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Author Topic: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank  (Read 3647 times)
Megzie
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Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« on: July 08, 2011, 07:55:35 PM »

Hello!

I am brand new to this forum and was motivated to join after having so many issues with water quality (and, thus, illness) with my goldfish (2 fancies @ 6" each, 1 comet, and 1 pleco in a 55 gallon "tall" tank).

I made the mistake of purchasing a used aquarium, the Marineland Eclipse model, which includes the filter/bio-wheel in the hood, and I would never recommend that product to anyone. Not only does it not handle the waste of my goldfish, but the hood has a very poor design that causes major leakage (so I am now also in the market for a new stand)...

In turn, I am searching for a replacement filtration system, likely canister filter, that comes with great recommendations for providing excellent water quality despite "messy" goldfish. I have researched so many canister filters over the past 4 hours and my head is spinning... does anyone have any suggestions or could anyone point me in the right direction to help decipher what to go with? I was hoping to keep the cost at around $150...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Oops, I didn't finish the sizes of the fish, in case it matters... the two fancies are 6" each (which includes their tails), the comet is about 7", and the pleco is about 5-6"
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 08:24:13 PM by Megzie » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 04:15:07 AM »

An external canister filter would be perfect for your tank Smiley Grab something that is really strong, that pumps at least 550gph! The bigger, the better.
I'm using an Eheim classic 17 filter, which has about 6 liters of space for filter media (about 2 gallons), and filter media is just what your goldfish need the most. So choose a filter with lots of space for biological filter media.

If necessary, you can also buy a smaller filter to keep inside the tank, just to back it up and for even more bio filtration. I use two filters on my tank and... well, better safe than sorry Wink
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Megzie
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 11:37:44 AM »

Thank you so much Nossie for your assistance!

I will look into the Eheim classic 17 further (and/or 550 gph turnover) as well as consider the backup filter as well. I look forward to having good success to report!

Thank you again!
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Nossie
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 01:35:29 PM »

No problem Smiley But check first that it's efficient enough! That's why I need the secondary filter, this is the biggest I can get around here and it's still not strong enough for my tank on its own :/ If I could, I'd get an even bigger filter.
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Lintini
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 04:07:16 PM »

Hey Megzie

I have the same tank as you and OMG I HATE IT! It cannot handle the waste of 1 adult oscar and is constantly overflowing unless I clean off the filter media every other day. It has ruined my carpet!! This tank did fine when I had it as saltwater and had small fish. But it cannot handle large fish at all.

I will be interested to see how your canister filter works with it. Cheers!
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musuoka
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2011, 03:21:30 AM »

I think I really learned from this site a lot of important information and hope this site will be more to do better.
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Summer Time
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 09:28:00 PM »

I agree with Nossie's recommendation. 

But just so you have more filters to compare with ---- I have a 75 gallon aquarium, with a Fluval 405 and Aqua Clear 110, and they're great.  They were both recommended to me by this forum.  Neither one is very noisy and they are both pretty easy to clean.  I'm still kind of new tho, so I'm still trying to keep up with the regular maintenance on them.  It's pretty easy, but I have to have a calendar just so I know when to change what.   Grin

I wish the Fluval had a handle built onto the side of it so that I could hold on to something when I'm dumping it out, but they haven't added that to the design yet.   Smiley

Have fun with it!
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BronzieTheMoor
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 04:54:49 PM »

I don't know if Whispers are made big enough, but I love mine! It is very, very, very quiet! Smiley
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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2011, 09:18:42 PM »

Hello,
I know I am new to the forum but I am not new to fish keeping.
I started out back in '93 when I went to work at a large local pet store in the aquarium department. I then moved to manage the aquarium department at Petsmart for a few years and then on to Petco. I also did freelance aquarium set up and maintenance for several years. I have kept everything from goldfish to salt water reef tanks including a set up of locally caught wild perch that I had for about two years.

With that said... here is my input.
Don't even waste your time with a hang on back filter on a 55 gallon with goldfish. Go canister.

