Canister Filtration in a 30 Gallon?
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Canister Filtration in a 30 Gallon?

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Canister Filtration in a 30 Gallon?
Old 01-17-2012, 11:48 PM   #1
 
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Canister Filtration in a 30 Gallon?

Hey guys,

Just need some info/help with filtration. I have saved some coin for my fish tank and I would like to increase/better my filtration. My reason for this is I have black sand in my tank and any and all scum/leftovers/debris in general sits on top of the sand and the leaves of my plants. Thus resulting in the loss of leaves of my plants and a generally "dirty" looking tank. (I am also going to get some Siamese Algae Eaters to aid with the debris on the leaves, the previous two were sickly when I got them and died).

Questions:
So I have done a LITTLE research about filtration and have gathered that canister filters are seemingly superior to hang on the back filters? (is this the case?)
Now if so I was wondering what the perks of having a canister filter would be?
Do I need to drill holes and "plumb" it into my tank at all?
Also is it OK to have "extra" filtration?
Example: buying a canister suited for a50 gallon or so for my 30 gallon? Also I seem to understand that as you increase canister size the flow or GPH in your tank will increase to a possibly negative level?
If this is the case can you get adapters that maybe slow the flow some way?


Tank specs are as follows

Fish:
3 harlequin rasboras; Rasbora heteromorpha
4 emerald eye rasboras; Microrasbora erythromicron
2 german blue rams; Mikrogeophagus ramirezi
4 kuhli loaches; Pangio kuhlii
1 zebra snail; Neritina natalensis
many random hitchhiking snails

Plants/Decor:
3 anubia augustafolia
1 random potted plant (CRYPT?)
2 pieces real driftwood
black flourite sand
black background

Equipment:
Tank Size: 30 Gallon
1 HOB aquaclear 30 filter
1 30 Gallon Heater
fluval pressurized C02 system **When I can afford C02**
1 actinic 50/50 reef sun bulb

Temp: ~29 degrees Celcius, or ~84F (roughly)

weekly 25% water changes

Feeding/ Fertilizing Schedule:
daily: flake food and bottom feeder pellets
weekly: Frozen brine shrimp and blood worm combo
every other day: liquid fertilizing with flourish comprehensive

Thanks for all the help in advance!!
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
 
Good filtration is not about how much water we push through a filter, but how well we filter the water. Water moving [more] slowly through very fine media will be cleaner than water rushing faster through coarser media. We often 'polish' water by using very fine spun polyester filter floss in the last stage of filtration.
I know, we hear the myth over and over that we need 4-10 times the size of the tank in gallons per hour flow through the filter. When you think it through, if we can't clean the water by filtering every drop 2, 3, or 4 times every hour, increasing the flow rate isn't going to help! In addition, many, if not most of our fish don't appreciate the water turbulence forcing them to swim hard just to stay still. Granted, there are a few species that in the wild would live in streams or rivers - but at that, most of the fish we buy are pond or tank raised and the fish never experienced a raging river flow.

IMO, the AquaClear 30 is a very good filter and although you might switch to a canister, I wouldn't on that small a tank. The notion that any filter is going to capture every bit of detritus is unrealistic.
I make the case that the filters job is to remove the small 'floaties' and keep the water crystal clear. The heavy crud might better sink and rest on the bottom where it can either decay or be siphoned out at the next WWC.
Also consider that any plant/fish/food waste that remains and decays merely feeds your plants organically.

Just my $.02.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #3
 
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I would not recommend the Siamese Algae Eater. They can get to 6 inches in length, and should be in a group of 6+. Far too big & many for a 30 gallon (take a look at the profile here).

If algae is your main problem that can usually be reduced/solved by lowering the amount of time each day the light is on, and keeping the aquarium away from any windows to avoid direct sunlight. Other factors can come into play, but reducing the light is a good place to start.

If you are talking about left over food, a filter won't clear that up (as it can only clear out stuff floating in the water, not heavy stuff that has settled). If food is left over after say 3-5 minutes of feeding defiantly cut back how much you give them.

For fish waste, again, a filter can only remove what is floating in the water, not solids that sink to the bottom.

On to your questions =)

So I have done a LITTLE research about filtration and have gathered that canister filters are seemingly superior to hang on the back filters? (is this the case?)
Not always, a crappy canister will be worse than a high quality HOB.

Now if so I was wondering what the perks of having a canister filter would be?
Variety of filter media, as you can mix and match different types easily in the different compartments. For a planted tank you really only need a pad or sponge to block large particles, and something like filter floss for the small particles. Best to leave out things like carbon for planted tanks.

Do I need to drill holes and "plumb" it into my tank at all?
No, they just go up and over the top in an upside down "U" shape.

Also is it OK to have "extra" filtration?
Example: buying a canister suited for a50 gallon or so for my 30 gallon? Also I seem to understand that as you increase canister size the flow or GPH in your tank will increase to a possibly negative level?

As already stated, most tropical fish used in aquariums come from ponds, and do not like a strong current. Best to get one as close to your size tank as possible.

If this is the case can you get adapters that maybe slow the flow some way?
You can place the outflow a little bit towards the back center, and point the flow towards the side glass. This will lesson the blast a bit.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
 
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Thanks guys that "clears things up" pun not intended ha ha. So I was thinking if there aren't really any large benefits for "over" filtration, then maybe i should look into a power head to move the water around enough to keep my leaves clean? Also I am under the impression that the Chinese algae eaters are the ones that get quite large, whereas the Siamese ones stay smaller. I don't have algae problems but they love to sit on the leaves of my Anubia, which keeps them nice and clean. Can anyone confirm that?

Thanks,

And happy Fishkeeping,
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
 
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Well, everything is relative ;)

Yes, the Chinese Algae Eater can be larger (up to 12 inches) but the Siamese Algae Eater still gets up to 6 inches and should be in a school of 6+. These do happen to be fish that like a stronger current though ;)
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
 
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Fair. Well alright, I'll have do some more research. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #7
 
specially that these algae eater dont eat all types of algae and you will need to feed them veggies or something
and once you do they will forget about algae
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxillius View Post
specially that these algae eater dont eat all types of algae and you will need to feed them veggies or something
and once you do they will forget about algae
Yeah for sure, I usually let them eat veggies, I don't have algae problems I keep them particularly for the fact that they hang out on the leaves of my plants which keeps debris off the leaves.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:20 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backer View Post
Yeah for sure, I usually let them eat veggies, I don't have algae problems I keep them particularly for the fact that they hang out on the leaves of my plants which keeps debris off the leaves.
The best fish for this are Otocinclus and Farlowella vittata. Whiptail Catfish likewise. Corydoras also browse plant leaves continually for tidbits of food, the "dwarf" species in particular. Many other fish will do the same. And one must not forget snails, and shrimp.

The Chinese Algae Eater (a mis-named fish if ever one existed) is not a good choice for any tank, as it can get rather nasty as it matures, and it stops eating algae. The Siamese Algae Eater will only deal with brush/beard algae, and as someone mentioned it gets largish too. A 30g is not adequate for either of these, even if they did do the job. But the species mentioned previously will manage in a 30g.

Previous member's posts have dealt with the filter issue, and I woudl only agree that minimal is sufficient. My 29g has an Elite dual sponge, and I have no issues in there.

Byron.
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