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About Me

  1. Hey everyone, Well, it's finally here. Construction day. I have a few hypotheses that'd I'd like to test out, but obviously I'm a sample of one. I do have a bit of experience battling these stinkin' things and I feel like it's the right time to dive in and figure out the best way to solve these issues. The goal being, after these tests are completed I can provide a guide for others with a tier of mods to make on their HoBs and to resolve the issues they have as best as possible. Tier 1 being the least effort and subsequent tiers requiring a bit more effort. One thing I am specifically not going to do is to jam a bunch of sponge in the pump area as a method to try to stop mulm from going into the pump area through the swiss cheese that is the skimmer and the pump housing cover. Let's get started with Tier 1 (sponges) and I will sketch out the concept for next steps. I want to reference this video as a premise, but obviously the goal being we want to make this visually look good. Problem Statements: 1. There is an excess of openings on the intake and this forces most of the intake of the filter to be provided via the skimmer, pump housing cover, and minimally from the inlet pipe itself. The reduces the viability of something like an intake sponge and causes many issues for nano fish, flat bodied fish, or plants being sucked into the intake. 2. The flow path of the water itself in the pump is not well defined and the water constantly avoids filter media and filtration. 3. The pump is incredibly strong and might be too strong in some instances. the flow into the HoB filter basket can cause bypass simply due to the flow strength. (more on this later) 4. The filter basket design is very restrictive and tolerance on sponges is often undersized, which caused bypass when you do manage to get the water into the filter media basket. 5. Because of flow strength, media order, and bottom to top flow design, it's difficult to use something like purigen because of the high flow / bypass that forces lighter media off the top of the media basket and into the tank itself fairly easily. I want to attack these 1 by 1 and demonstrate each of these, but I will do this in a follow up post. First up we have the easiest thing we can do. Simply cutting new sponges that allow water into the basket itself. For the Tidal 35, this alone has resolved most of the bypass issues and has given me a few notes. Let's take a look at why this helps and what is really going on. If we look at the filter box itself and the basket, this is what we see. There is a bit of space below the basket itself. If Seachem feels like it, they can resolve issue #3 by adding some baffles in this space. This also means we might be able to use something like eheim mech (thanks pondguru for the idea) to diffuse the flow itself. The basket does have "baffles" or sort to hold up the sponge and this is partly just due to manufacturing and wanting to have a clean edge and encourage flow internally. It also gives the sponge itself a flat surface to rest on, somewhat. What I have realized is that by adding more media or adding crushed coral in the basket, this compresses the sponge into these grates and emphasizes the bypass even further. From the typical "pond foams" that you can purchase for filter mods with the bumps you'll end up with something that is slightly thinner in profile and this might also be easier to compress when loaded with heavy media. So, if we take a look at what is really going on internally we see the standard foam (right side above) which sits flush against the openings. If we swap this foam out with "bumpy foam" you see a bit of room for the water to flow into the filter basket. Realistically this does not fix anything, but it really does give you a bit more time for the basket to do it's job. Right now, after a deep clean I can see bypass almost immediately with a stock sponge. Normally I prefer to run 2 sponges, but there is often an issue with the seachem products. As mentioned above there is often some gaps out of the box. (Issue #4). Second to this issue, as you add more layers of sponge, each layer needs to have a slightly larger dimension outward. the media box itself opens up as it increases in height. This means that cutting sponge can be tricky, but it's very easy to achieve this. Once you get the hang of it, there isn't much difficulty and it can easily be done with a pair of scissors in between a water change. Here's the setup. I am setting up a NEW 29G aquarium in the living room, and I have the video above as a template. I also have my own experiences and testing, mods, and attempts to fix this issue previously on 5-6 versions of this product. I've used everything from the 35 to the 75 for a few years on each model in a variety of tank setups. Right now I have a newly purchase Tidal 55 for the new tank. I am going to be modding the filter and adding those parts into the existing setup one by one. I will have 1 stock filter, 1 modded filter, and be able to adjust things to test what really works well and what fixes issues (or adds more). I also want to reference this post as a deep dive into a lot of my struggles for those who want to see other photos and read a bit more about my past testing / current setup I will go ahead and record a video of the pump now, then add in the sponges and show the difference in flow. If there is an improvement, I'll continue to monitor things as the week progresses. One thing I will note as a final thought, is when I pull apart the filter, I try to pay attention to how clogged the sponge is and where is the much appearing at. Last time I cleaned it, there was a very defined grate/input pattern on the sponge and it was limited to the input side of the basket. The sponge itself was not clogged and it was only in the basket for a few days. all of the water was bypassing over the back of the basket and pretty much stopped going through the sponge/media. Let's get to it!
