Need filter suggestions

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Aug 28, 2004
FPO AP in Japan
I'm in need of a new filter system for my fish tank and hoping that someone can provide some knowledgable suggestions on what to use in my tank. It's a 28 gallon octagonal table. I'm currently using a fluval 3 plus filter. It came with the table when I bought it. I've never really liked the fluval in my tank because it's too tall to stand it up, I've always had to suction it in there at an angle. I haven't bothered to get a different filter because I don't really know what kind will work well with my table. My pump on my fluval hasn't been working so well, so I'm finally getting a new one. I also have a dual air pump with 2 ornaments hooked up to it (to provide some oxygen and movement in there), but I don't like those in there either. If I can find a better filter system, I can do away the ornaments and all the extra tubing in there. I've considered a hang-on-tank type of filter, but I'm not sure if that kind will fit on the table. There is a glass top on the table and some grooves that are about an inch and half deep. I'm not sure if that is enough room to hang a filter on the tank without the glass top hit it. I love my table and paid quite a bit for, but I really need some advice as to what kind of necessities to put in it. Thanks for any help!!!!
On a 28 gallon tank I would recommend a Penguin 170 HOB filter. They are around 25 bucks at most good LFS's. With this filter you will get all the filtration you need for a normally stocked aquarium. I would recommend no more than 1/2" of gravel, unless you plan to grow live plants, in which case you should talk to a plant expert :D, Which I am not, haha..

For smaller freshwater FO tanks, these Penguins are the best overall filter I have ever seen, and we have been doing aquariums in my family for over 20 years. Fluval filter are in my opinion horrible filters, they spit air bubbles a LOT, and they leak a LOT, and they loose their prime a LOT, I don't like these things at all.

HTH, Joshua...
The Penguin 170 should handle the tank easily if it will fit. If not, and you have a place to put it, you might look into a small canister...Eheim would be my first choice for brand.

Thanks for the help! Does anyone happen to have any idea how thick these type of filters are from the lip of the tank? Does anyone have a HOB filter that they can measure?

I live in Japan right now and plan on shopping for my new filter online. I've tried shopping around my local Japanese stores, but it was a little stressful to not be able to read the packaging on anything. I feel more comfortable buying something I can read in English. So because of my situation, I kind of need to make sure that whatever I get to replace my current system is going to fit and work with what I got.

I'll post a pic of the table in here, so you all have an idea of what I have. The grooves on the tank are plenty wide enough for a HOB filter, but I only have a 1.5 inch gap from the table to the glass top. My goal is replace the fluval filter and also be able to take the bubble ornaments out. I don't really care to have all the excess tubing running through the tank and the noisy pump that runs it.

Thanks so much for all the help and suggestions. I really appreciate it!

You must be refiring to the OLD Fluval filters.
The new ones are great!
Mine has never lost prime or leaked and is very quiet and so easy to clean.
It also has a ton of room for media in the 4 large trays.
The Penguin Bio Filter won't fit my tank, nor will any other kind of HOB,
So here is what I have come up with...

I can use an Aqua Clear 201 Power Head (for 20 gallon tanks) with a Large Quick Filter attached. And a second Aqua Clear 201 Power Head attached to a sponge filter.


I can use an Aqua Clear 201 Power Head with the Quick Filter and also get another Fluval to replace my broken one. Only I would get the smaller Fluval2Plus so I can actually stand it upright and be able to use the air valve if I wanted. And with two filters in there, the small Fluval would probably be okay.

I kind of like the idea of getting a power head because it will circulate and aerate the water better. And then I can take my air ornaments out.
Do these filter methods make sense and will it provide all the mechanical and biological filtration that is needed? And should I go with the first set up, or the second???

Thanks again for any help!!

Does the fluval internals use a sponge or cartridge? If a sponge how big is it compared to the basic sponge filters? Whatever has the most sponge for bacteria to live is the way to go.

Tip for the quickfilter. Instead of buying replacement filter pads buy a bag of filter floss. Not the loose fill but the kind in sheets about 1/4 inch thick and cut to fit. One bag will make several. much cheaper.
Why not change to a canister filter. You dont really need the air stone. They dont reaslly provide O2 to the water.

A fluval 304, Rena or a Ehiem (all make good canister filter) should be fine. With canister filter the maintainance would be easy in long run. Since you have a goldfish which is a messy eater, the filter capacity of canister filter will make sure the tank very clean. Also the canister filter make a tank look neat as there is no equipment in the tank.

HOB is ok if you have non planted tank, but it will cause the water splashing which is annoying to some ppl.

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