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Old 08-22-2004, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default New Filter Wanted

Hi!

I need advise on which new filter to get considering that I've just added new plants to the aquarium. Below is my current set-up of about 3 months and 1 week with a 30 gallon horizontal tank:

4 Featherfin Catfish
5 Angelfish
8 Sepae Tetra
1 red swordfish
6 albino cory
6 bronze cory
1 Clown Loach
3 Glass Fish

These fishes are quite small, except for the Angels which are about 3 inches.

I have 1 driftwood and 1 decor. Approximately 20% of the right-side of the aquarium are covered with short plants (red and green wave; dwarf bacopa; yellow rose and green althernantera(?)). Their height is just enough to reach the bottom 25% of the aquarium.

I have an undergravel filter with 2 tubes on each of the rear corners. I am using an airpump for both tubes with the air being pushed through a small tube down into the gravel and up a bigger tube. The gravel are small pebbles, not sand.

I've also begun vacuuming the about 30% of the gravel once a week when I change 30% of the H2O.

Here's my situation - When I observe the fish, I notice tiny white debris floating in the water dancing around with the tiny bubbles. Now this isn't really too bad except that I'm the type who wants a clean aquarium without any floating matter.

Here's my question - I am thinking of getting an upgrade or supplemental filter.

1. Do I get an internal cannister filter or a powerhead and attach it to one of the undergravel filter tubes?
2. If you recommend powerhead, can I connect it to one of the tubes and continue using the other tube with an air pump? Or do I disconnect the other tube?
3. What brand would you recommend for a cannister filter or powerhead? Is Fluval good for a cannister filter?
4. The plant names I wrote above were given by the shop and I've never heard of them. Couldn't find them in the forums / other sites as well. Anyone know what they are or whether they have other more common names?

This is a wonderful fish community by the way. Hope I had found it sooner.
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Old 08-22-2004, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I would go with a canister filter they are very good on keeping the water crystal clear without seeing much debris.Fluval are good canisters..i like eheim personally.Im not much of a fan of underground filters,most of them work on powerheads.Another thing you might have a problem with is your Feather Fin cat.I use to have a Feather fin from a baby 1inch big.He will get as big as 15cm and very fast growers,also he tends to bother other fish.He can be a problem in your 30gallon
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Old 08-22-2004, 09:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I'd remove the undergravel filter and go with a properly rated cannister filter. Fluval, Eheim(or the Jabao clone), or Rena Filstar series. I have a Fluval 104 & don't really like it due to too much water bypassing the filter media.
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Old 08-22-2004, 11:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Hey, Thanks so much for the tips. Will go researching for a good cannister filter (but I think I will retain it with original ugf and see what happens).

Quote:
He will get as big as 15cm and very fast growers,also he tends to bother other fish.
Wow, mine are just over 3 cm right now. I just noticed before reading this forum that they were indeed growing but I just presumed they'd grow as big as the cory's (5 cm right now).
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Old 08-25-2004, 09:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I agree, get rid of the UGF. You also don't need to vacuum clean the gravel with a planted tank. Let the decayed plants, fish refuse, etc decay as a compost to refertilzie the plants.

I was overlooking you fish list. That tank is going to be overstocked once the fish all reach adulthood. 5 Angels in a 30g full grown would be pushing it IMHO. That clown loach will get huge too. Might have to do some downsizing in the future as those fish start to grow out and conditions become cramped.

As for filters, I would go with a cannister. As mentioned previously I think fluval's are pretty cruddy. I would go with a more upscale filter. I am personally a big fan of eheims (I own 3 of them), but they can be pricey. I have also heard great things about Rena Filstar XP's, but have never used one.

Matt
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Old 08-25-2004, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for your observations Matt, and yes, the fishes are growing fast. Sigh, have to do some quick fish-scaping soon.
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