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Everything posted by samoht70

  1. There will always be a slight GPH loss when using a powerhead with a filter, but the extent of the loss depends on the relative size of the sponge and how clean the sponge is. A thick sponge will restrict the flow more than a thin sponge. Sometimes I go a bit too long between cleanings of my sponges, and I get a noticeable drop in water flow. If I were designing a sponge filter, I would size it so that the powerhead sits near the surface of the water, and the sponge extends down to almost touch the bottom. A given surface area can only house a finite number of beneficial bacteria, so there is some minimum surface area that is necessary to process the waste in your tank. I remember seeing the numbers once, but you'd have to know the surface area within the sponge as well as the waste output from a goldfish in order to figure out the official minimum size you'd need. I try to avoid being overly technical, so I judge how much sponge filter is necessary by comparing the sponge to the amount of media that fits in a HOB filter.
  2. I know that every part on the Eheim is replaceable. I've had to replace the handle clips before, and it is a reasonably easy fix
  3. I agree with Daryl. I've seen reverse-osmosis systems listed on Ebay for a good price. The water in Cambridge tastes like water out of a lake. Even after 3 months, I was not able to drink it...
  4. There are things in the water that we don't usually test for, so nitrate levels are the typical indicator for water changes. My 50 gallon tank is planted and keeps my nitrates at 5ppm, but the pH slowly changes over time, the kH slowly decreases, and a lot of water evaporates, so I have to do a water change eventually. Thus, despite the fact that my plants are controlling my nitrate levels, I still do large water changes every week or so.
  5. I don't have any Raingarden fish yet... I tried to order a beautiful male telescope from Steve last summer, but he failed the pre-shipping inspection due to injury (apparently injured during breeding), so they had to refund my purchase. I'm glad that they have such high standards for quality, but I really wanted that fish because of his unique coloring, and he would have made an excellent mate for my moor.
  6. If this tank has a fish in it, and you haven't just done a water change, then those numbers definitely show that the tank is cycled.
  7. Thanks for correcting my filter arithmetic
  8. It sounds like your setup is approximately within Koko's standards for filtration and stocking (to follow the rules exactly, you need an other 100 gallons per hour of filter flow, but you may be okay for now ). So now everybody is going to ask for photos. Photos are always welcome and, of course, are often worth a thousand words. You are posting in the correct section for getting help/advice/suggestions. However, should you feel the need to show off, we have a dedicated photo section for showing off fish and tanks: http://www.kokosgold...-photo-section/
  9. My water line is at the base of the trim. I have powerheads at each end of the tank, with their outflows aimed across the surface, and they stir up the entire surface of the water without splashing. Thus I get reasonable oxygenation with no noise.
  10. There is probably enough junk being dumped into the river that your fish water won't make a difference. However, I'm not sure that the EPA will agree. How close is the creek to where you will be dumping the water?
  11. I've become fond of using powerheads attached to sponges. It is inexpensive and effective, and might work if you can find a good suction-cup mount. Have you considered a canister filter? You may be able to fit the intake and return pipes through your lid, but it may be difficult/expensive to obtain high flow rates.
  12. You can only edit for a short time after posting. Maybe it's dependent on whether somebody else has read the post? I'm not sure. But it's usually pretty short. It seems like the tank's advertised volume is based on outside dimensions, and if you filled the tank completely full. Nobody fills the tank COMPLETELY full, that would get messy real quick. I think that I determined that my 50 gallon tank has like 45 gallons in it. Maybe.
  13. I've not used the Fluval, but I have used several internal filters, and currently have two powerheads with sponge filters on them. The Fluval internal filters seem quick and easy to use, but bulky. There are other internal filters that are smaller and hold more filter media. The Fluval has thee good features: the media cartridges are easy to remove, you can choose between three outflows, and it's attractive (despite its relative bulk). Unless you need all of these features, I would look at a different model or manufacturer. Just my informal review (opinion) Hopefully somebody here has actually used one and can tell us about it.
