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*Amanda*

Filtration recommendations

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Hi all,

I am slowly reaching the point of setting up the 50 gallon tank that has been sitting empty in my living room for six weeks ... hehe, I am too much of a perfectionist. At first I was afraid of canister filters. My boyfriend has a used Fluval 305 that came with his 55 gallon tank, and every time we needed to open it, it flooded the floor. If this were to happen in my condo, it would be very noticeable as the carpets are light and brand-new. Plus I wouldn't want water to get under the carpet and cause damage, thereby lowering the property value or requiring repairs.

BUT ... after reading more about how canister filters work, I think this happened because we were not flipping the valves before opening the filter ... oops!

For tank decor, I went down to the beach and got some lovely pieces of driftwood. I will be picking up sand this weekend from my LFS. I will also be adding some easy, low-light plants. And I got some beautiful glass bowls with color swirls, which I will put additional plants in.

Now I need to get a filter. I am thinking canister because I want it to be powerful and quiet. My HOBs also get very dirty quickly. I could put the canister in a bucket for peace of mind.

The big question is ... which canister to go with? I want to add that I am NOT mechanically inclined, and am willing to pay more for simplicity and quality - especially a self-priming mechanism, as we always struggle with getting the filter started after servicing it. I look at a canister filter as a long-term investment, so I want a durable one. A coworker who is a longtime fish keeper recommended a canister filter that goes in the tank (??) but it looks hideous!

I have been looking at the Eheim Professional 2076 and the Fluval 406, and it would be awesome if you could provide input on one of these or recommend a different one altogether. I just want to be sure I am starting off on the right foot, because it's so much more difficult to redo things later on!

Thanks!

Amanda

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I'm no help with canisters, but I hope you're able to find a good one! :D

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I have the Eheim pro series II. It has quick and easy hose disconnect along with a self priming button. Great filter. Ive had mine for years and love it. Easy to open, clean, and put back together.

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I liked my API FILSTAR XPL filter. It has a little lever you pull up so that you don't have to re-prime every time you want to open the filter, and it is practically silent.

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I liked my API FILSTAR XPL filter. It has a little lever you pull up so that you don't have to re-prime every time you want to open the filter, and it is practically silent.

I checked this one out and it looks super user friendly. I like how the part with the tubes looks to be fitted on in one piece, and I also like the fact that the tubing is clear so that I can see when I need to clean it. It is on sale for $113 now on Amazon (68% off)! Sounds great; I was preparing myself for the possible need to spend well over $300 ... ouch.

I did notice that the XP-L contains six compartments, most of which they show as being used for carbon, which I don't use in my tanks (I only use mechanical and biological media). Here's my question: Should I load the compartments that API is suggesting should contain carbon with additional ceramic media, or can I just leave them empty? I know there is such a thing as too much biomedia.

Also - 1) are the compartments easy to take out, 2) have you ever had leakage with this filter, and 3) would you agree that the 350 gph rating on this filter is sufficient for my 50 gal tank, or should I go with the XP-XL (450 gph)?

Thanks!

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Just add more filter padding and biological media. Is there such a thing as too much biomedia? I haven't heard of that. If there is then I likely am in trouble! :o

1. Yes.

2. Nope. None. I did have an issue with sucking air, but that is easily remedied with a good wipe of the seals every once in awhile.

3. Yes. I used that by itself on my 55 and the water stayed crystal clear and parameters were perfect.

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Just add more filter padding and biological media. Is there such a thing as too much biomedia? I haven't heard of that. If there is then I likely am in trouble! :o

1. Yes.

2. Nope. None. I did have an issue with sucking air, but that is easily remedied with a good wipe of the seals every once in awhile.

3. Yes. I used that by itself on my 55 and the water stayed crystal clear and parameters were perfect.

Thanks Chelsea; I think I will get this filter!

I did hear a member (I THINK it was Alex) say to someone that they did not need that much biomedia in their filter. I'm sure it's not harmful in any way, but I wonder if adding extra biomedia beyond what is recommended for the filter size would have more benefit than using the recommended amount and leaving the extra compartments empty. I wonder if there is a direct correlation between more biomedia and better tank health, or if it reaches its peak of effectiveness after a certain amount. I have no idea, but would love to know!

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It sounds really interesting.

I have an aversion to leaving compartments empty for some unknown reason, but I guess it would be fine and maybe even aid in the GPH, since the more you pack in the more reduced the flow. I'd like to recommend getting a 'fines' filter padding like this, too. I have that in my pond filter right now and it would be a good replacement for something in one of the compartments. Just throw it in the top compartment, after your Biomedia. It makes my water crystal clear even on top of how well my filter already performed. But that is just a personal recommendation and not something necessary.

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It sounds really interesting.

I have an aversion to leaving compartments empty for some unknown reason, but I guess it would be fine and maybe even aid in the GPH, since the more you pack in the more reduced the flow. I'd like to recommend getting a 'fines' filter padding like this, too. I have that in my pond filter right now and it would be a good replacement for something in one of the compartments. Just throw it in the top compartment, after your Biomedia. It makes my water crystal clear even on top of how well my filter already performed. But that is just a personal recommendation and not something necessary.

Is this like the "polisher" that I've seen advertised on other canisters? I did want to get one of those. Do you use the 50 micron or the 100 micron?

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I have a 100 micron, but the 50 would do just fine. Yeah, it's a polisher. I like these because you could just hose them off outdoors and they last forever.

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I just bought the filter you recommended, Chelsea! Thank you!

Last night after work I went to Petsmart to see it in person, and was much more impressed with it than the Fluval. Just goes to show that more expensive doesn't always equal better. Unfortunately the filter in the store had 2 broken latches, so I bought it at Petsmart.com for $117 after several discounts.

What's crazy is that I went to my LFS this morning, and they were selling it for $300!!! I'm all for supporting local businesses, but not if it costs me almost $200 more! Wow!

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My absolute favorite is the Fluval. I have the 306, and it works beautifully. It's on the pricey side, but not as much as an Eheim.

For cheaper, but still extremely decent, I recommend the SunSuns :)

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My absolute favorite is the Fluval. I have the 306, and it works beautifully. It's on the pricey side, but not as much as an Eheim.

For cheaper, but still extremely decent, I recommend the SunSuns :)

I love my Fluval too ... except when it comes to maintenance. But, after researching this, it seems I may not have been unplugging things in the correct order ... so user error, not faulty equipment!

I also was having some issues in that tank with aeration. Because the filter output of the canister is below the surface of the water, there was no movement breaking the surface of the water, and I noticed my fish hanging out near the surface more often in that tank than in my two tanks with HOBs. I recently added an air stone, and my fish are much happier. I will be doing this in my new tank, as well.

By the way, what an adorable doggie pic!

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I am not sure, since I can't see a picture of the actual product you linked, only the box.

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I would put the polishing pad before the biomedia.

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