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Old 11-23-2005, 09:50 AM   #1
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Filtration Systems

Hello. I have had a aquariums for 20 years and am currently considering a new 125 gallon for fresh water. I received an education regarding filter systems yesterday and would like the input from others. I currently have a 75 gallon with an under gravel filter, air pump for the UGF, and a foam/charcoal/ammonia over the back of the tank waterfall type filter. I am not a fan of the power head system due to they create too much heat (I live in a hot summer environment). I was planning on another UGF with a supplemental filter system; what is the current thought on UGFs and are they currently recommended or not? I have looked at canister filters to supplement the UGF and have learned they make drilled tanks for the canister system. Any thoughts on supplemental systems, no UGF and other filter only, or any other advice from people more up to date than I?
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:13 AM   #2
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from what i've heard from various sources on the net, ugf are outdated and inconvenient, just the though of having to tear down my tank every so often gives me chills./. :| if i were you i would go for a canister filter and maybe a large hob like an Penguin or something with bio wheels on it.. hopefully some of the more experienced members will chime in with better advice.. hth
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:08 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA Rupret!

The undergravel filter was very popular several years ago, but has been deeemed ineffecient compared to other types of filtration. They are Nitrate factories in a sense that debris collects under the gravel.

You do not have to have a drilled tank for a canister. In fact, I don't know how one would setup a canister with a drilled tank. I'm sure there is some way to do it, but I am not experienced with it. I know that for a sump, the tank should be drilled. Two canisters are going to be your best bet. One on each end of the tank. It will provide adequate filtration. We have 2 canisters on our 150 gal African Cichlid tank and it is more than enough. I would recommend going that route.
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:11 AM   #4
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I do not think you have to have a predrilled tank to run a canister, unless you are getting a huge cannister system. Most of the ones I have seen just have piping or tubing that runs up the back and sets over the edge into the tank. They do have a piece you lock onto the ledge to keep them in place, so basically all you see is the intake and output end of the tubing. IMO they are the best way to go on a tank over 20 gal, especially if you are going to do plants. Cant say if a powerhead creates much heat, as I have never used them, but I do know people who use them here in lower alabama, with no noticable heat change in the tanks.
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Old 11-23-2005, 11:20 AM   #5
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Canister filters, without an UGF, are very efficient and convenient for larger tanks. MIght want to consider one on each end, then the canister outflows would provide great circulation, and you could alternate maintenance on them and always have one undisturbed. I even have two fluval 404's on my 55 gal tank.
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Old 11-24-2005, 02:14 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone! It sounds like the UGF are not recommended any for, even with a supplemental filtration system. Just out of curiosity, any recommendations for UGF out there? I like the duel canister set up, which had crossed my mind. Tom, what do you do with your airstones on your 55? Due you utilize any of the 1" tubing or anything? I would rather utilize an air pump with either with or without an airstone, due to great excessive summer heat problems with power heads in the past. I am looking for any opinions while I'm still considering the 125 gallon tank. Again, thank you all. Rupret.
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Old 11-24-2005, 09:20 AM   #7
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I actually don't have any airstones in my tank. The output nozzles from the canisters just under the surface provide all the surface agitation needed for oxygen exchange, and all the water flow I need. Thus, airstones would be for show only. Using canisters Without the UGF, there is no need for the uplift tubes at all, or for the power heads, unless you want increased water movement. If you want to keep your power heads in service, they can be used free standing with just a sponge prefilter on them. Then the sponges can be used in QT's for instant biofilter when needed.

Another advantage to a canister is thay you can use an inline heater, thus removing the heater from the display tank for a neater appearance. Hang on to your UGF and parts, you never know when you will need them for a different tank, or as parts for something else you would create. There really is nothing wrong with an UGF, most of us just find them inconvenient compared to HOB and canisters.

My airstones, air pump, and submersible heater are now used in a water holding tank. the aeration drives off the chlorine, so that a 30 gallon garbage can becomes a heated and dechlorinated water source for water changes. You can view the set up at:
http://home.comcast.net/~tomstank/to...s/page0015.htm
The set up is perhaps a little over the top, but I am lazy and hate water changes, so I made it as easy as possible for me.
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input guys. Here is what I'm thinking for a new aquarium. 125 gallon tank, two Fluval 260 gph canister filters, no ugf (big step for me), maybe a couple air outlets for looks and a little water flow contribution, and 384 watts of lighting. I don't want to add powerheads due to past experience with excessive heat build up during the summer. My goal is to have both healthy fish and plant life in the tank. The plant life does not need to exotic or anything, just healthy and growing and I may add a CO2 system later. Any further additions or changes any of you would recommend? I have been trying to do my research and pick the best set up for a new tank, which has been a learning experience the last week (I have been pretty dated on my knowledge). Any futher advice would be appreciated. Thanks! Rupret.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:38 PM   #9
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With 384 Watts, that's 3 wpg. You will definately need CO2 when you upgrade the lighting.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:47 PM   #10
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I'd go either HOB or Cannister, or a mix of the two. I use the Emperor 400 on my 55G, and thinking of adding a cannister. No fish in the tank yet, as it's cycling. Just another idea.
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