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Thread: Fluval FX5 - air bubbles????

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Fluval FX5 - air bubbles????

    Hi!
    So, after 2 months of perfect functioning and crystal clear water, my Fluval FX5 began bleeding air bubbles. Very fine ones, those that look like dust. Very annoying. This filter is NOT connected to a skimmer.
    The bubbles appeared out of the blue.
    The truth be told, I didn't perform any service on the filter yet. The flow is excellent, though...
    Where is a senior bubble inspector when you need one?

    Is it a known issue. What could be a remedy?

    Val
    125g: Cyphotilapia frontosa
    72g BF: Labidochromis caeruleus, Iodotropheus sprengerae, Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli), Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos (Maingano), Metriaclima estherae

    "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne..." Geoffrey Chaucer
    "I wouldn't carry the son-of-a-bitch if it wasn't dangerous." Texas Ranger Charlie Miller

  2. #2
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    Default

    I'd get kicked out of the Eheim counsel if I owned a Fluval Val, but I sometimes see this on my Mag 350.

    Is there an air stone or power head near the inlet that may be causing bubbles to be sucked in?

    Have you moved/tilted the filter at all in the cabinet maybe causing the top to loosen up or a gasket to go askew? I sometimes see that when I man handle my 2217 from time to time.

    I would go ahead and do a light maintenance on the gaskets and make sure the seals on the hoses are still nice and tight. It sounds like something is sucking air somewhere.
    =========
    Been out of sight and out of (my) mind for a while. Thinking of getting another tank or 4 and rebuilding the fish room.
    =========
    check out my webpage, not fish related but a great way to kill some time! www.buenojoe.com

  3. #3
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    yep, and once the air gets trapped it typically requires a filter tear down to get things right again.
    "Cichlids aren't aggressive, they are territorial. Aggression is a response to inadequate territory for their breeding and feeding needs."

    "A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!"

    My Tanks

  4. #4
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    Thanks, friends.
    I assumed, I will start from service - the time is right (about 2 months, give or take a week).
    So, I serviced the filter and so far - no bubbles. If the clogging was the case, I think what I experienced was a degasing - I often see this effect at my laboratory bench. When I pippet liquids too fast, I am getting air bubbles in the pipett tip. When the flow rate exceeds some point, gases that are dissolved in liquid begin to separate. I found on line that if the filter is clogged, the powerful flow rate will lead to the same effect. Go figure...
    I hope that was my case, and not the impeller cavitation, as was reported on some forums.
    Val
    125g: Cyphotilapia frontosa
    72g BF: Labidochromis caeruleus, Iodotropheus sprengerae, Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli), Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos (Maingano), Metriaclima estherae

    "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne..." Geoffrey Chaucer
    "I wouldn't carry the son-of-a-bitch if it wasn't dangerous." Texas Ranger Charlie Miller

  5. #5
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    Huh?

    ...kidding...

    I read on an FX5 forum that when the black filter sponge gets clogged it causes micro bubbles as well.

    Eheim.

    Glad you got it worked out Val....gas and all.
    =========
    Been out of sight and out of (my) mind for a while. Thinking of getting another tank or 4 and rebuilding the fish room.
    =========
    check out my webpage, not fish related but a great way to kill some time! www.buenojoe.com

  6. #6
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    I actually don't have a black sponge there...
    My setup for the FX5 3 trays: prefilter rings in the top, "pillow stuffing" in the middle, polishing pad+bio media in the bottom. Some may say I am wasting the middle tray, and the bio-rings there would be better. Maybe... I still have two AC110s on the tank, fully loaded with bio-media. I don't think I am lacking biofiltration on this tank.
    But my cichlids are messy all right. I have to say, the pillow stuffing was DIRTY... I don't recycle it, I put some fresh one. Also, I had a custom cut polishing filter. That one was all seriously dirty, too. In retrospect, I learned it was a bad idea because it gets clogged very fast, much faster than the original manufacturer polishing pad. We'll see how soon do I get the bubbles this time. If it is a sign - time for service! - so be it...
    125g: Cyphotilapia frontosa
    72g BF: Labidochromis caeruleus, Iodotropheus sprengerae, Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli), Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos (Maingano), Metriaclima estherae

    "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne..." Geoffrey Chaucer
    "I wouldn't carry the son-of-a-bitch if it wasn't dangerous." Texas Ranger Charlie Miller

  7. #7
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    I can think of "far worse signs of service", so if thats the case that's a good deal.

