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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. Just received my Seachem Tidal 35 for my 10 gallon. I’m actually very surprised by the size of the media basket and how quite the filter is. I took off my Aquaclear 20 and I think the Tidal might be a upgrade. Going to let it run for a few days and I’ll update. So far I’m impressed by the sound, or lack there of, and the internal motor. No need to prime anymore. What do you guys think about the Tidal 35?
  3. 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!
  4. 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!
  5. Anyone gotten this filter yet and any reviews? I just saw it at petsmart today and it intrigues me especially with the so called protein skimmer on it altho I don’t necessarily see how that’d work with my limited knowledge on protein skimmers. Just curious about it.
  6. I am happy with my sponge filters, but I want to try a hang-on-back filter for fun. I am very picky about design, and any visible aquarium technology has to be symmetrical or at least left/right balanced, (like with a canister, uptake on one side, centered spray bar, heater on the other side). Besides the massive Marineland units, this seems to be the only symmetrical HOB filter. Has anyone used one of these? Thanks!
  7. Hello all, I currently have a newly planted 40 gallon breeder stocked with 6 ember tetras. I have a Marineland penguin 200 hang-on back filter and I fear that A). there is too much filtration and is sucking up any food before the fish really get a chance to eat it. B). the HOB is providing too much flow in the tank. Is it possible either of these are a problem? If so, should I switch to a sponge filter or is there any way to slow the flow of the filter? I already have a prefilter sponge on the intake. Thanks!
  8. Which is best HOB or Sponge Filter for 40 gallon tank with Angel fish? What models are best?
  9. So I have a 55g with a fruval 70 hob filter and a two port air filter hooked up to one air stone in a decoration and a bubble wand. I was thinking of making one if not both hoses hook up to your brand sponge filters instead. (Btw nice product) so I could get some more good bacteria and still aerate the water column. So that's the setup right now and the idea. But now for the questions, what size sponge filters? And does it matter what side or locations for the hob/ sponge? Should I do two or one sponge filter? The tank is a little full have -2 plattys- 1 full size gourami- 1 blue dwarf gourami- 2 giant danios- 6 tiger barb's- 3 cori catfish- 1 pitcus catfish- 3 black racer snails- 1 black kuli loach- and down to 5 neon tetras (I think the pitcus ate the others but just a guess). So In conclusion I probably overstocked and think the adding of the sponge filter/s would help. just wanted some opinions on size and placement of additional filters. And waters clear no problems with water test or anything and not too much agression in tank just thought the added sponge filter/ would help. Thanks, any and all constructive criticism or advice is welcome and appreciated.
  10. The Tidal35 is a good HOB filter but it does have a really funny shaped basket. If you're using cut-to-size floss you have to make a template to get it to fit nicely (though you can kinda cram it in there too). I keep loosing the ones I make so I traced out a template on my computer. It's shaped a bit different from the included sponge because there's a bit more space on the top. I know there's a few tidal 35 users around so hopefully others will find this handy. Just remember to print at 100% size in your printer settings.Template for tidal35 basket
  11. I recently put PhosGuard in my HOB. The instructions on the bottle say to leave it in for four days. Is it totally ineffective after four days or is it just less effective?
  12. I purchased my 20G high as a kit. It came with a aqueon filter that is meh.. but its what I had, so I used it. Now that I have a TON of guppies and the plants are flourishing, it struggles to keep up. The intake filter get clogged, and because the back section is so narrow its hard to get a good amount of media in there which I have some in there now with a coarse sponge but it was a struggle to get it to fit. I purchased an aqueon filter for my 40 G months ago, and it just didn't work for the tank the water outflow was too high and water was getting on the glass lid. I had to take it off and put a Seachem Tidal 55 on there now working fine. I had this Aqueon 50 just sitting around that I thought.. hmm maybe try it on the 20G. So I did. I had to put some coarse sponge in the specialty filter pad section with filter floss to slow the power a bit. They don't seem to mind it.. they are all swimming around and not getting "blown" around. the corydora seem to like it the most (I think) they are swimming in front of the tank where the flow is.. is that okay? or are they trying to tell me something? Is that too much of a filter? will the outflow be too much? I also have a seachem tidal 35 that is brand new if the Aqueon is too much. What do you guys think???
  13. My power just went out for a sec and when I turned it back on, I noticed my Fluval/Aqueon hob filter wasn't working. Re-primed with water and then I noticed it wasn't humming or anything. The little motor part was a little warm to the touch so it was doing something but it was definitely not pumping water. I have fiddled with it a bunch but I can't get it to work again and it's a bummer because it's like a month or so old! Totally ridiculous. I have a nano aquarium co-op sponge filter in there, is that enough to keep my cycle going? I have a small sized sponge filter as well, I guess I should pop that one in too as it seems stupid to get another hob filter when I have these sponge filters. Has anyone had this happen with the Fluval/Aqueon hob filter? Is there something I'm missing to get it working again?
