Jump to content

Is there a point at which over-filtering becomes problematic?


xStatic

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Hi! I'm new here, but I have my new baby 1 inch goldfish in a 10 gallon tank at the moment which will be upgraded eventually. Right now the tank has a marineland penguin 75 filter which only does 75 GPH. I am also adding a sponge filter today or tomorrow though. But someone on a local aquarium facebook page offered to trade a me a penguin 350 for my penguin 75 plus some cash because she wants a smaller filter. That filter has a flow rate of 350 GPH. Would that be too overwhelming in a 10 gallon if I baffled and put a sponge over the intake? I'm thinking the trade would be good because I'll eventually need a bigger filter when I upgrade tanks anyway. My tank isn't cycled yet so I can just transfer the media and not really lose any progress. Would the penguin 350 plus a sponge filter just be extra extra excessive? I feel like I might as well build up BB on both filters now so when I eventually upgrade to the bigger tank the transition will be easy. Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Just out of curiosity, why does she want a smaller filter?

 

With a 350 for a 10 gallon tank, your poor little fish would struggle in  rapids.  

 

Given one little fish, you won't grow more nitrifiers in a 350 than in a 75.  When the population reaches the point that the microbes compete for every molecule of ammonia, the population stops growing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Okay good to know! After seeing a picture of the filter it's huge so I'm not really sure I want it on the tank now haha I got the 10 gallon set up with the 20gal sponge filter and the tetra airpump rated for 20-40 gallon tanks. My fish seems just find with the sponge filter and the sponges on the thing are huge so I think I'll be okay for chemical filtration now! :D

Could anyone tell me an estimation of how many months before I'll need to move my fish out of the 10 gallon and into something bigger?

She just wants a smaller filter because she's not keeping large tanks anymore and she has a lot of extra unused supplies to trade and sell. She doesn't keep goldfish, just tropicals. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I have a 3500 gallon per hour pump in a 900 gallon pond.I knew it was overkill but it was recommended becuase my filter needs the power for the "backwash clean" feature.

 

I mitigate the mighty flow by placing the outflow tube almost against the wall of the pond. You want a current, but not so much for your fish to be on a treadmill they have no relief from.   

:fishtank

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Helper

Only if the current is too strong for the fish. I haven't hit the over filtered issue yet. My tank being built has two canisters (each can handle a 125 gallon tank with proper turnover) and two fluidized sand beds AND a sponge filter to mature for emergencies or quarantine.

That's like saying the air is too clean. It doesn't happen, it just improves the quality of life for everyone there. Same with fish - you can over clean the water. You can strip it from improper filtering (like reverse osmosis) or not replenishing trace minerals either by water changes or something like aragonite sand and wonder shells. But actually over filtering? No, not really possible with normal aquarium filtration methods and best practices.

Edited by Arctic Mama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Helper

No, I was speaking generally. But if the current was properly diffused and baffled it wouldn't cause issues for the health of the fish, either.

I have a massive sun sun on my twenty gallon. It's nearly 20 times over-rated for that tank. No problems. I've also used sponges driven by power heads for tanks 400-500 gallons, also on a 10 or 20 gallon. No problems. 'Too much' filtration isn't a real issue provided the current of the filter is appropriate to the species being maintained. And that differs dramatically for a labyrinth fish versus a catfish or carp.

Again, I'm speaking generally. In any tank these are things to consider - high filtration is fantastic, but no a substitute for water changes and some filters will require modifications to the flow to work well for a given setup (tank dimensions, species).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Since you're getting a sponge filter anyway, why not do the trade (sounds like you're getting the better half of the deal), just use the sponge filter for now, and stow away the big filter for the bigger tank you're planning on on the future.

This I guess assuming the sponge filter is big enough.

And like shakaho suggested... Maybe you can pick up a larger tank from her too. I try to never let a good deal go by!

My understanding is that excess filtration in the end is only a drain on your pocketbook since you will only ever be able to grow a bacteria population that matches your bioload. But too much current can be harmful, yes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

First thing I thought was: "The filter's fine.....it's the TANK that could be switched whenever possible". I know we go by the "10 gallon rule" but I feel a 20 gallon tank is a MUCH better start for Goldfish! You are looking at a little fish that will not stay little very long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I agree with Sharon -- 350gph is much too strong for a shy 1 inch fish in a 10 gallon.  If I were you, I'd keep your setup how you've already got it, and save up for the upgrade.  Depending on how large of a tank you plan on purchasing, I recommend canister filters anyways.  I've had both canister and hang on back filters, and I think canisters do a much better job with goldfish.  That's just my opinion though. :)  There are many right ways to filter :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I decided not to trade for the larger filter, I'll just leave in my smaller one until I upgrade and I'll buy the larger filter then. 

I added the sponge filter yesterday and it's working so well! The water is absolutely crystal clear and I think the bubbles from the sponge filter are really helping to oxygenate the water because my fish seems more active too. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Good idea.  Something to keep in mind when you get a bigger tank:  If you transfer your current filters to the new tank, you get an instant cycle.  Then put you new filter in the tank as well.  The nitrifiers in the old filters will seed the new one.  This works much better than transferring the filter medium from the old filter to the new, since you don't lose the microbes growing on the surface of the filter.

 

When increasing filtration, you can get a filter big enough to handle the new tank by itself, or you can get a filter that added to your old filter will have the turnover rate you want.  Some people prefer having two filters, so if one fails, the other one can keep filtration going.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...