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Old 12-31-2003, 05:39 PM   #1
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Opinions on these Power Filters

I currently have a 15g high tank. I'm going to soon upgrade to a 30g. When I go to the bigger tank, I want to also get a ne power filter. I'm not sure what to get. I went to my LFS and they have 5 to choose from. I want some opinions on this different filter; which have you used, which should be avoided, stuff like that.

Top Fin 40
Tetra Whisper Triad 40
Aquaclear 150
Emperor 280
Penguin Bio Wheel 170

Thanks for the input


15g high acrylic tank
20 lbs of Live Rock
20 lbs of Aragonite Sand
Skilter 250 HOB filter/skimmer (modified with air stone)
Auto Top-off
Heater (not sure of Wattage)
Single Bulb 15W Flouresent light


2 Ocellaris Clownfish
4 Astrea Snails
7 Nassarius Snails
3 Bumble Bee Snails
2 Margarita Snails
2 Blue Leg Hemits

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Old 12-31-2003, 07:02 PM   #2
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In my experience the Emperor 280 is a good filter. I like the whole bio-wheel idea and the fact that it comes with an extra media basket that will readily accept bonded filter media so that you don't have to buy the pre-made cartridges and you don't always have to run carbon. That filter is running on a 36 gal. tank and have had no problems whatsoever with it.

I also have a Penguin 330 on a 55 gal. and I'm looking at finding a replacement. It also has extra media baskets, bio-wheels, etc., but the extra baskets are kind of in the side of the water flow so they don't really have the ability to catch much debris. I know you asked about the 170, but the 330 is basically just a bigger version of that same filter.

If you can find it, I've heard many good things about the TetraTec filters. THe big thing being that the water oulets oscillate so the water flow moves around the tank a little more. The Aqua clear filters are also supposed to pretty good, but that's just what I've heard.

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Old 12-31-2003, 08:09 PM   #3
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i have had bad experiance with tetra tec especcially the noise and impellar i like the penguin or emporer on my 36 i run a penguin 330 its quite and runs smooth, emporer is made by the same company but is a better filter. hth jc
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Old 12-31-2003, 09:56 PM   #4
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the tetratec 150 on my brothers tank does not oscillate, thought the returns are aimable. it was designed so that the sponge area can fill and empty like a tidal pool, acting as a wet/dry. however when run this way, they are slightly noisy. enough so that my brothers is set to just run straight out so he can sleep at night. in this mode they are very quiet. they also make a heater for the filter, one less thing in your tank, and its guaranteed to get flow.

the 330 is just 2 170's put together. i currently run one on my 55g in combination with a 660r and im more than happy with it.
55g: 1 black angel, 1 koi angel, 1 marble angel, 3 blue rams, 2 bolivian rams, 5 diamond tetras, 5 gold tetras, 3 leopard corys, 1 bristlenose pleco
55g: gouramis: 2 pearl, 1 blue, 2 dwarf fire, 2 dwarf honey , 1 dwarf powder blue; 5 tiger barbs, 5 golden barbs, 3 zebra loaches, 1 SAE
30g: 1 miss. map turtle, 5 blue spotted sunfish
10g: 7 cardinal tetras, 7 black neon tetras, 5 pygmy cories
10g: 3 leopard geckos
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Old 12-31-2003, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Opinions on these Power Filters

Originally Posted by newsalt
Top Fin 40
We tried a couple of these at the store and didn't like them.

Tetra Whisper Triad 40
Whispers are good filters. The Bio Bag cartridge is economical and allows you to run carbon or other adsorptive media. The sponge will deteriorate in time and have to be replaced though.

Aquaclear 150
These are good filters but I don't much like the media arrangement. It limits the types of media you can use. You can buy small bags, but that's a lot of trouble. Also, I had one on a turtle tank once and it had a bad habit of losing prime.

Emperor 280
This is a top of the line filter and is, IMO, far superior to any other HOB filter on the market. The bio wheel gives you an excellent bio filter that is not disturbed when you change filter carts. The large media container allows you to run your choice of media. The separate bio pump and spray bar keeps the bio wheel turning. The only drawback to this filter on a SW tank is that the spray bar will generate more salt creep than other filters. There is also the issue of nitrates being generated by the biowheel, but that's going to happen with any filter that is using bio media. My first choice.

Penguin Bio Wheel 170
This filter is similar to the Emperor in that it is high quality and uses a bio wheel. It doesn't have an extra media container and it depends on the flow of water coming out of the filter body to turn the bio wheel. It won't give you the flow that the Emperor will, but you'll also have less salt creep to clean up. My second choice of the filters you mentioned.
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Old 01-01-2004, 03:11 PM   #6
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I have an Emperor 400 on my 10 gallon freshwater tank. 8O I know, that's way more filtration than I need. But some day, I will upgrade to a 75L. I figure why buy a small filter now and a big one later?

Anyway, the filter works great. What I really like about it is that I can take out the filter pads and clean them thoroughly under running water without worrying about killing all the beneficial bacteria. There are plenty in the bio-wheels, which of course never get cleaned.

My only complaint is that if you don't seat the impeller just right, the filter is a little noisy.

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