STEP 1 - LOCATING YOUR NEW
Proper location is essential for the health and safety of your new
aquarium. Your Simplicity Plus Aquarium should be set up away from
direct sunlight to reduce unwanted algae growth. Also avoid heat sources
such as radiators and air conditioning exhausts.
Most homes with wall-to-wall carpeting use
"furring strips" along the walls underneath the carpet.
Placement of the aquarium stand on top of these strips will cause a
forward tilt and uneven water level in the aquarium. Your Simplicity
Plus Aquarium requires an even water level for proper performance.
Under no circumstances should a perimeter
support stand be used ( a stand with an open top). Use only solid top
stands. Use of a perimeter support stand will void your warranty.
STEP 2 - UNPACKING
After you have selected a location, carefully lift your Tenecor aquarium
out of the packing container and place it on a soft surface such as
carpeting. Larger sizes may require the assistance of a friend. Never
use knives or razors while unpacking.
Remove any objects from inside the tank. Do not
move your aquarium with any objects inside the tank.
STEP 3 - TANK SETUP
Gently rest your Simplicity Plus Aquarium on its back and remove the
protective paper from the bottom. Place the tank on top of the stand.
Make sure there is adequate clearance between the wall and the aquarium
for placement of the canopy, if one is to be used.
STEP 4 - FILTER SETUP
The integrated filtration system found in the Simplicity Plus is the
most advanced of its kind. Its performance is vastly superior to any
hang-on-the-back or undergravel system. As you will soon find out, there
is no need to drill holes , mount external pumps, skimmer boxes or
bulkhead fittings. Setup requires a fraction of the time of traditional
systems. The net result is a compact and self-contained aquatic system
which does not render your cabinet a hopeless tangle of wires, pumps,
clamps and hoses.
4A. Skimmer Chamber
This first chamber is designed to accept various internal protein
skimmers. Use of a protein skimmer greatly enhances the performance of
the biological media in a marine aquarium. A protein skimmer has the
effect of "turbocharging" the performance of your Simplicity
Aquarium. Refer to the section on Protein Skimmers for a more thorough
discussion. NOTE: Steps 4B through 4D must be completed in reverse
4B. Pre-filter(mechanical filtration) Shelf
The pre-filter shelf holds the mechanical filter medium which removes
large particles, uneaten fish food, plant stems and other detritus
before it can clog up the carbon and bio-media. A good synthetic sponge
is optimal for this. Such material will not decompose and has relatively
large pores, eliminating constant clogging. If you wish to also filter
out smaller particles, place finer filter pads beneath the sponge, or on
top of the bio-media in the bio-media chambers, beneath the drip tray.
Filter medium should be changed/cleaned as needed.
4C. Carbon(chemical filtration) Shelf
The carbon shelf, as its name implies, holds the activated carbon. Place
a loose mesh bag of carbon onto this shelf. Activated carbon is charcoal
which has been baked at high temperature. This baking process
"activates" the carbon and opens up tiny pores in the
particles and increases its affinity for certain substances. As water
passes through the carbon, dissolved waste products are chemically
removed from water. Do not use carbon in the filter until your tank is
completely cycled(see step 6).
Activated Carbon also removes ozone from the
water. Ozone is highly toxic to beneficial bacteria and free-swimming
microorganisms. Placement of the activated carbon before the bio-media
as is in the Simplicity Aquarium, protects the beneficial bacterial
culture in the bio-media from ozone. You need not worry about ozone
unless an ozonizer is being used with the protein skimmer.
