2 power filters in a 30 gallon long tank?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by ivonko, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    hey guys, im getting a 30 gallon long tank and want to run the most efficient sytem i can as far as filtration

    I was thinking to get 2 pengiun power filters (with bio wheels)each rated for 150gph and hang one on each end of the tank.

    my reasoning
    - 2 filters= better filtration
    -at 150 gph each they wont be strong enough to suck up fish
    - more water movement= for oxygenation for invertebra such as crayfish
    - rotate swapping filters to keep from having to re-cycle the tank

    my questions are
    1. is this an overkill on filtering?
    2. will the additional filtering bring down the amount of bacteria to a dangerous level?
    3. with this setup along with a few bottem dwellers will it be easier to upkeep the tank?
    4. how will plants react with the additional oxygen? will it displace available CO2?


  2. LeguresValued MemberMember

    That's actually the maximum recommended filtration you can use.
    For any tank you can multiply the number of gallons by 8-10 to know the recommendation of gph.
    So for a 30 gallon tank, you should have somewhere between 240-300 gph.

    To answer your questions:

    1. It's in the recommended range. The only thing you might want to watch out for is if your fish are slow swimmers like bettas. It won't be able to swim and constantly be pushed away.
    It will cause stress to the fish. Remember, some fish like a fast current. There's a difference between playing and struggling.
    2. Nope (If I'm understanding your question correctly). You can never have too much bacteria. The max amount of bacteria is however much it needs.
    For example: A tank with a small bioload and 300 gph filtration will have less bacteria then a tank with a large bioload and a 300 gph filtration even though the filters are the same.
    3. Yes and no. Bottom dwellers aren't just there for cleaning, they also have a bioload and put off their share of ammonia. If you have enough room in your tank, go for it. They are
    excellent for eating leftover food and cleaning the tank, you just need to know that they also create waste. If you don't have enough room, I suggest you don't.
    4. As long as your plants have enough nutrition from plant tabs, UV lights, growth fluids, the water, etc.. If your plants start wilting, the reason will probably be from lack of nutrients

  3. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    thanks for the info!

    one more question. will the 2 filters versus one large one keep the tank cleaner by being more spaced out? (36 inches long tank)

  4. LeguresValued MemberMember

    You're welcome!

    It would generally be the same or better since your gph is as the highest recommendation level. In my opinion, I would use two filters. I do that for my tanks too. It makes sure when you replace the filter media on one filter, the other still has bacteria which prevents a mini-cycle. All the benefits from your first post come from two filters,
  5. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    perfect. thanks again
  6. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    Myself, i would do 2 filters versus 1 everytime. why? ione filter goes down than you still have one running. keeping in mind the speed of the current as mentioned above, i do not think you can ever over filter a tank. the bacteria will adjust to the bioload.
    the setup will help keep the tank clean and your bottom dwellers will keep the bottom clean of food not eaten but most fish do not eat the poo that will always need cleaned up. yes, it will make it easier but you should still do regular maintanence and water changes.
  7. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Ivonko, that's some very good reasoning.

    Welcome to the forum, legures.
    I agree with most of that, but there are a few things I'd like to follow up on.

    There is no maximum amount of filtration, but there is a limit on the amount of current.

    2. No, the additional filtration will not interfere with the bacteria colony. It's only when there is a ridiculous turnover rate that the ammonia concentration might drop to the point of starving that colony. Yes, the max amount of bacteria is however much is needed to get the job done. But, the size of the colony is subject to manipulation by other factors. GPH plays a big role in this. A low flow means a higher concentration of ammonia, which means it will require a larger bacteria colony to process it all in one pass through the filter. In order to house a larger colony, there has to be room for growth, so you need plenty of biomedia. A high flow means a lower concentration of ammonia (same bioload), so a smaller bacteria colony is needed to process it. So while the bioload is exactly the same, the bacteria colonies are not. That's why HOBs need a higher turnover rate than canisters - to make up for a lack of media.

    3. Yes, larger filter systems are easier to maintain - they take longer to clog and because there are multiple pickups, the tank will be cleaner. Bottom dwellers are important for keeping a clean tank, because as they swim along the bottom, they kick stuff up into the water column where it will travel closer and closer to the filter intake.

    4. I don't know.

    I would really avoid the penguins at all costs. They are one of the worst filters I've ever used.
  8. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    thank you all for the input, what filter company would you suggest?

    And i will continue doing regular cleaning of my tank (partial water changes weekly), i just want it to be as clean as possible (less vacuuming) due to the amount of time i spend at work.
  9. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Well, to be honest, with gravel it's not really going to make much of a difference. It WILL make a difference, but once the waste reaches the gravel, there is no hope of it reaching the filter intake. With sand, the waste is kept on top so it can be carried along to it's final destination. That's what I was saying about the bottom dwellers keeping the tank clean.

