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Old 02-02-2010, 12:16 AM   #1
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wet/dry Vs Biowheel

ok.. need some expertise, experience.
we struggling with the 75gallon. for ages it been running fine and now suddenly, constant battle with amonia.
doing water changes, weekly, about 1/3rd. i removed all the plastic plants for a while, with no difference, so put them back in, fish didnt like not having them.
has a gravel bed, about an inch thick on average.
we lost 2 fish, due to ick, caused im sure by the high amonia levels. seem to have got rid of the ick, with some salt and little medication, but did loose 2 of the larger tinfoils. now just one large tinfoil, one medium, who still a little sick, and 2 bala sharks who didnt seem bothered by it all.
the tank probably was over crowded. didnt expect the tinfoils to grow as quick as they did. balas still only about 4 inches, so got some growing yet.

currently, have 2 filters, a large and a small whisper HOB. with a bio mat, i guess it is. these seem to do ok, but now seem to be unable to cope.
im not sure if i should change them to bio wheel filters, which i always had luck with, or set up a wet/dry filter. i have a spare one, from my marine tank, no longer being used. just bioballs in it. pump needs a new impeller but other than that, works. i was going to modify the small HOB filter, tapping into it so it drains down into the wet/dry, then use the pump to pump back up. would be pretty low flow, as i know the balas dont like a lot of current.
not sure how well it would do on a fresh water tank though? any ideas? are they as effective on FW. i know bio balls are a topic of mixed opinion. these are trickle over, not submerged.
or get a couple bio wheel filters? i just limited with space on the back, due to it being back to back with another tank, cant fit two full size filters on the back.

any suggestions? i dont want to loose my balas, but i dont know what else to try.. dont seem to be able to win.. its 75gallon, and although probably maxed out, with only 4 fish left, not yet fully grown, id expect it to cope.. i will have to get another tank for the balas when they get bigger i know but i figure i got a while on them..

help?
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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i would either set up the wet/dry or buy a nice canister filter. the fish you have are pretty messy fish, especially the tin foils. both the tin foils and the balas will outgrow the tank eventually, so you may want to go ahead, if possible, and start planning the upgrade. obviously if you go with a bigger tank, it will be able to cope with the bioload more than the 75g is now
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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This is one of those problems where you need to treat the cause, not just the symptoms. The question is why are you having ammonia issues all of a sudden? Did you add more fish and your filters can't keep up? Did you use medication that affected your nitrifying bacteria?

I suspect that you're underfiltered for your bioload. At 75g, I think I'd go with a cannister, wet/dry, or sump. Personally, I'd lean towards the sump since I'm a DIY kind of guy. Whatever route you choose, oversize the filtration system. It'll help with your messy fish and you'll have room to upgrade the tank later.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:47 PM   #4
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thanks..
yes i want to treat the source. just not sure what caused it. not added any fish. they were all added within the same month about a year ago, nothing since.
i cant figure out why suddenly it would go crazy. only thing could be, over feeding. my sister was here for 3 weeks and im thinking she may have over fed them. they do like to eat....
ill set up the wet/dry. leave the HOB on there until wet/dry has a chance to establish... i thought about a canister but they expensive and since i already got a good wet/dry, might as well use it. made a sump for the salt so wont need it there anymore.

yeah i know tank going to need upgrading. just space at the moment is the issue. i have a spare 55gal. i thought about seperating them, putting tinfoils in that for time being. although way to small for long term solution, might help for a while until basement is done and have room for a 120 or something..

well for now, ill try the wet/dry. keep doing water changes and see if can get it under control. as said, balas dont seem bothered by it all, tinfoils do though. figure if i feed off small HOB, if power goes out, wont overflow since it being fed by a pump too, no gravity.

so final question is... since balas dont like the high flow it really designed to give out. you think if i ran the return pipe under the gravel, with holes in it, that would help? or use some kind of spray bar.?
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:53 PM   #5
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run your return up in to a piece of 3/4" pvc that is about the same width as the tank, drill holes every 3/4-1", and you wont have any flow issues... although i had balas in a 55, before i found out they got too big for anything smaller than a 6' tank, and they loved the flow coming out of my canister.
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