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New Setup & Filter Question

This is a discussion on New Setup & Filter Question within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Snappyarcher Im with Byron again exccept that you simply cannot over filter a tank.... to clarify... what you have to do ...

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New Setup & Filter Question
Old 09-19-2012, 03:31 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Snappyarcher View Post
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.
I didn't digress into the "over-filtration" issue previously so as not to sideline the OP, but as you have raised some points here I'd like to comment further.

"Filtration" has many facets. Basic mechanical filtration which moves water through media to remove particulate matter is all that we need in a planted tank, and this will be achieved by any filter employing mechanical filtration (which almost all of them do as an initial step). A canister rated to the tank will achieve this; hooking up more filters, or larger filters, is not going to improve this--unless something is seriously wrong with the biology. And it may make it worse.

Biological filtration referring to the nitrification bacteria occurs in any filter. In well planted tanks it is totally unnecessary to have specific biological filtration, since this is going to occur on all surfaces anyway, and encouraging it competes with the plants. In non-planted tanks, it is best to have the filtration rated for the tank and its fish load, and provided the fish load is not beyond the tank's capacity, extra filters will add nothing here either. "The biological surface area of a bigger filter will always be better" is not strictly accurate, provided the filter is suitable for the tank to begin with; more is not better. The nitrifying bacteria will only exist at the level needed for the available food (ammonia, nitrite) so thinking that adding more filters is going to somehow increase these is fallacy. And another aspect is that the faster the water is moving through the media, the less efficient the bacteria are. Too much water flow could in fact result in no biological filtration in the filter at all. But nature comes to the rescue, and the bacteria would colonize outside the filter. The filter in this case would be almost useless.

Chemical filtration via carbon etc. is something one never wants in a well planted tank due to its detrimental aspects of removing necessary nutrients like DOC and some others.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:55 PM   #12
 
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I agree with you Byron its better not to sideline the original Post but ill take up the debate on filtration with you elsewhere. Its an interesting topic and it seems many differing views on it! :)
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:16 AM   #13
 
Thank you all for the great information! Really appreciate your help: AbbeysDad, Snappy & Byron! Feel welcomed! Thought it was easier than quoting you all to explain where I am at:

- Got a filter, went with fluval canister 305 (don't hate me!) was all I could afford, got it for 40. Will stick with this for now. Ordered some new media that will be delivered this week. Noted your comments about filtration, will look at a second filter (when funds allow). Could I use an internal filter along with my external canister filter?

- My only problem is the lid & lights. I have found the replacement lids / flaps, I believe I need 2 of these:
http://www.arkpetsonline.co.uk/roma-200-lid-flap-p-6053.html which means I just need the centre light ballast, really dont want to pay 80+ to Hagen for a new light ballast, when there could be better (either cheaper or expensive) options, any suggestions where I could get a light ballast, which would fill the gap in the middle of the two flaps? - I hope this makes sense, had a nightmare wording it!

Thanks again in advance
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:26 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Snappyarcher View Post
I agree with you Byron its better not to sideline the original Post but ill take up the debate on filtration with you elsewhere. Its an interesting topic and it seems many differing views on it! :)
I also agree it's best not to HY-jack thread, But I do not share the opinion/ view as it was presented by Byron, regarding filtration.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:15 AM   #15
 
I just want lights in my tank LOL!!!!
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:25 AM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by robedadam View Post
Thank you all for the great information! Really appreciate your help: AbbeysDad, Snappy & Byron! Feel welcomed! Thought it was easier than quoting you all to explain where I am at:

- Got a filter, went with fluval canister 305 (don't hate me!) was all I could afford, got it for 40. Will stick with this for now. Ordered some new media that will be delivered this week. Noted your comments about filtration, will look at a second filter (when funds allow). Could I use an internal filter along with my external canister filter?

- My only problem is the lid & lights. I have found the replacement lids / flaps, I believe I need 2 of these:
http://www.arkpetsonline.co.uk/roma-200-lid-flap-p-6053.html which means I just need the centre light ballast, really dont want to pay 80+ to Hagen for a new light ballast, when there could be better (either cheaper or expensive) options, any suggestions where I could get a light ballast, which would fill the gap in the middle of the two flaps? - I hope this makes sense, had a nightmare wording it!

Thanks again in advance
The Fluval 305 will be adequate for a 200 liter/52 gallon tank, it is rated for up to 70 gallons. As you intend plants, you will not need a second filter. Filtration competes with plants so it must be kept moderate.

I couldn't make anything of the link to that hood/light. Does it take fluorescent tubes, and what type, and how many and how long?

