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Old 06-22-2003, 11:14 PM   #1
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Heater & filter advice

I've done a lot of reading here to find out what the best filter and heater would be for my 29 that I'm setting up (that I thought was a 20...the extra 9 gallons made me excited ). I've narrowed it down to an Emperor 400 or 280 for my filter and VisiTherm heaters.

Now, I know if I got a single heater I'd need either a 100 or 150w. But, I've also heard it said that two smaller heaters are better than one. So...my heater question is this: do I get two 50s, or two 75s? I don't want to get too strong of heaters.

Then for my filter, I know a 280 could handle the load easily, but people seem to really like the 400. I can get a 280 on ebay, new, for 16 right now (but there's still a day left). I saw the 400s go yesterday for about 30 new on ebay. Is a dual media that much better that I want to get the 400? I know it's like a $50 unit in the LFS. Just curious. Also, how inferior is a Penguin 330? Should I just stick with the top-shelf Emperor?

Thanks, y'all.

I was winning a 150w VisiTherm last night at 1am with 2 minutes to go after being the highest for over an hour...it was mine at 5.50. Within the two minutes I lost it.


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Old 06-23-2003, 02:08 PM   #2
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the Emperor is marineland right?

I had one of their penguin bio-whell minis, but have retired it a long time ago in favor of a SecondNature Whisper C ... the whisper is a bit quieter, but also lets me reuse filter bags and load my own media (carbon, zeolite, peat, etc)

I got tired of paying $12 for a 3 pack of marineland filter cartridges every two months, none which were non-reusable

also, i wouldn't recommend visitherm ... their heaters seem lightweight and flimsy compared to something like a Ebo Jager, RenaCal or ThermoWave (not sure who makes that one) (all of which were inexpensive) ... my Jager is a lot more precise (the temperature gauge is actually calibrated) than the RenaCal or the ThermoWave (the numbers on their gauge don't mean much), but all are working great for me

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Old 06-23-2003, 02:17 PM   #3
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I have a 400 and love it, but I also have a 280 on my smaller tank. I would go with the 280, the 400 on a small tank creates way too much surface agitation and is wide enough to almost cover the back of the tank.

Stick with Emporer

I don't recommend two heaters until you get above 45 gallons, just more money and more chance for something to go wrong.
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Old 06-23-2003, 03:44 PM   #4
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I have used Visi Therm heaters for years and have never had a problem with one of them. The Ebo Jager is excellent as well. Online pricing is usually within $1 between the two. I agree with Bearfan...go with the Emp 280. That's plenty for a 29 and is the best HOB filter you can get. The Penguins rely on water flowing out of the body of the filter to turn the bio wheels. The Emperor has a dual impeller pump that supplies separate flow to the wheels...much better design. You can also rebuild the filter carts. Tear off the blue fiber so all you have left is the black plastic frame. Buy a roll of quilt batting from Wal Mart...medium thickness. Cut the batting so it overlaps the edges of the frame by about 1"-1 1/2" all the way around. Add some new carbon and secure the batting with a couple of rubber bands.
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Old 06-24-2003, 06:50 PM   #5
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I don't have a heater so I can't comment on that, but I have several Emperor 280s. I like them better than the Emperor 400s because the 280s are quieter. THey are excellent filters.
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