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Old 11-09-2010, 02:14 AM   #1
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New Owner of an AquaClear 110! Let the Deluge Begin...

Okay all. Here we are. I finally bit the bullet and took the majority of people's advice here and purchased the 110 tonight from my local PetSmart -- let me explain why I purchased it from the store instead of from Jenn's eBay retailer or another online source, and then get into some questions I have...

I didn't really want to take a loss on the Aqueon QuietFlow 20 which I bought with the intentions of "supplementing" the filtration of the QuietFlow 55 which is also running in my tank, so I decided to return the 20 to the PetSmart I bought it at, and they allowed me to put the return price of the 20 towards the new AquaClear -- after also buying a new bottle of Stability (because my old bottle became deformed to the point that I couldn't squeeze any more out of it; don't know what happened there), the total price came to 80 something bucks, so this was probably going to be in and around the same thing I was gonna pay online when tax and shipping was done...and plus, I feel better knowing that I returned the Aqueon 20 because it wasn't doing anything for my tank, and I was able to put its value towards the AquaClear at least...

Now, that said -- I set everything up according to the directions and some help from some of you members, and the filter is running just fine. However, there are some things I am concerned with, and would like some feedback on because I need to get the most optimum filtration for these goldfish at this point...my water is still ridiculously hazy and smoky/cloudy.

First of all, I know everyone recommended I don't use the carbon bag when loading the media basket of the 110 -- but I rinsed it (along with the bio max and sponge) and put it in anyway as the middle layer of the media load. Is this okay? Will I be doing any sufficient damage to the filter/fish with the carbon bag in there?

With regard to the "flow regulator knob" on top of the basket...the instructions said to keep it at maximum flow upon first startup, which I did, but the current seems ridiculously strong even in my 60-gallon...I have been playing with that "knob" that controls the flow, but I am afraid that not leaving it on maximum output will stop the filter from making my water cleaner right now. What should I leave this flow regulator on?

Furthermore, when I move that control knob from left to right, the entire intake pipe moves in a weird fashion within the basket; is this supposed to happen?

I have the media layed out like this: The sponge block on bottom, the carbon bag horizontally on top of it and then the bio max mesh net bag on top of the carbon -- and the plastic lid for the filter covering all of that. Is that setup correct? Does anything else need to get done?

And, unfortunately, I filled up the 110's basket with tap water to begin priming the pump and begin flow -- will this do any kind of serious damage at this point?

Finally -- after checking the water after a few hours of the filter running now, the quality doesn't seem to have improved...it's still cloudy and hazy; I realize it's not a miracle machine, but will I start to see improved water quality with the 110? Do I need to do water changes right now or just let the 110 do its thing along with my Aqueon 55?

Thank you, everyone, for all your guidance leading me up to this purchase...I just hope this filter helps in solving some of my water problems with this tank, and I hope this added filtration is what my goldfish needed, as so many of you have suggested.

Looking forward to all your comments and insight.[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:33 AM   #2
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How old is the tank? Did you cycle the tank before putting in any fish?
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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Using the carbon won't hurt anything. It's just a waste of money to constantly run and replace it.

The flow adjustment is really just moving the intake pipe toward or away from the impeller. The AC110 has some extra stuff on the pipe, but that's about it. You're doing it right.

The media is in the right order. You could flip the carbon and bio material if you wanted, but it's fine the way you have it.

If the filter wasn't cycled, the tap water won't hurt it. You don't want to pour tap water into an established filter because it'll hurt the bacteria, not the filter itself.

Have you figured out what is making your water cloudy? It would be better to fix the source of the problem rather than rely on a filter to take care of it.

What are your water parameters?
How much and how often do you feed your fish?
How much water do you change and how often?
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by InfernoST View Post
How old is the tank? Did you cycle the tank before putting in any fish?
What part of NY are you in? I hail from Long Isle, originally...

The tank is several months old. I didn't do a real "cycle" before the fish went in; we let the filter run for perhaps a month or so, maybe less or more, and then I tested the water with strips (not the best, I know)...when those all read "safe," we introduced two fancytail goldfish that did fine. Then we added a third down the line at some point. All have been doing fine, despite contstantly unclear water.

