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Old 04-05-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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recommend the right filter

Ok, so I have a 20 gallon long tank with a sarasa comet and 3 dojo loaches. In the back corner is an aquaclear mini and in the front corner is a small powerhead blowing water across the glass front of the tank. I have two questions.

First, this tank is obviously way under filtered. The poop just collects in a pile in the middle of the tank from the swirling currents around the edges. I want to get a new filter, just one, that will filter the tank really well and that will suck up at leats most of the poop instead of it just collecting on the sand. So can someone reccomend a filter for that (HOB, not canister). I'm also wondering if it seems likely that the powerhead is causing more harm than good as far as preventing the filter from sucking up the poop. Lemme know what you think. Is the powerhead necessary? Sometimes I see the fish swimmming into the stream and it looks like they enjoy it but who knows. A lot of the time they seem to avoid it.

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Old 04-09-2009, 03:57 AM   #2
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I work at a LFS (mom and pop, not a chain) and I would recommend the Marineland biowheel, get the one that's rated for the 30 gallons, since they rate the filters based on flow w/o media in the filter.

Or, if you want to cheap out a bit, I've found Tetras new line of filters to work pretty well, plus they come with a little strip that supposedly tells you when to change out the filter, but I think you should do that on your own.

Don't do a UGF, they suck. I have to clean 38 tanks a week with UGF, and it's just a bummer.

Aqueons filters are ok too, I have one on a 29, and it does its job properly.

I think all you're really looking for is reliability and good flow. That's what distinguishes a good filter from a bad one. A HOB filter is just a place for crap to collect, and for a bacteria-conducive environment to form.

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Old 04-09-2009, 04:42 AM   #3
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Well the waste on the substrate should be taken care of with weekly water changes and gravel vacs.

As far as filters, I personally love Aqua Clears, I think they are among the best HOB filters out there and dont really use any sort of special filter media. There a little basket which you stick the sponge or sponges and then you can put some bio media on the top. I agree witht he guy above me, stay far away form UGFs, they are a out dated filtering technology and serve no purpose other then clogging up and trapping waste.

HOB Sponges and BioMeda should be rinsed every few weeks with clean tank water or treated water to rinse away any loose waste. But again do weekly PWC changed and good substrate vacuuming and the poop issue will be a thing of the past.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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For my 20 gal. I have an Aquaclear 30 and I prefer it to the Marineland Penguin 350 I have on my 46 gal tank. Nothing really wrong with the Marineland, I just think the Aquaclear works a bit better.
Run the filters together on the tank for 3 - 4 weeks to get the new one established. The Aquaclear has an adjustable flow rate that makes this easier.

BTW: I agree with Richie on the rest.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:57 PM   #5
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Yeah I would recommend getting a AC 30 for the 20 gal, one thing though if you have snails or small fish, ACs intake are sorta large and will suck weak swimmer of suicidal snails into them. However there is a very easy way I found to fix it.

When you set up you AC you will fill a net bag with the bio media then cut off the extra, just use the extra netted bag and zip tie it around the intake, ill post a picture of how i did it as soon as I can.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:11 PM   #6
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Wait, you dont even know what the substrate is yet, you cant recommend a filter without that info. If its sand, DO NOT GET A MARINELAND PENGUIN, I went thru 3 in 3 weeks, 2 in a matter of hours, I have sand.

If it has gravel( with the dojo's im not sure why there is gravel) then id get a marineland penguin.

If it has sand( I know people will disagree but its working absolutely beautifully for me) get a tetra XL. It has a plastic plate insert much like a filter bag( yes it has a bag filter too) but it has bio balls on it.

The penguins were triple pre filtered at all 3 openings on the intake tube and it still chewed impellers, let me tell ya a screaming impeller at 207am is rediculous in my book, so I went with the tetra XL on an emergency situation and I am impressed, I plan on getting my fluval 405 for it anyways but this tetra XL bought me alot of time, might even set up a 75g bowfront if I can save enough money in that time.

I am not bashing any products just personal experience is all im offering. Yes I will use marinelands again, the fluval might even turn into a magnum 350 if I can get my hands on one to see how the impeller is seated.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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I'd go with an AquaClear 30, possibly a 50. If you go with the 50 definitely remove the power head. I don't use powerheads in any of my tanks except the 150. For a 20 gal tank, I'd say it is not a necessity.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:11 PM   #8
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Heres the little mod i made to the filter intake to prevent smaller fish and snails form getting in there

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