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HELP! starting 1st 240 gallon aquarium

This is a discussion on HELP! starting 1st 240 gallon aquarium within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by AbbeysDad Yes but I often hear canister users somewhat bragging that they don't feel they need to service their filters only ...

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HELP! starting 1st 240 gallon aquarium
Old 06-13-2013, 08:49 PM   #11
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Yes but I often hear canister users somewhat bragging that they don't feel they need to service their filters only once or twice a year. I'm sure you're not in that camp, but many that are just don't realize what's really happening in the filter. In addition, the water flow is most often too great and the bio-media volume too small to typically allow advanced bio-filtration (beyond N2)... so I point these out.
The advantage of the HOB over the canister for mechanical filtration only is that the media can be swapped in under a minute without even turning the unit off. The same can't be said for a canister which perhaps is why in part why so many let them run so long between servicing.
Wow, I've never heard a canister user say that. I've seen people talk about going 6 months or so but I wouldn't go past 2 months with mine, comfortably. So you are right, I'm in the camp.

Have you ever serviced a canister? It's not that hard really and it really doesn't take that long. I can't say it's any more time consuming then when I messed with AC HOB's. I would imagine long term it's still less work versus having a few HOB's running on a large tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzysDaddy View Post
Wow! Thanks for all the information guys. It sure has been a long time since I have had fish, and I truly appreciate all the information that has been shared.
I don't remember any time that I have set up an aquarium that had gravel and did not put a UGF. Well of course just on bare bottom tanks, in which case I used a sponge filter. I was under the impression that not having a UGF would promote anaerobic bacteria to grow in the gravel. I am assuming that this information is incorrect. Does anybody out there still use UGFs?
The HOB is a good idea, I always remember having these filters in our tanks accompanied by a UGF. This was our most common set up in our home and shop. The location of the tank steers me away from using a HOB, we have somewhat of a condensed area for our tank. So I wanted to get as close to the wall as possible.
I was planning on using the canister filter as a form of mechanical and chemical filtration. My wet dry filter was going to be my biggest source of biological filtration. It is a filter which in my past experience has been mostly used for saltwater aquariums(mind you I have been in remission for over ten years). The filter type is one that uses gravity to pull water down to the top of filter media(mesh?), then over a plate that has many holes, which then drips down onto the bio balls. A submersible pump would then be used to push the water back in to the tank. Would this setup be feasible for the tank I have?
Now my game plan is changing a bit. I am double thinking about spending any money on UGF. Now I still like the look of fine gravel maybe 1/4 inch size. Is there any functional reason for using sand besides cost and aesthetics? I would prefer gravel but if there is a functional reason for sand then I would reconsider. Contingent on the pros and cons. I do not intend to grow many live plants so I'm not sure if sand is for me.
So to sum it up would a nice size canister filter, plus a wet dry filter, and two powerheads with sponge filters, suffice my filtration needs?
(Skipping out on the UG filter, I think ......,change is hard.....,but good,will see....)
Thanks again and have a blessed day!
I know that the little pet store that I go to has tanks with under gravel filters. Never was too impressed with them especially after the horse head loach incident where the buggers hid under the under-gravel filter making it so that we don't know how many were in there. What a mess getting them out D:

I know the 90 gallon I took in to set up for my primitive fish had an under gravel filter. Used tank I threw that and that disgusting gravel straight in the garbage. So that about sums up my personal experience with them. Never used them but never impressed when I saw them. I've never heard of the bacteria being an issue in gravel tanks. I've run tanks in the past long term with gravel and no under gravel filter and things were fine in that area.

If you are using a good properly set up sump, it sounds like to me what you have in mind will be fine. When it comes to the sand, one of the nice advantages is that it allows for flexibility down the road. What if later on you decide you really want fish that need a sand substrate? Plus since sand doesn't allow debris to sink beneath it that well, it makes for easier clean up via a vaccum. You literally just stir the sand up just a bit on the top layer, let it settle and then run a python or gravel vac hovering over the sand. It's cleaner long run or seems to be. Also it's often more plant friendly so that allows allows for the option should you want to run a few plants in your tank.

Last edited by Sanguinefox; 06-13-2013 at 08:59 PM..
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:00 PM   #12
 
