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Old 01-11-2005, 05:37 PM   #1
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Filters -- AquaClear, Whisper, Bio-Wheel

Hi everyone,

I'm probably going to start a 15 gallon high tank. I'm going to put my pitbull pleco in it, and get him some tankmates a little later. I have the choice of these filters: AquaClear, Whisper, or the Bio-Wheel (Penguin, not Emperor). I don't know much about filtration, since my betta tanks only have sponge filters.

I was looking on the web a little and the Aqua Clear has media baskets that you can put custom media in -- not as much as a cannister, I'm sure, but I like that feature.

The Whisper says it has an adjustable flow control, and a feature to prevent back siphoning in case of power failure. That sounds good too. I don't think you can put as much custom media in it as the AquaClear.

I've had a Bio-Wheel before, in an Eclipse 3 gallon tank. (I no longer have this tank.) That was a 3 gallon, and this tank will be a 15 gallon, but the thing I didn't like about the Bio-Wheel was that the flow was so strong, and you couldn't customize anything in the filter. Those cartridges were rather expensive, but I wouldn't use the carbon, at least not all the time.

If anyone has likes or dislikes about these filters, please share!
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:40 PM   #2
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The AC has an adjustable flow control, too. Personally, I prefer the ACs for sheer media volume and water turnover....and well-maintained, they last forever. For a 15 gallon, go with the AC200 model.
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
I was looking on the web a little and the Aqua Clear has media baskets that you can put custom media in -- not as much as a cannister, I'm sure, but I like that feature.
This is the best feature of the AC filters. You get a lot of room inside the filter and you can stack it up however you want. The new ACs all come with Bio Max bio media as well, which works really well. An AC300 holds almost half a gallon of media, and would be fine on a 15g tank if you adjust the flow down a bit.

Quote:
The Whisper says it has an adjustable flow control, and a feature to prevent back siphoning in case of power failure. That sounds good too. I don't think you can put as much custom media in it as the AquaClear.
The ACs and Penguins have adjustable flow as well. The mechanism to do this with a Penguin is kind of touchy IMO (raise the intake pipe up and down). No need to worry about the back siphoning either, this would not happen un a AC or Penguin unless the water level in your tank was really low, about 1.5 inches down from the top of the glass.

Quote:
I've had a Bio-Wheel before, in an Eclipse 3 gallon tank. (I no longer have this tank.) That was a 3 gallon, and this tank will be a 15 gallon, but the thing I didn't like about the Bio-Wheel was that the flow was so strong, and you couldn't customize anything in the filter. Those cartridges were rather expensive, but I wouldn't use the carbon, at least not all the time.
If the Bio Wheel is not that important, there is no real reason to get a Penguin. Peronsally I do not even like the Bio Wheels, just another moving part to mess with. My parent's house had a power failure when no one was around, the Bio Wheels on his two Penguin 330s died, and he had an ammonia spike. If that was Bio Max in a AC filter, the bacteria would have been fine. If you still are considering a Penguin, you can just rinse the cartridges if you want to re-use them. The vertical cartridges are simply not as efficient as stacked media in the AC.

What do you think filters water better, 1/2 inch of foam cartridge in the Penguin, or 4+ inches of whatever media you want in the AC? The choice is (Aqua)Clear!

That was a bad joke :P
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*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:52 PM   #4
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I've always used AC for my HOB's. They are very reliable, and they take a beating. I droped one and it cracked. Took some aquarium sealant and fixed it right up. Still working great. I would like to know what some of the others run as media in them. It has space for two kinds. Usually a sponge and either ammo chips or carbon, but you could use just about anything or even double the sponges. If you just use two sponges it is very economical.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:03 PM   #5
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Thanks, everyone!
Thanks, Toirtis -- I didn't know the AquaClears had an adjustable flow too. I was really leaning towards them, and now I think that's what I'll get! I know others have liked the Bio-Wheels, and when I had mine there was really nothing wrong with it, but I would prefer another kind of filter. I think I'll like the AquaClear! Grimlock, you have a 15-high, right? Do you like it? I really only have room for a 10 gallon, but with the 15 high I think it has the same footprint as a 10 gallon. So if I put my pleco and some schooling fish in there, it won't get borderline overstocked like I'm afraid a 10 gallon would. Xray, I was reading that the AquaClears come with biomedia now, or you could add your own bio-balls or ceramic media into the basket. I wouldn't run ammo chips on an already cycled tank. They could compete with the good bacteria for the ammonia. Two sponges sound good, or you could choose between a sponge, bio-balls or ceramic, or some polishing floss. You could add carbon only if necessary, and not all the time.
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Old 01-11-2005, 10:33 PM   #6
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I really like the 15H and other tallish tanks. I have no complaints about it, and it gives you a solid 5g water capacity gain over a 10g. One thing to keep in mind is that a 10g tank does not even hold 10g of water once you fill it with substrate and other items. Instead of just gaining 50% water capacity over a 10g tank, it is more like 60 to 65% increase in capacity of water.

For media in the ACs, do something like this (bottom -> up)

sponge
filter flosss
half a sponge
bio media (or carbon, if needed)

When you clean the tank, toss the floss and replace it, then rinse the filter pads and you are good to go. You get excellent polishing with the floss, and a lot of bio with the ceramic rings.
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*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:34 AM   #7
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I looked in your gallery, grimlock, and saw your 15 gallon high. (No FW pictures anymore?) It is a nice tank and I'm looking forward to getting one. I have Visi-Therm Deluxe 25-watt heaters in my 5 gallon tanks and like them, so I'll get another one for the 15 gallon tank. Is yours a 75 watt?
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:45 AM   #8
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Ah, I got a bunch of pics of my tanks, I just do not use my gallery except for that one pic (which makes my tank look naked!). I have a ton of pics on my computer of both tanks and I stick it up on my webserver as needed.

I only have a 50w in the 15H tank, however I am buying a 100w Titanium heater this weekend. I would reccomend a 75 or 100w for sure, 50w is not much on the tank if it gets chilly in that room.

15H



26 bowfront



That freshwater pic is from my old apartment when my Coralife fixutre was broken. When I got my new house, I setup it up with the same plants and it look wwaayy better with the PC light :P
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2x Sunburst Platys (2M, 2F) // 3x Neon Tetras (?) // 2x Cherry Barbs (1M, 1F) // 2x YoYo Loaches (?) // 1x Bushy Nose Pleco (M) // 1x Clown Pleco (?) //

*15H marine*
-30# Live Rock
-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
-2x Mushroom Leather // Metallic Green Star Polyps // Pulsing Xenia // Striped Xenia // Blue Mushroom
-Remora + Maxi-Jet 1200 // 2x Maxi-Jet 600 // Maxi-Jet 400 // Visi-Therm Deluxe 50 // Current USA Orbit 2x 40w PC
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:12 AM   #9
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Well, it looks like you have decided, but I will also endorse the AC.
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Old 01-12-2005, 02:21 AM   #10
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Oh yes! There's the pic I remember, with the purple and black gravel. (I liked that gravel, BTW!) And your SW tank looks great! I see the percula (or ocellaris!) and is that a royal gramma hiding in the rock? Someday (some year!) I'll get my SW tank!
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