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200L new tank... new Filter... new Lights?

Discussion in 'Fish Keeping Chat' started by Fishnewbie, Jul 31, 2019.


  1. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    Hi all,

    I have just picked up a 200L from a friend.

    It has been sitting in the house for about a year so I hope to bring it back to life!

    First of I need an appropriate filter, currently only have a small 55L internal. I have attached some picks of a reasonable external I found , is this an appropriate filter for my new tank?

    Also the lighting is all broken, we tried new bulbs and starter motors , so I’m going to invest in a LED kit, any suggestions on where to get a reasonable one for my size tank, the current fluval kit sold in LFS is £113 for my size and was hoping for something a bit cheaper ...

    Any help would be great ,

    Many thanks :)
     

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  2. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    @kittih @NaomiM @Picklelily @magpie
     
  3. niamh123

    niamh123 PetForums VIP

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    That filter should be fine for your new tank I have used this filter for my 6.6ftx4ftx4ft tank with no problems
     
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  4. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    Thanks for your response, i am transferring from my old smaller filter, do you recommend cutting up the media and putting it in the filter? if so which compartment? Also i have seen lots of vids on youtube about the media that comes with this filter and to change it for different? have you kept it as it is with no issues? how often do you have to clean this filter with standard media? sorry for so many questions just want to make sure i get this right
     
  5. niamh123

    niamh123 PetForums VIP

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    I have used these filters on tropical and marine with no need to change the media that comes with the filter
     
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  6. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    I have two of the APS filters on my big tank, and they are great. I personally found that the amount of filter media that came with them was a bit stingy though, so I bulked mine out a bit. You'll want the water to hit the mechanical filter media first, so coarse, medium & fine sponges in the bottom basket, then biological media (ceramic rings/bio balls), and if you use chemical (such as carbon) that will go last in the top basket. How often you need to clean it will depend on how heavily you stock the tank really.

    I would do as you've said and place your current filter sponges in the new filter once you've got it ready to go, I don't think it really matters where you place them.

    Can't really advise much with lighting, I have these led's on my tank: https://tinyurl.com/yyo8fusf but because they sit on the rim of the tank, you can't have a hood.
     
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  7. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    Thanks for your reply reply helpful, do you think it’s worth buying extra sponges then or does this filter come with corse and medium ?

    With regards to lighting, that is definitely a lot cheaper option! Would the 90cm to 120cm for the 120 tank or would it be size up , did want my lid so might have too look around , if anyone has any suggestions that would accompany lid that would be great !:)
     
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  8. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    It came with coarse sponges for sure, and maybe some filter floss pads, no medium sponge though. It's up to you really, the downside of not having coarse, medium and fine sponges is that either some of the debris & dirt will get through and make your biological media dirty, or if you use filter floss then that will get clogged up more quickly.

    But again how much that matters depends on your stocking, I have big, chunky, dirty goldfish, so optimising my filtration is a must, whereas for smaller fish that don't produce much waste it's less of an issue.

    For the lights, if the tank is 120cm you could either go for the 90-120cm one or the 116-136cm one, the difference will be the length of the light unit itself and how much of the stand you need to pull out to reach the edges of your tank.
     
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  9. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    That filter looks good. Its similar to my tetra tec one. Very easy to use and you can put what ever media you like in it. As said above you want the coarse filter to be the first thing the flow reaches. This is usually a coarse sponge rather like you get in internal cartridge filters. The middle baskets can contain anything that supports lots of bacteria. I primarily use bioballs and ceramic rings

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Biochemica...ocphy=9044885&hvtargid=pla-736511045448&psc=1

    https://www.allpondsolutions.co.uk/aquarium/media-foams/ceramic/rings/

    Shop around as lots of places sell them cheap pond supply places are often a good source as they tend to mark up prices less than aquarium shops.

    Really anything inert with lots of tiny pores for bacteria to grow in are fine.

    You can chop up your internal sponges and mix them in with this media or if you don't want to damage the internal sponges just put them in the second basket - squish them in. And put the bio media in the next basket. After a few weeks you can just swap out the sponges for more bio media. Whilst it doesn't really matter where you place the internal filter sponges as free bacteria will be circling around anyway you will probably capture them more efficiently if the bacteria rich media sponges from your internal are placed just before your bio media. You can also gently sqeeze out the sponge muck onto your bio media first to maximise bacterial transfer. Also in the middle trays can go zeolite, carbon or anything else you want. I tend to only use the former if I have an unforeseen filter issue eg power cut or dead fish I didnt notice and remove. Its just a short term thing. Carbon I only use if I want to clear out meds. I have only used it a couple of times in the last 15 years.

