Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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adrenaline 07-11-2007 08:28 AM

Best filtration system
I have a 20 gal freshwater tank and i had to move a couple of days ago and i lost all the water that i was trying to save to put back into the tank... so now the tank is cycling and in it i have to catfish alge eaters and a pleco and i have two guppies and i had a snail but it died this morning... i plan to add some angel fish.... but my question is what is the best filter for my tank... i have an undergravel filter with a power head and i have a hanging filter on the back of my aquarium that has the ez change filters the ones that have the blue fiber with carbon on the inside.

JouteiMike 07-11-2007 08:58 AM

Well certainly the 2 best kinds of filtration to have are Biological and Mechanical.

Your undergravel filter provides excellent biological filtration, but sometimes can be a pain to clean and maintain. What type of filter is your power filter? Do you know the specs of it, like how many GPH it filters? Usually it's best to have a filtration system that filters your entire tank at least a couple times in an hour.

Carbon is mainly used for clearing the water of medication, but I found a list of other stuff carbon removes on a website and thought it was pretty interesting.

Absorption Potential of Various Substances by Activated Carbon

High to very good

Arsenic, bleach, chloramine, chlorine, chromium, colors, dyes, gold, insecticide, odors, monochloramine, tin

Good to Moderate
Acetic acid, cobalt, detergent, hydrogen sulfide, mercury, ozone, potassium, silver, soap, solvents, vinegar

Copper, iron (not chelated), lead nickel, titanium, vanadium

Low to None
Alkalinity, ammonia, barium, carbon dioxide, hardness, copper, manganese, nitrates, selenium, molybdenum, zinc.

It's a debatable topic on whether carbon should be used regularly.

JouteiMike 07-11-2007 09:14 AM

In addition to that, in all honestly; and I know this will sound stupid, but I think we (the owners of the aquarium) are the best filtration. We could have the best, most expensive filter set up, but without us, the filters would fail. They still need attention from us for maintenance, cleaning, and of course, water changes are KEY to having a good water quality, something a filter won't necessarily do.

I think a power filter rated for a 40 gallon tank could be real sufficient for your tank, but even one for 30 would be alright with the Undergravel filter.

What is your power filter rated for?

mHeinitz57 07-11-2007 09:31 AM

lol, best filter for that tank will be a good power filter with biological filtration. I think undergravel is highly overrated and outdated compared to the "hang on the back" power filters out on the market today. Either a penguin or Emperor Biowheel filter by Marineland will be a lot easier to maintain and provide you with plenty of undesturbed bacterial colonization. Get one rated for a 50 gallon tank though...always best to go overboard. Canister filters are great too but probably not needed for a 20 gallon tank.

adrenaline 07-11-2007 09:40 AM

The HOB filter i believe is a Aqua-Tech 10-20 power filter i am not sure but i found a picture of one and it looks exactly like the one i found. but i dont know the specs

mHeinitz57 07-11-2007 03:31 PM

I havnt had much experience with Aqua-Tech but if memory serves me right, it's basically a Penguin Biowheel filter but without the biowheel. So all that is in there is the single cartridge that you change. The problem with that is all of your good bacteria that you want to keep will colonize on that filter pad. When you go and throw away the cartridges you also throw away a majority of your bacteria colony. THe Biowheel filters are the same setup but they have a biowheel that provides an ideal place for bacteria to grow. Since the water has gone through the cartridge the biowheel stays clean and does not need to ever be changed. Also, your filter is rated for 10-20 gallons which is very inimal for a 20 gallon tank. It would benefit you greatly to get a larger biowheel filter for a 50 gallon will thank yourself. :-)

adrenaline 07-11-2007 03:59 PM

Mike H
i saw where you mentioned a canister filter... would that be a good choice if i plan to change the aquarium from freshwater to saltwater... i would like to change it within a year or two.

mHeinitz57 07-11-2007 05:31 PM

Are you planning to keep the 20 gallon still? I've personally never ran a canister filter on a saltwater but as far as I know they should work completely fine. I beleive there is a post in the saltwater section on canister filters for saltwater...if not you could post a question in there and see if people have had experience with it. A canister filter is almost like a mini sump though so it should work just great.

comando489 07-11-2007 05:40 PM

i just moved from a 10 gallon to a 20 gallon and when i dumped all the rocks in the water became very cloudy.

but when i turned on my Penguin 100 bio-wheel filter it made the water clear in like 3 mins.

it works great for my 20 gallon and it keeps the water clean.

mHeinitz57 07-11-2007 05:56 PM

yeah rock dust will cloud the water but most filters will clear that right up. The biowheel is just one of the best ways of colonizing bacteria in your tank so I always suggest it.

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