Problems setting up filtration on 20 gal. tank

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Problems setting up filtration on 20 gal. tank

Post  Katnapper on Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:15 am

So I bought a used 20 gal. "complete." It came with 2 filters, 2 pumps, a cone-like gadget I think might be a part for the undergravel filter (?), one white mesh filter media "bag" with a clip-type closure at the top, one removable coarse black mesh square inside a "frame," a spray bar, and a couple of assorted airline tubes that seem rather short. It also has an undergravel filter plate, with one removable uplift tube sticking up out of one of the holes, and the other two holes have caps on them. (I'm including pics below for reference.)

I cleaned the aquarium, and all the pieces and parts, of what algae and mineral scale I could reach/get off (what a job!). I used a mild solution of bleach water for most; and I soaked some of the filter parts in vinegar water to help get the encrusted scale off. Have rinsed all very well with water (last rinse I did with water to which I added an overdose of Prime).

My problem is figuring out how to use all this stuff for filtration in this aquarium. I've never used a HOB filter; and doing research on them hasn't really helped me much in figuring out how to set one up. Also, I've come to figure out that one of the filters isn't a HOB (as I'd previously thought), but an Internal Filter (thank you, David, for your post about your Whisper 20i Internal Tank filter - I think that even may be what I have). Before I figured out the difference, I couldn't understand how you could hang it on the back without it leaking everything out on to the floor. I was soooo confused. But still I'm almost as confused as I first was, and not sure how or what to use... and how it all goes together to set it up.

Whisper Internal Filter (Filter #1 in pics) - This is the one they were actively using in the aquarium before I bought it; though I did not see it in place and how it all fits together when I picked it up. Okay... I understand now that I hang it on the back with the body of it inside the tank. Then I'm assuming you put the white filter "cartridge?" in there, and also the black one (inside the little plastic frame) too?
*So the white one I suppose would be a kind of combination for chemical, mechanical, and some biological filtration. Is this a "cartridge" that I need to replace? Or can I make a DIY sponge or sewn "taco" of polyester sheet (like Deb explained in another post) and just refill it with whatever chemical filtration I want (if I want to use carbon or Purigen, for example)? It's pretty raggedy and I don't see it holding up, or holding stuff inside it very well. In fact I really don't want to use this particular one I have right now at all... it seems structurally compromised with the carbon pieces coming through and falling out of the worn-out white material. But it's all I've currently got.
*The black square piece inside the little plastic frame (looks like a soft, grill scrubber) - Is this supposed to be the main thing for mechanical filtration? It just seems too coarse (larger sized holes) to catch much of anything?
*Where or what on this thing is used for biological filtration? Just the white and black cartridge things? Can I add some Matrix somewhere in it? But doesn't seem to be much, if any, room for such. What is the "Bio-Scrubber" they talk about on the information link David posted about this kind of filter (and do I have one)?
*I know you plug this thing in (and it does run when I plugged it in). But how do you configure and hook it up to the air pump? Where do the air lines go? Or does this thing stand alone, without an air pump?

Whisper Power Filter 20 (Filter #2 in pics) - They said this was an "extra" pump that they had on it before, but it clogged up with their hard well water. I cleaned it best I could... do you think it would work for me now (city water)? And if so, would it be better than the Internal Filter? I also have all the same questions about the filter media for this one. It didn't come with any, but it seems the white and black cartridge thingys might sort of fit in this one too? Biological filtration with this one? Air pump used with this one or not? I think I like the idea of it outside on the back, and not taking up space like a big black sore thumb inside the tank like the Internal one... but is there a difference between the two, besides asthetics? And apart from the "which is best" debate, I'm wondering if one of these two *particular* filters I have might run better than the other one? And if so, how can I tell? This one did also "run" when I plugged it in. But I don't know a "good running" sound from a "bad" one on either filter.

Air Pumps (both Aqua Culture), one bigger than the other. Which one do I use, or both? The bigger one seems to run better, but the top housing cover of it isn't secured to the bottom part (can lift it right off with no effort); is it broken? Are these needed for any of the filters, or just to use with airline tube for the sprayer bar?

Undergravel Filter - The black "cone" thingy with a plug-in (says Penguin 550), does it go on top of the open clear uptake tube? I put it in there and it fits, but not snugly. Not sure this is how it's supposed to go or not. If so, does it need to be snug or sealed in some way? Is there a certain way you have to attach it? Do you need to use an air pump with this one? If so, how to configure it? I don't understand where the "filter" in an undergravel filter is. Is it just the water getting sucked from underneath the gravel? Sorry if this sounds dumb, but there doesn't seem to be any room or way for any filter media to be housed in that little unit on top of the cone, so I assume the gravel is, in effect, the filter? Is the cone thingy just a pump that sucks water up the uptake tube and makes it fall back out of the little attached satillite piece? Does this really "filter" anything? Or is it mainly just a mechanism to facilitate the biological filter (assuming you do the mechanical filtration via gravel vacuuming and water changes) and create some movement/overturn of the water?

