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Filter systems for Mbuna



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 14th 03, 05:01 AM
Rick Koch
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Default Filter systems for Mbuna

I have a two-month-old 37 gal tank w/ 14 various Mbuna averaging 3" in
length (and 1 plecostomus). I'm planning to return selected fish to
the LFS as they outgrow the tank. This will let me pick them out by
sex, coloration and sociability as they mature.

The tank has a Marineland "Eclipse3" hood. The lighting's nice (two
full-width flourescent bulbs) but I'm worried about overloading the
integrated filter.

I have a big bubble wand, so aeration's not a problem. And the
impeller seems to move an enormous amount of water. But the 10" long
filter floss/carbon cartridge is not very substantial. The
bio-wheel's about 8" long.

I've been thinking about pitching the Eclipse hood and getting a
300gph external unit. Is this necessary?

Though the ammonia appears to be under control, I have not been able
to get the nitrites to stabilize. Most of the time the nitrites are
at about 2.0 When they get to 3.0 I change out 1/3 to 1/2 of the
water. I've been trying to vary the amount of water changed, to see
if the bio-wheel can get on top of the nitrites, but that doesn't seem
to make any difference. A couple times when the nitrites have spiked
up pretty quickly I've changed 2/3 of the water. I'm averaging 3 to 4
changes per week. The fish do not seem to mind the changes -- there's
very little clamping, and they're all breathing well.

I lost three fish the first few weeks, but only one in the last month.

One of the girls at the LFS said that ammonia chips are almost a
necessity with Africans. So I've just put a bag of zoolite on top of
the filter cartridge. I suspect that this will eventually do the
trick. Should I count on always needing the chips, or can a biofilter
handle the nitrogen cycle unassisted in this tank?

Do most of you use ammonia chips for your Africans?

Should I ditch the Eclipse hood? It'd cost about $100 to replace it,
so I'm reluctant to abandon it if I can make it work.

Any thoughts?
  #2  
Old July 14th 03, 08:58 AM
Stan
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Posts: n/a
Default Filter systems for Mbuna

The hood with the bio-wheel should work, but it sounds like your not
done cycling yet if Nitrites are noticed. If your not already, I
suggest you add 1 tablespoon of freshwater aquarium salt (rock salt or
pickling salt) per 5 gallons of water.......the salt will interfere with
the uptake of the Nitrite through your fishes gills.

Feed sparsely until your cycle is done. Keep changing the water every
few days.

Good luck.

If your already adding salt via some commercial buffer or whatever, then
do not add more.....



"Rick Koch" wrote in message
om...
I have a two-month-old 37 gal tank w/ 14 various Mbuna averaging 3" in
length (and 1 plecostomus). I'm planning to return selected fish to
the LFS as they outgrow the tank. This will let me pick them out by
sex, coloration and sociability as they mature.

The tank has a Marineland "Eclipse3" hood. The lighting's nice (two
full-width flourescent bulbs) but I'm worried about overloading the
integrated filter.

I have a big bubble wand, so aeration's not a problem. And the
impeller seems to move an enormous amount of water. But the 10" long
filter floss/carbon cartridge is not very substantial. The
bio-wheel's about 8" long.

I've been thinking about pitching the Eclipse hood and getting a
300gph external unit. Is this necessary?

Though the ammonia appears to be under control, I have not been able
to get the nitrites to stabilize. Most of the time the nitrites are
at about 2.0 When they get to 3.0 I change out 1/3 to 1/2 of the
water. I've been trying to vary the amount of water changed, to see
if the bio-wheel can get on top of the nitrites, but that doesn't seem
to make any difference. A couple times when the nitrites have spiked
up pretty quickly I've changed 2/3 of the water. I'm averaging 3 to 4
changes per week. The fish do not seem to mind the changes -- there's
very little clamping, and they're all breathing well.

I lost three fish the first few weeks, but only one in the last month.

One of the girls at the LFS said that ammonia chips are almost a
necessity with Africans. So I've just put a bag of zoolite on top of
the filter cartridge. I suspect that this will eventually do the
trick. Should I count on always needing the chips, or can a biofilter
handle the nitrogen cycle unassisted in this tank?

Do most of you use ammonia chips for your Africans?

Should I ditch the Eclipse hood? It'd cost about $100 to replace it,
so I'm reluctant to abandon it if I can make it work.

Any thoughts?



  #3  
Old July 14th 03, 06:52 PM
Racf
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Filter systems for Mbuna

"Rick Koch" wrote in message
om...
I've been over-salting. Right now there's about 2tbsp aquarium salt
per 5 gals.

At 7 weeks I wonder if I'm still cycling, or if perhaps I'm simply
exceeding the capacity of the hood filter.