4D. Coral Shelf
Crushed coral in a loose mesh nylon bag may be placed onto this shelf
for the purpose of stabilizing pH. This optional measure has the added
benefit of providing an additionally huge surface area upon which
nitrifying bacteria can thrive and break down wastes. This shelf can
also be used to hold various water-conditioning compounds, including
products designed to remove phosphates or nitrates from your aquarium
water. NOTE: Neither the Carbon-Shelf (4B) or the Coral Shelf(4C) should
be packed tightly, as water flow through the filter would be severely
4E. Bio-Media (Biological filtration) Chamber
Your filter comes from the factory complete with bio-media. If desired,
you may fill the bio-media chamber with any type of media you desire as
long as the media is inert, allows good water flow, and provides ample
surface area. The bio-media does not need to be cleaned, as that would
remove the resident, water-cleansing bacteria. Avoid media which does
not allow unrestricted water flow such as media in closely meshed bags
or sintered (fused) media.
4F. Powerhead Chamber
Your Simplicity Plus aquarium comes with a submersible powerhead. Attach
the powerhead to the outlet elbow with the appropriate tubing and
non-metallic clamps. The powerhead should sit on the bottom of this
chamber with no restrictions or kinks in the outlet tubing. The pump
inlet should be unrestricted as well.
STEP 5 - FILLING YOUR TANK
After you have completed configuring the filtration system, your Tenecor
tank is ready to be filled with water. For freshwater or marine systems,
follow the instructions for conditioning the water and mixing the salt.
Follow These Steps:
1) Raise the Sump Level Adjustment Gate to just
below the top of the filter wall.
2) Fill the main body of the tank and the
section of filter before the Adjustment Gate. The water level in the
tank should be just below the top of the filter wall.
3) Fill the sump and bio-media chambers to just
over the ideal level (2" to 3" over the powerhead).
4) Plug in powerhead. System should be in
5A. Adjusting The Powerhead
Tune your tank by first adjusting the powerhead output. NOTE: Some
powerheads do not have water flow adjustments . In this case, you may
choose to run them at full capacity or install a valve to control water
Warning!To avoid burning the pump out, do not
turn it on until it is completely submersed!
5B. Adjusting The Sump Level
The Tenecor Simplicity Plus has a sump level adjustment gate located at
the front top of the bio-media chamber. This simple mechanism provides
an important function in regulating the sump's water level. The sump
level gate should be adjusted after the powerhead water flow rate is
set. Simply move the gate up or down until the desired level is
achieved. Tenecor recommends the sump level be as high as possible but
low enough to keep the powerhead fully submersed. Occasional
readjustment may be necessary to compensate for water evaporation.
Simply lower the gate by 1/4" to raise the sump level.
STEP 6 - CYCLING THE TANK
Newly setup aquariums need to "cycle" before they become safe
for most fish and other inhabitants. That is, the biological filter's
bacterial colony needs to fully establish itself. Until a tank is fully
cycled, ammonia and nitrate levels are uncontrollable.
Full cycling may take up to two months on a very
large tank, but there are ways to speed up the process.
"Seeding" the aquarium with substrate from an already
established tank is one way. Commercially available preparations which
introduce the beneficial bacteria into the new tank can also be used.
In combination with either or both of these
methods, introduce hardy fish which can survive in less than ideal
conditions. Their waste products begin the cycling process. You may want
to purchase your cycling fish from a dealer who will take them back if
you choose not to keep them. With other alternatives available, however,
cycling tanks with live fish should not result in the willful
destruction of the starter fish.
Ammonia and nitrate levels should be closely
monitored for the first few weeks. The ammonia level will rise sharply
after fish are introduced. As Nitrosomonas bacteria become established
in large numbers, the ammonia levels will begin to drop and the
resultant by-product (nitrite) levels will begin to rise. As the
Nitrobacter bacteria then become established, the nitrite level will
Once both ammonia and nitrite levels are at
zero, you will need to test nitrate levels. Although less toxic than
ammonia or nitrite, the nitrate level should be kept fairly low; so test
the water and make water changes as necessary.
Your tank is now cycled. You should add carbon
to the carbon shelf(4B) and you may begin to gradually add more fish
and/or invertebrates to your tank. Adding 1-2 new fish per week is a
STEP 7 - TANK MAINTENANCE
7A. Cleaning The Exterior
Use only approved acrylic cleaners on the exterior of your aquarium. See
WARNING!Using products containing ammonia or
chlorine such as glass or countertop kitchen cleaners will craze your
aquarium and void the factory warranty.
