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Plecco

My aquaclear filters aren't cutting it

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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?

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How often do you change the water and clean the gravel?

How close are the water intakes to the bottom of the tank?

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Change water 30-35% every 1.5-2 weeks w/siphon. Intakes are about 4-5" from bottom.

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Does your tank have substrate? If so what kind and how deep?

What's your filter maintenance schedule like?

What breed of Plecos do you have?

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Well I guess I'd say you arent changing quite enough water and not quite often enough but to answer your original question I am pretty pleased with my aqueon 75 filters and the intake goes all the way to the bottom of my 75 which would really help you suck the debris off the bottom.

Edited by DieselPlower

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I had seven goldfish in a 55 for awhile, and two AC 70s were fine. How much do you feed? Are you cleaning the filters regularly? What kind of substrate is it?

Your water change schedule is lower than recommended. With such big waste producers,I would recommend at least 50 percent weekly.

How long has the tank been set up, and do you know the parameters?

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If it were me, I'd extend the intake tubes to the bottom of the tank and add a canister filter, Fluval or Eheim. I have two Eheim 2217s and I like them a lot, but I've never tried Fluval. One advantage of the canister is that you can place the intake and output tubes in a configuration that avoids dead spots in the tank circulation.

You might also try replacing the impellers on your AC50s with an AC70 impeller to create a higher flow rate. As far as I know the AC20-AC70 all have the same motor, and the only difference is the impeller. As I recall, the AC50 flow rate is advertized as 200gph which might be a little low for a 55 gallon.

EVen with the best setup, there will be a need to tidy up the tank with a gravel cleaner, because goldfish poop...a lot :rofl2

Edited by schoolie

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Aquaclears are really great filters, I doubt they would cause trouble. I think there's something else going on in your tank.

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I agree with shawn. It is generally recommended that at a proper stocking level at least 50% of the water volume are to be changed on a weekly basis.

The substrate needs thoroughly vacuumed every time you change the water. Maybe you also want to reduce the amount of substrate? If you do not have rooted life plants, I would go with about 1/2" substrate depth max.

Cleaning the filter media also is important. Every 6-8 weeks I would rinse, swish and squish the filter media in old tank water or dechlorinated tap water to remove as much gunk as possible. If you unplug your filters for a few minutes and plug them back in, do they "spit" particles back out into the tank? If so, it is time for a thorough cleaning of the filter and media. Do not forget to clean the inside of the filter box and intake tubing. I usually rinse the filter itself and tubing with hot tap water (again, the media needs to be cleaned gently with dechlorinated water in order to not slaughter the beneficial bacteria).

Give these suggestions a try and see if it improves the situation. I am quite sure it will! I have 5 medium to large goldfish in my 55 with two Whisper EX70 (only a total of about 100gph more than you) and my water is very clean. But I also do not have any substrate, as it will collect gunk too easily, and is not worth the work to me considered I have no rooted live plants which require substrate :)

Instead I have several anubias attached to large rocks as entertainment for the fish. Might be helpful for you too :)

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Aqua clears are great filters, however I don't think an ac50 is the right filter for a 55 gallon tank. I have an ac50 that I use on my 20 gallon qt tank and it's not that powerful. You would be better off upgrading to two ac70s or one ac70 and a canister.

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Aqua clears are great filters, however I don't think an ac50 is the right filter for a 55 gallon tank. I have an ac50 that I use on my 20 gallon qt tank and it's not that powerful. You would be better off upgrading to two ac70s or one ac70 and a canister.

I agree here completely. The AC50 does 200 gph. So with two you are underfiltered by 150 gph. If you don't want to buy all new filters, just add another for combined 600 gph Edited by ashlee18

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Aqua clears are great filters, however I don't think an ac50 is the right filter for a 55 gallon tank. I have an ac50 that I use on my 20 gallon qt tank and it's not that powerful. You would be better off upgrading to two ac70s or one ac70 and a canister.

I agree here completely. The AC50 does 200 gph. So with two you are underfiltered by 150 gph. If you don't want to buy all new filters, just add another for combined 600 gph

I have 3 AC 50s on my 55 and they do a great job. I substitute an extra sponge for the carbon in each filter which doubles my mechanical filtration. I also change 50% of the water twice a week. Depending on the size of your Plecos, you're stocked pretty heavily for a 55 with goldfish and will need to do more water changes than you are currently doing to keep the water clean.

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Before the bigger water changes, what about the tank and tap pH? And I would say put both if the 50s on one side, and get a 79 to put on the other side. My tank is nice and clean with 2 AC 70 :). And yes, extend the tubes all the way down if you would like :).

