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<BR><BR>Hey guys.... The age old question that has plagued the masses for centuries has arisen............... Do i have enough filtration?

The tank in question is a 5x2x2 stocked with 2 juvi Motoros and 8 Discus. I'm running 2 1200L external canisters. My ammonia and Nitrites are always at zero, but my nitrates are a somewhat pain in the arse at times. Is it worth picking up a second hand Fx5 or buying a brand new Fx6 and swapping the 2 1200's out for a Fx5/6 filter? Or doing my previous choice but keeping 1 of the 1200 externals as backup? Or should i leave it as is? Any suggestions are welcomed

Cheers

Slim

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If your ammonia and nitrite is at zero, then you have enough aerobic bacteria to handle the bio-load. The issue is that the traditional way to lower the nitrate level is through a water change.

But this get's time consuming and costly. There are two things (that I know of) that will reduce the nitrate level; plants and anaerobic bacteria.

Java Fern is easy to grow and only needs low light level. Val is another low light, easy to grow plant.

As for anaerobic bacteria, these are a bit harder to achieve in a aquarium at home.

Seachem claim their Matrix product allows for anaerobic bacteria to establish due to the pore size and internal structure.

They have a video testimonial showing their product being tested by maintaining a large public aquarium where huge volumes of water are involved and it has helped reduce the maintenance cost.

I read up on specific surface area of various media types and Matrix is certainly amongst the highest so I decided to use it. I have one tank at home that finished cycling (using Matrix) and nitrates were basically at zero.

The tank is heavily stocked and three days later the nitrate is still zero. Scientifically, this proves nothing. It's just my one experience

To do the science would need quite a few tanks, being filtered with identical filters but using different media and using pure ammonia.

In your case, you might consider slowly changing your filter media. But, even Seachem say with high bio-loads, it will help reduce but not eliminate nitrate.

Edited by doubledark
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This seems to be a common question.....

If your Ammonia and Nitrates are zero....your biological filtration is working....you can make it more efficient by slowing down flow rates

but that may reduce efficiency of your mechanical filtration

If your water is clean then mechanical filtration is doing it's job

If nitrates are an issue then the best solution is water changes.....there are products that reduce nitrates....but they don't take out other metabolic waste like a water change does

Real plants will reduce nitrates also

I once commented to the owner of a LFS that his fish seemed more active and colourful than most other shops I frequented.....he showed me his filtration system....and revealed his secret

Daily automatic 10% water change...;)

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More regular water changes or there is a planted tank method which i don't know much about but there is plenty of helpful threads on here about it, water changes will get the nitrates under control, you clearly have good biological filtration nitrates is the last part of the cycle, i do 30% water changes on all my tanks weekly. My nitrates stay between 5-10ppm

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Daily automatic 10% water change, is the dream.

Another option is to get rid of fish you dont love.

Less fish = less poop = less nitrates = less water changes.

For smaller tanks, duckweed works remarkably well.

For big tanks I am a fan of carbon dosing.

It may only target nitrate and phosphate, but in my case that lets me spread out water changes.

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If you have a 5x2x2 tank thats 540 litres

10% is 54 litres(2.25 litres/hour=a coke bottle)

If you rigged up a trickle feed system with overflow you would use

54 litres x 365 days=19,710 litres of water per year...lets say 20 kilolitres

Highest cost of water in Brisbane is $2.54 /kilolitre

see Queensland Urban Utilities - Rates and charges 2014-15

i.e. cost of 10% water change per day on a 5x2x2 tank = $50($2.54 x 20 kilo litres) per year max(most likely less ;) at tier 3 rate is half i.e. $25/year

$1/week....most likely 50cents/week

What's the cost of carbon dosing????

Edited by Rod
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Sometimes it's not all about cost...

Daily water change is more of a chore

If u work full time that can be hard, I think most people are more than will to throw a little bit of money at their aquarium to make things easier as long as it's safe so they feel like their enjoying the hobby then just a cleaner

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I always have 0 ppm nitrates in my tank (and all other params remain very stable). I do recommend the MFK thread about pothos, i have a little in my weir and does help.

But better than that is my auto water changer. I use a timer connected to a pump in my sump to pump out about 130-140L per day and i use a Tunze top up (from AOA) unit to keep the sump at the same level from a water reservoir that has a float valve to keep that topped up...

The pump to remove water pumps at about 1L per min so when it is on a timer you can very easily adjust how much water to remove a day. 135 minutes (9 x (on the hour) for 15mins each) = approx 135L a day.

I find this better than a drip system where you are draining the already diluted water. This way you remove more dirty water before adding fresh water as opposed to adding fresh water then removing diluted dirty water...

But adding a filter is not always about bio, I would love to increase my clarity...I see guys on MFK and here with absolute pristine water clarity....

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ive heard seachem purigen does wonders for water clarity...

not a big fan of adding chems, forgot what the product is but sloush? apparently keeps water quality up but alot of skeptics

I have macropore and chemipure both running in my tank which is doing a pretty good job so far :) i rung out an entire sponge that was filthy from an established tank and it turned all my water black. Next day the tank is crystal clear :P

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Thanks everybody for your replies!!!! My apologies for my late reply. A couple of answers to the your ideas; I do half water changes every 7-8 days at the moment. I've put a bag of Purigen into each of the canisters (Enough to do 1000L), I also make sure to only feed my rays and discus what they'll consume in 5-10mins. [MENTION=353]Rod[/MENTION], I really like the idea of auto water changes and I'll be looking a little more seriously at setting up an auto system when i move my Rays into a bigger tank. [MENTION=13879]doubledark[/MENTION], For the mean time I'm going to order 4L of Matrix and ad it to my canister filters over the next couple of weeks and see if there is any change. Could part of my nirates be coming from my local water? I'm in Ipswich

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If you have a 5x2x2 tank thats 540 litres

10% is 54 litres(2.25 litres/hour=a coke bottle)

If you rigged up a trickle feed system with overflow you would use

54 litres x 365 days=19,710 litres of water per year...lets say 20 kilolitres

Highest cost of water in Brisbane is $2.54 /kilolitre

see Queensland Urban Utilities - Rates and charges 2014-15

i.e. cost of 10% water change per day on a 5x2x2 tank = $50($2.54 x 20 kilo litres) per year max(most likely less ;) at tier 3 rate is half i.e. $25/year

$1/week....most likely 50cents/week

What's the cost of carbon dosing????

Ask not what you must do for carbon,

instead ask what can carbon do for you!

An auto water change is inconvenient for my setup currently,

and would only be weaponized by my toddler.

Costs me around $10 a month to do my display.

That lets me do monthly water change instead of weekly.

Might be a bit less now as I have recently thinned out half the fish.

So feeding less. Will know when I next clean canisters.

Its not ideal.

But as you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.

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