I've got a 100 gallon African Cichlid tank with two canister filters- a Rena Filstar xP3 and a Fluval 405. They're nowhere near enough filtration for my tank - if I don't do a 50% change every week I'm looking at 80 nitrates.
I just came back from vacation and the parameters were: pH: 8.0, Am: 0, NO2
: 0, NO3
: 160 at about 15 seconds after starting the timer. That was 10 days after my last 50% change. I left the food measured in baggies so they wouldn't get overfed.
Don't know how much this matters but here is my current stock:
4 Cyrtocara moori (blue dolphins)
3 Placidochromis sp. Phenochilus Tanzania (Star Sapphires)
1 Xystichromis Phytophagus (Christmas Fulu)
3 Protomelas taeniolatus, Likoma Island (Tangerine Tigers)
3 Cynotilapia afra (Cobue)
1 Cynotilapia afra (Chewere)
1 Aulonocara kandeense
2 aulonocara Rubescens albino
7 yellow labs
That makes a total of 26 but at the moment they're all under 3 inches, except for my gigantic peacekeeper rusty (he's full grown). The Cynotilapias, Protomelas and the yellow labs are probably all under 1 1/2"-2". I had many, many more large (5-6"+) cichlids previously and had the same problem...I'm surprised it didn't improve because I decreased the bioload substantially (about 2 months ago).
Ideally I'd get at least one FX5 and ditch the smaller canisters but the cabinets under my tank stand are only 9 3/4" each so that beast wouldn't fit through them to get under the tank. Since the mere mention of moving the tank and stand to get it in behind it also generated the death glare and the threat of permanently sleeping on the couch, it looks like that isn't an option for me either.
Can anyone tell me if the canister for the FX5 is flexible? If it will bend I might get one under the tank. The thing looks like a garbage can!
What's the next best thing? I can't fit a third canister so it would have to replace one, probably the Fluval because the Rena kicks butt. I noticed Rena is now API and they've got a newer filter, has anyone tried that?