Filter Suggestions Please

pequafrog(z7a/Long Island)March 3, 2008

Hello!

I have a 75 gallon aquarium that I'm going to re-set up. For the 1st. time in years and years, I'd like to go in a different direction with filters. I've always been an AquaClear 300 (or 70) guy. They're okay...but I'd like to try something new. Any suggestions?

Oh..I plan to stock small community fish but I want the option to change my mind on that! (cichlids etc) But definitely fresh water fish.

thanks a lot!

-Andy

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sakmeht(Zone 6)

Hi there,

I had a 75 gallon and was planning on going to a Fluval canister filter, as I'd heard good things about them. Turns out we had to move and I never got around to setting that tank back up. I'm using it as a terrarium now. Goodluck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 4:18PM
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pequafrog(z7a/Long Island)

I don't know. I've been reading about canister filters...reviews and stuff. Some people have had them blow an o ring or something and they had gallons and gallons of water leak all over the floor. Plus, they look a little complicated. Are they troublesome? Are they easy to maintain?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 6:55AM
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petiolaris(Neutral)

I'm not up on the hardline products but I would suggest something that can remove physical wasteproducts, like something with a siphon tube / outside filter... as well as something biochemical, like a sponge filter and/or activated carbon. Having more than one type is a good thing.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 12:15PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

I have always had good luck with Magnum 350 canister filters made by Marineland. One of the additional parts you can buy are quick disconnect valves so that you can just take the canister and leave the hoses on the tank. When you put the top back on the filter after cleaning it just put a little vaseline on the gasket and there will not be any leakage.

I cut the hoses at slightly different lengths for the valves so it is easy to connect them correctly when you are under the tank. I have used them since the late 80's and not had a single leaking top.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 12:57PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

What kind of cichlids? African Rift Lake or S.A. Not that it really matters for filters, just curious. If it is possible get the tank drilled and install a sump or wet/dry. If you are doing a non-planted tank I would get 2 large bio-wheel 200's. They are on sale at DRs FS for $25 each. Or the Emporer 280 bio-wheel for $40 ea. I would also get a couple small lo-flow pumps to put in the bottom corners or where there are dead spots just to kick up debris to the intake tubes and have good flow to distribute heat etc. I don't really like canister filters. It is so much easier to maintain HOT filters, Just pull out the cartridge and replace and rinse the sponge- Done. If you do get a canister make sure it has a bio-wheel on the return. Not much oxygen in canisters for good aerobic bacteria growth. I do reccomend getting a small canister or making one DIY if you have any water clarity issues. Even if you don't using a canister with a micron filter for a couple hours every month to polish the water really makes a difference. If you plan on live plants the same filters but remove the bio-wheel. The plants will provide the needed aerobics and the bio-wheel drives off much needed CO2 for the plants growth. Also, check out the fishless cycle method before adding fish. It takes a bit longer before you can add fish but, saves tons of intensive labor doing emergency water changes and killing fish for no reason. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 6:03PM
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pequafrog(z7a/Long Island)

I usually skew to South American. Oscar, Dempsey, Firemouth...along those lines. I think Jack Dempsey's are my fav. At a store called Aquarium Adventures (I think it's a franchise) they have this amazing planted tank. It looks like it's growing grass at the bottom and a rain forest the rest of the way. Just beautuful. I'm not sure of the filtration though. They do have a C02 tank and I'm definitely not into that. I just don't want it to be that complicated. When I look at some pictures online of canister filters, there seems to be a lot of parts and that's intimidating to me. I don't know why...something about having to cut tubing and risking a major leak I guess. I'd like something more powerful then my usual Aquaclear (without having 2 Aquaclears!) So...anyone else want to weigh in?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:08PM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

Eheim has great canister filters that are very quiet, my 2217 has been running for at least 15 years with only an impeller change. The pro 2 had a much larger filter area and all the advantages of the earlier models. Their pricy but the best imo. My guess is the most likely failure would be a hose falling off and dumping almost 1/2 the tank. An o-ring leaking on a cannister would have the same effect as on a hang on filter, usually causes a slow leak unless installed improperly.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:09PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

Both the Magnum and Eheim use quick disconnect valves which are fitted with compression fittings. Once they are installed the odds of a leak are quite low. The Magnum has just a carbon container inside with a sleeve that slides over it. There is an impeller in the bottom that slides out for cleaning. A complete filter cleaning takes no more than ten minutes if the carbon is replaced along with a new filter sleeve.

The 2217 Ehiem is also a great filter. I have one on a 75 gallon tank with some medium size South American cichlids. It takes more time to do a filter cleaning because there are three separate compartments to clean plus the particle filter pad. It stays clean for two to three months between cleanings.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:34PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Two years ago I setup a 150 and added an inline automatic
water change system. Only filter I'm using is a sponge. So far have been thrilled with the results. Have the best water quality I've ever had and requires almost no work on my part. When you think about it water change is the only filter system that actually changes the composition of the water and in my experience the only one that's absolutely necessary. Even with storage tanks, sewer hookups and a larger pump still cost about the same as some of the more elaborate filter sytems.
I don't think I's setup a tank any other way now.
One thing I always hated about aquariums was water change
does all the work for me .
i think this could be modified to much smaller tanks though it would still take up a lot more room than most filter systems. gary

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 4:53AM
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pequafrog(z7a/Long Island)

Gary, can you post pictures of your setup? Is it very elaborate and costly?

thanks,

-Andy

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 7:05AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Amdy
You certainly wouldn't wnt to copy mine lol. It is also a drip irrigation system water fall and hydroponic attempt
It's up to 1250 gallons now lol.
All you need is a reservoir to store water ,plumbing to get water into and out of the main tank.. There are many on various aquarium sites . Look at the KRIB site has a bunch
of different methods.
I once connected one to a toilet so every time it was flush got an automatic water change lol. Used another aquarium with a float valve for reservoir and gravity for the power system.. Water was just drawn from the tank for the toilet rather than the water supply.
Frequency of water change depended on how much toilet was flushed but at least 5 gallons a day with no work at all
During beer parties at least 500 percent lol.
Can't use it now as I'm using collected rainwater rather than tap. Only time I ever got the wife to help change water in the tanks lol gary

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 5:07AM
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pequafrog(z7a/Long Island)

Holy Cow!! That's hard core. I may just go with the AquaClear 110!! They now use "Bio Max" which is pretty neat for a $60 hang on the back filter, right? So there's the sponge, the carbon bag, and biomax, and you can add other things.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 7:23PM
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