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Old 06-20-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
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Now THAT is filtration!

I have a 55 gallon tank with 10 mixed Malawi Cichlids and a Syn.Eupterus. This tank was part of one of those kits that I (now) really don't recommend for someone wanting to start a Cichlid tank because the equipment that comes with it is typically insufficient. The kit came with a Top Fin Power Filter 60 (300GPH) and it was just not cutting it and slowed the progress of my additions. My awesome family gifted me an AquaClear 70 for Father's day after I had been dropping some subtle hints. However, apparently my hints were too subtle or not quite specific enough because I really wanted the AC110. Well, after getting over that awkwardness I returned it and purchased an AC110 instead.

The tank was due for a cleaning and PWC anyway, and I needed another 3/4" behind the tank for the new filter, so I drained the tank down to about 3" with a major total gravel vac/rearrange while I unpacked my new 110. To my surprise, the case was shattered in the box! Luckily I had just enough time to get back to the store before it closed to exchange the faulty AC110 for an unscathed unit while my beloved fish sat in 3" of unheated and uncirculated water with all decor piled to one side (there was not time to fill it, or I would have missed the store). All was well when I returned.

Originally, I was going to replace the rather noisy TopFin 60 with the AC110, but my wife/son convinced me to keep the Top Fin 60 in there as well (more is better, right?). The AC110 is really a nice unit. Great water flow, and there is minimal splashing or pump noise. It's worth the money, and is obviously solid construction. Where I started out with a feeble 300GPH, now I have 800GPH total between the two units. Yes! Now I just need to figure out what stock is suitable for a 55 gallon and what will get along with my Yellow Labs, etc.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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I would leave the old one on there fir at least a month if for anything else to seed the new filter with good bacteria so you don't go back into a small cycle.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
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Yeah, I had originally planned to add the old media to the new filter (there is room) to seed the new filter media. But I figured, why not leave it in there for additional water flow and filtration? Plus, now there is redundancy in case one of them fails.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:37 AM   #4
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Nice! I have about 720gph filtration in my 55 gal fw community tank. My fish don't mind and my water is crystal clear.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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I swear it's gotten "brighter" in there somehow. I quote "brighter" because at first it almost looks like there is a whitish haze after being used to seeing at it like it was for almost year. But upon further inspection it's really just a brighter hue of all of colors in there. There certainly is more aeration now... maybe it's tiny bubbles reflecting/refracting the light. Not sure. The flow is excellent with the two filters going at once. Excellent cirtulation.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Lab, your story sounds familiar. I got my 55 gallon petsmart setup with the noisy topfin 60 about a year and a half ago. A month later as my stock grew I decided to "replace" it with an AC110, but I wound up keeping both. This past week the noisy topfin drove me crazy and I finally got rid of it and added a second AC110. I had my eye on an Eheim 2217 at a great price, but it was still more than double what the 110 cost. Now I have great flow, plenty of filtration and an almost silent fish room.

On a side note, I see you have a syno eupterus. I got one about 2 months ago and thought he'd never come out of his cave. Now I see him scavenging through the rocks along with my yellow labs. What a character he has become.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slade
Lab, your story sounds familiar. I got my 55 gallon petsmart setup with the noisy topfin 60 about a year and a half ago. A month later as my stock grew I decided to "replace" it with an AC110, but I wound up keeping both. This past week the noisy topfin drove me crazy and I finally got rid of it and added a second AC110. I had my eye on an Eheim 2217 at a great price, but it was still more than double what the 110 cost. Now I have great flow, plenty of filtration and an almost silent fish room.

On a side note, I see you have a syno eupterus. I got one about 2 months ago and thought he'd never come out of his cave. Now I see him scavenging through the rocks along with my yellow labs. What a character he has become.
Wow, 1000 GPH water flow for a 55 gallon! Now THAT is filtration!

Yeah, my Syn. Eupterus spends nearly all of the daytime hours foraging around upside down in a long niche in my pseudo-driftwood decor. I found if I put off feeding until close to 10:00 pm that I have better luck seeing everyone eat, and where he will roam out and dig around in the gravel. We were holding our breath when I first added it... the Labs surrounded it and were rather aggressively "tasting" his sail-like dorsal fin for about an hour before they determined that it was inedible and lost interest. The Squeaker didn't seem to regard the Labs whatsoever during this brief acclamation period. Now they coexist and even compete for sunken food with no issues at all. I do have to rather toss in NLS in order to get it to sink fast enough before the others hog it all, as it will only eat off of downward-facing horizontal surfaces.

I have researched the Syn. Eupterus and found max sizes ranging from 6.5" - 11.8." I really hope it's only the prior. I try to keep my stick max size at a max of 5-6.5." If it exceeds 7" I will have to consider rehoming it, which I do not want to do. I have another open thread where I am asking for suggestions for peaceful tank mates for Labs. I'd be interested in hearing what you have coexisting with your Labs.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:46 PM   #8
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My featherfin is really unique because he'll come to the top upside down and eat pellets and flakes with all my mbuna, they've got a lot of personality!
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labenator65000
I swear it's gotten "brighter" in there somehow. I quote "brighter" because at first it almost looks like there is a whitish haze after being used to seeing at it like it was for almost year. But upon further inspection it's really just a brighter hue of all of colors in there. There certainly is more aeration now... maybe it's tiny bubbles reflecting/refracting the light. Not sure. The flow is excellent with the two filters going at once. Excellent cirtulation.
That white haze is just tiny particles or sometimes it can be from a water change. I use a bulk media to get rid of that fast. Just cut it out and insert it in between or at the top of the filter. It catches fine particles. Best part, its cheap. Its the blue stuff in this picture. I get a huge roll at the lfs for like 10.00 bucks or less.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...lter-media.jpg
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifeoffroad

That white haze is just tiny particles or sometimes it can be from a water change. I use a bulk media to get rid of that fast. Just cut it out and insert it in between or at the top of the filter. It catches fine particles. Best part, its cheap. Its the blue stuff in this picture. I get a huge roll at the lfs for like 10.00 bucks or less.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...lter-media.jpg
There is probably 2" if tight foam mechanical filter that is the stage 1 filter for the AC110. I would think that would even tiny particles. Is this blue stuff even tighter filtration than that?
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