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Old 09-11-2005, 08:35 AM   #1
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To buy or not to buy (canister filter)

I have a 168L FW tank with the following fish:

1 Upside down catfish (11+ years old)
6 Black Neon
3 Neon tetra
2 Zebra Danio
4 Pearl Danio
1 Pleco (11+ years old)
3 cherry Barb
7 Harlequin Rasbora
1 Coollie Loach (11+ years old, recently widowed)
2 Peppered Corydoras
2 platy (and countless babies) (gave 42 platy to LFS last year).
4 Armano Shrimp

flaval 4 Plus internal filter, heavily planted and sand.

I am very busy in work, plenty of homework and at times my maintenance schedules slip.

To my horror I recently had a Nitrite problem and lost 4 fish (two Sterbas Cory, a Neon Tetra and a Zebra Danio). Thought I gained enough experience to make sure that kind of thing did not happen.

I had noticed that the filter had slowed quicker than expected. I normally clean the filter every second water change i.e. every month. I do try and do a water change every week but I don't always manage it.

Stupidly, I accidentally overfed bloodworm, did not get around to clearing up excess and with filter running slowly......... STUPID ! and I now feel very guilty about the dead fish.

This routine has worked for years but of late the filter seems to be getting choked more quickly. This may be that one of the two foam pads was due a change. Now done.

I have noticed a few swings in PH. Not good. Have never had a proper GH or KH test kit (had the rest). Just bought one. All parameters as follows.

PH 6.8
KH 0
GH 4.5
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 17.5

These were after a 50% water change due to the Nitrite problem. So maybe slightly better now. Will test again later today (surge was a 3 days ago).

To get to my point:

I am now considering whether I should invest in a better filter.

I have read 50+ articles on this site and others. If I get one it will be the Eheim 2026 external canister.

My questions/considerations are:

1) Is this overkill for a 168L tank ?

2) I would like a few more fish. Perhaps some Rams to eat my baby Platty. Rams need good water quality.

3) Obviously the much greater biological function of the 2026 must help.

4) Some of the articles I have read say that a canister filter would also require another filter for mechanical filtering and agitation. Surely the various stages of the 2026 cover mechanical ?

5) Does the 2026 spray bar provide enough surface agitation ? I get lots currently with the Fluval.

6) Do the input and output tubes of the 2026, being at opposite end of the tank, provide an effective current ?

7) I can get the 2026 with all media (special offer) for £105 inc VAT. Anybody have some realistic costs for media thereafter ? Some articles seem a bit over the top - changing (non carbon) pads every two weeks. cant you just wash them out ?

8 ) Any issues with sand and the 2026 ?

9) My fluval just has foam pads. I suppose the various types of media for the 2026 must be a great advantage. I have no experience of such media. Would they push up my GH/KH at all ?

10) Anything else I should be thinking of - apart from being more conciencous with filter cleaning and water changes of course (lesson learned - will by doing better).

11) Oh and I have had a few fungal outbreaks recently with some new Harlequins. Sorted but could have been combintaion of new, stressed fish meet not so perfect water conditions.

Also, I obviously need to sort my GH and KH. On to that. Is Bicarbonate of Soda really good enough ? LFS showed me a very small tub of additive for £12.85. Sounded expensive. Read that Marble chips were ideal. 2 LFS don't have any.

To buy or not to buy ? Or am I just spending to try and ease my guilty feeling ?


Many thanks in advance !
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Old 09-11-2005, 08:56 AM   #2
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Hi,
the eheim you're talking about would surely overkill your tank. It's just too much. I would prefer the eheim ecco 2233. I had this filter myself and it did great work.

4) A canister filter (at least Fluval and Eheim) have mechanical filtering.

5) If your aquarium is heavily planted you don't want a whole lot of surface agitation. It might bring in oxygen, but your plants produce that anyway and it'll only take the CO2 out.

6) You can put in and out on the left and right of the back of the tank. That way the just filtered water doesn't get filter again so quickly.

7) I would wash the pads, until they look like rubbish. They have good bacterias in them that your filter/aquarium needs to work right. You don't want to keep it sterile!

9) I would take something like these ceramic rings http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...&N=2004+113803
They shouldn't do anything with your gh/kh.

Are you sure though, that the test for the kh is still ok? Sure you merasured right??? Your ph should just be geoing up and down and your fishes all sick, dead. Sorry put ) kh??
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Old 09-11-2005, 02:49 PM   #3
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DIY canister filter.. :P
http://cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=52761
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Old 09-11-2005, 03:06 PM   #4
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168 liters = about 44 gallons
You are already overstocked, should not add any more fish, and should be doing frequent water changes. Those older fish you have are most likely contributing a lot of waste (especially the pleco) and having high filtration does not mean you can skip any maintenance.
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