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About Me

  1. Just saw these in a PetSmart for the first time today--seems as if they're trying to compete with Aquaclears and Tidals. I'm always fascinated by new equipment purely from a curiosity standpoint, so I was looking at them on their website: https://www.petsmart.com/fish/filters-and-pumps/filters/top-fin-pro-power-filter---70-gallon-63780.html?cgid=300108. There are a few things that seem really counterintuitive about it--obviously, the 'protein' skimmer, which should probably be called a surface skimmer, paired with a sponge on the intake? Does that defeat the purpose of the sponge, somewhat? The sponge porosity seems iffy, just based on the picture--not as cramped as the mini ones Fluval sells, or used to sell, but not as good as the Coop ones. Internal media appears to be the standard trifecta of carbon pack, bio-ceramics, and sponge. What's up with that weird grill over the outlet? Someone at PetSmart worried a stiphodon goby might climb up the stream and live in there for a few weeks? (Don't laugh, it's happened to me several times). And boy, that plastic color. It just screams 'doctor's office.' I can TASTE that sterile dentist waiting room smell every time I look at this thing. Anyone tried them out? Thoughts?
  2. I recently attempted to order an AquaClear 20 filter with extra sponge as suggested in filter optimization video as well as ceramic rings... The thing is the actual filter was out of stock not delivered so were the bio-rings. All I received was a single AquaClear 20 sponge... but the box is labeled FLUVAL with a little tiny picture of how the box was pictured previously stating "Formerly" above the image of the original AquaClear packaging. Has Fluval bought out AquaClear? Seems so. Did they or are they changing the filter dimensions, function, operation,.. etc...?? The 20 gallon sponge seems mighty tiny to me and doesn't measure up to dimensions labeled on original AquaClear 20 sponges. Wondering if I should now avoid acquiring a now "Fluval formerly AquaClear HOB 20 Filter" Any advice? I couldn't find any news on the company being bought out...
  3. I just “inherited” this gorgeous 3 year old cichlid tank this past week. Everyone transferred well and the tank is settling. While I was putting the hang on back filter back together I noticed a tiny piece of plastic (that holds the intake rod in) was broken. It’s hanging on still but I’m concerned that when I go to clean it it will fall apart. SO, being a huge Aquarium CoOp fan, I ordered two large sponge filters to replace the hob. My question is, would you make this change? Should I go ahead and order another hob so that there are no more big changes for these fish? I currently have the Aqueon Quiet Flow 75. I like the reviews for the Aqua Clear 60-110 hob.
  4. Hi, I have a 6 month old painted turtle. Researching filtration needs for when he moves to a bigger tank. Thinking he will need a 55 gallon tank. How much filtration is recommended for a full size male painted turtle. He should get about 6 inches in shell length.
  5. Please let me know if this is a good idea. I have an extra air pump and stone. The tank is a little cloudy. I am thinking of getting the Polly pad , cutting it to size, and seal it around the air stone to polish my water. Should i throw it away when it gets dirty, or rinse and repeat since it should have beneficial bacteria. thank you all.
  6. Hello! So today I finally got air conditioning which is the best thing ever since my house has been 90 degrees for the past few weeks. Today the company was finishing up the ducting and some of the fiberglass from the installation got released into the air. One of my tanks was cover but the other wasn’t. I hope that the particles in the water don’t hurt my fish. Does any one know what the particles will do to the fish if anything at all. Thank You in advance!
