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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y'all I am new to the forum and did a quick search for my filter model and I didn't see any posts that spoke specifically about this brand or model.

I have a Small Aqueon Quiet Flow filter on a 20 gallon tank, is it a good filter for a 20 gallon tank with 7 - 10 cichlids?

I have been running about .05 ammonia levels for almost 2 months now, the fish are not showing any signs of stress but I feel like by now the ammonia levels should be closer to .01 or .00.

I suppose the test strips I use could not be as accurate as I thought they'd be but I don't want to blame it on those. Could it be that though?

Also, is it common to see a spike after a filter cartridge change?

Thanks for the help...
 

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I haven't used the filter, but found a pretty good instructional video on their site. I like the design. If just swapping out the filter cartridge and leaving what they call the 'bioholster' and 'diffuser grid', the plastic pieces, then you shouldn't see spikes. What I'd suggest is that you find a filter pad that you can cut to fit and use in place of the cartridge they sell. You can then simply remove and rinse this pad in tank water and reuse it several times before it wears out. This will help to ensure that you maintain adequate biofiltration after filter cleanings. It'll save you money as well. But, regardless, if you leave the plastic alone during cleanings, and just swap out the cartridge you shouldn't see spikes in an established tank. But, yours is still fairly new, so it's possible that you might. I typically wouldn't have done a filter cleaning on this tank yet. I wait for 45-60 days after cycle before touching the filter to try to avoid spikes. If you can't go that long, then cut back on the feeding a bit. It's just part of breaking in a new tank.

Another thing to check is your pH and KH. A low pH could inhibit the nitrifying bacteria.

Also, do you have chloramine in your tap, and what conditioner/dechlorinator do you use? If chloramine, then the conditioner breaks the chlorine/ammonia bond, and could result in a slight ammonia reading after a water change.

Not sure if you're really meaning .5 ammonia, as .05 would most certainly be beyond most, if not all, hobbyist test kits and would be no cause for concern at all. There will always be a very minscule level of ammonia in any tank as fish are pretty much constantly excreting ammonia, and it's not converted instantly. But, hobbyist test kits won't reveal that.

Assuming you mean .5, it's not normal to have a continously low ammonia level like that, but I think I'd confirm that before reacting to it. Either get the API liquid test or have a local shop test your water or test a known 0 source like a bottle of spring water with your strips to see if you're getting a false positive.

That filter should be good for a 20, at least biofiltration wise. If it's too small, you'd see inadequate circulation and/or indadequate mechanical filtration, but bio would still be good.

Regarding your fish load, which cichlids do you have? 7-10 sounds like a lot for a 20, but depends on the cichlids. What size are they?

And welcome to the forum, btw.
 

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My son's 20 gallon aqueon kit came with this filter. I have shoved a bag of AquaClear BioMax 50 behind the carbon pad for now. My thought is I'll transition away from that carbon pad after a while and just run the BioMax 50 and quilt batting instead of those charcoal filter pads.

It is a great filter and very quiet. It is the quietest hang on back filter I own.

It also restarts itself very easily after a large water change since the motor is submersed in the tank (unlike aquaclears and other designs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow... Thank you all for the descriptive help. Very nice of you!

I am going to show my newbieness right now to explain what fish I have in my tank... :D

I have:
black and yellow striped
Electric purple almost blue no marks
black with blue stripes on body and on forhead
electric yellow with only a black stripe on top fin
bright orange with black spots all over and some tint of blue in fins
zebra looking white with black strips.
solid dark blue body with bright yellow fins

This will be fun.. How about yall help me identify them too.. Here is a youtube clip of my tank taken with my flip cam...

 

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Tank is too small for the fish you have. Either return them and look at some Tanganyikan shell dwellers or something else for that size tank, or upgrade the fish you have to a 55 gallon minimum. They're going to become stressed in that size tank and it will lead to sickness and/or deaths.
Also, the species need sorting out, but deal with the first problem first.
Sorry to be a party pooper but we'll help get you on your way. :wink:
 
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