Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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19ginger90 08-10-2009 01:39 PM

What kind of filter should I use?
Hi there! I'm very new to this forum and have a question. I have a 5 gallon Mini Bow aquarium that is complete with 5 neon tetras, a lot of tiny snails, natural gravel, 3 plastic plants, and a small bridge. My current filter is the Whisper filter that came with the aquarium. This filter works fine, however, because it sits on the inside of the tank it takes up a lot of room. The cartidges are kind of expensive, but the most annoying thing is that the filter vibrates against the inside of the tank and against the hood. I'll be attending college pretty soon and I'm sure my roomate won't appreciate that.

So, I'm looking for a new filter. Maybe one that hangs on the outside of the tank if thats possible and that can keep my tank even cleaner than the Whisper filter did. I'm looking for a small filter, for example, before I realized it was for a 3 gallon tank, I really liked the Red Sea Nano filter for its size. Also, I've heard people talking about how to make your own filter cartidge with different materials like sponges and carbon filter pads. Would that be possible?

Again, any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm a novice at all this. I found out about how to keep fish healthy just last year and these 5 neon tetras have been going strong with me for 2 years now. :-D


Oh and I think I put this in the wrong spot! If anyone can move this thread, feel free to do so.

RandallW20 08-10-2009 05:23 PM

I'm wondering if a Bio-Wheel 100 would be fine for you. It cycles 100gph

Maybe someone will chime in here to verify it.

19ginger90 08-10-2009 06:24 PM

I was thinking maybe an Aquaclear 20 Power Filter. Does anyone have experience with this particular filter orany others? Thanks!

Romad 08-10-2009 06:50 PM

+1 on the Aquaclear 20.

That's what I have on my 5 gal. betta tank and it does a great job without creating crazy water movement. The replacement medium is not expensive and it doesn't make any noise whatsoever.

Little-Fizz 08-11-2009 12:47 AM

Yeah I think with the biowheel 100 you'd have tetras plastered to the glass. It creates a nice current on my ten gallon so it might be too much.

19ginger90 08-11-2009 02:31 AM

So I just purchased an Aquaclear 20 filter and it works great, except it is much noisier than my Whisper filter! The sound is coming from the motor. Anyone with experience with this filter, what should I do? Take it back to the store for a new one? I've now changed my guidelines for a new filter to have noise level be my top concern. This tank is in my bedroom and will soon be in my dorm room, so it must be super quiet!

Thanks for all the responses sofar! You guys are great!:-D

Romad 08-11-2009 06:23 AM

Try gently pressing down on the U shaped tube while it's running. Sometimes it just means that the connection is a little loose.

I only get a noise when I plug it back in after cleaning. Once it is primed, there is no noise.

Are you sure it's from the motor and not a rattle against the tank?

And did you fill it with water before you plugged it in?

19ginger90 08-11-2009 11:45 AM

I did accidentally run the filter after I put it together without water for about 30-45 seconds. Must have missed that part in the directions. Would that have caused the noise?

Romad 08-11-2009 02:52 PM

Oh oh. I'm pretty sure if you look at the directions it tells you to fill the filter before you plug it in because if you run it dry, you can burn out the motor.

Hope that's not the case for you but I'll bet it def. has something to do with the noise. Is the filter still operating correctly?

19ginger90 08-11-2009 03:20 PM

Haha yeah, I read that direction a minute too late! The filter looks to be working fine, except for the very annoying mechanical hum coming from the motor. Would it be worth taking it back to the store for a new one?

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