  2. I could literally write some sort of an essay on how much I have had to mess with my HoBs to get them to function and "fix design issues". I have always enjoyed this aspect of the hobby and I'd love to ask everyone about their setups. For reference below, I'll toss in a few pretty epic videos when it comes to filter setups. Please feel free to post and share your filter setups here! I'll have to grab some paper and sketch out a few mods I've done!
  3. Hi there, so I live in Canada and been hit by a big thunderstorm, which knock down so many trees, and 100,000 plus people lost power. Its been 28 plus hour right now and my filter stopped running. So basically in may 21 at 1:50 pm the power went out and I went to make bubbles for them so they can get oxygen, and usually it takes 8 hours for the power to be restore but it is still hasn’t been restore and is already the next day which is may 22nd and now 10pm for me right now. I did buy a portable air pump but I feel like the beneficial bacteria would die. Not sure if I need to re cycle the whole thing again? I kept the media and sponge with the previous tank water. What should I do?
  4. Hello everyone! I am a total newbie to taking care of fish. I got my first tank about four months ago from a friend. She needed to find a new home for a tank and she hooked me up with a cycled 10-gallon planted tank and one betta. Since then we’ve added 4 glowlight tetras, 3 pygmy Corys, 1 clown pleco, 1 khuli loach, and 2 mystery snails. Is that too much bio-load and if so, would a different filter help? We have the Tetra Whisper 5-10i. I love how quiet it is. We have two black sponge pads inside. I know people often talk about filter media and I’m really uneducated about it. Any tips would be appreciated 😊
  5. This might be a really dumb question, but I have had a small sponge filter running in my 55 gallon for about 2 months to prepare for a quarantine tank in the near future. I am not ready to set it up just yet, but the bubbles it puts out are super strong so I am wondering if I can just turn the filter off and leave it sitting in the tank until I am ready to move it to the other tank? Or do I need to keep it running while it's in there? Thanks in advance for any help!
  6. hi all been years since i had a tank . just recovered from a nasty messy divorce about 4 years ago and I've finally landed back on my feet once again. i really missed this hobby and would like to get my feet wet again lol and I'm looking at a eco tank setup if possible, but if need be, a filter powered tank is ok. would like to setup a betta with some betta friendly community fish tank near my bed. I've seen a few betta Nano tank setup ups at a fish shop and was thrown back with the pricing and they were generally around the 12 L capacity and thought, wow, that's small and be a challenge to keep the water parameters in check along with the GH and nutrient levels for the plants. saw a new tank, i think about 50L capacity at the store and I'm tempted to buy that, get some frost tint to stick on the back, a good light, heater and filter costing around the $350 mark I'm open for suggestions and after some good deals, if any, in this group. I'm also considering a HOB filter or a mini canister filter for the setup, mainly for the quietness . fish I'm thinking of raising in the tank (well not all, but considering only a few species of): betta Nano chilli tetra's Otto guppies I'm after some if those Indian almond leaves for treating the tank also
  7. Dean and Cory produced a couple of youtube videos detailing how Dean raises fry. They showed and discussed the fry containers but not the tank in which the containers were suspended. Is there a video I missed that focuses on the tank?
  8. I woke up to 2 aquaclear on the same tank overheated not restarting and and 4 others shut down because of last nights power outage Thank goodness for the coop sponge filters being in place. On most tanks and on all my backup air supplies. Coop again saves my fish. After years of the non self starting and clog overflows from aquaclear I am done with them. Do the seachem tidal work similar? I have read a bit about them but want some opinions on user friendly durable and your experience before I replace all 6 aquaclears please thank you
  9. i have scoured the internet to try and find the dimensions of the Aquaclear pre cut sponge filters. short from going to the store and getting evil looks while i open every veriety of box and whip out a tape measure...... could we put together a complete list of replacement sponge filter dimensions? i know the sponges are sold in various sizes and marketed for the filter it was originally intended for... but i am looking to "hotrod" a filter and this information would be super useful! Aquaclear has 20, 30, 50, 70, 110 versions. thanks!
