Adding another filter to a 55 brackish tank

dmh41532
  • #1
I have a 55 brackish tank with three figure 8 puffers, and 5 mollies. Currently I have one marineland 350, but think I need to add another filter. I’d add another marineland, but not sure if I should another 350 or a 200 gph. Any thoughts?
 
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RayClem
  • #2
I am a firm believer that every tank needs two filters so you can alternate filter maintenance.

I know Marineland says their 350 gph filter is suitable for up to a 75 gallon tank, but I consider it to be more suitable for a 40 gallon tank at most. If you want to stick with Marineland, consider their Emperor 400 or 450 gph units. If the flow rate seems excessive, you can always tame it by using prefilter sponges on the intake tubes.

I have a 55 gallon tank with an Aquaclear 110 (500 gph) filter plus an Aqueon Quietflow 75 (400 gph) filter. I use prefilter sponges and never see excessive flow rates.
 
dmh41532
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I am a firm believer that every tank needs two filters so you can alternate filter maintenance.

I know Marineland says their 350 gph filter is suitable for up to a 75 gallon tank, but I consider it to be more suitable for a 40 gallon tank at most. If you want to stick with Marineland, consider their Emperor 400 or 450 gph units. If the flow rate seems excessive, you can always tame it by using prefilter sponges on the intake tubes.

I have a 55 gallon tank with an Aquaclear 110 (500 gph) filter plus an Aqueon Quietflow 75 (400 gph) filter. I use prefilter sponges and never see excessive flow rates.
The main reason I’m sticking with marineland is so I only have to buy one size/brand filter cartridge, I’ve also used marineland for years and never had an issue. The stores close to me do not have emperors, just the regular bio wheels. I don’t care for aqua clear. I have a 20 on another tank and it’s obnoxiously loud. So I think it’ll get the 350. That should take care of the other side of the tank.
 
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jtjgg
  • #6
how often do you replace the factory cartridges?

Biomax, Matrix, Biohome, etc will last years.
 
RayClem
  • #7
Why not? I’ve been using factory cartridges for more than 20 years.

Sorry, but replaceable filter cartridges, like replaceable shaving cartridges, have two specific objectives: convenience for the user and a steady stream of profit for the manufacturer. There is little concern for effectiveness.

The Marineland filter cartridges come with a very thin layer of filter floss on one side and an open screen on the other. Between the two is activated carbon.

1. The layer is filter floss is not sufficiently thick or sufficiently fine to insure pristine water quality. The Marineland ones do not even have a second layer of floss on the back as do some cartridges.

2. Many experienced aquarists, especially those with live plants, have removed carbon from their aquariums. Although activated carbon does have important uses such as absorbing medications after treatment of disease, carbon is a very efficient absorbant. It absorbs both the chemicals you want to keep as well as the once you want to eliminate. That is the equivalent of "throwing the baby out with the bath water."

3. Every time you replace a filter cartridge, you are throwing out a significant portion of the beneficial bacteria that are responsible for the nitrogen cycle. With the Marineland filters, you do have the Biowheel filtration which does provide for aerobic nitrification, but is absolutely useless in providing for anaerobic denitrification. Porous filter media such as lava rock, pumice and synthetic Biohome media are effective and supporting both aerobic and anaerobic bacterial activity.

Even if you choose to continue using the replaceable cartridges, consider rinsing out the cartridges periodically and only replacing them when they are completely falling apart.

If you do not like the noise created by the Aquaclear filter with the pump located in the filter box, I suggest you check out the Seachem Tidal 75 or 110 filters designed by Sicci. It has its pump located below water whch reduces noise. However, it has a large filter box that allows you to pack the chamber with various types of filter media.

Here is a review you might find useful:


If you have room for the Tidal 110 behind your tank (and in your budget), I highly suggest gettijng that one vs the 75. The filter comes with a flow regulator that will allow you to control the flow through the filter should you find the flow of the 110 to be excessive. The larger box of the 110 vs 75 allows you to pack it with more filter media for improved performance. The Tidal filters were designed to maximize performance rather than to maximize profit for the manufacturer.
 
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Islandvic
  • #8
If you want to go with a canister, then take advantage of the upcomong sales next week.

If you live near a PetSmart, they will have their usual Black Friday weekend sale that involves 50% off Fluval canisters.