Then at some point it looked like one of the fish got Ich, so I began Rid-Ich medication -- but this apparently turned out to be a growth spurt sign and the Ich was misdiagnosed. I was beginning a cycle of Stability before what I thought was a case of Ich began, but then stopped when I did the Rid-Ich in mid-cycle. Now, just days before I got this new AquaClear filter to replace one of my Aqueons, I had begun yet another routine of Stability -- and now that's where I'm at. I'm in the middle of a new Stability routine with this new filter.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
Using the carbon won't hurt anything. It's just a waste of money to constantly run and replace it.
Is it basically for odor controls and medication removals...stuff like that? Can I just leave it in for now?

Quote:
The flow adjustment is really just moving the intake pipe toward or away from the impeller. The AC110 has some extra stuff on the pipe, but that's about it. You're doing it right.
Thanks, Jim! But what about the flow of the waterfall from this filter? Should I leave it at maximum output right now as it starts to build BB colonies? It seems awful strong for my tank (the current)...

Quote:
The media is in the right order. You could flip the carbon and bio material if you wanted, but it's fine the way you have it.
Thank you...and these all go in the "basket holder" device that goes into the filter basket itself, right?

Quote:
If the filter wasn't cycled, the tap water won't hurt it. You don't want to pour tap water into an established filter because it'll hurt the bacteria, not the filter itself.
Well, the tank was BRAND NEW out of the box when I primed it using the tap water -- but what I was more concerned with was the tap water affecting the water of the tank...

Quote:
Have you figured out what is making your water cloudy? It would be better to fix the source of the problem rather than rely on a filter to take care of it.
Nope. Still no clue, and it's still hazy. The thing is, I didn't buy this new filter just for the cloudy water issue -- I was advised that my goldfish tank was not getting nearly the amount of filtration that was necessary given their bioload, so I purchased the 110 out of massive recommendations.

Quote:
What are your water parameters?
I only have the strip test kits -- no chemical based ones, so all it's going to tell me is "safe/unsafe" etc...

Quote:
How much and how often do you feed your fish?
Twice a day, sometimes once -- enough for them to consume in a couple of minutes.

Quote:
How much water do you change and how often?
Not too much, not very often. The changes have been an absolute nightmare because we have been doing them the outdated way of sucking the water out via a vase and doing this until the level drops a bit, then returning fresh water to the tank in the same way -- with a filled vase. We have a Top Fin gravel vac syphon thing, but can't get it to work right, no matter how many times we try.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:48 PM   #6
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I honestly dont think that filter is going to cause too much current in your tank. I have an AC50 on a 10g tank and it is nowhere near too much flow, IMHO. I would suggest that you run your filter in the configuration that I do. Sponge on bottom, ceramic bio-media in the middle, sponge on top. This gives you plenty of surface area for bacteria (in the ceramic) and the optimum amount of mechanical filtration by means of the two sponges (4 in your case). If this is indeed just cloudy water and not a bacterial bloom, I can almost bet you'll see a significant decrease in the cloudiness over the next day or two. You're going to love your new filter too btw, so much easier to clean


Oh, and I was going to post this in your other thread, but I"ll do it here since I'm here now. The absolute easiest way, IMO, to start the siphon is as follows:

-Stick your finger over the end of the hose that would be leading to the bucket
-Dip the gravel vac tube in the water and tilt the open end up
-Once the tube is full, lift up while holding the hose and let it all drain down in the hose
-Repeat until both the hose and gravel vac tube are full of water
-While the tube is full of water, and under water, take your finger off the hose while its pointed in the direction of the bucket
-Fill up your bucket
-If you have a significant other (or even a friend or child), they can be made very useful by holding the hose while you dump the bucket. This prevents you from having to do the above steps over and over each time you come back from emptying the bucket.

HTH
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
I honestly dont think that filter is going to cause too much current in your tank. I have an AC50 on a 10g tank and it is nowhere near too much flow, IMHO.
For some reason, when I view the current from the head-on perspective, the flow is so strong from this thing that it's blowing the tall plants (fake) around that are in front of it, and the fish get like scurried to the surface from the push -- are you sure I should be running this thing on max output?

Quote:
I would suggest that you run your filter in the configuration that I do. Sponge on bottom, ceramic bio-media in the middle, sponge on top. This gives you plenty of surface area for bacteria (in the ceramic) and the optimum amount of mechanical filtration by means of the two sponges (4 in your case).
How would it be four in my case? If I just add another sponge block to my already existing one?

Are you suggesting that the carbon pack is actually STOPPING the filter from clearing my water?

