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Old 10-22-2008, 02:13 PM   #1
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I need help regarding the best working filter.

I recently purchased a 4ft 55gallon aquarium it came with a whisper 60 filter, this is the second week since i set it up.
1. it is extremely noisy nothing whispery about this filter.
2. after the first week the water was coming through the center chamber instead of the the two filter flow channels as a result of this the water is already starting to turn cloudy and smell.

I have already made up my mind to purchase a new filter but what type should i get?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:36 PM   #2
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For a 55 gal, I would recommend a canister filter as they are better equipped (IMO) for dealing with the quantity of water you are looking at. I myself have never had a tank that size and never actually owned a canister filter, so I'll leave recommendations about specific models to those who have experience.

The other option would be to try to upgrade to a higher quality hang on back (HoB) filter. It is generally felt that AquaClear makes the best HoB filters out there. For a tank as large as yours, I would recommend getting two (one for each end) rather than just one. Something like two AquaClear 50's is what I would think. Unlike the Whisper filters, AC's are very quiet in my experience, actually nearly silent except for the sound of the water hitting the surface water as it returns to the tank. Way quieter than the Whisper filters, though less quiet than a canister filter would be.

I still think a canister would be your best bet. But two AC's would be a viable alternative as well.

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Old 10-22-2008, 03:23 PM   #3
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I agree, a canister filter will provide you with the best filtration. My personal preference is the Rena Filstars, and for a 55g I would recommend an XP3.

If you do decide to stay with a HoB style filter, I echo what JP said and would recommend Aquaclears, although I would run dual AC70s on a 55g tank personally.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:57 PM   #4
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If you have to have a HOB type filter, you can get a HOB canister as well. I have the Marineland HOT Magnum (my spare/diatom filter) and it is quiet. At 250 gph, it might be a little small if you have a heavy bioload <but 250 gph is more than most open HOB's.>

If you have room, a full size canister is better. The Filstar xp's, Fluvals, or Eheim ($$$) are all good.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:23 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys like John Paul I have never used a canister filter but i will check out both options outlined.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:37 AM   #6
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Try the Magnum 350s you will love it
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:42 PM   #7
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I used to use the Magnum 350 on my 55gal and it worked fine and replacement parts are easy to come by. It's a good dependable filter. The only downfall for me was ease of use. If you use the pleated filter it clogs fast and if you use the foam sleeve with charcoal in the media cage it's a pain in the butt to up keep. It's so messy to clean and after a while the media cage starts to warp and then carbon leaks out and clogs the impeller. Just a big pain in the butt to keep working. A few times the impeller got stuck and damaged so I had to replace it. The quick disconnect hoses are a little clumbersome to use.

I now use the Filstar XP3 and let me tell ya, it's way better. so much easier to clean out and change the media. I really like the onestep quick disconnect, it's fool proof and you dont have to worry about accidentally opening it when it's disconnected. Much better product in my eyes. You can put in a biological (ceramic, stars...) and chemical (carbon....) at the same time so it's much more flexible.

The Magnum was good in it's day but there are much better stuff out there.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:43 AM   #8
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I've been through a lot of filters in my time, and hands down the best I've ever owned is an Eheim Canister filter (2317). It's absolutely quiet (something I miss, now that I have a saltwater which is constantly noisty with a deep hum of a sump, and the constant trickling sound of water.) Very VERY easy to use, clean, and set up. Offers adequate water flow. In my case, the 2317 includes a heater inside it, so you don't need an extra heater hanging inside your aquarium. Parts are very easy to find, and relatively cheap. I changed a lot of my parts when I started using this filter for my SW setup.
To save money do NOT purchase the Eheim filter media when you need replacements, the generic stuff can be used just as well, just "cut it" to size. You'll save a lot of money this way.
I've also used the Fluval canister filters, they're good too... but a bit noisier, and the plumbing isn't as versatile. (mind you, this is years ago... they might have improved their designs in recent years.)
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:55 AM   #9
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can't beat a Fluval 404 , or the price

I run 2

Hagen Fluval 404 Aquarium Filter NIB ~ FREE SHIPPING - eBay (item 380079314663 end time Nov-13-08 09:02:50 PST)
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:27 PM   #10
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I agree with CaptainAhab, I use Fluvials as well. You can use a 304 on a 55, at least that's the one I use.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:26 PM   #11
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I have been using both the Rena XP series and the Marineland C series. The XP series is a good dependable and quiet filter that is self priming after you clean it. The C series I liked quite well at first but lately it is not isolating properly when I need to clean it. That makes it a PITA to clean because I need to hook the disconnected hoses to the tank so that the water doesn't drain out of the tank. On the other hand, my oldest Rena is now about 4 years old and has been a quiet pleasure to have in my home since I got it. I also got a HOT Magnum on advice I read on line and find it to be quite noisy because the return fitting sits so high in my tank. Since it is not adjustable, I have had to use a piece of filter hose from one of my other filters to return the water below the water line in my tank. That way I can run it quietly but I am sure the poor return configuration makes the filter less effective than it could otherwise be.
In he XP series the XP2 or XP3 would be about right for a 55. If you stock heavily use the XP3, if you tend to stock lighter the XP2 would be plenty. They come with the option of using a nozzle or a diffuser on the return. I use the diffuser because I think it does a better job of distributing the return flow than the nozzle.

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