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Old 04-05-2005, 08:29 AM   #1
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Do I need a new filter?

I currently have an 84 gallon (I know it isn't a normal size) tank with a Fluval 404 and a Tetratec PF500 with heater.
I have had a problem recently with the Tetratec. It has got my floor wet about 3 times and I've tried different things. I changed the amount and type of food I feed the fish to see if that was the problem. I've tilted the filter up more and more again! I've changed the filters (obviously) and with new filters it did the same thing after two days. This morning I looked and there was a real slow drip from the square box that the power cord comes out of . I wiped it off and put something to catch the water so I can see how much it will drip. When I lived in Vegas this wouldn't have been such a problem because I had a one-story house and the tank was on a tile floor. Now it is on the second floor of my town house and it is on carpet. I had an air line break on my air pump and it caused some extensive damage. I have had had the tank moved out and the pad under the carpet replaced already.
I'm open for suggestions but right now I'm at the place where I'm either going to spend some money for a new filter and get rid of the Tetratec or get rid of the tank. I can't afford to do nothing and I don't like to keep messing with the Tetratec. What filter would work good with the 404 that is a sealed unit? Would it be good to get another 404 or should I get an Eheim? Does Eheim make wet/dry filters that are sealed? I've been told before that filters like the Tetratec and/or Penguin are good for different reasons than the Fluval. Is this true? I don't think I was fed a line because I was ready to spend some money and already getting one Fluval. Any suggestions would be appreciated since this is something I unfortunately have to act quick on.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:36 AM   #2
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Actually a fluval 404 should be more than enough filtration to keep yout 84 gallon tank in check. May I suggest an aquaclear 70 (formerly model 300). Its a hang on back filter with ceramic rings, carbon, and a big filtering pad. I have one installed on my 29 gallon tank, and to be honest, I think its the best filter that money can buy. They are $22.99 at www.bigalsonline.com with a fluval and an aquaclear, you shouldn't have any problems whatsoever.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:53 AM   #3
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Stewie, thanks for your reply. I would really like to get away from any filter that is open as far as being able to get backed up and spilling over.

Interesting, I was told I need more than just the 404 for adequate filtration.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:03 AM   #4
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If that Tetratec is dripping, I'd replace it. I had a penguin 170 HOB and an aquaclear HOB and neither of them dripped at all. Currently, I have a Fluval 4 internal that's working well.

Like Stewie said, you can pick up a HOB for <$30. Walmart has a similar model for around $20 which has a bio pad instead of a bio wheel. The Fluval 4 I got was around $20-30 thru big al's.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:15 AM   #5
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I'm not 100% sure that it is leaking do to a crack or something similar. In the past the filter has overflowed from the filters getting clogged quickly. Because of this I'm considering getting rid of filters that can overflow all together. Can anyone comment or make suggestions based on this? Thanks.

PS - what do you use to clean off that crusty buildup that gets on the tank over time?
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:21 AM   #6
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The aquaclear is designed so that all the return water goes into the tank...no overflow problem with them whatsoever.

The crusty build up...where exactly? Is this the "white" powdery stuff?
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:55 AM   #7
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for HOB filters, Aquaclear would be the way to go.

For you tetratec problem, it sounds like seals are cracking and breaking causing the leaks. This would be a simple fix if it was one of the top fittings, but this one sounds a bit more serious especially since you described the water as coming from around the power cord supply box.

Now, if you want to go HOB, then Aquaclear as i said.

If you want to go cannister i would suggest eheim. Look them all up online, they give quite good detailed descriptions of them. Sure they cost a little bit more, but i personally think they are some of the best on the market. Lower flow rate for GPH but better cleaning job i have found with mine.
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:01 AM   #8
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So are you telling me that there is no way water could overflow? I mean, even if someone didn't clean the thing? Of course I'm going to clean it but I dont want have the possibility of anything happening. Also, how far back and above the tank does it stick out? I have a wood hood that I had to cut a little for the Tetratec and I don't want to go through that again. I'm starting to lean towards getting an Aquaclear 500 but I need to know it won't spill over, EVER!
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:07 AM   #9
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SerLunchBox, now you have me leaning back towards an Eheim that quick.

OK, with the 404 what would be better to add as far as water quality, NEVER spilling over and ease of changing/cleaning.