  14. It looks like everybody has covered all your questions, so I just want to reinforce what was previously said about the new tank: You can set up a new tank and transfer the fish and filter over to it right away. The old filter will transfer its beneficial bacteria, and can be run alongside a new filter (I've run 4 filters on a 50 gallon tank before). Be sure that the new tank is the same temperature and pH as the old tank, and you can transfer the fish over right away. I don't know what method you use, but when I am moving fish around, I prefer to scoop them into a plastic bowl rather than use a net, in order to minimize risk to the fish. This requires sticking both arms into the fish tank, and can be fun Good luck, and P.S. I find that goldfish of similar sizes tend to school, but fish of noticeably different sizes tend to ignore each other.
  15. "stock tanks" are tanks used for watering livestock. The plastic ones are incredibly durable (inch or two thick) and come in various large sizes. Many have a drain in the bottom that is perfect for connection to a filter or for water changes... thus they make great fish ponds. Some Koko's members have small clay/terra cotta pots inside their tanks. I know there is some concern about chemical contaminants leaching into the water, but I don't know much about the subject. Some clays are apparently safe.
  16. I agree with not feeding. Don't feed them the day before you leave or the two days that you're gone, to minimize waste output.
  17. It sounds like the ballast is going bad. If it is the type of light that uses a magnetic ballast, it will have a 'starter'. The starter is an inexpensive part (less than a dollar at most hardware stores) that eventually wears out. The starter just twists into a socket somewhere in the fixture, and can sometimes come loose (this is one possible reason for why the buzzing stops when you turn the light upside down). However, if the light has an electronic ballast (more efficient), the whole ballast must be replaced. Usually this means getting a new light fixture.
  18. In addition to tannins being acidic, driftwood tends to absorb minerals from the water (think 'petrified wood'). This lowers your KH over time. So your tank's stability will depend on the adsorption rate of the driftwood in addition to your initial KH and time between water changes. I used to have a large piece of driftwood that slowly decreased my KH, but my KH from the tap is over 180ppm (is that like 10 degrees of KH?), so my pH was stable for a couple months at a time... of course I do water changes more often than that, so I never had a problem. You aren't so lucky: From what I understand, lots of crushed coral with a good amount of water flowing through it is the only reliable long-term solution for low KH. However, when you do a water change your tap water will have a different pH from your tank: this is where buff-it-up is useful. Use the buff-it-up to make your new water compatible with your tank before you do your water change, and the crushed coral will maintain your water conditions between water changes. And, of course, test your water weekly. You can order a KH test from any of the major online fish suppliers. Often it is bundled with a GH test. P.S. I hear that crushed coral slowly loses effectiveness over time and needs to be replaced at least annually. Again, you can only know for sure by testing.
  19. I haven't used the Penguin filters, but I really like the Marineland Emperor filters. I know that the Emperor filters have a little spray bar that sprays water onto the bio wheel. As long as the spray bar isn't clogged, the biowheel keeps turning. I don't think the Penguin filters have the spray bars in them though... I think the spray bar is the biggest difference between the two.
  20. I would buy it if I was home! I'm staying with my parents for two weeks so my tanks are 300 miles away I've been looking for an other fish and that telescope is perfect... maybe Joy (thoughtsofjoy) can help me out? I want that fish!
  21. Your fish are ridiculously amazing! I'm jealous
  22. In my experience, young plants don't do well with goldfish. Even if the plant will eventually have large robust leaves, the goldfish can eat the leaves when they are small. Also, goldfish love roots... Maybe the bulbs tried to grow, but the goldfish ate the roots and leaves faster than they were sprouting?
  23. It's tempting to buy that fish for you... but don't you have a boyfriend? I think he'd be a bit jealous of strange guys sending you expensive gifts
  24. Oops. Apparently, I need to pay more attention
  25. What do you mean? http://www.raingarden.us/4507a.JPG http://www.raingarden.us/4785a.JPG http://www.raingarden.us/4786a.JPG http://www.raingarden.us/4787a.JPG and more
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