Filters, filters everywhere...
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.
While tank is cycling,,it is best to leave ther filter alone for the three to six weeks it can take to establish good bacteria that in new tank's,,is largely found on filter material.
If you feed the fish sparingly,, the filter material should not become too dirty and once the tank has established bacterial colony or (cycled) then you can replace the cartridge.
Eheim 2213 or Aquaclear 50 might interest you.
With the substrate you chose,,I would look to stock the tank with fishes that enjoy somewhat hard, alkaline water that the crushed coral will render your water depending on current GH (hardness).
Angelfish would not be among the fish I would choose for they much prefer softer more acidic water and may find the Hardness GH, that your tank water could be,,uncomfortable.
I have an aqua clear 30 on my 10g tank and it is awesome! Definitely worth it. And the best part is that it's adjustable from 10g to 30gallon tanks
If you get a filter like the AquaClear (I highly recommend them) then you don't need to replace the media, just clean it. You do that by placing the media in a bucket containing water that came from your tank during a water change. Just siphon some water from the tank to a bucket and throw the media in there and swish it around and squeeze out the sponges a few times and replace them back into the filter. Use a cup to fill the filter back up with water and finish your water change. I recommend getting a second sponge and use two sponges in the filter and don't worry about the rest of the media. The sponges will hold all the bacteria you will ever need, they last forever (I've been using the same sponges off and on for 7-8 years), give you extra mechanical filtration, and you can always take the seond sponge and use in another tank if you need to a QT or to instant cycle a new tank.
I'm using a Rena xp2 (canister) on a 29 gallon tank. Cost was $120.00 at Fosterandsmith.com. I am very happy with this filter so far.
Go to You Tube and type in Rena xp and there will be a video by the manufacturer showing the proper set-up and cleaning of the unit.
It is very easy to maintain and clean and is very silent when running.
While the xp2 is a little larger than recommended for a 29 or 30 gallon tank I always believe that a little more filtering is always better than a little less.
My comment isn't related to your question which others have answered anyway, but something I spotted in your initial post.
Crush coral is calcareous, meaning it will add calcium mineral to the water and raise the hardness and pH continually. This is fine for rift lake cichlids, livebearers, and other hard water fish. But it may not be so good for your gourami and angelfish long-term. Depending what you tap water hardness (and pH) already is, this could raise the tank very high. I might have more when I know your tap water numbers for hardness and pH.
New to the fish world
I have 2 10gallon tanks. 1 with my 2 prego female guppys and 1 with my 2 lil sucker fish and 3 small angelfish. i had two angelfish to begin with and added a third one today. its bigger slightly than the other two but the littles angel fish keeps nipping at my new one. what do i? how do i tell if they are female or male. i have a almost all black angelfish with a little white...not showing any agression. a black and whilte striped showing all of the agression and the new tan/yellow thats being nipped.
and i have a male red guppy in the tank to that thinks hes an angelfish but shows no agression.
10g is far too smal for angelfish... and probably those sucker fish. They are extremely stressed and are taking it out on whatever they can. That being other fish. If you need more information please start a new thread so your issues can be addressed clearly.
Back to the orginal post, as Byron mentioned crushed coral raises PH. High PH makes ammonia even more toxic. The fish you have in there are being poisoned and will most likely be dead shortly. 38g still isn't big enough for Angelfish either. You would likely see the same aggresion the previous poster has talked about.
Changing the filter cartridge would defintely slow the cycling process. Cleaning it shouldn't if done properly. Empty some tank water in a bucket then rinse the filter media in the old tank water and then put it back. Using untreated tap water could kill the bacteria.
Ladayen is correct indeed, a 10g is insufficient space for angelfish, so unless a much larger tank, say at least a 40-50g, is planned and very soon, I would return the angelfish. The nipping behaviour is a trait of angelfish and can be brought on by too small a space. males are territorial, like all cichlid males, and in such a small space (to the fish) the fish being picked on will likely be killed very soon. You can read more in the profile, click the shaded name Scalare Angelfish.
for biomedia you can get a sponge and stuff it in the space in front of the bio hoister or you can get bio-max and do the same thing
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