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Old 12-02-2010, 10:42 PM   #1 
Vin
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Setting up a previously used tank

Hi,

I've recently purchased a used 20gallon tank to move my betta into. The tank came with several pieces of used equipment that I have a few questions about. First, the tank came with an AquaClear 300 (now known as a 70). The flow rate even at it's lowest setting seems pretty high to me. Has anyone had success with this filter and a betta, or should I get something smaller?

Next, the light came with a white light tube and a black light tube. I haven't seen many references for black lights in fish tanks, so I'm left wondering what the advantage/disadvantage of either light would be.

Last, the tank came with a used bucket of sand. The people selling the tank said it was their daughter's equipment (who has since moved out of the house leaving her stuff behind) and they had no idea of the history of the stuff. Is the sand safe to use? Should I clean it before use? And on the topic of cleaning, is there anything special I should do when cleaning the tank itself, not knowing its history?

thanks!
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:16 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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When I get used tank and all of mine are used...lol......I like to set them up outside or in an area that is flat and safe so that I can fill them up to do the 24 hour leak test.....and let me tell ya......I learned the hard way about this....lol......often when a tank sits empty after it has been used the seals can dry and crack or just being moved-one little twist and a seal can crack.......what a mess.......

When I fill them up I like to use a diluted bleach...20:1 roughly.....I hook up the filter and run it along with the diluted bleach and leak test to make sure its working okay too
I then rinse really good and scrub-if it has any mineral/calcium deposits on it I will use vinegar and a razor blade and lot of elbow grease.......

I like the aqua clear HOB filter but they can be a bit strong for a betta and they seem to be really noisy too, but easy to work on and I like the foam blocks you use for media and it has room for other type of media too

As far as the sand.....it depends on what was in the tank-if it was used for fish or some other critter and with the black light it makes you think it may have had a lizard or snake in it...but not sure...I have never used black light on fresh water tank but have heard them used with saltwater tanks...but then it had a filter so that make you think fish....lol..........personally...I would toss it and use fresh/new sand or gravel....depending on what you like........
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:43 AM   #3 
Vin
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I've had it sitting full in a bathtub for a few days now, no visible leaks yet. I would've put it outside, but the water would've froze this time of year where I live :)

I ran the filter and thought it seemed a bit strong. But I suppose I could keep it off to the side of the tank and if he doesn't like the current he can just stay away from it...

I haven't checked the price of sand, but I'm sure it isn't much, so I'll just toss that.

Thanks for lending your knowledge.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:44 PM   #4 
Vin
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We plugged in the AquaClear filter and found it was just too loud. Plus, hob filter meant we couldn't have the tank close to the wall. Went out and bought a Fluval U2 filter. The betta didn't seem to fond of the water flow when he was first put in the tank, but seems to have gotten used to it now. Are there certain behaviours to watch for that indicate he might not be happy with the filter I've chosen?
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:14 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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So true about the aquaclear filters they can be loud-they are good filter...but as you found out....lol....

Sometimes they will adapt to the water flow and sometimes they never do...it can take some a while just to build the muscle mass needed to swim in the current especially the older ones that have spent their whole life in a small container and some can even be terrified with all the space and do nothing but hide or get really stressed from the space alone not just the water flow/filter and yet others regardless of age will thrive.....
I don't know anything about the filter you have-the design-but if it can be moved to one side of the tank so you will have a sorta dead space for the first few weeks if he seems to be struggling with the flow until he can adapt may help...I would watch for stress related problems like hiding, becoming lethargic, poor appetite, torn/shredded fins...struggling in general, inactive kind of behavior as long as he is swimming and responding to you and begging for food etc.....time, clean water of the correct temp and good nutrition

Love to see some pics.....
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:44 PM   #6 
Vin
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He definitely seemed to show some trouble on the first day with the flow of the filter, but he got over it within a day or so. I actually thought he was dead :( at one point because he was motionless against the intake of the filter, but when I leaned in to look closer he swam away quickly. So maybe he just liked the feeling?? The filter has three different types of flow outputs, as well as options for reducing the flow rate, so that was what made me go for this one. The flow type I'm using is recommended in the manual for providing an "even, gentle flow for planted aquariums". Water comes out of several holes in a vertical spray bar, and doesn't really agitate the water too much. Like you recommended, I put it off-centre so there is some dead space.

Here's how the setup looks so far. I'm waiting on some live plants from my brother in law who's got a pretty good aquarium set up himself:
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:26 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Nice job...your tank looks great...so pretty...and live plant soon that will be really nice......sounds like you got it figured out with the filter...it must be a canister type and those are really good for planted tanks and Betta..plus not so loud...laffs.....

I think some do like the feel of the intake....maybe it massages them some.....I had some that like it too....as long as they can get off of it by themselves and it doesn't tear the fins...more power to em...lol......
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