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Everything posted by Plecco

  1. Yeah I won't buy a fluval again unless its the fx series. The 405 I've had for 6-7 years and replaced the impeller and impeller cover twice. The impeller cover rubber sheath tends to expand and warp. I think from heat. Not terrible- but the eheim 2217 I got used has been totally trouble free and it was used on a salt tank for years before I took ownership. In fact the tank silicone failed years ago and the eheim is still running strong.
  2. Uh because I already bought an eheim? I looked into sun sun and people have had trouble with the rubber gasket drying out and leaking. And everyone agrees the spray bar and intake are very cheap plastic prone to breakage. For the extra money Id rather the comfort of knowing I won't destroy my neighbors ceiling to save 40 bucks.
  3. I just got a brand new eheim 2217 and wondering if I'd be better off putting this filter on my 55 gallon planted tank which has a very low bioload? I'd then put the fluval 405 that was on the planted tank onto the Goldie 55 galloner. I tend to value low maintenance over crystal clear water. I don't use carbon on any tanks either. But this new 2217 has a lot of layers. I'm thinking bio balls in the bottom of the 2217 for either tank.
  4. Problem: The hose tends to kink after rolling it up. Solution: cut the hose in the middle and put in a double ended brass barb coupling. Then when you roll it up- just seperate the 2 halves so the hose doesn't kink so easy. The only thing to be aware of is that if you tend to kink the hose when filling to cut water output as you run to another tank or back to the sink- the accumulated pressure will blow the hose off at the barb. Ask me how I know!
  5. Ordered an eheim 2217. I'm familiar with it and its bulletproof- just a pain to prime when I strip and clean the hoses. Thanks all for helping me dial in my set-up.
  6. If I avow to change more water more frequently and remove some gravel and remove my driftwood - Can I please get recommendations in easy to service non clogging bio media/filter combos? I'm pretty well resolved on ditching these aquaclears. I bought them used from a seller who had them on his salt tank. They looked almost new and claimed to be 8 mos old. 1 had a noisy impeller so I got 2 new ones, dabbed em with Vaseline and reassembled. One was quiet, the other slightly noisy. 3 months later I scrubbed and reassembled again with petroleum jelly and they have been progressively clacking away ever since. Yesterday I rebuilt them and when I came home the tanks looked much better. Then hours later one then the other started clacking away. I've had them in the past and same issues repeatedly... Quieter with covers off even new? Ill pass!! So can I PLEASE get a recommendation on an easy to service filter and media combo that is least likely to clog? I don't need sparkling polished water- just relatively clear. Thanks!
  7. No other media. I have some purigen I could try. Expensive stuff - don't know why I bought it!
  8. Also: I've tried leaving the sponges in, taking them out and using bio balls hoping to trap more... And what's with the sponges causing the grey plastic "baskets" to float up? This happens even after all air is forced out of the sponge. I can't keep the lids on- just a pet peeve (no pun intended). If they worked I wouldn't care.
  9. Oops- they are aqua clear 70s. I have 2" of gravel with a few amazon swords, driftwood, frogbit, salvinia and duckweed. The gravel is a mix of Eco complete, aquatic soil and calcium carbonate (crushed seashell). Lately all the plants are looking bad. I think it's the heat. The pH is 7.2ish. Maybe higher (7.4) I think the driftwood holds me back when gravel siphoning. And feeding a whole zucchini one a week to my plecos isn't helping matters I'm sure. Plus the frogbit, duckweed and salvinia the goldie's eat.
  10. Change water 30-35% every 1.5-2 weeks w/siphon. Intakes are about 4-5" from bottom.
  11. I've got a 55gal with 2 goldfish and 2 pleccos. The tank is disgusting. I have 2 aquaclear 50s and the water is perpetually cloudy and the bottom has a significant amount of waste sitting on it until I siphon. Can anyone recommend a good filter? I have experience with older eheims (2217) and older fluvals (405). The fluvals always melted impeller covers. The eheim is good but not easy to prime. I need a combination of filter and media that won't clog and require a tear down every month. I saw a magnum 350 by marineland that looks like a good filter but think the pleated paper filter will clog readily. (And they are $10-15 each to replace). Any suggestions?
  12. I am a member of a local aquarium club- but working 54 hrs a week makes meeting attendance impossible. I posted an ad on CL. If I have no takers Ill drop off the Goldie's at a local pet store.
