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Everything posted by austinado16

  1. If the hoses are coming off the valves on the canister, you may not have them installed correctly. You really have to shove them down onto the barbed fittings all the way, and then tighten those big plastic nuts by hand, so they are pretty snug. Yes, if you're using the water polishing pads, I'd change 'em at least each month, if not sooner as Fluval suggests. They come 6 to a box I think, so you've got plenty on hand. Once they get all packed with gook, they're probably a major restriction to the flow in gallons per hour. Also, a little tip on filling the media trays. If you stack your Bio Max cylinders, standing upright, in rows, and fill the bays that way, you'll be able to fit a lot more into each bay than if you just pour them in, in a pile. It's a huge difference. With Goldfish, you want all the bio media you can get your hands on! Plus, if you're trays are currently full, stacking will free up some space and you could drop in a bag of charcoal/carbon every once in a while, and even run a bag of SeaChem DenitrAte (change it out every couple weeks, just like you'd do with charcoal/carbon).
  2. The 405 is currently $140 at Amazon with free shipping and of course, no sales tax. http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-405-External-Canister-Filter/dp/B000I1M5SQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317355774&sr=8-1
  3. I didn't know anything about them when I started shopping, and initially, it was for my new-to-me 30G. I went over to the local petbox store because I didn't want to wait for an online purchase to arrive, or have an umpteen week hassle if I returned it because it was a POS. I looked at the most expensive Fluval and the most expensive Eheim, took 'em out of their boxes to look at how they were built, compared the size of the filtration, and how much media they held, and the simplicity of the build quality. I didn't want something all wizbang that would break some fitting off at the least opportune moment, umpteen months later. To my rookie eye, the Fluval was better. I'm still happy with it. I think you'd like one.
  4. There's a Hagen/Fluval produced video on youtube showing how to set up, use, and clean the FX5. There is also one for the 405. Might be worth taking a look at both and see which is more user friendly for you. IIRC, I looked at the FX5 video last year and wasn't feeling the love. Can't remember why. Guess I need to go watch it again.
  5. I think their is a statement like that on the box of pads. I've left them in longer and had no issues with flow. They come out goopy green, so they really pick up a ton of stuff......but she just skirts my entire point. THE PADS ARE GETTING DIRTY ON TOP.......and that's not possible if the water is flowing in a counter-clockwise circle from the inlet on the left, down and then up, to the outlet on the right. See the raise round "ring" that's molded into the top cover, on the stack of media trays? That ring is what is supposed to seal against the flat surface of the impeller housing....with no gasket. Being always shove downward, makes that cover sort of cave in, into that top media tray. As it caves in, it stops sealing against the impeller housing. My gasket of 2 o-rings compensated for the problem of the lid caving in. Below is a close up of that cover and the outlet port with the grill-work. My o-rings fit around the outside of the plastic ring surrounding the grill-work.
  6. Got an email from Hagen, makers of the Fluvals. We thank you for taking the time to contact us. The polishing pads you can only use for approximately 10 days then you need to throw them away. Be sure you have all media in the correct baskets stated in your manual. You should not have any poly fill, chemi pure or purigen. Thank you, Elaine Boyce Customer Service Dept. Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp. I didn't mention leaving my pads in for extended periods, or using poly fill, chemi pure(whatever that is) or purigen(whatever that is). Nor did I mention having things in the baskets in the wrong order. Just told them I'd found a problem with their filter, had come up with a solution, and invited them to contact me if they wanted to discuss either.
  7. ^^LOL.....it should be in the rules here for keeping Goldfish^^ "Step One: Purchase a 55 gallon tank. If you don't have room, or can't afford a 55 gallon tank, don't bother bringing Goldfish home." "Step Two: Purchase the largest HOB or Canister filter that you can barely afford. If you don't have the money, don't bother bringing Goldfish home." Imagine the ease of starting out, if we all had started that way?
  8. Thanks for the kind words Cap't. I wish more people here could get their hands on vintage tanks too! I'd be fun to see them brought back to life.
  9. Yes, it's important not to think about what you've spent, and what you will spend. If I added up what I've spent on what was originally a 25cent feeder fish, I would throw myself in front of a speeding bus. BTW, don't take my suggestions as gospel. I'm pretty new here, and everything I've learned, I've learned here. I am willing to try different things, and push the limits of stuff a little (like I have a lot of gravel that the love to plow through and I'm no where near the recommended gallons per hour of filtration), but it's not for everybody. One thing I have learned though, is the goldfish game is all about water volume. If you want to have a miserble time, keep small tanks. The water is polluted so fast that eventually, you'll either grow super tired of the constant water changes, or you'll grow tired of dead and dying fish and all the time and money you spend treating them. The more water, the better, and you're smart to just go to a 55......and even that will seem small pretty soon.