The biowheels are really good......but there are limits. If its one of
those little bitty Biowheels...then you may be in trouble though. Odd
its just your Nitrite. Usually when overloaded its ammonia that pops.
Perhaps the salt overdose.....Or your Nitrite test is jacked. I use the
Emperor 400s a lot. Dual Biowheels....and its the larger wheels.


Do most of you supplement your nitrogen cycling with ammonia chips?


Used too, but now days I supplement with Amquel, salt, and water changes
until fully cycled (shotgun cycle).


Do water changes affect cycling?


Yes, but mainly with the fishless cycling method.

I've heard that excessive changes
reduce the beneficial bacteria, but it would seem that the bio-wheel
prevents that. Is it possible to impede proper cycling by changing
the water too much?


Not really with fish in there. Every couple days is normal for a lot of
folks. Some do 100% a day or more with constant drip systems.


  #4  
Old July 14th 03, 09:14 PM
James Thompson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Filter systems for Mbuna

question- are you adding the salt when you add water? you might want to
reduce the salt by not adding the the new water when you do a change. your
filter seam to be enough for that tank. maybe watch your fish and if they
are not distressed, let your cycle go a little and see if it stabilizes on
its own. nature has a way of working things out. Maybe you might try
adding a couple live plants Even if your fish nibble on them, cant do
more then benefit the fish.. fwiw anyways..

"Rick Koch" wrote in message
om...
I've been over-salting. Right now there's about 2tbsp aquarium salt
per 5 gals.

At 7 weeks I wonder if I'm still cycling, or if perhaps I'm simply
exceeding the capacity of the hood filter.

Do most of you supplement your nitrogen cycling with ammonia chips?

Do water changes affect cycling? I've heard that excessive changes
reduce the beneficial bacteria, but it would seem that the bio-wheel
prevents that. Is it possible to impede proper cycling by changing
the water too much?



  #5  
Old July 15th 03, 02:32 AM
Rick Koch
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Filter systems for Mbuna

The filter cartridge is about 11" long. Marineland says it's a size
"H." The working surface of the bio-wheel is 6" long -- the entire
wheel's about 7" including spindles. Marineland says the pump's
certified to 250GPH -- less than ideal, but probably enough.

I added the extra salt yesterday to protect the fish, but now I read
that the high salt's probably not helping the zeolite. After my next
H20 change, I will not add any more.

When I do water changes I put in 1-2 tsp each of Aquasafe and Bio-Coat
before adding the new water. After restarting the pump I add 1 tbsp
salt per 5 gal, and about 1 tsp baking soda to hold pH at 8-8.2
Water's 80F, everything else is either hard or alkaline.
There's a single accessory opening through the back of the hood on
each end. I think the best bet for an additional filter would be
something submersible. While the hood might accommodate the plumbing
of an external unit, I don't think it would provide a means of hanging
it on the tank -- that would take another hood.

The fish are somewhat stressed. They've been living w/ nitrites from
2-4ppm for over three weeks. The dominant kenyii's hiding in a
plastic stump. His respiration is more obvious than the other fish.
  #6  
Old July 15th 03, 04:15 AM
mark
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Filter systems for Mbuna

Rick Koch wrote:
I have a two-month-old 37 gal tank w/ 14 various Mbuna averaging 3" in
length (and 1 plecostomus). I'm planning to return selected fish to
the LFS as they outgrow the tank. This will let me pick them out by
sex, coloration and sociability as they mature.

The tank has a Marineland "Eclipse3" hood. The lighting's nice (two
full-width flourescent bulbs) but I'm worried about overloading the
integrated filter.

I have a big bubble wand, so aeration's not a problem. And the
impeller seems to move an enormous amount of water. But the 10" long
filter floss/carbon cartridge is not very substantial. The
bio-wheel's about 8" long.

I've been thinking about pitching the Eclipse hood and getting a
300gph external unit. Is this necessary?

Though the ammonia appears to be under control, I have not been able
to get the nitrites to stabilize. Most of the time the nitrites are
at about 2.0 When they get to 3.0 I change out 1/3 to 1/2 of the
water. I've been trying to vary the amount of water changed, to see
if the bio-wheel can get on top of the nitrites, but that doesn't seem
to make any difference. A couple times when the nitrites have spiked
up pretty quickly I've changed 2/3 of the water. I'm averaging 3 to 4
changes per week. The fish do not seem to mind the changes -- there's
very little clamping, and they're all breathing well.

I lost three fish the first few weeks, but only one in the last month.

One of the girls at the LFS said that ammonia chips are almost a
necessity with Africans. So I've just put a bag of zoolite on top of
the filter cartridge. I suspect that this will eventually do the
trick. Should I count on always needing the chips, or can a biofilter
handle the nitrogen cycle unassisted in this tank?

Do most of you use ammonia chips for your Africans?