I sincerely apologize for the length and the impossible amount of questions!!! But I'm sorely in need of some help and direction. I'm of reasonable intelligence, but I know nothing (obviously) about these kinds of filters. I've just recently become comfortable in unhooking, cleaning, and the general workings of the 2 canister filters I have for my 75 gal. tank. I'd like to get this tank up and running asap, but I don't know where to start with the filtration... configuring it, what is best, if I need more parts or media or tubes, or how to make everything work. I'm even willing to pay a paltry to modest amount to someone and be eternally grateful if they would come over and show me. I would have asked at the meeting, but I thought once I got everything out of the bags and cleaned I could figure it out. But I can't. I feel like an idiot, but can someone please help me?

Becky

PS... I know I'm going to use at least 1/2 of the gravel the 20 gal. requires taken from my established 75 gal. (and replace that amount of rock with the same, though new, in the 75) to help along the biological cycle, along with maybe sticking one or two of my pads from my canister filters in with whatever filter/s I end up using in the 20 gal.... and maybe transfer some of the plastic plants too. I'm going to fishless cycle, but would like to get it going hopefully soon.













avatar
Katnapper

Posts : 443
Join date : 2013-02-01
Age : 51
Location : Bloomington, IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems setting up filtration on 20 gal. tank

Post  AlexW. on Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:37 am

looks to me like you got 3 filters there. filter number 2 is a hang on back filter goes outside the aquarium with the tube on the inside of the aquarium and the lip hangs over the edge of the aquarium the media bag goes inside that filter. filter number 1 looks like an internal corner filter. the air pump is to be put with the hose line down the tube for the undergravel filter with an airstone on the end of the house line. The cone thingy is a submersible pump. you could turn that into a filter as well by putting a sponge over the cone part. I think if you just picked 1 or 2 types of filtration you would be fine.
avatar
AlexW.

Posts : 107
Join date : 2012-07-20
Age : 40
Location : Normal

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems setting up filtration on 20 gal. tank

Post  steve a on Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:57 pm

I thought the cone thingy went in the tube for the under-gravel filter for circulation. steve A

steve a

Posts : 54
Join date : 2012-09-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems setting up filtration on 20 gal. tank

Post  AlexW. on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:24 pm

You could set it up that way too.
avatar
AlexW.

Posts : 107
Join date : 2012-07-20
Age : 40
Location : Normal

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems setting up filtration on 20 gal. tank

Post  Katnapper on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:34 pm

Thank you both, Alex and Steve, for replying with good information. David has kindly agreed to come over and rescue me from the dark depths of filter hell. So hopefully after this weekend I'll be all sorted.

Becky
avatar
Katnapper

Posts : 443
Join date : 2013-02-01
Age : 51
Location : Bloomington, IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

good thing we are discussing filtration in the upcoming meeting

Post  egbar guppies on Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:59 pm

You've got me at the 'cone thingy", bring that along if you come to the next meeting so i can get a closer look, K? I use mostly the 2 other types of filters you have shown here, hook up the intake of the side hangers to underground filters when i use those, and also have used the bio wheels, but the internal filters that rest on the floor of the tank are all mysteries to me. yet i know they are the kind most used by guppy breeders because they are safer with fry around... hopefully somebody can enlighten me!!! bounce

egbar guppies

Posts : 97
Join date : 2012-12-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems setting up filtration on 20 gal. tank

Post  steve a on Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:15 pm

the cone has steps or different diameter sizes so it fits in different size tubes for the undergravel filter.

steve a

Posts : 54
Join date : 2012-09-07

View user profile

Back to top Go down

coney thingy

Post  pops48 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:38 pm

The thing with a cone is a power head. They're used to significantly increase water flow, especially through a filter. Most often I've seen them on the top of the exhaust pipe of an under-gravel filters instead of using air. The problem then is that the under-gravel filter no longer acts as a biological filter because of the high water flow rate. They're nice to have around so you can use them to boost filtration when you need to. They sit on top of a filter pipe cut to the right height to accommodate the power head. The power head top is not water proof so be careful. You could look it up on the web if you can see the brand and model writing, and then get the exact instructions.

pops48

Posts : 160
Join date : 2012-02-12
Location : Lane, IL (near Clinton)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

The infamous "cone thingy"

Post  Katnapper on Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:51 pm

I really appreciate the comments and info concerning the various filter apparatuses... and especially about the cone thingy. tongue I'm very much looking forward to the discussion on filtration at the next meeting.


Last edited by Katnapper on Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)
avatar
Katnapper

Posts : 443
Join date : 2013-02-01
Age : 51
Location : Bloomington, IL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems setting up filtration on 20 gal. tank

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum