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Old 01-09-2005, 02:51 PM   #1
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Power Filters...need advice

I am currently running two Whisper 30 power filters on my 55 gal FW setup that Ive had for over 2 years now.

I want to advance to a different system, I am sick of the stupid black foam "bio-grid" on my whispers, and changing the stupid cartridges, filling them with carbon and so on.

Its basically a toss up between Marinelands Emperor 280 ( I would run 2 - one on each side) Is it possible to "over filtrate" the water? The other choice would be the Marineland penguin bio-wheel. What is the difference between these two and which is preferred? Do I really need to run two power filters capable of filtering up to 50 gals each? I tend to operate my fish aquarium at the upper limits of quantity of fish. I have 1 pleco, 1 raphael, 1 tiger barb, 2 blue gouramis, 2 cherry barbs, 2 paradise fish, 2 bala sharks, 2 neon tetras (used to be 13 but the raphael and tiger barb ate them!), 1 loach, 5 something or others, and a few others.
I want the best filtration. My tank is always crystal clear, I do a 1/3 water change every weekend and clean my filters as needed. Please give me some advice before I buy the wrong one!
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:02 PM   #2
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I would say that it's better to have a little extra filtration then too little. You could go out and buy 2 filters suited for 30-40 gallons, could save you some $ as opposed to buying 2 55 gal filters.
I don't know anything on your type of filter, but i'm sure someone else will come and give you advice on that.
Since you don't know all your fishes, could you tell us the sizes of the ones you don't know? Would make a difference if the couple of unknown fish are 1" or 5".
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:07 PM   #3
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Well my bala sharks are getting big... 4-5" each.
My 2 blue gouramis are about 2-2.5" each.
My 1 Pleco is medium at about 7".
My 1 Rafael is a monster. Hes fat as heck and about 8".. i need to get rid of him, hes too much load for the tank i think.
My 2 remaining neon tetras are probably .75" or less
The 1 loach, which has stripes, is about 2"
The 5 forgotten name schooling fish are about 1" each

As you can see, Im probably approching the upper limits of my bio-load. There are probably a few other fish that I have forgotten too. The tank is always crystal clear, showroom condition, I just did my monthly gravel vacuum last nite. I am a stickler about over-feeding, feed 1x a day. I need to know which power filter bio-wheel is recommended here, I want to purchase today.
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:15 PM   #4
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I think you need a canister filter, but if I was going with HOB filters I would get 2 Emperor 400s. I do not think it is possible to overfilter, as long as the current is not causing problems for hte fish, which it won't with 2 400s.

You still have cartridges, but you don't need carbon - you just rinse the things out in spent aquarium water and stick them back in. The Emperors also have extra media chambers that can hold biomedia like ceramic noodles or extra floss, even, and I'd take advantage of that.

For less money than the two power filters you could get a Rena Filstar XP2 or XP3 (I run an XP3 on my 55) at bigalsonline.com.
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:18 PM   #5
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a single emporer 400 would do well, or alternatively the 2 280's or or a penguin biowheel 330, or 2 penguin 170's.

2 of any of them will overfilter, which is not a bad thing IMO and the added redundancy can be nice

I would suggest when you install the new filters cut the "Bio foam" up from the tetras, or leave it whole, and install it into the penguins or emporer filters to help with colonizing the new filters..
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizzard~Of~Ozz
a single emporer 400 would do well, or alternatively the 2 280's or or a penguin biowheel 330, or 2 penguin 170's.

2 of any of them will overfilter, which is not a bad thing IMO and the added redundancy can be nice

I would suggest when you install the new filters cut the "Bio foam" up from the tetras, or leave it whole, and install it into the penguins or emporer filters to help with colonizing the new filters..
I really dis-like the biofoam. In my case, its 2 years old and is starting to turn white (from water deposits and stuff like that). Every time I do a cartridge change in my whispers, I rinse the bio-foam with 1 glass of aquarium water. Even then it still disperses a ton of "silt" when I plug my filter back in. I was hoping with the bio-wheel setup and a cartridge, it would be easier. Ive read that you rarely ever have to replace a bio-wheel, is this true?
Also I cant tell much difference between the emperor and the regular bio-wheel besides price. What is this bar that sprays water and oxygenates the bio wheel? Does the cheaper marineland penguin bio wheel have this water bar?
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:37 PM   #7
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No, it does not have the water bar, which just encourages the biowheel to spin. You never need to replace the biowheel, unless it becomes damaged.

I am running an Emperor 400 plus an Eheim 2215 canister on my 44gal and that is why I don't think one would be enough for a 55. I don't see how it could draw water from all the way across that long, narrow tank effectively- it is just not powerful enough IMO.
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:41 PM   #8
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I would definately get two. But do you think the extra $$ is worth it for the Emperor? Is that water bar all that important?
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:51 PM   #9
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No, I don't think the bar is that important.

As for the foam media, I'm talking about leaving it in for a week or 2 then throwing it away, just to help.

I think the 2 penguin on opposite sides of the tank would be best, but that's IMO, I use a tetra 60 and a Tetra 40 in mine, (the 40 has a skimmer attached) but the next tank will have 2 cannister filters (probably Fluval 404's or RenaStar XP3's)

The 330's will give you a lot of filtration. (If $$ isn't an object)

I can't see the justification for the emoprer 280's, but the 400 does push more water then all the penguin models.
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Old 01-09-2005, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizzard~Of~Ozz
As for the foam media, I'm talking about leaving it in for a week or 2 then throwing it away, just to help.

I think the 2 penguin on opposite sides of the tank would be best, but
The 330's will give you a lot of filtration. (If $$ isn't an object)

I can't see the justification for the emoprer 280's, but the 400 does push more water then all the penguin models.
I will follow your advice with the bio-foam and put a piece in the new filter. What I will do is only replace one whisper at a time, and wait a week until I replace the other one with the new bio-wheel filter. This way Im not robbing all of the beneficial bacteria I think your idea on the foam is an excellent one!!

I was planning on running 2 Penguin bio-wheel 125's or 170's. Depends on the price and size (the reason I dont go with the biggest one, the 330 is i would prefer uniform look- 1 filter on each side) I guess its one of the OCD and ADD things, LOL

I am running to PetSmart in a few, I plan on bringing my Basset Hound (He loves the attention) Any other stuff I should know before I go?
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