  7. So... I going to be setting up a pair of 6 gallon nano tanks for display in a Ikea Kallax bookcase. The Kallax looks like the attached pic. The "cavities" in it measure 13" x 13" x 15" (deep), and the tanks I will be using measure 11.5" cubed. The intended inhabitants are to be soft-water nano fish (a dozen neon tetras in one, a dozen chili rasboras in the other), plus lots of shrimp and some nerite snails. Plant life will be Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus (background), with some Water Sprite for the mid-ground and moss balls scattered. Here are the details of the build: (2x) Aqueon Frameless Cube tanks - 6 Gal. each (2X) Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano Lights (2x) Aquarium Coop Nano Sponge Filters (2X) Penn-Plax UGF plates (the set intended for a 10 gallon aquarium is 2 plates measuring 9.5" each, so one in each), set up in a slow-flow plenum configuration (1X) Tetra AP60 air pump (definitely bigger than required, but I wanted dual outlets, and this is the smallest one that has them) to supply the plenums and sponges (2x) auomii Mini submersible heaters, 50W (again, bigger than needed, but I had these laying around) Substrate will be a mix of Fluval Stratum (for water softening and the shrimp) and Seachem Flourite Red (for the anoxic setup - details to follow), plus some Seachem Matrix Bio-Media for under the plenums. The goal is to establish a bio-system that requires very limited water changes, and a reduction in supplemental plant fertilization. I've had great success with this in my Walstadt Method setups, but I wanted to try something new. I'm a fan of "fish-centric" aquariums (I don't enjoy the details of being an "aquatic plant farmer"). The methods used in most setups is to heavily plant and rely on nitrate feeding by those plants (along with supplemental fertilization) to keep the environment stable. I'm not a fan of relying on plants for this, IMO you become a slave to them - and not the other forms of life. The theory here is to let the anoxic filter consume the nitrates, and feed the plants with ammonia (which they greatly prefer anyway). Stay tuned...
  8. I'm wanting to purchase sponge filters with air stones for my 75g Betta community as well as my 20g betta tank I already have HOB so the sponge filter will just be an additional filter for over filtration and surface agitation as well as Oxygenation, will I need 2 Med size for my 75g or will 1 be enough since I already have 2 HOB in that 2 tank? It is HEAVILY planted Thank you so much for any advice Tara
  9. I have a marineland like the picture. I would like to change to ziss filter and a medium or large sponge filter. I will be filtering a 55 gallon and this is my first planted tank. I just wanna make sure I’m buying the right filtration. This would put me one step closer to ordering my first bucket List fish Threadfin rainbow.
  10. Hello! I had a quick question about filtration. I'm planning to build a fish room and I wanted to have a aquarium in the center of the room. How would you filter a tank that is in the middle of a room where you can see it from all sides? Thanks!
  11. I was wanting to set up a second sponge filter in my 36 gallon bowfront. I've heard of two ways to do this. One way is to use a splitter and the other way is just to stack the filters together. What's the difference and is one better than the other?
  12. I am really happy for Cory and the fact he has his own sponge product, but UGFs are so much better, IMHO. They NEVER go bad, they never wear out, they don't eat baby fish or shrimp (not that Cory's sponges do, but we all know sponge can be carnivorous) The list of PROs is SO long and the list of CONs, is well most of the CONs, proper use and education will remove. This is very similar to the 30 plus year old UGF I have in several tanks. Don't remember it being this expensive. https://www.amazon.com/Lees-Premium-Undrgravel-18-Inch-48-Inch/dp/B0002APVAW I have may like this one https://www.amazon.com/Penn-Plax-Undergravel-Filter-Aquarium/dp/B003UTNOU6/ But these break easy! I made one like this using PVC and https://www.amazon.com/Undergravel-Filteration-Bottom-Circular-Aquarium/dp/B00ZUIRGOU/ using lava rock and it works very well! Going to watch some videos that I might want to share in this thread. BRB!
  13. I have always used UGF filters with powerheads in combination with the HOBs. The idea being that extra filtration, aeration, and circulation is a good thing. If I remember correctly, in one of his videos Cory mentioned that the UGF also gives the root and water column feeders the best of both worlds. When I put my 29 gallon back in service, I found the powerhead was too much for the small fish, so I switched to air driven. The first question is how much air is required to be effective? The second would be: do tiny air stone bubbles draw more water than bubbles from an open air line? I have no doubts about the UGF/powerhead combination., but I often wonder about how much water is actually being drawn through the gravel by rising air bubbles.
