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Old 08-13-2014, 01:18 PM   #1
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Filtration questions

As the stand for the new 55g aquarium is almost done I am looking towards filtration. What would be the best filtration and bio media to use? My pops keeps telling me under gravel filter with 2 power heads creating a current to move all the detritus to the center where the filter mouth would be. Lfs is pushing only hob with bio filter. Some say wet/dry sump filter. Then others say canister filter. I do not like the idea of drilling into a brand new tank. Any advice from experience would be awesome and not just what my lfs says oh well everyone does this. I see a lot of set ups but they never explain the good bad and ugly of each type.


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Old 08-13-2014, 01:33 PM   #2
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Tank Filtration

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As the stand for the new 55g aquarium is almost done I am looking towards filtration. What would be the best filtration and bio media to use? My pops keeps telling me under gravel filter with 2 power heads creating a current to move all the detritus to the center where the filter mouth would be. Lfs is pushing only hob with bio filter. Some say wet/dry sump filter. Then others say canister filter. I do not like the idea of drilling into a brand new tank. Any advice from experience would be awesome and not just what my lfs says oh well everyone does this. I see a lot of set ups but they never explain the good bad and ugly of each type.


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Hello Z...

The filters that hang on the back are inexpensive and work as well as anything. I use Hagen Aquaclear brand. Good, reliable filters. I've run the same ones for years with no problems. A couple of AC50s placed at opposite ends of the tank is what I do.

Don't forget large, frequent water changes. Those are the real filters. The mechanical things just move water around the tank and mix oxygen into the tank water for the fish.

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Old 08-13-2014, 02:08 PM   #3
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Yes, either a HOB like the Aquaclear recommended above or a canister filter.

The HOB's are inexpensive, easy to maintain and usually do a very good job with oxygenation.

A canister on the other hand will likely be quieter and have less evaporation than a HOB.

I usually recommend HOB filters for the less experienced aquarist unless there is a specific reason to do something else.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:34 PM   #4
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I was thinking going with a canister. I've heard they are better for bio media and do a better job of pulling out the gunk.


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Old 08-13-2014, 04:06 PM   #5
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Tank Filtration

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I was thinking going with a canister. I've heard they are better for bio media and do a better job of pulling out the gunk.


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Hey Z...

Canisters are way more expensive than HOBs. Probably 3 times more and it's doubtful they're 3 times better. However, if you've got some deep pockets like some on this forum, then get one. They're significantly more difficult to set up and maintain though. Just saying.

Anyway, as far as them removing the solid organic material (gunk. Good word.) This stuff dissolves in the tank water. So, by being a diligent water changer, you remove it and better than any filter is able to.

Have fun!

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Old 08-13-2014, 04:11 PM   #6
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Ok cool, my pockets are not exactly deep but they are far from shallow. Will start with 2 hobs and see how it goes


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Old 08-13-2014, 04:12 PM   #7
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I agree with most of what has been said thus far. Look at an Aquaclear HOB that you can load with biomedia.

Not yet mentioned is the good old Hamburg Mattenfilter. I have one on 75% of my tanks and it does a super job of bio filtration. Even on my 55 gallon. Keep up with water changes and you never have to touch it.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:09 AM   #8
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For fresh water on a 55 gallon I would either use 2 Fluval C3/4's or 1 and a canister like a Fluval 206, or a Cobalt EXT. If you get a 306 you might as well pay the extra $30 for a 406 but the 206 is significantly cheaper and would be good to pair with a HOB.

I like the HOB for surface movement of the water and easy to change filters.

! AC 110 would do also.
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