Quote:
If this is indeed just cloudy water and not a bacterial bloom, I can almost bet you'll see a significant decrease in the cloudiness over the next day or two. You're going to love your new filter too btw, so much easier to clean
I appreciate your input and encouragement here; I PRAY it starts to clear up. If it's a bacterial bloom, how much longer do I have to wait?

Quote:
Oh, and I was going to post this in your other thread, but I"ll do it here since I'm here now. The absolute easiest way, IMO, to start the siphon is as follows:

-Stick your finger over the end of the hose that would be leading to the bucket
-Dip the gravel vac tube in the water and tilt the open end up
-Once the tube is full, lift up while holding the hose and let it all drain down in the hose
-Repeat until both the hose and gravel vac tube are full of water
-While the tube is full of water, and under water, take your finger off the hose while its pointed in the direction of the bucket
-Fill up your bucket
-If you have a significant other (or even a friend or child), they can be made very useful by holding the hose while you dump the bucket. This prevents you from having to do the above steps over and over each time you come back from emptying the bucket.

HTH
Let me consider this and look it over real well...

Thanks Jon.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osage_Winter View Post
For some reason, when I view the current from the head-on perspective, the flow is so strong from this thing that it's blowing the tall plants (fake) around that are in front of it, and the fish get like scurried to the surface from the push -- are you sure I should be running this thing on max output?
Yes, I think you're fine. IMO, you should have some flow, moving some tall plants around. Really, its only a problem if it moves the substrate, or forces the fish to struggle while swimming. Remember, most lakes and rivers have some flow, rivers much more than lakes of course


Quote:
How would it be four in my case? If I just add another sponge block to my already existing one?
Sorry, my fault. I was thinking, for some reason, that the 110 had dual overflows. So you would have two as well.

Quote:
Are you suggesting that the carbon pack is actually STOPPING the filter from clearing my water?
No, not at all. I'm simply saying that with another sponge running, you'll get alot more mechanical filtration. Carbon can slow down the flow if it gets dirty and clogged up, but shouldnt really affect it much. Though, I do agree with Bigjim that its quite pointless and a waste of money unless you're removing a smell or meds

Quote:
Let me consider this and look it over real well...
I think you'll find that this is the easiest method, at least I did. When I did used to use a standard vac and bucket, I never felt that the up and down popping motion was very comforting for the fish. This was the simplest, easiest method for me
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mfdrookie516 View Post
Yes, I think you're fine. IMO, you should have some flow, moving some tall plants around. Really, its only a problem if it moves the substrate, or forces the fish to struggle while swimming. Remember, most lakes and rivers have some flow, rivers much more than lakes of course
I'll take your word for it, but I must say...most of the koi ponds I've looked at (my boss had a huge pond/river setup outside her last office complex) has stagnant, non-running water unless it was right under a manmade waterfall...

I was just concerned that I was running the model 110 on its maximum flow output in a 60 gallon tank, thinking that the max output should really be for if it's on a 110 gallon...

Is this thinking skewed?

Quote:
Sorry, my fault. I was thinking, for some reason, that the 110 had dual overflows. So you would have two as well.
Oh, yeah, no, the 110 has only one fall...

Quote:
No, not at all. I'm simply saying that with another sponge running, you'll get alot more mechanical filtration. Carbon can slow down the flow if it gets dirty and clogged up, but shouldnt really affect it much. Though, I do agree with Bigjim that its quite pointless and a waste of money unless you're removing a smell or meds
Well, I didn't really pay "extra" for the carbon nor waste money; I mean, it did come in the box...but I won't go out and buy new carbon from this point on, unless I need it for odor or medication control...

Is that a fair statement?

Quote:
I think you'll find that this is the easiest method, at least I did. When I did used to use a standard vac and bucket, I never felt that the up and down popping motion was very comforting for the fish. This was the simplest, easiest method for me
I can't STAND doing the up-and-down motion; the water just rocks and causes turbulence for the fish, I agree.

I've already received a lot of input from folks on here about how to operate the syphon, so let me see if I can actually do it at this point and report back...
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Osage_Winter View Post
Is this thinking skewed?
Yes. While they say it will filter a 110 gallon tank, it simply wont. I would have nothing less than that filter on a 60g tank, especially with goldfish. Quite honestly, I would probably have two 110's on a 75g.



Quote:
Well, I didn't really pay "extra" for the carbon nor waste money; I mean, it did come in the box...but I won't go out and buy new carbon from this point on, unless I need it for odor or medication control...

Is that a fair statement?
Fair enough. You'll get a week or two out of it, but I wouldn't leave it in there longer than that.
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