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Old 03-09-2011, 01:25 PM   #1
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Filtration Advice Needed

I just re-discovered a 30-gallon tank that Id had as a kid. For filtration, it looks like it used an under-gravel system which filtered through an activated charcoal unit which was kept in the tanks stand/cabinet. I want to say the activated charcoal unit was from Fluval, but I could be wrong. Sadly, as the tank was from the early 90s, a lot of the plastic looks degraded to the point where Im cautious if it would still work. This affects the under-gravel tray, the activated charcoal unit, and the tubing. I think Id better get a new filtration system to be safe.

In this tank I plan to keep African cichlids. I plan to fully stock the tank so that I can actually have a reasonable number of fish in a mid-sized tank. Id like my filtration system to be extremely efficient, since Id rather avoid weekly PWCs (Im not saying I wont do them if I dont have to, but itd be nice to avoid them if possible).

So, after that long intro, please recommend me the most awesome filtration system imaginable for my tank (awesome for home use, not industrial equipment). Be as specific as possible with brand/model info, pricing, and a good place to buy this stuff (since Im still fairly ignorant to this hobby but Im learning fast). If the price is too ridiculous Ill ask for a more modest suggestion later, but Id like to know what the high-end system comprises first.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:09 PM   #2
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AquaClear 70 - Simple, efficient, easy to maintain. It's relatively cheap too. Save the carbon packet and run the sponge and the biomedia. I run one on my 29g and it does an awesome job.

You could go the canister route, but that's expensive for my taste.

The PWCs will depend on the stocking. A normal filter won't remove nitrates from the water. There are chemical denitrators, but I'm a little skeptical of them.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:13 PM   #3
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What do you mean by fully stocking with Cichlid s. IMO 30 gallon tank is to small for most cichlid. Under gravel filters IMO are a thing in the past. A good cichlid substrate will do. If your going to fill it up with fish, you will be busy with PWC's. As mentioned above AquaClear 70 is a good choice.

Filters for a 30 gallon you will need to double the size of the filter like one for a 55 to 60 gallon tank:Emperor Bio Wheel Power Filter.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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The tank is a 30 Long, not a 29, so it's got some extra bottom area for cichlids. Dimensions are 36L x 12W x 18H.

Another site I saw (cichlid-forum.com) seems to claim ~8 fish are ok. That site even had stocking suggestions down to 20 Long size.

I'd like to keep this tank flush against the wall. That probably eliminates hang-on-back power filters (but I'd rethink things if those were a requirement). Any good suggestions for a canister filter?

I realize under-gravel filters are outdated, I'm just saying that's what it had in the early 90's.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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I like Hagen Brand, Fluval 305

Aquatic products

This cannister will give you plenty of flow + filtration.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:33 PM   #6
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UGFs are a little old school, but they still work.

Fluvals, Renas, and most Eheims get pretty good reviews around here.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:29 PM   #7
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dont skimp on filtration. you can learn from other peoples mistakes. dont like the african idea cuz the small tank size, but if you must, look into smaller species. laRGE MODLE AQUACLEARS ARE A GOOD CHOICE FOR HOB filters.. a fully stocked 30g with africans is about five fish. six maybe... freshwater fish need 1 gallon per inch of adult fish. most africans are 5-7'' or more when fully grown i have aquaclear 50s on 14g and 20 g tanks and they are fine.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:09 AM   #8
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look into paying $50-$150 for good filters
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