Need advice on filtration.

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Bmoturtleco

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May 29, 2019
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Let me start off by saying i have had fish tanks off and on for over 20 years. Continually for 10 years. I set up a 75 gallon tank with alot of plants. Two Aquaclear 110's with 2 filter max pre-filters each. Two preset heaters. Two pawfly micro bubblers. I am unfortunately overstocked due to not realizing how much black mollies breed. I also have a very large goldfish. Multiple types of tetras. Chinese algae eaters. A blue lobster. Various cory cats and other small catfish. I have about 50 to 60 fish in total. I know getting rid of alot of fish would be the easiest answer.
My main issue is the massive amount of clogging and gunk in the filter. I am changing jobs and won't be home for almost 2 months. I need a way to alow my filters to flow and be somewhat stable for that time.
I am think of switching the filter media to only a combination of seachem matrix and purigen. No sponge other than the pre filters. I would like to know yalls oppinons and advice on the best way to keep my tank alive while im gone. I have n no one to look after it (other than feeding) for that time.
If there is a better way then this please let me know.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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a prefilter is more likely to clog than the media in the filter.

if you want low maintenance, look at a mattenfilter, or a sponge filter.

if they get that dirty, that quickly, work out why, and do something about that. My guess would be that it's your eclectic mix of stock
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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With the bio load you have going on in that tank, any filter is going to clog unless you drastically reduce the stocking level, do large water changes along with gravel vacs several times per week and feed lightly with quality food and only a few days a week

What is your current water change schedule and amount changed?
 

Bmoturtleco

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Original poster
May 29, 2019
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I don't do water changes. I only top off. I know it is unconventional but i have another tank that proves it works. It is a 10 gallon with a giant piece of anubias nana and about 10 neon tetras. I have a Fluval c3, a preset heater, and a small airstone. I did not have to touch, feed, clean, or change the filters for over 5yrs. Its water parameters are always spot on and the water is clear and free of oder. I was trying to replicate that in my 75 but so far to no avail.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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The problem that you are likely missing will be what you cannot test for.


can you test for, say, hormones that are released into the water?

You stock is not compatible, does not need the same conditions, and if you think that a goldfish is going to produce as little waste as 10 neon tetras, then I apologize to tell you that it will not.

if you can find someone who has kept such an overstocked tank, and not needed to change any water, please let everyone know.

I have no idea how dry your house is, or how many gallons you could be expected to lose in 2 months, nor what you expect to top off the water with.


I've given my suggestion as to how to filter, especially if you are not planning to lower your stock levels. But I strongly suggest that you rethink your strategy, right now I can onlt expect that your fish are going to survive unattended... I surely wouldn't consider it living.
 

Bmoturtleco

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Original poster
May 29, 2019
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I know that goldfish are very messy. I originally got it to control duckweed. It never ate it so i just worked hard at scooping it out and got it under control.

I never planned to have this many fish. When i bought the 4 black mollies i had no idea that they would breed so much so fast. I planned my tank to have an over abundance of filtration and a very light fish load. So i could focus mainly on the plants. But as with most plans life happens.

The goldfish is a 100% my bad situation.

As far as topping off my tank. I typically add about 2 or 3 gallons a month. Depending on what level i keep it at.

I know i have too many fish but trying to find someone to take them in the next few weeks is proving to be harder than i thought. I don't want to just dump them in a pond or the trash. I would like to find them a good home.

I do appreciate yalls input and knowledge on this matter. Thats why these forums are here us for us to all learn.

I have attached some pics for futher insight. My plant load is a little light. I have more plants going in soon about 50 or so more.

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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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yeah. change water, vacuum out organic waste. your plant load is low enough and slow growing that it's going to make little difference.

in short, your filters are getting blocked with the waste that isn't being removed from your aquarium any other way. Something has to give.

the amount of crud is growing faster than it's removed, and only seems to be removed when your filter gets clogged up.

if testing your water, give exact values, not just 'spot on';

get a second opinion from a pet store just in case there's an issue with your test kit,

read the Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad to see what it takes to keep an aquarium in equilibrium without changing water.. (in short low bioload, high level of plants)

Read up on old tank syndrome, you're on your way there, if not there already.
 

the loach

AC Members
Aug 6, 2018
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Get the goldfish out. It's not compatible but also it has the mass /waste as all of your mollies combined. Put more plants in there, and sell or give away part of those mollies, your filter won't clog as fast and you won't have as much trouble being away for 2 months.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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I haven't seen that many mollies in one tank at a fish store!

Absolutely incredible that tank is hanging in there without EVER having a water change. Nitrates are probably over range what a test kit could measure. Eventually the pH will crash in this tank. It's basic chemistry and will happen continuing on this path.
 

Bmoturtleco

Registered Member
Original poster
May 29, 2019
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Sadly my new job fell thru so i wont have the time away. I found someone to take the goldfish and the black mollies. I added more plants as well. I will keep yall updated on the progress.
 
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