Best Aquarium Bio Filters Members Opinion???
I just purchased the AquaClear 20 filter with foam sponge insert, activated Charcoal, and Bio Max media bag. I have a 5 gallon Aquarium with Betta fish, Pleco, and Gold Mystery Snails. I love this filter, I researched online which would be the best filter to purchase on the market today and the AqauClear was number one on a ton of websites. My water was cloudy but the AquaClear cleared it up in a matter of a few hours. I would like to hear from my fellow members which filter do you believe is the best for your bio load in your aquarium? Which filter keeps the water crystal clear all the time? What size aquariums you have, what inhabitants, and if you have dual filters, under gravel filters etc?
Boy what a loaded question.
I used to exclusively use aquaclears, after wasting my money on several other brands of HOBs. I now use 2 canisters on tanks 4 feet long and longer, no matter what fish are in them. That's what I find does the job I want done best. Each filter is set up exactly the same way - fluval ceramic prefilters as the first stage, sponge as the second, and biomax as the third.
I hope you find the answers you are looking for. If you'd like to know more about my methods, I'd be happy to tell you.
I would love to get as much knowledge from you as I can, please feel free to PM me anytime I would really like that. Wow; 4 foot long tanks, I would love if you could upload a pic or even a video of your tanks and the way they are set up. I would also like to see you fishy friends too, if you could upload any pics or even a video that would be hugely educational to me and many other members.
Good luck on your quest for filtration enlightenment, Trunk! I have different filters on a range of tanks from 3 - 55g, but I haven't found perfection yet, either!
I looked at the AC at first, best reviews, one at the office working well for a few years, modifiable media layers. I ended up going to a canister. From the bottom.... coarse sponge, medium floss, polyester fiber with a fine final "polishing" pad. I tossed the bio balls and ceramic media as they really don't do much for a planted tank, (I don't think they do much for any tank, but that is another discussion).
I might choose to go with a sponge filter and power head if I were starting over again... on a tank of 40 gallons or less... I'd have to think hard about larger.
marineland bio wheels been using them since I started and haven't ran into a problem that has wanted me to switch.
I can't help but be curious...are you aware that Pleco will outgrow that tank? One day very soon you will have to relocate him to another tank. Do you have plans for that?
As to your question, keep in mind that what works well for one person's set up may not work so well for another. It's all variable. For me, I run 4 tanks right now.
My 150 gallon runs well on two Canisters. I have the Filistar XP3, and a Ehiem 2217 (pretty sure that's the model, it's a used thing off Craigslist). I find that both filters working together keep the my tank rather clean even back when my big monster fish called it home. RIght now I have 28 rainbowfish, two gourami, 18 assorted loaches, one peacock eel, 4 sae, and 4 black skirt tetra in that tank. I also have two large Amazon swords, a Marble Sword, Java Ferns, and Spiralis crypts calling home. Also some subwassertang and java moss and a few other plant species.
My 90 gallon is still dealing with a mini-cycle. However up until that point the Sponge Filter attached to a Power Head did a fine job of keeping things nice and tidy. I have the same set up in my 80 gallon. Both of these tanks have assorted plants doing well.
The 90 has 4 rope fish, and two senegalus bichirs. The 80 is currently home to an Ornate Bichir. It is her tank till I either A: Get her a wider tank, or B: Find her a new home if it comes to that.
Previously I ran both sponges on air machines and those did...okay.The thing is when you have planted tanks it's not all your filter doing the work. Your plants work too! All my tanks have plants and with the filters they keep things in check.
My 20 gallon currently has a small internal running. It holds a betta and is a sick tank. It's built to fit a cartridge of some sort. I threw that away and stuck a bit batting like material in it as the thing's only real purpose is surface agitation. I've always found small thanks with minimalist mechanical produce for some awesome quality water and super happy fish. That's if..you have a good balance of plants to share the load and to the real work.
The biggest thing for me is paying attention to the needs of the environment and the fish. Aquariums are closed systems. It is up to us to mimic the wild enough so that these systems are healthy. You could have the best single filter, or best duel but if you don't set things up properly and intelligently you won't have the healthy tank you want.
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