confused about filters.
So In a few weeks I'll be setting up my first planted tank, a 55 gallon. Its going to be a big project for me...
I dont have a filter at this time, and was thinking it would be best to go with a cannister filter...
But the prices between the various styles really varies. In general, i think one gets what one pays for.
but I am really confused as to the huge difference between prices.
I'm looking at an eheim cannister and Marine land HOT pro magnum with biowheel.
Both will work for a 55 gallon tank, but the EHEIM is waaay more expensive, as of course was the comparable fluval.
I think I am going to end up with the EHEIM, but.. would the Marine land HOT with the biowheel not handle the load of a heavily planted tank with 15-20 fish....(Not gold fish. just regular fish)?
I hope someone can help me. they have comparable GFR's etc.
I've had Eheim filters on my tanks for 15 years and I wouldn't get anything else frankly. But I don't know the Marineland so wouldn't like to say it may not be as good. I believe the Fluval is similar in design to Eheim. The way the Eheim works is in my view exceptional for planted tanks.
Which brings me to the water flow. In a planted tank you don't want a lot of current (unless you have a type of fish that requires more current). First, you don't want to drive off the CO2 with surface disturbance, second you want to allow the plant leaves to make use of nutrients in the water (along with the roots), and authors I've read say this is not as good with rapid flow filtering. The Eheim I have has a wand so I can direct the water flow against the glass along the top of the end wall of the tank (the flow is dispersed rather than one powerful flow) and the current gently moves down the glass and across the tank.
I have an Eheim as well, its a great filter, but I have not had any other canister filters to compare it too.
Many thanks Byron.
It looks like its going to be an eheim. I asked a bit on the planted tank forum (Which either has more traffic or has chattier people) and they all gave it a thumbs up as well.
got the water tested today and all I have to do now is get my furniture from home so I have a place to set up the tank!
Oooh and thank you too twistersmom. I have heard nothig but good about eheim, soooo....its coming soon as my entire apartment gets settled, right now theres clothing all over the place, and no dresser to put it in.
I too use the Ehiem 2217 on my 55gal planted tank. I thought it was going to be too much current but the fish used to all fight over who got to swim at the mouth of the river! Now I guess the thrill is gone.
I have a HOT Magnum as my emergency filter in case one of the others goes out. I keep it cycled by hanging it on my 120 gallon as an extra filter. I would no way be happy with it as a main filter but it is fine for my use. There is almost no biofilter volume available in it but it is a nice high flow mechanical filter. I would suggest the Rena XP2 for a tank that size. I just set one up a couple of months ago on a "new" used 55 gallon and it is doing a great job. It has a nice internal volume to it and enough flow to work for a 55. If you are in a place where they are available, the Tetra-Tech seem to have a good reputation too. Eheims are reputed to be reliable but are too expensive for me to buy, I am always looking at cost/benefit ratios.
One comment on the cost/benefit; I read an Eheim advertisement in one of the magazines two weeks ago, now I can't find it to check the numbers, but it had a comparison chart of the operation and associated costs of Eheim, Magnum and Fluval. While the initial cost of Eheim was higher, the costs over a five year period (including power consumption, replacement of the media according to the manufacturer's recommendations, etc) were less, significantly so, so that at the end of five years one actually saves more than a hundred dollars with the Eheim. Now I know this was an Eheim advert, but the ramifications of making false claims would probably be sufficient for them to make sure the facts are correct. My only complaint with having Eheims is that there is only one store in all of Vancouver that carries them (as far as I know) and I have sometimes had to wait for new media or pads because they were out. Of course, I could always shop online; its just more convenient to vist the store (and buy more fish anyway!).
By asking you to believe that a filter is ever maintained using manufacturer's recommendations, Eheim can make the story come out any way that they want. I find the manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance are rubbish in terms of replacing media. I have mostly Rena XPs that still have the media in them that I got when I bought the filters 5 or more years ago. I have removed all carbon and replaced it with biological media but will not play the manufacturer's games of only buying Rena media because the filter was made by them. The only cost so far in maintaining my Renas, except for replacing carbon with bio, has been the power to run the impeller. The added media in some has been Eheim, in another it is pot scrubbers, in a third it is AC. At a dollar or two a year for the power, I doubt it adds up to anything at all for comparison and the water flow rate pretty much determines the wattage actually needed to run one. A hundred dollars in 20 years would probably be a gross exageration of the differences in cost to operate these.
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