The Eheim 2217 "Classic 17" is an excellent filter. It is very strong, media is customizable, ceramic impeller shaft and very quiet. It however has two major weaknesses. It is hard to get restarted after cleaning (no self priming) and the clips are notorious for breaking. I had one of these in service for 15 years.
Fluval 5 series (105,305, 405 etc.) have major issues with water bypassing. Too much of the water does not get filtered.

The newer Eheims are good as they have priming, the Marineland canisters are good too... but expensive.

There are some new companies emerging from China these days that have some cheap, effective and easy to use canisters.
Take this one for example.

Apparently I can't post a link as I am new... so you will have to Google it. Just search for "Aquatop". Amazon sells them.

I was reluctant to buy one but I found that some of the guys in our local aquarium club were using them, and liked them. So I bought one.
I have the CF-500UV filtering my 150 gallon (heavy stocked) African cichlid tank. It works great! Very powerful, very quiet, easy to set up, UV sterilizer and it has more than enough room in it for bio media. I mean A LOT OF ROOM!

Just be warned, it is huge.

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Nossie
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 02:22:23 PM »

Dragonii:: Awesome with someone that has some more technical knowledge when it comes to fish-keeping! Many of us know pretty much anything needed about illness and whatnot, but filters and lighting... no xD

Welcome to the forum Smiley
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nightcrawler
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2011, 06:06:12 PM »

The Eheim 2217 "Classic  or even the 2215 would work well with the 55 gallon tank as the 2215 is rated for a 90 gallon tank as mention not self priming but if you use a python you can do a quick cheat just disconnect the intake hose (make sure you have a bucket handy ) holdiing the intake to the canister start a syphon on the python place the intake to the hose fill the cannister when full stop the python and reconnect the intake line. As for the clips they look pretty flimsy I have not broke mine yet but it you pull them down straight and make sure you are lined up on reconnects they should last a while. ( I have only had mine a year)
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Ron H
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2011, 09:11:36 PM »

thanks for the post Dragonii, a wealth of information and inside knowledge...  Smiley cheers > Ron
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Summer Time
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 09:22:20 PM »

Dragonii, welcome to the forum and thanks for the filter information. You certainly have some great experience and knowledge. I am a new to having a large aquarium, but I do like the filters I have. They do a great job and keep the water very clear. My water tests always turn out great.

There is a slight fishy smell I notice when I clean the tank, but I think that's because I haven't been changing the foam. I am on top of that now and hopefully that will take care of it. I also keep up with my water changes and the tank is understocked, so that may help my filters do a better job.
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fantailer
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2011, 04:55:59 PM »

We need to squash that lighting and filter info into our brain.
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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2011, 10:29:43 AM »

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There is a slight fishy smell I notice when I clean the tank, but I think that's because I haven't been changing the foam. I am on top of that now and hopefully that will take care of it. I also keep up with my water changes and the tank is understocked, so that may help my filters do a better job.

Fishy smell is caused by phenol. Phenol is aromatic organic compound that collects in your aquarium water. It's a metabolic byproduct of your aquarium life. Decaying plant matter, fish waste, uneaten food etc.
Activated carbon is the best tool to fight phenol build up. What filters are you using and do you use carbon in them?

Now when it comes to buying carbon, always buy the pelleted type. Avoid the cheap stuff that looks like rock chips. The difference is that when they make the pellets they actually grind the carbon into a powder and then form it into pellets. This allows for a more porous structure that lets the water pass through it giving it more surface area for contact.

Do a water change and make sure you vacuum the gravel well. Add a good amount of a quality activated carbon to your filters and keep in mind that it will become exhausted pretty quickly. How much you can add depends on you filters.

Let me know what brand/model filter you are using and I will let you know if I know of any mods or set up recommendations for them.
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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2011, 10:47:33 AM »

By the way, I have an idea for building a new tank for goldfish that I would love to share with all of you and get some input on, but apparently this site has a rule against adding links until you make 25 post. So I may be making a lot of comments over the next few days. lol
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Summer Time
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2011, 10:01:29 PM »

I have a Fluval 405 canister, and Aqua Clear 110 on a 75 gal tank.  The AC 110 really churns out the water, it's great.

