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Old 03-05-2013, 10:53 PM   #1
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New Filter Decision PLEASE HELP

Hi everyone,

I just reset up my 29 gallon and my Emperor 400 biowheels are sticking bad. I have decided to replace with a new filter (I know I can buy new biowheels but I'm sick of them giving me problems). I'd prefer it too be quieter then the Emperor since its by the TV.

The tank has sand substrate and is lightly to moderately planted. The bioload will be normal to slightly overstocked. Freshwater

The three filters I have been considering are (I appreciate any other recommendation in the 110 or less price range).

Aquaclear 110- I'm not sure if this is a good idea without modification due to the sand substrate (I read sand can damage a HOB filter) but the price it great. About $60

Marineland C-220- $80

Eheim 2215- $111 pricey but I hear these last forever.

What do you guys think?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:45 AM   #2
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An AC-110's probably overkill in a 29 gallon, an AC-50 should do fine.

Either way, having an HOB with sand is generally not a problem. Unless you have VERY fine sand ... Playsand... and the intake is right at substrate, you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:55 AM   #3
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Plus 1 for the fifty or even a 70 and sand isn't a problem unless its getting stirred up into it
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:18 AM   #4
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I'm more of a Filstar XP2 and 3 fan myself. Cheaper than the Eheim, but mine have been running for over 8 years and have not had any problems. The XP2 would be perfect for a 29G.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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I run an Eheim Classic 2217. I am very happy with this filter, I feel it's worth the price And i would repurchase.. It comes down to preference really. Some people prefer to drive Dodge others a Ford.,. I have had no issues it has great filtration... One thing that may be a deciding factor is in the Eheim the media is loose in layers they are not in baskets or trays. Some may find that a pain.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone for your help. Here are some of my follow up thoughts/questions.

The AC 70 sounds great in that its only $40 but I worry that it does not hold enough media. I must achieve crystal clear water. I have never owned an AC filter. Originally I had a Pinguin 200b on the tank and the test readings where always great, but the water was not clear. That is why I put the Emporer 400 on. But then I started having issues with the Biowheels not turning and it was properly maintained (what a headache). Do you think the AC 110 will be too much flow even when turned down? I've read there is over 1 gallon worth of media space (for a $60 filter that sounds amazing). That is canister territory! Do you think the AC 70 has enough biomedia space (I don't want any chance of going back to cloudy water).

I had not thought about the XP2. I started researching it today. It looks to be about the same price as the Eheim 2215 but with more flow. In fact it looks like the XP1 has more flow then the Eheim as well. Do you guys think the XP1 is enough ? It would be significantly less cost then the Eheim. I am willing to spend the $110ish if I need to, but to keep the price down would be nice.

What about the Marineland C-220? I have read they had a lot of problems initially but have improved. But still mixed reviews.

Canister vs HOB. Hmmmmmmm
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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Trust me, an AC-50 can hold more than enough media for a 29gal so you can imagine an AC-70. $40 for a 70's a decent price and you can simply lower the flow to be more comparable to an AC-50. Cloudy water comes down to mechanical filtration and if you want to keep polished water you can add 100% Poly-fill to the filter. Between the sponge and the Poly-fill, your water will look like glass.

Personally speaking ceramic bio-media space gets way to over-rated. Yes having Porous media for bacteria colonies is important. But ... you'll get a ton of bacteria colonize the sponges, filter-floss or other mechanical media. Bacteria grow in response to the bio-load, not the available space they have.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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I've never actually tried the XP1. I had an XP2 on my 29G and loved it. It's also got a valve as well that you can put on the return line to turn the flow up or down.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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Now I noticed they changed the names as well. XP S, XP M, XP L, and XP XL.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:00 PM   #10
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Thank you! I will still think a little more on this and buy within a couple days. I probably will go with the AC 70. You have been a lot of help.
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