  14. What do you guys do? In my 40 breeder have it on one side then have two sponge filters one on the other side the other one in the middle
  15. Hi all, I am trying a hi tech planted tank with a few tetras, cories, and loaches for the first time. I need some advice to figure out what the circulation pattern is in a 45g tank with a Marineland Emperor 400 HOB. My tank setup is shown in the image below: Right now I have the CO2 diffuser to the left of the HOB at the back. My C02 indicator on the other side of the tank and to the front. I am diffusing CO2 with the Aquario Neo Co2 Diffuser (Large) at the rate of 2 bubbles/second. However my NilocG Aquatics Co2 Drop Checker is not turning green. I was wondering what would be the best course of action for me to get better Co2 circulation? 1. Move the Co2 diffuser to another location. Maybe the other end (right of HOB) of the aquarium at the back? 2. Get a nano circulation pump. Where would I place and aim this pump? 3. Switch from HOB to a canister filter and use it's movable intake/outlet to create circulation. 4. Increase the Co2 bubble rate slowly each day till the indicator turns green. Any advice is appreciated!!
  16. 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?
  17. Currently I only have a course filter in my HOB and I am thinking I need something else to get more media than I have to get my Nitrates higher .. I have a lot of plants, with growth, wood, gravel, fish are doing well, fed daily.. No Ammonia.. but I can't seem to get my nitrates higher than 5-10 ppm. Tank has been going since Dec 2020. I also have a sponge filter in the tank as well. I am thinking I need to add it to the 5G as well. I need to get more bacteria on my filters. The 5G has this front drawer with the pump, and on the other side is a half wall, that I have a course filter, and some balls (which are not really holding on to any bacteria that I can see) I don't think their porous enough. I have the balls on the side where water just sits in the drawer. How much seachem Matrix do I need? Its sold in amounts. my 40G is a tidal, and its a great filter and it just works better than the others biofiltration wise and I have to wonder if its because of the Matrix in it???? Thoughts?
  18. I’m back again!!! This tank I swear!! Lol. Hopefully I’m posting this in the correct forum. 😬 Ok, so I was having a ton of trouble when I switched my substrate to all purpose sand. Weird fuzzy stuff growing, horrible hair algae and then green water so thick you couldn’t see anything.the algae was so bad it ruined my decorations. L So I scooped all of that out and replaced it with fluval stratum, I also bought a UV filter since my four nerite snails are not keeping up with the algae like my two mystery snails did. Well....the UV filter is supposed to just clip onto my hang on back, however it is the exact same size and the spot it is supposed to snuggle into and so it will not attach. I don’t have a lot of money and would really like to make this work. Has anyone managed to rig their UV filters to work for their tanks? Thanks in advanced!!!
  19. hello, so as what the title says, I'm confused as to the best way to optimize the HOB filter for my top fin 10 gallon tank. I'm sick of having to replace the cartridges. I've considering buying the aquarium co-op coarse sponge pad and cut it to fit inside it but if I do that, do I also need to insert a carbon infused media pad along with it? or should it be one or the other? also, should I add a medium pre-filter circular sponge around the intake tube or is that not necessary? this is so confusing. any help is appreciated, thank you!
  20. I've had it with my Fluval 405! One of my juvenile angel fish got caught in the intake tube last night. He seemed perfectly healthy yesterday, so I'm thinking he got stuck while sleeping. The filter is such a pain to do maintenance on (I'm too embarrassed to say how long it's been since my husband and I last wrestled with it), and now it killed one of my favorite fish. It's got to go. I'm so mad, especially since I was going to order an intake filter this week or next with some plants, which would have prevented this. For a 75 gallon community tank, would it be best to get the Aqua Clear 110, two Aqua Clear 50's, or a Seachem Tidal 75? I'm not sure which route would give me the most room for biological filtration. I see lots of good reviews for both brands, so I'm assuming the brand would be a personal choice? Thoughts? Ideas?