Byron.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:49 AM   #17
 
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The Fluval 305 will be adequate for a 200 liter/52 gallon tank, it is rated for up to 70 gallons. As you intend plants, you will not need a second filter. Filtration competes with plants so it must be kept moderate.

I couldn't make anything of the link to that hood/light. Does it take fluorescent tubes, and what type, and how many and how long?

Byron.
Thanks Byron. I am hopeless at explaining this lol! It has no lid / hood, so no lighting at all, and I need some. If this doesn't make sense I may have to take a pic to show you all. Have seen a few solutions such as:
Aquarium Lighting | T5 Lighting - All Pond Solutions

Rather than paying full sack to Hagen for a new lighting
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:12 PM   #18
 
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Originally Posted by robedadam View Post
Thanks Byron. I am hopeless at explaining this lol! It has no lid / hood, so no lighting at all, and I need some. If this doesn't make sense I may have to take a pic to show you all. Have seen a few solutions such as:
Aquarium Lighting | T5 Lighting - All Pond Solutions

Rather than paying full sack to Hagen for a new lighting
First you need a cover over the tank. If it did not come with any type of hood, you have two options. Buying a hood made for the tank (the length and width dimensions determine this) that will contain a lighting component; or buying a glass cover set and then buy a lighting fixture. The glass cover sits down on the lip that runs around the inside of the frame, the lighting fixture sits on the frame and must extend from end to end lengthwise. The fixtures in the link are this type.

The problem with the tank hood is the lighting fixture will be whatever they supply. The second option allows you to choose whatever you want/need. On my larger tanks (4-feet and over in length) I always use the glass cover and a fixture. I have prefabricated hoods on my smaller tanks because they serve my need. On a 50g which is 3-feet in length, I would tend to go with the glass cover set and a fixture.

You're in the UK so I can't suggest which glass covers, but they must be available. You have some super fish stores in the UK, I've seen reviews in PFK.

As for the light, here you have to be careful. Those linked are T5, with two tubes. This is a lot of light. Over a natural planted tank I would suggest either a dual-tube T8 fixture, or a single-tube T5. There are n ow LED fixtures too. These are more expensive, but long-term should be cheaper to operate. I've no experience with LED so I can't say more.

T5 in single tube is hard to come by, at least in NA. The "T" refers to the tube diameter in 8ths of an inch, so T5 is 5/8 inch and T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch. But these need different fixtures; T8 will not work in T5 and vice-versa. And the majority of tubes in T5 are HO (high output) which is very bright for freshwater. So unless you can find a single tube T5, I would look for a dual tube T8. A fixture that is the length of the tank and that takes two tubes in parallel.

Byron.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:52 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
First you need a cover over the tank. If it did not come with any type of hood, you have two options. Buying a hood made for the tank (the length and width dimensions determine this) that will contain a lighting component; or buying a glass cover set and then buy a lighting fixture. The glass cover sits down on the lip that runs around the inside of the frame, the lighting fixture sits on the frame and must extend from end to end lengthwise. The fixtures in the link are this type.

The problem with the tank hood is the lighting fixture will be whatever they supply. The second option allows you to choose whatever you want/need. On my larger tanks (4-feet and over in length) I always use the glass cover and a fixture. I have prefabricated hoods on my smaller tanks because they serve my need. On a 50g which is 3-feet in length, I would tend to go with the glass cover set and a fixture.

You're in the UK so I can't suggest which glass covers, but they must be available. You have some super fish stores in the UK, I've seen reviews in PFK.

As for the light, here you have to be careful. Those linked are T5, with two tubes. This is a lot of light. Over a natural planted tank I would suggest either a dual-tube T8 fixture, or a single-tube T5. There are n ow LED fixtures too. These are more expensive, but long-term should be cheaper to operate. I've no experience with LED so I can't say more.

T5 in single tube is hard to come by, at least in NA. The "T" refers to the tube diameter in 8ths of an inch, so T5 is 5/8 inch and T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch. But these need different fixtures; T8 will not work in T5 and vice-versa. And the majority of tubes in T5 are HO (high output) which is very bright for freshwater. So unless you can find a single tube T5, I would look for a dual tube T8. A fixture that is the length of the tank and that takes two tubes in parallel.

Byron.
I think I understand. Would something like this suffice + bulbs?:
Hagen GLO Double T8*2 x 40W *Lighting starter unit,

Thanks
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:44 AM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by robedadam View Post
I think I understand. Would something like this suffice + bulbs?:
Hagen GLO Double T8*2 x 40W *Lighting starter unit,

Thanks
Yes, that is a dual tube T8 fixture. The tubes that come with it might be good, it doesn't say here what they are. Hagen make Life-Glo 6700K which is a very good tube, and their T5 "GLO" fixtures come with Life-Glo tubes, so presumably so would the T8.
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