You should be able to pick up a Fluval 307 for around $89. I picked one up last year for my 3ft wide 65g community tank. It works great and have had zero issues. Fluval offers 3 year warranty if I remember correctly, and replacement parts like orings and gaskets are readily available.
 
dmh41532
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Sorry, but replaceable filter cartridges, like replaceable shaving cartridges, have two specific objectives: convenience for the user and a steady stream of profit for the manufacturer. There is little concern for effectiveness.

The Marineland filter cartridges come with a very thin layer of filter floss on one side and an open screen on the other. Between the two is activated carbon.

1. The layer is filter floss is not sufficiently thick or sufficiently fine to insure pristine water quality. The Marineland ones do not even have a second layer of floss on the back as do some cartridges.

2. Many experienced aquarists, especially those with live plants, have removed carbon from their aquariums. Although activated carbon does have important uses such as absorbing medications after treatment of disease, carbon is a very efficient absorbant. It absorbs both the chemicals you want to keep as well as the once you want to eliminate. That is the equivalent of "throwing the baby out with the bath water."

3. Every time you replace a filter cartridge, you are throwing out a significant portion of the beneficial bacteria that are responsible for the nitrogen cycle. With the Marineland filters, you do have the Biowheel filtration which does provide for aerobic nitrification, but is absolutely useless in providing for anaerobic denitrification. Porous filter media such as lava rock, pumice and synthetic Biohome media are effective and supporting both aerobic and anaerobic bacterial activity.

Even if you choose to continue using the replaceable cartridges, consider rinsing out the cartridges periodically and only replacing them when they are completely falling apart.

If you do not like the noise created by the Aquaclear filter with the pump located in the filter box, I suggest you check out the Seachem Tidal 75 or 110 filters designed by Sicci. It has its pump located below water whch reduces noise. However, it has a large filter box that allows you to pack the chamber with various types of filter media.

Here is a review you might find useful:


If you have room for the Tidal 110 behind your tank (and in your budget), I highly suggest gettijng that one vs the 75. The filter comes with a flow regulator that will allow you to control the flow through the filter should you find the flow of the 110 to be excessive. The larger box of the 110 vs 75 allows you to pack it with more filter media for improved performance. The Tidal filters were designed to maximize performance rather than to maximize profit for the manufacturer.

I was looking at the seachem tidal and reading reviews, it looks like a great filter. The 110 isn’t out of my price range, but I was thinking about two 55 or 75. I like to have two filters in a 55, especially with the waste puffers produce.
 
RayClem
  • #10
I was looking at the seachem tidal and reading reviews, it looks like a great filter. The 110 isn’t out of my price range, but I was thinking about two 55 or 75. I like to have two filters in a 55, especially with the waste puffers produce.
I was not suggesting you use a single Tidal 110. I was suggesting using it in addition to your existing filter.

It is not necessary to have two identical filters. Every filter design has it own advantages and disadvantages. By having two different filters, it might make it easier to customize the filter media to meet your specific needs.

If your current Marineland is still working well, there is no need to replace it. Having two identical filters might be more aesthetically pleasing if that is important to you. In that case, two Tidal 75 would be great.
 
dmh41532
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
No, the aesthetics aren’t important to me, all I see are the Intake tubes anyhow. Lately my marineland has been noisier than before. The reviews on the tidal are good, so I’m not opposed to replacing it. I don’t like aqua clear because of noise and the media basket. It’s hard to pull out, the tidal basket looks much easier to pull out. Of course, I would run a tidal along with the marine land while the new filter breaks in.
 
RayClem
  • #12
The Aquaclear design has been around for over 40 years. It has lasted that long because it was great design, but I am not claiming it was perfect. Until the recent introduction of the Tidal filters by Seachem/Sicce and the Fluval "C" series of filters, Aquaclear was often considered to be the "best" filter. It was certainly the most reliable. I had one last over 20 years. Only time will tell if the newcomers are as reliable as the tried and true.
 
mattgirl
  • #13
I have to wonder if the aqua clears today are of the same quality as they were way back then. Reviews of them tell me no. Way back many years ago I ran AquaTech HOB filters. One in particular was well over 20 years old and still worked perfectly until I switched to sand. Sand got in it and chewed up both impeller and the hole it sits in. Still worked but was so loud. Up until them I had to look at the flow of water to be sure it was working.

I replaced it with a new aquatech of the same size since I had gotten such good service from this one. It worked for less than a month. Company replaced it and it quit even sooner. Such a shame the quality was no longer there. I replaced it with another cascade 300 to match the one I was already running in this tank. My original cascade is also well over 20 years old. Thankfully the quality seems to still be there for this size cascade. I can't say the same about the smaller cascades. Bought a 150 for my 5.5 gallon tank. Nothing but trouble and finally quit after about 5 months.

