Not happy with Rena filter, looking for suggestions
For the last year or two I've had a Rena xp2 filter, and I've never really been that happy with it. I've got it on a ~50gal community tank, with about 25 fish, mostly small guys with only a few (angels, striped raphael, silver dollar, blue gourami) that are over 2 inches. I'm having consistently cloudy water and brown algae buildup on all surfaces including live plants.
Ammonia and nitrates at 0, ph usually around 7.4 or so. Before this, I had a fluval, and it seems like it was better at keeping the tank clean. I'm looking for suggestions as to whether or not anybody has a filter brand they really like and stick with. I don't *have* to use a canister filter, that's just what I'm used to I guess.
Any help appreciated!
Your conditions don't sound like a filter problem but a water/light/nutrient problem. I liberally ripped the following off another site for you:
How do I control or stop the growth of brown algae?
You really cannot entirely "stop" the growth of any algae, green brown, or red, but with some good tank management practices, the rate of algae growth can be reduced. There is no such thing as an algae-free aquarium. An aquarium that never gets any algae growth is probably not a healthy environment for fish. Algae should never be controlled through the use of chemicals. Most algae-control chemicals work by inhibiting the reproduction of algae, and may also inhibit the growth of plants and beneficial bacteria. We have seen some disasterous results caused by over-use of algacides. These chemicals should only be used to get rid of green water or very bad algae problems, then good tank management alone should be used to prevent re-occurrences. It is important to remember that algae is a "plant-like" organism. Unlike a plant, it has no true roots, stems or leaves. Like a plant, it needs plenty of light and nutrients to grow (it already has the water). The first thing to look at is light. Aquariums should never be placed where they can receive a lot of direct or even indirect sunlight. Tank lights should be on no more than ten hours. The next factor is nutrients, and in aquariums, this means controlling nitrates and phosphates. Regular water changes and good filtration are important to eliminate nutrients. Vacuuming the gravel in a tank when doing a water change, removes many organics that decay into basic nitrates and phophates. A 25% water change every three to four weeks, or 10% a week, will help control the build-up of nutrients. As most city tap water contains phosphates, using reverse osmosis, distilled, or deionized water will also help. Using phosphate and/or nitrate removal media in a canister or power filter is also helpful. Water motion will also inhibit algae growth, as algae spores cannot settle and take "root" in an aquarium that has good circulation. Using small submersible pumps or powerheads in a tank, in addition to the regular filters will help add extra circulation to any aquarium.
Thanks for the reply re: the algae. I'll follow those procedures to help with that issue.
But besides the algae itself, the water has just never been very clear, even when algae was not a problem. I'd still like to know if anybody has filter recommendations.
I see Eheim filters advertised a fair amount but have never tried one. How do they stand up in usage? I should add that it's more than just the water quality I've been unhappy with...on at least 3 occasions, the "O" ring didn't seat properly when the filter was reassembled after a cleaning, resulting in 3 inches of water from the tank being pumped into the carpeting before we noticed. 8(
Never had that happen with the Fluval.
I'd suggest the Eheim 2213 for your 50g. I just bought one from the recommendations of many people on this forum. I love it. People on this forum have had the same Eheim for 10+ years without problems. I found mine on EBay, brand new, for $75 shipped....can't beat that price!
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