  13. If anyone is near Queens NY I have some goldfish for you. A large pleco too if you have a large tank. A day after I wrote this, I returned home after 3 days to see a few fine red streaks in their fins. I think the lack of floating plants is doing it but there is no way they will replenish in time to cure it. I also agree its too crowded. I had gotten them very small and they have gotten much bigger. I think 2-3 is my number. The pleco I want to re-home is from my other tank- he's an albino. The one in my goldie tank will need to take his place in the 55. The albino has been upset with the lack of space as he has gotten bigger and the plants have proliferated. Call me crazy but he shows me he's upset by swimming up to the glass and staring at me. Usually this means he's hungry. But when Id drop in a wafer he would ignore it and about face and start thrashing between a couple plants. Then turn and look at me, repeat and finally swim to the back giving me his back. This was even more prevalent after a tank rearrangement. But the last time I re-arranged this past month I forgot to leave him some bare space at the front and he has been absolutely motionless and hiding in the back since. Normally he sits somewhere he can see everything from and winks in acknowledgement when I spot him. No more as of this past 2 weeks. I would have offered him up sooner, but I was considering a move. I just don't think a larger tank will work in my space right now. It's sad because he's a really bright and curious pleco. I discovered this when one day during a massive water change he swam to the front in a panic. I offered him food which he ignored. He kept freaking out. I picked up a hollow ornament and felt a thrash from within- the other pleco had swam up inside and was no longer submerged. I quickly took the ornament out into a bucket of water and busted her out. The other pleco watched the whole time and when I returned her to the tank he blinked/rolled his eyes and swam to the back. So although it kills me, I can no longer keep him. I've thought about shipping him to Alabama and asking a friend to release him, but I think he needs South American waters to be in his natural habitat.
  14. I have a very stable setup that seems to be ridiculously low maintenance. Its a 35 gallon hex with an Eheim canister filter, no heater, t5 lighting with a mix of nutrient dense gravel and aquatic soil. I have 3 ryukin young adults, 1 telescope, 1 adult oranda, and 1 juvenile (4") common pleco. There are Malaysian trumpet snails and a few very small mystery snails. I have Anubius planted and a very large piece of driftwood. I also had a full floating carpet of duckweed which they ate readily for the first 3 months of the tanks life, followed by an overtaking of salvinia for several months and finally almost exclusively overtaken by frogbit. I have since stripped all floating plants and am awaiting a replenishment of duckweed via my community 55 gal where it lasts / propagates much better sans Goldie's. It makes me nervous and I am monitoring them carefully for signs of stress because I know I am breaking a lot of rules. Years ago I had a 55 gallon with crushed glass substrate and a couple of aqua clears when I was a kid that used to lead to sick fish all the time at a similar stocking level despite water changes every 3-4 weeks. So with this current setup I feed them 0-4x a day depending on my schedule and changing about 70% of the water every 30-50 days. I cleaned the filter once after 5 or 6 months when output dropped. I only vacuum the gravel where their food drops if at all. I never use carbon or fine floss. Just some coarse pads, some bio balls and some women's pantyhose filled with crushed coral and gravel. Whenever I test the water everything checks out ok - some slightly elevated nitrates but still well within safe parameters. And I have tested everything from nitrites to hardness. I never see them gasping, no blood streaks, no torn rays or anything out of the ordinary. No algae problems or anything either. I believe that the floating plants are working magic on the tank and giving them something more vital for them to eat than the usual diet of spectrum pellets, occasional freeze dried krill and most recently some frozen bloodworms. I also believe the snails are contributing to this great balance. My objective is to try to get back to a full duckweed floating carpet on top, but if they eat too fast to make a combo of duckweed and salvinia which they eat less readily. The frogbit they never touched but might be a much better natural water filter for its 2-3" root trails. I feel like I am breaking so many rules but the fish are quite healthy. I enjoy my fish, feed them whenever I am home and clean the tank when it's convenient. It seems like I have a great thing going and then I read these posts about people doing water changes 2x a week and with very low stocking density. I wonder if my experience can help anybody out there to build a nice setup and regardless of how often they want to do maintenance- to have a healthier tank overall. Or, am I just going to make a lot of people with set rules angry. I love my fish and would do a lot more maintenance if I really thought they'd be much better for it... But I would swear these are some of the healthiest fish I've seen. In fact my freshwater planted co2 injected community 55 gal gets the same treatment and there are tetras in there I began the tank with 4 years ago who are going quite strong. I've had angels and kribenses breeding alongside Molly's in there. Are water changes just a substitute for natural ecological balances we can engineer into these aquatic microsystems with just a few plants and snails? It seems that way to me.