    Are the bio/ceramic rings the first layer the water reaches? In my application (again an Eheim reference because I don't have a Fluval) the rings are nothing more than a way to trap large waste particles by creating several different paths for the water to take on the way through to the next stage. It's always been my assumption that the large waste should be trapped before reaching the bio layer.

    But like you said, the AC's should be doing the job in the bio filtering respects.
    =========
    Been out of sight and out of (my) mind for a while. Thinking of getting another tank or 4 and rebuilding the fish room.
    =========
    check out my webpage, not fish related but a great way to kill some time! www.buenojoe.com

  8. #8
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    Two months is a long time to wait, try rinsing your pre-filter once a week and see if that solves the problem (the ceramic rings that everyone calls a bio filter). You don't want that stuff taxing the biofilter anyway, plus it could be producing the gas.
    Here are my basics"
    1. Use carbon change it weekly 1 tbs per 10 gallons
    2. Treat & age water.
    3. Do 10% water changes at least once a week.
    4. Feed sparingly: no more than what the fish can consume in 30 seconds, most cichlids only need to be fed once per day if that.
    5. Don't overcrowd the tank
    6. Use a heater and a thermometer.
    7. Buy a multi test kit and track the ph and nitrates weekly.

  9. #9
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    Steve - no, if I read the manual right, the water hits my bio-rings only after it passes the pre-filter rings and the pillow stuffing. The flow is from the top to the bottom, unless I misread the manual badly.

    Fahaka - actually, it is a different kind of ceramic media. Prefilter ones are rather smooth, have little or no pores and indeed it isn't the best media for bacterial clolonies. In contrast, whatever I call bio-media is a very porous matrix (they do look like the former, but they are different) that supports bacterial growth. Bottom line, I have 2 kinds of ceramic rings in my filter.

    Val
    125g: Cyphotilapia frontosa
    72g BF: Labidochromis caeruleus, Iodotropheus sprengerae, Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli), Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos (Maingano), Metriaclima estherae

    "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne..." Geoffrey Chaucer
    "I wouldn't carry the son-of-a-bitch if it wasn't dangerous." Texas Ranger Charlie Miller

  10. #10
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    I want to talk a little bit about filtration basics here so bear with me. I know many of you know what I am saying but I want to be very clear about this to anyone who may stumble across this thread.

    Weather you are using a sponge, floss, rings, efimech, tumbler media, gravel, etc... as the first stage in your filter it is acting as a mechanical filter regardless of its intent from the manufacturer. This media should be cleaned thoroughly every week to prevent it from turning into a biofilter. You don't want your mechanical filter acting as a biofilter for several reasons.

    1. The mechanical filter is there to remove debris.
    2. Removing the debris regularly improves water quality.
    3. Culturing biofilter in mechanical filter, that should be cleaned regularly, means you destroy more biofilter when you clean.

    there are a 4,5 and 6 as well but they are too complex and not as relevant as the first three.

    The proper stacking in a three stage canister should look like this and an explanation to follow.

    flow----> mechanical--->biological--->chemical---flow--->


    Mechanical first removes large debris from the water. Clean it regularly to maintain water quality. This supercharges the biofilter by keeping it focused on metabolizing fish waste, not excess food or other debris.

    Biofilter immediately after the mechanical filter because even though there is mechanical in front of it, it will still have some debris in it, and you don't want to contaminate the chemical filter with debris that may diminish its effectiveness. Don't really mess with the biofilter. If it has noticeable debris in it squeez it a few times while submersed, in the tank that it is filtering, and that is all. It is the most important part of your tank.