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I love my two ehiem 2217's. I also have an AC110 (more so in case I need emergency grab and go cycled media) all on my 55 gallon. I bought a little eheim suction thing that helps with the priming but I have not used it since I primed the filter once (when the tank was new), got a little water in my mouth (but whats a little fish water), and with the dual shut off valves you do not have to re prime every time you clean out the filter as the vacuum stays in tact for a short period of time and the water stays in the tubes. When I reassemble it, I fill with dechlor water and then I just open the valves, get a little sputtering, and then I am good to go (I alternate canister cleanings every three weeks.) I will say that the directions are terrible. When researching reviews, this was a constant issue that others had. Once I figured it out (from a You tube video) I was like "duh" because they are super simple to assemble. I highly recommend them and the come with a full set of mechanical and biological media. Replacement parts are easy to find on Amazon or elsewhere. They are nearly silent and very easy to clean. You can reposition the spray bar to agitate the water if you'd like. I do know that the 2217's have these little metal clips to hold the top on and the plastic part that the clip goes around to secure the lid can break off if you drop it or use too much force, but I do not have to pry my top off and I am careful and have never had an issue. I did a rapid cycle by adding the new filter to the new tank and used two ac110's for about a month until the new filter was cycled. I then removed one of the 110's. I still do 50-100% water changes on my tanks twice a week since my tank with commons has high nitrate issues (or really, my fish are huge and poop waaayyyy too much.) I'd also say invest in a Python! Best thing every!!

I did a lot of research and the Eheim Ecco's seem to have a lower satisfaction rate. Check the "Monster Fish Keeper" forum as their reviews are very helpful, they do some comparison product reviews, articulate (like analyzing flow rates over time, etc...science stuff that was TMI) , and they deal with very high bio loads from the large fish and high water volumes that they keep, especially those that keep chicclids, as they are notorious poopers like goldfish. Then leave the forum and come right back here. Their members actually argue and call each other names in their posts! Yikes!

Edited by mermaidkitten

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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.

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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.

Okay, then you have the right GPH for your tank.

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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.

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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.

Sorry, I don't have that problem with my sponges/baskets. But I rinse my sponges about every 3 weeks.

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I had a simular problem with my 29 I have one AC 70 on it. I added a prefilter made for them and my water looks great. Now I do still have to python out the places where the poop collects.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

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Rinse the sponges more. What other media is in the filters?

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No other media. I have some purigen I could try. Expensive stuff - don't know why I bought it!

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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.

Ok, so the only rooted plants you have are the amazon swords.

This is only my personal opinion, but I would pot the amazon swords (they sell very nice looking pots for aquarium plants online and at some LFS), and over the coming weeks slowly remove the unused substrate. This will make the water significantly cleaner over time, since there is less unnecessary substrate to trap particles. :)

This will also provide more water volume for the fish, since these two inches of gravel replace several gallons of what could be water. More water means better water quality.

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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.

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.

Your AC sponges need more frequent cleaning. They are clogged and will then float your baskets. If you cannot clean them sufficiently in used tank water then replace them.At the same time clean your AC. Remove the motor and impeller, clean for dirt buildup and replace.

Your driftwood may be leaking tannins, making the water yellowish. Remove the driftwood for a couple of days and see if your water clears. Mine did.

All cucs and zucchinis can be very dirty. They break up and pollute the tank. Try not feeding the zucc for a week and see if your water clears.

Changing 30% of your water every 1.5 weeks is not sufficient. Maybe for biddy tetras in a community tropical tank, but goldies may need 100% water change every week. Test your water for nitrates on a regular basis to ensure you are keeping them below 40ppm.

I really don't think the ACs are the issue. There are so many people with similar setups to you that have no problems.

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Ok, so you are a little under filtered. Add a filter -- it will help.

Increase your water changes. You said the tank is gross. Then it needs more water changes. Invest in a water changer if you don't have one. They are the best tool ever for fishkeepers. I also use a cheap pond pump to drain my tanks.

For media, you want something else in the filter basket. I use a sponge, then a layer of loose floss and then a bag of ceramic biomedia on top. If the baskets pop up, rinse the sponge and floss as much as you can. Clean them as often as you have to -- every week if you must. I rinse mine in tap water. I don't recommend this, but it works for me because my tank has a lot of homes for beneficial bacteria. But I might rinse the sponge for more than 5 minutes to get it as clean as I can.

Remove some of your substrate if you can. Fang is correct -- it sounds like you don't really need that much. There are other options, especially for tanks that aren't heavily planted.

Keep an eye on your parameters. Bacterial blooms can cause cloudiness too.

You can improve this tank with a little more filtration and a little more water changing. :)

Edited by ShawneeRiver

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Stumbled upon this thread as yet another AquaClear owner and was shocked to read what the OP was experiencing with his (what should be) sufficient filtration -- I agree that the water change schedule MUST be bumped up when dealing with goldfish. I do a weekly 50% on my 60 gallon and give my guys a mid-week 15-20 gallon exchange for added health...further, I'm running an AquaClear 110 and Aqueon QuietFlow 55 on my 60 gallon and my water is pretty pristine, always, with the "standard" media I have in both filters (I recently added a 100ml pouch of Purigen to the AquaClear for further polishing). Your (the OP) tank shouldn't be that murky and disgusting, at all -- start rinsing off the sponge in the AquaClears, as suggested, in REMOVED TANK WATER and add some more media elements like Seachem's Purigen (also as suggested I believe)...don't let those sponges get so nasty they rise up in the basket/chambers. I rinse and squeeze mine out every month (or less) or so, as it doesn't really get that filthy due to my water change schedule...

The carbon cartridges my AQUEON takes, now that's another story...I still don't know how to stagger/clean those...

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