  21. I was browsing in Petsmart and saw Marineland has a new line of HOBs the Penguin Pro series. These seem to be an evolution of the Penguin series and I really feel like they should have called them, "Penguin 2" or something like that. They have a couple new features that seem okay and some that make me question the nerms at marineland. Anyway it got me thinking what features would make it into the ideal HOB filter? I'd like to constrain the dream features to things you've seen on other filters and could fit into an above average price range (it's got everything you would want you're okay spending 50% more on it compared to a regular old HOB) *I started looking around and saw that Danner makes an awesome filter that includes a port to plug in a gravel filter. *mind blown* that is something I had seen talked about but never implemented. It's not how I would have implemented that feature. I'd have a valve just below the water line on the intake with a hose barb attachment and you'd plug your gravel vac on to that then turn the valve and it would block the regular intake and draw water through the gravel vac. *Another nice feature I've seen is a media basket that you can pull out and clip the lid to the bottom to catch drips as you take it to the sink for clean out. The whole media basket concept makes for great flexibility in how you treat your water. You could completely fill it with floss or bio rings whatever you wanted. *Another feature in the same vein would be customizable cartridges. Give me a little sled that I can pack with floss, foam, or a carbon sack to "build it my way" *Pothos holder? *Thermometer. A little digital thermometer that clips into the side(so it can be replaced if it dies) *Flow indicator and control. *Over filter over flow. The biggest problem I have with my HOB is that when it get clogged with junk (because I can't get the water to flow evenly through the floss.) would be to have the filters set up so I can stack them such that when one filter gets clogged the water flows over and still gets filtered by the next filter in series. I saw this once on youtube (maybe even a co-op video) where they were using these ultra course foam filters between large floss filters. When the first filter clogged up the water would flow over the top of that filter and cascade through the ultra course foam and still pass through the next layer of floss. I think this was in a pond filter or a sump for a giant tank. I'd like to have that tech in a HOB instead of just releasing the overflow back into the tank. *Low velocity output. Either a grate or pattern that results in the water returning to the tank at betta safe speeds. *Flexible intake pipe that lets me put the intake on the other side of the tank rather than right under the return. Ideally with a standard sized tube that I can find at the hardware store so I can replace it or change it later. *intake sponge. I don't think this needs much more explanation on these forums. That went a lot further than I thought it would. It's way past my bedtime now. Let me know what you think. Once I got going the juices started juicing. Like a feature? Have something else? Does this homer-mobile already exist? Really interested in making a dream hob? Let me know, I'd be very interested to help facilitate an open HOB. Maybe the Co-op can piggyback and use their sources to "do it better."
  22. I currently have a Marineland Penguin power filter 150 with the bio wheel that the store recommended. After watching the Aquarium Co-Op video on upgrading your filter and replacing the throw away cartridges I decided that is the way to go. I want to purchase the Co-Op sponge pad coarse, bio rings and amonia filter pad to replace the disposable one. What order would I place the filter media for best results, or is there a better solution. Beginner here, not sure, any suggestions would be appreciated. Also recommendation on a better filter for a 20 gal. tank since I will be purchasing a new one and using the current as a backup. Thank you.
  23. I have a 20 gallon with a aqueon quiet flow HOB filter. I wanted to try Purigen after my next water change/aquarium clean but have no idea how to use it. I have the ones that are in a bag that state it treats 100 US gallons. I was concerned if was more that what I needed. I would also like to add some bio media as well. I have a coarse filter, but am thinking I would like to add some kind of bio media to help more with bacteria. The HOB filters are not deep, and this one is narrow too.. so not sure how I can get everything in there. I saw Cory's video for my exact filter, and was wondering if there is smaller bio media that would take a bit less room, but be just as effective. Look forward to everyone's experience and suggestions.
  24. Hello everybody, I have a heavily planted 4gal nano tank, young pea puffer, and a small HOB filter (modded with coarse sponges per Cory's YouTube video and set to the lowest flow setting). I'm new to live foods and I was just wondering, do you just let the filter run when you feed brine shrimp? Or is it a bad idea to put the filter on a timer and run it like 10min ON / 50min OFF every hour to keep the brine shrimp in the tank longer and out of the filter? Or maybe I'm over thinking it. 😉 Thanks in advance!
  25. I have a 10g tank with a betta. I was wanting to add an Indian almond leaf until I realized that my carbon filter will remove the tannins that the IAL provides. So I started looking at options of modifying my HOB. I've seen so many done but very few of the Aqueon QuietFlow. However I did see a good one on this forum: But I wanted to go a step further. It was important for me to try to have ceramic rings inside as well. I saw a video of someone who layered the narrow reservoir similar to an Aquaclear filter. Foam on the bottom, floss, and then ceramic rings. But it would seem to me that would helpful if the water was flowing from the bottom to the top. But when you look inside the Aqueon Quietflow, water goes in from the entire side - not just the bottom. Here's a picture of one of one of my broken QuietFlows, older model but the reservoir is the same. You can see that the water comes in from the left, goes down to go into the filter area, but there's an opening that goes from top to bottom. So while the initial water will start at the bottom and go up, once it fills, new water seems to just go just through the top. Am I wrong in assuming that's how the flow will go? Even when I see the diagram of the QuietFlow that describes its layers of filtration, it's just back to front. So if my assumption is correct, this is my plan: 1) I ordered a coarse sponge from Aquarium Co-op. The thickness will fill the entire reservoir. I plan to cut out half-an-inch within that, so it'll look like a "]" 2) I also ordered a small media bag and the ceramic rings. I'll take some of those rings, put it in the media bag, and put it in that cut out slot in the sponge. 3) I'll use the floss pad just like was done in the link shared above. 4) I'll be combining the floss and another sponge to baffle the outflow I haven't received the media yet, but I'm trying to plan it out and get some feedback. I know this could be a lot easier if I just put the sponge in and not worry about the rings. Perhaps the sponge can do bio filtering just as well as the rings, in addition to the mechanical. I don't know. Any feedback from others would be helpful?
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