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I've got a 55 African cichlid tank that I'm running two HOB's on but I'm wondering if a canister or two would be the better way to go. Any advice? Also has anyone had any luck having a planted tank with Africans? I've done some research and it seems like going with two smaller canisters is better than one bigger one.
 

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Anubias could work with Africans. They are tough and come in a wide range of sizes. This is just my opinion; however, HOBs are so much easier to maintain and I think they are appropriate for a 55.
 

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Well I see you're running two Marineland Penguin filters and I'm not a big fan of cartridge type HOB filters (but I do like the Hagen Fluval Aquaclear HOB design).
However, with the exception of better media control, switching to a canister or two isn't going to do all that much for you. You might add a small canister to serve as a dedicated bio-filter (while still using your HOB's for mechanical filtration).

I've got a 55 African cichlid tank that I'm running two HOB's on but I'm wondering if a canister or two would be the better way to go. Any advice? Also has anyone had any luck having a planted tank with Africans? I've done some research and it seems like going with two smaller canisters is better than one bigger one.
 

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I've got a 55 African cichlid tank that I'm running two HOB's on but I'm wondering if a canister or two would be the better way to go. Any advice? Also has anyone had any luck having a planted tank with Africans? I've done some research and it seems like going with two smaller canisters is better than one bigger one.
I agree with what you've found in your research.
 

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For African cichlid's which can average 4 to 6 inches as adult's,and their eating habit's,along with waste produced (depending on number's).
I would opt for canister which provides much more room for mechanical,biological media,more option's as to movement of water via spray bar's,lilly pipes, mounted nearly anywhere.
For small tropical tank perhap's one Eheim 2217.But for cichlid's,,I would purchase two of the Eheim 2217's.
They come packed with media ,and are reliable.Second choice would be Rena XP4.
Just my two cent's.:cool:
 

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For African cichlid's which can average 4 to 6 inches as adult's,and their eating habit's,along with waste produced (depending on number's).
I would opt for canister which provides much more room for mechanical,biological media,more option's as to movement of water via spray bar's,lilly pipes, mounted nearly anywhere.
For small tropical tank perhap's one Eheim 2217.But for cichlid's,,I would purchase two of the Eheim 2217's.
They come packed with media ,and are reliable.Second choice would be Rena XP4.
Just my two cent's.:cool:
really? Two? I have 1 2217 in my 72g with a powerhead and it's doing really fantastic right now but they are really young. So in all honesty you think a 2nd will be needed? I'm all ears as I find African cichlid advice hard to come by other then in fish store(which is good they do specialize is africans but also I love more then one sided opinions)
However for OP I agree that canisters are better for Afrcians but a proper powerhead is needed as well.

Oh and plants... Well the only thing surviving them so far are the banana plants. They even rip up the silk plants. Depends on the type of Africans you have..?? (If you name some I can tell you) but for the most part they will have lots of fun destroying your plants thats why I co for a clip with fresh Zucchini every day to keep their need for destruction fulfilled lol
 

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For African cichlid's which can average 4 to 6 inches as adult's,and their eating habit's,along with waste produced (depending on number's).
I would opt for canister which provides much more room for mechanical,biological media,more option's as to movement of water via spray bar's,lilly pipes, mounted nearly anywhere.
For small tropical tank perhap's one Eheim 2217.But for cichlid's,,I would purchase two of the Eheim 2217's.
They come packed with media ,and are reliable.Second choice would be Rena XP4.
Just my two cent's.:cool:
Agreed.
 

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Just popping in to say that any time you are considering the Canister route, two smaller ones to add up to the power you need is always better than one. It's a better safety net.

However I am not sure that you need two for a tank this size. Are the adults really that messy? You need to talk to an experienced cichlid keeper to find out what the adults bio-load is before making any major purchases with money.
 