I have carbon, but haven't been changing it as often as I should.  Same for the foam.  I have been buying the Fluval and AC brand carbon that they recommend in the manuals.  I've changed the AC 110 carbon more often just because I can do it without removing the filter from the tank, the Fluval I have procrastinated.

The carbon in the Fluval was left in there too long that it was accumulating small plant pieces on the mesh bag, and so was my foam. 

I have always done my water changes on a weekly basis, 40-45%.  I always vacuum up all the stuff I can see on the bottom and floating around, and sometimes get the turkey baster to get those small heavy pieces that the vacuum won't get (I think they're small pieces of carbon that got thru the mesh bag).

I now have a great stock of carbon, foam, and biomax at home so I can stay on top of the schedule.  I guess when I replenish, I'll be looking for the pellet form that you mentioned.

I have only one small plant right now, and there's usually no leftovers when I feed them.

I was asking about changing carbon on another thread:  do you change all carbon at one time, or 1/2 every two weeks?  Topic called "automatic medicine dispenser" -- that'll help you reach your 25 posts.. Smiley

Thanks!
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fantailer
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2011, 06:24:25 AM »

Never get the Aqueon 50 gallon its like a waterfall in our house.
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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2011, 01:50:39 PM »

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I have a Fluval 405 canister, and Aqua Clear 110 on a 75 gal tank.  The AC 110 really churns out the water, it's great.

I have carbon, but haven't been changing it as often as I should.  Same for the foam.  I have been buying the Fluval and AC brand carbon that they recommend in the manuals.  I've changed the AC 110 carbon more often just because I can do it without removing the filter from the tank, the Fluval I have procrastinated.

The carbon in the Fluval was left in there too long that it was accumulating small plant pieces on the mesh bag, and so was my foam. 

I have always done my water changes on a weekly basis, 40-45%.  I always vacuum up all the stuff I can see on the bottom and floating around, and sometimes get the turkey baster to get those small heavy pieces that the vacuum won't get (I think they're small pieces of carbon that got thru the mesh bag).

I now have a great stock of carbon, foam, and biomax at home so I can stay on top of the schedule.  I guess when I replenish, I'll be looking for the pellet form that you mentioned.

I have only one small plant right now, and there's usually no leftovers when I feed them.

I was asking about changing carbon on another thread:  do you change all carbon at one time, or 1/2 every two weeks?  Topic called "automatic medicine dispenser" -- that'll help you reach your 25 posts.. Smiley

Thanks!

Aqua Clears are good. Been around forever.

Using the bags of carbon made for them are just fine if that's what you want to do. You may find it more cost efficient to buy lose carbon and a refillable bag. Then you can use the same carbon in both filters. The pellet carbon will allow better water flow.

I change mine all at once. But that's because I run two canister filters on my big tank. One with mechanical and carbon, the other with mechanical and bio media. But my big tank is African Cichlids, not goldfish. Since you have two filters, both with carbon, rotate the carbon change.
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Summer Time
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2011, 09:46:51 PM »

That's a good idea, thanks for the details!

I'll check out different forms of carbon.  I've been buying online, finding the best prices, it's much cheaper than getting it at the store.

One thing about the AC 110 is that it has a lever to adjust the water flow from full to less, but I don't notice a difference either way.  I also read the consumer reviews on amazon.com and other people say the same thing.  It's ok for my fish, but might be too much current for some other types of fish.

I'm still new at filter maintenance, but I've studied a lot and come a LLOOOONNNNGGGG way in the past year, thanks to this forum.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 09:53:06 PM by Summer Time » Logged
Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2011, 10:10:56 AM »

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That's a good idea, thanks for the details!

I'll check out different forms of carbon.  I've been buying online, finding the best prices, it's much cheaper than getting it at the store.

One thing about the AC 110 is that it has a lever to adjust the water flow from full to less, but I don't notice a difference either way.  I also read the consumer reviews on amazon.com and other people say the same thing.  It's ok for my fish, but might be too much current for some other types of fish.

