Are two better than one - cannister filters
Lets say I'm looking at a 50 gallon tank purchase, I'm thinking over the long haul I'd be better off with two smaller canister filters than one larger one. The one instance I'm thinking of is breaking down the filter to clean it. I can tear apart one canister filter and change everything out while the other filter is running, I'm thinking built up biological filtration here. There would be a bump in water conditions but certainly not as profound as changing out one large filter. Any thoughts on this?
It's not a bad idea at all. I have 2 HOB filters and every third wc I completely change a filter. Hasn't harmed me yet.
There should be no bump in water conditions do to a serviced filter, it doesn't matter if it is one big filter or two filters. It should not happen. If you mean completely replacing media, then IMO you are just looking for ways to waste your $ and harm your tank. There is no reason to replace media unless the sponges are falling apart. IMO replacing them unnecessarily will lead to a less stable tank. (I'm not taking about water quailty but that will also be effected.)
For a 50-55gal I would go for one canister filter. Any larger of a tank I would suggest a sump, or if you have $ to burn than 2 canisters. I personally would never run two canisters on one tank, simple do to the cost. A sump filter would be much cheaper and preform better biological filtration.
When looking for a filter you need to look at GPH. I prefer a turn over of 4-6 times per hour, everyone will suggest something different though. On my 55gal I run a Rena XP3.
I'd not go with 2 canisters neither. If you're worried about "maintenance" then either you had some real bad filter experience in the past or you're fiddling way to much with the filter which you should not do.
I had the Eheim 2213 on all my 50+g for years on end, never had a issue, no break downs, "maintenance" maybe ever 1 to 1.5 yrs that's it.
Also to consider if you hook up 2 higher end canisters like let's say Eheim to the 50g - You're over killing it if you're attempting to have it planted nicly.
Angel - why over filtration problems for plants?
Angel, why would "over filtration" produce a problem for plants. Something new I did not know - during my time in the hobby - was that bubbles from air pumps (usually through stones, but other means as well) drive out CO2. Why would "too much" filtration be a problem - interesting!
Too much filtration will most likely draw out nutrients needed as well as cause more than enough surface agitation which will drive out CO2 as well. You also have to make sure that your fish can handle any sort of current said filter will produce. Some fish like a gentle flow and some a rapid current. You never want to go too little or too much. Yeah you always have some cushion to work with, but you want to set up what's ideal. And mikaila...I only change the filter pads when a vigorous rinsing doesnt work to remove debris, but actually, after running the two filters now, I haven't had too much of a debris build up in my filters at all...so ultimately, it's helped me. And I always reseed my filters with old filter pad material, as to not disrupt the cycle too heavily.
For that size tank, 1 cannister would be enough. If you rinse the bio media in used tank water, there shouldn't be any issues with losing bio matter.
I not aware of any issues with over filtration per see. For a planted tank you shouldn't use carbon in the filter. That would remove important trace elements. But filter floss and mechanical media shouldn't take away nutrients. I agree that flow can be a concern for both fish and for losing CO2. Depending on the filter, you can control this to some degree.
Fact is over filtration will drive out CO2, it will prevent mulm built up which is proofed to enhance growth and health of the plant and more plants then non do not thrive well/ grow right with a current high flow in the tank ;-) Not to mention the fish matter on this...
I agree 2 filters are over kill, I ran a 55 with one 403 fluval, although I cleaned my filter more then once a year. maybe like 4 times a year.
The only thing I say is have a cheap power head and or good airpump and stone handy, the reason I say this is just in case. When I was cleaning the filter I broke the seal, I was able to stick the media baskets in the tank and have a powerhead force water through them. This allowed me enough time to order a new seal without the tank crashing.
I guess I could have just had random part laying around just in case but that seemed like a waste of $$$, you can always use a power head. While most filters never break why take the chance, for every tank I have I have a backup plan of some type to keep filtration going and save the bio media in the event of a break down.
One unrelated note when I went from a canister to a sump and and cleaned the filter floss each week or sometimes twice a week my nitrates went down. Always told my self I would start cleaning the filter floss each day, I think you all know how that turned out :-) dang laziness
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