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Old 05-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #1
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Hello all! New member here!

Hi my name is Patrick Riley and I am attending the University of Cincinnati and studying electronic media. I recently got into keeping fish. Growing up I had a few tanks but never really understood how to keep fish. When I was 7 my parents bought me a 10gallon tank and is just filled it up with tap water never conditioned it and was able to keep a fish for 1 1/2 years. It was a sad day for me when it died .


Over the past few months I have put probably 250$ + into a fish tank. I bought a marine land led 20 gallon starter tank and then an air pump and a new heater with an auto shut off. Plus I had some stuff I bought for a little 1.77 gallon tank that my sister gave me I bought a tetra wisper small filter for that. But that tank is empty now.

So far I had 2 platys in that 1.77 gallon tank " this was about a month ago" and ofcoarse I lost 1 of them. Just over a week ago I bought the 20 gallon marineland tank to move my surviving platy into. It wasn't untill last night that I actually moved him into the 20 gallon tank.

Last week a few days after having the tank running I bought 4 longfin zebra danios and one died while I was in Vegas despite my girlfriend Feeding them. So now I have 3 longfin zebra danios and 1 comet platy "who I have named pikachu" Pikachu has lost alot of color probably because of high levels of toxins from the small tank.


Here is what my 20 gallon tank looks like right now . I may return my water mill and exchange for the smaller one as this takes up alot of room. I would like to have more fish than just 5 or 6. I know the zebras need like 5 to be happy and that would leave me going over my limit including my platty. I was wanting to add some sort of algae eater and some ghost shrimp too.

*Health question
When I returned from Vegas aside from losing a long fin zebra I noticed one of them picked up a seriously different yellow tint? Any ideas?



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The only problem I have with this tank is the bio wheel filter that came with it. It hardly picks up any debris. I watch pieces of food just float right on past the intake within an inch and not even be pulled in? Is that normal?


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Is my decoration to big and obstructing my filter intake? I mean the thing hardly pulls in debris anyway so I'm not sure how much it really matters.

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Old 05-19-2013, 04:49 PM   #2
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I would think the HOB filter you have should provide enough suction to handle small debris I know mine does. how new is the filter?
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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I would think the HOB filter you have should provide enough suction to handle small debris I know mine does. how new is the filter?
Came with the tank no older than 1 1/2 weeks
I mean the water moves through it it's just not seeming to suck up food particles leaving me with more to vacuum
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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Zebra danios are so hard to take a picture or with an iPhone everytime they slow down you press the shutter and boom they are gone lol

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Old 05-19-2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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well you have a nice looking set up man one thing I did in my 55g tank to help with the larger particles that my filter wont grab is I put in a blue crayfish I didn't notice if you had anything that bottom feeds in your tank.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #6
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well you have a nice looking set up man one thing I did in my 55g tank to help with the larger particles that my filter wont grab is I put in a blue crayfish I didn't notice if you had anything that bottom feeds in your tank.
Ya I was thinking about getting some ghost shrimp the crayfish may be to big because this is only 20 gallons. Another problem I have is like floating dust and lint particles . Does anyone know of any water top skimmer that helps remove the top layer.


Only thing I don't like is having only 4 fish its almost Boeing and I feel like my tank is empty so so I'm thinking of getting an amazon sword to put in somewhere but my gravel is large so I don't know where to plant it ... And I may get a moss ball. Once I get more money I'm buying a bigger tank and eventually I want to so salt water. Because they just look better prettier fish more expensive but more rewarding

Not sure If tiny bubbles or dust

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And thanks
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:51 PM   #7
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Realized my fish had babies and was only able to net 1 but the rest are hiding in the gravel.



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Old 05-19-2013, 10:52 PM   #8
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Also added shrimp so the rest of the fry are probably done for :/

