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Penn Plax Smallword Filter


lak

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I have a Penn Plax Smallworld filter for my betta http://www.pennplax.com/Pages/Aqua.pages..../Aqua27F.html

(scroll down)

The cartrdiges are half foam and half a mix of zeolite and carbon. As I understand it you have to replace carbon because it can leech bad stuff back into the water. The thing is the foam and carbon are contained in the same plastic encased box which cannot be opened. Which means you have to replace the foam too. If you do this though won't you be forever cycling?

ANd as nitrites are worse than ammonia for fish, wouldn't it actually be better for the fish to have no filter and slightly elevated ammonia than have a filter and have elevated nitrites?

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I think that the idea is that you replace the whole thing which I thought was pretty dumb too. I use one on my fry tub because it was the only cheap air driven filter that I could find around here. What I did was cut through some of the bars on the carbon/zeolite part and scraped all of that out and put ceramic bio media rings in that were cycled from my other filter. Then I used a plastic zip tie to seal off the hole so they couldn't escape. It seems to work well and this way I haven't replaced anything and have always had perfect water readings. I don't know if this is due to the filter or java moss though.

As for the cycling filter vs no filter at all question I'm not really sure. Ammonia is more toxic with higher ph levels so I guess that should be taken into consideration. Fish have to have some tolerance to it because it's always being released into the tank and has to be there for a second or two before the filter gets to it right? Also, I have filterless betta tanks that have worked fine for me and I have a very high ph which translates to very high ammonia toxicity. But a functioning filter is definitely better than no filter as long as it isn't causing stress or any physical problems to the fish.

Sorry I don't have any definitive answers, but hopefully this will help some!

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I had one of them once. I was not impressed by it, but I guess it is better than nothing. The replacement unit is the entire plastic thing with filter media. the only part you don't replace is the the little tube and the flat thing it hooks to. It is not a very good filter in my oppinion even for betta. The filter media dirties too quickly requiring more frequent changes. Better off with a regular sponge filter or air driven filter with a gentle current

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Thanks for the reply. The reason I used the smallworld filter is because I had it anyway. I was sold it when I first bought my goldfish and was too ignorant to know any better (it was used for less than a week don't worry).

I haven't seen many small filters around here. Generally the shops seem to stock either Fluval or Stingray, both of which have too strong a current and would turn my Archimedes' bowl into a whirlpool. I'll have a look out for some alternatives, but in the meantimes I might try Imber's idea. I've got some ceramic rings for media, now all I have to do is dig out my toolbox from under my bed. Looks like I got a project for the weekend :)

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How big is your betta tank? Below two gallons and I think you should just do weekly 100% changes. If it's larger look into a mini HOB filter. I've seen some pretty small ones for tiny tanks. I could dig up some links if you need em.

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It's a 30 litre bowl, the spherical types http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/catalogue...dfish_bowls.asp (first pic)

I obviously do not fill it to the brim though so I estimate that it holds around 5 US gallons of water. It being spherical makes it difficult to hang anything on the side. Also I am in the UK, so that may be an issue in finding the same stuff. It seems that we don't have as much good stuff in the UK as there is in the US.

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I've used those little filters before on my smaller Betta tanks,and really never had any sort of problems with them.It would be nice if you could take the old carbon out,but it's just as easy to replace them.With the water changes I did on those tanks,I was never really worried about it cycling.The one Betta I had, lived almost 3 1/2years with those types and he didn't seem to mind it at all. :)

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Thabks Devs, the thing is that through testing the water I've noticed that while the ammonia stays at zero the nitrite does get quite high within a week (I change the water weekly). Archimedes seems perfectly healthy and evrything and the finrot he had when I got him has completely gone and healed now, but obviously I don't want to keep him in water that I know has nitrites in if I can get a filter going that gets rid of them too.

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I've got a Red Sea Nano filter that has adjustable flow for up to 3 gallons. Its pretty neat and even has room for biomedia. If you are looking to cycle your tank, definately remove that zeo-lite.

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