Jump to content
Kokos Goldfish Forum
Sign in to follow this  
FatGoldFishGuy

Common Sense Guide To Filtration In A Goldfish Tan

Recommended Posts

Common Sense Guide to Filtration In a Goldfish Tank

I have read it many times that goldfish need "10 times water turn over". But what good is water turn over, if the filter cannot handle the waste being produced. All you will have is a tank with the turbulence of a washing machine, without any cleaning of the water. So let's look at some popular filter types.

Sponge Filters

Rarely even brought up on many goldfish sites today. These filters are powered by an air pump and fit into your tank.

*Inexpensive

*Can be easily put into tank and "seeded" for use in a hospital tank

*Good to Very Good Biological Filtration

*Moderate to Good Debris Filtration

Hang on the Back (HOB) Cartridge Based Filters

There are many brands to choice from in this category. These type hang on the back of your tank, and typically have a little cartridge that traps filter and debris.

*Cartridge offers LITTLE Biological Filtration, as the pad is typically no larger than 4" x 6" x .25"

*Carbon within the filter goes bad within a month, typically within a week

*No or little room for Bio-media

*Good to Very Good Debris Filtration

*Moderate to Good Biological Filtration

Hang on the Back (HOB) Cartridge Based Filters with Bio-Wheels

There are only two main choices this category, Penguin or Emperor. These type hang on the back of your tank, and typically have a cartridge that traps filter and debris. Depending on the size you purchase, you will have room for additional filtration pads or biological media.

*Cartridge offers LITTLE Biological Filtration, but excellent debris filtration.

*Carbon within the filter goes bad within a month, typically within a week, but can be a source for bio-bugs to grow.

*Room for Bio-media

*Very Good to Excellent Debris Filtration

*Very Good to Excellent Biological Filtration. The Bio-Wheel is an excellent medium for good bio-bug growth.

Hang on the Back (HOB) Power Filters

There are only a few brands in this category, with the Hagen Aquaclears being the most common. Although these filters do not have the convenience of cartridge, they offer superior filtration.

*Large Sponge to Trap Waste and Debris, also acts another source of Biological Filtration

*Space to place in Biological Media, such as Ceramic Rings, Cell-Pore Media, Bio-Stars, Bio-Balls, etc.

*Space to add other media such as filter floss, carbon, phosphate filters, etc.

*Very Good to Excellent Biological Filtration

*Very Good to Excellent Debris Filtration

Canister Filters

Another category that has many brands to choice from. These filters will offer superior filtration over any hang on the back type of filter.

*Large Sponge to Trap Waste and Debris, also acts another source of Biological Filtration

*Large Space to place in Biological Media, such as Ceramic Rings, Cell-Pore Media, Bio-Stars, Bio-Balls, etc.

*Large Space to add other media such as filter floss, carbon, phosphate filters, etc.

*Excellent Biological Filtration

*Excellent Debris Filtration

So what is the best filter?

No single answer, but lets look at what you will need.

*The filter should be rated for at least DOUBLE the tank size you own, larger if you can afford.

*The filter needs to be able to handle the ammonia levels being produced by the goldfish

*Biological filtration capacity is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than WATER TURN OVER.

*Two filters are better than one.

A good example of filtration for a 55 to 75 gallon goldfish tank

*Two Penguin 350's or Emperor 400's or

*One Penguin 350's or Emperor 400's and a Large Sponge Filter Powered by Air Pump

*Aquaclear with Sponge, Bio-Media, Filter Floss and Carbon and a Large Sponge Filter Powered by Air Pump, or

*Canister Filter and a Large Sponge Filter Powered by Air Pump, or

*Canister Filter and an Aquaclear with Sponge, Bio-Media, Filter Floss and Carbon, or

*Canister Filter and a Penguin 350's or Emperor 400.

Again we need to use common sense when it comes to providing the correct filtration for our goldfish. As it has been said many times over, "if we take good care of our water, the water will take good care of our fish".

On a personal note; I have NEVER had clearer water than when using a Penguin 350. The water is clearer than when I used an Emperor 400, a canister filter or Aquaclear. I highly recommend them.

This post has been promoted to an article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting reading! I was particularly interested in reading about the Aquaclear as that's what I have. This is probably a stupid question, but what are Ceramic Rings, Cell-Pore Media, Bio-Stars, and Bio-Balls that you mentioned in talking about HOB Power Filters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....This is probably a stupid question, but what are Ceramic Rings, Cell-Pore Media, Bio-Stars, and Bio-Balls that you mentioned in talking about HOB Power Filters?

461032[/snapback]

Biological media is any inert material that houses the beneficial bacteria colonies that break down ammonia to a less toxic form.

