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Second canister for an 180g tank

This is a discussion on Second canister for an 180g tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Corina, I hope this is helpful! Like so many things in this hobby, we all seem to find the way that works best for ...

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Second canister for an 180g tank
Old 05-05-2013, 01:55 PM   #11
 
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Corina, I hope this is helpful! Like so many things in this hobby, we all seem to find the way that works best for us and our unique setups. . .

I'm curious as to why you think the current/water movement in your tank is/will be too low with only one canister filter, though?

Last edited by Chesh; 05-05-2013 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:30 PM   #12
 
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I can agree that this person needs two filters. This stands regardless of if they do heavy planting, minimum planting, or no planting at all. After all the one filter is not to create an effective current through-out the whole tank. Dead spots/layering can still occur in these large tanks when you run just one filter.
Many fishkeepers, including those with heavily planted larger tanks only use/need minimal filtration - some even just use a lone HOB or sponge filter. Plants can do an amazing amount of filtration and if allowed, decaying detritus will organically feed the plants (as it does in nature).

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However putting HOB's on the top is not going to correct this as they tend to only push water around at the the top of the tank and do little for the bottom. This issue is compounded if they use sand as it becomes unsafe to add an attachment. The third option is to put a sponge on the intake and hike the intake lower...but at that point one is best putting their money on some lower powered/adjustable power heads to ensure full circulation without stressing the angels. Many of these can have sponges attached if they so choose. They benefit a tank so much more than throwing a few noisy break-down, high maintenance HOB's in this kind of situation.
Not so. Like any filter that draws water from near the bottom and returns it on top the flow dynamic studies show us there is significant circulation. Also, as we've discussed, unless you use ultra fine sand with an inlet tube too low, sand is not an issue. I recommended the HOB's for mechanical filtration because of the relative ease in servicing frequently to remove the crud. (I'm not a fan of cartridge filters alone, but for mechanical filtration only, a cartridge can be swapped in just a few seconds. [although I think I'd stuff it with polyester fiber])

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Also Byron you mentioned stratification being natural. Yes it is in the wild. Our tanks are not natural things. They are closed systems. We do water changes because of this. Larger tanks do not usually benefit from stratification. Your start getting heavy build up of things in the bottom and that can be harmful in the long run to bottom dweller fish, especially the more sensitive ones. In a larger tank water layering can lead to dead areas of water, rampant growth of algae, and suffering fish.
We do water changes to freshen water and simulate rain like nature.
There is a thermal gradient in nearly all bodies of water. I think our aquariums are typically much more uniform in temperature control than many/most waters in nature. I guess I'm not sure what 'heavy buildup of things on the bottom' you are referring to.

Last edited by AbbeysDad; 05-05-2013 at 03:32 PM..
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:04 PM   #13
 
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There is a thermal gradient in nearly all bodies of water. I think our aquariums are typically much more uniform in temperature control than many/most waters in nature..
That's one of the things in fish keeping that we can know for sure Quick, someone adjust their thermometer...
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:14 PM   #14
 
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Many fishkeepers, including those with heavily planted larger tanks only use/need minimal filtration - some even just use a lone HOB or sponge filter. Plants can do an amazing amount of filtration and if allowed, decaying detritus will organically feed the plants (as it does in nature).


Not so. Like any filter that draws water from near the bottom and returns it on top the flow dynamic studies show us there is significant circulation. Also, as we've discussed, unless you use ultra fine sand with an inlet tube too low, sand is not an issue. I recommended the HOB's for mechanical filtration because of the relative ease in servicing frequently to remove the crud. (I'm not a fan of cartridge filters alone, but for mechanical filtration only, a cartridge can be swapped in just a few seconds. [although I think I'd stuff it with polyester fiber])



We do water changes to freshen water and simulate rain like nature.
There is a thermal gradient in nearly all bodies of water. I think our aquariums are typically much more uniform in temperature control than many/most waters in nature. I guess I'm not sure what 'heavy buildup of things on the bottom' you are referring to.
Any fish keeper who runs heavily planted tanks knows the value of having good water circulation. I'm not sure we are on the same page when it comes to minimal. Minimal means enough to keep the water moving yes? Any time the water stops moving in a tank you get a problem.

Not all filters are created equal. What they are capable of doing changes depending upon the set up. Different tanks have different depths, widths, lengths...etc. The situation and set up alters how efficiently different filtration systems will do their job. A quick aside, I'm not sure the water fall feature of many HOBS are healthy to a planted tank...but that is often debated and is better debated elsewhere as it is off topic here.

Aquariums are always closed systems. So it is up to us to identify what needs our hand to try to simulate what needs to happen. So while we heat tropical tanks, and do water changes to simulate the exchange of water and movement of water in nature, we also run filters to filter water, and move water to simulate current.

Current is part of a sustainable healthy water system. It occurs in open and closed lakes, rivers, streams, and the open ocean. It forces warmer and colder layers of water to mix...and forces the up-welling of nutrient laden waters. The layering is healthy because the water is always moving aided by a current. You are getting exchange and therefore no dangerous concentration.

While it is true in many tanks our water is very much uniform...that's not always the case. Larger tanks can have a harder time at being uniform if current is not set up to carry your heat around. Deeper tanks can also begin to see thermal layering. There are some pretty impressive DIY projects I've seen where I cannot believe there isn't thermal layering potential there.

The kind of layering I am trying to communicate has more to do with layering of sediment/organics. Even if your water is mostly unform in temp you can still get a layering of heavier water at the lower area of your tank. There is only so much your plants if you have them can take in before that becomes an issue.

In a closed system if you have layering but no effective exchange you create a stressful system for the fish to live in.

