so I'm never fully committed to any arrangement. I don't mine trying it an changing when I'm wrong. How is your mindset on that part? Willing to part with fish and maybe lose some value if it means you might get what you want or does that thought make you cringe? One point might be that your fish are not of the hiding sort and they would likely suffer if they did have to hide. No personal experience with puffers.
Collect ideas and data, decide and enjoy. It's all a learning experience at best.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuddelfish View Post
Know of any 55 gallon kits for $35?
$35? You may as well check craigslist or something.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 10:11 PM
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I got my 75 gallon for $100 - a new marineland. Sounds like that's a crowded tank...

Back in my big tank days I learned that having a second filter (specifically a second SYSTEM.... filter, pump, etc.) is very useful because if one breaks you basically have a back up system. This gives you time to fix the problem on the other system.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 04:01 AM
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You need a bigger tank, the only time you need the flipping your water over that much is with goldfish. But really get a bigger tank. What type of loach?

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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Might try to sell some of the fish then to make room for a puffer which was originally why I set this thing up in the first place, just haven't been able to acquire one.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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The loach is a http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/d...fm?pCatId=1109
who loves to swim into the filter every dang day...if I cant find him in 20 seconds I just empty the filter water into a cup and viola!
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuddelfish View Post
Might try to sell some of the fish then to make room for a puffer which was originally why I set this thing up in the first place, just haven't been able to acquire one.
You would have to get rid of ALL your fish for a puffer, and then not even get one until you get at least a 20-30 gallon tank for it. thats if youre not getting an indian pea puffer.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-27-2013, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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It would definitely be a pea puffer.

I also just got a gorgeous Pleco which maxes out at 5". It's a beaut.

Purchased a Fluval Aquaclear at Petsmart for $30. 150 GPH good for 30 gallons.

Although I've read they have priming problems, this is only after power surges and call me old fashioned but I have all my equipment plugged into a surge protector. The water is way clearer than it was with the 100GPH Penguin filter.

The only reason the other filter wasn't doing its job was because it kept getting clogged. I don't think it's a bad filter I just think it's not sufficient for a 10 gallon tank...If I could I would run a canister good for 55 gallons on my tank and just run it with reduced flow, but I don't have money for that.

Maybe I'm lucky but I beg to differ with the 1" per gallon "myth", I have not seen it backed up with legitimate evidence besides people killing their fish for many reasons, not just too many fish. I cycled my tank naturally, I had plants in there from day one, I made sure the water was flawless before adding fish. And three weeks later the water is flawless as of today and it smells like how a lake smells after it rains, very negative iony which means an abundance of oxygen.

Still, probably going to find new homes for a few fish because of the puffer.

Thanks for all the insight and if anyone has any recommendations on a good filter under $50 please share.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-27-2013, 04:30 AM
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I tried to keep a puffer for a few days, then took him back. They require a species only tank most of the time, and when I read that I would need to sedate him/her to cut its teeth, I knew I was too inexperienced to handle it responsibly. Thanks LFS!

I'm not saying you shouldn't, but check into some puffer specific boards for extra info.. they are cute but require some special attention from what little I understand.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-27-2013, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 5 gallon snail breeding tank for that exact reason, just plants and snails reproducing in them. In the wild the pea puffer eats snails and helps grind down their teeth, I [had] some snails reproducing in the tank but now all that is left is the snail eggs and a few of the snails too large for the loach to consume.

I also thought about the fish store I buy from, they have some freshwater tanks with upwards of 30 fish 3" in size and all their freshwater tanks are 40 gallons. The only way they do this is under feed and over filter. But the 1" per gallon rule breaks down here also. Gallons are an arbitrary unit of volume, inches are an arbitrary unit of length, the inch/gallon of fish is well...you get it

Last edited by cuddelfish; 12-27-2013 at 10:04 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-27-2013, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuddelfish View Post
It would definitely be a pea puffer.

I also just got a gorgeous Pleco which maxes out at 5". It's a beaut.

Purchased a Fluval Aquaclear at Petsmart for $30. 150 GPH good for 30 gallons.

Although I've read they have priming problems, this is only after power surges and call me old fashioned but I have all my equipment plugged into a surge protector. The water is way clearer than it was with the 100GPH Penguin filter.

The only reason the other filter wasn't doing its job was because it kept getting clogged. I don't think it's a bad filter I just think it's not sufficient for a 10 gallon tank...If I could I would run a canister good for 55 gallons on my tank and just run it with reduced flow, but I don't have money for that.

Maybe I'm lucky but I beg to differ with the 1" per gallon "myth", I have not seen it backed up with legitimate evidence besides people killing their fish for many reasons, not just too many fish. I cycled my tank naturally, I had plants in there from day one, I made sure the water was flawless before adding fish. And three weeks later the water is flawless as of today and it smells like how a lake smells after it rains, very negative iony which means an abundance of oxygen.

Still, probably going to find new homes for a few fish because of the puffer.

Thanks for all the insight and if anyone has any recommendations on a good filter under $50 please share.

Well too many fish is a way to get to other problems... parameters that a filter cant handle, not enough space to alleviate aggression, etc.

Marineland HOB filters are pretty trash IMO and IME. the direction of water flow does not utilize the entire body of water within them. it causes almost a dead spot near the bottom and water only moves near the surface. this is why fluval filters are superior to most HOBs. when you fill it up, at least all the filter media gets water circulated over it. also, dont use the carbon that comes with the filter, just sponge and bio media.

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-27-2013, 03:16 PM
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Are pea puffers brackish?

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