Filter Question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-16-2010, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
Filter Question

I have a cheap Aquatech 30-60 that came with my established tank. I want to either add to or change the filtration.

The cheapest way would be to buy another Aquatech at the big W-mart and have two.. but I would rather have something nicer for my fish.


1. what would anyone recommend for a 55gallon tank? (I also might consider adding peat at some point to help with the pH)

2. when I get it do I run the two filters together for a whle for the new bacteria to collonate on the new filter?

Sorry I'm so new with this, but I want to get ideas for the future

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post #2 of 15 Old 02-16-2010, 02:55 PM
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Having just set up my own tank (44g) for the first time a few weeks ago, I was talked into a canister filter. I went from budgeting ~$50 for the filter to paying closer to $175, but at the end, I think its great (Fluval 305, btw). The filter sits in the cabinet under the tank and is dead quiet, and only 2 hoses run up to the tank. The relatively thin hoses allow me to push my corner tank into the corner - much neater than having to leave room behind the tank for a hang-on-back model. Had I purchased the HOB, I probably would be looking to upgrade already, so I figure I saved money in the long run. BTW, the 305 is rated for 70g, but you may want to consider the 405 for your 55g if you go the canister route. Many also like the Enheim(sp?) canisters, which seem to have a higher volume and slower flow, if you don't want very much disturbance in your tank.

As for transfering bacteria, you're probably better off just putting some of the media from the original filter in the new one for a couple of weeks. The Fluvals (and most canisters?) have some type of baskets in them that you can put any type of media you'd like in.

- Lee
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-16-2010, 03:09 PM
LisaC144's Avatar
Hi PaperClipGirl,
I JUST upgraded to a canister filter and I am actually setting it up tonight. If interested in a canister, I got the Eheim 2213 for $75 shipped on Ebay. If it is no longer available on ebay, PetSmart online sells it for the next best price, $86 shipped. Take all sponges/media out of your current filter and stuff it all in the new filter. That alone will be all you need to do. Just to be safe I would monitor your parameters for a few days, but I don't forsee you having any problems. That's exactly what I will be doing tonight.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-16-2010, 07:21 PM
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outside of canister filters, I can only reccomend Marineland Bio-Wheels...I currently run two Bio-Wheel 350's on my 55G tank, it is definetly more than enough filtration and it keep my water crystal clear. Marineland really makes a great product, I just upgraded to their Magnum 350 Canister and it's suppose to be here (see my other thread regarding Fedex, ugh).

Everyone on here has given great's all personal preference. I will say that if you plan on keeping love plants, to definitely go with a canister. Biowheels create surface breaks, which release the oxygen your plants need to survive
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-16-2010, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
I'm not sure I want to dabble in live plants yet... gotta make sure the fish survive at least a month or two first... lol...

I thought surface aggitation was good, its not?

My current filter sucks (or maybe doesn't suck enough?!?) Its the cheap kind that comes with a starter tank and I have lots and lots of floaties and fuzzies...

I got a hair in my tank - not sure how... but it got caught on one of my anglefish's fins and I pulled it off withouth thinking and may have injured her.

Also, my two angles seem to hang out where the filtered water comes back into the tank, so I assume that means they really like cleaner water. I test my parameters every night (I even have a log book) - nothing alarming there.

I scrubbed the basket-like thingy over the intake valve when I did my last water change with a toothbrush (wont tell you whose toothbrush in the house that was) but I don't seem to see any improvement on the water. I"m going to do another water change tomorrow and see if that helps.

I've been leaning toward a canister just because they seem more powerful - you can't over filter right?
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-16-2010, 09:36 PM
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Again, I'm a noob, so take this with a grain of salt:

Surface agitation is good for fish, bad for plants. Surface agitation allows O2 to be absorbed into the water, which is bad for the plants becuase the O2 displaces the CO2 the plants need. However, the plants themselves release O2, so you don't need all the agitation. It's all a balancing act. BTW, some hearty plants will really help your fish and improve your filtration may want to consider it.

Don't know much about Angels, but I thought I read that they do like very clean water.

Did you vacume the substrate? And, no, you can't over-filter (from what I understand). The Aquatech doesn't sound like a bad filter, but may be a little undersized for your tank. The more water you can flow through the filter(s) the better. The issue with larger filters is the current, but if you have fish that like current or have a way to disperse it for those that don't (i.e., spray wand), get the biggest, baddest filter you can find! ;)

Did you see AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor It willl help give you a good idea about your filtration requirements based on your tank size and stocking. Just select your tank, filter, and fish!

- Lee
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-17-2010, 02:13 AM
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If you're not going the planted tank route, I don't think canisters are really a "must" for you in a tank of this size. In planted tanks they're great because the inputs and outputs can be placed below the surface as per Lee's post above mine. They're also nice in larger tanks because they allow you to have a lot of wiggle room for filter media and also allow you to position your inputs/outputs for the most ideal water flow.

So, I think you're fine leaving the Aquatech on there and maybe adding a second HOB. Like JohnnyD44, I'm a big fan of bio-wheels so I think a Marineland filter would be a good choice. A Penguin 200 would make a nice addition.

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JohnnyD44 (02-18-2010)
post #8 of 15 Old 02-17-2010, 07:19 AM
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I take care of a couple aquariums that belong to fellow employees. They are Aquatech 20/40 on a 20 gal tank and a 30/60 on a 29 gal. I have found that if you clean the tube and the impeller on these filters that they operate much better. Just unplug the filter and pull up on the tube until it comes out. Then take a clean tooth brush or bottle brush and clean the impeller and the inside the tube if you can. I then clean the hole, or well that impeller sits in inside the filter where tube is attached. Makes a huge difference.
I too favor the biowheel filters by Marineland . I like the Emperor series and have eight in operation at the moment. Canister filters are excellent choice as well and perhaps provide more capability to add extra media whether it be biological media such as ceramic beads ,or noodles,, or,, Eheim substrat pro,or more mechanical filtration such as sponges or pads.
There is also a product.. Super cartridge made by Magnavore that will fit the aquatech,tetra whisper,marineland penguin and emperor series filters. It comes with carbon insert that can be removed and then you can add media of your choice. Might be someting that interest's you. All can be found at...www.FosterSmith .com or www. one of these two sites.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-17-2010, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
I guess what I mostly want is cleaner water... I have a lot of floaties, and the filter doesn't seem to pick them up at all, even though they should be small enough to pass into the tube (? is the impeller the basket thing on the end?).

I just have read how cleaner canister filters make the water.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-18-2010, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PaperclipGirl View Post
I guess what I mostly want is cleaner water... I have a lot of floaties, and the filter doesn't seem to pick them up at all, even though they should be small enough to pass into the tube (? is the impeller the basket thing on the end?).

I just have read how cleaner canister filters make the water.

Impeller is found on the other end of the tube that goes down into the filter.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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