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The importance of circulation


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Well i had a disaster. My fx6 intake got plugged and 4 fishes died in my 120- i presume it was an oxygen issue since nitrite and ammonia were 0. Lost 1 cardinal; 1 yoyo loach; my 2 year old 7 inch sae and an oto. Another oto was 'stun' but seemed to have quickly recovered - did a 50% water change and fix the filter. clown loaches were in extreme distress at the top of the tank as were the angels. Now the loaches and cory are going crazy and glass surfing (unusual for middle of the day)  - guess they liked the water changes.
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I normally do a 28% water change twice a week; and clean the prefilter on the fx6 twice a week. it wasn't that dirty when i cleaned it today but water wasn't flowing through it - not 100% sure why. The clown loaches are really really happy now but kind of feel sad that i killed my sae. Oh well guess that is why i'm anewbie.

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One way to protect against a recurrence is to have a sponge filter in the tank. It takes up space and it is not pretty, but you can generally find an unobtrusive place for it in a 120 gallon tank. Mine is behind a piece of driftwood.

If your filter stops functioning for some reason, the sponge filter keeps the tank aerated and saves the fish. My sponge filter is run by an air pump containing a lithium battery back-up, so if the power goes out the air pump and sponge filter will automatically continue to aerate the tank for 9-10 hours.

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On 7/14/2021 at 2:35 PM, HH Morant said:

One way to protect against a recurrence is to have a sponge filter in the tank. It takes up space and it is not pretty, but you can generally find an unobtrusive place for it in a 120 gallon tank. Mine is behind a piece of driftwood.

If your filter stops functioning for some reason, the sponge filter keeps the tank aerated and saves the fish. My sponge filter is run by an air pump containing a lithium battery back-up, so if the power goes out the air pump and sponge filter will automatically continue to aerate the tank for 9-10 hours.

The tank already has 2 sponge filters.... However the flow from them is not near the level of an fx6. Not sure what size tank you have but i find it hard to imagine your battery powered air pumps would provide much flow in a tank this large. I do have a large backup battery i could use if i had to but obviously these are not providing that level of flow.

 

On 7/14/2021 at 2:15 PM, Mitch Norton said:

Sorry for the losses. What plugged the intake?

Not sure the sponge on the intake really wasn't very dirty. I need to further examine it before i use it again - i have two that i swap between since i clean them twice a week. This one was pretty darn clean but it had that squish effect which happens when water isn't passing through it. I also went ahead and clean the filter itself. The tank has around 100 fishes so the damage could have been a lot worse - everything was fine last night when i fed them - at least in their behavior - the sae was just a tiny bit off so i'm guessing the reduce flow started sometime before i fed them and then really kicked in over night. On the positive side the angels stopped bickering over-night though they recovered well enough after th water change...

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On 7/14/2021 at 3:06 PM, anewbie said:

The tank already has 2 sponge filters.... However the flow from them is not near the level of an fx6. Not sure what size tank you have but i find it hard to imagine your battery powered air pumps would provide much flow in a tank this large. I do have a large backup battery i could use if i had to but obviously these are not providing that level of flow.

 The tank has around 100 fishes... 

Whether the aeration is enough depends upon the stocking level and how long it takes to discover and solve the problem with the canister filter. When my power went out in the Big Freeze in February I am pretty sure the air pump saved my fish because it was the difference between no aeration and just enough. It runs one large aquarium co-op sponge filter and a bubble wand at the back of the tank. It gave me time to discover the problem and put in two more air stones attached to another battery-operated pump, which was enough for my fish at the time. Sponge filters, although they don't create the flow that canisters do, are quite efficient at aeration. I think Cory has done a video about that.

The more fish in the tank, the less time you have to discover the problem and fix it. One hundred fish in a 120 gallon tank sounds like a lot, depending on their size of course. So even with two sponge filters running there was not enough aeration to keep all the fish alive long enough for the problem to be discovered and fixed.

If your electric power is interrupted, and the canister and the sponge filters stop running, you will have much less time.

 I hope you find a solution that works for you.

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On 7/14/2021 at 3:45 PM, HH Morant said:

Whether the aeration is enough depends upon the stocking level and how long it takes to discover and solve the problem with the canister filter. When my power went out in the Big Freeze in February I am pretty sure the air pump saved my fish because it was the difference between no aeration and just enough. It runs one large aquarium co-op sponge filter and a bubble wand at the back of the tank. It gave me time to discover the problem and put in two more air stones attached to another battery-operated pump, which was enough for my fish at the time. Sponge filters, although they don't create the flow that canisters do, are quite efficient at aeration. I think Cory has done a video about that.

The more fish in the tank, the less time you have to discover the problem and fix it. One hundred fish in a 120 gallon tank sounds like a lot, depending on their size of course. So even with two sponge filters running there was not enough aeration to keep all the fish alive long enough for the problem to be discovered and fixed.

If your electric power is interrupted, and the canister and the sponge filters stop running, you will have much less time.

 I hope you find a solution that works for you.

As i said the tank has two sponge filters and it wasn't a power outage - both were working.

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On 7/14/2021 at 3:35 PM, HH Morant said:

One way to protect against a recurrence is to have a sponge filter in the tank. It takes up space and it is not pretty, but you can generally find an unobtrusive place for it in a 120 gallon tank. Mine is behind a piece of driftwood.

If your filter stops functioning for some reason, the sponge filter keeps the tank aerated and saves the fish. My sponge filter is run by an air pump containing a lithium battery back-up, so if the power goes out the air pump and sponge filter will automatically continue to aerate the tank for 9-10 hours.

I do this only on a tight budget. Penn play silent air backup $13 run on 2 d batteries. Not sure how long it runs though. It’s more a temp emergency measure until I start the generators.  

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On 7/14/2021 at 5:02 PM, Guppysnail said:

I do this only on a tight budget. Penn play silent air backup $13 run on 2 d batteries. Not sure how long it runs though. It’s more a temp emergency measure until I start the generators.  

I have one of those 8 hours batteries that you can get on amazon - used it when i drove my fishes cross country  in the back seat. It has a bit more power than a couple of D batteries. It isn't strong enough to run something like the fx6 but it can run small heaters and airpumps just fine. I think part of the problem is there just wasn't an indication of the problem. The tank is next to my desk  but last night everyone was pretty happy eating the only one a bit off on hindsight was the sae. 

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Now that lights are off all the loaches are playing in the fx6 jetstream - kind of fun to watch (basically the yoyos clowns and zebra are all happy to join a large group).

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