Tank upgrade recommendations - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 24 Old 11-06-2006, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Tank upgrade recommendations

My 10 gallon tank (the biggest I have for the moment) has been looking rather sorry lately. I'd like to start growing a plant or two in it (got a pack of Aponogeton bulbs), but more than anything else I need a better filter. Brown algae has been growing, and the filter clogs after a day or two of cleaning. The filter is something like an Elite Hush 10 and the lighting fixture is what came with the tank (50 dollar starter kit at a local pet store, saw it at Walmart too).

There are two things I would like from this knowledgeable community:

1) What kind of filter would you recommend? I'd like to go buy one tomorrow as I will finally have time.

2) What kind of light would you recommend? I don't even know what the ratings are of the one in my hod, but the light doesn't look natural and is seems to be losing brightness.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 24 Old 11-06-2006, 04:39 PM
I like aqua-clear hob(hang over back)filters
DONT buy aqua-tech!!they are cheap but they suck
I use a millenium 1000 on my 5 gallon freshwater Maybe the 2000 would be could for you.
But i like the aqua-clears because they use spong for the mechanical filter so you dont need to buy replacement cartreges http://www.aquahobby.com/products/e_aquaclear.php

for lighting if you want to grow plants u could use this.
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post #3 of 24 Old 11-06-2006, 04:54 PM
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for eliminating your brown algae i would recommend a light that has a minimal red-yellow-orange spectrum.

"everything happens for a reason...the hard part is figuring out what that reason is."
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post #4 of 24 Old 11-07-2006, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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I picked up a Marineland Penguin 100 last night.

So far it's doing a great job, the tank looks as clean as it was when I bought it.

I bought a 25w light, but it doesn't fit my fixture. I'd take it back, but it fits my 5 gallon just fine.

EDIT: Oh, and the light in the 10 gallon is 15w.
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post #5 of 24 Old 11-07-2006, 01:31 PM
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Is your hood incandescent or fluorescent? Aponegeton bulbs are pretty tolerant of most lights, the trick is to identify which aponegeton bulbs you are working with, as some like more light than others.
The penguin is a pretty good filter, just watch the pins on the sides of the wheel, they tend to clog after a while, which causes the wheel to stop turning. With regular maintenance, penguin filters can last a really really long time (years) without problems.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #6 of 24 Old 11-07-2006, 03:07 PM
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filter is a good item to upgrade so you are right in my opinion to look at that. Buying a new filter is only half of the solution, a new filter will not cure your algae. If you purchase a new filter chances are it will be a grreater capacity with a greater turnover flow, this is no use if you use the same filter media that you are using in your current filter, you should look to set aside some of the budget for the filter to purchase some quality pourous material, stones or tubes ceramic if you can.

I would also recommend a water test kit for your algae problem, once you understand the root of the problem in terms of the water chemistry you will be able to prevent the algae from occuring.

If this is a new tank then i would be careful of how long you leav your lights on for, too much light can lead to algae growth in your tank. Also keep on top of water changes.

Sorry if this sounds like i am preaching to you but i am just covering the basics. A good tip is to make the best of what you have.
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post #7 of 24 Old 11-07-2006, 05:35 PM
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Andrew, good advice. However, the size of the filter can make a big difference. Increasing water circulation and filter media can make all the difference in the world... IF that is the problem. One mistake too many people make when selecting a filter is that they select it based on the size of the aquarium, not the amount of waste load in the tank. A 10 gallon tank with 2 neons will need much less filtration than that same 10 gallon tank with 8 neons. Also, feeding habits will come into play. Are the fish being overfed? No fish needs to eat every day except fry, and no fish other than fry needs to eat more than once/day. Excessive feeding increases waste levels. If the filter is big/strong enough to handle that extra waste, circulation isn't too much for the fish, and proper filter media is run (carbon, sponge, bio media), then a larger filter can help a lot.
Andrew is correct in saying that algae problems start for some reason, and until that reason is identified, all you will do is treat the symptoms, which can be like working with a ticking bomb. The best way to eliminate any algae problem is to first find the cause, then find the treatment.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #8 of 24 Old 11-07-2006, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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New filter was needed bad. The old one would clog literally every day.

So far, the new filter has made a world of difference.

The light is florescent, and the pet store I was at didn't have any florescent bulbs available. I'll be back in town in a few days, so I'll pick one up then.

As far as the bulbs, I have no clue. It was the random box at Wal Mart, and after about 5 days none have done anything. I left them free-floating for a couple days and they never sunk so I stuck them in the gravel sideways. A couple popped back up, so I just threw them in the 5 gallon.

In case someone asks, I wasn't going to keep an entire pack of bulbs in that tank... just the first two or three that actually grew.

When I pick up some lighting I'll also grab some better plant bulbs if I can. I found a couple lists of good starter plants, so I'll go with those to begin with.
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post #9 of 24 Old 11-08-2006, 12:02 AM
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Can you get a good picture of the bulbs to post? I can recognize many of the bulbs on sight, but by a worded description here, it's pretty difficult.
Most of these bulbs will go through a phase of hibernation, so it may be a while before anything green emerges from them, and they also may not even be good anymore. If they are solid, then I'd do my best to plant them and see what happens, checking on them from time to time. It could be more than a month before you see growth. If they are soft in the middle, I'd throw them away, as this indicates that they are no longer good bulbs, will not grow, and will simply rot in your tank and cause water quality problems that seem to come from nowhere.
If you post a pic, I'll do my best to properly ID it.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #10 of 24 Old 11-08-2006, 02:15 PM
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o yes you should aim to go above the tank size in terms of filter, but if you cant stretch that far then what i meant was to invest in good media as this can increase its impact. TBH i am not a fan of sponges, in a planted tank there is no need for them, i see them as mechancial media as they have little use harvesting bacteria.

What did your old filter clog with? What filter have you bought now?
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