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.