Hang on Backs can create situations where only your top layer of water is being efficiently moved/filtered. Hence why I suggest to people who run long, and deep tanks (large tanks) to consider other options. If your intake doesn't go far enough you down you have to either make it go down further, or consider other options.

I for the life of me cannot understand buying a large tank, and not investing in an intelligent system. Make your current complete so you don't have issues down the road. HOB maintenance gets annoying after a while...so to the OP save yourself the grief. Don't buy an HOB, as it'll find its way to your garbage can. So you are essentially throwing away money.
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Last edited by Sanguinefox; 05-05-2013 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:24 PM   #15
 
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I for the life of me cannot understand buying a large tank, and not investing in an intelligent system. Make your current complete so you don't have issues down the road. HOB maintenance gets annoying after a while...so to the OP save yourself the grief. Don't buy an HOB, as it'll find its way to your garbage can. So you are essentially throwing away money.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:23 PM   #16
 
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Perhaps I took something for granted and assumed others would too, so I guess I better clarify. With a canister filter, the intake should be at one end of the tank and the return at the other. If this is done, there will always be water movement down the tank. This will be sufficient for plants. The Eheim 2217 mentioned here has a flow rate of 264 gallons per hour, which has to move the water through the tank. There is no way this can create "dead spots" of the magnitude being suggested if it is properly set up.

The current depends upon the fish. If one had current-loving fish, then more water flow would be needed. Here we are dealing with fish that do not like water currents. But that provided by the specified filter will be more than adequate for their needs.


This filter is rated for a 160g tank, which is only 20 gallons less than the 180g mentioned. The length will not change, so even aside from anything else this filter is bound to provide what is necessary.
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Last edited by Byron; 05-05-2013 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:47 PM   #17
 
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Perhaps I took something for granted and assumed others would too, so I guess I better clarify. With a canister filter, the intake should be at one end of the tank and the return at the other. If this is done, there will always be water movement down the tank. This will be sufficient for plants. The Eheim 2217 mentioned here has a flow rate of 264 gallons per hour, which has to move the water through the tank. There is no way this can create "dead spots" of the magnitude being suggested if it is properly set up.
That's a really good point. I have to say though...that this may not work if your tank is too long. So if you do this and notice your current is only hitting half way, than you want to add something supplemental to push all the way even if it's just a weak powerhead. I have a 175 rated canister on a 150, the current reaches about half way before it seems to sputter out.
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Last edited by Sanguinefox; 05-05-2013 at 06:49 PM..
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:35 PM   #18
 
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Here's an interesting read on filter intake placement. Supposedly actual data, produced by a computational fluid dynamics model.

Google Translate

And here's another interesting look, showing data.

http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/...0J2/862116.pdf

Last edited by jaysee; 05-05-2013 at 07:42 PM..
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:59 AM   #19
 
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Thank you all for taking your time to answer my question. Your insights are valuable and helpfull.
I am glad that some members here will consider one canister to be enough for my tank. I was afraid that I'l be told that I am way under-filtering with two Eheims 2217.
I know I need more than one, based on the performance on my old 75g. The Eheim flow is slow and it becomes slower over time that it grows "brownish flakes" inside the tubes. I am not sure what comes first: it grows algae because is such a poor pump or it has a slow flow because is clogged with algae. However, it serves my angels well.
An 180g is 50% longer than a 75g (and 33% wider). It deserves something extra IMO.
I will start with two Eheims 2217. Spray bars at the oposite ends of the tank, just below the water level. If I find it too strong, I'll remove the lid at the end of the spray bar. That will seriously slow down the flow along the entire bar.
I will keep you posted how it goes.
Thanks again,
Corina
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by Sanguinefox View Post
That's a really good point. I have to say though...that this may not work if your tank is too long. So if you do this and notice your current is only hitting half way, than you want to add something supplemental to push all the way even if it's just a weak powerhead. I have a 175 rated canister on a 150, the current reaches about half way before it seems to sputter out.
I don't seem to have expressed myself well in this thread, as the crux of the issue has been missed throughout. I'll try once more.

By setting up any canister with the intake and outflow at opposite ends, there will always be water movement from one end to the other. It has to be, it is a law of physics that if you are pulling water out at one end and pushing it in at the other, the water must be flowing from end to end. It can't be otherwise.

So that gets us to the flow rate, which should at this point be geared to the fish. In a planted tank you do not normally want to "see" current. If you do, it is probably too much. The plants should not be moving due to the current, and assuming you have forest fish. There are exceptions. And fish do have preferences.

To illustrate, my 5-foot 115g tank, shown below. It has a Rena Filstar XP3 which is rated to this sized tank. The filter intake is at the far right close to the substrate, and behind a large chunk of wood. The filter return is on the left, but about 15 inches in from the end wall, with the spigot turned directly to that end wall. Obviously the water flow from the spigot is strong, and I did this for the benefit of my Centromochlus perugiae which need some current. When they were first introduced to this tank, they all three took up residence in the tunnels of the standing chunk of wood that is placed just in front of the filter return. They chose this spot. As the water passes over/through the wood, it hits the end wall and then pushes back and down the tank. The plants in the tank are motionless. But it is interesting how the other fish have chosen their areas. The shoals of Paracheirodon axelrodi, Hyphessobrycon bentosi and Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma remain right of centre, and rarely if ever venture into the stronger current on the left side. The Carnegiella strigata also stay on the right half of the surface, where it is certainly the most calm, as far from the current as is possible. The rummynose swim back and forth as is their normal behaviour. The Diamond tetra seem to have times when they like the water flow, as they will all group at that end, but at other times they move to the right, perhaps to rest.
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