Filtration for Cichlids??? 55 gal - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-05-2008, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Filtration for Cichlids??? 55 gal

I have a 55 gallon tank with cichlids, I moved them all into it from my 36 gallon because they are getting too large for it and I had to clean it lots.

I put a Rena SmartFilter 55 and SmartHeater 200 in it with a Rena Air 300 w/ Rena 4" Ceramic Airstone

Will that pump/airstone provide enough oxygen?

Will my SmartFilter 55 rated for 250 gal/hour be adequate filtration?

I saw recently that there are under-gravel filters like Lee's Premium Under-Gravel Filter... is this something that would help greatly with my dirty cichlids? It says it can attach to power filters.

I'm still learning lots about aquariums and I want the best in mine for less cleaning and healthy fish. Any suggestions?

55 gallon - Rena SmartFilter/Heater
36 gallon bow-front - Aqueon Filter/Heater
14 gallon - Aqueon Filter/Heater
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-05-2008, 08:59 AM
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fluval canister + power filter
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-05-2008, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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do I seriously need a fluval fx5? It's rated for 400 gal lol

55 gallon - Rena SmartFilter/Heater
36 gallon bow-front - Aqueon Filter/Heater
14 gallon - Aqueon Filter/Heater
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-06-2008, 08:09 AM
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Cichlids are very large and very messy fish. They require far more filtration than what you'd normally need. Your current filter would be fine for normal tropicals but for cichlids its woefully undersized. A second canister or a large HoB like an emperor 400 would be best.

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post #5 of 5 Old 10-06-2008, 03:04 PM
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I agree; a single filter designed for a 55g tank is not going to be enough if that tank is heavily stocked.

What, exactly, is the tank stocked with?

Undergravel filters can be a big help, but you can't use them if you have a sand substrate. You can operate one using air pumps and air stones, however you can make it much more effective by using it with powerheads (not power filters). The best option for undergravel filters is to use powerheads that have a reverse flow option. You can set up the system so that water is forced down the lift tubes and up through your gravel. This provides oxygenated water to the bacteria in your gravel. It also creates a current of water up through the gravel which prevents waste from accumulating in your gravel. Instead, it is suspended in the water column where it can be removed by your power filters.

However, since the tank is already up and running, it would be a real pain to install an undergravel filter and might stir up a lot of gunk in your tank. Adding a canister filter or second big HOB filter would be a big help.

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