Considering a Canister Filter... - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 09-03-2006, 06:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Considering a Canister Filter...

This is what I'm currently running:

55 gallon tank
130w CF
DIY CO2
Penguin 350 HOB Filter

Naturally, I'd like to upgrade everything but that's just not possible at the moment so I need to make a decision. I think I've come to one, but I need confirmation that my reasoning makes sense, so this is how I draw my conclusion.

Lighting - 130w isn't really high lighting, but it's enough to get by. I also have the original all glass aquarium light strip that came with the tank. I think it's 32w. So if I really need it I can put this on for a little boost. If I upgrade the lighting I'd probably go up to 260w, which would really require me to get a pressurized CO2 system to keep the CO2 stable.

CO2 - I keep the water level very high, use 2 x 2l soda bottles, and a glass diffusor. According to my ph/KH chart I was achieving 30ppm, but I tweaked it to get readings of 60ppm to account for the discrepancies in human error/incorrect attributed KH readings from other things in the water. So, I'm pretty confident that I'm getting 30ppm at least therfore upgrading right now isn't necessary. Also, I just ordered a 1lb bag of yeast!

Filter - HOB. Noisy. Messy. Hard to hide in the tank. Surface agitation & CO2 loss is an issue.

Sound logical? Anything else I haven't thought of?

So I'm thinking about the Filstars. Affordable. Heard good things about them. Would the XP3 be too much flow on a 55 tank. Because if I ever upgraded to a bigger tank I'd like not to have to buy another filter, but, I don't want to blast my plants around the tank.

What do you think?
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Old 09-03-2006, 08:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As far as lighting goes, I was looking at the possible lighting for my 29 gallon too, and it really depends on the type of lighting (metal halide, incadescent, flourescent/power compact) and the footprint of the tank (how deep the light has to penetrate). According to the WPG rule, you'd be at 2.36 WPG. I think if you're above 2.2+ you're fine, but more light would encourage increased growth.

CO2 is kind of a messy thing (figuratively and literally). In my opinnion, DIY is kind of a pain the arse on anything over 30 gallons, but some people do it and save a couple of bucks over pressurized. DIY tends to be cheaper in the short-term, somewhat erratic, but if it works for you, it works for you You might want too look at the pH/kH out of the faucet, and then after running CO2, figure out how much your pH is being shifted by the DIY CO2 and you'll have a better feel for how well your DIY is working.

Canister filters, I think the XP3 would be a good choice. I'm not really a Filstar fan, but I've never used them. I use an Eheim 2213 on my 29 gallon and love it. Keeps the water crystal clear and provides biological filtration incase my plants suddenly fail or something I definatly recommend a Canister over a HOB, as a Canister will give you plenty of water movement and some mechnical/biological filtration, without gassing off your CO2. Fluval vs. Filster seems to be a matter of opinnion, but the only downside I've found with an Eheim is the price.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I have a 2018 Eheim on my 90 gallon. Not all that impressed. It doesn't pump very high or overcome much head. If the XP3 is too much flow you can always add a ball valve on the OUTPUT side and slow it down with no ill effects to the pump.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a Eheim 2217 on my 40, it's great.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've had an XP3 for several years on my 46g. Flow rate is very good, IMO. The plumbing stuffs comes with a valve to adjust the flow, so you're covered there.

Though many have not experienced this, mine has a bit of a persistent hum to it. At night, I can hear it from several rooms away, in my high ceiling, open floor plan Flordia home. I've been thinking about replacing it with an Eheim 2215...one of the classics. I think the prices aren't that much different.

That it, until I recently snagged a 40g breeder at the PetCo sale. So now, I'll buy pieces as I can, and I'll likely get the 2215 for the new tank and keep the old reliable XP3 for the current tank.

My thoughts,
Brian
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Although I prefer Eheims over Filstars, I would suggest getting the XP3. I have one running on my 50g and it works great. As Brian said, it comes with a valve which yo can adjust the the flow. I don't seem to hear any noisiness from my filter, but from what I read I heard that it's airbubbles that is causing the noise.

As for your lighting, I think you will be okay for now. You can just upgrade each part at a time and work your way from there. However if you ever do decide to upgrade your lighting, i'd suggest getting 4x 55watt AH Supply from Compact Fluorescent Lighting Kits
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Old 09-05-2006, 11:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, that pretty much settles my decision. XP3 it is!
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Old 09-05-2006, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Not to say the Xp3 wouldn't do a good job for your 55, but I woud still go with an Eheim. For the same price as the xp3 you could get an ecco or another eheim that would give you a much higher quality filter and give you plenty of flow. I know I'll probably take some heat for this, but once you reach 2 to 3 times turnover per hour more flow is a waste if not a negative. Did you ever notice that eheim filters have less flow then for example a fluval or filstar for the same size tank. The reason for this is that eheims are engineered for better biofiltration than these other brands for a couple of reasons. Both have to do with flow. The canister of the eheim allows better water contact with the bio-media within. Passing right through each basket. In the fluval for example (305, 405) have a split design where part of it has the baskets that can hold biomedia and the other part has a large vertical sponge mainly for mechanical filtration (you'll of course get some bio filtration as well). So basically the area within the canister can not be completely filled with bio-media if that is your preference. In addition to this, the slower flow of the eheim allows better contact time with the bacteria and converts nh3 into no3 more efficiently. Again this is my believe others might have other opinions.
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'll give my input here. I recently converted from an HOB to an XP3 on my 29g (it was on sale for the normal price of the XP2, so I bought it to have when I upgrade) and with the flow control and spray bar pointing at the back wall, current isn't an issue in my tank. I don't have the humm issue, neither does my mom, who runs an xp3 on a 54 corner (no flow adjustment, moderate current, and the cories love it!). It's a good buy and if you look around you can usually find it for under $100, and petsmart does online price matches (from their website) in their stores if they are having a sale
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