Fluval 405 vs aquaclear 110
I'm looking to add filtration to my 160 gallon tank and I'm on a tight budget. Through my research, I've found that the fluval 405 cycles 340 gph and the aquaclear cycles 500 gph. That doesn't seem right though because I would obviously assume that the canister filter is more efficient. The prices are a big deal too. I can get 1 fluval filter or 2 aquaclears for cheaper. Do the aquaclears actually work better and they're cheaper and its just whether or not I can deal with the filters being seen? Or should I spend the extra money and get 1 fluval?
Filtration depends upon the fish in the tank. The two aspects of this are actual filtration and water flow. Not all fish need the same in either case. Live plants are also a factor, and the more plants the less filtration is required provided the fish load balances the tank volume.
Its a 160 gallon tank, houses a mix of 25 south american cichlids, sizes range from 2"-10", no live plants because they get wrecked, 2 fluval 405 canister filters, an aquaclear 110 hob filter and before yesterday an additional aquaclear 70 filter but the 70 was just sold with my other tank, so it's the 3 filters. When I sell my other 75 gallon tank the 110 is going with that so I need to figure out if I'm buying another fluval 405 or 2 aquaclear 110's.
That being the case (SA cichlids) I would definitely go for the Fluval 405 canister filter. It will be easier to have a moderate flow (less current) which is suitable to these fish. They do not occur in fast-flowing water which can be stressful.
You already have two Fluval 405 filters on that 160g - isn't that enough? What motivated you to also add the two AC Hob filters?
Just my $.02, but I'm thinking I wouldn't add a 3rd Fluval 405.
Byron, if it comes down to the water current, I'm going aquaclear. I fill the water up to the top so the water coming from the hob filter doesn't produce any kind of strong current in the water. Not to mention the tank is 28" in height, the water from the filter isn't causing any disruption in the stress level of the tank.
Abbey, I originally had a 75G with the AC 110 and a 45G tank with the AC 70, which housed all my cichlids. I then purchased the 160G to combine the 2 communities and that tank came with the 2 fluvals. So while I was trying to sell the other 2 tanks, I kept their filters running on the big tank... just made sense to use them if I had them even though it may not seem necessary. But now that I'm selling the other 2 tanks, I want to keep that level of filtration but I don't want to spend a lot of money if I don't have to. Also, I was once told that you want to have 6X the amount of total gallons in the tank being filtered per hour. So for example, my 160G should have a total of 960gph going through all my filters. The fluval does 340 each, totaling 680 for the 2. The AC 110 does an additional 500 (allegedly), which together is 1180....should be enough. I've also heard just have double the tank's capacity in filtration capability. The fluval is for 100G max and the AC 110 is for 110G max. I don't know which recommendation is the right one but I'd side with safe rather then sorry with a tank full of dead fish...
For the current if you add an aquaclear, I dont think filling the water all the way up does enough to calm the current, the fact of the matter is that your impeller is still sucking up 500gph and pushing it out of the filter. The flow is still going to be there even if you can't see the movement on the surface of the water.
IMO for your tank, i would sell your filters and opt for a good sump filter. That will get you the filtration and GPH you need. Will also overall use less outlets and consume less power if you only have 1 or 2 pumps running. Also seeing as how your fish like moderate flow waters, the sump would provide a more uniform flow rather than having multiple outputs pushing water in all different directions at different speeds.
Good water filtration really has nothing (or very little) to do with how much water (gph) we blast through filters. As a matter of fact, slower moving water passing through very fine filtration media will always produce greater filtration of particulate matter down to micron sizes. With the correct media and maintenance, two Fluval 405 filters should be more than enough for a 160g tank.
340 * 2 = 680gph | 680 / 160 = 4.25x
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