New Setup & Filter Question
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New Setup & Filter Question

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New Setup & Filter Question
Old 09-18-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
 
New Setup & Filter Question

Hello Guys & Girls,

My first ever post! I have kept tropical aquariums before and am currently running a fluval roma with U3 filter with great success in our office.

Just bought a Fluval Romma 200L (second hand...a steal at 35 wit stand). It is simply the tank nothing else.

My first question is the filer. I was about to buy x1 Fluval U4, based on the U3 we have been running in our office tank, quite impressed, but wanted to get your opinion. Canister filters perhaps?

Which leads me onto a heater, was (again) going to go for one of the new Fluval LCD heaters, but value your opinions?

My last question (promise!), my tank comes with no lid / hood or lighting unit. Am open to suggestions of solutions including none fluval type lids / lighting units/

Look forward to your thoughts.

Thank you
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Before suggesting a filter, can you indicate if live plants are intended, and which fish species? Filtration somewhat depends upon both of these. For a 220 liter (= 50 gallon) my preference would be a canister if plants and typical forest fish are the plan. With this size of tank, I would do an external canister rather than an internal. For one thing, it means less in-tank clutter. But more importantly is the option of really good water flow from end to end with the intake and outflow at opposite length ends.

I cannot recommend the Fluval LCD heaters. I have three of these, and one has given out and another is "iffy," and I only bought them over a year ago. Very expensive, and i thought the LCD display of the current temp would be a real bonus, but not if the heater isn't reliable. If the tank is no longer than 3 feet, a single 250w or 300w heater will work; but longer tanks are best with two heaters, one at each end next to the filter intake and outflow respectively, and i would select 150w or 200w in this situation with a 50g.

Light obviously will be driven by live plants, as these will require decent lighting. I won't get into all this until I know if plants are intended or not.

Byron.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Before suggesting a filter, can you indicate if live plants are intended, and which fish species? Filtration somewhat depends upon both of these. For a 220 liter (= 50 gallon) my preference would be a canister if plants and typical forest fish are the plan. With this size of tank, I would do an external canister rather than an internal. For one thing, it means less in-tank clutter. But more importantly is the option of really good water flow from end to end with the intake and outflow at opposite length ends.

I cannot recommend the Fluval LCD heaters. I have three of these, and one has given out and another is "iffy," and I only bought them over a year ago. Very expensive, and i thought the LCD display of the current temp would be a real bonus, but not if the heater isn't reliable. If the tank is no longer than 3 feet, a single 250w or 300w heater will work; but longer tanks are best with two heaters, one at each end next to the filter intake and outflow respectively, and i would select 150w or 200w in this situation with a 50g.

Light obviously will be driven by live plants, as these will require decent lighting. I won't get into all this until I know if plants are intended or not.

Byron.
Hi Byron, yes live plants will be in the plant, noted your comments about filter and heater, good advice, can you recommend makes and models for the heater and filter?

We are running a planted aquarium in our fluval roommate with a U3, and the water is great.

Adam
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:48 AM   #4
 
...don't suppose anyone else has any input? Seen some offers on Fluval Canisters, but didnt know whether somthing like a 205 would be enough or whether I should go up to a 405? Quite a few on ebay.

Thanks again all
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:55 AM   #5
 
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Im with Byron on all points on this.... Id say fluval are generally iffy at best ... I do however reccommend tetratec. I think they are great and enver had a bad one in 20 odd years!. Alternatively.... i cannot remember ever hearing of anyone having a problem with eheim filters.... awesome peices of kit!
I have heard o numerous occassions that the fluval LCD heaters are not up t much so again id steer clear there....

On all equipment.... Keep it simple.... the fish will present enough problems without the equipment adding to the pot!
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Snappyarcher View Post
Im with Byron on all points on this.... Id say fluval are generally iffy at best ... I do however reccommend tetratec. I think they are great and enver had a bad one in 20 odd years!. Alternatively.... i cannot remember ever hearing of anyone having a problem with eheim filters.... awesome peices of kit!
I have heard o numerous occassions that the fluval LCD heaters are not up t much so again id steer clear there....

