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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I might be interested in one of your filters. I have a 30g moderately planted tank, lots of beautiful crypts and amazing anubias nana. They have done remarkably well despite my neglect. I have 24 t8 aqueon colormax light, 17 watts. Not sure the k rating on it. I've never dosed ferts or co2. It's been going like this for 2 years. I had 11 serpae tetra and 5 tiger barbs with a penguin 200 biowheel.

I've grown tired of the mass of orange fish so traded them in for some driftwood and moved the plants around. Added a hygrophilia corymbosa plant and 11 neon tetra and had the water tested. Water did not test well as I expected. But nothing too bad that a lot of water changes won't fix. My crypts leaf tips are curling so World of Fish recommend I start dosing c02 as well and use Erase CLP to neutralize all the waste.

So now finally getting to my point- I'd like to also a sword plant and maybe some vals to take up the space I created when I moved stuff. I would also like to add a small school of harlequin rasbora, 8. 6 oto cats, and I'd really like have some swordtail or platys. Preferably swordtails because I found some really nice looking specimens but they grow so large I wouldn't be able to have as many as I like (4). I'd really like a lyretail dalmation molly as well. So I was thinking platies since they stay smaller but I didn't find any as attractive as the swordtails.

According aqadvisor.com this is well overstocked. So I was thinking of adding extra filtration. But would this be unwise for the sake of the plants due to the extra water movement, possibly negating my efforts of adding API liquid c02? I was also thinking of adding another light fixture, an aqueon floramax tube. Would this also be unwise given how successful my plants have grown with the current extremely low tech setup? I'm concerned about making too many changes.

I very much appreciate you taking the time to read my concerns and any insight you could provide!

Thank you,
Angela
 

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Fish you are thinking about:
Seriously Fish ? Feeling fishy?
Look up each fish and see what the optimum conditions are:
Temperature, GH (General Hardness), pH.
Your fish ideas are incompatible with each other.
Mollies can be quite pushy (some are, some are not) and are especially so toward similar fish (Platies and Swords). I would not keep them in that small a tank.

A filter means 2 things:
Filtration- the removal of debris and chemical from the water.
Water Movement- the circulation of the water to keep conditions optimum in all parts of the tank. Oxygen, CO2, fertilizer, warm water all get moved around so fish and plants get what they need. Debris is kept in motion until it gets picked up by the filter intake.
Signs that you need more filtration: The current filter media is getting clogged too fast.
Signs that you need more water movement: Fish are lethargic and hanging around at the surface, perhaps gulping air, or the oxygen rich water that is only right at the surface. Temperature is unequal in the tank. Debris is settling out all over or in parts of the tank.

Solution: If the filter is not trapping and removing the debris, then more water movement to keep the debris moving in the tank could help, or a larger filter volume (1 larger or 2 filters) to trap the debris.
If the filter is handling the debris just fine, but your tank needs more water movement, then you might want to add a circulation pump such as something in the Koralila series.

I have used a similar (older) filter to the one you have, but I use these on tanks that are a lot smaller, finding them barely adequate for a 20 gallon, OK for a 15 gallon, and not excessive for a 10 gallon with fish that like high water movement.

The liquid carbon sources do not off gas. They do break down fairly fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The filter pads are never clogged, they're slighty dirty. When I do rinse them, every 3mo or so, they do make the 5g bucket brown. Is the 200 not strong enough for this 30g? Fish have always seemed happy, short of some aggression from one of the Tiger barbs.

What are you thoughts on adding the floramax tube and liquid co2?
 

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I use the liquid carbon supplement, it works for my plants.
I do not use much lighting- my tanks are in a greenhouse, and I supplement with just a garage/shop fixture from a hardware store with T-8 fluorescent bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I def need less fish and more filtration. 200 biowheel inadequate for 30g.

I want add more plants, should I add light, co2, and ferts?
 

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If your ammonia, nitrite or nitrate tests are indicating toxic levels at the point before your regular water changes, you need either; less fish, more filtration media and water circulation, shorter periods between water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks! I think I'll add a filter. I found someone on craigslist with some for sale for cheap. We need 3 more filters in our house so def need to do it on the cheap! We have 2 10g and 1 30g and ALL have inadequate filtration! Yikes!

In regards to fish in the 30. There's only 11 neon tetra right now. Want to add 6-8 harlequin rasbora and 5-6 platy. Overstocked?

I want to add more plants. The crypts and anubias are doing great with 17 watt tube and no added co2 or ferts. I want to add sword plants and val. Should I add more light? Should I add co2 and ferts?
 
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