Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What You Need - Part 2 of 5

Yesterday, I talked about the size tank needed to keep freshwater angelfish. Experts recommend five gallons per fish. I recommend ten gallons per fish.

Angelfish are very particular about their water. They feel changes in the water quality much more easily than tetras, guppies or bettas do.

So it's very important to have a great filter.

I don't know of a pet store that doesn't sell the standard, hang-on filters. I started with two Marineland filters on my 70-gallon tank (I have seven tanks at the present time). Each filter was rated for up to 60 gallons but because angelfish can place a heavy load on the system I wanted to have a bit more than I needed instead of just barely adequate. These filters are easy to install and operate. It takes just minutes and about once a week, simply rinse out the filter media inside. Once every 4-6 weeks, replace the filter.

The hang-on filters can be noisy, however. And since this tank is in the great room, it meant having to turn up the television just a bit louder. The white noise was always there. Angels also do not like a lot of current because of their long fins, especially if you have the veil-tail variety.

I eventually purchased a commercial Eheim Professional 3e external canister filter (shown at right.)

Setup is not for the faint of heart. It took a full day for me to set up the first one and about three hours to set up another one a year later on a 60-gallon tank. However, once it is installed, it is a breeze to maintain. It cuts down on water changes, it keeps the water incredibly clean and clear, and it is completely noiseless.

I clean the filter media about once every two months. Directions recommend once a month but because I have my tanks understocked, every two months is all it takes.

Tomorrow: how often to change the water and how best to do it.