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Old 08-14-2006, 10:55 PM   #1
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Aquaclear 110

Hey guys im gonna get the aquaclear 110 for my 55 gallon for now cause after dishing the money out for the tank and stand not really feeling spending that much again on a cansiter right now, maybe in the future when i run into alittle more money. But tahts besides the question.

The question is, i have heard of people rigging up the filters themselves, for this filter what can i get from bigals for replacement filters that would be cheaper than buying the boxed one at the lfs. Someone said about using old pantyhose or something, not real sure, i hope some of you know, and also i read in another post that the carbon isnt that important, i plan on getting real plants some day so im guessing i dont have to worry about the carbon filter just the other 2.
thanks
Mitch

PS as far as a heater, should i go with a submersible one, and is 300w good or overkill? and will that just go right under the gravel or whatever i decide to put down?
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:40 AM   #2
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Sorry, don't know about the filter. I'd be interested in any answers for that too, though.

300W is probably overkill for the heater. You can get by with 200W. Overbuying on your filter can always be justified, but overbuying on your heater doesn't help unless you have some kind of non-standard heating needs.

Just about every decent heater I've seen says it's submersible. You shouldn't put it under the gravel. The heater shouldn't touch anything but water. Gravel doesn't dissipate heat as well as water; it may overheat and damage the heater. The water needs to flow past the heater, even if there is only a little current. If you stick the heater in the gravel, you're mostly just baking that one section of the gravel
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:55 AM   #3
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As far as the filter, the bottom sponge can be reused and washed in tank water until it falls apart which will be a while.

Carbon only lasts a couple of weeks and is really only important to have on hand for removing meds. A cheaper alternative is filter floss or filter fiber. It is very cheap for a large bag,

The bio balls are good for a long time. Dont even wash them. Just keep them wet while doing PWC.

For the heater I actually think 300watt is fine. Just monitor it until you have the correct temp. Tostada is correct, the heater should not be placed under gravel. "Submersible" means below the water level.
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Old 08-15-2006, 02:12 AM   #4
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For the filter, I agree on all the above. As for the heater, I have a 300W heater in my 55G, and it does great. One thing about heaters, you can get one that isn't enough, and it will run all the time, or get one that's just right and runs often, or get one a little over and it doesn't need to run as often. That's what I noticed between the 200W before I blew it up and my new 300W. The light on the 300W doesn't come on near as often, and the temp is more stable, than was with the 200W. And as for blowing up the 200W, always remember to unplug it before a PWC if it's vertical and you take out enough water to expose it, lol. It will run a little bit, but then you'll hear some sizzling and then BAMMMM. LOL I have my new 300W horizontal along the bottom about 1.5 inches above the substrate behind fake plants and driftwood.
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:00 AM   #5
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A 300 watt heater in a 55 is overkill, and if it fails in the on position, will raise the temperature to a dangerous degree. Better to undersize with heaters and double up. The best way to run AC filters is with 2 sponges, and if you have th biomedia that comes with the newer models, place that on top. A little floss can be placed between the two sponges. the carbon is not needed for regular use. The sponges should last many years.
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:24 PM   #6
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With the biomidia is it best to buy the replacements for the certain brand i have, or can i buy a box of those little white things and just replace them for cheaper?
PS. I have a small heater for my 10 gallon tank and the dang thing didnt come with any suction cups to hold it down, any suggestions on what to use for that?
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:08 AM   #7
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A 300 watt heater in a 55 is overkill
I disagree. I think it would be good if monitored and set to the correct temp.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike469
Quote:
A 300 watt heater in a 55 is overkill
I disagree. I think it would be good if monitored and set to the correct temp.
You may disagree, but the fact is that a 300 watt heater will raise the temperature high enough to kill the fish if it fails in the on position. You just have to look around at all the threads that describe that very problem.
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:03 AM   #9
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Then the question rises, what would a 200W heater do it it failed in the on position? Or even a 150W? I'm sure the temp will get warm enough to harm the fish with those as well. And the nice thing about a 300W, if set properly, it doesn't have to work as hard. I'll keep my 300W over 2 150W heaters any day. Plus I keep a 200W spare laying around in case I need it in an emergency. I use this 200W in ick treatment on my 55G, and it's more than enough to cook the fish if stuck in the on position.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:01 PM   #10
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A 150 watt heater will not raise the temp as high as the 300 will. There is a certain amount of heat loss from any tank. That really determines how much wattage you need to actually maintain the tank temp. The ambient temoerature will also be a factor. A 150 watt heater will not be able to apply as much heat to the tank. That is obvious. Again, look around at the number of threds about boiled fish, caused by failed heaters. You can of course, do what ever you like. As far as a heater working hard goes, one that is constantly cycling on and off is more likely to fail, than one that comes on and stays on for longer periods, with the end result of fewer total cycles over time. It is usually the controller that fails, not the element.
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