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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just added fish to my 30g biocube. I put them in and then realized I might want to cut the pump off to make it more calm for them. I put 7 cardinal tetras in. They seemed happy and their beautiful red came back out within a few hours. I then turned the pump back on and they get pushed to one corner of the tank and seem to be working a lot to not pushed up against the wall. I tried moving the head to different parts but the same thing occurs. They lost their color and seemed stressed so I turned it back off.

The biocube comes with a 270gph pump that goes up about 12" and then out a 90degree head. I feel like this pump is way too strong and meant for the reef tank/bigger fish like the biocube is generally meant for.

Should I give them more time or go with a lesser pump? I can get one tomorrow via Amazon same day. Let me know what you guys think I should do.

Thanks
 

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Hi SeahawksDDS,

Love the name you chose!

I don't think is the the GPH that is the problem, I typically run 10X the aquarium volume in my tanks and have no problems. It could be that the "on" and "off" of the filter is just spooking the fish a little; leave the pump on for several hours and see if the fish 'color up'. If the fish seem to be struggling against the amount of current add some plants, hardscape, or both to break up the current flow and provide areas in the tank with less current. If you get a chance check out the local Seattle aquarium club; big auction next Saturday.

30 gallon w/Cardinals
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I let the pump run for a long time today and they never moved out of a 2x2x2" corner at the very bottom of the tank. With the pump off now they are in the middle of the tank and exploring all around, seem MUCH less stressed out. I already have all my hardscape/plants setup so I don't really feel like that is an option.


Is the 10x filtration one of the high tech hobbyist guru 'must haves' type things or is it something that would realistically be fine at half that?

10x seems to be the maximum I have seen recommended around the web.
 

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The 10x thing is really IMO a holdover from fish only tanks. You do not need 10x in many planted tanks since the plants are a big part of the bio-filter and not everything is as reliant on the 'filter' in the actual filter.

That being said there is nothing wrong with running 10x and it might help many setups, but you asked if it's a must. Ferts, co2 move around the tank pretty easily so you don't need it for that as well. There's no real must have or magic number in this hobby. Someone could have 10x and not keep up with maintenance or overstocks/overfeeds and the tank with 5x does much better. You would laugh at the turnover I had on some of my tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The 10x thing is really IMO a holdover from fish only tanks. You do not need 10x in many planted tanks since the plants are a big part of the bio-filter and not everything is as reliant on the 'filter' in the actual filter.

That being said there is nothing wrong with running 10x and it might help many setups, but you asked if it's a must. Ferts, co2 move around the tank pretty easily so you don't need it for that as well. There's no real must have or magic number in this hobby. Someone could have 10x and not keep up with maintenance or overstocks/overfeeds and the tank with 5x does much better. You would laugh at the turnover I had on some of my tanks.

Gotcha, are you referring to lack or turnover or insane levels of turnover?

I am probably going to buy a pump tomorrow that is significantly lower in turnover (50% or so) and see how they do. It's only a $20 purchase. Noob question, but how will I know if the flow rate is too little? For reference, I am the type of person who is absolutely OCD about cleanliness and maintenance of things, this tank will not be neglected. I will upload a new video of my tank.
 

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Noob question, but how will I know if the flow rate is too little? For reference, I am the type of person who is absolutely OCD about cleanliness and maintenance of things, this tank will not be neglected. I will upload a new video of my tank.
You will know when flow is too little when you don't see any plant movement and you get algae that loves low flow. As well as not being able to process ammonia because the water doesnt get filtered as often.
 

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I let the pump run for a long time today and they never moved out of a 2x2x2" corner at the very bottom of the tank. With the pump off now they are in the middle of the tank and exploring all around, seem MUCH less stressed out. I already have all my hardscape/plants setup so I don't really feel like that is an option.


Is the 10x filtration one of the high tech hobbyist guru 'must haves' type things or is it something that would realistically be fine at half that?

10x seems to be the maximum I have seen recommended around the web.
Hi SeahawkDDS,

I agree with houseofcards that 10X total tank volume is not a necessity; but in your initial post it sounded like you were concerned that the pump was "too strong" and I wanted to address that point.

That said, it is likely the Cardinals are all bunched up in that corner because either a) they perceive it to be the safest place in their new environment or b) more likely it is the location with the least current in the tank. If they moved around more freely with the pump off I would assume the amount of current in the tank is an issue and since you cannot add more hardscape or plants then reducing the flow is the logical option.
 

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Yeah I would definitely say it's the flow. Every tank is different as you can see from Seattle's tank that he has heavy flow and his cards are fine, so his suggestion of reducing flow is a good one, since you can't change up the variables he mentioned.

Can you reduce the outflow of the filter. That would make sense about the saltwater, since many of those creatures need heavy flow to live. Once a tank matures IMO the majority of the filtration takes place in the tank. You know if you have a 30g tank with a typical canister, you have maybe 2-3 gallons of capacity in the canister, there's no way in my mind that that the 2-3 gallons of which less is media is providing more filtration then the substrate and plants.
 

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Ok gotcha.

Here is another question then...

You think I would be better splicing something like this (link below) in the hose running up to the head of the pump...

Amazon.com: Two Little Fishies ATL5445W Ball Valve for Regulating Water Flow, 1/2-Inch: Pet Supplies

Or just buying a pump that has a lower GPH output like this

Amazon.com : Eheim AEH1001310 Compact Water Pump 600 for Aquarium : Pet Supplies
I am always of the opinion that you should get a bigger pump than you need and use a valve to back off the flow. It's very easy to make a pump put out less flow. It's not easy to make a pump create more flow. So I would totally go with the valve.
 
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