Eheim

or

Aquaclear 500

Also, what is the real benefit of wet/dry? Eheim has canister with and without wet/dry and I'm wondering if wet/dry would be better. I cannot stress enough, I would rather pay for an Eheim now and have it for however long than get another filter that will leak. I do think the Eheim would make it so I don't have to take off the hood to clean. I need to know how much this is going to be before I tell my wife.
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Old 04-05-2005, 01:06 PM   #10
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I use Emperors and Aquaclears and I think they are the best HOB filters you can buy. If you are on a tight budget either of those would be the way to go, but of course you can't go wrong with another Fluval or the Eheim. Please try another filter before you give up on the hobby!!!
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:34 PM   #11
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even for an odd sized tank like that, I think the aquaclear 500 would be a bit of an overkill with a fluval 404. You don't want to be creating a whirl pool here. The Aquaclear 70 is suited for up to 70 gallon tanks, but keep in mind, that its actually a 300 gph filter. and trust me, on full blast, my fish are clueless as to what to do in my 29 gallon tank. i run mine at the lowest setting. I;d think with an aquaclear 500 + a fluval 404 it'd be alot of water flowing thru the tank -- almost too much. Maybe severum mama can chime in here, but over filtration is a good thing, don't get me wrong, but too much is bad as well. (too much current for your fish) Go with an aquaclear 300. it'll be the best $30.00 you have ever spend on fish equptment. You won't be disappointed.
By the way what kind of fish are in the tank?
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:39 PM   #12
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I have cichlids (sp?) and a couple of other fish.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:48 PM   #13
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I won't have a problem with current because it is a long tank. Isn't real deap back-to-front but it is 6 feet long. The fluval is at one end and the Tetratec is at the other end. I will have to add a heater when I add the other filter. I still haven't really had my questions answered.

1. How far up and out does the Aquaclear stick?

2. Is there any possible way the Aquaclear can spill over into anything besides the tank?

3. Would it be good to have the Fluval and a Eheim wet/dry at the same time or would it be better to have the Fluval and the Aquaclear. I'm talking about the types of filters they are here.

4. Is wet/dry overkill or will I be able to tell the difference?

5. Will I be able to tell the difference with just the Aquaclear?
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:02 PM   #14
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Answers to your questions:
1. I'm guessing about 2 inches. I'm at work right now but i'll measure it when I get home and let you know.
2. No. EVERYTHING will be pushed back into the tank. Trust me on this. The way the filter pad is set up, it will be pushed back into the tank.
3. The wet/dry filter is just for bio-filtration. The aquaclear has ceramic rings which basically do the same thing.
4. The wet/dry might give you problems if the wheels stop spinning. The aquaclear would be a better choice here IMO.
5. Yes. Since your tank is 6 ft long, get the aquaclear 500 model (get the newest model that replaced the 500) (its probably called a 100 or something since the old aquaclear 300 is now a 70) the newer models come with the ceramic rings. The older models dont. With the way the filter pad is set up, and the GPH is pushes thru it, and the carbon and cermic rings, it will polish you water real nice for you. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:47 PM   #15
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I am a little surprised that no one suggested another fluvol canister. If you like it and find it's doing a good job, why not get another to replace the tetratec. The main reason I suggest this is because they would share the same parts and media. If one ever stopped or broke you could switch the bio-media to the running one. Not to forget that if you had two you dould order media in bulk and wouldn't have to shop for two different types of media for two different filters. I think that is the way I'll go when it comes time to add a second filter is add another xp2 (i have xp3). The other thing is have you thought about an internal filter, the fluvol 4 would make a nice addition and they allow to create some undercurrent if you'd like.

As far as the aquaclear goes, what you're hearing is correct
1. best HOB for the $$
2. it is impossible for the water to go anywhere but in the tank!

I do think that for an 84gal tank one 404 is not enough filtration, your fish won't die or anything but slowly the water quality/clarity will go downhill.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:04 PM   #16
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I have an Emperor 400 on my 55 gal. that I've never had a problem with. I've had it for about three years (including the numerous times the power went out from the hurricanes!) and so far it's doing great.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomegun
So are you telling me that there is no way water could overflow? I mean, even if someone didn't clean the thing? Of course I'm going to clean it but I dont want have the possibility of anything happening. Also, how far back and above the tank does it stick out? I have a wood hood that I had to cut a little for the Tetratec and I don't want to go through that again. I'm starting to lean towards getting an Aquaclear 500 but I need to know it won't spill over, EVER!
Water spillage is going to happen. I had thought your question was about a leaking filter, not preventing leaks from general maintenance.

Regarding the crusty stuff...you haven't mentioned what or where this is.
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:29 PM   #18
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My Aquaclears have never spilled over. And yes, another Fluval would be great if it is in your budget- Mazdaman is right. But if you don't want to shell out the cash, go for an Aquaclear 500. You won't be disappointed. Try www.bigalsonline.com for a cheap price.
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Old 04-06-2005, 05:36 PM   #19
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We've used Marineland products and we are quite impressed with them (Penguin and Emperer). My son-in-law has a Magnum canister with bio-wheel and says it's awesome!
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:34 PM   #20
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The crusty stuff is buildup around the Tetratec, on the back of the light and the back of the tank. Stewie sent me some pictures and he seems to have the same thing. I was just wondering if there is any quick and easy way to clean it up.

Well, one thing I did forget to mention. I have a spending disorder.

I called bigalsonline because I wanted to know the difference between a regular canister filter and a wet/dry canister. So, I ended up buying an Eheim 2026! I didn't know for sure if the Aquaclear would fit under my canopy and my wife basically said get the best one now so we don't have to worry about it.

The person I spoke with at big al's told me I would spend money on the media for the Aquaclear, it would be noisier and it doesn't do as good a job. I guess for the money the Eheim should be better. She might have got me because she took the time to talk to me and answer my questions. I will always be a good consumer when I'm treated like that. Oh, well.
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