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Old 03-28-2013, 08:32 PM   #1 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Best type of filter for 10 gal tank

Hi there. I recently received a betta in a vase as a gift and bought a 10 gal tank kit in a hurry. It currently has an undergravel filter and an air pump designed for 20 gal tanks (both outlets are channelled to the diffuser). Point is, I'm dubious of the filter effectivity at removing suspended particles since the water is somewhat turbid.

A store owner recommended me a filter with a submersible pump attached just like the ones he has on his tanks, whose water is certainly crystal clear. Problem is, the bubbles are expelled to the side and I can imagine it generating a huge current within the aquarium. I have also seen cascade on sale although I haven't seen anyone working.

Which kind of filter do you recommend and which flow / capacity is required for 10 gal?
If I change the filter, do I have to start the nitrogen cycle all over again? My tank is about two weeks old.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:52 AM   #2 
InfiniteGlory's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Waxhaw, NC
It's a 50/50 split here on filters. Here is a little about what I have learned while being a member here.

Hang on back (HOB) filters
I have an adjustable flow HOB filter and love it. When I set my tank up I never used the charcoal filter and put in course filter foam instead. This helped set up lots of area for BB. Most people still use their charcoal filter but it has been known to remove chemicals that may be in use to treat diseases. So they have left it in past it's "shelf life" as a place for BB. To clean the filter all that needs to be done is to swish it around in a bowl of removed tank water to knock the big particles out. Never wash it as that will disrupt the cycle and never let it dry out completely either. Lots of articles around here in how to baffle the flow of both the intake and output of the unit. Each package will indicate the size the filter is designed for

Sponge Filters
this uses your stock air pump with a sponge at the bottom which serves as a breeding ground for BB. As the air rises up the tube it creates a small current of water which draws everything through the sponge. With your tank size most use two sponge filters for optimum BB growth. This route is less expensive since most sponge filters can be found online for around $5 US dollars. A inline flow control is recommeded so that the surface disruption from the bubbles can be controlled. So the size of your tank will help determine what size to purchase.

As for your cycle question once it is started you never want to change the filter. just rinse it out in old tank water during a water change.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida
For the cycle question: yes, you can switch filters, BUT you either are going to want to switch the old filter media over to the new filter (if it will fit) or run both filters simultaneously for a month. If the filter media won't fit, if you could use a sponge in the old one for a month and then switch the sponge over to the new filter, it should work, but its best just to keep the old media as it already will have the BB on it.

I've never heard good things about those under gravel filters or bad things about the sponge filters, besides that they don't work well in tanks larger than 10 gallons unless you have more than one.

There are also HOB filters and internal filters. Personally I have internal filters. They are pretty small but they go inside the tank unlike HOBs. I haven't had issues with them sucking fish in like the HOBs but the intake is a little harder to cover IMO. I have two adjustable ones that came with kits, the other ones had to be baffled. I would probably go with sponge filters if I could go back but I don't know if I'd go with an HOB.

Anyways, they work for their intended purpose, but the only ones I would 100% recommend are those adjustable tetra whisper ones, but they only come in those 5 gallon kits from Walmart, as far as I know.
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