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Discussion Starter #1
So, after upgrading from a 15 gallon to a 55 gallon, I finally pulled the trigger on purchasing a canister filter. I was running a Penguin 350b and, while I am happy with it's filtering, the constant water splashing sound and lack of ability to customize my media setup was the deciding factor.

I couldn't decide between the Fluval 305 and the Rena XP3. I originally purchased the 305 when Petco had it on sale for $145 with free shipping and 10% off. Then, 15 min after I placed my order, I saw they had the XP3 for only $9 more than the 305. I called our local store and asked them about their return policy and told them I was going to cancel my original order. The clerk suggested I order both and test them out for 30 days and see which one I like the best...

So right now I have the Penguin 350b running, the 305, and the XP3. I must say that the "ease of setup" award goes to the Fluval. I had that thing up and running in about 10 minutes. I'm not real impressed that it doesn't come with a spray bar, and feel that the Rena came with much better filter media in it. The quick disconnect feels much more sturdy on the Fluval than the Rena, but I do like the fact that the Rena gives you the choice of spray bar or jet. As far as the noise level is concerned, the Rena is quieter than the Fluval, all though I had both of them running and they were a 100 times quieter together than the Penguin is alone. I can't wait until the bacteria builds in my canisters so I can shut the HOB off.

I do have a question for all you guru's out there. Is running all three filters at the same time ok? I am getting some serious water movement and just want to be sure my little friends will be ok. They all seem very active tonight so I guess for the moment there are no problems. I am also unsure how long I need to keep the Penguin running so that my canisters can get some bacteria growing in them.

I am going to post some pics in my gallery of the new setup. Thank you all for your time, sorry for being long winded.
 

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thats ALOT of water movement in a 55g tank, do you have breakers in the tank to slow the currents down or redirect them?
You basically want some slow spots in the tank for fish rest periods, I have 2 filters and 2 powerheads on my 52g tank, one ph directed into the UGF plate, one in the opposite corner facing towards the other one and two AC70's in the center. Even ,my angels are fine in it, for some reason they swim faster and stronger in this tank.
 

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Thanks for the reply and you make a good point WD. I currently have the jet and the spraybar facing the front of the tank. I would say the least amount of current is on the right side of the tank that only the hob on it. I could try turning the jet to the closest side wall. That may cut down on the flow. Once the bacteria builds up in my canisters I plan on taking the hob out and that should give the fish a bigger area of calmer water. How long should it take for the colony to form?
 

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I have a 52g FBH basically a 55 with 1.5 gallons at each front corner missing.

The back is the same 48" width

from left to right it goes like this now mind there are no front corners so I aimed the PH at a 45 degree angle to the left to push filtered water to the opposite side of the tank VIA deflection off front glass. next is my AC70 then my AC50 both HOB and finally is my penguin 660R which pumps filtered water down the uplift tube and up thru the UGF plate. I am adding an oscillating PH to the mix as well as two salt water magnet mount PH's at low level thus recreating a normal current in a stream or river.

I use slate and wood as decor so in turn the current breaks or "eddy's" are more natural. Its pretty neat because most slow fish are really fast if given the right environment. They need the exercise too but not forced exercise. oh the PH I am running on the tank is an ac20 out of my 15g its small but it does the job, the new ones are rated for a 40 gallon tank minimum.

The plants love it, they are some strong rooted plants.
 
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