08-25-2011, 10:55 AM
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For larger (50g and over) planted tanks, a canister filter rated for the tank size is ideal. Most have a spray bar which diffuses the flow so it can be placed along the end wall of the tank and create a gentle flow down the length of the tank. The filter intake should always be at the opposite end of the tank for best results. You can turn the spray bar toward the tank wall where it is attached for even less direct current, or along the surface of down the wall, depending upon the effect you want. You can also remove the spray bar and use just the spigot which will create a more forceful current from one spot; this is useful in large tanks if you need some current at one end for certain fish species. I have this arrangement in my 115g.
I have experience with Eheim and Rena XP canisters, and both are good filters. Fluval is similar in design. Eheim are more costly, but they have a proven track record of reliability and durability than the other two do not (yet, they are newer on the market). My Eheim on the 90g has been running now for 14 years non-stop, and I have never had a problem. That is reliability. I'm not saying Rena and Fluval are not similar, they may be, but most who know these suggest they will not likely last that long without issues along the way. My Rena XP3 on the 115g has been running for just over 2 years.