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Old 06-06-2007, 11:54 PM   #1
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Filter dead, need help with new one

I have a 55 gallon tank, planted with low light plants, with gold barbs, giant danios, yoyo loaches, dojo loaches, platys, some white clouds, and some cory catfish. Don't have the exact numbers, but it's been set up for about 6 months, ammonia is stable at 0, nitrites at 0 and nitrates stay below 10.

Currently I have a marineland emperor 400 filter. I did a pwc today, and when I plugged the filter back in, nothing. I don't know if the motor died or what. I went online to search for a replacement, and as usual, went to bigals. The prices seemed a lot higher though than I remember. The filter was like 45 dollars... I swear I paid less than 30 when I bought it originally.

I don't use the biowheels in the filter because of the plants and it's not really needed at all. Does anyone know of a cheaper solution for a reliable filter suitable for a 55 gallon tank? I know it's a long shot, but I thought I'd try.

It seems that if I do end up having to replace it, a canister filter isn't too much more expensive. I was looking at the Penn Planx Cascade 1000. Anyone know anything about that?

And, finally, since getting a new filter in the mail will take a few days, would the fish be ok for a few days if I just did a pwc, and the tank is planted?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 06-07-2007, 12:13 AM   #2
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I just received an Aquaclear 70 for my 29 gallon. I think it'd suffice for your 55.

I paid 30 dollars shipped to my front door


I haven't heard anything real good about the Pennplax cascade power filters, however i've heard penplaxx does make a quality canister.


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Old 06-07-2007, 09:08 AM   #3
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I think you should be fine with PWCs for a couple of days. That will help with anything that might build up (although doubtful anything will since you're planted) and agitate the water for oxygenation at the same time.

BTW, I've had the same problem with my Penguin filter (also by Marineland) not coming back on when I plug it in after a water change. It's done it a couple of times, but both times it finally did come back on within about three hours. I don't know if it's a safety feature or what the problem is. My Marineland powerhead did the same thing and I ended up having to replace it.
29-gallon FW
1 yoyo loach, 2 polkadot loaches, 6 cherry barbs, 2 turquoise rainbows, 1 chinese algae eater, 2 harlequin rasboras; java fern, java moss, hornwort, Asian ambulia
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:07 AM   #4
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Try disconnecting the motor from the filter AFTER you empty out the water. Then clean the impeller and inside the motor housing. Sometimes a snail can get in there and stop the blades from turning or it could be plant matter clogging it.
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:19 PM   #5
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I would definitely check the impeller...I once had an AquaClear die on me (and they never die) and it turned out to be a piece of hair wrapped around the impeller. Removed it and the filter worked just fine.

But if it truly is dead, I'd go with an AquaClear 70 (I have one on my planted 55), or if you wanted to go canister, a Rena XP2 or XP3, I've heard many good things about them.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:36 PM   #6
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I agree with the cleaning of the impellor. I have an emporer on my planted tank and sometimes the detrimis plugs the impellor.

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