Help for AqAdvisor - Online Aquarium Calculator Tool


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Aquarium Filter Selection

AqAdvisor.com allows users to specify any number of aquarium filters for their specific aquarium tanks.
The simplest way to use this feature is to select one of the pre-defined filters. Most of the well-known filters should be on the list already but if it isn't there, you can leave a feedback in the AqAdvisor.com forum. If it makes sense, they too, will be included in the list. If your filter is not defined as one of the pre-defined filters, then you can select "User Defined" item. This will allow you to specify the aquarium filter capacity yourself, which means you can easily abuse it as well. The capacity is measured in US Gallons(gUS) by default. If you are displaying in Litres(L), then you must specify the capacity in Litres. Note that the application requires the filtration capacity, not flow rate (see below).

Press "Update" button once filter(s) have been selected.

Once at least one filter has been selected, AqAdvisor.com will report you with your total filtration in %. This is the amount of filtration you have in relation to your fish bioload. You will find that changing tank dimension will not change this % number, but it will change if you add or remove species from your selection.

Some people likes to use the water flow rate (Gallons per hour as an example). I personally don't like this measurement. Different companies have different philosophy behind their filtration technology. If you look at Eheim canister filters, they are known to be high quality (but expensive) filters, and many experienced hobbyists use them for many many years without issues. If you look at their filtration capacity, they look nice. But if you look at their flow rate, they are somewhat subpar compare to other manufacturers. In their case, they chose to use media which are more suitable for slower water flow which allows more time for bacteria to convert harmful chemicals back to lesser ones. Contrary to this, some other manufacturers go the opposite extreme where they go with the fastest possible water flow rate. Looks impressive, but it may not be as efficient as what you think! AqAdvisor.com will take into account all these factors so that you can focus more on your tropical fish selections.

Display only suitable species

When this button is pressed, the tropical fish species selection list will exclude all species that do not meet the size requirement of your aquarium. i.e. any species that require a larger tank than the one you have specified will not be displayed. It is useful to narrow down the list so that you only focus on the species you can accomodate for your aquarium tank size. Note that the button toggles between "Display only suitable species" and "Display all species". As the name suggests, pressing "Display all species" will once again, list all species regardless of their space requirements.

Search

This feature should be one of the most frequently used feature of AqAdvisor.com.

It helps you look for species you want to select much more quickly than manually seeking through the list of species, which is pretty long. If you only know the scientific name, it's even more troublesome to find the right species on the list without leveraging this feature. It works by performing a sub-string search on every species in AqAdvisor.com's tropical fish database.

Examples:

  • Search string "Cory" will return all species that contain the word "Cory". The search is not case sensitive so "Cory" would return the same set of results as you would for "cory". It will look for "cory" both in common names and in scientiic names. This is a good way to look for certain corydoras species quickly.

  • Search string "ana" will return species like Banana Loach and Silver Arowana. Note that both of these species contain the word "ana".

  • Once you found the species you want, add it to your selection, clear Search String, then do Narrow Search again to go back to the full list.

    Generate Image

    If you click on this link, it will produce an image of your fish stock choices along with the stock %. This feature was implemented to help you communicate with others on message boards. You can copy the URL of the resulting image, and paste to the places where image URLs are expected. Although it looks like an image, it is not. The script on the server generates this image dynamically on the fly! This was done so that if AqAdvisor.com refines stock % algorithm in the future, this "image" will also benefit from it. Think of it as a living image that can always take advantage of the latest version of the algorithms on the server.

    Removing some or all of the selected species

    The button can be used in two ways:

  • Select one of the selected species, then press "Remove" button - this will remove this species from the selected list regardless of how many were selected before. It is not necessary to specify how many you want to remove if you want to remove all of them.

  • Select one of the selected species, specify a number in the quantity box just above "Remove" button then press "Remove" button. This will allow you to remove partial selections. So if you selected 6 cory catfishes but want to remove just 1 of them, this is how you would do it.

  • Filtration Capacity

    If you specify at least one filter, AqAdvisor.com will calculate filtration capacity for you. This number is calculated based on the actual filtration capacity of your filter(s) and amount of bioload present in your tank (assuming all your species are fully grown up). If you add more fish in your tank, this number will go down. If you add more filters (or upgrade to a more powerful filter), this number will go up. If this number stays above 100%, your setup is in a good shape. If this number drops to below 100%, you should think about either adding or upgrading your filters. You may notice that AqAdvisor.com is somewhat conservative when it comes to filtration capacities. Internally, AqAdvisor.com uses only 65% of the manufacturer recommended capacities.

    So what is the reason for this?

    All manufacturers are very generous when it comes to quoting filtration capacities for their filters. This is no exception whether they are well known or lesser known brands. It is possible to push your setup all the way to their quoted limit, but I'd highly advise against doing this. Settling on 65% is based on years of experiences. If you follow this "rule", you will not regret it.

    Why take a chance?

    Juvenile Size mode

    I've received a lot of complaints that their tanks are not overstocked because their species are not fully grown up yet. This is true, but most species will eventually grow up to their maximum potential size hence it makes sense to plan ahead instead of ending up with highly overstocked setup at the end. This feature has been implemented so that you can test your current setup and also forsee what kind of bioload, filtration capacity and water changes you will have to face once they are fully grown up.

    Go to Juvenile Mode, and enter your species including sizes. If your species is fully grown up, then you can leave the size field blank - AqAdvisor will use the appropriate size. Once all species are entered, you can flip back and forth between Juvenile Mode and Adult Mode. All % numbers will also update automatically hence you will be able to compare between now and when all species are fully grown up.

    This feature is somewhat experimental and I am still looking for some feedback in terms of accuracy of the % numbers.