Once a fish enthusiast, always a fish enthusiast:)

theprideoflions(3a Manitoba)June 7, 2005


I usually frequent the houseplants forum, but recently I've been thinking of restarting my 35G FW tank after 4-5 years of being in storage. I learned so much from that tank...Angel fish eat tetras...Plecos grow very big...Barbs and anything with long fins are a bad idea... There are so many new aquariums/fish/paraphrenalia out there since I bought my tank ten years ago I'm a little behind in technology. I did vow that if I ever set it up again, I would do it right. Or more importantly, I wouldn't "experiment" by buying what ever fish looks good or whatever gadget seems good.

Does anyone have advice on a good, quiet filter system for a 35 gallon aquarium? I miss the aquarium, not the hum. I skimmed some older pages looking for a filter thread, but didn't find anything recent. I know it's personal preference, but I wouldn't mind hearing some opinions from experienced fish hobbiests. I've read product opinions, but you never know if it was product or user error:)



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I have the BioWheel hood/filter for my 29 gallon tank & I LOVE it. It's been going without a hitch for 8 years. Easy to clean/care for, keeps the water crystal clear, & the fish healthy.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:43AM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

I prefer to make my own filter system. My larger tanks have a five gallon bucket my smaller ones have under sink filter canisters.

The only filter I bought is a whisper on my "meaty foods" tank and I'm just using because it's good for debris and a bit of additional bio. I set it up so there's a dead area to pour bloodworms and other frozen feeds in. My home made filters are designed to be fairly clean so they don't pick up debris unless they're fairly fine.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:49AM
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Actually the problem is not that angels eat tetras, it´s just that you´re putting the wrong tetras with them, barbs attack anything with long fins well that can be easily solved don´t put anything with long fins with them. I know that "community" aquariums is what most people have in mind when they think of aquariums which is exactly the wrong way to go, they stock incompatible fish and hope that they get along well, bad idea.

If you don´t want trouble you can still have your "community" aquarium but not exactly what community means to most people, a biotype aquarium is still a community aquarium stocked with compatible fish that have the same geographical origin stocked in the right numbers, that saves you from 90% of the problems of fishkeeping. To put an example, sumatra barbs are territorial little critters that can be terrible aquarium companions when they aren´t stocked in the right numbers with the wrong tankmates, most people only stock 3 or 4, uh oh, just the right number to create trouble, however if you stock 10 the problem dissapears immediately, why ? agression, in the wrong numbers fish like them show extraespecific agression, their agressive nature is directed towards the tankmates, increase the numbers to form a school and the problem with their tankmates dissapears, instead of extraespecific agression they develop intraespecific agression which is normal and natural to them, they´re too busy bullying between themselves that they leave their tankmates alone, simple solution to what looks like an unsolvable problem.

What kind of filtering equipment you have ? with that information I can make a recomendation that will suit your needs on what extras you need to buy to keep your tank in tip top condition.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 12:40PM
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theprideoflions(3a Manitoba)


I understand what you're saying regarding communities hence the "lessons learned" comment in my post. I know all about schooling behavours and know that fish from the same generic group (such as barbs) do not all behave the same. And I know there are a great variety of tetras, some big enough to not have been eaten by overgrown angels. But, after seeing my angels stalk and then eat the eyes off my neons, I've decided not mixing angels with any tetras or small fish in general is a 'good rule of thumb' more so than the 'law of the universe'. Frankly after that experience not buying angels is my own prefered way to go.

The tank isn't "set up". I have my old equipment, but don't have any druthers about buying new stuff. I still have my old Aquaclear 300 kicking around, but since I don't have any filters for it and I need a new impeller, I'm open to other options.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 3:56PM
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Your old Aquaclear 300 is more than enough to keep your tank in tip top conditions, if you can find the impeller replacement it would be great, now all you need is new inserts and that´s it. I know what you mean, once I made the dumb mistake of pouring 30 glowlight tetras in my show discus tank, they found them "delicious" for the lack of a better word, pretty stupid on my side I can add, but even the best hunter looses a rabbit every now then ( after a good sesion of rear end kicking by myself I realized it was really stupid ), gee, guess they thought it was overgrown artemia.