New Aquaclears come with BioMax, which is a ceramic bio-media.

Some examples of bio-media

p_830000_19493D.jpgp_21228_30358DZ.jpg

p_960702_13007.jpgp_401010_12989D.jpg

You can even purchase bio-media cartridges for your HOB's

p_17045_24587.jpgp_915282_24586D.jpg

All filters should have some type of bio-media packed into them to allow addtional growth of beneficial bacteria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty complete article FatGoldFishGuy, but I noticed you didn't include wet/dry filtration. This VERY GOOD form of filtration should be considered by anyone with a tank larger than 55 gallons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All filters should have some type of bio-media packed into them to allow addtional growth of beneficial bacteria.

461131[/snapback]

I have an Aqua Clear 300 with only charcoal and a sponge in it. Where would the additional bio-media go? It doesn't seem like there would be any room in the filter to put anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You really don't need the carbon unless you are trying to get meds out of the tank.

You should be able to easily fit a bag of cylinders right on top of your carbon pack. Squash it in there!

In my aquaclear I have two sponges and cylinders: sponge on bottom, sponge in middle, cylinders on top. Every water change I swish out the bottom sponge in the tank water. Then I put the bottom sponge in the middle, and put the middle sponge on the bottom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:) FatGoldFishGuy, that is a great post with lots of wonderful info for people trying to decide which way to go when it comes to filters. :exactly

I'm with you though, I have two Penguin 350's on my 55 gal and my water so clear. They are wonderful. :heart I really like the Penguin filters. And with the use of a cycled bio-wheel from my Penguin 200, my tank cycle in no time. :bounce .

Thanks again for letting people know the options!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you FGFG, for your awesome reccomendations! I took your advice to heart and am getting a Penguin 350 to supplement my Eheim 2026 filter in my new 55 gal. set up. :D I love this site, you guys are a well spring of information! :heart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So do the biomedia cartridges have to be replaced like the sponges do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So do the biomedia cartridges have to be replaced like the sponges do?

461332[/snapback]

No, you never have to replace the bio-media, in fact I never replace my sponges in my Aquaclears.

To clean them, I take them out, put them in a bucket filled with tank water, and give them a good squeeze.....I then dump the water, add more tank water....give them another good squeeze and put back into the filter.

I do the same process for cartridges on Penguins/Emperor filters, replacing them only after maybe 3 or 4 months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you FGFG! I've been replacing my sponge, but will stop. I found the Cell-Pore Media that you have pictured at Dr F&S, but I'm not sure which one I need to get. I don't see one that is specifically for Aqua Clear 300. What would you suggest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you FGFG!  I've been replacing my sponge, but will stop.  I found the Cell-Pore Media that you have pictured at Dr F&S, but I'm not sure which one I need to get.  I don't see one that is specifically for Aqua Clear 300.  What would you suggest?

461393[/snapback]

Well if you purchse the Cell-Pore media, you would need to go with two of the cartridges for the AquaClear Mini/20. It would be easier to purchase the Bioblox Cubes (5/8" - 1 qt jar). You can always get the Azoo Bio-Glass...the cost is less that have of the Cell-Pore media, or the BioMax, whihc is made for the AquaClear 70/300

au_th_17001_FS31192-i.jpg

Pretty complete article FatGoldFishGuy, but I noticed you didn't include wet/dry filtration. This VERY GOOD form of filtration should be considered by anyone with a tank larger than 55 gallons.

461135[/snapback]

I agree completely. The only reason I left out wet/dry filtration was the cost. Many new fish keeps would be shocked to spend $200-$500.00 for a decent Wet/Dry filter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found the BioMax 70 and will order it. When I get it in, I just put it in on top of the sponges and let it go to work, right???

Since we're talking filters, I'd like to ask another question. Yesterday, I purchased a second AquaClear 300 to put in my tank because I was told the one AC300 was not providing enough filtration for my 55g tank. I'm going today and get two more sponges so each AC300 will have 2 sponges in it (I'm also removing the carbon today). When I get the BioMax 70 in, I'll have two sponges and the biomedia in each filter. What's the best way to clean the filters (sponges) when it's time??? I know that I shouldn't clean both of them at the same time. Should I maybe clean one sponge a week, or what??? Also, will the BioMax 70 have to be cleaned also?

I'm really sorry to be bombarding you with so many questions, but I'm clueless and I don't want to mess up my cycle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm really sorry to be bombarding you with so many questions, but I'm clueless and I don't want to mess up my cycle.