    The last basket (which on my filter is the uppermost), is where I do my fine filtration. You can buy also sorts of proprietary fine or polishing filter pads to remove tiny particles. I sometimes buy these but I also use filter floss. You can buy large bags of this unbranded from pond suppliers. Its all the same stuff and a wad of it laid out flat in the top tray cleans the last particles nicely. All filter media only needs a gently rinse in old tank.water. In my tank the bio balls are 16 years old. The ceramic beads eventually crumble and maybe last about 6 years or so so I just top up with new as and when. The filter floss and sponges just get a gentle squeeze and reused. The filter floss can be harder to reuse as it compacts but if you get a big bag its easy to replace. The polishing pads also can be reused many times.

    Filter media rarely needs much replacing so shop around for what suits you best at a price that suits. EBay and online pet supplies often have good deals. You don't have to stick to one brand.

    Re lighting I havent got much advice. I am still using my trusty Arcadia luminaire that takes T8 bulbs and still works fine.

    These days much lighting is led based. The advantage is that the bulbs don't need replacing but the upfront costs can be expensive.

    I suggest you look at what sort of plants you want to grow and what lighting requirements they have and then choose a lighting system that provides this. You don't need to go fancy with night lights and different controllable colour temperatures and high tech stuff unless you want to.

    My 200 litres 18 inch deep tank had 3 x 38watt t8 bulbs which was fine for low to medium light plants. One bulb holder is now broken. So 76 watts I find is fine for a jungle of vallis, crypts, hygrophilla, hornwort, Java Moss and Java fern.

    I have also added a very cheap and simple led light which gives a soft low light or a blue night light which use for late evenings and night time which the fish like. The low light helps the transition from night to full lights otherwise it spooks the fish. I can let you have the details if interested.

    Here are some shots of my aquarium which needs a good clean and prune but you can see the lighting effects and what plants I have. The manky internal filter is just there as a fish play thing. They get treated to their favourite game of sliding in the current flow every so often. I dont leave it on permanentlyvas a few of them can get a bit obsessive :) .The blue night light is much stronger in the photo than in reality, its really just a nice pale blue glow....

    IMAG0542.jpg

    IMAG0545.jpg

    IMAG0547.jpg
     
    #9 kittih, Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  10. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    Thank you so much for such a detailed response!! I have phos pad for my corse media sponge is this ok! The filter comes with bio balls for the first level ceramic media for the middle and carbon at the top with polish pad between each layer, so shall I cut up the phos pad and place it under the bio balls along with my old media and remove the pilishboads between and put them in the top with the carbon?. With lighting the only real option is a clip on top which means I lose my lid or I fork out for a Fluval led which attaches to the old bulb mounts ... unless I start screwing into the plastic (abit nervous) another quick query as I know you use sad , I have rinsed my sand thoroughly and placed 10 litres of water to alllow it to settle how ever the water is very cloudy... if I keep filling the tank up will the water become cloudy or settle, perhaps I haven’t rinsed enough and should stop now and empty to re rinse? Please picture attached... thank you so much
     

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  11. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    No leave the Polish pads between each layer if it comes like that. Usually the idea is to filter out the particular gunk out using a series of coarse to fine filters then the clean water can just go through the bio media. I put my filter floss at the end just because it can sometimes produce strands that end up twisted around the bioballs if I put it before them. I use the floss just because its cheaper than buying the special pads. I suggest you use what they have provided in the order stated and add extra bio media if there is room but don't worry if there isnt. Over time you will work out whats works best for you. Its not a precise science. The bacteria will be on everything but the more surfaces you can provide (eg media with lots of pores and surfaces) the more bacteria you will have.

    You can leave the phosphate pad in if you want. Phosphate remover is used to reduce free phosphate and control some types of algae. To be honest if you have healthy plant growth, do regular water changes and don't overfeed you wont need it. Same with the carbon. It is there to remove "impurities " but if you use a decent water conditioner you wont need it. Save it for a time when you might want to clear out excess meds after a treatment. They are just money earners for the filter manufacturer.

    I was looking at led t8 bulbs. Is this what you were meaning about the fluval bulbs ? I think there are other brands. They are expensive but wont need replacing yearly like normal bulbs so cheaper in the long run. If your hood is set up for t8 or t5 bulbs maybe just get those norml ones for now and spend some time looking into all options at a later date. Aquarium lighting is evolving all the time and you can pick up some good second hand options once you know what you prefer.

    Re the sand. Yes it will be cloudy but will settle in 24 hours. Even if you have rinsed it well in a bucket first before adding to.the tank it can be quite cloudy. Dont worry it will.settle.
     
