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Old 08-08-2011, 02:50 PM   #1 
Findlay
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Filter on/off schedule

I was wondering - in an effort to save electricity... and still care for my fishies properly...

Does anyone do any kind of filter on/off schedule?

I was thinking that maybe this would work:
on, during the day... and off at night.
How would this affect water changes?

BTW, both of my tanks are 10 gal, heated, with (a few) live plants.

I am trying to get the hang of allllllll the info and know-how out there, I really appreciate all the amazing feedback I've gotten so far from this site.
Thank you all!
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:36 PM   #2 
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The problem with turning off the filter for extended length of time is that the beneficial bacteria can die and with this death/decomp it creates ammonia and when you turn the filter back on you could be flooding the tank with ammonia and other byproducts that are not healthy for the tank....

Beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle that colonize on/in the filter media and on the surface areas in the filter itself need an oxygen supply to survive and once that supply of oxygen is cut off....they die....it usually takes about 3 hours to start to have any affect and the longer they are without oxygen the more die..generally within 6h....90% are dead....

Since you have live plants-depending on the number, species and growth state and based on the stocking in the tank.....you could remove the filter all together or if you did turn of off per your schedule...be sure to dump the water and rinse the filter media before you turn it back on and increase the water changes to twice weekly....1-50% with vacuum that you would be doing on a regular basis anyway and add a second weekly 50% water only to be on the safe side since you might see some ammonia spike or...if you have water test kit...base the second weekly 50% water only on test results of ammonia 0.25ppm or greater.....
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:37 PM   #3 
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Wow, I'm glad I asked!

I am new to live plants. I have 4 water wisteria and 2 amazon sword plants in one tank, and only 1 amazon sword in my other.

It would be nice to go filter-less but I think I'll just suck it up and keep the filter in and running full time! ... at least until I can get more benfitical plants.

Thank you for the info :)
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #4 
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You have a good start...water wisteria are a great stem plant and easy to propagate from just a leaf.....you could have enough of them in no time to go filter-less in a lightly stocked tank...be aware the sword will out grow a 10gal and they have massive root system too.....one good thing...they can be slow to grow and fairly easy to keep tidy and somewhat small with limited food and heavy pruning.....

What kind of lights are you using and photoperiod.....
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:26 PM   #5 
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I am using daylight bulbs, I think 6500k? I need to double check.
Since the plants are fairly new, I've been giving 3-4hrs per day. I've read that's the way to avoid a possible algae outbreak?

What can I do to prevent "tank busting" from the amazon sword? If that's even possible
I'm thinking of adding some water sprite and anacharis, I hear they are good for ammonia control
Thanks again for your help!
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:51 PM   #6 
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Some algae is normal and expected and it can be a sign of a healthy tank as well....it does have to be controlled to a degree.....with live plants...its a balance....the plants have to out-compete algae for light and nutrients......good that you have 6500k....as long as the bulb is 1yr old or less it should work fine to grow the species of plants you have, however, you need to increase the photoperiod to 10h/day and if you start to see algae increase to 12h/day....this is so the plants can out-compete the algae from the active plant growth....2-3h is not enough time for proper photosynthesis.......its just a matter of time before the plants start to decline...

Sword plants-be sure and keep the crown ever so slightly above the substrate and pinch old, larger leaves as needed to help keep it smaller and more compact......the only thing you can do for massive roots is to remove the plant and cut the roots....this can take a year or more depending on food, lighting...etc.....

Water wisteria-pinch a few of the healthy leaves off and let them float and you should start to see roots forming withing a week or so on a 10-12h photoperiod.....

Algae-like I stated....its normal and expected in a container of water......algae spores are in the air......weekly manual removal with regular weekly water changes for control...most algae when controlled- can make the tank look more natural, soften edges and create micro-nutrients/organism that feed on the algae that the fish will graze on for added nutrition.......
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:00 PM   #7 
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Got it! Thanks and thanks again!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:25 AM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
The problem with turning off the filter for extended length of time is that the beneficial bacteria can die and with this death/decomp it creates ammonia and when you turn the filter back on you could be flooding the tank with ammonia and other byproducts that are not healthy for the tank....

Beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle that colonize on/in the filter media and on the surface areas in the filter itself need an oxygen supply to survive and once that supply of oxygen is cut off....they die....it usually takes about 3 hours to start to have any affect and the longer they are without oxygen the more die..generally within 6h....90% are dead....

Since you have live plants-depending on the number, species and growth state and based on the stocking in the tank.....you could remove the filter all together or if you did turn of off per your schedule...be sure to dump the water and rinse the filter media before you turn it back on and increase the water changes to twice weekly....1-50% with vacuum that you would be doing on a regular basis anyway and add a second weekly 50% water only to be on the safe side since you might see some ammonia spike or...if you have water test kit...base the second weekly 50% water only on test results of ammonia 0.25ppm or greater.....
does this also apply to tanks that are hard to cycle or not big enough to carry on ie 2.5g?
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:30 AM   #9 
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Originally Posted by nel3 View Post
does this also apply to tanks that are hard to cycle or not big enough to carry on ie 2.5g?
If you are referring to death of nitrifying bacteria...yes....
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:55 AM   #10 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
If you are referring to death of nitrifying bacteria...yes....
thanky you, can i shut off my filter in the 2.5g? i dont plan to cycle it but i did 50wc after 3days. not too sure of the WC shcedul atm but im thinking another 50-75wc in the next 2-3 days when 25ppm ammonia shows up. the fish is a new AB betta so i prefer to avoid 100wc for the first 2 weeks or so. what would be a WC schedule if i attempt to cycle the 2.5g?
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