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Sir Dingdy Dang
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 155 gallon aquarium and the guy I bought it from is using two Aquaclear 110 filters. He is only using foam as his filter medium. He says it worked ok for him. I wanted some other opinions on this matter. Aquaclear sells bags that you can fill yourself with carbon or whatever. Do I need those? I only have small aquarium experience and thought that carbon was required in the filter. I also read that carbon can be bad for live plants. Any suggestions?
 

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The sponges will probably be better in the long run as they offer more surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonise. The use of carbon is widely debated. Some people think that it is fine in planted tanks, others believe that it removes some of the nutrients from the water when using liquid fertilisers. Carbon is designed to absorb certain pollutants, including heavy metals. To me that means that it will remove copper & iron that are added from liquid fertilisers, so I don't use it. I havn't used carbon in any tank (even non planted ones)for a number of years now & havn't had any problems at all. I do keep a box of it on hand though as it is still usefull for removing medications if the worst happens & you have to treat for some problem. If you do use carbon it needs to be replaced every 3-6 weeks. When you throw the old carbon away, you throw away any bacteria that has formed on it. That's why I think the sponge is a better option for biological filtration than carbon is.

At the end of the day your use of carbon should be decided by your water quality, as in, is there anything bad from your tap that needs to be removed from the water, & your personal preferances.
 

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Sir Dingdy Dang
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the insight Gfish. Are you saying it's ok to just use sponges in the filter and that's it? If so, that sounds so much easier than having to replace filters every month. How do you clean them out without destroying all the bacteria that you want to stay in them?
 

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I use canisters *pc

XP3..................All the way ! *i/a*
 

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I prefer canisters over all other filters as well. Eheims for me.

Yes you can just use sponges in the filter. You can use vaious grades of sponge so that you get some decent mechanical filtration as well or you can add in some filter floss to remove really small bits of detrius. The filter floss can just be thrown away when it gets clogged up. The sponges should be squeezed out & rinsed in old tank water. Never clean them under tap water as the chlorine/chloramine will kill off the bacteria. It's never a good idea to replace the filter cartriges the way the manufacturers would have you believe.
 

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Sir Dingdy Dang
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I'm missing something. Are you saying rinse them out in the tank or rinse them out in a bucket with tank water in it? Rinsing in the tank wouldn't accomplish much of anything except putting all the filtered junk back in the water. If you rinse in a bucket with old tank water do you ring them out really well or just lightly?

What is a canister and what does it have in it?
 

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Yes you just rinse the sponges out in a bucket of aquarium water. Just squeeze them a few times to get most of the rubbish out of them. Don't ring them right out & don't let them dry out either.

A canister filter is an external type of filter. It has a much larger capacity for media & is much more efficient than internal or HOB filters. They are about as good as it gets without having a sump & overflow system. Here's a few in this link:
Canister Filter In An Aquarium
 

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Reticulated Foam

Rena Filstar XP 3

Great flow
Great value compared to Eheim
Easy Maintenance
Large media area

Craigslist !!!!

Search other communities on Craigslist ..

I live in Michigan our son was coming from North Carolina , so I searched his area Viola ! Found one by him and he brought it to me when he came on Thanksgiving. : > ) .... Look often and you will find what you need.
:animated_fish_swimm
 

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We are the opposite for filter costs in AUS. Eheims are cheap ($120au for a brand new Eheim 2217) an XP3 will set me back close to $450 new. I don't buy second hand filters. They can't be trusted IMO & IME.
 

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G'Day :>)

I am cheap and try to cut costs.

I have never bought a "New" filter ever , but I have only been keeping tropicals for 50 yrs ....so I might run into a bad experience : > )
 

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eheim out filters the FX5 and at the same price, do the homework.
for the FX5 rival look at the EHEIM PRO 3 2080. My 210 runs this PRO 3 2080 and a sealife400 wet/dry with twin 1200gph pumps on it.


I use wet/dry filters on my two larger tanks and use canisters on my two smaller tanks and aquaclear HOB's on my BB tanks.
 

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Yes........*old dude

I really just prefer The Rena Filstar XP3......

You can get bad filters new or used.............


Get with the times. Eheim is over-rated and over priced.
 

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I've had the FX 5. To say I was less than impressed is putting it mildly. The Eheim is a far superior filter. The XP3 as I said costs too much over here & everyone I know that has one, regrets the purchase. The Eheims have been the best for years. When it comes to canisters you just don't get any better.

All of this is totally irrelevant anyway as the OP isn't interested in a new filter, just how to maintain the filter they currently have. I guess your just one of those people looking for an argument Fish Guy & that thinks they are always right about everything. How about staying on topic & learning that people with 10yrs experience can know more than someone with 50yrs experience. Get with the times.
 

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Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? If you are not read up on that, if you are then you should understand what I am saying. The filter serves two purposes. It does collect some debris and stuff from the water. But the majority of that stuff ends up sitting in the bottom of the tank and will turn into ammonia. The more important purpose of your filter is to give a place for large amounts of bacteria to live. This bacteria converts the ammonia from your water so it is no longer toxic to fish. There is more involved here then that but you can research that. You will need to do weekly partial water changes to remove a lot of the waste from the gravel.
This is why people tell you to rinse the filter media in used tank water. If you clean your filter sponges in your tap water (if it has chlorine/chloramine) this will kill the bacteria and you will start having problems. Also remember when you look at filter a lot of companies tell you to change the sponges every month or every couple months. You don't want to change it until it falls apart and can't be used any more. Just rinse it in some tank water in a bucket and put it back. If they do start going bad don't replace them both at once, replace one and then in a month or two replace the others. The most important part of having a healthy tank and keeping the fish alive is how you treat your filter and being familiar with the cycle.
 

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To the original poster.

Typically, people try to aim for a filtration rate that is double the size of their tank. Meaning that if you have 155 gallon tank, you'd be looking for filters that would filtrate about 310 gallons per hour. This is just a generalization, but more filtration is always better unless it's tossing your fish around from the heavy water currents.

If you wish to follow that route, the two AquaClears wouldn't suffice, but canisters do.

Either way, the only things that are necessary in my opinion, are the sponges and bio-max/other method of bacteria "housing". You should always keep carbon on the side to filter out possible chemical contamination or medication, etc, but it isn't necessary to have inside the filter at all times.

I also use poly-fill after the advice of some in this forum. You can get them in craft stores (don't buy them from fish stores since they are overlypriced), which looks like sheets of cotton. i put them in between the sponge and the bio-max, they help catch smaller particles that the sponge could not.
 

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Sir Dingdy Dang
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So a sponge, biomax, poly-fill sandwich is the way to go for a filter? How long does the biomax last?
 
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