  10. Absolutely love fluval flexes, but their pumps are kind of powerful for such a small tank. My betta and neons get blown away all around and struggle to remain calm, plus the food gets all scattered and sometimes end up outside the fish's range of vision. This is a quick DIY, cheap flow reducing method I managed to come up with. You can do it too with things you, being a fish keeper, most likely have lying around. Just 2 pieces of sponge and some zip ties. You just have bend around the sponge peices around the nozzles and zip tie them in place, then cut excess tie. Can even "control" the flow by slightly sliding around the pieces of sponge! Hope you find this useful.
  11. I'm pretty new to fish keeping and I have a Fluval Aqua-Clear 30 hang on back filter (20 gal long tank) I'm getting fish sometime this weekend and I'm finishing shopping for the aquarium (getting lemon tetras and it has a mystery snail in it) and I was wondering from yalls experience if a pre filter sponge would be beneficial for my tank. (my tank has been cycling for the past 3-4 weeks with that filter) (live java moss and 1 anubias nana in the tank and we're getting some floating frogbit this weekend) 🐠
  12. So I have a new planted 20 g I’m setting up, and trying to move everything from my pretty much failed 10 g. The pictures will explain everything. The 1st one is my 20 g, which I’m floating stems until roots come in and I can plant (I have a dirted substrate). All clean, starting to grow a little algae, but nice and green. I got them less than a week ago so I would expect it. The 2nd one is my grimey old filter (a Tetra Power Filter 40 if it matters) , which isn’t old at all but I forget to squeeze the sponges out every once in a while. Pretty much filled with sponge. 3rd one is the 10 g tank the HOB is running on, covered in algae and I’m hoping the new one will run a bit better. Still pretty damn dirty. I do water change once a week but it looks grimey as well. I don’t have a lid because….I’m using mine for the 20g currently. So I put the HOB on the 20g, I have a sponge filter in there and wanting to switch it out with the HOB thinking the HOB has more beneficial bacteria in it with so much sponge. Well the first thing I noticed in the clear water and bright light was a strange scum flowing from it (probably protein and other things) and these weird brown bubbles that came off that I assume were full of dust (they don’t pop and I remember having them when I put pool filter sand in my old tank and brown bubbles formed at the surface) , represented in the 4th, 5th, and 6th picture. Will the grime contaminate the nice plants? Because it also is bringing some algae.
  13. I am wondering how many gallons per hour I should use on my 80 gallon tank. I am running 2 Penguin 375 Bio Filters that have been updated like Cory’s video suggested with the large pre filters on both of them and then I have the reservoirs filled with the foam. With both filter running wide open I can cycle the 80 gallons 9.3 times per hour. I can turn them down to 37 gallons per hour so it will cycle the 80 gallons .9 times per hour. I am getting ready to make this a planted tank and then stock it with Gourami’s and Angle’s TIA
  14. Hello. As you can probably tell this is urgent and I need help. The other night I turned off the water flow to my Eheim canister filter because I was feeding microworms. I was going to turn back on the water flow that night but I forgot. I didn’t remember about it running and not have water flow until the next night. By then it was very hot and smelled burnt. I turned it off and waited for it to cool down. I then plugged it back in since it only slightly smells like burnt rubber. I hope someone can tell me if my fish will be alright and if I can still use the filter. Thank You
  15. Hey everyone - new to the forum. I’ve been a fan of Cory and Aquarium Co-Op for just about 2 years now. I currently have a 93 cube tank with a sump for my goldfish, but I plan to move them to a 180. I love the idea of simplicity that Cory discusses with HOBs and sponge filters. What are your thoughts for the 180? I’ll start with 8 fist-sized goldfish and probably go to 12-15. Can I pull of an aquaclear 110 with 2 sponge filters? Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
  16. Hello everyone today i decided to buy a fluval 207 canister filter and i had some questions about it.I currently have a hang on back and a sponge filter in my 37 gallon aquarium but my hang on back isn’t working that well anymore.my question was if i could completely take off the hang on back and throw away its media or do i have to put the filter media in the new canister filter.
