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Old 03-23-2005, 02:29 AM   #1
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Which type of filtration?

Hi all... Lurker here. I'm still comtemplating this whole "aquarium" thing, and will be until my I complete finishing my basement... Gives me plenty of time to plan, if nothing else...

In the meantime, I'll have a million questions, and greatly appreciate the availability of forums like this... I won't bombard the forum with all of them at once - promise.

At any rate - what I'm planning to do is build a wall that has a 125 (or so) gal tank built into it...

For that size tank, what is the best type of filtration - HOB, canister, wet/dry ("sump"?)? Is it just personal preference? I don't want to start any religious wars.

I'd prefer less clutter on the back, so the "canister with inline heater" is appealing, but having 2 of these (which seems to be necessary for proper filtration and heating - correct me if I'm wrong) is pretty pricey.

Is that what it comes down to - how much money I want to spend? Because 2 HOBs are certainly cheaper...

On the other hand, I have a spare 10 and 20 gal tank that I can use as a sump (would either be large enough for that purpose?) And a sump allows for the heater to reside in the "filter" as well, right?

Don't get me wrong - price isn't the main consideration - since I'm starting from scratch and am new to this whole thing, I want to set it up the "best" way possible... But if there's no reason to spend the extra money, then that certainly factors into it...

At any rate, I started this post to ask one question, so I'll stop here...

Thanks much for any and all info....
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:38 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA, skydvr!

Your plan sounds divine - I am jealous. 2 HOBs will not cut it for a tank that size, so I do think you are going to need a cansister, and a sump sounds great but I have no experience doing that so I'll leave that to others.

You might want to check out Ocean Clear filters, look here for info http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...789+2146960788

You would be basically building your own filtration system since you purchase the pump separately, and you'd have to plumb the filter in with valves for quick-release, but it sounds like you might be the handy type so it might be a good option for you. I have heard very good things about these filters for large setups.

What are your stocking plans?
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:30 AM   #3
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Canister filters are definitely the route to take on anything 55gallons or above. Dual canisters are ideal when you hit 72" long tanks, like what you're planning.

That said, I bet you're pricing canisters are your LFS, rather than online. Heck, even the prices at petsmart are daunting. Consider a Rena Filstar XP3...the canister I would put on a 125g...runs about $189 at my LFS, $169 at Petsmart. Only $112 at drsfostersmith.com...making it far more reasonable to purchase 2 of these bad-boys. Then you can throw an inline heater on each filter, or just on one,and a UV sterilizer on the other, or an inline CO2 reactor if you decide to go with a planted tank.

Similar to the Ocean Clear filters, are the LifeGuard series. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...768+2146962238

I haven't personally used them, because I don't have a large enough tank to merit the cost....yet. Pretty neat system, and I'd love to see some feedback on it from a real user.
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Old 03-23-2005, 01:12 PM   #4
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I'll second the vote for the Filstars - I have an XP3 on my 55 and am very pleased with it. 2 should do the trick, and an inline heater is the way to go.

A 125 is the next tank I want to get since it has just the perfect footprint for the space I am filling, so I plan on checking out the LifeGuards for that. I don't know anyone who has used them, either, but I sure like this filtration method for a large tank.
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankGirl
Welcome to AA, skydvr!
Thanks much. I'm learning quite a bit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TankGirl
You might want to check out Ocean Clear filters, look here for info http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...789+2146960788
Thanks - I'll take a look at them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TankGirl
You would be basically building your own filtration system since you purchase the pump separately, and you'd have to plumb the filter in with valves for quick-release, but it sounds like you might be the handy type so it might be a good option for you.
LOL. I know what I *want* to do -getting it done is another story....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TankGirl
What are your stocking plans?
That's a subject for an entirely new set of questions. I'm trying to learn what is going to be available to me - who gets along with who, who likes the same tank "parameters" as who, etc.

I'm leaning away from Cichlids, and also away from the true "community" fish (mollies, guppys, etc). I'm leaning towards mid-sized, "semi-aggressive" species. But, all this could change at any time....

Thanks for the info.... Much appreciated...
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
Canister filters are definitely the route to take on anything 55gallons or above. Dual canisters are ideal when you hit 72" long tanks, like what you're planning.
OK - thanks... Pretty much what I expected, I guess... Just so I'm clear, you believe canisters are "better" than a sump for this kind of set-up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
Consider a Rena Filstar XP3...the canister I would put on a 125g...

Similar to the Ocean Clear filters, are the LifeGuard series. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...768+2146962238
Thanks much - I'll check 'em all out...

Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
Then you can throw an inline heater on each filter, or just on one,and a UV sterilizer on the other, or an inline CO2 reactor if you decide to go with a planted tank.
I have pictured having a few plants, but not a heavilly planted tank. Hopefully *not* to the point of needing CO2, but who knows. As I gain experience maybe it won't seem so daunting. But, it depends on what I eventually stock with, and whether they are "agreeable" to having live plants in their surroundings...

But, since you mentioned it, is a UV sterilizer "necessary"? Is it a "nice to have"? Is it a "wait until you see if you have problems before buying one" kind of item?

Appreciate the info....
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:12 PM   #7
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no experience on the sump here, i use an xp3 aswell and so far it's doing a good job. (only had it for around 2 months) I would have thought more folks would have chimed in re: the sump idea. I personally would have thought that to be the way to go for a tank that size. If you are indeed handy, you could build the whole setup yourself. This means you could have as many different types of media as the tank/sump would fit. Plus you could be a big pump which could push much more water than 2 canisters could. Again I have no experience but that was my thought.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:28 PM   #8
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Here's my 2 cents
Almost no FW aquarist uses sumps. I don't know why, but that is pretty much the standard. Also, for a 125 gallon two cannister filters is about the only type of filtration I've seen used. I think for a sump vs. cannister filter question you're going to have to find someone with experience in both FW and SW fish.

Check the DIY section for info on building a sump. I know it's there, and if you can't find it I'm sure someone there will have info on how to do it. I'm not an expert by any means but I think that a tank around 125G is going to need a sump bigger than 20G, I think 20G is around the size for a sump for a 55G or so. Not sure, but that's what I think I remember from my limited research.
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:06 PM   #9
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(I've never had a large tank or a canister.)

Sump would be a good idea if you find DIY fun and interesting. You could include a wet/dry if oxygenation is needed, or lots of mechanical filtration if the semi-aggressives are also messy eaters, use plants for nitrate removal, or whatever you decide. To squeeze in all stages of filtration as well as extra room in case pumps/power fails, a sump should be at least 1/3 tank volume. If you're planning on squeezing a lot of fish in the tank, perhaps you could integrate the 20g for more system volume. I would lay the piping in a way so 20g could be disconnected at any time and used as an instant QT, but I happen to find shared water systems interesting. Just ideas. If you're going to buy a good pump anyway, I think you should use a sump.

Regardless, I think "best" is subjective and a couple canisters is no worse or better than a sump. DIY just allows you to design according to your needs, get your hands wet, and learn in the process.
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Old 03-24-2005, 01:36 AM   #10
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You'll need atleast two in-line heaters, 300watts are the largest commonly available, from either ETH or Hydor, they are pricey at anywhere from $45 and up depending on where you shop.
If you go with a wet/dry with a sump you could save alot of money usiing standard submersible glass heaters in the sump.

Speaking of shopping, I would find/buy almost all my equipment on-line, its less exspensive and a heck of alot easier to shop around.
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