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Newbie running into MAJOR problems...

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Newbie running into MAJOR problems...
Old 04-15-2009, 12:32 PM   #31
 
After what happened with our ten gallon we decided that unless an excellent deal came our way we were going to go with a canister type filter for exactly those reasons. We saw a fluval 304 on craigslist for like 40 bucks but weren't sure how well it would do, since one of the guys at a fish store we stopped at said he would never buy one and we'd probably never be able to find replacement parts for it should it break. Being that the craigslist one was heavily used, that seemed like a bigger issue to me than it might for someone buying one brand new. Plus there's the whole issue of priming, which I know nothing about. I heard that newer filters are self-priming, and was hoping that if we picked up an Eheim from the store that it would be as well. If not, I suppose it can't be too complicated as millions of people have probably done it. With your testimonial in my pocket I believe I will go ahead and invest in an Eheim once my clients pay up on my invoices.

The lady we bought the tank from gave us an air pump in addition to the under gravel filter grate/pipes/etc. I assume this was to actually make the under gravel filter work, but we hooked it up to "Scuba Steve" (our little scuba diver with a bubbling treasure chest. It did pretty much nothing in this capacity. It turns on, you hear the motor, and you can feel some air coming out; but when hooked up to anything its got probably half as much power to it as the dinky little air pump that powers our 3 gallon's filter. I played with the air volume knobs on the side and even took it apart to see if there was something keeping it from pulling air in, and I just can't figure it out. It's a Tetratec AP200, and there are repair kits all over the internet for like 9 bucks. Do you think it would be worth picking one of those up to get it fixed? I wasn't able to find too much information on this particular pump but it would be nice to have, if only to give Scuba Steve a purpose or maybe get a bubble wall (another one of the things my boyfriend was helplessly drooling over at the petstore).
Also, it's quite loud. Could this be a sign of it being broken? Online blurbs regard it as being super silent but our experience is quite the opposite. If this is typical, though, is there anything we can do to make it a bit quieter that wont risk damaging it? My boyfriend wanted to wrap it in a towel but I was worried it wouldn't be able to get much air that way or that the motor would over heat. Thoughts?

Thanks :)
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:51 PM   #32
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheknnudol View Post
After what happened with our ten gallon we decided that unless an excellent deal came our way we were going to go with a canister type filter for exactly those reasons. We saw a fluval 304 on craigslist for like 40 bucks but weren't sure how well it would do, since one of the guys at a fish store we stopped at said he would never buy one and we'd probably never be able to find replacement parts for it should it break. Being that the craigslist one was heavily used, that seemed like a bigger issue to me than it might for someone buying one brand new. Plus there's the whole issue of priming, which I know nothing about. I heard that newer filters are self-priming, and was hoping that if we picked up an Eheim from the store that it would be as well. If not, I suppose it can't be too complicated as millions of people have probably done it. With your testimonial in my pocket I believe I will go ahead and invest in an Eheim once my clients pay up on my invoices.

The lady we bought the tank from gave us an air pump in addition to the under gravel filter grate/pipes/etc. I assume this was to actually make the under gravel filter work, but we hooked it up to "Scuba Steve" (our little scuba diver with a bubbling treasure chest. It did pretty much nothing in this capacity. It turns on, you hear the motor, and you can feel some air coming out; but when hooked up to anything its got probably half as much power to it as the dinky little air pump that powers our 3 gallon's filter. I played with the air volume knobs on the side and even took it apart to see if there was something keeping it from pulling air in, and I just can't figure it out. It's a Tetratec AP200, and there are repair kits all over the internet for like 9 bucks. Do you think it would be worth picking one of those up to get it fixed? I wasn't able to find too much information on this particular pump but it would be nice to have, if only to give Scuba Steve a purpose or maybe get a bubble wall (another one of the things my boyfriend was helplessly drooling over at the petstore).
Also, it's quite loud. Could this be a sign of it being broken? Online blurbs regard it as being super silent but our experience is quite the opposite. If this is typical, though, is there anything we can do to make it a bit quieter that wont risk damaging it? My boyfriend wanted to wrap it in a towel but I was worried it wouldn't be able to get much air that way or that the motor would over heat. Thoughts?

Thanks :)
Air pumps should be placed where air will move around them and they won't overheat, so no towels. I once placed one of mine on a piece of rubber padding and it was much quieter, didn't rattle like it did on the wooden shelf. Unless another member has advice on repair, I would forget the semi-working air pump and buy another, but before you do that, something else to consider. These bubble walls are snazzy, but all that motion drives CO2 out of the water. Were you intending on having live plants in this tank? If yes, I would not get bubble features; the plants need CO2 and while the fish produce it, there's not a lot of it, so you don't want to be driving it out of the water.