  14. So my 55s filter is on the brink of death and I want to put sponge filters in and I want to use coops but larges are out of stock and I was wondering if 4 mediums would do since it’s the same volume as 2 larges and I can’t really wait for them to come into stock since the filter is about to die
  15. Is over filtration possible? Until recently I didn't like the idea of sponge filters however I've changed my mind about this after watching filtration videos and several reviews of the Aquarium Co-op sponge filters. I will be setting up a new 29 gallon acrylic show tank with dirted substrate within a few weeks. I plan on running two Aquarium Co-op medium sponge filters, one in each back corner along with a SeaChem Tidal 55 HOB and a Cobalt Aquatics EXT 26000 canister filter.
  16. I had been muling over the idea of making a DIY box filter out of a cup container i have laying around. Before starting this project i had reviewed and watched many videos on box filters. I was wondering, if anyone had opinions, or advice on box filters in general. Do they seem to work well? Are they a hassle in some way? Any advantages or disadvantages? Im just curious as i have never used a store bought, name brand version to know how effective they are at filtration.
  17. Hello! I am looking to add a HOB filter to my tank, it's a 40 gallon breeder that is planted. It's got 2 sponge filters on either corner already, but I wanted some additional filtration, and was looking at HOB filters. I was about to get the AquaClear filter, when I came across the Seachem Tidal filters, which has the filter in front that can be submerged. I actually prefer that so wanted to research more about it. However, in all my searches, I did not find answers to these questions: 1. For a 40 gallon tank, would a tidal 110 be better since I'll be able to put more media in it, or should I go with the default recommended size of using the Tidal 55? 2. I see that the tidal filter has the skimmer intake, which I will not be able to add a sponge to like I can with the bottom intake. Would the slits be too big in the tidal 110 that a neon tetra could be sucked in? I have 10 neons in there right now and am worried about them getting sucked in Thanks!
  18. Just scored an INSANE deal on a 150 gal tank and stand far too good to pass up. How many sponge filters would I need for this thing or would you recommend something else.
  19. I've finally gotten together the right parts for the back end of my overflow drain system (I repeated what @Cory did in his old fishroom build videos). I'll show all the parts and such and assembly in my fishroom build blog. But now I need to address the internal portion of the overflow. I have a 1" bulkhead with a slip fitting, I suspect I'll use a 3/4" elbow or 1" street elbow pointed upward. What drain covers or designs (even diy) have you seen or tried to reduce noise and keep the fish in the tank during water changes?
  20. Ok, so I know in his video on the tips and tricks on aquarium filters he goes over some of the issues with this filter and does not like it in general but I still have questions and you all may be able to help me with this. The video name that I watched is Aquarium Filter Tips and Tricks! Start Saving Money Now! if anyone wants to watch it to see what I am referring to. Thank you all in advance, Proceed to questions. So first things first, the sponge he puts on the intake, it would still leave a hole in the bottom of it to suck up the fish so I was wondering what I could use to block this hole or if there was a specific way to plug it safely and easily? I'm sure I could rig it on my own but I don't wanna make matters worse. Also, On the sponges he places in the back of the filter instead of the cartridges that come with it or are designed for it, how often should I clean them? Should I do one at a time like once a week do a sponge or just clean them all at once every month? Promise last question, ok for the bio wheels, are they necessary? Should I worry about it if they wear out and get replacements or just remove them and let things go?
  21. I’m new. Running two aquariums 10 gal with sponge filter and 37 gal with sponge filter. Also have hanging filters that came with units running. Using a small air pump to run both sponge filters but not adequate for both. Also want to add another air run unit That won’t work right now. Would Aqua Air 100 work? thanks Mary
  22. I’m setting up a new stock tank outdoors that I will be stocking with some fancy goldfish. I’d like to purchase some Aquarium Co-Op sponge filters and I see the large size is for 40+ gallons. Should I be using 2 of this size for a 110 gallon or does the “40+“ mean 1 is sufficient?