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Hello:
I don’t understand the need for two filters if one is all you need. Why would several filters not running at capacity or top efficiency be better? The filters might compete with each other for bacteria reducing the biological efficiency and creating ecology for bad bacteria to reside as well as reduced mechanical efficiency in both filters.
Are the currently developed filters so poorly designed that a back up is necessary fore the predicted failure of the fist filter.
pop
 

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Just popping in to say that any time you are considering the Canister route, two smaller ones to add up to the power you need is always better than one. It's a better safety net.

However I am not sure that you need two for a tank this size. Are the adults really that messy? You need to talk to an experienced cichlid keeper to find out what the adults bio-load is before making any major purchases with money.
Sang... Yes they really are that messy. Even as babys they are mind bogglingly messy. I'm supposed to see the Cichlid expert at my store today and I'll see what he says but I'm willing to believe as adults this is golden advice.
 

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Play to the strength & weaknesses of the filters, nobody says you have to run them stock. Set up the canister for bio filtration, add a sponge pre filter to keep debris to a minimum. Set up the hob for mechanical filtration, this is where the AC's really shine. Extend intakes, use the output of the canister to create circulation down low, nobody says that spray bar has to be anywhere near the top.

Modifying for better performance is a way of life for me, beyond aquatics. Improve on the stock design to meet your specific needs, things you buy are someone elses idea of best.
 

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Sang... Yes they really are that messy. Even as babys they are mind bogglingly messy. I'm supposed to see the Cichlid expert at my store today and I'll see what he says but I'm willing to believe as adults this is golden advice.
Ah, learn something new everyday:3

Be sure to update us on what the person says.
 

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Whelp... Here is the word from my African cichlid people. For my 72 the ideal is one of two options 2 2217's or 1. 2217 and a sump. This is what's absolute ideal would be. ( on other cool news I Just found out that all of my Africans are first-generation captive! Woohoo). Anyway using that logic im thinking the 55 Would be best served with two canisters.


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Hello:
I don’t understand the need for two filters if one is all you need. Why would several filters not running at capacity or top efficiency be better? The filters might compete with each other for bacteria reducing the biological efficiency and creating ecology for bad bacteria to reside as well as reduced mechanical efficiency in both filters.
Are the currently developed filters so poorly designed that a back up is necessary fore the predicted failure of the fist filter.
pop
There are a number of reasons why I prefer having two canisters instead of one. I wish I could explain why, but I don't discuss such matters on the open forum.... not since the powers that be told me my views and methods are wrong. In fact I've broken my own rule about abstaining from offering filtration advice just by posting in this thread. However, I like you so I am making an exception.

I don't think it's good for filters to run at full capacity - doesn't leave any room for growth. I like knowing that I have plenty of room for bacteria to live, so that as the fish grow, I don't have to worry. I also like knowing that I can stock anything I want in the tank and not have to worry.

I experience increased mechanical efficiency with two filters, not decreased. In my systems, there is twice as much mechanical media as there otherwise would be, so it takes twice as long for the filters to get clogged. There are also multiple pickup points versus just one. I don't see how running just one filter is any more efficient than running two, but I can see a number of ways that it's less efficient. I don't have any issues with "bad bacteria". The bioload of the tank is split between the filters, so yes I suppose they do compete with each other in a sense. Competition is generally considered a good thing. I like the idea of one filter trying to process more ammonia than the other, or collect more waste than the other. I fail to see how expanding the overall capacity of the filtration system could have a negative impact on the biological efficiency.

HOB filters are prone to failure by design. The motor is at the bottom of the filter, where things settle. Too, the water that runs through the motor has not yet been filtered. Most people that use an HOB on a sand tank will agree that the potential for filter failure is quite real. Canisters, on the other hand, have their motors on the top of the filter. The water that runs through the motor has run through the various stages of filtration, so the potential for an obstruction of the impeller is quite low. Canisters are impervious to sand, for that reason. That all being said, I don't run 2 canisters on my tanks because I am concerned about one failing. It is an added bonus, though it did not play a role in the decision process. Personally, I feel that there is ample time to fix the problem in the event of a filter failure before there is a problem in the tank, and my own experience with power outages support that.
 
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