Bio wheel in combination with canister help
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Bio wheel in combination with canister help

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Bio wheel in combination with canister help
Old 08-30-2009, 05:10 AM   #1
 
Bio wheel in combination with canister help

Ok, I', pretty new to owning fish and aquariums. Right now I have a Rena XP2 on a 55g tank. I was talking to a person about filtration and they told me that adding a Bio wheel ( Marnieland 400 or 280 ) in combination with my canister that is designed for a 75g tank that pushes 300GPH will help with the water quality. I have a few questions. I plan on having smaller tropical fish.

1) Will this be over kill?
2) Can I turn my canister into a under undergravel filters and use the Bio while to turn more of the water on top.
3) whats the benefits if this isn't over kill?

Side Question:

How is a max amount of fish I can put into a tank. What is the rule of thumb? ( ex: 1ich per gallon? etc )
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
 
Hello:

Here is my opinion to your list of questions regarding the canister filter and the bio wheel, etc.

1) adding a bio wheel on top of your canister would probably be over kill, add a monthly expense to your fish keeping bill, and not provide much benefit. The canister filter is powerful enough to make sure that all of the water is circulated through the tank. Canister filters also have the same benefits you will find in the bio wheel filter however in the case of the canister filter the bacteria live in the sponges and larger "marbles or bio balls/stars" that you have inside of your filter.

2) turning your canister into an under-gravel filter is not advisable... an undergravel filter for your tank probably costs about $35 and the XP2 about 100-150 dollars...The canister filter will circulate all of your tanks water so the notion that the top layer of water is not getting filtered is not accurate. If you are concerned you could add a small and I do mean small powerhead... a rio 50 would be fine... small is the key word because you are going to keep SMALL community fish that do not need to fight a lot of current provided by a larger pump.

3) I see no benefits at all to these ideas... I see added cost and on-going expense. I am under the opinon that if you keep your tanks sterile clean... the fish build up no immune resistance to common diseases. So do not over filter the water... the exception to this rule would be if you are keeping hyper sensitive fish such as Sea Horses, etc.... (saltwater I know)... I do recommend that you as a fish keeper do regular water changes and gravel vacume the tank as needed.

4) one inch of fully grown fish per each gallon of water. Keep in mind that a swordtail when fully grown can be 3 inches long... a guppy can be two inches and a platy... 2-3 inches long. live bearers also breed like crazy... so if you are going to keep the above mentioned trio... allow room for fry...

Hope this helps... zyglet!
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:53 PM   #3
 
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Hi sterzich, welcome to this great hobby and (as this is your first post) welcome to this wonderful forum.

I completely agree with zyglet1's responses to items (1), (2) and (3), but have some reservations on (4). I'll comment on that momentarily.

As you mention smaller tropical fish, I'll assume we are thinking of tetras, barbs, danios, small catfish like corydoras, loaches, livebearers, dwarf cichlids, angels, goouramis...some combination of these? This makes a difference on filtration required and tank stocking.

With smaller fish (as opposed to larger cichlids for example) there is less impact on the biological balance in the aquarium because the smaller fish produce a smaller bioload. There is also the issue of plants, not yet mentioned. Do you plan on having live plants? With smaller fish, this is certainly advisable; most prefer planted environments as in nature (gives them security, provides some food in cases, perhaps spawning media), plus the incredible filtration job that plants do. Which brings us back to the filters.

In a planted tank you do not need filtration other than easy water circulation and to remove particulate matter to keep the water clear. "Clear" and "clean" are two very different things. Water can be clear but be highly toxic. The mechanical filter keeps the water clear by removing particulate matter as the water passes through the media (usually including filter pads plus whatever). Canister filters are perfect for this job, and all you need on such an aquarium. They cover all bases so to speak.

Keeping the water clean is the job of plants, bacteria and sometimes specialized filter media. This latter is not advisable in planted aquaria, as it is acting counter to the plants by robbing them of what they need. Plants must have ammonium. In tanks with an acidic pH (below 7.0), ammonia produced by all the fish basically changes to ammonium, and plants grab it; the nitrosomonas bacteria grab the rest. In tanks with a basic/alkaline pH (above 7.0) the plants have the capability of converting the ammonia produced by the fish into ammonium so they can use it, and again it is believed they are better at doing this than the nitrosomonas bacteria who grab the rest. Bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite, also toxic, but the plants seem to be able to convert some nitrite into ammonium as more food; but what is not used is converted by nitrosira/nitrobacter into nitrate which is relatively harmless and is regularly removed/diluted by weekly partial water changes.

All of this assumes the tank is biologically balanced. This means the fish load is sufficient to provide the ammonia for the plants but not greater than what the plants and nitrosomonas bacteria can handle. The rest of the nitrification cycle automatically falls into place if the first stage is balanced. The inch of fish per gallon rule works if all the fish are small, but fails terribly if they are larger; as zyglet1 correctly mentioned, the full mature adult size of the fish is important to remember, along with the rapid breeding of livebearers.

In a planted aquarium there is a very complex biological system at work, and each part contributes and affects the others. We can get into more specifics on fish stocking when we know what sort of fish you have in mind and if there will be plants--and I strongly recommend plants in any aquarium except one with non-compatible fish that eat them. Their filtration work simply cannot be equalled or surpassed by equipment.

Byron.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:21 PM   #4
 
Thank you all!!

Question.

