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Old 10-27-2010, 10:58 PM   #1
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Best filter(s) for a large freshwater aquarium

I am currently in the process of searching for a very large up grade tank. I am looking in the 180 to 250 range. The one that I am currently looking over is a 225 (6' x 2' x 2.5') however it may be a few months before I actually decide on the proper tank for me. Just looking for the right tank for what I want and have plenty of time to find it.

What I really need to learn more about is the possible filtration options. I am leaning towards the canister side at the moment due to what I have learned at this point. I admit that this is limited, however. I have been looking into the fluval fx5 among others. Would this be enough to tackle a tank of this size alone? Is it a better idea to double up with smaller filters or even two fx5s or so? Is there a better method for filtering a tank of this size? I understand the concept of the sump, but for some reasons, particularly my distaste for clutter and unattractive growth (i know this is part of the process but I prefer not to see it), I am finding myself fighting this method. I may however go this way if the benefits really outweigh the cons IMO.

If you have experience with a tank similar to this I would love to hear your advice/experiences. Any information will be useful.

I am not currently planning on planting the tank, but it may be an option in the future. I want this thing to be WOW!
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:20 AM   #2
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ok so im nowhere near a 250... i have a 90 fw planted... i run a single Eheim classic 2217...

that being said.. there have been several builds on this forum in the order of 180+Gal... 300G the largest ive seen here...

after asking 1,000,000 questions and watching these builds.. if I were going to go as large as 250 and up... i would run multiple canisters..

reasons:
1. you can never have too much filtration
2. you can alternate cleanings... if you run 2 canisters, you can clean one during week 1 and the second during week 2 etc... i believe mfdrookie516 does this on his tank...

if you can afford 2 fx5.... i would say GO MAN GO!!
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:31 AM   #3
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I'm one who advocates a sump for filtration. I would say you put the sump under the tank and put doors on it... then you can't see it. If you really don't like the sump idea I would agree with Andrewz00, if you want to go canister I would say 2 fx5's would be the way to go.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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I'd go with a sump on a tank that large. You can declutter the tank by putting the heaters in the sump. Sumps offer the most flexibility of any filter, but they require some mechanical aptitude and some imagination.

If you want a quick and easy solution, get two FX5s. I'm not sure how much the manufacturers overrate a canister filter's abilities, but with HOBs, I take the rating and cut it in half. It's always better to overfilter as long as the fish can handle the flow.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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I'd go with a sump anyday for that tank size. Less potential points of future failure than multiple canisters.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
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Does this mean that a single problem could cause a more potentially large problem with a sump than if one canister had problems? I would still have the other canister to do something rather than a total failure...

I agree over filtration is best...If two Fx5s is not possible what would you guys suggest as far as canister filters? I hear the fx5 can work up to 400 gal and if I cut that in half one would be roughly equivilent to the tanks I am looking at. I believe it was something like 620 gph...would the single fx5 be better than two smaller canisters?

What potential maintanance is involved with the canisters? Do i just replace media? Is the a benefit to using premade media rather than DIY?

Is there a strong benefit to sumps as far as water quality?
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:19 PM   #7
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I would go with canisters. They have the best mechanical filtration since it is sealed and actually forces the water through. With open systems like HOBs or sumps if the media is even slightly clogged the water will take the path of least resistance AROUND the media, not through it. This means it is not actually being cleaned.

I would go with a canister you can backwash. The Fluval FX5 is a great option, but for easier maintenance the Ocean Clear 354 is ideal. You can backwash as you drain the tank for a water change.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
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if two fx5's are a bit out of reach... i would suggest eheim.

the eheim classic 2250 is rated around 250 gallons per hour for tanks up to 250 gallons.... you can find them for less then $200.... compared to the $330-350 for the fx5....

i personally run a eheim classic 2217 on my 90 gal....which is rated upto 160 gal and 200 gph. they are SUPER quiet and reliable.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:46 PM   #9
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Canisters need to be cleaned like any filter. Never replace the mechanical or biological media unless it's completely falling apart. Wash them in a bucket of old tank water. Replacing the media will cause you to lose beneficial bacteria.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:56 PM   #10
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I wouldn't get the Eheim. You get less flow, less filtration, for at best around the same price.
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