  10. lol....yep, welcome to my world! They are definately a family of 3. When the little Comet was recently in the hospital tank (I set it up on the corner of the kitchen table about 3' away from their tank, she moped and sat in a corner I'd made for her, starring at the main tank the entire time. She'd come out of her "room" to eat, and then go back and just sit on the bottom starring. She knows how to throw a pity party.
  11. I love the variety of the tanks here too. It's like going to a car show and loving the Model T, just as much a '63 'vette. I think the bare-bottom tanks with the symetry some of you create are an awesome look, and I love the planted tanks just as much. Definately for best photos, night is the better time. Use a tripod too because your camera will auto switch itself into a slow shutter speed that will create motion blur, both from you pressing the shutter button, and from the fish/bubbles/plants moving. If you don't have a tripod, bring a chair in front of the tank, and rest the camera on the back of the chair. Of course, if you have a nice DSLR, you can get into Manual Mode, and make your own adjustments. It's definately a challenge, and I'm certainly not a pro at it, even when I do break out the real camera. Takes a couple dozen shots to get a handful of keepers.
  12. A couple things to consider for that 55G. I think it's important to have a lot of surface agitation, and to cycle the water from the bottom of the tank, up to the top, where it can exchange carbon dioxide with oxygen. In my 55, and now in my 70, I use a Rio 90 pond pump suction cupped to the inside side of the tank, with a length of Fluval pickup tube in the bottom. I have the pond pump set up with the "duck bill" outlet on it, so that it produces a wide "mound" in the surface of the water. This creates a lot of surface agitation, which again, promotes the CO2 to O2 exchange. I'm also a believer in large canister filters because of all the bio media they can hold, not to mention the large surface area of the filtration. I started using my current Fluval 405 on my 30G, then used it on the 55G when I transfered to that tank, and now it's on my 70G. I think I have something like 4lbs of bio media in it. Plus, I can put in carbon/charcoal when I want, and remove it when I want, as it's not part of a filter pack. I can add water polishing (micro polishing) filter pads to really clean the water, etc. I know they're a couple hundred up front, but well worth the investment with a large tank....IMO. That said, your gulping at the surface is probably due to poorly oxygenated water. Set things up to give a lot of surface agitation, and cycle the water from the very bottom of the tank up to the top, and then let us know how both fish are behaving.
  13. Yep, definately got some personality. The other thing I love is their swim. They've got this great glide mode, but what's best is when they light the after-burners and start bending the space/time continuem. The big Comet will snap her tail, vanish, and reappear on the other side of the tank. Wish I had room and a floor that would hold a 100 gallon+ tank. I'd love to see these guys with more room.
  14. Mine will barely eat orange and lemon slices now that they've had lime. Cafrin limes (the funny bumpy ones) are the best...they are super twangy. The fish hit on them, and then swim around slowly with their mouths closed and smacking like crazy. Then they go right back and get some more. They can't stand to stay away,
  15. Popping and smacking!! lol....love it. it's the ol', "Hey, we haven't eaten in like.....5 minutes. How 'bout it?" Wanna have some fun? Start clipping a pair of lime slices (organic if you can get them) into the tank. That'll occupy them for a couple hours and the faces them make are hilarious.
  16. Thanks Stakos! I think they like all the action too. When I'm at the sink doing something, they come to the side glass to see, and usually give me that face. When we're at the table eating, they come down to that end fo the tank and hover next to the person at that end of the table. They are very talented at slinging water over the top of the tank to get my attention, and/or splash me. They'll come up to the top, roll up onto their side and grab a tail full of water and then huck it over the rim onto me or out onto the floor. Sometimes I'll just pull up a chair and sit and watch the show. They're very entertaining.
  17. Thanks Kaytee! We've got quite a few pieces of that harp style.
  18. Thanks for the kind words Jen! We wanted them where all the action is, so that they'd be part of the family. They're right in the midst of it all......meal time, doing dishes, cooking, you name it. They're very interactive with us and have been a lot of fun. The big Comet (the one with the wide white tail) started out as a little feeder fish, in a 1 gallon plastic "fish TV" fish bowl. That was about 6 or 7 years ago now. She's been through a lot. BTW, I found this tank and stand in the Oakland, CA area, on Craigslist for $50. Drove 7hrs round trip to pick it up. The new glass was about $350 and there's something like fifteen 10.3oz tubes of Dow Corning 795 Building Sealant in it. Empty, it's so heavy that 2 people can barely pick it up and set it onto the stand. Just the slate bottom is about 75lbs. That was a real party to install, as it is the last thing put into the tank and is actually larger than the top of the tank, and fits within about 1/8" of the glass all the way around.