    Last should be chemical because it will last longer and do more of the work that is intended to do. It can be argued that chemical filters should be in front of the biofilter to protect it from chemicals or toxins that can destroy it, but proper maintenance should be practiced to prevent those scenarios. If you are a novice reverse the last two until you are absolutely confident in your ability to not kill your biofilter.
    Here are my basics"
    1. Use carbon change it weekly 1 tbs per 10 gallons
    2. Treat & age water.
    3. Do 10% water changes at least once a week.
    4. Feed sparingly: no more than what the fish can consume in 30 seconds, most cichlids only need to be fed once per day if that.
    5. Don't overcrowd the tank
    6. Use a heater and a thermometer.
    7. Buy a multi test kit and track the ph and nitrates weekly.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorV View Post
    Steve - no, if I read the manual right, the water hits my bio-rings only after it passes the pre-filter rings and the pillow stuffing. The flow is from the top to the bottom, unless I misread the manual badly.

    In contrast, whatever I call bio-media is a very porous matrix (they do look like the former, but they are different) that supports bacterial growth. Bottom line, I have 2 kinds of ceramic rings in my filter.

    Val
    Val- Sounds about right.

    I would consider removing the layer of pillow foam in the center and replacing it with bio media unless you intend for your Fluval to be a polisher. I think as you said that is going to require more frequent service and kill the flow rate and overall convenience of a cannister filter (longer service intervals).

    I had one of my Eheims filled with nothing but coarse floss and clogged rather quickly. The mechanical rings seem to hold more debris and not hinder water flow.
    =========
    Been out of sight and out of (my) mind for a while. Thinking of getting another tank or 4 and rebuilding the fish room.
    =========
    check out my webpage, not fish related but a great way to kill some time! www.buenojoe.com

  12. #12
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    I keep a sponge over my intakes of my cannisters. I pack them only with biomedia. The sponge is cleaned weekly with my water changes. This way I dont have to open the cannisters weekly. It doernt look the best but I dont mind. The sponges also help keep sand out of the filters.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heyguy74 View Post
    I keep a sponge over my intakes of my cannisters. I pack them only with biomedia. The sponge is cleaned weekly with my water changes. This way I dont have to open the cannisters weekly. It doernt look the best but I dont mind. The sponges also help keep sand out of the filters.
    Yes I have done that before and I like the results...Tetra Phas filter sponges are nice.
    Here are my basics"
    1. Use carbon change it weekly 1 tbs per 10 gallons
    2. Treat & age water.
    3. Do 10% water changes at least once a week.
    4. Feed sparingly: no more than what the fish can consume in 30 seconds, most cichlids only need to be fed once per day if that.
    5. Don't overcrowd the tank
    6. Use a heater and a thermometer.
    7. Buy a multi test kit and track the ph and nitrates weekly.

  14. #14
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    Thanks guys, sounds like an excellent idea.
    Fahaka - what is this Tetra Phas thing? Any links on-line?
    I won't have any aesthetic issues because my intake on the back, behind a rock wall. No problem here.
    I am not looking forward to disassemble the sucker weekly...
    Val
    125g: Cyphotilapia frontosa
    72g BF: Labidochromis caeruleus, Iodotropheus sprengerae, Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei" (Msuli), Pseudotropheus cyaneorhabdos (Maingano), Metriaclima estherae

    "The lyfe so short, the craft so long to lerne..." Geoffrey Chaucer
    "I wouldn't carry the son-of-a-bitch if it wasn't dangerous." Texas Ranger Charlie Miller

  15. #15
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    Oct 2008
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    looks like tetra discontinued it...
    Here are my basics"
    1. Use carbon change it weekly 1 tbs per 10 gallons
    2. Treat & age water.
    3. Do 10% water changes at least once a week.
    4. Feed sparingly: no more than what the fish can consume in 30 seconds, most cichlids only need to be fed once per day if that.
    5. Don't overcrowd the tank
    6. Use a heater and a thermometer.
    7. Buy a multi test kit and track the ph and nitrates weekly.

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