I've assumed Fluval to be fairly reliable, but of course a used one might have a very short life left and not be worth it. Perhaps Fluval owners can comment for our benefit. Here's a link to a site on canister filters I just came across with a Google search. Might be helpful; I know nothing about this site. Canister Filters - Top Picks in Canister Filters

Priming means how you start the water flow. My Eheims (bought 12-14 years ago) are not self-priming so if I stop them (to rinse the media) I have to physically start the syphon action when its back together by sucking air out of the tube from the filter into the tank, holding it over the tank obviously. It starts with usually one or two attempts if I fill the canister with water after I've put it back together and then I connect the tubing. You might get a mouthful or two of water (don't swallow it), but otherwise, not a big deal. The newer filters start automatically if they are self-priming.

Byron.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:20 AM   #33
 
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sorry to see that he died :(
you are going to have a beautiful aquarium at the end of this really you will.
hang on in there,don't give up.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:54 AM   #34
 
Thanks, willow. Things are looking up a bit as there's nothing going bad in the little tank quite yet. DingDong the angelfish seems to be doing handsomely with Kevin Frog. I'm worried about the toxin levels getting bad in there since it is so small, so we've been/we'll be testing the water every day. Thus far there's been nothing really notable... If I remember correctly there was somewhat of a nitrite reading so we did about a 30% water change, but I thought it was weird if that was the case and there hadn't already been an ammonia/nitrate spike since they've only been back in there a day or two. (All the days run together, it seems. I'm super exhausted recently). Who knows what that's all about...

Regardless, we're keeping a good eye on it this time and should have a nice powerful canister filter for the large tank soon :) With all the stress in other areas of our lives right now, the death of almost all our fish hit us pretty hard. It was basically a death weekend as long term mild illness in my boyfriend's grandmother was finally diagnosed as pancreatic cancer that will probably take her from us within the next 6 months or so. In addition to all of that we're both going to school full time - the year is wrapping up and we are both very close to graduating from our respective programs so the pressure is on to do very well - and working part time, and my clients are roughly 4 months behind on paying me (I do web administration for non profits/youth organizations, and they seem to be hit pretty hard by the current economic state). We've got a lot on our minds.

I can't tell any of you enough, though, how helpful you've been and how much we appreciate your advice and insight. You've all been an invaluable resource in this spontaneous venture, as have the archived threads on this forum.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:13 AM   #35
 
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aww hun sorry to hear about your boyfriend grandma,
cancer is an awful thing,it took my step-daughter a few years ago,she was 21.
you have a platefull of stuff going on,and i wish you all the very best for the comming months,
i'll keep you all in my prayers. :)
exhaustion is from all that is happening in you r life right now,a DRs visit may not be a bad thing.
if you wanna chat you can always PM me :)
anyhoooooo.
i love the names you have for the fish and frog !! they fit so well,i love querkie things like that.
this forum is a life line to me,i would be lost without it,and all the people here.
oodles of information,and almost always someone here to help.
carry on,you're doing well.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:53 AM   #36
 
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I second Willow's thoughts. Keep us posted, we're all here to help out where we can. Take care, and best of luck, Byron.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:50 PM   #37
 
Alrighty! So it begins: I have just finalized an online purchase of an Eheim 2217...

"The Eheim Classic 2217 chamber canister design allows for the greatest flexibility in media set up for biological, mechanical, chemical and absorptive filtration. The flow rate has been calculated to provide the exact balance needed between mechanical/biological long-term filtration and water circulation and oxygen enrichment, resulting in optimum conditions for successful aquarium keeping. The 2217 is suitable for aquariums up to 160 gallons and has a pump output of 264 GPH. Comes complete with media (Ehfisubtrat, Ehfimech and fine and coarse filter pads) and quick disconnect valves. The manufacturer recommends this filter for both freshwater and saltwater applications."


woohoo!! Our tank is about a third of the maximum load of this filter, but I read that turnover should be 5-10 times the tank's volume per hour. Since we have a 50 gallon tank with probably 45 gallons of water in it, 225 gph was my minimum and I was stickin to it. Spoiled fishies spoiled fishies spoiled fishies!

