Yeah, I know it don't belong here but I've grown to trust the
corporate wisdom of the Wreck, disregarding the applicability of the
I've revived the 55 gallon tank so that my eleven year old can have
the experience of an aquarium.
The tank is holding water and I have an under gravel filter in place
with two power heads running the tubes.
My equipment is stone age level. I still have an old Silent Giant air
pump and a Danner filter that seems like it wants to die.
I've been reading about Bio-Wheels and would like some informed
OBWW - The plastic has split at the top of the tank and I will have to
make a wood frame to hold the top together and receive the enclosing
glass and the lights.
Remember that comment about the corporate wisdom - scratch that.
you know, you'll pay by having that freking song run through your head
o please god, not me
IN THE JUNGLE - THE MIGHTY JUNGLE - THE LION SLEEPS
TONIGHT ............ A WEEEMA WAPA WEEMA WAPA (there you go - I've
been beating myself to death with the Fifth Dimension for the past
hour! I've got a show to do tomorrow night and I CAN NOT keep this in
my old head! LOL!
Jimmy Mac aka Minwax Mac www.brazosriverband.com
Bio, but not necessarily the wheel. I've got a wheel running now in a 20
gallon and I'm waiting to see how it turns out. You buy starter bacteria in
a bottle. WARNING: Do not open with mouth! Yes, it really said that on the
If you want to buy a book, I recommend this one:
"Setting up a Tropical Aquarium Week by Week" by Stuart Thraves (available
If not, check out this web site:
The fish are generally the cheapest part of the operation!
I wouldn't claim much wisdom but after a 30 year hiatus I set up a tank
again last year.....Instead of my old gravel filters(worked fine 30 years
ago) I used a Tetra Whisper filter that has worked very well. Mostly from
web based forums I gathered the old box and gravel filters were less than
desirable. Seems a few people think the Bio-Wheel is noisy but otherwise I
wouldn't know, the Whisper filter is very quiet unless I let the water level
go down. I bought a aqua culture air pump(absolutely silent where-as my old
air pumps had a disagreeable hum) to run a couple of air stones, I had a
overwhelming desire to plop a coffee cup in the tank with the air bubbles
mimicking a cup of steaming coffee.
For plants I used corkscrew bamboo tops and spider plant runners....They
have held up as well or better than many aquarium specific plants and were
effectively free since I already had the house plants. They rooted and grew
reasonably well with some deterioration after nearly a year.
Plan on partial water changes(25%) to keep the nitrates down especially when
the tank is new.....if you slowly populate the tank, the filter media sponge
can catch up to the eventual load(fewer water changes).....if using a sponge
type filter use drained tank water to rinse the sponge to keep the nitrate
eating critters alive.
If possible once set up also use a smaller nursery tank for a few day or
week isolation period of all new fish and/or a place for ill fish. After
nearly a year of a healthy tank with growing fish I added 2 Cory catfish and
3 Kissing Gouramies and within a week I had 15 dead fish. Only 3 Frogs, 4
ghost shrimp and a large algae eater survived......Both losing the fish and
then tearing down and bleaching everything was NOT fun.....I now have a
If you expect to have a community tank African dwarf frogs and ghost shrimp
are a hoot....The shrimp seem quite partial to tubifex worms, a qtr block
of worms float quite some time and the shrimp do their damnedest to get the
thing to the bottom.
I as well have a wood frame for the light cover on my to-do list.
In my youth the tank was always a good place to get cozy with a gal
especially with inspirational kissing gouramies, with 30 plus year wife she
just likes to look at the fish....enjoy Rod
Nice treat for your eleven year old. Aquariums are terrific learning
tools and just plain wonders and hours of enjoyment.
There are many new items available, but first is it fresh water or
salt water? Big difference in how you proceed with filtration.
