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Old 04-11-2014, 06:11 PM   #1
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Talking Filtration for a 55 gal. African cichlid tank

My birthday is coming up, and I think I'm in the market for a new filter for my tank. It's been a while since I've shopped for a filter. I got my used HOB with my used tank- it was a good deal and thought to be broken. It works fine, but I'm looking for something quieter. In the past I've used an Eheim 2217 and I am looking at getting another one, but I decided to get some fellow fish keepers' advice before I request one for my birthday present.
A little bit about my tank:
55 gallon tank
African cichlid setup (Mbuna)- only have 6 fish in there, but plan on increasing that soon as well.
current filter is an unknown HOB, looks to be pretty old and I can't find a brand name anywhere on it!
Sandy substrate with a lot of rocks for the affectionately named "Blues"

Not sure what else you would need to know.. If I missed something, feel free to ask! Oh, I am very partial to external/canister filters. I want something reasonably priced, nothing that will make me go and honestly, I will consider "cheaper is better" products if they have good reviews. All I need is something that will adequately filter my tank and do so quietly. Hubby is going crazy with the waterfall noise, so that is why I'm leaning towards a canister filter, but I'm open to all suggestions!
TIA
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:53 PM   #2
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I have a fancy eheim e3 2076 that is very quiet, however if i were to buy another canister i wouldnt spend the money on the bells and whistles. I would buy 2 less expensive canisters, and place one on each end of the tank. What ive found is one canister just isnt enough water flow to really keep the substrate debris free on a 4ft tank. I feel two canisters would do a better job, as well as providing a backup in case one filter goes down. I dont have enough experience with canisters to recommend a specific brand & model.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:44 PM   #3
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I agree, it just isn't enough. I run a Fluval 306 AND a 55/75 AND a homemade bottle floss filter in each 55 tank. In the 75 gallon I run a cascade 1000, 55/77 AND bottle filter. My 55 cichlid tank water is stunning and I probably have a couple too many in there. The 29 runs an aqua clear 70, aqueon 30 and a bottle.
So my 55's have 160 gallon filtering capacity, plus the extra mech from the bottle. Almost triple.
The 75 has 190 capacity, plus the extra mech from the bottle. Again, a bit less than triple.
The 29 gallon has 100 capacity, plus the extra mech from the bottle. Over triple.
I'm sure you will find similar numbers with most people.
As far as price, I've never paid full price. I use sales and rewards etc. The most I ever paid for a 306 is $129 and the cascade was $89. The HOB's never paid more than $30. I prefer the 306's though. The prime on a cascade has alot to be desired. But it has a higher flow, has a nice spray bar, was REAL cheap and hasn't leaked so far.......
The waterfall noise isn't really going to go away. Canisters CAN be just as noisy. The fluval's have a simple 'U' chute which mostly stays under water, but the current still makes noise. The cascade has a spray bar, which I aim upwards and makes water noise. To me, quiet water means little/no surface agitation. A big no-no.
Hope this helps a little along with others input!
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:11 PM   #4
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Well, I certainly understand that it's not good/possible to get rid of the waterfall noise completely. If I can just reduce it even a little bit though, I think that would do wonders. Thank you for your input!
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:19 PM   #5
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You didn't say if you minded the noise. I love it, makes me feel like I'm camping brookside. Although running water does make some people have to pee alot. If that's the hubby's issue, you could leave the bathroom light on and the seat up, just for him! LOL
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:02 PM   #6
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Lol! I like the noise myself. But I've kept ranks in my bedroom growing up.. The hubby just doesn't like it. Especially when the water evaporates, which it does a lot of.
I feel like it's a good enough reason to look for a newer filter plus I don't think the current filter is adequate.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:43 AM   #7
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On my 55 gal mbuna, I have a fluvial 406 canister with a Marineland Penguin 350B plus a hydor koralia 600 circulation pump. The penguin HOB really made a difference to my water quality. So 2 filters would be worthwhile.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:52 PM   #8
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A friend of mine taught me this trick, if you have a Hob filter, set it so the water will be over the little lip, this means there won't be any noise! But you want to surface agitation, so during the day lift it up and slip a market underneath and boom you have yourself more water agitation. For filters.... Why not make your own? I have a 125 with 1200 gallons of circulation an hour, I spend 4 dollars on new filter floss a month, and I have some great water!
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidFish View Post
A friend of mine taught me this trick, if you have a Hob filter, set it so the water will be over the little lip, this means there won't be any noise! But you want to surface agitation, so during the day lift it up and slip a market underneath and boom you have yourself more water agitation. For filters.... Why not make your own? I have a 125 with 1200 gallons of circulation an hour, I spend 4 dollars on new filter floss a month, and I have some great water!
I'm interested in the DIY filter you mentioned. I LOVE DIY.. Can you tell me more?
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:49 PM   #10
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Yeah I'd be glad to make a post about it as a lot of people are interested in it... I'll keep you posted!
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