Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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grannyfish 07-18-2012 03:08 PM

power filter size??
I just read on an old thread that it is recommended that you use a filter that is at least 4x your aquarium size. Some recommend as much as 10x.

I have a new 10 gallon setup with a Marineland 100 biowheel. it is rated for up to 20 gal.

Should I really replace it with one rated for 40 gallons or more? How much current would that create in such a small tank?

jaysee 07-18-2012 03:24 PM

Your filter should do very well for your tank.

Tazman 07-18-2012 03:33 PM

That filter is fine for that tank provided you get fish which are ok in a lot of flow. If you find the flow to be too much for the fish, then adding a piece of filter wool to the outflow can help.

It really depends on what fish you keep as to how much filtration you need. I have an enormous amount on my 75g cichlid tank in the form of an FX5 and Rena XP4 but then again my fish are poop masters and produce a lot of waste.

My 10g fry tank has a 40g sponge filter on it and it works very well at keeping the water pristine.

grannyfish 07-18-2012 06:26 PM

are you referring to the filter I have - (Marineland 100) or getting a larger one?

Varkolak 07-18-2012 07:50 PM

I aim for double the rating of my tank, what you probably read was gph compared to tank size not rated tank size for the filter

Tazman 07-18-2012 09:37 PM


Originally Posted by grannyfish (Post 1161154)
are you referring to the filter I have - (Marineland 100) or getting a larger one?

Marineland is fine.

jaysee 07-18-2012 10:55 PM

If you need more than the filter you have for a 10 gallon, then you've got some stocking issues to look at :)

Tigris 07-19-2012 04:32 AM

Can you tell us what type of fish you are keeping or are planning on keeping. Filtration can depend on a variety things, such as if the tank is planted, how heavily it is planted, what type of fish, and how many fish are in there.

grannyfish 07-19-2012 07:09 AM

I don't think I have a filtering problem, I was just asking why it was recommended to have such high capacity filtration. Thanks for responding.

Geomancer 07-19-2012 07:31 AM

Those guidelines you found, as another poster mentioned, is for GPH (Gallons Per Hour) and not the aquarium size.

In all my tanks over the years (7 tanks) I have always just gone with a filter rated in size for my aquarium. I had four different 10 gallon tanks, all using the cheapo Topfin 10 HOBs that they came with. A 29 gallon with an Aquaclear 30, a 20 gallon with the cheapo Topin 20, and my 125 gallon with an Aquatop CF-400UV (which is rated for 125 gallons).

All my tanks have been your garden variety community tanks, so nothing particularly messy, and no large fish.

In essance, X fish will produce Y ammonia which through the nitrogen cycle will result in Z Nitrate. Those numbers are not going to change much, pretty much only will as your fish go from juviniles to adults.

As an example, say you had an established 20 gallon tank with all adult fish (they are no longer growing larger) and a 20 gallon HOB filter. Assume with weekly water changes your tanks water was 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 40 ppm nitrate.

If you then added an additional 60 gallon HOB filter, your water parameters would still be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 40 ppm nitrate. In other words, that second larger filter would not be giving you any better water. The only time an extra or a larger filter will give you better water parameters are if your current filter does not contain enough bacteria to keep ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm. This will only be a problem if you overstock the tank.

Some people want the extra water flow because it will kick up more waste off the substrate that then will get sucked into the filter. So the tank will look cleaner, and I stress the word look. All that waste is still in the tank, still being broken down by bacteria.

Depending on the fish though, lots of water flow will cause them stress, most community fish come from ponds or slow moving streams. They are not adapted to raging rivers. On the other side of the spectrum, fast water fish like the Hillstream Loach need a heavy current. Usually that's best obtained through power heads, and not extra filters.

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