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Old 01-25-2014, 10:25 AM   #1
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Equipment for a 55

I have a 55 gallon tank with 15 African Cichlids that are mostly large adults - 4" to 6" so they produce a large amount of waste. Having a sand bottom makes it fairly easy to remove when I do a water change but I was planning to make some changes in the tank as far as water circulation and filtration. I have lace rock and waste always accumulates under and around the rocks. I do not have any powerheads or circulation pumps. What is best option here - powerheads or the circulation pumps? What kind of flow rate would I need? I am also reading that having two pumps is the way to go?

For filtration I have two Penguin 330 filters, one is 15 yrs old and one is 10 yrs old. I just use polyfiber fill as my filtration media attached to original filtration insert with rubber bands and I still run the biowheels. I would like to upgrade the filtration but I am torn about which direction to go. I have a tight budget so I am looking at <$100 cannisters, the Aquatops, SunSuns but I am concerned about them eventually leaking. Or is it best to save $ for a better brand? The tank is in the living room on Pergo flooring and a flood would ruin the floor. Or the other option would be to go with another option in HOB filtration -Aquaclears? Fluval C4? or some other option.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:41 AM   #2
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Try these

Go here:

Filtration for Goldfish Tank

The principles of filtration that apply to that person's goldfish tank are similar to yours.

If you follow the links back on my post #6, you will see a lot of discussion including some talk of canisters. My understanding is you're best off with Eheim brand canister and a C4 HOB.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:45 AM   #3
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Also another option is to go get a hydor koralia power head or two, I run a fluval 306 canister and the power head and waste never settles on the bottom and it's healthy for the fish to have some flow. Also the plants kinda sway in the current which Is pretty cool. I would get one for each end.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:08 AM   #4
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............ Also the plants kinda sway in the current which Is pretty cool. I would get one for each end.
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Nice job with all the photos in your albums ..... plants especially. Geez I really need to ditch my fake silk ones I really admire all you people with the beautiful natural aqua-scapes. I've got crystal clear water & colorful fish and tanks .... but darn .... I'm gonna have to go for that natural look some day
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:39 PM   #5
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Paul1792,

Thanks for the advice and the links. I think I will pick up one Fluval C4 to replace one of the Penguin 330s and see how it goes from there. As far as achieving crystal clear water, does the C4 come with a polishing pad or do you put one in yourself? I was also going to put Purigen in the C4. Do you think if I was eventually just running two C4s on the tank I could achieve decent water clarity or would you still recommend the cannister with one C4 to achieve this end?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rwolfy View Post
Paul1792,

Thanks for the advice and the links. I think I will pick up one Fluval C4 to replace one of the Penguin 330s and see how it goes from there. As far as achieving crystal clear water, does the C4 come with a polishing pad or do you put one in yourself? I was also going to put Purigen in the C4. Do you think if I was eventually just running two C4s on the tank I could achieve decent water clarity or would you still recommend the cannister with one C4 to achieve this end?

Thanks again!
The standard factory poly/fiber pad is all one piece but it provides course pad AND a polishing pad.

Here is a link to a picture of a new and used one (note the caption):

Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community - Paul1792's Album: Paul1792's 29 gallon - Picture

The factory pad does a fine job polishing the water. However ...... I found I really get uber duber crystal clear polished water using cut to fit acurel debris reducing pad + 100 micron AquaticLife non-woven polishing pad. Their combined thickness is exactly the same as the factory poly/fiber pad [the polishing pad is only 1/12 of an inch (per mfg .. looks more like 1/8 to me] ..... but anyway ....... it works great.

And yes, if I a 55 gallon, I'd run C4's for sure. Although I think one canister and one C4 would produce the same result. [The only reason I don't have a 55 is because my tap is HORRIBLE and I hate hauling water and buying gallon jugs of spring & R/O water at WalMart and having to use the old fashioned "bucket method" to do water changes]

There is lots of room in the chemical chamber of the C4. I have two bags of purigen + a small biobag of Matrix in the chemical chamber of mine.

BTW: When you say "I'll pick up one" ........ I hope you can avoid full retail price. They're currently about $55 at Amazon and Drs. Foster & Smith.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:08 PM   #7
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Yes I will definitely be looking at Amazon for the purchase. Two bags of Purigen - what volume? and the small biobag of Matrix - again, what volume?
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:14 PM   #8
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Yes I will definitely be looking at Amazon for the purchase. Two bags of Purigen - what volume? and the small biobag of Matrix - again, what volume?
Purigen comes in 100ml biobags that measures about 3" x 4" x 3/8."

Amazon.com: Seachem Purigen 100ml: Pet Supplies

The picture shows a box but it comes in a sealed soft plastic/vinyl/? package.

The Matrix comes in a jar and looks like different size rocks:

Amazon.com: Seachem Matrix Bio Media 250ml: Pet Supplies

It's only $6.38 for a "lifetime" supply and just buying more factoy C-Nodes would work as well but a pack of them is more like $12 for a box of them.

Amazon.com: Fluval C 200g/7-Ounce C-Nodes: Pet Supplies

In three different filters, I've filled small drs foster & smith biobags with my original purchase of Purigen and have plenty left over. Here is the stock number copied and pasted from my order::

CD-22886
Drs. Foster & Smith Media Bags
Fine Mesh Drawstring 3" x 4" 6 pk
Cost just a few bucks.
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