When we were at the store the other night to pick up tubing for that defunct airpump we spent probably 30 minutes loitering around and drooling over fish... I'm so excited to finally have a potentially successful set up. And a fairly large one at that. Getting into this we NEVER expected to have a tank this large, but the way we have it set up in the room, it actually works :)

My boyfriend has been doing some research on the black ghost knife fish again (sigh) and still really wants one. The ones at the store are about 5 inches long, so it would seem that our tank has room but I read that they need as much as 75 gallons when they are full grown, if not more. How long would it be before this fish outgrows our tank?
I've read in several places that they can be housed successfully with angelfish... could it be feasible once our tank is cycled to get one of these? We hadn't made any committed decisions on what fish to put in this tank yet aside from DingDong (we're not putting Kevin in the big tank as I'm worried it's too tall for him to easily come up for air, so he'll be in my little tank with the danios), so it would be easy to pretty much not buy anymore tiny fish that could end up as lunch.

MORE cycling questions (yay! haha...):
Once the big filter comes, could we put the filter from the failed 10gal set up in as well so that it could cycle with the big tank? That way when we work on getting my little tank underway the filter would already be colonized and there would be less to worry about.
Do we need to clean out this smaller filter before exposing our 50gal? If so, how?
How do we sufficiently clean the gravel from this tank in case it was some sort of pathogen?

I think that's all for now...
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:38 AM   #38
 
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Getting a knifefish will certainly limit what else will go in the tank, but its your tank. Those who have or have had them say they can reach 18 inches, need a 6-foot tank, and they will eat the other fish that are smaller. Here's a link to another thread on this forum with comments from owners.
http://www.fishforum.com/freshwater-...-advice-23055/

I have already cautioned you about transferring anything wet from the 10g to the new 50g since it was felt there was some disease/parasite/columnaris in the 10g. If you thoroughly clean the filter in the 10g and dry it completely, I would assume it is safe to use. Once cleaned, yes it could be put in the 50g during the cycling and left in there (don't clean it during the cycling) right up until the moment when you put it in the 10g. The 10g tank will at that moment need ammonia in it or the bacteria in the filter will have no food and die off. One small fish in the 10g will provide this, and with the "seeded" filter (as this is called) and a dose of "Cycle" the tank should cycle fairly well in a couple of weeks.

I'm assuming there will be new gravel in the 50g, so the gravel question concerns the 10g. Remove it from the drained tank and put it in a bucket (not all at once, probably half of the gravel from a 10g at a time would be sufficient) and almost fill the bucket with tap water (warm) and just use your hand to agitate the gravel over and over, pouring out the water and refilling it several times. Its tiresome work and boring, I doubt any aquarist likes cleaning gravel, but it has to be done for new tanks, and this is no different. When thoroughly washed, lay the gravel out on a clean surface (brown paper bags cut open would work, don't use newspaper as the ink will get on the gravel) and let it completely dry--completely. If there isn't too much of it, you could put the washed gravel in the cleaned dry 10g and let it dry naturally, remembering to stir it up a bit each day to allow all of it to dry completely; this method takes a few weeks but as it will be a few weeks before the 50g is cycled, this is OK. I don't think anything will live through all this, whatever it may have been. Some people might say this is overkill, but...better safe than sorry.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:53 AM   #39
 
So since our tank is only 3' long we shouldn't get one of the knifefish? The thread you linked wasn't very detailed, nor was it commented on by people who actually own them. Seems like we'll just have to suck it up and either 1) get one against advice due to the tank size or 2) give up on getting one. Keeping my boyfriend happy has been quite frustrating lately =\

Wet things from 10gal bad! Totally get that :) I was referring more to how in the world would I clean the darned thing well enough to cycle it along with the 50gal. I definitely don't want anything transferred, but it would be nice to get a head start on the status of the smaller tank. So i just remove the filter media, thoroughly rinse out the actual plastic, then either replace the media or wash it as well?

The 50gal most definitely got all new gravel, but it would be nice to not have to buy anymore (40 lbs of gravel in one month is certainly more than enough to haul around - especially when combined with the tank weight, the weight of the thing we had to put the tank on top of, and all the other things). Would butcher paper be suitable for drying the gravel? (The stuff in the 2' wide roll). We've got some here that my mom has been trying to get rid of.

Thanks for the insight. I'm off to the vet. Turns out I shouldn't have spent the money that I did on that filter yesterday... I need it to have one of my chinchillas looked at :( His cage mate appears to have bitten him.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:14 AM   #40
 
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Were it me,(and it aint) I would wash everything (filter and media) from ten gal. in solution of bleach and water ,rinse well,and let dry completely befor reusing ,including media if you choose to reuse this. I have also found that a large colonder?(used to strain pasta) works well for cleaning new gravel.
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