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Opinions and Ideas for Aquascape

This is a discussion on Opinions and Ideas for Aquascape within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Byron, why do you have a canister filter on yours if you can get by with only a sponge? Will my water cloud up ...

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Opinions and Ideas for Aquascape
Old 08-29-2010, 05:16 PM   #21
 
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Byron, why do you have a canister filter on yours if you can get by with only a sponge? Will my water cloud up without the use of the HOB? Will I need to increase water changes or anything, that you know of?
Canisters:

I bought a canister filter for the three larger tanks when I got them back in the early-mid 1990's. The quite knowledgeable hobbyist staff in the store I deal with recommended canisters. I now know they were right, for a large planted tank they are the best filtration in my view. For my smaller tanks I use sponge.

I have frequently written that one really does not need a filter in a planted tank. However, for that to work, the tank must be well balanced between moderate fish load and heavy plants. I have very heavy fish stocking in my tanks, so the filter is basic to keep the balance, same as weekly 50% water changes.

I also have fish that require a current, at least in the 115g and 70g. Canister in 4+ foot tanks allow you to set up the filter return to provide more of a current at one end when it is necessary.

HOB:

My dislike of these filters is that most produce an uncontrollable current. I used them back in the 1980's on 25g tanks and a 55g, my largest then. I had one Aquaclear which was a waterfall design; this is really not good for planted tanks with quiet fish. One evening when I was not home the power went out for just a few minutes and after it came back on the filter was dry and burned out. That was the last one of those I had. The others had a spigot that could be rotated so I achieved much the same effect as I have now with the canisters, directing the flow into the end wall so it is less intense. There really is not much difference between one of these and a canister. Both have "rocks" for biological filtration and one or more pads for clarity. But the ease of operation (and no risk of running dry during a power outage) is a plus for the canister. Plus they are out of the way rather than hanging on the tank, and more convenient. And canister now have control flow valves. And on 90g and 115g tanks canisters are more efficient.

Cloudy water is due to biological actions in the tank, not filters.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:24 PM   #22
 
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I was actually going to purchase a canister filter in the beginning when I got this tank. In fact, I had it in my basket for the reasons you mentioned. The reason I didn't get it is because I decided to try it under that stand to make sure it fit and it didn't. IT was too tall and I didn't want to have the filter sitting on the hardwood next to the tank. I should research further to see if there are any that are shorter and would more easily fit under the tank in the cabinet. Also, I would assume it would be a little quieter as well?

I don't think that the water fall effect is too much for my fish. At least they do not act as though it bothers them. I do keep my water level pretty high and then flow is kept to a minimum for that reason but it might very well be too much for the plants as they do not do as well on that side of the tank as on the side without the filter. I might just take it out for a little while to see how the tank does without it. I always have the sponge in there for the Nitrates, so If I need to add it back on, it won't be a problem to start with new filters.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:43 AM   #23
 
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I just removed the one clay pot by the wood last night and already this morning the sword is spread out, filling the hole. Guess it was a little too scrunched in there. I also noticed that my grassy stuff is sending out little runners. Do I need to help the roots into the ground or does it sort of settle somewhere on it's own? it is still attached to the plant so I am thinking it will just settle right next to the current plant? I was going to stick my hand in and help the roots into the substrate but there is a big fat snail sitting right there and I am not yet that brave.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:21 PM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by Inga View Post
I just removed the one clay pot by the wood last night and already this morning the sword is spread out, filling the hole. Guess it was a little too scrunched in there. I also noticed that my grassy stuff is sending out little runners. Do I need to help the roots into the ground or does it sort of settle somewhere on it's own? it is still attached to the plant so I am thinking it will just settle right next to the current plant? I was going to stick my hand in and help the roots into the substrate but there is a big fat snail sitting right there and I am not yet that brave.
Runners will sometimes extend above (on) the substrate and then go under it, or sometimes under from the parent plant. Either way, it will do its own thing and the plantlets will root themselves.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:49 PM   #25
 
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Alright, that sounds good. I am assuming they can be directed slightly if they are going in a direction that you don't want them to go? Also, can that be removed and moved to another tank?
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:33 PM   #26
 
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Yes to both questions. At the front of my Amazon tanks I regularly cut off the runner to avoid having the plants too thick.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:03 PM   #27
 
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Yes to both questions. At the front of my Amazon tanks I regularly cut off the runner to avoid having the plants too thick.

I am so looking forward to that day. I have had to do some thinning in an effort to change things around. I have downsized my Rotala as I am sick of chasing it around the tank. I added a Sword there but it is quite small yet. I also moved some of the grassy stuff that looked so scruffy. The short grassy stuff I have is the one that is sending out runners and for that I am grateful. Here's to hoping the swords will follow suit and start sending some of their own.

I am still honestly thinking of doing an all swords tank too because it looks so nice and they are neater looking in appearance. I am not a fan of replanting daily either, which is what is happening with so many of my stem plants.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:15 PM   #28
 
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I am so looking forward to that day. I have had to do some thinning in an effort to change things around. I have downsized my Rotala as I am sick of chasing it around the tank. I added a Sword there but it is quite small yet. I also moved some of the grassy stuff that looked so scruffy. The short grassy stuff I have is the one that is sending out runners and for that I am grateful. Here's to hoping the swords will follow suit and start sending some of their own.

I am still honestly thinking of doing an all swords tank too because it looks so nice and they are neater looking in appearance. I am not a fan of replanting daily either, which is what is happening with so many of my stem plants.
Well, I hope I did mention that about stem plants, I usually do when beginning planted tank aquarists ask about plants. Stem plants to me are often nice contrasts but intensive maintenance. B.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:38 PM   #29
 
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In the beginning, like most beginners, I got what looked good and I wanted something they did NOT have at Petsmart. When Natalie was selling hers, it seemed like a great idea. It isn't the plants fault, it is mine and not knowing what I needed or wanted. Also based on pictures, I just they were substrate rooted like the Sword that I had. Then combine that with getting the wrong fish, it has been a bit of a nightmare. Hopefully I can rectify that soon. One step at a time.
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