461607[/snapback]

Don't be sorry, we have all been new fish keepers at one time or another :)

Okay....you first question. I place the Bio-Box at the very top...here is an example drawing I made for you:

filter_set-up.jpg

As far as cleaning the sponges and filter, I always do it in old tank water. What I do is this:

* Turn Off Filter

* Place Bio-Max in Tank

* Discard Filter floss and replace with new (if using)

* Replace Carbon (if using)

* Put sponge in bucket used just for this purpose.

* Use syphon to fill bucket with tank water.

* Squeeze sponge out to remove debris.

* Dump dirty water.

* Use syphon to fill bucket with tank water again.

* Squeeze sponge out to remove debris.

* Dump dirty water, Repeat if needed.

I only clean my sponges maybe once every six weeks or so, BUT I replace filter floss every week.

The Bio-Max I will give a quick swirl in a bucket of tank water if I see a build-up of debris on the media.

Hope this helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an how I have my Penguins packed

So besides the cartridges, I have four pouches of Bio-Max in each, plus filter floss for extra fine debris removal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent article! :goodjob:thumb:

This is on e of the more informative articles I have seen!

I love it when good pictures are included. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the EXCELLENT information provided on this post! i really helps since i'm sure alot of people (myself included) are often wondering which type of filter is best for their setup.

so here's my question hehe. :D after reading your article, i am wondering if i should get two penguin 350's or two emperor 400's or one of each for my new 72 gal. bowfront? i had previously thought of getting one canister and one HOB, but i cannot afford a canister just yet. i WAS thinking of getting two emperor 400's, because of the whole 10X your tank size water turnover rate... but will two penguin 350's be sufficient?

thanks for your wonderful article! :heart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huge thanks to you for all the help! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain everything clearly to me.

Should I be using floss in my filter, or will two sponges with the biomedia be good?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....so here's my question .... i am wondering if i should get two penguin 350's or two emperor 400's or one of each for my new 72 gal. bowfront? :heart

462163[/snapback]

Hey Emily,

That is really personal preference. I like the Penguin 350's better than the Emperor 400's, but I am sure other like the Emperors better. The Penguins will give you 700 gph, while the Emperors will provide you with 800 gph. It appears to me (and I may be wrong) that the Penguins have a larger media chamber, so you will greatly benefit from adding additional media.

Good luck with whatever choice you make, both are good filters :)

.....Should I be using floss in my filter, or will two sponges with the biomedia be good?

462663[/snapback]

Hey Dreamgoddess,

I personally like filter floss because it traps a lot of fine debirs, and will help polish the water. The draw back of filter floss is that it should be changed weekly.

On the flip side, two sponges will offer very good debris filtration and provide a lot of room for benefical bacteria to grow.

Good luck :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'll go with the two sponges. Thanks for all the help! My fish thank you too!! :heart

Edited by Dreamgoddess

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks FGFG... :heart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice article!! :)

I do have one question tho... I have an aquaclear filter for a tropical tank, but I don't want to deal with the little package of carbon unless I need it. Is it ok to just leave the bio-max and sponge in there? Or should I fill the space with something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nice article!! :)

I do have one question tho... I have an aquaclear filter for a tropical tank, but I don't want to deal with the little package of carbon unless I need it. Is it ok to just leave the bio-max and sponge in there? Or should I fill the space with something else?

462847[/snapback]

You can just fill it with bio or sponge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I figured this was a good spot to put this.

When buying bio media, you can get a much better deal when you buy in larger quantities. I am a price searcher and so far Hagen's Aquaclear Bio inserts are really the cheapest option for a brand name.

This is a good page to see what I mean

http://www.petsolutions.com/AquaClear+Filt...C-P-All-P-.aspx

I have seen repeated postings on many boards that simply say you cannot have too much good bio filtration in the tank. So, if you have the space, fill it with what you can.

I am in the process of setting up another tank and went to vvvv to pick up some more stuff and checking prices I found that if I bought the smaller sizes of foam, say for a 30 gallon which is about 2" high, 3" wide and 3 1/2" inches long, I would pay around $3.00...or, I could buy the 10" long 4x4 HUGE 110 gallon sponge for just over $5. You get literally about 5 times the amount . So which do I want to spend.....$15 for 5 small, or $5 something for the same? Also, this 110 size is perfect to create sponge filters and such and can be cut with a craft knife to fit whatever size you need.

Same thing with the Biomax.

The 20 gallon size is about $2.00 and just a couple of ounces..or, you can pick up the 110 size and get 2 packages, and almost a pound for $7.00. The bags can be cut open or they can be smooshed to fit anywhere. Once again, buying the small ones by weight you would have to buy about 7 packages = $14 or so, and this one pack costs about $7.00.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...