I love canister filters, they can be a pain in the neck to clean but the ammount of filtering media you can add is just impressive. Personally I don´t like biowheels, yes they do have lots of surface and make outstanding bilogical filters but the inserts have almost no extra filtering media, twenty pellets of activated charcoal is not my idea of a true chemical media. A good option could be an external filter like Eheim´s wet/dry systems, they are quiet ( something you may like, hearing aquarium air pumps or powerheads gurgling in the middle of the night is something many people dont like ), compact ( twice the width of a regular canister filter ), you can add a pouch of charcoal for chemical media, and you can place the water intake and return hoses under the surface in the tank so you won´t have that showering sound canister filters do.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 6:17PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

I too got back into the hobby after many years. I am impressed with the new filters. They deffinately make less noise. I have an aqua-clear and like it because of the ease of adding different media for a HOB style. It is the newer version of the 300 and seems quiet to me. One thing to consider is if you want to go with live plants or artificial.Some live plants can be a chore, but if you start off with less demanding (lowlight) ones you can always upgrade at a later time. A positive of live plants is, if you start off with them before fish and wait until they establish cycleing your tank will be easier. They also provide great hiding places for the smaller schooling fish (neons for example) I have 1 angel that has gotten quite large and does not bother the neons in this environment. I did however have the same problem you did back in the day( Plastic plants). I am not sure if the environment is a factor or that I just had an agressive angelfish? Anyway if a planted tank isnt for you then I would suggest a "fishless cycle" I can provide a link if you want to an article on how to do this. A good source for equiptment onlne is Drs fostersmith I will try to put a link on the bottom. They have great prices even with shipping costs, also some interesting articles. The best improvement to this hobby is the wealth of knowledge on the internet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drs foster smith

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:58PM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

If you reuse your Aqua Clear replace the pump o-ring as well as the impeller. They dry out and leak. I would suggest adding a second hang on filter with a bio wheel. If one filter dies your still in business and when you change filter material theres less of a bacteria dropoff. It also lets you suck up detrious from both ends of the tank. The cannister filters are better quality in general and hold more filter material but are very pricey and if a hose falls off will empty half the tank on the floor. Their pumps have to be more powerful [more electricty] to return the water from under the tank. I only have an Aqua Clear 500 so I'm not sure about the quality of the other hang on's.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 11:45PM
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theprideoflions(3a Manitoba)

Thanks everyone! I found the advice exceptionally helpful. I'll look into Eheim´s wet/dry systems, the cost of 'renovating' my old filter and secondary bio-wheels. I do like the idea of not having up and down bacteria cycles everytime I clean the filter. I think I will avoid the canisters only because I live in an apartment and don't want to risk the siphon effect.

As for plants, I haven't decided what I want to do yet. I didn't like maintaining plants underwater, but I would like to provide shelter and never liked the look of fake plants. At the moment I'm thinking since the fish I've been considering all like low light and surface plants and my old canopy is broken, I might just make a new one that would support a peace lily or two and let the roots grow in the water (leaving room for open water as well).

I'm playing with all sorts of ideas as to how I want to do this tank. I'll probably be posting additional questions in the near future about lighting levels, fish compatibility, etc.

Man, it's good to be back! And even better to not have to learn everything by trial and error (just some things;).


    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 5:36PM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

Driftwood is a good sub for plants. Place it so fish can swim around it. Fish like places to hide from people and other fish.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 8:26PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

You should only keep true aquatic plants in a tropical tank. I have never had a problem with bacteria drop off. "Most " media is reuseable/rechargeable just rinse it with some removed aquarium water from weekly/biweekly maintainance and they should last a long time without removeing much beneficial bacteria. Haveing both and looking back the plastic ones where more of a PITA. They would collect a lot of "crud" and usually discolor after a while. Java moss and ferns require minimum lighting requirements also anubias. There is little to do with them once you plant them. Maybe add a little fertilizer and iron supplements to the water but thats it. Actually that goes with almost any plant that has low light requirements. Another consideration is water pH. Some areas have rather high or low. Most community fish can handle a range of 6.5 - 7.8 but there are exceptions.Also is the 35 gal a hex or exra deep?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 10:03PM
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theprideoflions(3a Manitoba)

The tank is rectangular and likely no more than a foot wide. It's in storage at my Dad's so I can't give exact measurements, but it's likely 12"x18"xwhatever long equalling 35 gallons.

Most of my issues with plants was uprooting and that brush algae that coats leaves and won't come off without damaging the plant. It was a real pain. I found plastic plants just as irritating. I only ever had one plant that properly established itself. It was in my 15 gallon when I first started out. When I moved it to the 35 it never did so well and died out. Now houseplants, I can grow houseplants, but 'aquatic' or 'fern' I just don't have any luck with.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 3:32PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

The new inside filters work great also and have no noise or any possible leaks. I have them on several tanks which have West African cichlids and they have worked extremely well. Two of the tanks were started fresh with no cycling and I had no problems. To do this you must do a small water change every other day. For a twenty gallon tank take out one three gallon bucket of water and replace. You will not want more than six to eight 1.5 inch fish during this time.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 10:57PM
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