I was a long time salt water (reef) grower and not a believer in
substrate level filtration. Too much can build up in the substrate to
ruin the natural ecology of the tank. I preferred real sand and
external Fluvals (or similar) and they worked great. Aside from
cleaning some salt creep and adding water once in a while, I hardly
ever had to stick my hand in the tanks. My favorite was a 5-1/2 gallon
mini reef that I ran for over 5 years untouched. Then I had to move
halfway across the country and although it survived the move, it
didn't survive the mother-in-law.
For fresh water you can go either substrate (under) filtration, Fluval
outside type canister or over-the-edge wheel. I like the Fluvals, but
Eheim are good too. If you don't like the external canister idea, then
I suggest bio-wheel such as Penguin or Marineland. I personally prefer
the outside canister but it's not for everyone. I've just had great
success at tank ecology with them.
Here are a few links that might help ...
How to choose a filter:
Ideas of filters available:
Good luck! And let us know what fish you go with!
On Wed, 03 Dec 2008 19:41:33 -0500, Tom Watson wrote:
Tom, ditch the undergravel filter and get a canister filter. I've got one
on a 40 gallon tank and it only needs cleaning once every other month. If
that's too rich for your blood, get an Aquaclear filter in the appropriate
size. Cheaper, but requires minor cleaning weekly, major every other
Undergravel filters just pile up the crud where you can't see it.
Biowheels have a nasty habit of stopping just when you're not around to
detect it and all the bacterial die out of water, Yes, I know some have
had good luck with them, but enough haven't to make me leery. Aquaclear
is the low cost choice for many.
Don't know what you're thinking of for fish, but if freshwater (less work)
and you have hard and/or alkaline water, look at cichlids and rainbowfish.
I used to have a 10 gal with a little bio-wheel filter ("Bio-wheel mini"
model, if I recall). It seemed to work out okay, in as much as the fish
didn't die a rapid death and the water stayed appropriately clean. Some
others mentioned noisiness; mine certainly didn't seem to make any
excessive noise, certainly not in comparison to the typical small
vibrator air pump and other aquarium appurtenances.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot
I have had the Biowheel filters running in my lab aquariums for
years. They work well, but I have found they require a little more
maintenance than other outside filters. The spray bar has a row of
holes, and they can become clogged periodically, which slows down or
stops the wheel. If the wheel dries out, the bacteria has to be
recolonized, so the biological action is reduced. This brings up
another point: If you use a biowheel, the wheel should not be changed
when it gets dirty, and you shouldn't rinse it with tap water. You
need to maintain the live bacteria colony, so it needs to be rinsed in
aged water (24 hours after coming out of the tap) so the chlorine
doesn't kill the bacteria.
Someone mentioned buying a starter bacteria colony. They can be
helpful, but they aren't really necessary if you are able to wait a
week or a few to put your fish in after you set up. You can speed up
the cycling by using a little ammonia. I don't recall the specific
amount, but you need it to go through the cycle to get the bacteria
properly balanced. Or instead you can use some cheap dither fish,
like feeder guppies.
Back to your original question, I think the biowheels are good
filters. With the exception of making sure the spray bar doesn't get
clogged, which is a minor and easily-rectifed-with-a-pin problem,
maintnenace is about the same as any outside filter.
On Thu, 04 Dec 2008 21:18:39 -0800, celticsoc wrote:
Note that some water suppliers now use chloramine instead of chlorine.
Chloramine does not go away after standing as chlorine does. It must be
As far as rinsing out a dirty filter, the advice I've always followed is
to use the water you just siphoned out of the tank for a water change.
You are correct about the chloramine. A new tank should be treated,
since it would be a week before chloramine levels adjusted to
acceptable levels. For low level water changes, using chloramine-
treated water direct from the tap may be fine. I have even read that
there may be benefits to it, although it is probably best to use
chloramine removers even for those changes.
Using the siphoned water for rinsing is a good idea. I just never got
in the habit because often there is debris in the water if I siphon
near the gravel to clean up as I remove water for changes. Chloramine-
treated water would be bad for this purpose as well.
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