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auqua genie


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This popped up on another forum and after looking at the manufacturer's site, I'm not really sure how much I'd trust it. The issue for me is the marketing.

There is enough information on the site to indicate that the people are well researched, but it is also done in a way that is designed to market to beginners and people who keep fish (as opposed to fishkeepers, who understand cycling and bioload etc), and that is not really a filter for beginners who, on the whole tend to buy really small tanks and then overstock with random fish with high waste output.

In order for it to work the tank turnover has got to be pretty minimal, otherwise it would just dislodge the debris from the marbles (I hope they are rough ceramic or something, and not glass, couldn't find details on that). because of this, the unit has minimal pull which is probably why they suggest that gravel is an outdated substrate and to use sand. The information on that is a bit patchy, some of it is great, and some of it is missing. I don't have a problem with sand, but untouched and unmoved sand compacts giving greater incidence of sulphur gas build-up and providing less oxygenated areas in which the beneficial bacteria could live. They say that this filter means that you never have to gravel vac again, and I couldn't see anywhere that suggested a maximum depth of sand or suggestions to periodically stir it. You lose the increased biofiltration that standard sized gravel can give, and I can see why they've said to ditch it, but properly maintained gravel bed would make a tank much more stable than undisturbed sand.

Anyway, that aside, the big problem IMO is that you are disturbing the filter media every week for maintenance. Seeing as the substrate would only be providing minimal biofiltration, a majority of the colonies are in that box. I just can't see that shaking them up once a week is a wise plan, especially given that most people who would be using it would have the stocking way above what it could handle and wouldn't spot a mini-cycle or know how to deal with it.

And an annoying thing for me, but it doesn't do fine particulate matter. I can't cope with filters that can't polish the water at least a little bit :lol:

It DOES enforce water changes though, which is great!

I don't know, I love the concept (have been trying to come up with a convenient cleaning system for under UGF plates for ages and that is very similar to what was in my head!) but the marketing is what worries me. It seems like it is being pitched as a replacement for internal power filters and HOBs, and I really don't think it is up to the task. It would be blooming fantastic in little office tanks that run on those $2 corner box filters though, and would beat the pants of an under-maintained UGF. Would probably be pretty swish for understocked display tanks too. If they improved the marketing angle, I'd be kissing their boots.

It'll be interesting to see how it plays in the market.

And yes, what a revolting green! Clear (if the marbles are dark coloured) or black!

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They show them in other colours, but there's no choice when you order... :lol:

An air driven filter is at odds with a planted tank, because it'll drive the Co2 out of the water... but I run bubbles in my tanks, and the plants work fine... the 'theory' behind the filter equates to the sand, as by their reckoning there won't be waste getting into the sand for bacteria to form anaerobic pockets... as they recommend only floating food be given to the fish, (and your bottom feeders eat *what* exactly) that takes food out of the equation - so *all* fish poo must get drawn into the filter???

I don't mind, though... I want one, it can go in the cube... I'm willing to be a guinea pig, and test the water every day... I too hope those marbles aren't 'marbles', although the bubble wall would support a good colony of bacteria on almost any surface... ultimately, filter maintenance takes a small amount of the time that I do water changes in - less than 5 mins on the 60L at work to break open the filter, rinse the media in the hang on, and one cartridge of the Otto too, and put 'em all back together... but backwashing *still* looks easier... :lol:

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my mum wanted me to order one straight away because of my back - from that perspective it IS very inviting.

but i put my fish before myself and i gave mum the same reasons cal gave for not trusting them yet. mum had no idea and she used to keep a LOT of tropical fish (back then though i don't think sand was used very often as a substrate), so it doesn't really have much info about it to help people who aren't as serious about their fish and are just keep them because they're pretty or relaxing.

i just wish they had a power filter type with that cleaning system attached to it :( but hey, give them time and they may manage it yet!

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I'm also pretty sure its not a new invention, i have seen them for sale on Ebay, i forget where (whether american or australian ebay , and i dont believe it to be an Australian invention, isnt that the point of the show? I have trouble understanding the benefits when the price doesnt match the product something that is airdriven should not be $50 especially when a decent air pump costs >$20 i could buy a cannister for that price.

aesthetics usually plays a part in design as well.. also if in a planted tank it would not provide enough flow, apparently there is a good discussion on the perth cichlid forum.

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