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Old 01-23-2005, 05:52 PM   #1
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Filters - new thread with LFS information

This is a new thread continuing my search for a filter for my soon to be 65 gallon tank. The orignal thread was Getting a 55 gallon tank and very confused.
As you can see, after visting (4) different LFS's, my tank size has increased from 55 to 65 gallons......
To recap, my dilemma is trying to determine what type and size filter system I need. This will be a FW non-planted tank and will most likely house a few angels, blue rams, about 10-12 cardinal tetra's, 3 clown loaches, 3 cory's and probably another 5-8 other fish (rainbow's?).
I'm struggling between a HOB or canister style filter. I've visited (4) LFS's in the past week and here is what they say:

Store #1 - you must have a UGF along with a large HOB....like an Emperor 400. Discussion on the UGF and its real need didn't change they're opinion. No real opinion on a canister other than, yea, that would work too. Not much help.

Store #2 - again, another must have UGF along with a HOB OR canister. Get a AquaFlow 500 or any canister and you'll be happy. Again, not much help.

Store #3 - you don't need a UGF (HOO-RAY! - finally). You can either go with a canister....like a FLuvall 404 or Magnum OR go with (2) smaller HOB units like (2) AquaClear 300's. The problem in going with a Fluvall 404 or Magnum will be that there will not be enough circulation and you will/should also use a powerhead or airstone to increase the circulation. They're overall receommendation was to use (2) HOB's as even though the Fluvall and Magnum were rated at 350gph, in reality, they will probably only provide 300 or so. Also, they leaned towards the Fluvall due to the Magnum's micro filter canister's trend of slowing down the flow when it starts getting dirty and the Fluvall has easier maintenance. They advised me to stay away from the Eheim's as the GPH ratings are too low.....

Store # 4 - Spoke with (2) separate people. First (Store Mgr.), basically said - you do not need UGF (yay - another good start!) and you certainly don't need (2) HOB's.....having (1) large one - like a AquaClear 500 is enough. There really will not be a benefit to having (2) smaller HOB's located on different ends....the filters all draw water from all over the tank (?). Also, they recommended the Fluvall 404 for the canister and contradicted Store #3 by saying you will definetely will not need an increase in circulation, the Fluvall will provide enough. Also, going with a canister will be LESS maintennace than a HOB (only once a month or so....) They also pointed me to getting an in-line HEATER if I go with the Fluvall (or any canister).....hmmmm.....sounds interesting and would also get another item out of the tank (less clutter) but at double the cost. Any opinions on this?
The 2nd employee was the guy who was selling the fish....his recommendation was the Fluvall 404 and nothing else.

Ok, I'll have to make a decision on this within the next week as I will be buying the tank this week and probably the filter a supplies the following week......I 'think' right now I'm leaning towards the Fluvall 404. I'm out of LFS's to visit, sooooo, I'll have to go with the information I've obtained from them and you.

Thanks

Alan
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Old 01-23-2005, 06:02 PM   #2
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I think you'll be fine with a Fluval 404 if you want a canister. Canister maintenance can be messy if all the shut off valves don't function properly though. Everyone has thier favorite filters...mine is the Emperor 400. It flows 400 gph, has media baskets that will allow the use of almost any media you want, is extremely reliable, and uses bio wheels for biological filtration...very efficient. I would not go with a UGF under any circumstances.
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Old 01-23-2005, 06:20 PM   #3
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Nix the ugf. Unfortunately I still have one in the 10 gal, but that's because I'm too lazy to dig it out. I took the tubes out last week and threw those away, but the under gravel part is going to stay in there until I take the time to do plenty of water changes because of the crap that it throws up.

Anything over a 40 gal should definitely have a canister. They are virtually noise free and easy to maintain. Like it was said before, you can put your own media into the baskets and customize it to your needs. Not like the hob's where you must use 1 certain filter and if you need to replace it, they better be in stock otherwise you are out of luck. I like the fact that I can put the cc in the filtration unit and not have a sack of it sitting in the tank or trying to stuff it into the hob. Also, if you need to change your filter media, you can use just about anything. You don't have to be constricted to the manufacturer's product.

I love the Cascade 1000 unit that is on our 55. I haven't heard anyone mention this particular filter before. At our lfs's all they sell is Penn Plax products. Maybe it's a product that is sold big in this area or something, who knows.