  23. Hi, I have a 29 gallon tank that uses a HOB filter. The HOB I have is sufficient to filter my tank by itself, but I would like to get a sponge filter as a back up since the HOB came with the tank in a starter kit. I’m not sure how reliable it is. Also, to help with gas exchange instead of just an air stone. I would also like to know how big of a sponge filter will the usb nano air pump run? I could just get 2 pumps and connect them with a tee but if one will run a medium filter effectively, then I will have no need for 2. I haven’t stocked my tank yet. I still need to cycle it. I’m finishing building the stand for it. Just want to get all my ducks in a row. Thank you!
  24. I just have a quick question on the new tank I am setting up. It is a 29 gallon planted and there will probably be a school of maybe tetra and some bottom feeders. Right now there is a medium sized sponge filter. If I move an established small filter from another tank, does that seem like it would be enough filtration to support its planned inhabitants? (not cycled yet so only inhabitants are some hitchhiker ramshorns.)
  25. Alongside many fellow aquarists/aquascapists, I find myself dealing with surface film far more often than I'd like. Also alongside my fellow a/a's, I've spent far more money than I could have ever imagined when I first decided to grow underwater plants. In an attempt to arbitrarily draw the money line somewhere, at least until I gave a DIY system a try, I decided that purchasing a skimmer system for my "nano" tank was out of the question. Not to mention the lack of real estate in my 5 gallon cube, of which I decided HAD to have exactly half of its space taken up by substrate in an attempt to mimic something I saw in a recent Aquarium Hobbyist Mag—a decision I highly regret and appreciate at the same time. Surprisingly, the first attempt at a DIY skimmer worked! Now the question is whether or not the snorkel looks worse than the film it removes. Nonetheless, I've decided to show my work and how I did it, as well as my notes in case any fellow a/a would like to cheaply rid their tanks of surface film. Equipment: -Dymax Slim Flo HOB filter (the smallest they make) -length of 1/4” tubing (grab a piece longer than required, trim as needed) -scissors -patience Steps: 1: cut a small notch out of the 1/4” tube near one end. The notch will be a triangle shape with the narrowest part aiming down (toward the opposite end). My notch is about 1” in length and gets to as wide as half the tube’s circumference. 2: feed the other side of the 1/4” tube up the bottom of the intake tube to the filter. I had to cut a small opening in the intake tube in order for the 1/4” tube to fit through. 3: feed the 1/4” tube until one end is about halfway up the intake tube while the notch you cut from step 1 is at the waterline. Make sure to round the bottom of the 1/4” tube as it exits the intake tube so it doesn’t kink. If it’s too long, just trim it. Notes: -You’ll have to fiddle with the waterline on the notch as well as the amount of flow on the filter. You want a small amount of waterfall action. I found the best to be about 1” of a gap of air for the waterfall action (this is what brings the surface water into the tube) -The waterline too high on the notch and there will be no waterfall, so surface water will pretty much be stagnant unless you crank up the filter to max flow, but even then, you likely won't get surface water entering. -The waterline too low on the notch and you'll have a gap of air for the waterfall but surface tension will prevent water from entering the tube. -Filter flow too low and it won’t pull water from the tube into the filter. -Filter flow too high and you’ll get lots of skimming action but you might also suck in a tiny fish…like a phoenix rasbora…don’t ask how I know. -Keep in mind you’ll have to adjust the tube as evaporation lowers the waterline. -I routed my 1/4” tube in a quite visible location because I was fiddling with it and wanted to be able to move and see it easily. You can just as effectively route the 1/4” tube under the filter or behind some plants; something I’ll definitely do in the near future. -My tank is quite small, so, the 1/4” tube is perfect for me. Larger tanks might need a larger tube, but I imagine the same steps apply. Hope this was useful for anyone. If you make your own (using mine or a different setup) please share your project! Would love to see what’s out there. Cheers!
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