Should I ditch the Eclipse hood? It'd cost about $100 to replace it,
so I'm reluctant to abandon it if I can make it work.

Any thoughts?


I think it's simply a case of too high a load for the filter. That's
more fish than I have in my 55 gal(3 to 6 inches, mostly Mbuna ) running
an AC300 and a Whisper rated for 30 to 60 gallon tanks.
I don't use ammo chips, salt or much of anything else, and I haven't
lost a fish in over a year. Maybe add a sponge filter to help the power
filter?

Mark

  #7  
Old July 16th 03, 07:53 PM
Marc88
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Filter systems for Mbuna

I would definitely add another filter and stop adding salts and chemicals to
the water. Aside from a dechlorinator such as Amquel, I would not be adding
anything unless your tap water has unusually low PH, like 7.4 or lower.
Keeping cichlids is simple, additives are usually not necessary or
desirable.

If it were my tank, I'd buy an Eheim canister, add it as additional
filtration to the Eclipse, and do daily 20% water changes until the nitrites
disappeared.

Also, to make the water changes easy on the fish, you should have a separate
holding tank outfitted with a heater and aeration. Fill your holding tank
the night before, add the Amquel, and let the water age and aerate
overnight. Now are you are simply changing in oxygenated water that is very
similar to that already in the tank and the fish will enjoy the water change
rather than dreading it.

Good luck. Less is more.

-Marc


"mark" wrote in message
...
Rick Koch wrote:
I have a two-month-old 37 gal tank w/ 14 various Mbuna averaging 3" in
length (and 1 plecostomus). I'm planning to return selected fish to
the LFS as they outgrow the tank. This will let me pick them out by
sex, coloration and sociability as they mature.

The tank has a Marineland "Eclipse3" hood. The lighting's nice (two
full-width flourescent bulbs) but I'm worried about overloading the
integrated filter.

I have a big bubble wand, so aeration's not a problem. And the
impeller seems to move an enormous amount of water. But the 10" long
filter floss/carbon cartridge is not very substantial. The
bio-wheel's about 8" long.

I've been thinking about pitching the Eclipse hood and getting a
300gph external unit. Is this necessary?

Though the ammonia appears to be under control, I have not been able
to get the nitrites to stabilize. Most of the time the nitrites are
at about 2.0 When they get to 3.0 I change out 1/3 to 1/2 of the
water. I've been trying to vary the amount of water changed, to see
if the bio-wheel can get on top of the nitrites, but that doesn't seem
to make any difference. A couple times when the nitrites have spiked
up pretty quickly I've changed 2/3 of the water. I'm averaging 3 to 4
changes per week. The fish do not seem to mind the changes -- there's
very little clamping, and they're all breathing well.

I lost three fish the first few weeks, but only one in the last month.

One of the girls at the LFS said that ammonia chips are almost a
necessity with Africans. So I've just put a bag of zoolite on top of
the filter cartridge. I suspect that this will eventually do the
trick. Should I count on always needing the chips, or can a biofilter
handle the nitrogen cycle unassisted in this tank?

Do most of you use ammonia chips for your Africans?

Should I ditch the Eclipse hood? It'd cost about $100 to replace it,
so I'm reluctant to abandon it if I can make it work.

Any thoughts?


I think it's simply a case of too high a load for the filter. That's
more fish than I have in my 55 gal(3 to 6 inches, mostly Mbuna ) running
an AC300 and a Whisper rated for 30 to 60 gallon tanks.
I don't use ammo chips, salt or much of anything else, and I haven't
lost a fish in over a year. Maybe add a sponge filter to help the power
filter?

Mark



  #8  
Old February 23rd 11, 05:12 PM
keviinpiter keviinpiter is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by FishkeepingBanter: Feb 2011
Posts: 5
Default

The biowheels really good, but there are limitations. If it's one of a small fragment Biowheels, then you may have trouble, though. Strange is your nitrite. Usually, when ammonia overload, persistent organic pollutants. Maybe too much salt, or hijack your nitrite test. I spent a lot of the emperor 747-400. Double Biowheels, its larger wheels.
  #9  
Old April 26th 11, 07:49 PM
daarrelmills daarrelmills is offline
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First recorded activity by FishkeepingBanter: Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Default

Yes I am agreed with you totally, the bio-wheels are real good in there work. Easy to make changes in water quality on fish, you should have a separate holding tanks are equipped with heaters and ventilation. Fill in your holding tank the night before, add Amquel, so water age and ventilation, overnight.
  #10  
Old May 24th 11, 12:16 AM
anddrewcraig anddrewcraig is offline
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First recorded activity by FishkeepingBanter: May 2011
Posts: 5
Default

I added the added alkali bygone to assure the fish, but now I read that the top salt's apparently not allowance the zeolite. After my next H20 change, I will not add any more.
 




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