  19. ^^Now that's funny^^ These 3 are pretty inseperable. They're like this all the time. During photo shoots, the little one hides behind the 2 big ones!
  20. Well, I'm certainly a huge violator of that rule, as well as the gravel rule. Although based on my little yearly bout with fishy illness, 2 years in a row now at this same time, I may not be a poster child. I may have brought that on myself though by getting waaay lazy with the water changes. Now that I've (probably) got the flow issue solved, I might go back to using Sea Chem De-Nitrate granules in the Fluval. I'd be nice to keep those levels lower. Was hoping plants would help, but I don't heat the water, so that seems to keep the plants from growing, and these single tales eat everything, including Anubias Nana with those crazy stiff waxy leaves.
  21. The 405 at 340gph is the only filter I have on this 70G with these 3 monster single tails. All 4 trays are full of Fluval's bio media ceramic cylinders, and in one tray, I'll put the micro polishing pads in on top of the cylinders. Once in a while I'll put in a bag of charcoal that I make up from bulk. In the opposite corner, drawing off the bottom through a section of Fluval pickup tupe, I've got a Rio90 pond pump...just to circulate water from the bottom of that area of the tank, up to the top where it can exchange CO2 for O2. About 44" of Marineland bubble stick (2 sticks linked together with a short piece of pvc tubing) is burried under the gravel at the base of the back wall and powered by a Tetra Whisper 60 so I get large tumbling bubbles. That's it. The water is always clear and I've never had green or white tinge, even with the tank in between 2 huge windows and getting quite a bit of morning/late morning direct sun.
  22. Wow! Every has such incredible tanks! i'm a little late to the party, and many of you have seen these photos from my restoration thread, but here are a couple anyway. It's a mid 1960's "Metaframe" brand 70 gallon. Stainless steel frame and hoods, with 17mm(11/16") thick slate bottom. All of the glass is new. The front glass is "Starfire." 48"L x 18"D x 21"T. As Found: Old glass and slate bottom removed: Finished: View from inside looking out: Where it lives:
  23. At $200-something to replace this one, and another hundo+ if I went for something larger/more advanced, I had a bit of motivation.....if you know what I mean ;-). Plus, I've got a large kit of different size o-rings, so it was a freeby. That said, the company needs to address this. The lid either needs to be thick enough that it doesn't bow down, move away from the impeller housing and create a lack of correct flow, or they need install a compressible sleeve like I've created, out of silicone, and supply it as part of the kit-of-parts that comes with these units. And they can say that they found out about it first, here at Kokos!!
  24. I think I may have solved the problem. I ordered a new media tray cover via ebay, and then decided to play with modding my existing cover. First of all, I've been noticing that the cover is bowed downward, away from the lid and the impeller housing that it's supposed to press against/seal against. It is just thin flexible plastic, and the way they have the reinforcement ribs under it, there's just no way to keep it from being shoved downward, and then being permanently bowed, as the 405's motor housing get's snapped into place. So, I got the lid super hot in hot water, and while it was soft and plyable, I flexed it back into a normal flat position. Once cooled, it stayed there, but of coarse that's not a cure. Then I used 2 rubber o-rings (available in the plumbing dept. of any hardware store) and slipped them over the outside of the round collar, that's molded onto the of the media tray cover. They stacked up nicely, and were just slightly taller than the collar. My theory was that if they provided a better seal, the pumping action couldn't sneak past the collar, and would have to go down, through the foam, and the up through the media trays. Everything snapped back together normally, and I'd pre-filled the filter with treated water. So far, so good. Hooked up the hoses, plugged the filter in, turned on the power, and it instantly primed itself and immediately began working! One more little mod that I forgot to mention: I used a pair of fingernail cuticle nippers to cut out some of the grill-work in the outlet opening of the media tray cover. I know the grill-work is there to keep large stuff from getting into the impeller, but I don't have any small stuff, either in the tank, or in the media baskets.......so I'll take my chances, vs. having much better flow. I'll post back with an update and let you know how this works out after a few weeks of run time.
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