Well if I was doing it I wouldn't bother with a sump and wet/dry. It will work, just not worth the bother to me. There is plentiful oxygen in FW to support aerobic bacteria for N2 conversion. A good bio-media in the filter is all you really need.
UGF's are still an effective filter, it's just that without routine aggressive gravel siphoning they develop problems potentially producing excessive nitrates and foul anaerobic decomposition.
Plants grow well in sand as long as it's not super fine grained. I'm using pool filter sand but many members here use basic big box (Quikrete) play sand.
I like sand because all detritus remains on top and there is never uneaten food getting out of reach like gravel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzysDaddy View Post
Wow! Thanks for all the information guys. It sure has been a long time since I have had fish, and I truly appreciate all the information that has been shared.
I don't remember any time that I have set up an aquarium that had gravel and did not put a UGF. Well of course just on bare bottom tanks, in which case I used a sponge filter. I was under the impression that not having a UGF would promote anaerobic bacteria to grow in the gravel. I am assuming that this information is incorrect. Does anybody out there still use UGFs?
The HOB is a good idea, I always remember having these filters in our tanks accompanied by a UGF. This was our most common set up in our home and shop. The location of the tank steers me away from using a HOB, we have somewhat of a condensed area for our tank. So I wanted to get as close to the wall as possible.
I was planning on using the canister filter as a form of mechanical and chemical filtration. My wet dry filter was going to be my biggest source of biological filtration. It is a filter which in my past experience has been mostly used for saltwater aquariums(mind you I have been in remission for over ten years). The filter type is one that uses gravity to pull water down to the top of filter media(mesh?), then over a plate that has many holes, which then drips down onto the bio balls. A submersible pump would then be used to push the water back in to the tank. Would this setup be feasible for the tank I have?
Now my game plan is changing a bit. I am double thinking about spending any money on UGF. Now I still like the look of fine gravel maybe 1/4 inch size. Is there any functional reason for using sand besides cost and aesthetics? I would prefer gravel but if there is a functional reason for sand then I would reconsider. Contingent on the pros and cons. I do not intend to grow many live plants so I'm not sure if sand is for me.
So to sum it up would a nice size canister filter, plus a wet dry filter, and two powerheads with sponge filters, suffice my filtration needs?
(Skipping out on the UG filter, I think ......,change is hard.....,but good,will see....)
Thanks again and have a blessed day!
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IzzysDaddy (06-14-2013)
Old 06-15-2013, 03:57 PM   #13
 
With all due respects an Arrowana is too large for even a 240 gallon tank It may last for about a year or 2 as a juvenile but then you'll need a pond. it can get 5 feet or a metre in length depending on the species. A large arrowana would eat discus I'm sure. Or at the very least make the discus uncomfrontable

Discus sound good but they need acidic soft water/ wild discus even more so. What ph is your water? That'll decide more then anything what fish you can keep. A good site to go to is wet web media.

If I had what you have I'd be looking at Wild angels- Manacapuru/ or even altum- again depends on ph., sliver dollars and maybe a royal pleco.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:40 AM   #14
 
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IzzysDaddy, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

A quick comment on fish species...Marbellohsdad made a couple very pertinent points, and I agree on the Arowana being beyond your tank. And no mention has been made of water parameters, so knowing the GH, KH and pH of your source water will help us help you.

Now to the heater issue. My advice for this sized tank would be to use canister filters with internal heating elements. Yes, they are more expensive, but buying too "reliable" heaters for this tank is going to cost just about as much. I have three largish tanks running, and I have an Eheim Pro II with the heating unit on my 90g. This tank is the only one with consistent temperature throughout, no matter the season. It has never varied more than .2 or .3 from the set temperature (except during a summer heat wave which is understandable and nothing to do with the heater)--and note, I used decimal points. 2/10ths of a degree is very little variance, and I do not believe any hanging heaters will do this.

As for the canisters, remembering you are dealing with angelfish that appreciate little to no water movement, so don't overdo the filters. And to help here, even if you don't have rooted plants, floating plants perform a tremendous service when it comes to water quality.

Last, on fish species, we have profiles in the Knowledge Area that you can browse for data on angelfish and other species. Here is the scalare angelfish profile
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/c...calare-188457/
the altum
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/c...-altum-188425/
and the leopold
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/c...opoldi-188441/

Byron.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:37 AM   #15
 
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Much good info here for consideration.
UG filtration does have it's drawback's as Abby's dad mention's.But many who keep large number's of fishes such as some of the larger cichlid's,often use UG filtration in reverse flow which negates the need for much cleaning under the plate where gunk tend's to accumulate.
Water is pushed down the lift tube's and up through the substrate via a power head or two, and a canister, or HOB filter is used to trap particulates as well as provide chemical,biological,filtration of choice.(Is effective in my expierience).
Sump's or wet dry, in my view ,are just more equipment to clean,maintain, for what is often ,not much more dilution capability unless sump is sizeable.(Is dilution contribution rather than O2 of concern for me,other's).
Larger volume of water created by sump,wet dry, should in my view equal at least half what the tank is, or I would not bother.
If sand is not a consideration, and gravel is desired,,I would opt for larger size gravel in thin layer along the bottom.This is normally what I do with large waste producing fish,or large number's of fish.
Thin layer makes gravel vaccuming more effective than with deeper substrate, which tend's to collect much waste even with fairly good maint over a period of month's.
Just some of what I would consider were it me (and it ain't).
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