  15. Gravel gives a tremendous surface area for the good bacteria to colonize. But you can run barebottom safely if you observe generally accepted rules of thumb on stocking density of fish and have a good filter. I once had a major tank crash after cleaning my 75 gal. I had too many fish and no gravel. I also changed 50 percent of the water just prior to the crash. I thought the fluval fx5 I had was a good enough buffer for bacteria- and didn't think water held so much biological in the water itself. (never had the problem with overstocking when running with gravel bottom). So just stay conservative with how many fish and time between water changes and you'll be fine if you want the look.
  16. So the plant fertilizer i use is called amazingly enough "Aquacare: Plant Nutrition Liquid" by Tropica. I believe its a german product and i was told by a sales rep at BigAlsOnline that its what the guys who grow plants for wholesale use. 10 mL treats 26.5 gallons and it comes in a 500 mL bottle with one of those dosing tops that fill when you squeeze the bottle.
  17. As for your question regarding how much air is enough- if they are gasping at the surface you need to either increase your gas exchange rates (doubtful with even no aeration so long as your filter output is good enough to circulate the water particularly near the surface) or cut back on feeding or sell some fish or do a water change. The gasping is symptomatic of decreased O2 levels in the tank due to too much ammonia or its byproduct nitrite. In other words, you dont need a better air pump unless you want one for the visual effect. I have noticed that my fish seem more jumpy when its on. I wondered at first if it indicated more robust health, but the more consistantly sedate fish whom remained calm with or without the air pump on, showed no difference in gill respiratory movements. In fact, with it on, i noticed most fish seemed to be gill pumping more rapidly which i took as further sign of excitation. However some fish enjoy swimming through or hanging out in the bubbles. Plecos are known for this behavior on occasion, and they actually get their air in one or two big gasps above the surface as opposed to from "breathing" the water.
  18. You should also be running check valves on your air pumps to keep water from filling up and possibly leaking out of your pump in the event of a power outage. However ive noticed that different check valves have different resistances. They arent rated so the easy test is to get a couple and blow through them. Ive also seen them deform from heat if mounted too close to the air pump (1-2" from the pump outlet)
  19. I have read many times that its all about surface agitation. That gas exchange occurs at the surface of the water- and is less dependent on how many bubbles you pump through. In this way a strong output from a filter that splashes or disturbs the surface tension should do most of what you are after. Think about it- the water will only hold so much oxygen. So pumping more bubbles through the water isnt the issue so much as helping it "pass" or "exchange". Maybe the best way to ensure more complete voiding of co2 is by setting up your air stone wherever the water tends to move slowest in your tank. Also, warm water (which expands) allows for less oxygen. So other factors notwithstanding, shoot for the coolest temp you can run. Live plants will also help by both absorbing CO2 and producing O2.
  20. The problem could be either a broken pump diaphram, a clogged wand, the air simply taking the path of least resistance... Or some other possibility with unintentional innuendo. Lol. Maybe it's as you say- just a weak pump... Bazinga!!
  21. Ill take pics of the fertilizer when I get home. Yeah we'll see as they get bigger if the food supply sustains itself and they continue to eat only the salvinia/duckweed. When I first set it up I didn't have salvinia. They devoured all the duckweed quickly. Now they are bigger and eating more of the salvinia and the duckweed looks to be proliferating well. I was away for a few days recently and had a room mate keeping an eye on the tank/feeding who has a community tank himself. When I got home all but the big oranda were gasping moderately but consistently at the surface. Closer inspection showed some uneaten freeze dried krill and a half dozen soggy pellets. Ammonia was .25 and Nitrites elevated mildly. So yeah they love the live plants. Just glad they leave the red Lilly and whatever that weed like plant is I have wrapped around the driftwood. I also have that tall grass/seaweed looking stuff - doesn't look great in the tank and they won't touch it (that ive noticed) so it's more for the heck of it at this point. Substrate is a mix of Eco-complete and aquatic soil. (although most of the plants are not planted).
  22. Oops posted in wrong section - can the mods move this to the general forum? Thanks.
  23. Very nice look- sleek and polished! I did something similar once- blue glass "sea glass" (no longer available) with orange plastic lotus flowers (4"-5" high) and a bubble wand or two. The colors of the goldfish really play well against this kind of look. Post pics when they are in!
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