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This is a discussion on Newbie alert within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Good luck finding the carbon-less bags. I went down that road lol. My 2.5g at work has that type of bag/clip cartridge. Is the ...

Old 01-03-2012, 05:42 PM   #11
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Good luck finding the carbon-less bags. I went down that road lol. My 2.5g at work has that type of bag/clip cartridge. Is the front a coarse mesh screen and the rear a white carbon filled bag? If so you may be able to find the carbon-less bags for that. Or the top plastic bar that holds the bag together "should" snap apart so you can dump the carbon, if not you should still be able to cut the very bottom of the bag with some scissors and dump it out that way. Having the hole like that at the bottom won't hurt at all. Really with plants all it's used for is mechanical anyhow.

You can get some wood, rock, anything really to attach that too, just tie it on with some fishing line and it will grab hold eventually. I had mine just as your's until a week ago and it was doing great, just make sure the rhizome isn't burried and you are fine.

What is the leaf shape of the Wisteria? look at the link from my post (plant name should be shaded) if it's like that on the right you got the emersed form (most likely if it was a Petsmart tube, that's where I got mine emersed one from). It will transition with new growth, although my emersed Wisteria is doing so very slowly. I also bought some submerged form and they are night and day. Wisteria leaves emersed vs. submersed growth are very different. Either way it will suck that nitrogen like a hooker at a rave. I would recommend dosing some flourish comprehensive as well. Sorry, you may of already answered but what kind of swords are those, most swords get BIG. I also got my amazon (transplanted to my 10g from a petsmart tube. Came with three plants in there also, two were not doing very well (or so I thought at the time and tossed them) the other has about 10 new leaves already, the existing leaves grew zero to none as they were also probably cultivated emersed. IF it's the amazon the new leaves will come from the crown and most likely be a little bit thinner but ALOT longer than the old ones which you will eventually have to snip off to encourage new growth. I would wait till you see about 6-7 new leaves about equal length to the existing ones though (unless they start to brown out and die)
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:42 PM   #12
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p.s. snap some pictures ;) we love to see tank photo's
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:57 PM   #13
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Oh also, on your question about changing your cartridge. The main reason for the boxes recommended schedules is the carbon becomes useless after a certain amount of time, considering you are removing that anyways you can pull, rinse, and reuse as many times as you want until it gets clogged enough to slow down flow or start falling apart. Honestly, I would still go with a simple and cheap sponge filter, the forest fish and plants will be happier with it.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:00 PM   #14
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Here is a picture of the java fern, swords are behind it.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:05 PM   #15
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And here is the Wisteria
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #16
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And full shot, the center is so empty. I'll put the java fern there, once I have something to stick it to.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kangy View Post
Honestly, I would still go with a simple and cheap sponge filter, the forest fish and plants will be happier with it.
Those use a bubble stone right? I thought using those were bad for planted tanks as it causes CO2 to be lost. Do people use a power head instead?

Personally I hate bubblers, they're loud compared to the overhanging filter. Even stuffing the darn air pump in a sock to muffle it, and putting it in a drawer under the aquarium i can still hear the darn thing across the living room. I had one before I moved for a couple decorations (didn't have any real plants).
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:59 PM   #18
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Yeah, the sponge filters use an airpump. Its one reason I haven't tried one - can't stand the drone of the air pumps. Though I will say that they are popular and apparently very effective. A powerhead would work, but I don't think they make one small enough so that it doesn't create too much current in a small tank. The only alternative I've come across is something like the Fluval U1 internal filter, which is just a sponge in a box run by a small pump.

Also, I think kangy touched on this earlier, but the way I worded it earlier it may not have been clear. The bacteria only pertain to nitrogenous waste, the end product being nitrate. The water changes that remove the nitrate also remove the other things that build up that filtration can't remove.

Regarding the canister ratings, I would just go with one sized for the aquarium, so the one closest to 120 gals (or whatever you end up with). Pay less attention to gph, those numbers are all over the map. I think a lot of people think the more the better, so some companies put huge numbers simply for marketing. As mentioned, most fish will be better in a calmer environment. Of course, there are some fish that need a raging river, but most tetras, rasboras, gourami, etc, will be better in lower current. I believe the Rena XP series have a valve to adjust flow, so the XP3 on a 120 should be fine, you can turn it down if the fish are getting blown around. I have a Fluval 05 series and its OK, there are some design issues that I don't care for though. I hear good things about Rena and Eheim as kangy mentioned. Canisters are nice in that you can create a nice directional current along the length of the tank by placing the intake and output at opposite ends.

For stocking, list some of the fish you are interested in, that will help to start developing stocking options and can further illustrate the thought process that goes into choosing.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:31 PM   #19
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I would spread those swords out a bit they will be growing over each other pretty soon. Spacing looks pretty close from those pictures. And yes that is the emersed form of Wisteria, you will be able to see it transition, how fast and how extreme depends heavily on your lighting. Heck in my low-mod light setup new growth on the submersed form looks somewhat like the emersed growth. They can be very quick growing plants, a lot of people on here don't have much luck with them in natural lowlight setups though, others say they are like weeds. Personally I've only had mine for a couple weeks so can't comment much on that, they are growing for me but relatively slow.

The hagen elite has an exhaust tube with a 90 degree bend that you place at the surface to provide some (minimal) water movement and to calm the disturbance/noise. You will need to get a gang valve and run a bleeder air stone since running a pump all-out on a sponge is very loud (typical bubbler sound). Maybe my pump is different. I have a whisper 40 and honestly it is very quite. It makes a lot less noise than my old HOB Bio-Wheel filters did, it was night and day difference, I barely hear the air pump at all. The pump is on the floor of my stand behind a door but the back of the stand is open. I run the bleeder stone into my water change bucket surrounded by my drop cloth to muffle the sound. I can only hear it at night with no ambient noise. (bear in mind I have a 2yr old so my house usually sounds like a playground haha) Here is a link to a thread where I was discussion setup, flow, noise, bubbles, etc. I had the same concern with CO2 depletion as you but was put to ease after hours and hours of researching sponge vs. HOB. If there is any con (will be very very minor) of an increase in CO2 drive off the pro of the lower current outweighs that IMO. Then again your surface looks very calm. Maybe I was just too used to my combined 500gph of HOB Bio-Wheel with no plants thrashing the water like a hurricane lol. Even so in my 10g the surface looks calm but you can tell the very small HOB still pushes a very decent current. the fish avoid it and the plants under it sway.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:18 PM   #20
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Hey guys!
I just wanted to add in on the cartridge refills without carbon for HOB filters on a planted tank... On my 29g I use an AquaClear 50, and just leave out the carbon part... but on my 15g (when I had it planted) I bought by Fluval, the polishing pads (which the small box has 3 large half circles)... I stuck 2 half circles to make one, and stuffed it in the space in the filter... no issues, and they are cheap to replace when needed... they also have enough surface area to hold onto good bacteria. You can also buy AquaClear Foam, it comes in three rectangles, and you can cut and stack them to fit in your filter's space. There is also "floss" you can use. I find it fun and easy to play with the different things available for non-carbon filtration on HOB tanks... and a lot of canister things can be converted for an HOB to use for mechanical filtration.
Hope that opens the door to ideas on the filter refills without carbon options.
Happy New Year :)

Oh, and if you plan on keeping those Serpae Tetras, up the number of those guys, they NIP NIP NIP!! They nip each other and other fish... they can and will even nip at cories if they get the urge to... they can be really nasty boogers!! I had them once for a few months... never again!!! They are too hard to put into a community.

Last edited by LasColinasCichlids; 01-03-2012 at 11:20 PM..
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