    Sand is a LOT less maintenance than gravel, in my experience.

    Aquaclears are the best, IME. I would get 2 AC50s, or better yet a 70 and a second smaller one. Because ACs have adjustable flow rates, you can get a much larger filter without blowing the fish around the tank. By going big like that, you get all the benefit of the extra media.
  10. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    i was actually thinking about going with sand. i think i will pick up black tahiti moon sand for my tank. and i will look into the aquaclear filters as well.

    it really got me excited when you told me about your 2 filter system in your tank and that the need for required maintanance (vacuuming) was lowered. i was instantly hooked. hense my idea with 2 HOB's. i can convince the wife to help me with water changes while im at work but i know for a fact that she wont agree to vacuum the weeks where i have excessive overtime. lol
  11. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Sand is an HOB's nemesis. It's the way they are designed. You can have both, but it will require more filter maintenance or the filter gets noisy. It's not a problem to have an HOB with sand, but it's just so much less of a hassle to use a canister.

    IMO, the best thing for you to do is go with sand and get a canister and a powerhead for filtration and circulation. That would be the lowest maintenance setup you could have. The 30 is not big enough for 2 canisters, which in my experience is the absolute best, but by using a powerhead you can still circulate the water in the tank in a fashion that will keep it clean.

    My systems are with canisters - I do not believe the same results can be achieved with HOBs.
  12. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    canister filter sounds like an amazing peice of equipment but is a little intimidating for me to set up. is it pretty simple to set up and use? which brand would you suggest? HOB filters just seem so much simpler. im wondering if i can run a HOB with a strainer on the intake if that will help?
  13. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I know, I was intimidated by it too. It's very easy to use, but maintenance is a bit more of a hassle. HOBs are easy - take of the top, pull out the media. You don't even have to turn off the filter. Canisters have to be turned off, disconected, pulled out, and carried to the sink for maintenance. HOWEVER, you don't have to perform maintenance nearly as often as with an HOB, especially if you have sand. The reason HOBs are problematic with that is because the motor is at the bottom, and the sand sinks to the bottom. Motors for canisters are on the top, in the head, so any sand goes right through it and collects at the bottom. I've never had sand foul up a canister, and I have sand in ever tank and 10 canisters (5 brands) running.

    A lot of people find sand intimidating too - It's just because it's different. You never hear about people switching from sand to gravel, just like you never hear about people switching from canisters to HOBs. There's a reason for that ;)
  14. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    Haha excellent point. i have also read of people running HOB filters with prefilter socks on them without any problems, some people cut the intake tube shorter so its not as likely to pick up sand. i think because this is my first tank i will run HOB filters because they are inexpensive so if im not losing as much. i will cut about an inch off the intake pipe and use a sock. that way im sand safe and running 2 filters.

    do pre filter socks make filters less efficient or effective?
  15. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Anything impeding the water flow will make the filter less effective. making the intake shorter will also make the filter less effective at collecting waste.

    By all means, do whatever you are comfortable with. Almost everyone starts with gravel and an HOB. In some ways, switching to sand and converting to canisters is like a rite of passage, just like stepping away from the inch per gallon rule is :) There's no rush, and since it's a hobby, if you never switch to a canister or if you never get sand, that's perfectly fine. As long as you are happy, since you are the one who has to look at your tank everyday ;)

    But truthfully, I don't think being a beginner means you should have to start out with an HOB and gravel. Since it's all new to you, it's all the same.
  16. ivonkoValued MemberMember

    Thats true no matter what path i take its gonna be something new.

    thank you for the advice. i will research all the different methods and decide which to go with.

    what you talking about i live for the inch for gallon rule hahaha i just bought a 1 inch long sturgeon and put him in a 1 gallon desktop tank should be fine! lol jk
  17. orandagalValued MemberMember

    Hi, I'm still pretty new to the bigger aquarium thing, and have just cycled a 29 gallon and now have fish in my tank. My favorites are gold fish and they produce a lot of waste, so cleanup is really important. I bought my aquarium kit from Petco.com, and it came with a 30 gallon HOB AquaClear. I noticed filtration and water flow is discussed a lot, and everyone has to do what they feel is best for their aquariums. I asked for opinions on increasing my filter, most said they thought it was a good idea so I moved up to the 70 gallon HOB AquaClear. I am running both filters right now and plan on removing the smaller one in the future when my new filter has built up it's bioload (I hope I'm saying this correctly) :) I really like this filter and as mentioned the flow can be slowed down or increased which is nice. It's quiet, another plus and I got mine from Amazon.com for a really good price (right around $40.00 with no shipping fee) Best of luck on which ever one you purchase :)
  18. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    It's a good rule, for what it's intended for. We all have to start somewhere - I started with the inch per gallon rule. The rule is meant for small fish, and when applied correctly, it works well. However, stocking is an art, and should not resemble a math equation :)

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