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Emperor 400 vs Penguin 350 vs AquaClear for a 55g

  • Emperor 400

    Votes: 12 85.7%
  • Penguin 350

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • AquaClear

    Votes: 2 14.3%

  • Total voters
    14
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Discussion Starter #1
I have see some recommendations for all of these, which is the best option for a 55g, I plan on having several Rams and Keyholes.
 

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Emperor 400, You shouldn't ever have to have duel filters + rams don't like strong currents which duel filters would probably create.
 

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I have 3 Emperor 400s and 1 penguin 350. I like the Emperors the best. To me they seem better made and I like the spray bars on the emperor. They help ensure the bio- wheels are always turning. I dont have an Aqua-clear, But I dont think they make one with a bio-wheel. Bio-wheels are great for the biological cycle.
 

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not to threadjack, but i just ordered/got ordered an emperor 400 for my birthday.

Do i need another kind of filter media for it or is the media it normally uses fine? basically, does it have carbon in it and i need to get another type of sponge or does it just come with a sponge or filter floss?
 

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The filter cartridges it uses are all you need.

The Emperor is hands down the best HoB filter there is, period.
 

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They come with media baskets to hold extra carbon, if you choose to use them for that. Doctors fosterand Smith make their own filter media for the 400. Its cheaper than name brand filter media, also comes with clam shell frames, they are nice for making your own media. I have been using the baskets for carbon, and cutting out floss for the clam shells.
 

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The containers can really be used for anything you want. Extra biomedia, peat, anything that will fit they work great for.
 

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Emperor 400, You shouldn't ever have to have duel filters + rams don't like strong currents which duel filters would probably create.
Have kept keyhole cichlids and rams in 75 gal with two Emperor 400's they don't mind the current. They do however do poorly with ANY detectable levels of ammonia or nitrites and do better with nitrAtes below 20 ... Ten would be ideal.Frequent small water changes can be to their benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have been reading a lot about the AquaClear 70 and just for the sake of conversation here are some benefits.

You can put any type of media in it, but it allows you to customize the filter media (you really only need carbon when trying to take the medications out of the water). So you can double up on the mechanical filtration and then put a load of Bioballs in there for the biological treatment.

Sounds alot like a canister but is in a HOB format!

Opinions?
 

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Not as good as a bio-wheel style filter. Canisters do their thing because they have a lot more filtration surface and slower flow through them. This greatly increases contact time between the water/contaminants and the filtration media. While the style of the Aquaclear is somewhat like a canister the residence time and such is nothing like a canister. It's better than many HoBs but it is not as good as a biowheel.

Biowheels have several benefits. First, the bacteria that perform the breakdown of ammonia and such are aerobic, and they benefit greatly from the exposure to atmospheric oxygen. This allows a bio-wheel filter to support more fish. From a design stand point the biowheel is easier to maintain, during normal filter maintenance you'll never touch it. Unlike so many other filters a biowheel's wheel isn't disturbed during normal maintenance. It doesn't clog up, it doesn't break down. When I clean out my filter I can clean all my sponges, rinse off my biomax pellets (kept for seeding new aquariums) and clean the intake and such without ever having to worry about upsetting the biofilter.
 

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I had an aqua clear on my 45 gallon tank. Couldnt keep the thing clean. So i went out and bought an Emperor 400.
Literaly in 1 day the water was alot cleaner. in 1 week the water was Crystal clear and it did an excellent job at maintaining it. I have gone 4 months without changing the water in my 45 and it doesnt smell like fish. and everything is just how it was the Day I stoped changing water. I dont suggest it because of Nitrate build up.

What im saying is Emperor 400 is the Way to go, only thing is when you open the box you get a nice surprise of Tiny Pieces of charcoal Everywhere. lol Ive got two Emperors and so easy to maintain. its the Jesus of all filters.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Excellent! Since you don't need carbon all the time, what is the best media to put in the clamshell basket for everyday use? Also do you put some sort of extra sponge in the filter as well?
 

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If you purchase the aftermarket filter frames from Dr. Foster's I'd advise to just add filter pad to it. Since you aren't chemically filtering I'd just add more mechanical filtration. In the baskets I add biomax pellets for seeding the filters in new tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If you purchase the aftermarket filter frames from Dr. Foster's I'd advise to just add filter pad to it. Since you aren't chemically filtering I'd just add more mechanical filtration. In the baskets I add biomax pellets for seeding the filters in new tanks.
Where can you get the "filter pad" from?
 

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I think most pet stores carry filter pads or blue floss material in sheets. You can then cut it to fit the clam shell. I usualy pick mine up from Petsmart.
 
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