I bought a second-hand 215l fish tank (L: 48", W:15", H:18") a couple of months ago which came with an old-style internal Fluval 4 filter (i.e not the "plus" version) - it also included gravel, a hood, lighting etc - basically everything to get started apart from fish & plants.
It's now all set up & planted with the filter running and has been left to cycle for a month but now I'm ready to add some fish.
I'm planning to keep just 3 Oranda's in this tank - from past experience I'm aware of how big these fish can get and I won't keep anymore than 3 (despite staff at my local fish store telling me I could keep 6+ Oranda's in this tank!).
My question is:-
Is the internal Fluval 4 going to be a good enough filter for a tank of this size, and perhaps more importantly will it be good enough for 3 Oranda's bearing in mind how polluting they can be? It's worth mentioning that the Oranda's will only be 1" - 2" from purchase.
I want to get this right first time and I've trawled through the internet relentlessly but I cannot find a definitive answer to this question and so I'm hoping to draw on the experience of you guys to help me out.
2 local fish stores both told me the Fluval 4 would be fine but then again they also told me that 6 Oranda's could live in my tank so I don't know what to believe!
In short, I think the answer is no, for the internal fluval. Trust your gut - you are right! Fancies, being poop machines, fair much better with external filtration. You should be looking to overfilter the tank by double ideally.
Have you been adding ammonia to the tank by the way, during this time?
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Thanks for your quick reply, my thoughts confirmed then.
Not wanting to put any pressure on you but what would you recommend as a good external filter for this setup? I've been looking at the Eheim's / Fluvals but I have been blown away by the amount of different models & features etc, if you know of any other good makes then please let me know.
I think the Eheim Professional 2226 looks a good bet, stating it's suitable for tanks up to 350l but based on what you've just said would you recommend I went for a filter rated for tanks around 500l?
I always wonder how filter companies can state "suitable for aquariums up to 350l" when they have no idea of what fish you're planning to stock? I can only assume they base those figures on low stocks of small, low polluting fish.
As for ammonia, no I haven't been adding any - should I be?
Homebase sell liquid ammonia in the cleaning section, add enough to read 2ppm to kick start. If it drops to less than this each day when you test, top it back up to the same level. Some days you add none, some days more, the whole process takes about 4-6 weeks. Keep a water reading diary, it helps to check the progress of the cycle
You'll need to test the tank water each day of course (API Freshwater Master Test Kit - about ?15 on Ebay, double in the shops but it lasts for over a year )
If the fluval had already undergone this process, you could have just simply moved the existing media into the new filter - just squidged it in. No loss of existing bacteria, just new room to colonise.
The cycle will commence as soon as you start to add the ammonia. As for the external, gosh, there is so much choice out there. Eheim are great, they get fab reviews here and I only have experience of these. A version, whichever one you choose eventually, given suited for 400 litres I would say, should be fine. Flow can be disrupted with spray bars etc if needs be
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Hi maccy_g - welcome to FK I'm not great on 'hardware' I must admit, my filters came with the tanks and I've just upgraded to the next size up of the same make so I've not got much experience of other models. Mine were Rena XP3 but I've just replaced them with the XP4 - it has a higher flow rate and more room for extra media. The XP3 would be fine for your tank, you can turn the flow down on the spray bar on both models but I think the XP4 could be a bit strong even so I've heard good things about the eheim filters though, also the fluval externals seem quite popular.
It's worth shopping around and looking on eBay - I got my XP4s new for ?100 each, much less than in the shops and many other websites
PS - I've moved this to coldwater instead of emergencies
I must admit I'd never heard of those filters you mentioned but I've had a look on EBay and have seen a few bargain Rena's so I may go for the XP3 you mentioned and then perhaps I can always upgrade to an Eheim further down the line when I have a bit more money.
I actually meant to put this topic in "coldwater" rather than emergencies and didn't know how to move it so thanks for that.
No worries maccy - nice to see someone who understands what goldies need to thrive There are XP3s on eBay quite often, I get alerts still from an old search I've not got round to deleting. You can pick them up for a reasonable price. If you don't get one that comes with media don't bother with the Rena media, it's expensive IMO. I use fluval media for ceramics and there is a seller on eBay who sells pre-cut sponges of the right density - I'll see if I can find the link if you are interested Filter floss/wool is best bought on a roll, I use pond stuff and cut to size, something like ?5 for a metre, lasts ages!
suey2 wrote: seller on eBay who sells pre-cut sponges of the right density - I'll see if I can find the link if you are interested Filter floss/wool is best bought on a roll, I use pond stuff and cut to size, something like ?5 for a metre, lasts ages!
I would be interested to know about the seller if you can still find him Suey, its always good to have lots of spares.