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Old 06-14-2012, 06:21 PM   #1
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Please Help! Can't decide on Canister Filter

Piece by piece I am putting together a 75 gallon tank. It will be an African Cichlid tank, Lake Malawi. Like Electric Yellow Labs as well as some Peacocks and others (researching compatibility) I was told I should have 15-20 fish. The substrate will be black Tahitian Moon. Will have rock cave decor with Terracotta pots. 300 W heater. I am still trying to decide on filtration.

Wife and I want to go canister filtration no HOB (she doesn't like the look) I'd like to go with 2 canisters for my tank. Here are some of the canisters I have looked at and are considering.

Fluval 406 - Overall this seems like a strong filter. There are some complaints but overall the reviews are positive.

RENA XP 3 or 4 - This was the recommendation from a LFS in my region. This is what they use in most of their tanks and tanks that have high bio loads. Was impressed with his recommendation but also take some with a grain of salt because he sells these products but at least he uses what he sells.

AquaTop CF400 or 500 UV - These are new, they are inexpensive. Have been impressed by most of the reviews what I've seen on their website and their use of YouTube to display their product. The only complaint I've seen is the cheap quality of some of the plastic pieces. They appear to get HIGH marks on customer service.

Finally the Fluval X5. As I look at getting 2 canister filters I realize that the price I will pay for 2 will be similar if not maybe a little more than this one new. I may have the possibility of getting a used one for around $100. QUESTION - If you could get a used one at $100 would you or would you prefer to use new equipment?

The reason I am going for 2 over just buying the 1 FX5 is I can break up the cost. I can get one now cycle the tank and then start another one in a month or two.

The more I read and price the more confused I become. Just when I think I know what I want I don't. I'd love to hear people thoughts, experience, and even links to resources to make the best decision. I would love EHEIM but they are just WAY out of my price range.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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A used fx5 is a good option, it will be quite powerful but you should make sure the filter is in good condition and you will want to bleach the media then rinse the media in dechlorinated water.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Thank you - the used FX5 is dependent on whether or not someone buying a used tank takes the filter or not. If I can't get it then I am going 2 canister filters. The first one will be either a Fluval 406 or the Rena xp3/4 then I am thinking the AquaTop CF400 with UV as the second one. That is what I am thinking now. I want to take care of this soon.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:02 PM   #4
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I use the magnum 350 pro with bio wheels and my tank has never been cleaner also you can get these at pet solutions for only 124.99 that is a great deal for a great filter trust me try it u wont go wrong
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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What's the reason for using 2 canisters?

A fx5 would be cool but way overkill, there's no harm in overfiltering, but to a certain extent there's no point in it either, IMO.

I've been looking at the cfs700 and cf11i from aquatraders. www.aquatraders.com/category-s/30.htm
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:01 PM   #6
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Why 2? Well a lot of what I read too much is not necessarily a bad thing. Many with 75 gallon have mentioned a canister and HOB. So I thought maybe 2 canisters to keep the water moving, clean and handle the waste from cichlids. That is what I have walked away with from many of these forums. I am still not sure on what to get.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:34 AM   #7
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I was just curious mostly. Everyone does recommend overfiltering, and I think it does serve a purpose especially on a heavily stocked tank. However at some point the filter is not really being utilized to its full potential so I don't recommend it. That's from my perspective though, and in my mindset I try to get well functional but also try to stay economical if possible, and I recommend the same to others. So for me it's not really a matter of overfiltering hurting anything, I just look at it as an unnecessary expense in some instances.
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