I'm still new at filter maintenance, but I've studied a lot and come a LLOOOONNNNGGGG way in the past year, thanks to this forum.

lol, yeah well, the flow control was never their strong point. What they had going for them was the huge sponge filter and the open container design. The older versions did not include a bag of bio media, I think the new ones do. What we used to do was cut the sponge block in half and then clean and rotate the top and lower piece of the sponge. That way you didn't cause too much damage to the bacteria bed. If yours has the bag of bio tubes it's not that much of a concern. Just remember to clean everything in tank water.
As Nossie said, make sure you clean the impeller and the impeller housing on your filters, as well as the tubes. There are brushes for cleaning the tubes. I would post a link but I am still shy of the 25 needed post to do so.
So you will have to Google it for yourself.

Penn Plax Twin Filter Spring Brush


Also, I don't know what you use to vacuum your tank, but if you get one of these you will never regret it. You just hook it to a hose/faucet and turn the water on. It will suck the water out of the tank. Flip the valve and it will fill it back up.
I first invested in one because I had 9 tanks ranging in size from 30 to 100 gallons. Maintenance was a killer. Once I bought one I swore I would never own a tank over 20 gallons without having one again.

Aqueon Water Changer


This "no links until you have 25 post" thing is ridiculous. I guess I will be posting just anything that I can think of to get my numbers up. Please forgive me if you see some senseless post from me. lol

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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2011, 10:13:21 AM »

P.S.  Make sure the water is close in temperature when using that water changing hose.  Smiley
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nightcrawler
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2011, 06:17:21 PM »

Dragonii is the vaccum you are refering to the python? That is a great one for vaccuming your tanks same idea hooks up to a faucet with a plastic version of an old waterbed filler/ drainer and you  can add what ever length of hose you require to make it over to your tank.

on the plus side it looks like you are close to the 25 posts you need.    Grin
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Summer Time
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2011, 11:32:45 PM »

I have an Aqueon water changer and it's great, although I've had a few mishaps with it and ended up with water all over the walls and table, etc.  I worry about filling the tank with it and getting the water conditioner in with it, but I just put in the conditioner a little at a time as it's filling.

I've also read about problems with pressurized water, but it doesn't seem to bother my fish.

I always set it to the right temperature when filling, checking with a thermometer.

Both of my filters have the Biomax media.  Sounds like I need to clean my filter tubes, I haven't done that yet.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 11:34:48 PM by Summer Time » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2011, 02:49:33 AM »

I would probably need to clean the hoses for my filter sometime soon too... >>
But I still didn't figure out how D:
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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2011, 09:10:59 AM »

Nightcrawler, yep, same thing as a Python.

Summer Time, keep the pressure low. If you have the faucet turned on too high it can build up too much pressure. You will feel the hose expand when you close the valve. Be quick to be safe. When you shut the return valve move quickly to minimize the pressure build up. Best thing is to shut it off at the faucet and only use the valve by the vacuum tube to control flow when siphoning. Takes a while to figure out the best methods for using the things, but you love em once you do. I cringe at the idea of buckets now.

Nossie, there are a couple of ways to clean those pesky hoses. One would be the brush that I was referring to before. The other would be to make your own brush. Weed eater string, piece of a scouring pad or cloth and one of those compressible metal rings to clamp the weed eater string together.
Another method that I have used for long hoses... stuff a piece of wet paper towel in one end of the hose, connect it to garden hose and then open the valve on the garden hose full blast. It will push the paper towel through and scrub the inside of the hose.
It's basically the same thing they do in the oil industry to clean their pipelines. They call it "pigging" because the plug that they use is called a "pig".  Make several passes like this. That works great for cleaning the Aqueon/Python hoses.
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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2011, 09:11:57 AM »

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on the plus side it looks like you are close to the 25 posts you need.    Grin

lol, that will be reached this morning. Smiley
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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2011, 09:12:23 AM »

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on the plus side it looks like you are close to the 25 posts you need.    Grin

lol, that will be reached this morning. Smiley

See, I told you. Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2011, 01:39:59 PM »

Hmm, I should probably try brushing them through somehow... >> I don't have a garden hose available here :'c
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Dragonii
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Re: Canister filter recommendations for 55 gallon goldfish tank
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2011, 01:59:40 PM »

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Hmm, I should probably try brushing them through somehow... >> I don't have a garden hose available here :'c

How long are your hoses?
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