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Old 09-10-2013, 07:57 PM   #1 
finnfinnfriend
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Filtration emergency! Help me choose...

So it seems that the filtration in my 10 gallon tank does not have enough surface area to support the amount of bacteria that need to grow, So I need to get a sponge filter quick and cheap. This time, I am not concerned with brands like I usually am, so it's between these two cheap ones:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aquarium-Bio...item3f1b460b46

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Biochemical-...item4855980a74

Which one do you think would be better? Anyone have experience with both types?

Also, are the cheap air pumps from China safe? Or should I steer clear?

Thanks guys and gals....
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:25 PM   #2 
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What's happening that makes you feel like you need more filtration?
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:26 PM   #3 
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What's happening that makes you feel like you need more filtration?
Nitrites have been staying the same while the ammonia continues to rise...:/
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:31 PM   #4 
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Rising (versus constant) ammonia levels would indicate a deficit. What kind of filter do you have and what's in it? Too, are there still just 6 neons in the tank?
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:34 PM   #5 
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I have a sponge filter in my 20 long like the one in your 2nd link and I'm happy with it. It's run by a Whisper air pump.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:37 PM   #6 
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Rising (versus constant) ammonia levels would indicate a deficit. What kind of filter do you have and what's in it? Too, are there still just 6 neons in the tank?
I have a Top Fin 10 filter and there is some sponge and "biomax" (the ceramic media) in there now.
ETA: Oh yeah there are still just the neons.....Sorry I just realized that this isn't technically a betta question
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:46 PM   #7 
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eh, betta or neon, it's all the same.

I have used topfin10's on my quarantine tanks in years past. Quite honestly, there is absolutely no reason why the filter cannot handle the bioload of 6 neons. I have quarantined groups of fish with a much larger bioload than that. I know it's not exactly what you want to hear, but I think there's something else causing the problem that needs to be addressed. Do you have decaying plant matter in the tank or something? Is the filter baffled at all?
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:46 PM   #8 
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I have a sponge filter in my 20 long like the one in your 2nd link and I'm happy with it. It's run by a Whisper air pump.
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Thanks. I am leaning towards that one :)
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:51 PM   #9 
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eh, betta or neon, it's all the same.

I have used topfin10's on my quarantine tanks in years past. Quite honestly, there is absolutely no reason why the filter cannot handle the bioload of 6 neons. I have quarantined groups of fish with a much larger bioload than that. I know it's not exactly what you want to hear, but I think there's something else causing the problem that needs to be addressed. Do you have decaying plant matter in the tank or something? Is the filter baffled at all?
I don't mind hearing that, I just want to fix the problem! I may just add a sponge filter for fun anyway...

The topfin does only fit a pretty small piece of sponge in there, and the bag of biomax made for the aquaclear 20. It doesn't seem like much to me, however, I am pleased with the design of the media box on the TopFin. How do we know how much surface area a given bioload needs anyway?

There are no live plants in the tank and the filter is not baffled.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:23 PM   #10 
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I'm not saying you shouldn't get a sponge filter, but if you need 2 filters on a 10 gallon tank then there's a problem. Which you already know. 6 neons is far from an inappropriate stocking level.

No plants and no flow restriction huh.... I think I would verify the readings with another test kit. Speaking of readings...what are you getting?

How do you know how much you need? If you're water tests show 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites, then you have enough. More exactly, you would have more than enough.

Filtration is a combination of 2 components - volume of media and turnover rate. This concept is best illustrated by comparing HOB to canister filters. Common wisdom is that HOBs should be 8-10x turnover rate while canisters should be 5-8x. The reason for this difference is volume of media. There is an enormous difference in volume of media between an HOB with a 300 gph flow rate versus a canister with 300 gph. As you know, the more real estate there is, the more bacteria can live there. However, the flow rate of the filter acts as a regulator of sorts. The larger volume of media in a canister allows for a lower flow rate from the filter. The flow rate determines the concentration of ammonia in the water that the filter must process. A canister can handle a lower flow rate because it can house enough bacteria to take care of the higher concentration of ammonia entering the filter. An HOB on the other hand needs a high turnover rate in order to keep the concentration of ammonia low, because it can only hold a minimal amount of media. That's just a quick rundown on the relationship between volume of media and turnover rate.
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