View Full Version : Filter suggestions?

12-02-2006, 10:44 PM
i have just bought a 46 gal. aquarium and am not sure what kind or brand of filter i should get. i was think about a tetra power filter or a penguin bio-wheel. if you have any suggestions, please post. another question i have is if i need an air pump if i get a power filter, and what kind or brand.

Lady Hobbs
12-03-2006, 12:13 AM
Bio wheels are good but make sure you get one that's able to handle even more gallons than what you have. You may also want a sponge filter for the other side of the tank for a second filter and if that's the case, an air pump would be needed. They come with a small plug that will still pump water but this plug will stop all the aeration that you may not want to have on a regular basis.

Make sure you know all their is to know about cycling before adding fish. You may even want to do a fishless cycling with saves you and the fish a lot of stress.

12-03-2006, 01:36 AM
If you only want to do one filter, go with the emperor 400. If you are willing to do 2, you can go with a smaller biowheel filter and a canister, I prefer Fluval.

12-03-2006, 02:10 AM
i've also been looking at external filters. another question is if TetraTec is an U.K. off brand of Tetra US. TetraTec has a external filter, but Terta does not. why i ask if it is British, is because all the TetraTec products are priced in British pounds, which is about twice as much.

also i've been looking at the external eheim ecco 2234. it seems good but if anyone knows, how often do you replace the three filters, and would you need an air pump with it?

12-06-2006, 06:37 AM
You would be fine with a eheim 2215 for that size tank. Especially if you plan on using a biowheel as well. You should have an air pump or I actually recommend a powerhead with the air tube open. A maxi-jet 1200 should work fine in your tank. I like using the powerhead with a canister because it moves the bio-trash around more.
I have an eheim and couldn't be happier. I change the mechanical filters once ever 3 months and the charcoal every 6-8 weeks. But I use chemi-pure packets for charcoal and I think they last longer(personal opinion). I am setting up a smaller 29 gallon and I am going to buy a fluval just to compare. I think the fluvals have become much better canister filters than the once were....although I still hesitate to say that they are are good as eheims. ;) Only thing about eheim that I have heard that is not positive is about the new ecco filters so I am avoiding them. Good Luck with your fishyies!!!

Lady Hobbs
12-06-2006, 09:54 AM
I am less happy with my Emperor 400 than any of my filters. Even my cheapies. It is so loud, vibrates and is a royal pain in the A to prime it when I've changed the water. I can dump a gallon of water in the back before it will prime. And for some reason, I don't even take the water level down to the strainer area and it will stop and then need to be primed again once the tank has been filled again.

Stupid thing. Makes so much noise I can't even sleep on the couch now!

12-06-2006, 03:03 PM
if you look at my signature, you will see my filtration. that would be my recommendation to you. (my opinion) i also run a rena 400 air pump. very reliable

Lady Hobbs
12-06-2006, 04:56 PM
My Emperor does a great job of filtering. I have to give it that but it is sure annoying. It has two separate motors and adjustable spray bar which is also OK but other than that it's a thumbs down from me. I don't get another one.

Lady Hobbs
12-08-2006, 06:23 AM
I had to come back to correct myself regarding the noisy Emperor 400. The reason mine was so noisy was because the lid was not sitting on it correctly. That problem has now been resolved so I'm liking it better already. Still don't like the long priming needed but at least the noise problem is gone.

12-10-2006, 02:30 PM
What ever you get, I would get one that pumps around 500 gallons per hour.

12-10-2006, 03:05 PM
Do not worry about gph. What is more important is what the filter is rated for, not so much as how much water it moves. If you start focussing on gph you can end up with a filter with flow, but not as much results. The most important thing is what the filter does with the water while it has it, not how much water it can move through. A filter with a lower gph and a lot of media actually does a lot more with the water while it has it than one that simply gets it in then back out as soon as possible. The longer the water is in the media, the cleaner it gets, the more time the good bacteria have to work with it, and the more stuff gets absorbed by carbon (if you are using carbon, which I wouldn't, if you have any questions about that just ask).

So, go with filtration rated for at least twice the actual volume of your tank. My 40 cmmunity tank has a Fluval 405 and a whisper 60. I think anything 40 gallons and up should have a canister in addition to a HOB.

