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Old 01-23-2009, 08:14 PM   #1
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Recommended filter for 55g?

Howdy!

I currently have a 55g planted tank. See my photos for any pictures. I have a couple plants now and plan to add more.

I'm horrible at names for fish, but I have 4 that have a silver front and yellow tail, then 4 tiger barbs, 4 cat fish, 4 silver barbs (or something) and a pleco.

Right now I have a 10g wet/dry sump but I've had problems with it from day one of sucking fish and other stuff up into it and I'm pretty tired about it. I can't get the fish I want because it sucks them up (I want some ottos for the algea). I've tried different things like putting filter media in it and wrapping it with screen, but everything just seems to make a mess.

So, I'm thinking of ditching this whole wet/dry sump thing and get a regular hang-on-the-side filter. I would really like to get just one, but don't know if that is possible. If I get just one, does it have to be in the middle, or can it be on the side? I do have fish, plan on getting more, and will be adding more plants. Unk about C02 right now, but that may happen at some point as well (at least DIY).

Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:21 PM   #2
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Sure you can make a HOB a HOS as long as it will fit. Have you considered a Canister Filter?
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
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What is a HOB or HOS?

I didn't really know much about canister filters until after I made this post yesterday. Then I started doing some searching and that may be something to look into because it looked like it sucks the water from the bottom of the tank, and you can even get attachments that sit on the bottom with filters. Does the return on the canister have to be on the opposite side of the tank?
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
What is a HOB or HOS?

I didn't really know much about canister filters until after I made this post yesterday. Then I started doing some searching and that may be something to look into because it looked like it sucks the water from the bottom of the tank, and you can even get attachments that sit on the bottom with filters. Does the return on the canister have to be on the opposite side of the tank?
Hang on back or hang on side.
I have a Rena XP2 on my 46 gallon. I used to have a HOB (Rena smart filter). The cannister is much better. It is so quiet that I have to put my hand in front of the spraybar to see if it is running.
I put the intake on one side and the spraybar on the opposite near the bottom. I also inject DIY CO2 through the intake.
T don't understand "you can even get attachments that sit on the bottom with filters."
The cannister IS the filter. And a very efficient one.
It comes with three sponges. I also bought some Rena stars and some polyfill to use in the canister.
For your 55 gallon, I would recommend an XP3 or equivalent.

Charles
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:58 PM   #5
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Ok, it is a "Pre-filter". Here is an example. This would help from sucking up the fish (one of my issues).

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/14574/product.web
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:08 PM   #6
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The canister inlet has the same type of fitting that your HOB has.
Unless you have fry, the fish won't be sucked into the filter. If you do have fry, I would recommend a sponge filter or you could tie a piece of panty hose over the intake. I've even got neon tetras and even when they were small they weren’t sucked into the filter.
Most expert aquarists recommend canister filters rather than HOB.
Do a search on this forum (or any forum) to convince yourself.
Charles
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:04 PM   #7
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XP3 is my recommendation
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:30 PM   #8
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Oh, I don't mind getting a canister, I want something nice which is why when I picked up this tank on craigslist I paid extra for the wet/dry (because I thought it would be best).

I plan on swinging by the pet store this afternoon and looking there. They may be a bit more expensive but these guys have done stuff to show they really care and I don't mind paying a bit more to support a local non-chain store.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:21 PM   #9
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I would also recommend an XP3....that's what I have on my 55. I would certainly recommend going to look at one at the LFS but do your homework for two reasons....1) make sure they don't try to sell you something you don't know about or want, and 2) make sure the prices aren't outrageous, even my great local LFS is almost twice as much as buying online. I like them, but not that much...
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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Well, looking online the XP3 is around 125 or so. I'll see what they have to offer and if it is too much I'll haggle with them or buy online.
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Old 01-24-2009, 05:16 PM   #11
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Smitty,
Remember to take the freight charges into consideration.

If you can't get a deal with the LFS, check Petsmart online. If they have a good deal online, print it and take it to your local Petsmart and see if they will match the price. I've never done it but I've read where Petsmart will do that.
Hopefully you LFS can give you a good deal.

I didn't mention it before. Another plus for canisters is they can be hidden in a cabinet below your aquarium. Here are pics of my 46.
IMG_0272.jpg picture by 7NOBMDJJ0N - Photobucket Groups
Look at the first picture. You can barely see the spraybar behind the sworplant.
You can see the heater at the top left side. The third picture shows the spraybar near the top. That's before I moved it. I like it better at the bottom.
Charles
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:45 PM   #12
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Well, I was able to pick up a brand new Rena XP2 at the LPS. It was marked at 150 and I told him I could get it online for 125 and they matched the price! Don't know if I will get it hooked up tonight or not.

Should I expect a mini-cycle while putting this in because of the lack of bacteria?
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:55 PM   #13
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For a 55 g, I would have gone for an XP3 but an XP2 is rated for up to 75 gallon aquarium. You should be OK.
My aquarium did not Mini cycle when I hooked it up. Remember all you are changing is the filter, not the substrate, ornaments, etc. The backteria resides in all of that.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:33 PM   #14
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Well, I don't have messy eaters and it is a planted tank to help as well. I do hope the XP2 will work enough. If nothing else I can get a 2nd smaller one or something later to help.
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:27 PM   #15
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Well, did a complete cleaning of the tank, put in the new filter and made sure it was working. Then removed the old filter and everything is up and running! It is very quiet indeed!

I actually found an otto and a shrimp in my wet/dry overflow! The otto must have been there for about a week, I never knew he was in there. I can't even imagine how long the shrimp was there because it was bought as food for my eel that I took back about a month ago. Suprisingly they were both alive so I put them back into the tank. This was one of the major reasons for switching in the first place, the old one kept eating the stuff!
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:07 PM   #16
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You must not have had the "strainer" fitting on the filter intake.
I'm glad they were alive.
The next time you're in Wal-Mart, pick up a bag of "Polyfil" pillow stuffing.
Don't buy the fireproof kind. You can use that in the top basket instead of filter
Floss. It works great and a bag will last you forever (almost).
I also had some Rena stars that were with the old HOB I put them in the center basket. They are used for the bacteria culture. The sponges in the bottom section are also good for bacteria. When you clean them, use old tank water instead of clean water.
Good luck
Charles
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:10 PM   #17
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I don't use the Rena charcoal/filter media(forgot what Rena calls it) any more.
I don't usually even use carbon unless I need to remove medicines.
I've read that carbon will also remove any ferts that is used.
Charles
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:15 PM   #18
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I'll have to run to the store to get those items. Can't today as I'm working.

I did take some bio balls from my wet/dry and added them to the 1st basket. I couldn't have 2 rows but I did fill up all of 1 row.

The only issue I seem to have is it is sending a LOT of bubbles through the system. I don't see any air coming in, but a lot sure is coming out. I hope it will work itself out over the next day or so.
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:09 PM   #19
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An Emperor 400 HOB is perfect for a 55.........I have used the Emperors and Penguin brand for many years with total satisfaction..................What device do you have for the out flow of your sump?........A skimmer box on the inside of the tank with a U tube to the outflow box is the most common set up for sumps.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:12 PM   #20
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Love my XP2 - nice choice. Very quiet and seems to be ok for my 55 (though of course an XP3 would have been better flow)...
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