What if I make my canister purely for Bio balls and put on a hang on MarineLand 400
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
 
Hi, Falling in on this post I'm about to start up my fish tank again ) I'm planning to have it running wih a Marineland Bio wheel 300, between 1 1/2 to 2 inches of gravel, and on the other side of the tank I will have a power head just to move the water on on the top to assure a good oxigination for the waterand a variation diferent plants.
THe habitants of the tank will be the following: some guppies and between 8 to 10 angelfisch nothing more having in mind not to over populate my tank when the fishes a are growing up within the next year, probably a bristle pleco for algae clean up but not sure because I plan to instal A UV filter in the tank and let it run about 2 hour daily for killing the algae bacteria (15W UV filter).
What do you guys think a bout this setup, all recomendations and ideas very welcome
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:36 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cterzich View Post
Thank you all!!

Question.

What if I make my canister purely for Bio balls and put on a hang on MarineLand 400

You haven't mentioned plants or not, but I'm working on the assumption you will have plants. Having used hang-on filters myself for about 6-7 years on my planted tanks and since then used canister filters (last 12 years) I would certainly not use a hang on filter but only one canister filter on a planted tank. And I would have the filter pads for trapping particulate matter in the canister. On a planted tank, I believe almost all aquarists agree that nothing beats a canister (unless you get into very large tanks with higher-end filtration).

Byron.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:44 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelon_mx View Post
Hi, Falling in on this post I'm about to start up my fish tank again ) I'm planning to have it running wih a Marineland Bio wheel 300, between 1 1/2 to 2 inches of gravel, and on the other side of the tank I will have a power head just to move the water on on the top to assure a good oxigination for the waterand a variation diferent plants.
THe habitants of the tank will be the following: some guppies and between 8 to 10 angelfisch nothing more having in mind not to over populate my tank when the fishes a are growing up within the next year, probably a bristle pleco for algae clean up but not sure because I plan to instal A UV filter in the tank and let it run about 2 hour daily for killing the algae bacteria (15W UV filter).
What do you guys think a bout this setup, all recomendations and ideas very welcome
Assuming you are intending on having a planted aquarium, i would not use the powerhead. I am not a fan of strong water flow in planted aquaria, for several reasons.

Plants require carbon dioxide (CO2) which the fish provide [you can also use a CO2 diffuser if you are going high-teck, I never have]. Surface disturbance from filters causes the CO2 to dissipate out of the water much faster than usual, with the result that the plants do not get the necessary CO2 to grow.

Second, plants absorb nutrients through their leaves as well as by roots (if they have root systems in the substrate). Many plant experts mention that too great a water flow prohibits this to some extent.

Third, the fish we normally keep in planted aquaria generally come from quiet waters with very little current--streams, ponds, marshes. These fish are more "at home" when the aquarium provides an environment closer to their natural habitat.

In a planted aquarium, filters are only needed to remove suspended particulate matter from the water and to create a suitable flow around the tank. The plants are the chief source of filtration, and there is evidence that they perform considerably more than the bacteria. Over-filtration is at best wasting money and at worst detrimental in a planted aquarium.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 08-30-2009 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:52 PM   #8
 
I don't understand the "conversion" of a canister to undergravel. Having the outlet of the canister come out under the gravel tray (reverse and more ideal under gravel fashion) would give plenty of oxygen to the under gravel filter. So, this wouldn't be a conversion as much of an "attachment". If flow shouldn't be impacted much since the surface area of the "filter" for an undergravel filter is so huge (that's why they can be powered with bubbles in the common setup).
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:01 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomel View Post
I don't understand the "conversion" of a canister to undergravel. Having the outlet of the canister come out under the gravel tray (reverse and more ideal under gravel fashion) would give plenty of oxygen to the under gravel filter. So, this wouldn't be a conversion as much of an "attachment". If flow shouldn't be impacted much since the surface area of the "filter" for an undergravel filter is so huge (that's why they can be powered with bubbles in the common setup).
I'm a bit lost on this...you can't have the outlet from a canister under the substrate [I don't know how it could be rigged and it would force the clean water from the canister back through the dirty substrate pushing particulate matter back up into the water column which is the opposite of what filtration is supposed to do]. Also, you have to be careful about too much oxygen in the substrate in a planted tank. The aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the substrate is quite a comlex partnership and includes the plant roots which provide oxygen as they take up nitrogen. This is one reason most if not all lanted tank folks do not recommend undergravel filtration. I think cterzich's original thought was changing (converting) from canister type to undergravel type of filtration, which we so far have all agreed should not be done.

Byron.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:50 PM   #10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Assuming you are intending on having a planted aquarium, i would not use the powerhead. I am not a fan of strong water flow in planted aquaria, for several reasons.

Plants require carbon dioxide (CO2) which the fish provide [you can also use a CO2 diffuser if you are going high-teck, I never have]. Surface disturbance from filters causes the CO2 to dissipate out of the water much faster than usual, with the result that the plants do not get the necessary CO2 to grow.

Second, plants absorb nutrients through their leaves as well as by roots (if they have root systems in the substrate). Many plant experts mention that too great a water flow prohibits this to some extent.

Third, the fish we normally keep in planted aquaria generally come from quiet waters with very little current--streams, ponds, marshes. These fish are more "at home" when the aquarium provides an environment closer to their natural habitat.

In a planted aquarium, filters are only needed to remove suspended particulate matter from the water and to create a suitable flow around the tank. The plants are the chief source of filtration, and there is evidence that they perform considerably more than the bacteria. Over-filtration is at best wasting money and at worst detrimental in a planted aquarium.

Byron.
Thanks for your reply Byron, planted thank no UFG, the reason I wanted to put in there a power head was to move around the water in the tank because it was build for a bio wheel filter instalation on one end of thank with has a lengt of 60".
What about the UV filter I want to install with a daily 2 hour operation to eliminate algae in my tank instead of a bristlenose pleco and having just a pair of snails
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