How much filtration is too much filtration for a 5gal nano? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-11-2011, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
Kytkattin's Avatar
Question How much filtration is too much filtration for a 5gal nano?

Hi there, I guess I am new to this part of the site. I spend most of my time over at the betta forum.

I have a couple different sizes of Hagen HOB filters, also called Aquaclear I think. Right now I have the smallest size (20) on my 5.5 gallon. With a baffle, there is literally no current in the tank. I was thinking about putting one of the bigger ones on instead in order to get the most possible biological surface (I don't use carbon, so it is all just ceramic and sponge). I have one rated for a 30 gallon tank, and other for 70 gallons. The 70 is actually so large I am not sure it will even fit on the tank, but the 30 is pretty much the same size as the small one that is on the now. As long as I can control the current, is there any reason not to put the larger filter on?

To fill in a little bit more, my tank is planted with low light plants (moss, Marimo moss balls, and anubias). LED lights, and no CO2. It is divided and will have 2 male bettas in it in about a week. It is because I have the bettas that I need to keep it at almost no current. The tank has been running for about 2 months. It has copepods, and some sort of worms that came in on the moss. They must feed off of any decaying plant matter. I don't mind them, and I figure the fish will eat them to extinction when they go in.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-12-2011, 12:08 PM
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You actually do not need more filtraton, you need even less. On this size tank, with live plants, and with Betta, no filter or at most a small sponge filter is best. Plants filter water far better than any filter we can attach. Also, the more biological filtration the more detrimental to plants. You can read more on this in my article in the Aquarium Plant section at the top, "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium."

Another aspect is the bacteria--more live in the substrate than in the filter media in a healthy planted tank; just so you know.


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 #3 of 3 Old 08-13-2011, 10:06 AM
I am a fan of the AquaClear design. I would agree that you do not need more filtration on such a small tank. I might suggest you get a Fluval sponge pre-filter to fit over the inlet to add a functional sponge filter to the AC HOB. It not only adds sponge filtration capability, it keeps the HOB filter media cleaner, longer and flake foods get trapped there and picked off by fish rather than sucked into the filter - this makes it win, win, win!

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