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Help Needed on air pump - new to fish tanks
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raineybc
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Joined: 25 Oct 2010

PostPosted: 2010.10.25(Mon)11:56    Post subject: Help Needed on air pump - new to fish tanks Reply with quote

Hi All,
My wife and I just moved into a new house where we inherited a 50 gallon freshwater tank equipped with a built in under gravel air pumping system.

Forgive my elementary language, but I'm very new to this. We have a Powerhead 402 on the side that blows air out into the tank and a Powerhead 802 on the side that I guess somehow pumps air or water through the system. Guessing here.

I just spent the last couple hours cleaning the tank, so I had the water virtually emptied from the tank, then refilled it completely. When I turned eveything back on, the pump was no longer blowing bubbles into the water. Any idea why?

Also note, each of these units has levers on it for adjusting air flow I think. I messed with the 402 that blows air into the water and may not have set it back correctly, but it was already not working anyways. Any help would be appreciated. The only fish in the tank now is one of those sucker fish algae eaters.
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katienaha
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Joined: 18 Dec 2009
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: 2010.10.25(Mon)12:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not entirely sure, I don't know much about powerheads, I don't use them.

Check all the seals, sometimes when I turn my HOB filter off, it takes some priming to get it to work again.

Welcome to the forum, and enjoy your inheritance!

I hope you used water conditioner when you refilled the tank. Can you take pictures of some of your equipment and the fish? It will likely help us help you better.

Just take the picture, upload to photobucket (or similar) and copy and paste the link into a post with the IMG button clicked before and after the link.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: PA, USA

PostPosted: 2010.10.25(Mon)12:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the powerhead not working at all or working and no air bubbles?

If its not working completly when plugged in sometimes the impellar sticks. Many times it just takes a little rattle or shake of the pump under water to get it started again. Other times I've had to take the cover off underwater and give the impellar a little nudge.

Could also be the ceramic shaft holding the impellar centered is broke. Then you would need a new impellar.
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raineybc
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Joined: 25 Oct 2010

PostPosted: 2010.10.25(Mon)12:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

I messed with seals a bit and that didn't do anything. the pump units both sat pretty loosely on the air tubes to begin with and it worked fine.

I'm thinking maybe it has to do with emptrying the tank and perhaps the pressure in the line?!? There is also a whisper 30-60 air filter with the tank and I know the water tube on that has to be filled with water then placed very quickly into the filtering unit so it maintains the pressure. Maybe the air pump is the same way?? Maybe not.

Well if nothing else, the filter waterfall generates some air bubbles, so hopefully that is enough for the little guy until I get this thing running again.
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raineybc
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Joined: 25 Oct 2010

PostPosted: 2010.10.25(Mon)12:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sos,
the pump appears to be on (it is warm) but no air coming out. actually, now that I think of it, when I first plugged it back in after the water refill, it was working for a few seconds, but I didn't have the water level high enough,so the air was just pumping out into the open air and not the water. then I went to run more water in, so I turned it back off again. once water was high enough, I plugged back and and then no air bubbles.

should the whole units (both sides) be submerged?
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raineybc
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Joined: 25 Oct 2010

PostPosted: 2010.10.25(Mon)12:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

back in action! well, who said the old whack it with a hammer trick doesn't work??!! I just whacked the blower pump a handfull of times and eureka! thanks for the help!

I'll be checking out the site more for some other topics as we add fish. we're planning on heading to the store tomorrow. Any suggestions?
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katienaha
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Joined: 18 Dec 2009
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: 2010.10.25(Mon)15:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest you buy a master test kit FIRST, before any fish at all.

should test pH, nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia. this you can use to be sure your tank is properly cycled before adding any fish.

as for stocking, do some research! ask questions around fish you like the looks of. once we know your water parameters, it would be easier to find the best stocking for you.

Some people think I am totally mad, because in Northern british columbia, I have a pH of 8 in my city, and that is near perfect for african cichlids, yet, I really wish I could do a south american tank, where the pH is about 6.1
Many people fight to make their pH 8 to suit african cichlids better. Not that you can't keep fish in different pH, but you can't expect a perfect lifespan nor breeding behaviours.

take a peek through the gallery, and see if you can spot anything you like Smile and then start asking questions, we are here to help you stock your tank effectively!
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2010.10.26(Tue)0:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would actually ditch the undergravel filter and get a canister instead. Wink

What are the measurements of the tank?
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raineybc
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Joined: 25 Oct 2010

PostPosted: 2010.10.28(Thu)9:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

nik,
we have approx a 55 gallon tank. wny do you suggest the canister?

katienaha,
wow, I have a lot of catching up on the knowledge front. we did condition the water beforehand we scoped out the different fish b/c wanted to avoid the cichlids a little too aggressive. we also considered range of temperature tolerances. picked up a few fancy goldfish to start. we'll see how it develops. thanks for the continued help!
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katienaha
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Joined: 18 Dec 2009
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: 2010.10.28(Thu)9:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

canisters have a large filtration capacity, and you only need to clean them every 6 months or so (maybe with goldfish a bit more often, these are very messy fish, about one goldfish can live in a 30g tank, so I would think 3 should be plenty for your 55g).

Canister filters sometimes are a bit tricky to clean, but, due to the cleaning schedule, many people prefer to be inconvenienced once in a while.
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