Help! My Tank is Going to Hell in a Handbasket! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-06-2008, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Help! My Tank is Going to Hell in a Handbasket!

Name is Joe, I am 18 in Central New Jersey.
I have a 45 gallon freshwater aquarium setup, and I don't know at this point how to save the water chemistry and bacterial balance. I only have two fish left, a 1 year old and a 5 year old pink kissing gourami. Everything else has died off.
The reason for this: My filter died and I didn't realize for two weeks, when the tank started to stink and fish began to die. I had been running a biowheel filter from petco, and I had to change the media every two weeks. I have in my basement a Fluval 303 canister filter that I haven't used due to high maintainence requirements, but I think it may be the only solution. When I get home, I am going to perform tests on the ammonia, pH, nitrites, and nitrates. I plan on doing a partial water change and vacuuming the gravel.

For those who may not know, the fluval 303 is three stage. The first is made up of ceramic beads, the second of carbon and ammo-lock, and the third is a sponge-like disc.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-06-2008, 12:11 PM
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Right now, water changes are the best choice until oyu can get a filter up and running with enough bateria tol support the tnak again. 50% every day until you can get the ammonia below 2ppm and nitrites below .5ppm.

An airstone could also help the fish.

As for the biowheel filter, quit changing the filer cartridge. Take a new one, use a knife to remove the carbon in it and leave it in there. Only rinse it out when oyu do a water and only once a week or when it needs it, whichever comes sooner. If you still have odors then oyu can use it for a little while but water changes should do a better job of removing it.

The Fluval should work in time but I would not use the ammo lock and carbon in that one either. Replace them with filter floss or more sponges or more disks.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-06-2008, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Can you explain why I shouldn't use the carbon? I thought that it absorbed ammonia and nitrogen from the water?

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post #4 of 9 Old 03-06-2008, 12:48 PM
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Cabon use does remove some ammonia which can be good and very bad. If you remove the ammonia then your tank thinks that there is far less than your fish are actually and your becteria levels will not be high enough to remove it. Forget to change the filter for a week, have it get clogged or the filter stops and you have a massive spike for the lack of bacteria. If you are using it to remove ammonia then it only works for about 2 week max anyway.

Saves on expenses and with other more reliable media you will have a more stable tank anyway.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-06-2008, 01:18 PM
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fluval might help a little

I have a fluval on all my tanks, 3 405's and 1 205, I use them just as bio
filters nothing in them but biomax and thanks to this fourm crushed coral
the only other thing in them is the foam pad that come with it, I only clean the fluval every three to four months. so far I have not had any die off of my bactira and when I clean them they are not that dirty any way. never have high leaves of ammonia or nitrites, between water changes. I also use a Penguin 280 hang on filter to keep tank clear use both filter slots without carbon I rinse them off weekly in the water that i take out of tank seems to work well.

Water changes and test condition

hope you can take some thing from this! :D

ps: Not a expert and would like any other ideas if I'am not doing It right

"Of all the things I lost in life I miss my mind the most"

Work in progress what do you think so far:
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-06-2008, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Just a few quick questions then:
Does just using a biofilter make the fish more prone to bacterial infections?
Wouldn't putting coral in the filter wreak havoc with the water's pH?
Where can I get parts for my fluval 303?
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-06-2008, 06:20 PM
I can only answer part of your questions. Adding crushed coral will increase your pH if it is low IF you need to do it for the well being of your tank. My pH runs low and I add it to my tank that houses the snail since they need a higher pH.

Good luck with getting it all straightened out.

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-07-2008, 01:50 AM
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where to buy parts

fluval is made by hagen

they have web site and customer service phone #

try there first !

"Of all the things I lost in life I miss my mind the most"

Work in progress what do you think so far:
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-07-2008, 10:47 AM
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web address

heres fluvals web address

USA Customer Care # 1(800)724-2436

Page has parts list and filters and so on for the 303
Hope this helps

"Of all the things I lost in life I miss my mind the most"

Work in progress what do you think so far:
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