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  12. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    Thanks again! It seems to me that the filter does not come with a corse media it just starts with bio balls so I was going to use the Phos pad instead as I had brought some a while ago mistakenly, will that work? Yes I think its the t8 bulbs but unfortunately the internals seem to be broken as we tried new bulbs and stater motors so I don’t really have an option now I guess! Yes I did rinse quite a bit well at least I thought I did.... but if it will clear over time that’s great! :)
     
  13. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

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    Hi I have that filter on my 90-litre tank and my 140-150 litre it's a great filter but, it will depend o your stocking levels, I have found that with the 140 as my stocking levels increased it has struggled to keep on top of the waste although according to every check I have made I was still understocked. I added a Fluval 307 a few months back and it is a vastly superior filter. If you go with the all Ponds Solutions Filter go with the 1400 or the 2000 for a 200litre tank
    https://www.allpondsolutions.co.uk/aquarium/filters/external/1400lh-1400ef/

    Alternatively, Maidenhead Aquatics has the 405 Fluval on offer as old stock it's just been slightly upgraded for the 07 version. Kittih has it exactly right for your setup of the All Ponds solutions filter. I got some alfagrog to boost my ceramic media it's a great price on eBay

    https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/fluval-405-external-filter

    Lighting LED's are a must

    Look at Swell aquatics for Fluval LED's at a great price

    https://www.swelluk.com/fluval-aquasky-led-2.0/


    Alternatively, the Nicrews are a fantastic price but they aren't splash-proof so you would need perspex to protect them from the water or get the submersible ones which I did have before I got my second Fluval light. I got pretty good plant growth on lower light requirement plants on my submersible LED's I had them for about 6 years before I upgraded.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=nicrew...786973&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_5ic939ixcd_e


    These look promising too but I haven't used them myself

    https://www.allpondsolutions.co.uk/aquarium/lighting/led/pled/

    Finally look on eBay and Facebook selling groups I recently saw the latest Fluval canister filter for sale for £20 on Facebook market place
     
    #13 Picklelily, Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  14. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

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    On size for the Fluval LED's I did find a guide that told you how many lumens for your size and depth of aquarium I was suprised to find the 12W was fine for my 2 foot 90 litre 18 inches deep Roma. I will see if I can find the guide.

    There is also the Fluval ECO bright which has a few YouTube reviews



    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Fluval+light+V+Nicrew
     
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  15. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    Thank you very much for your responses! Very helpful and I will check out the links too! I was thinking of possibly siliconing a led to the lid has anyone tried this?
     
  16. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

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    Our submersible LED's were siliconed to the lid and worked brilliantly, we even eventually added Alexa plugs to them. The Fluvals don't need it as the extending brackets support them perfectly under the lid.

    Somewhere on the forum are some photo's of my old LED's attached to the lid
     
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  17. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

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    Re plants, I find aquarium gardens website and YouTube are great but, even better is George Farmer on YouTube and Instagram. The only issue with George Farmer is he makes your beautiful tanks look like rubbish compared to his :)

    P.S I'm very jealous of your new aquarium not that I have anywhere to put another large tank at the moment--mmm I suppose I could throw ou the dining table :D

    Also, re-sand substrate I mixed B&Q play pit sand with JBL aquabasis and JBL Manado on top in some areas despite rinsing it took about a week for the water to settle, however, I did use that time for plants to settle in as I used Tropica tissue cultures

    What are you planning to keep?
     
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  18. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    Ok thanks, il just have to wait for the sand to settle then!, I think il just have to bite the bullet and buy a fluval for £113 from the LFS, not sure what plants yet I have 3 currently can’t recall what types and some hornwort floating int the tank, possibly the filter will help clear the water ?
     
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  19. Picklelily

    Picklelily PetForums VIP

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    I would shop around online first I saved a fortune on mine doing that it was over £100 in the local shop and £58 online delivered

    Yes the filter will help clear the water :)
     
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  20. Fishnewbie

    Fishnewbie PetForums Member

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    Hi All,

    Just a quick update for you all seen as you all helped so much.

    I have set up my 200L i transferred 65L from my old tank and then filled the rest up with tap water (treated it appropriately) and heated it up to temp.

    I set up my new all pond solution 1000EF in the bottom section (first section that the water hits) i have Phos pad polish pad and bio balls in that order, second section i have polish padm ceramic rings and my old filter media cut up in that order and finally in the top and 3rd section i have active carbon, it seems to be working well only comment is that it is rather noisy (especially at night) not sure if this is something i have done or just how the filter is.

    I have sand substrate and 3 plants a moss ball and some horn wort with a small piece of drift wood and a small piece of Bog wood, the stank does look rather empty so i will need to purchase more plants and wood (want a natural look)

    In the end with LED lighting i went with the Evolution Aqua colour plus 80CM, i siliconed this to the Lid using Aqua mate, only cost me £50 so was a big save in comparison to the Fluval.

    Only comment on the LED is it makes the fish very bright (as its meant to) but is odd for me as i know that not their natural look but will do for now, quick question regarding the colour plus will this still promote healthy plants?

    I also have my air stone to help oxygenate the water.

    All in all its been rather trouble free just a lot of hard work! The water was very cloudy at first from the sand but has cleared up nicely (will i open my filter to find a load of sand :O?)

    Thank you every one for all your help, I am sure i will need it again soon but lets hope not!!! :D

    I will post pictures later this eve if anyone is interested ...
     
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