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Re: Plastic parts, Filter selection, Fluval problems

Roger Miller wrote:

> So, I've inventoried the synthetic materials in the tank, and I'm
> wondering if anyone has had problems, or knows of similar problems caused
> by any of these plastics:
>         Plastic components on a Rio powerhead and "Tronic" heater


Several of the saltwater guy I have talked to have had problems with the Rio suction cups dissolving over time.  That may be part of your problem.

Hallie Ray wrote:

> My filter options (other than buying something new) are a bio-ball
> trickle filter, a Magnum 350, and a Skilter 250.  The tank is a 40
> gallon breeder tank (36x18x16" high).
> I want to try the yeast/CO2 generator idea, and wonder if it would be
> reasonable to run the CO2 via an airstone placed into the fractionation
> chamber of the Skilter.  I had already modified it to be used that way
> with an air pump instead of the standard "venturi"; much quieter.
> My reasons for prefering to try the Skilter are that I dislike the noise
> of the trickle filter ("slurp,slurp" as the water goes down the drain)
> and the @#%@#!% that I'm compelled to utter as I try to get all the O
> rings and such set in the stupid Magnum.


While I've never heard of one being tried, the idea of using a Skilter venturi as a CO2 injection method is intriguing.  I know that skimmers don't work well in freshwater, but I can't see any reason that it wouldn't do an efficient job of dissolving CO2.  Please, however, take into account that I haven't' actually seen a Skilter in operation, so I don't know exactly how they work.  I think that as long as they provide adequate mechanical and biological filtration for your tank, it should work fine.

I think, however, that the filter I would choose is the wet/dry.  Assuming you can make a CO2 reactor efficient enough to keep up with the small amount to CO2 outgassed in the trickle chamber, this is your best filter, due to the facts that it has by far the most efficient biological filtration, and it will give you a place to put your heater and other assorted junk where its not visible.  Check out George Booth's website for more info on trickle filters and planted tanks.  It can be found at: www.frii.com/~booth/AquaticConcepts.  You can minimize the noise made by the drain by placing a piece of silicone hose inside it.  The hose should be as big as you can make it without impeding water flow.

> Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 16:16:14 +0800 (MYT)
> From: cchee at pc_jaring.my (Charlie Chee)
> Subject: Fluval303 Problem
> I am having a problem with my FLUVAL 303 in the midst of setting up a
> planted tank. I failed to get it working ie water coming out of the exhaust
> stem although the motor was working.
> According to the instructions in the manual (page 13), "Fully open both
> valves. Before final connection of exhaust assembly, air must be sucked
> from the exhaust hose. This will create a vacuum in the intake tube."
> I tried that. Is there a typo error? Any ideas will be appreciated.
> charlie

I have a Fluval 403, and have found that the best way to get the canister filled with aquarium water is to attach the intake tube, open both valves, and suck on the exhaust port before I attach the exhaust tube.  This starts the water siphoning into the canister.  Once water has flowed into the canister, you can close one of the valves on the intake side, allowing you to take as much time as you need to attach the exhaust hose.  Once the filter has filled with water, plug it in and it should blow the remaining air out.  If no water flows and you can hear the impeller rattling, turn the filter upside down.  This should submerge the impeller, and you can slowly turn the filter right side up, as the filter
exhausts the air trapped inside.  Once you have the filter primed and running, you can disconnect it at any time for cleaning without having to restart the siphon by unplugging it, turning all the valves off, then disconnecting it for cleaning.  After you reconnect the filter, open the valves in the direction of the water flow (open the intake valves, let the water flow for a second, then open the exhaust valves).  The filter should fill up completely with no problems.  Also, as a side note, I've found it _much_ easier to get the top of the filter off for cleaning if one of the valves is open to allow air to enter the canister.

Sorry, all for the long post, and I hope its been helpful...

Justin Collins,
in Bellingham, WA, where not only is it not raining, the sun is out!