3ft Tropical Fish Tank "Filter Advice", PLEASE!
Ive recently purchased a fish tank, it holds 90 litres of water, and the dimensions are 800x300x400mm, i currently have a fluval 3 internal filter in the tank, however the tank keeps getting cloudy with little algae particles floating around, i dont feel this filter is suitable for my tank, ive changed and washed the foam filter pads out and this makes limited difference. So i wish to upgrade to a better filter. Ive done a bit of research into filters and im currently leaning towards an external filter and also looking to purchase a uv clarrifier, it would be really great to hear from some people who have had past problems like this and what filter they have purchased as im sure this is a regular occurence. Just incase your wondering what fish i currently have ive got 3 clown loaches, 3 mollies and a common pleco.
P.S, im looking to spend around about £100 or less if possible :-D
Look forward to hearing your reccomendations.
Hi Deano, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
Well, first off, you have a real problem looming with the fish you have. A 90 litre/23 gallon aquarium is not sufficient size for clown loach or common pleco. We have fish profiles here, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the screen, or you can click on the shaded fish name in posts to see that particular profile. If you check the information on both these fish, you will find that they grow very large and require large tanks from the first. Fish grow all their lives, and the internal organs develop as the external skeleton enlarges--or even if it doesn't from being in too small a tank. Stunting or internal deformed development occurs, and the fish will be sick and often die prematurely.
If you can set up a larger tank, fine; if not, I would get rid of the loaches and pleco. Fish stores will often accept fish.
To the water issue, this may well be somewhat due to the pleco; they are very heavy on the bioload of a tank. More filtration will not solve this problem. The loach may also impact this, depending upon their current size. If the tank is biologically balanced, the water will remain clear without resorting to larger filters and UV units.
"Algae" is caused by light, and if this is the source of the cloudy water more filtration will not help. However, the fish stocking has to be addressed first in order to stabilize the biological balance.
As byron saod the fish are not suitable... The common pleco can grow to 24= INCHES!1 And clown loaches can get up to a foot long............
We often plan for more tanks, but sometimes it takes a while to get there. If I may make a suggestion, wait until you have the tank and it is running before acquiring potentially large fish. Fish can grow quite rapidly, and in a small space damage is quickly done and this will affect the fish all its (shorter) life. The physical space has a bearing, but also the water quality because of that space affects the fish's growth.
Again "Byron" thank you very much for your informative reply.
The tank has seemed to clear overnight, it is no longer cloudy which appears to be good, i took a sample of my water to my local aquatic store and they carried out some tests on my water, they were happy with the condition of my water, but warned me things may fluctuate with it being a newly set-up aquarium, so i intend to get my water checked on a regular basis untill the tank is established and i purchase a home testing kit which i can then carry out my water tests from home, the person who i spoke to at the aquatic store said the filter i currently have is perfectly suitable for the size of my aquarium, however, he said if i wish to upgrade to an external filter he said either a "Fluval 105 or 205", if i purchased one of these i would like to use it in conjunction with a "Vecton UVC 200litre sterilisor", if this sounds good please feel free to say so, also if it doesnt sound a good idea please let me know also, as im learning all the time. As for the fish, they seem perfectly fine, very active and eating well, however im not overfeeding them, i am aware of how big my plec will grow and how big the clown loaches will also grow, as ive previously said i do intend to get a bigger tank in the future, something along the lines of 4-5ft, but for the time being the plec is only tiny at about 2 inch.
Please feel free to comment, i will try upload some pictures shortly if people would like.
I'm puzzled why you seem eager to get a UV unit. Personally I would not waste the money.
A test kit is a wise investment. API make reliable kits, as do Sera. Initially it is useful to have the API master kit which includes pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Once the initial phase is over, pH and nitrate are worth testing periodically; always test before the water change. And pH tests should always be done at approximately the same time during the day; this is because the pH shifts (rises during the day, lowers during the night) so testing at say 10 am each day you test will be more reliable; doesn't matter what time, as long as it is roughly the same each time you test.
I think it's worth noting here that when you say you're shooting for a 4-5 foot tank in the long run that you ought to make it 5 unless it will be exceptionally deep.
You seem determined to keep the Pleco and Clown Loaches and so all we can do is point you in the right direction from here. A tank that is 4 feet long is a usually a standard 55 gallon and even that won't really be big enough for the Pleco or Loaches, especially both. I'd be looking at a 125g tank minimum for all these guys. That'd be 5 feet x 18" x 21".
Please make acquiring this larger tank a priority. One of the previous posters wasn't kidding when they mentioned that these fish can put on size very rapidly.
rrrI have two 4 foot tanks,one is 75 gallons,and the other is 80 gallons both would house the clown loaches for sometime assuming they are small for the clown loaches don't grow nearly as fast as the common pleco.
Clown loaches I have kept grow quickly to around five inches but then growth slows considerably.
I have kept three clown loaches,and Electric Blue Jack Dempsey,three yo-yo loaches,and one Snowball pleco in the 80 gallon for nearly two years now, and all were less than two inches when first placed in the tank.
For your present tank I would go with the larger of the two Fluval's you mentioned and submit that for clown loaches ,and the pleco, you can not have too much filtration.The more filtration,the more water that passes through the filter and the more water movenment,the more suspended particulates that remain suspended and are trapped in, or on the filter material which should be cleaned regularly in old aquarium water that you pull out during water changes.
You pleco if it is a common pleco, will eat a little alage when small, but they produce large amounts of waste which makes maintaining water quality that much more difficult and as the fish mature's ,,it loses interest in algae and is near useless for algae control or cleanup patrol due to the waste it creates which is more of a detriment than a benefit.
I would suggest a Bristlenose pleco for algae duties for they remain relatively small (4 to5 inches) and do not place near the bioload on the filter.
I would agree that if you wish to keep the clown loaches and pleco to adulthood, I would begin searching for a tank of around 125 gallons or larger.
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