12-17-2006, 02:25 PM
When buying filters, ignore the manufactorer's suggested tank size use. Look at the flow rate of the filter. You want a filter that will turn the water over around 10 times an hour. After adding all your filter media the flow rate can be reduced by as much as 25%.

12-17-2006, 02:34 PM
I have to completely disagree. I have found it best to ignore the gph and go only by what it is rated for, but not directly. Take whatever they claim to handle and cut it in half, that is about what it can handle. Filters have various designs and how much water they move is not the main issue. Depending on the design, filters with lower gph can actually be much better because they do more with the water while they have it. Many high gph filters tend to simply move as much water as possible, not necessarily doing as much with it as should be done in my opinion.

I think of it like this: If there was a conveyor belt in front of you moving really fast (high gph filter) and you were supposed to take all of one specific item off of it, you would get a lot and move a lot of product, but many of those items would get past you and it would have to go through again before it would get picked up. But if the conveyor belt was going nice and slow (low gph filter) you could thoroughly pick out the unwanted items, they would not have to go through again to get the same results.

12-17-2006, 04:34 PM
I have to agree with reptileguy on this one. If it's current and water movement you're after, get a separate internal filter for that, but do the actual filtration with something that actually does more than just moves water.

On another note, if your filter nozzle is positioned in a way that it breaks the surface of the water, you don't necessarily need separate aeration. Of course you can never have too much oxygen in the water, but to simply state that you HAVE to have air pumps and stuff is a bit... overboard in my humble opinion.

12-20-2006, 01:12 AM
Biowheels are good, and canister ones are best in my opinion. The water doesnt just flow through the media, it is forced. Canister filters also give you a good choice for filter media. I have always used hydor canister filters. They are completely quiet. they also sped up my cylcing to about 2 weeks.

12-20-2006, 02:43 AM
and cannisters (good one's) have a larger surface area and are able to hold more and larger (bio) media --for the most part.

12-23-2006, 03:26 AM
You people keep mixing apples and oranges. I'm assuming what ever filter is picked, it will have proper filter media. water flow is important. You can all a whole XXXX load of filter media but if you have a water flow too low, you will not get proper filtering. Also the amout of filtering is not increased by just increasing the amount of filter media. The amount of bacteria present is totally dependant on the amount of waste being produced. You people here need to open your minds more and look at all aspects of the filtering process.

This post was edited by NorthernBoy. Please refrain from attacking, flaming, or name calling. Swearing is not allowed in the general forum area. This behavior is not tolerated. Please respect the opinions of others and understand that what works for you may or may not work for someone else.

12-23-2006, 05:13 AM
I just bought 2 Marineland penguin 350 biowheel filters, and ill tell you what they look BA. They have 2 slots on each side so you can put dual media in if you want, I thought that was a pretty neat idea they also have a little thing that helps a just flow rate.

If only i had a tank to go with them lol. Well pretty soon im going to get a 55g from a guy so it will be soon. Untill then i get to look at them. I swear its bigger than my 10g tank lol.

12-23-2006, 01:29 PM
If you like that go get the Emperor 400.

Lady Hobbs
12-24-2006, 07:57 AM
I think of it like this: If there was a conveyor belt in front of you moving really fast (high gph filter) and you were supposed to take all of one specific item off of it, you would get a lot and move a lot of product, but many of those items would get past you and it would have to go through again before it would get picked up. But if the conveyor belt was going nice and slow (low gph filter) you could thoroughly pick out the unwanted items, they would not have to go through again to get the same results.

Very good explanation. Cleared it up for me, as well, as I've always wondered about this. Good post.

12-26-2006, 03:56 AM
Had to thow my 2 cents in.... some (or maybe most) might not agree with me on brand but I run 2 Fluval 304's in my 110. My friend has a 56 column, he runs a single 405. We both have had great success (and very clear water). Hind sights 20/20 I would have put up a little more money for the 405's... the extra media tray would have been nice. I would get something external if it was me... the more media in the filter the more filtration. Plus if you run into problems it gives you places to put fixes (amonia remove, phosphate remover or something like that). Just my opinion.


01-14-2007, 01:52 PM
One thing with the emporer 400 is the spray bar to those who have really hard water like I do the penguin 350 is a better choice. Just think about the spray bar clogging from all the calcium that would be a pain to fix.