Positioning of Canister Filter and HOB Filter in 55 Gal Tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-03-2012, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Positioning of Canister Filter and HOB Filter in 55 Gal Tank

I'm setting up a standard 55 Gallon African Cichlid aquariam (48" x 12" x 21"). I have a Topfin60 HOB filter which is in the back left corner. I'll also be using a Fluval 406 Canister Filter and was planning on putting the intake on the back right and return on the right side, shooting the water parrallel across the tank (from right to Left). (Some people mention using a Spray Bar...would like more info on what it does and how to use it for water ciruclation, etc.)

Is the above set up ideal for water circulation? Any suggestions? How far above the substrate (Pool Filter Sand) should both intakes be?

Thanks in advance guys!!
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 09:54 AM
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It's always exciting to find another Lake Malawi fish lover!

I recommend that you place your Fluval intake at the far right corner about 2" above the sand and the output toward the left corner. That will circulate water more in a left to right fashion so the intake will collect better. Use your HOB toward the center and let it splash water as much noise as you can tolerate to create surface agitation. A power head fan in the top left front corner would be a great addition, position it so it creates as much ripple on the top of the water as you can. Also, add an air stone somewhere in the tank (this allows nitrogen bubbles to release at the top of the water surface)

Our 220g is set up this way but we are running a Fluval FX5 and Cascade 1500. As far as spray bars, we have Eheims running in our other tanks and I position them so that they ripple as much as possible at the top of the water. Surface agitation is key, and you can't over-filtrate Africans. They need clean water and oxygen :) but they will repay you with beautiful colors!!

You could add some aragonite in with your pool filter sand, we did this in our 220, found it in white. That will add some good minerals to the water. Also, as much limestone rock as you can get in there. I would do this gradually to keep from increasing the ph too much too fast. Hope some of this helps!
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response lakemalawifish. In regards to the powerhead fan, do you have a link for this or explain more exactly what it does and how it works?

I'm going to ushed Crush Coral w/Arganite in both filters to buffer and raise the pH some, and see if more needs to be added. Currently have about 50lbs of flagstone, looking for limestone rock as well to also Buffer.
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 11:30 AM
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As far as powerheads, we have these 2 in our 220G

220V 24w 12000L/Hr Aquarium Wave Maker(Europe Version) Water pumps free shipping JVP 202-in Pet Products from Home & Garden on Aliexpress.com

220V 12W 6000L/Hr Aquarium Wave Maker(Europe Version) Water pumps free shipping JVP 201-in Pet Products from Home & Garden on Aliexpress.com

You will not need this much for a 55 G, I would recommend just the single head. You can find pretty good prices for these at Ken's Fish (link below) We have the one pictured in our 120G Peacock tank and it's doing great. Ken's also has good deals on food, we get Veggie Flakes and New Life Spectrum from their online store.

Maxi-Jet Pro 1200

You are setting up a fine tank! Can't wait to see pics!

Last edited by lakemalawifish; 12-04-2012 at 11:31 AM. Reason: left out a few words
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 11:35 AM
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Here's a link to some of our tanks on Photobucket, would love for you to take a look around sometime!

[IMG][/IMG]
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post #6 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 12:23 PM
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Hey there, just caught something. You said you are going to run aragonite in your filters? Are you referring to aragonite sand? I have never seen aragonite in rock form. Just thinking, the sand would clog up your impellers... We have crushed coral (only the large pieces that I hand sifted) in velcro bags in our canisters. I used the small crushed coral that was finely sifted in the aragonite sand substrate in our African Tang tank.
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakemalawifish View Post
Hey there, just caught something. You said you are going to run aragonite in your filters? Are you referring to aragonite sand? I have never seen aragonite in rock form. Just thinking, the sand would clog up your impellers... We have crushed coral (only the large pieces that I hand sifted) in velcro bags in our canisters. I used the small crushed coral that was finely sifted in the aragonite sand substrate in our African Tang tank.
Im buying a 40 lb bag of "Florida Crushed Coral" but in the description of the product is has agagnite. Was going to put this is a mesh bag in one of the filter compartments in the Fluval 406 and some in the HOB Topfin 60.

Florida Crushed Coral for Aquariums <<<Crushed Coral product

BTW Great pic of the tank and Fish. I will be posting pics in the coming weeks as I do the substrate and rockscape and cycle the tank.
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 03:02 PM
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Hey that is awesome stuff, have not seen it yet here. Great idea

Thank you for the nice compliment, looking for your tank!!

Last edited by lakemalawifish; 12-04-2012 at 03:05 PM. Reason: forgot to say thank you
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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[quote=lakemalawifish;1337174]It's always exciting to find another Lake Malawi fish lover!

I recommend that you place your Fluval intake at the far right corner about 2" above the sand and the output toward the left corner. That will circulate water more in a left to right fashion so the intake will collect better. Use your HOB toward the center and let it splash water as much noise as you can tolerate to create surface agitation. A power head fan in the top left front corner would be a great addition, position it so it creates as much ripple on the top of the water as you can. Also, add an air stone somewhere in the tank (this allows nitrogen bubbles to release at the top of the water surface)

quote]


So the Canister Filter In take is in the back far right corner, the output would be attached to the left corner/side or it should be AIMING towards the left side?(attached to the right near the intake?,

If I had a small power head, which side and direction would it move the water in this setup?

Would you suggest a spray bar for the output, I notice some people use them...

Thanks
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-04-2012, 05:43 PM
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If I were you I would first try placing the output on the back wall on the far left side just for the sake of looks, you could place it on the left side wall if you want to. I think your model of Fluval has the "horn type" sprayer, so does ours. We have the powerhead at the very top left front corner, aimed towards the top of the water as much as possible without creating a little tornado swirl "not sure what you call that" the top of the powerhead is approx 2" from the surface of the water and is aimed up and straight across to create as much water surface agitation as possible. If there is any way for your to shorten the output on the Fluval water output so that it pushes water out at the very top of the tank at the top surface of the water, all the better. We were not able to do that on the FX5 so it sprays water out about 3" down from the water surface. But we are making up for that with the Cascade spray bar. I think what you have will be more than sufficient for your 55. One of the most aggravating things to me is trying to figure out where to place the air stone so that it does not create little bubbles, because there is so much water movement going on in the tank. You can tweak this some once you get your fish in there and see how the food moves around and where their poop collects. The canister is not going to get all of the poop and stuff. There is always a small collection of poop in a couple of places in our tank that is just too heavy to get sucked into the intake. We have some big boys that are hefty dumpers in there.

If there is any way for your to shorten the output on the Fluval water output so that it pushes water out at the very top of the tank at the top surface of the water, all the better. I am not saying to do this if the manufacturer's provided parts have to be altered. There may be some reason why Fluval does it like this. I was thinking since the FX5 is so big and powerful that the pressure may not allow it to be mounted any higher. But, if you have the option to do this and the parts provided by Fluval can be shortened or lengthened according to your preference "like you can with the intake" then it might be advantageous for surface water agitation.

Last edited by lakemalawifish; 12-04-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: needed to clarify something about the Fluval output
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