  17. We have had a small tub(around 10 to 15 g) in the back corner of our garden for a few years and this year I'm hoping to add some white clouds to it. The problem is that I'm not sure how to filter it. We have no outdoor plug sockets and running a cable from the house isn't really an option. I have african water lettuce and some oxygenating pond stem plant, not sure what kind. Side note: I live in England, UK so Co Op products aren't available. Anybody know how I could do this? Any help is appreciated
  18. Hello everyone today i decided to buy a fluval 207 canister filter and i had some questions about it.I currently have a hang on back and a sponge filter in my 37 gallon aquarium but my hang on back isn’t working that well anymore.my question was if i could completely take off the hang on back and throw away its media or do i have to put the filter media in the new canister filter.
  19. Hi everyone, I'm having an odd problem with my 9 gallon Fluval Flex. I set it up about a week ago. It's a heavily planted tank with a betta fish and a nerite snail. I did a in-fish cycling and so far everything has been going smoothly until yesterday. It's starting to cycle however, after I did a 50% water change last night and filled the water back up I noticed that the intake filter isn't working properly. I've done my research on the tank and I haven't seen any one mention problems with the intake per say. The problem is that it's sucking in debris and other things but it spits it right back out into the water. I ran some tests on my water as did my local fish store and my ammonia was spiked which is why I did a large water change yesterday and I'm glad I did. Would the intake working incorrectly have a large effect on the ammonia? I would appreciate any advice and or suggestions on how to fix this problem.
  20. After all the advice I have received from everybody in this site about my water clarity issue i think I have determined that my filter Just can't handle my tank. I bought a complete top fun kit that had everything i needed. Is it possibly that my filter can't keep up. I modified it to make it the best I could. I put a coarse sponge, fine filter material, bio rings, and then more fine material on top to polish that I remove every couple days. Nothing seems to be working. I also tucked a piece of fine filter around the intake tube in the back. I'm wondering should I replace the filter with an aquaclear, and go one size up to a 50. Or should I do something different with my current filter. TIA
  21. Hey everyone, I recently purchased a good bit of sponge filter media and put some in my filter intake. I was wondering if it's beneficial to also put some sponge filter media into a HOB filter in addition to filter cartridges I'm using. I don't know if there's such a thing as 'over filtering' but just wanted to check if this is beneficial or if I am wasting my sponge filter media. The sponge filter media just sits on the bottom of the HOB filter and some water passes through it in addition to filter cartridge. I figured it gives more surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow and will help filter the water some more. Is this correct? The pieces of sponge filter media are around 4-5 inches across and currently has some muddy looking stuff on it. I'm guessing it's decaying bio-mass from plants?
  22. I have a 10-gallon tank in my bedroom, and in the quiet of the night, I can hear my AquaClear 30's lid vibrating. Removing the lid prevents heat conservation and triggers too much evaporation. So I stretched a thin rubber band around the back part of the lid's lip: This suspends the lid a millimeter or two above the filter, yet holds it in place: No more vibrations! Enjoy, Bill
  23. Hello everyone, I plan on getting a 100 gallon pond from Tractor Supply for my red eared slider to put outside. Any filter recommendations? I’ve never done an outside pond, so I am totally unsure about what to get. I would normally do a sponge filter, but given that it’s a red eared slider... they get chompy.
  24. The intake filter on my alita 25m air pump is full of dust. Couldn’t find any info online on best way to clean it. I just took it off last night because it was restricting airflow and I’m out of town got a few days.
  25. Hello everyone. This is my first time here. Forgive me if this question has been asked before. Recently my tank has become pretty well balanced and hasn't needed a water change for around a month. I've just been topping off for evaporation. But it's time to rinse the filter materials in my hang on back. Question is... should I rinse them with dechlorinated tap water? Will I lose beneficial bacteria this way?Or should i break down and do a water change using tank water to rinse the media? Thanks in advance.
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