If you can afford it, definitely go with the in-line heater. I was hoping that one was made for the Cascade, but unfortunately there's not. It's one less object in the tank and you wont have that cord coming out the top.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:05 PM   #4
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UGF's are excellent if you know how to care for them and do the maintenance. Alot of people are too lazy to do the required maintenance to up keep a UGF properly.

Another thing is A UGF with a Powerhead(s) IMHO is one of the best bio filters you can have. I have a 29 thats been running for 3 years without a problem it has a UGF with 2 powerheads connected to the uplift tubes.

With a big tank like 55 or 65 you would want a canister filter and a HOB to pick up alot of the bigger wastes.

Its basically up to you though you can decide how much maintenance you willing to do to keep your fish healthy. Personally I would have two forms of filtration.

What happens when your filter goes out?? ( yes the do go out ) What if you happen to be away for a few days when it happens?? Its always nice to have a back up going just in case something does happen.

Anyhow If you have fish that do not require cleaner water and can live fine in most conditions then you can get just a HOB filter and take your chances.

Good Luck!!
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:02 PM   #5
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I like LFS # 3 ! Very sound advice. Patronize them with your fish bucks, but buy the filters online . It is your choice, canister or HOB. Or one of each! Be warned, when you get used to a canister, it might be all you want. I believe strongly in lots of filtration. So go with two filters, be it 2 HOB's, 2 fluvals, or one of each.
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:41 PM   #6
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OK.....I also like the advice of LFS #3 although the actual store was not impressive. My thought is to go with the Fluval 404 as a start and I can always ADD an additional HOB (like a AquaClear 300) if it appears the Fluval isn't enough....right?
Oh, another thought on the inline heater.....I'm not so sure I like this idea as whenever the filter is disconnected or if there is a power failure and the filter doesnt re-start for some reason, I'll lose my heat capability........
TomK2 - I notice you have inline heat....was/is that a concern?
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Old 01-24-2005, 12:20 AM   #7
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TomK2 - I notice you have inline heat....was/is that a concern?
I saw it advertised, and liked the idea that I wouldn't have a heater hanging in the tank. I have never had a canister filter fail to start after power resumes. Of course, the motor could fail on the canister, but I never had that happen either, with the longest I have used a canister filter continuously being three years. I suppose either the heater or the filter could fail, and the only real protection you have is to monitor the tank and/or have a second unit for backup. With a submersible heater, function is only dependant on the heater working, so it is more reliable only by the liklihood of the canister failing, which I believe to be very slight. Anyway, I have used it for two months now, and I like that the heat is actively pumped throughout the tank. I have moved the thermometer around the tank and can't find any cold or hot spots. Beware that it is about twice as thick as a 5/8 hose and must be vertical to prevent air trapping. That means that you have to have a vertical space above the canister somewhere, and if your tank is really close to the wall it might have to be verticle and entirely under the stand. I can hear mine clicking on and off at times. Overall I am very happy with it.

Edit 1/28/05 - correction on in line heater size - I was working behind my tank today and noticed that the in line heater is a bit thicker than I had remembered. Its a tad over 3 inches wide and about 10 inches long
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:47 AM   #8
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Just a note about store #3: IMHO I would not use a power head in the tank if your going to have angels, they like their water a tad bit calmer, it will keep them less stressed out that way.

I have a 75 gal. that I am setting up right now for angels and my filtration will consist of a magnum 350(w/ bio-wheel pro 60, soon to come) and an Eheim Pro2 2026. I have these filters just sitting around though and thought it would be beneficial to go ahead and run them both on this setup.
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10 White Cloud Minnow
10 Black Neon Tetra
2 Anubias
75 Gal.
Flourite and small river rock substrate w/ driftwood.
80 Watts standard flouescent lighting
Magnum 350
Eheim ProII 2026
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Old 01-24-2005, 01:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Also, they recommended the Fluvall 404 for the canister and contradicted Store #3 by saying you will definetely will not need an increase in circulation, the Fluvall will provide enough. Also, going with a canister will be LESS maintennace than a HOB (only once a month or so....)

If the outflow tube is pointed up, you will get enough surface aggitation for oxygen diffusion. I have never dealt with an inline heater. It's an interesting concept--if I ever have the extra $$
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Old 01-24-2005, 01:49 PM   #10
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You already have your mind made up go buy what you want.
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