Filteration swapping - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
Filteration swapping

I've been in the hobby for awhile now and still using my original double sponged (2)AquaClear 300s-now AquaClear 70, for my planted 55 gal. They are still going strong since 04'-05' and are great bio filters. However they are starting to get quite loud and annoying.

I have recently placed an order from Big Als for 2 Eheim 2213s that will arrive next week to combat my noise. Can't wait for these will be my first Non-HOB filters. I read great things about them so I am giving them a try.

My intents for the new filter would be to use the eheim Mech filter media , cut up the Aqua Clear sponges to fit the canister profile in place of the Eheim sponge, Eheim Substrat and then the fine filter mesh. Considering my current filters are establish, I assume I can get away with this.

Other option of coarse is to shut down one filter at a time and the other to follow 4-6 weeks later. My bio load is currently low with the amount of surface area I have. (4) Cardinal Tetras, (1) Lemon Tetra, (5-9) Corydora-Panda and Metae, (3) Otos and (1) Bristlenose. I lost more than half my load about 6 months ago and haven't restocked.

Water specs: about 6.7-6.8ph, heavily planted, co2 induced. I use RO water and my water is pretty consistent so I don't really check anymore. I only lost my fish due to my old co2 setup dumping the co2 tank. Tank dumping is impossible with my new setup.

Any opinions to changing out both filters at once with this load?

Last edited by flight50; 01-11-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 03:16 PM
if you have enough plants id say a good sponge filter would be enough just to clear water from suspended particles, most of your bio filtration happens in your aquarium , I suggest setting up the new filters for 2 weeks while the old ones are still running then remove the old ones if you wana make sure
but for myself I often clean my filter completely and if i did not touch my aquarium there will be no spikes of ammonia or anything,and when i mean completely i mean in tap water and a brush hehe the only thing i dont touch is the little basket with c nodes in it(like a hand full), i also have a moderate amount of plants! :)
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
2 weeks sounds better than 4. When I do water changes every 3-4 weeks at 40-50%, I give the sponges a good ring and twist cleaning but i do it in the aged tank water. I don't know if I have any spikes because I stopped checking. After developing my cleaning routine, the levels are pretty much the same all the time. No deaths after changes, just happier fish.

Considering the sponges are already populated, I don't want to just eliminate them. I was going to just transplant the media and jump start the new filter media. Plus it will give another thick layer worth of filter sponge before it gets to the Substrat. I think I will go for a complete (2) filter swap considering this particular tank has been running for 3 1/2 years. Plus the noise has gotten on my last nerve. If a spike does happen, I have plenty of plants and remaining bacteria to deplete the toxins. I can also do RO water changes.

Last edited by flight50; 01-11-2012 at 04:15 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 04:17 PM
exactly! but If i were you id do a 10% each week change instead of 40% monthly hehe
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
Time is what I don't have,lol. I work 7 days a week. So weekly won't work well for me. I use to do 25-30 every two weeks but it gradually went to 40-50% every 3-4 weeks. I loose about 30-40% over a 2-3 week span in evaporation (open top - 4.7 watts per gallon lights) so technically I only vaccuum about 20-30%. But everything depends on how much waste/decomposing I have on the substrate.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 10:36 PM
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A weekly partial water change is frankly essential, and I would change about 30%. You don't mention the tank size, but with a minimal fish load and plenty of live plants this can be less--but remember that nothing can compare to a partial water change when it comes to healthy fish. This is simply part of the success.

As for the filters, if you have it well planted, just change the filter. And you don't need much filtration with live plants, as someone mentioned. Plants do the filtration, the "filter" is there to move the water around and through media to remove suspended particulate matter. With the type of fish you name, and live plants, filtration should be minimal. Again, this is general, since the tank size is not given, but I am assuming this is not a 20g or similar.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-11-2012, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
Actually I mentioned the size in the first sentence of the original post. Although I know weekly water changes is the known practice, i have never done this and everything has been fine in my tank for years. At the least I would do changes are every two weeks. Weekly isn't something I can do. Water isn't free and I have to make RO water on top of that,lol.

I feed well every 2-3 days and I control my 4.7 watts per gallon worth of lighting to 8 hrs per day. I get little to no algae on the display glass and have to prune all my plants every water change, tank is fairly healthy. It took me years of finding a comfort zone for my tank so I don't see a need to make much of a change.

Last edited by flight50; 01-11-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-12-2012, 01:19 AM
No one else has mentioned it, but what made you think you need two Eheim 2213 canister filters in a well planted 55g when one would seem to be more than enough?

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post #9 of 13 Old 01-12-2012, 01:34 AM
it was only a suggestion if you have found a food balance then its good as for the filters i would do as byron said just change them when you get them they should colonize pretty quickly ! :)
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-12-2012, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
No one else has mentioned it, but what made you think you need two Eheim 2213 canister filters in a well planted 55g when one would seem to be more than enough?
You know, I actually thought about this last night before I went to bed,lol. The main reason was to replace my current AquaClear 300s in which I run two. AquaClear 300 are rated for up to 70 gal. The Eheims are rated up to 65gal. Both are over the 4 times per hour threshold. Considering I ran two, might a well continue. Nothing wrong with more filtration. In my tank I have some fast growing and easy discarded leafed plants.

Another reason is in case one fails, the other can take up the slack until I can get to it. Just like my Heaters, I run two. Less stress on the environment upon failure. With the Eheims it appears that I can regulate the flow with the valving system it have vs the AC filters so if I need to tune it down I can. Besides, there have been many setups I have seen running 2-3 canister filters.

Last reason is because Big Als has a sale going on. I have been waiting for a canister sale for awhile now. I can get two 2213s for 69 a piece or the 2215 for 99 a pop. In my case, two small filters are better than one big one.
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