04-30-2012, 11:36 AM
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Big Fate, from reading your other posts, it seems you are aiming for a aquascaping focused tank over a livestock focused tank. Is that correct? The approach to what equipment to get and how to maintain the tank is very different for each type of fishkeeping. For filters, the flow required will be very different.
A aquascaped tank needs adequate flow and direction to properly distribute the CO2 and nutrients in the water column. If I'm not mistaken the rule that a lot of people use is that the water must be turned at least 5-6 times. Then you pick fish that fit that kind of flow rate. I have seen and heard of aquascapers using up to 12x turnover (ultra high CO2 diffusion)
If you are aiming for a live-stock focused tank, you need to research what kind of flows your fish need to be healthy. If you run your tank at 7-8 times turnover, fish like tetras won't like it as much.
As for filters, both eheim and fluval are great brands. The rating on the box of the filter is not important, it is the GPH that you need look at. If you are aiming for 6x turnover, you need something that pushes water at 120gph. 10x turnover is 200gph, etc.
For an aquascaping tank, in-tank filters are often viewed as unsightly, which is why lily pipe producers can charge the amount of money they do. However, canisters + pipes also give you greater control of flow direction with minimal equipment in tanks. The purpose of a filter in aquascaping is to polish the water and ensure each plant is getting adequate nutrients. That's why many aquascaping tanks are under-stocked to avoid water quality issues.
For us to really help you, you need to let us know what your focus is for the tank and what you want out of it.