Hello all, new to the board and the hobby. I just set up my 38 gal freshwater tank from a kit I bought at Petco. Came with an Aqueon power filter and heater. I used crushed coral for substrate and added plastic plants with some rocks throughout. I set up little caves for the fish to hide in.
Although the tank has not cycled, I added two Gouramis and two small zebra danios. I change about 15% of the water every other day and test for ammonia every day which is usually about 1ppm.
After alot of reading, it seems that the Aqueon filter is far from the best thing out there. When I set it up, it made alot of splashing noise. So I took out this plastic dam type piece where the water comes out after passing through the filter and its plastic housing. Aqueon calls it their wet/dry stage of the filter but it looks pretty useless. After I took it out the splashing stopped and ammonia levels havent spiked.
So what is a good filter to get that I wont spend a ton of money on (if thats even possible)? Ive read about bio wheels and canister filters. Its my understanding canisters are good but can be pricey and Im not sure how big an issue cleaning them is. The power filters (hang on back) are also supposedly pretty good but I have a question about cleaning them and changing the filter cartridge.
If you want to cycle a tank properly and establish good bacteria, wouldnt changing/cleaning the filter cartridge/media in a power filter hinder this?
So basically my questions are ...
What filter (especially what brand, model) to get?
Does changing/cleaning the filter cartridge/media impact the good bacteria?
Once the tank has cycled I plan on adding a few more fish slowly. One of them being an angel fish.
Sorry if this has been addressed before.