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I just measured my actual ltr/hour on my Tetra ex700 ...
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2013.04.28(Sun)7:59    Post subject: I just measured my actual ltr/hour on my Tetra ex700 ... Reply with quote

I just measured my actual throughput of my Tetratec ex700 filter. Which is, as the name suggests a 700 liter per hour filter. It took my 1 liter bottle 16 seconds to be filled up by the filter output.

That means the actual throughput is 225 liter per hour. The filter is relatively clean (3 weeks). I do have a co2 atomizer hooked on the output. Whatever the reason it is performing far below par.

My aquarium is a RIO 180 (liters).

My questions:
1) Is this acceptable for a rio180? (my guess is absolutely no)
2) I have some issues with the aquarium, and am wondering if they might be caused by a poor performing filter.. so what might be the consequences of a 225litre per hour pump on a 180litre aquarium?
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ZacAdam
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.04.28(Sun)22:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's not really enough information here to tell for sure. My experience and intuition tells me that no, most likely, that's not nearly enough circulation for your tank - yes, that may be the cause of your problems (which are?).

1) Is it planted? A heavily-planted tank can get away with much lower rates of turnover. I take it from the presence of a co2 atomizer that it is. Can that atomizer be moved to another location? The presence of gas in the lines of canister filters (which I understand that model to be) can be a detriment to the overall flow rate.

2) What species of fish do you have? Certain species need higher oxygenation rates than others, and certain species also appreciate a higher current and can even become disoriented, stressed, and otherwise unhealthy without it.

3) How large are the fish?

With a 180, taking a guess, I can assume you're planted and with smaller fish present, and not goldfish, at that. You're ideally shooting for a flow rate on the order of 360-480 per hour, all the way up to the full 700 you'd expect from that model of filter.

Try clearing the lines with a pipe/tube brush, relocating the atomizer, and see if that improves the flow rate. If the ex700 has an accessible impeller, clean around that as well.

I'm not familiar with Tetratec's products so I can't vouch for the ease of that last part.

Generally though, you are looking for a much higher flow rate.

Edit: From what I'm reading, this is a common problem with the whole tetratec line, probably due to various case shape problems I'm too lazy/arrogant/inexperienced in fluid dynamics to diagnose.

Edit 2: If you're hackish, you might be able to more cheaply solve the problem by powering the canister/augmenting it with some kind of inline pump.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2013.04.29(Mon)2:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pump ratings usually only count under optimum conditions - no media and no height differential however your's does sound rather low.

Why not put the excellent Juwel box back in?
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2013.04.30(Tue)6:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I kept is specifically vague as not to guide to a certain problem.
I would say my fish population is on the crowded side of good 5 large fish( ~3 inches) 6 smaller fish (swordtails) and an army of red fire shrimp I stopped counting after I was at 30 that I could see.. so there must be at least double or triple that.

My problems are actually algae related. When I dose nutrients the plants are doing very well, but algae does too well for my taste as well. After 4 days the glass already has accumulated a coating of green that I would like to remove already. I've had times where I could do two weeks without thinking I need to clean it now.

Also when the plants are grown a bit too much I notice cold and warm patches in the water suggesting the circulation is blocked by the large plants.. if warmth cannot travel I suppose nutrients can't either.

The atomizer sites on the exhaust of the filter, I would say the only other place it could go to is to another filter / pump. There is no air in the system, I make sure by tilting the canister and shaking it gently until I can hear no more air going through. Its also as clean as I can keep it (cleaned it 3 weeks ago including hoses and impeller)

Inline pumps don't seem to be very cheap solutions, a better option would be to place an extra filter or upgrade the current one. This feels like it should be overkill for an 180 liter.

None mentioned that algae may be caused by the (too) low flow rate, which was kind of what I was hoping to make the decision to upgrade the filter easier. So maybe the algae problem is from another source.
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ZacAdam
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.04.30(Tue)8:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going go blame both the poor circulation caused by the larger plants, and your bio-load. Depending on the species of your "large fish" (I'm having a hard time thinking of fish that large that are safe to keep with Swords anyway), they could be putting out quite a bit of nitro all on their own, never mind your army of shrimp.

You definitely need a higher flow rate. You might also want to consider reducing the amount of ferts you use until the problem is properly corrected. Did you drill your tank, or is it possible to move the intake and output so that they aren't blocked so badly by your larger plants?

Is the atomizer on the inside or the outside of the exhaust? If it's on the inside, there's air in your system whether shaking the canister tells you there is or not - around and above the atomizer. In general, though, most of the reviews I've seen have been trashing that filter. You're better off with a new one anyway.

No-one mentioned algae because you didn't mention you were having a problem. Algae growth can (and often is) be directly attributed to the bio-load in a tank and how well that nitrogen cycle is being handled. The last stage of the cycle (that can be completed in a tank, anyway) is one of the fertilizers used by plants. Possible solutions include:

1. Snails, otocinculus, or similar working fish.
2. Adding a few faster growing plants, keeping them well-fertilized and well-lit. (This seems counter-intuitive, I know.)
3. Upgrading the lighting system
4. Upgrading the filtration system
5. Keeping an ample supply of algae pads around.
6: Edited secret option - water changes. Often and heavily.

Also, this is all assuming it's green algae. If it's brown, that's too bad - you've pretty much got to wait it out. Common problem with new fish tanks.
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2013.05.01(Wed)12:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bio load is probably on the biggish side but shouldn't be that bad?

- 1 red tailed shark
- 3 Kongo tetra's
- 2 armored catfish (not sure of the English name)
- 50+ fire shrimp
- 6 almost adult sword tails
- and probably too many snails somewhere as well

I'm dosing CO2 keeping the pH at around 7.0 (from a 7.8 pH from the tap) which when I last calculated is a correct PPM dose.

Intake and outtake can be moved, but I wouldn't want to.. I don't want them in plain view.

I'm not sure what you mean by inside or outside of the exhaust, the atomizer is installed by cutting the exhaust tube and connecting the atomizer in between. It should lower the flow rate, I just never thought it would lower it THIS much.

Lighting: I upgraded my lighting from 2xt8 30watt to 2x t5 39 watt. I'm not upgrading that again. It should be sufficient.
..
- What are algae pads?

Water changes.. I'm doing a 30% water change weekly (try to at least) by vacuuming the ground.. I get a lot of nasty black water (this can't all be fish waste?). I was aiming for water changes every 2 weeks, which should not be impossible with a high tech and decent lighting setup.

So for me upgrading the lighting is a no-go, and option 6 seems like a symptom fighter. I don't want to fight the system.. I want a better equilibrium I guess.

Most algae is green, I got a liiittle bit of brown slimy string algae, but that may be due to my poor maintenance (waited 2 weeks a couple of times in the last few months).

As for the plants: Video of aquarium in current state (ps the red tailed shark has some white spots, I'm yet to determine if it's Ich or if he just hurt himself a bit too much on the gravel, other fish don't have it)

In your opinion would a bigger filter reduce my problems?
Or are there just too many fish in the tank for any filter to handle? (I have seen at least thrice the amount of fish in aquariums only 1.5x bigger which were doing just fine)
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ZacAdam
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada

PostPosted: 2013.05.01(Wed)19:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your bio load itself is fine. A FASTER filter, more than a bigger one, is the most likely fix.

Your lighting sounds ample, so that wouldn't help with your algae problem either.

I would recommend replacing the filter with anything other than a tetratec product.
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2013.05.03(Fri)9:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to ponder if I'm going to upgrade my old filter to a 1200 version or if I should just place an extra 700 filter next to it.

Thanks for the help ZacAdam!
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