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  1. I've seen this design, and considered but decided against it. (I don't like the looks and I'm concerned about light leakage. )
  2. I was thinking about that design, but it's kind of ugly and would leak a fair bit of light I'd imagine, from having it..*brainfart* refract? through the glass and the little black warts- tubs not being firmly placed against the glass either. Also, a problem I presently don't have but others might: that won't work if you have a background on your tank. So I want to make something that'll work on any tank and be able to block any light from escaping.
  3. algae scrubbers use algae to scrub nitrates, and other dissolved fish-wastes from the water, in doing so they prevent algae from growing elsewhere. you have to give the algae in the scrubber strong light and good waterflow for it to out-compete any other algae. I had previously just used a mesh suspended from the output of my AquaClear 70 and hood, skimming over the top of the water directly under the hood's light. It seemed to be working, I had algae growing thick on the mesh and not the glass.. and then my goldfish discovered he could get at that algae and destroyed my flimsier mesh and that test.
  4. oh, are you not familiar with algae scrubbers? they use algae to scrub nitrates. algae is -very- good at that if provided enough light of the frequencies it can use for it and continuous flow of new tank water. I've not had a setup I was able to keep protected from my fish to test exactly how effective they are in freshwater, but they're very popular in salt water aquariums apparently. My intent is to make one my goldfish can't manage to mess up and looks nice. Here's a commercial unit for it: http://www.santa-monica.cc/HOG5-Hang-On-Glass-UAS-Upflow-Algae-Scrubber--12-Cube-feeding-per-day--MAGNET-VERSION_p_21.html
  5. I'll try to do a mockup later tonight with cardboard and a bit of clear plastic from packaging or something, and hot glue. (because I'm going to measure my cuts instead of winging it.) But for now, you know how a AquaClear 70 is.. ~4"x~6" for the filter area, when looking down at it? I want to make something similar but 2"x11" (and then 13" deep for the meshes I have to fit all the way in), so water comes in at the bottom and flows out into the tank. Mostly made of black acrylic, with the back of the box made of clear. that clear bit where lights will shine in.. and then imagine that with aluminum foil wrapped over the back so any "leaking" light reflects back into the box, and not into the room or aquarium. EDIT: But I'm undecided of adding a bit to the side of it so I can use a hang-on-back filter motor and parts for it, or just have an inlet at the bottom that any pump of choice could be piped into it.
  6. I'm considering making an acrylic algae scrubber that'll work as a HOB, and trying to make it look fairly professional (kinda hoping I could sell 'em if the prototype performs well, tbh). I plan to use mostly opaque black acrylic, with a clear acrylic back, with LED grow lights and a reflector on said back, then a plastic mesh for the algae to grow on. I'm undecided if I should try to integrate a normal HOB filter's motor and impeller and tubing into the filter, or use a powerhead with tube attachment to attach it to the HOB scrubber. I've never worked with acrylic before, but the process of bonding joints looks easy enough. Never used a powerhead either, so does anyone have any suggestions or warnings about problems I might face?
  7. reading it the way the instructions say... is how I get the .25ppm ammonia result, which has remained constant since my first post in this thread (with no water changes). I can't help but think that it would have gone down to 0 or up, and not stayed the same, if I was actually reading it right when following the directions. :/
  8. Depending on how I read the results, I get either 0, or 0.25ppm ammonia, no nitrite either way, and 5.0, or 0.0 nitrate from the master test kit. Putting the tube to its side against the chart, on the white part, shows 0.25 ppm ammonia and no nitrate, but looking straight down the tube makes the colors match up to no ammonia and 5ppm nitrate, with no nitrite under either test. this is 1 day without any water changes. Tap water gives the same ammonia results, but the nitrate is 0 no matter how read. The filters/media I have are between a month and a half and a half month in age. the oldest remaining of the filter-medias were seeded with a slightly older piece that was disintegrating. So, have I been reading the results wrong, is my tank cycled?
  9. noisy is bad. I had hoped I'd be able to pair it with my tetra whisper or fluval u1 (thanks, chai!) to make up the difference, but if it's really only good for a 5g and is noisy, I guess I ought to go buy something better.
  10. I -know- it can handle 16gallons of water as I was using it to hold my 17gal bucket I'm temporarily keeping my fish in, and I think it could handle the full weight of 20gal, and yeah, unequal stress is why I wasn't planning on using the stand.. was hoping though, can't get rid of any furniture, due to rent agreements in this fully furnished apartment, and.. low on space, but I can and will make a space for it. I'll continue planning on buying or otherwise procuring a stand, then. Still need to know about cleaning stuff, though
  11. So, I just got a 20gallon aquarium for my goldfish. it's roughly 12x24x16 inches, and apparently my nightstand is closer to 23 inches long. I don't think it's a good idea to use that stand, and am thus currently planning on buying a new one before I put any water in this tank, but I'll ask here just in case I can get away with that. It came with an Aqua-Tech 5-15 filter, which is used, filter media and a bio-filter sponge, also all used (but the filter looks brand new) I'm planning on using spray-bleach stuff to clean the tank, and am wondering if that's a good idea, and if so, proper procedure for how to get all of the bleach out before I put the fish back in.
  12. I'm using an (underpowered for the water volume I have, with another filter making up the difference) Tetra Whisper Microfilter. It's a mix between a HOB and Internal filter. it hangs off the side like a HOB, but inside the tank, with the pump itself submerged underwater like an internal where all of its sound is completely muffled, I like it. the larger Whispers might have more media space, my little "microfilter" has only a bit more room than the cartridge. (but more total than the internal Fluval U1 Chai gave me.)
  13. with significant rearrangement of furniture in my room, sacrificing walk-way space and so forth, I might be able to make room for a 40+ gallon tank. I have a concrete floor, but I don't know how smooth and level it is under the carpet, so now I need to figure out setting up large tanks without damaging them. Might take 1-3 months of saving depending on what comes up at petco's supposed sale or craigslist to actually get a tank. I have room without much sacrifice for a 20gal-(tall)26gal, but from my understanding that'd be too small for anything not temporary.
  14. I went with the bucket for 3 reasons, space, strength, and most of the sterilite containers at walmart of the appropriate volume, shape, and thickness to not buckle seemed to have holes punched into the bottom. (like they were supposed to be there..). I also didn't know when I'd be out anywhere else that might have appropriate containers (such as home depot) so I went with the cheap bucket, not thinking about not being able to hang a better filter on the handles, like the one I had.
  15. Yeah, since the bucket is a bit smaller than originally thought (17gal instead of 26) that probably would be good enough. And with an active culture, it'd probably work better than my not nitrogen-cycled filter and bucket.
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