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90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:45 pm

I setup a 90g tank 2 weeks ago, in it there is a mix of mbuna and haps, 22 total, sizes are from 2-4"inches.
The filters i am running are 2 aquaclear 110's, thats it, the media in them, are the original sponges, poly fill and the original ceramic rings. So far after 2 weeks, i havent really seen the water VERY clear, its been mostly milky, and clear at times but not consistently. I have done about 4 water changes so far.

Do i need more filtration or will the 2 AC 110 be enough for this tank/stock?

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:13 pm

It sounds like it is a bacterial bloom which is common in newer tanks.

Has this tank only had fish in it for 2 weeks? I wasn't sure if that was what you meant when you said 'so far after 2 weeks'.

How did you cycle the tank before you added fish? If you can, post your test results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Did you add all the fish within a short amount of time?

You may be just fine with the two AC 110 filters as long as they are serviced regularly. However, if this is a brand new setup, wait before rinsing the filters unless they accumulate a lot of debris.

I'd love to hear more details of your tank and how you have it set up.

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:07 am

The tank was cycled since I was using it for other fish before I put the cichlids in, I had to move the tank so most of the water was drained and new with prime put in,the AC's 110 were put in new when I moved the cichlids. I first had 15 fish and just put in another 7, so total of 22 now. What media in what order is the best for the AC 110's? Do i need more filtration or am i good?

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:42 am

Can you post the tanks parameters? pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate? How often are you changing water, and how much is changed?

Those numbers will go a long way towards understanding if you have sufficient filtration.

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:22 am

afo1201 wrote:The tank was cycled since I was using it for other fish before I put the cichlids in, I had to move the tank so most of the water was drained and new with prime put in,the AC's 110 were put in new when I moved the cichlids. I first had 15 fish and just put in another 7, so total of 22 now. What media in what order is the best for the AC 110's? Do i need more filtration or am i good?


So, the filters were new when you set up the tank? And, you are using new, un-cycled media?

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:45 am

If you put the 110's in "new" when you put the cichlids in and didn't use the old media, you don't have a cycled tank.

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:48 am

What happened to the old media when you moved the tank? That is what should have gone into the two AC110s - the old existing media. Then you likely would have had no problems or very little problems.

I have 20 three and a half inch tropheus in a 90 gallon with two AC110s and the water is pretty much crystal clear. I do weekly 50% to 70% water changes.

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:08 pm

the 110's were put in brand new on the 90 tank, I used most of the water from previously so I thought that would do it. I just ordered an eheim pro 4+ 250 to help with filtration, thoughts?

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:39 am

afo1201 wrote:the 110's were put in brand new on the 90 tank, I used most of the water from previously so I thought that would do it. I just ordered an eheim pro 4+ 250 to help with filtration, thoughts?


The water itself doesn't make a cycled tank, the beneficial bacteria needs to be established in the filters. I'm not sure whether that's the problem with the clarity of the water though.

The canister will certainly help along with the 110's, it's a nice filter.

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:35 pm

checked a few days ago, all the levels are good, expect the nitrates were high, did a water change and just checked again today and nitrates are a bit high again, the water is still cloudy, I think there is something in the tank, water or fitlers causing this, thoughts on what i should do now? im thinking of doing the following and starting all over again.

- Drain the entire tank
- Put new substrate with live bacteria in it to speed up the cycle process
- Put brand new filter media in my filters (whatever bad is in them will go away)

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:47 pm

Please post your test results for ammonia, nitrate and nitrate, we need to know the numbers. Which brand and type of test kit are you using?

Do not change anything (except water changes as needed) at this time as that will just prolong things.

You could just add a bacteria supplement to the existing tank as it won't hurt anything though we don't know if it's needed until you post your test results.

Have you already added the Eheim pro 4+ 250 filter to this tank or did you change your mind?

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:00 pm

No, i havent added the eheim canister yet, you think that will help clear the tank up and keep the Nitrate down? What do you think i should do next? is the filter media the problem? is it dirty and keeps throwing it back to the tank?
I am using the API Freshwater master test kit
PH 8.2
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 20 ppm

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:42 pm

Assuming the tests were all done correctly, it looks as though your tank is cycled.

Did you put in new substrate when you set this tank up the last time ?

Asking because some substrates will cloud the water ... and can re-cloud the water even after they have cleared if they get stirred back up.

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:47 pm

No aquarium filter will keep the nitrate level down because as the filter draws in debris it gets broken down and accumulates increasing nitrates.

Thanks for posting the test results! It does seem that your tank is cycled based on zero ammonia and nitrite and a nitrate level of 20PPM. Test your tap water to see if you have a nitrate reading and post the results back here.

If your filter media appears dirty, you can take some aquarium water and place it in a bucket you use for aquarium related use and then swish your filter media to rinse any gunk or dirt off it.

IF you have the new Eheim filter and were already planning on using it on this tank, go ahead and install it. It will just add more filtration capacity to the tank as well more circulation.

I honestly think you are just experiencing a bacterial bloom which is common with newly set up tanks.

What substrate are you using in this tank? If it's an aragonite, coral or other carbonate based substrate, that may explain the cloudiness you are seeing.

Any chance you can post a pic of your tank set up?

Re: 90G Tank, is this enough filtration?

Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:59 pm

Yeah, i am planning to use the eheim filer soon, I used brand new substrate in the tank, I havent had time to install the eheim filter, so it will be running the 2 110's and the eheim, the sand i am using is the cheap imagitarium sand from petco, was thinking of also adding some eco complete cichlid substrate on the top of my sand to add more beneficial bacteria and help maintain the PH at high levels. Or should i possibly remove all the cheap sand and put in good argonite or eco complete substrate instead?
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