7B. Cleaning The Interior
Use only non-abrasive cleaning pads inside the tank. Never use cleaning
chemicals on the inside of the tank. Be careful not to get gravel or
crushed coral caught in the pad, as this will scratch the face of the
7C. Water Changes
Necessary water changes depend on the specific aquarium. Since there is
no set rule-of-thumb for water changes, Tenecor recommends them as
required by the results of water quality tests. Investment in a high
quality water test kit will pay big dividends.
The Tenecor Simplicity Plus requires very little
maintenance. However, timely and thorough attention is necessary for
proper and healthy operation.
7D. Mechanical Filter
The mechanical filter should be removed and rinsed to remove any built
up detritus. If possible, rinse with water taken from the aquarium
during a water change. The mechanical filter occasionally will need to
7E. Carbon Pack
Carbon packs need to be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.
Fresh carbon is essential in controlling various waste products.
Bio-media does not require replacement or cleaning under normal
circumstances. If for any reason the bio-media needs to be replaced, the
bacterial colony will be disrupted. To minimize this disruption, the
Tenecor Simplicity Plus has been designed with multiple media chambers.
To avoid major aquatic de-stabilization, clean or replace the media one
chamber at a time over a period of 3-4 weeks.
STEP 8 - OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
8A. Protein Skimmers
Protein skimming is an important part of properly maintaining a
saltwater tank in which invertebrates and or sensitive fish are kept.
Protein skimmers are designed to produce a constant stream of very fine
air bubbles, which rise through a column of circulating water drawn from
the aquarium system. As these bubbles pass through the water, they
become coated with dissolved organic materials (fish waste, uneaten food
and other matter). As the coated bubbles rise, they are forced into a
collection cup, removing them and the organic materials from contact
with the aquarium water.
As explained in section 4D, in the aquarium
these organic materials would have been broken down by bacteria into
toxic ammonia (NH3). A properly operating filter will detoxify this
ammonia, but by reducing the source of the ammonia with a protein
skimmer, two main benefits are seen. First, the protein skimmer can be
viewed as an extra filter, reducing the workload of the primary filter.
This means that more fish or invertebrates can be placed in the aquarium
than would otherwise be so. Second, if stocking levels remain the same,
the protein skimmer will significantly reduce the amount of ammonia that
must be processed by the filter bed and less nitrate is produced as an
end result. Less nitrate being produced will result in a much healthier
aquarium, less work and less frequent water changes.
The Simplicity Plus system in tanks 36" or
longer is designed to accommodate many of the submersible protein
skimmers available today. The most common of these are air driven,
counter-current devices. The skimmer should be placed in the first
chamber and fastened in place. If possible, the outlet should be
positioned to release the output into the second chamber. Larger,
free-standing skimmers can be operated behind and above the aquarium by
placing a powerhead into the first chamber and connecting it to the
skimmer inlet. Again, the skimmer output should be returned to the
8B. U.V. Sterilizers
Ultra-violet or U.V. sterilizers are commonly used to reduce
free-floating bacteria and parasites harmful to fish. This is done by
constantly exposing a small amount of the aquarium water to ultra-violet
light. The effectiveness of a sterilizer is affected by the strength
(wattage) of the light and the length of exposure (how slowly the water
is passed through the device). Read sterilizer instructions for more
A U.V. sterilizer can be installed in the
Simplicity Plus system just as you would a free standing protein
skimmer. Place a powerhead in the first chamber and attach to the
sterilizer inlet with hose. The sterilizer can be placed behind the
aquarium, on top of the aquarium or attached to the underside of the
canopy. The sterilizer outlet should then drain into the second chamber.
Some hobbyists put the sterilizer in-line between a sump powerhead and
the return fitting. However, a separate powerhead in the first chamber
will be much more efficient because the sterilizer flow can be adjusted
for maximum effectiveness without affecting the overall water