On all equipment.... Keep it simple.... the fish will present enough problems without the equipment adding to the pot!
Thanks for the info Snappy

Yes I have heard of them. What sort of size filter should I get for my 200L tank? People are telling me different things:

1. A 200L filter...
2. Double the capicity to a 400L filter

Any ideas?

Would this one filter be enough? I see some people opt for 2 filters, one internal, one external. If you would agree with this, would you change the size of the external filter?

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:39 AM   #7
 
Welcome to TFK! You'll find a lot of good information here along with some spirited conversations and a helping hand.

I also am not very keen on internal filters. I try to have as natural a 'window' on "fish tank TV" as I can and an internal filter would detract from that. Not to mention scuba servicing issues.
You can go with a cannister. I run an Aquaclear 70 HOB on my 60g and it works just fine and I can easily service the media, even without turning it off. It's not a cartridge filter, so I can control the type and amount of media. Right now, for the most part, I'm just using sponge and floss material.

As for heaters, I don't know anything about the brand you mentioned. I'm happy with the Aqueon Pro heaters I have. They are submersible, adjustable, plastic coated aluminum making them very durable and they have a red/green light indicators of operation allowing me to see at a glance when the temperature is at set point or when it's heating.

I think you want some type of hood(s) or canope. Mine came with two standard plastic hoods that work fine. The single 18" lights I had to change and I would need to upgrade further for more lighting if I was to have more serious, light dependent plants (just have floating right now), so this needs to be a consideration.

Last edited by AbbeysDad; 09-19-2012 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:11 AM   #8
 
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As far as filtration is concerned you cannot over filter a tank!
For the rest of the set up its really going to depend on the setup questions.... Do I want a community or a biotope? If a biotope, then what fish "do it" for me? ... From there you need to examine your water from the tap or source you are going to use... Any aquarist will tell you the less you have to meddle with water the easier it is to keep the system stable ... So twosome extent it pays to try to match your fish to the water you have coming from the water source you intend to use! For instance I generally keep central and north American fish because they are suited to my tap water.
In turn this will also dictate what plants you will keep and the plants will impose their own requirements on the hood and lighting... Making sense?
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
 
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Actually, you can overfilter...though to be more accurate, you can have too big of a filter and it will not do as well. And then it depends upon what one means by filtration.

If this is to be a planted tank as you indicated, then I would go with a canister rated to the tank size. Live plants filter so let nature do the work. The filter in a planted tank is solely there to move the water around (gently, unless fish species require more flow) and pass it through media to remove suspended particulate matter.

Eheim filters are the best for reliability, durability and performance. If you can afford it, this is the way to go. I have two Pro II that have been running without any problems for more than 12 years now. The Rena Filstar series is also good, i have one of these, the XP3, on my 115g. It is certainly a good filter from the performance aspect, but it has no "track record" (being fairly new compared to Eheim ) and many suggest it will not match Eheim long-term for durability.

One nice feature about Eheim is that they make canisters with the heating element included; one of mine has this. This eliminates any heaters in the tank. And, from my experience, they are incredible. The tank temperature never varies more than .2 or .3 of one degree, up or down, from the setting. And this means a very even tank temperature. More expensive, but when you add up the cost of a good canister plus two good heaters, you're probably not much different.

Byron.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #10
 
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Im with Byron again exccept that you simply cannot over filter a tank.... to clarify... what you have to do is to be able to control the out put so that, if you choose, you can have high out put at low velocity or vice-versa. The biological surface area of a bigger filter will always be beneficial.
However it has to be said that given what it might take to adapt the output its probably best to go with a filter that's rated to the size of the tank.... then if you want to increase the degree of filtration, do so with a second canister filter. This in turn will make maintenance easier by far because you can alternate the maintenance regime between them.
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