How much filtration? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-24-2012, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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How much filtration?

Hello all, I'm new here.... I'm really excited about starting a tropical freshwater tank, I'm going with sea-clear's 50 gallon tank. I plan to use a canister filter (undecided on brand) and I also want to add a undergravel filter/power head setup. Here lies my question... most undergravel filters I have found that fit the 36" length come in two segments. Each segment shows a riser tube coming out of it. Would I have to stick a power head on each? (i'm thinking 2 100gph pumps) or would one 200 gph power head on one of the risers work? Would I have too much current with the canister filter out put and multiple powerheads?
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-24-2012, 08:43 PM
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Welcome to the forum

First of all it depends on what you want to stock with, with regards to current/flow/Filtration.

Second, a lot of people stay away from Undergravel Filters as they can cause excess nitrate problems if not kept in good working order. They cannot be used very well / if indeed at all if you plan on having sand in the tank. It is also a viewing point, do you really want to stare at 2 tubes with large powerheads on them? or look at the fish?

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-25-2012, 10:07 AM
I vote no on the UGF.

Back in the day they were a great economical filter for both mechanical and biological AS LONG AS the gravel was routinely cleaned. Many didn't do that and the detritus in the gravel quickly became a nitrate factory and heaven forbid if/when there's a power failure and anaerobic bacteria begin producing toxic gases.

Also, with modern filters and bio-media, the old school UGF is better left in the past. You will have plenty of filtration with a proper sized HOB or canister filter with no need for UGF and power heads.
For HOB's, consider Hagen AquaClear or Hagen Fluval C series.
For canisters, Eheim, Rena and Fluval are top contenders.

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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 01-25-2012 at 10:09 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-25-2012, 12:52 PM
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I agree with what's been posted. A canister rated for the tank (50g) will be adequate filtration. This obviously assumes a balanced fish load. Also live plants help, something that is better without the UG. Most good canisters can be adjusted with respect to the flow so if you intend fish that need a current they will provide it, or if forest fish you can have minimal water flow to suit them. Filtration should depend upon the fish in the tank, and this applies to both the actual filtration and the flow.

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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