do I really need 2 filters? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-25-2010, 07:28 PM
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I agree with Castro on the ugf, I'll add my two cents though

If your still contemplating a planted tank at all you'll definitely want to ditch the ugf as it will be come bothersome to your the plants in your tank.

On the 350. It's a fantastic filter, and as I said before I use to run two of them on my 55G tank. You have four available slots of "cartridges". I believe the are the 'c' size filters. They have a carbon insert on them. (more on that in a minute)...The minimal amount of carbon which comes inside those cartridges will be dead with in two weeks anyways. You can rinse those pads in used tank water during a weekly water changes and they'll last for months, no need to replace every X amount of weeks like the box says. save you pennies!!!

Along with all the pros a penguin 350 offers, there are some down sides if you choose to go planted.
1....You'll definitely need to ditch the cartridges that go into those four spots. As I said earlier, the black looking gravel inside is carbon. Carbon is mostly used to remove excess medication from a tank that has become infected or diseased. While carbon has it's benefits, it's not so welcomed in a planted tank. While it'll help to better your tank post-medicine, it also removes all the necessary nutrients your water naturally supplies to your plants. Carbon will remove these nutrients from your water, and if you're adding a fertilizer to your tank to help you plants flourish, you're negating that fertilizer when carbon is present.

2....All HOB filters create a 'water fall' like effect coming out of your filter and onto the surface of the water. When you have a constant 'splash' in your tank from the water pouring in, there's an exchange of gasses. When this happens, and during all surface tension breaks (air stones or bubble wands), you tank is losing oxygen. Naturally the oxygen escapes from your tank when the surface is broken. While a random drop here and there will not hurt your tank, once your water level drops you'll have a constant exchange at the surface of your tank, resulting from the waterfall pouring in from an elevated filter. The oxygen that you're losing is again crucial to your plants and to your fish. A HOB filter, unless the tank is constantly filled to the brim, this is bound to happen. However, some people have no problems using HOB filters, this all something to consider.

If you're leaning towards a planted tank, with the above to pieces regarding the pros and cons to a HOB filter, you'll have to weigh your options and possibly start looking at a canister filter. I know alot of members who have switched to them and couldn't be happier. If that something that interests you, diffenet members use different brands and models and I"m sure they'll all be along to offer advice if you chose to take that route.

I hope some of that helps your out.

Johnny

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews

Last edited by JohnnyD44; 05-25-2010 at 07:32 PM.
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-25-2010, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyD44 View Post
I agree with Castro on the ugf, I'll add my two cents though

If your still contemplating a planted tank at all you'll definitely want to ditch the ugf as it will be come bothersome to your the plants in your tank.

On the 350. It's a fantastic filter, and as I said before I use to run two of them on my 55G tank. You have four available slots of "cartridges". I believe the are the 'c' size filters. They have a carbon insert on them. (more on that in a minute)...The minimal amount of carbon which comes inside those cartridges will be dead with in two weeks anyways. You can rinse those pads in used tank water during a weekly water changes and they'll last for months, no need to replace every X amount of weeks like the box says. save you pennies!!!

Along with all the pros a penguin 350 offers, there are some down sides if you choose to go planted.
1....You'll definitely need to ditch the cartridges that go into those four spots. As I said earlier, the black looking gravel inside is carbon. Carbon is mostly used to remove excess medication from a tank that has become infected or diseased. While carbon has it's benefits, it's not so welcomed in a planted tank. While it'll help to better your tank post-medicine, it also removes all the necessary nutrients your water naturally supplies to your plants. Carbon will remove these nutrients from your water, and if you're adding a fertilizer to your tank to help you plants flourish, you're negating that fertilizer when carbon is present.

2....All HOB filters create a 'water fall' like effect coming out of your filter and onto the surface of the water. When you have a constant 'splash' in your tank from the water pouring in, there's an exchange of gasses. When this happens, and during all surface tension breaks (air stones or bubble wands), you tank is losing oxygen. Naturally the oxygen escapes from your tank when the surface is broken. While a random drop here and there will not hurt your tank, once your water level drops you'll have a constant exchange at the surface of your tank, resulting from the waterfall pouring in from an elevated filter. The oxygen that you're losing is again crucial to your plants and to your fish. A HOB filter, unless the tank is constantly filled to the brim, this is bound to happen. However, some people have no problems using HOB filters, this all something to consider.

If you're leaning towards a planted tank, with the above to pieces regarding the pros and cons to a HOB filter, you'll have to weigh your options and possibly start looking at a canister filter. I know alot of members who have switched to them and couldn't be happier. If that something that interests you, diffenet members use different brands and models and I"m sure they'll all be along to offer advice if you chose to take that route.

I hope some of that helps your out.

Johnny

I was told a few times that the water pouring into the tank and breaking the surface was actually adding oxygen to the tank, so now I'm just lost on that thought, and airstones as well, they add oxygen to a tank, not remove it like you're saying, or so I thought?
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-26-2010, 03:25 AM
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Hmm, let me try to clear the gas exchange thing up, a bit.

Basically, breaking the surface tension of the water promotes oxygen exchange; other gasses are "outgassed" and oxygen gets added to the water. If you have a heavy fish load (demanding a lot of oxygen) it can be really helpful to have a lot of surface movement to promote this exchange. However, in a planted tank, your plants produce oxygen during the daytime (i.e. when your tank lights are on) and use up carbon dioxide. If you have a lot of surface movement, the CO2 tends to get "outgassed" in favor of oxygen, which is bad for your plants. At night it's alright (sometimes even essential) to have some surface movement in a planted tank because plants stop producing O2 at night, which can suffocate your fish.

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post #14 of 19 Old 05-26-2010, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
Hmm, let me try to clear the gas exchange thing up, a bit.

Basically, breaking the surface tension of the water promotes oxygen exchange; other gasses are "outgassed" and oxygen gets added to the water. If you have a heavy fish load (demanding a lot of oxygen) it can be really helpful to have a lot of surface movement to promote this exchange. However, in a planted tank, your plants produce oxygen during the daytime (i.e. when your tank lights are on) and use up carbon dioxide. If you have a lot of surface movement, the CO2 tends to get "outgassed" in favor of oxygen, which is bad for your plants. At night it's alright (sometimes even essential) to have some surface movement in a planted tank because plants stop producing O2 at night, which can suffocate your fish.

Bingo,

thats what I was trying to convey....haha!!! I must have been tired!

thanks Batman!

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-26-2010, 12:52 PM
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Right on.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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I vac the gravel reguarly. I have 10 mollies, 6 platies, 1 sword, 8 tetras, 2 guppies, a pleco, and about 8 fry. I also have a bubble bar to give a nice curtain of bubbles along the back of the tank.
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post #17 of 19 Old 05-27-2010, 12:12 PM
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In a 55g with live plants and those named fish you should not have any shortage of oxygen.

Have a read of Part 3 of my article on natural planted aquaria, it has some background info on oxygen and CO2, here's a direct link:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...um-part-34858/
This may help to clear up the issue.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-28-2010, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for all of your great advice! I think I will start by planting some lve plants, then I'll take half of the filter out and see how it does.
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post #19 of 19 Old 05-29-2010, 09:13 AM
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