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Old 05-19-2013, 11:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by patrickriley2010 View Post
Also added shrimp so the rest of the fry are probably done for :/
The shrimp won't eat the fry. The thing that is most likely to kill the fry is the filter. Unless u have a sponge filter, the fry will easily get sucked in.
If u get an amazon sword, u gotta realize that they will grow HUGE, fast. So u gotta trim it often when it starts growing fast. ( maybe after a few weeks )
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:52 PM   #10
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What kind of filter do u have ?
I have a marineland 250 for my 20 gal. Keeps the tank really clean.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:59 PM   #11
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What kind of filter do u have ?
I have a marineland 250 for my 20 gal. Keeps the tank really clean.
I think it's 250 size b came with the kit . It doesn't move very much water . But the bowl I'm putting them i set up a tetra wisper air powered filter.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:37 AM   #12
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Hi and welcome! I don't currently have a bio-wheel filter but for years I had a Marinland Eclipse 12 system that included a bio wheel filter system. The biowheel itself is simply a place for the beneficial bacteria to live that supply the biological filtration. The mechanical filtration is provided by the filterpad. Of course the beneficial bacteria can live there too, but sadly get discarded when you change cartridges, hence the biowheel which doesn't get changed. Don't let your biowheel dry out and don't ever clean it. It should stay relatively clean. I had that tank running for 8 years and never once cleaned the biowheel. Also, no matter the filter, heavier debris will settle to the bottom of the tank. A lot will get sucked up in the filter, but we all have debris that needs to be cleaned in the bottom of the tank. Hence the ever popular "gravel vac". That said many of us buy filters that are approximately rated 2x our tank sizes. In my case I have a 29 gallon tank and an Aquaclear 50 (50 gallon size) filter. Some with my size tank use an Aquaclear 70. For me the 50 has been a good match for 29 gallons. Most of us would rather have too much filtration than not enough. If you buy a larger filter make sure it has a way to control the flow. You sometimes need to take it down a step.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:40 AM   #13
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Hi and welcome! I don't currently have a bio-wheel filter but for years I had a Marinland Eclipse 12 system that included a bio wheel filter system. The biowheel itself is simply a place for the beneficial bacteria to live that supply the biological filtration. The mechanical filtration is provided by the filterpad. Of course the beneficial bacteria can live there too, but sadly get discarded when you change cartridges, hence the biowheel which doesn't get changed. Don't let your biowheel dry out and don't ever clean it. It should stay relatively clean. I had that tank running for 8 years and never once cleaned the biowheel. Also, no matter the filter, heavier debris will settle to the bottom of the tank. A lot will get sucked up in the filter, but we all have debris that needs to be cleaned in the bottom of the tank. Hence the ever popular "gravel vac". That said many of us buy filters that are approximately rated 2x our tank sizes. In my case I have a 29 gallon tank and an Aquaclear 50 (50 gallon size) filter. Some with my size tank use an Aquaclear 70. For me the 50 has been a good match for 29 gallons. Most of us would rather have too much filtration than not enough. If you buy a larger filter make sure it has a way to control the flow. You sometimes need to take it down a step.
Ya I just bought the kit when I could of bought a blank tank and added everything myself and saved money because the heater this came with sucked so I got one that autos shuts off. Also thanks for the input on the bio wheel it seems like an awesome invention.

Question say the power goes out what should I do with the wheel? I'm saving up for a battery back up but untill then.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:51 AM   #14
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When I had to take my biowheel out for a while I'd just put it in a zip lock bag with a little water and lots of air. You need to watch the temp though. A short outage should not be too much of a problem. Long power outages are hard on any fish keeper. That's a whole other detailed and complicated topic that can include a battery air pump, blankets, and those hand warmer heat packs among other things.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:54 AM   #15
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When I had to take my biowheel out for a while I'd just put it in a zip lock bag with a little water and lots of air. You need to watch the temp though. A short outage should not be too much of a problem. Long power outages are hard on any fish keeper. That's a whole other detailed and complicated topic that can include a battery air pump, blankets, and those hand warmer heat packs among other things.
My biggest problem is keeping my water cool enough my apartment is freezing but the water is around 74
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:02 AM   #16
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My biggest problem is keeping my water cool enough my apartment is freezing but the water is around 74
I'm not sure I understand. What temperature do you want your water to be? Does you heater allow you to set the temperature, or is is "preset" to a certain temperature? Like many things the exact temperature, within reason, is not as important as a steady temperature with gradual rather than sudden changes.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:03 AM   #17
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I'm not sure I understand. What temperature do you want your water to be? Does you heater allow you to set the temperature, or is is "preset" to a certain temperature? Like many thing the exact temperature within reason is not as important as a steady temperature with gradual rather than sudden changes.
I want my water around 70-72 it has a dial and shuts off at a reached temperature the problem lies with my window AC unit in my apartment.

But my longfin zebra apparently had babies and idk how to save them. They are hiding in the large gravel I have .
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:19 AM   #18
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I want my water around 70-72 it has a dial and shuts off at a reached temperature the problem lies with my window AC unit in my apartment.

But my longfin zebra apparently had babies and idk how to save them. They are hiding in the large gravel I have .
I've had a tank with no A/C through the summer. Of course I had fish that liked it a little warmer than 70 and an acrylic tank, so that helped (acrylic insulates to the point that those stick on thermometers are totally useless). If you really need to lower the temp by just a few degrees you can buy a small clip on or small desk fan to cool the aquarium.

I've never had fry so do not have advice other than to wish you the best. You never know, sometimes they make it under the worst conditions.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:06 AM   #19
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I've had a tank with no A/C through the summer. Of course I had fish that liked it a little warmer than 70 and an acrylic tank, so that helped (acrylic insulates to the point that those stick on thermometers are totally useless). If you really need to lower the temp by just a few degrees you can buy a small clip on or small desk fan to cool the aquarium.

I've never had fry so do not have advice other than to wish you the best. You never know, sometimes they make it under the worst conditions.
The clip on fan is a good idea! Not sure how that would work with the lid on though
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:59 AM   #20
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The clip on fan is a good idea! Not sure how that would work with the lid on though
It doesn't need to clip to the tank, just something near and aim at the tank. Any small size fan that you can aim at the tank will do.
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