These days I dread having to replace a filter. I went ahead and got 2 extra cascade 300's for back ups. Fortunately I was able to do that before they doubled in price. Maybe extreme over kill but I am running a 300 on my 5.5 gallon tank. I just keep it turned down.
 
Rockfella
  • #14
I will recommend a canister over a HOB.
 
RayClem
  • #15
I have to wonder if the aqua clears today are of the same quality as they were way back then. Reviews of them tell me no. Way back many years ago I ran AquaTech HOB filters. One in particular was well over 20 years old and still worked perfectly until I switched to sand. Sand got in it and chewed up both impeller and the hole it sits in. Still worked but was so loud. Up until them I had to look at the flow of water to be sure it was working.

I replaced it with a new aquatech of the same size since I had gotten such good service from this one. It worked for less than a month. Company replaced it and it quit even sooner. Such a shame the quality was no longer there. I replaced it with another cascade 300 to match the one I was already running in this tank. My original cascade is also well over 20 years old. Thankfully the quality seems to still be there for this size cascade. I can't say the same about the smaller cascades. Bought a 150 for my 5.5 gallon tank. Nothing but trouble and finally quit after about 5 months.

These days I dread having to replace a filter. I went ahead and got 2 extra cascade 300's for back ups. Fortunately I was able to do that before they doubled in price. Maybe extreme over kill but I am running a 300 on my 5.5 gallon tank. I just keep it turned down.

Mattgirl

Are you talking about Aquaclear filters or Aquatech filters?. The first were developed by Hagan and are not sold in the states as Fluval/Aquaclear. They use a sponge filter and allow space for other media.

The Aquatech filters are sold at Walmart and have a completely different design, based on fitted cartridges. I was not overly impressed by mine.

The current Aquaclears might not be the same as the ones sold 40 years ago, but they are still quite similar.
 
mattgirl
  • #16
Mattgirl

Are you talking about Aquaclear filters or Aquatech filters?. The first were developed by Hagan and are not sold in the states as Fluval/Aquaclear. They use a sponge filter and allow space for other media.

The Aquatech filters are sold at Walmart and have a completely different design, based on fitted cartridges. I was not overly impressed by mine.

The current Aquaclears might not be the same as the ones sold 40 years ago, but they are still quite similar.

I am talking about Aqua Tech. At one point they were decent filters. That is no longer the case. I ran 2 of the 40/60's for many years and was happy with the service I got from them. I bought my first one in the early 80's. I finally ruined it by allowing sand to get sucked into it. If not for that it would still be in service. I am running a smaller AquaTech on one of my small tanks right now. This one has been in service for well over 20 years. If you've bought one recently I can understand not being impressed with it.

I've never had and AquaClear filter but if the reviews can be believed they don't seem to be nearly as reliable as they once were either. Basic design is the same but a filter is only as good as the motor they put in it. It seems to me like nothing is made to last anymore and that includes the motor on our filters.

BTW: Although a lot of the filters are designed to use cartridges we don't have to use them. My HOB filters are designed to use them I've not bought a cartridge for many years.

When I first got into this hobby equipment was made to last. Shoot, I am still using a heater in my 5.5 gallon tank that I got when I first got in this hobby. It just keeps on working and working well year after year. We are lucky to get 2 or 3 years out of a heater today.

It seems pride in workmanship is a thing of the past. In today's world it is get it out there as cheap as we can and hope it breaks soon so another one will be bought. We live in a disposable world today. Very few things are designed to last.
 
RayClem
  • #17
I am talking about Aqua Tech. At one point they were decent filters. That is no longer the case. I ran 2 of the 40/60's for many years and was happy with the service I got from them. I bought my first one in the early 80's. I finally ruined it by allowing sand to get sucked into it. If not for that it would still be in service. I am running a smaller AquaTech on one of my small tanks right now. This one has been in service for well over 20 years. If you've bought one recently I can understand not being impressed with it.

I've never had and AquaClear filter but if the reviews can be believed they don't seem to be nearly as reliable as they once were either. Basic design is the same but a filter is only as good as the motor they put in it. It seems to me like nothing is made to last anymore and that includes the motor on our filters.

BTW: Although a lot of the filters are designed to use cartridges we don't have to use them. My HOB filters are designed to use them I've not bought a cartridge for many years.

When I first got into this hobby equipment was made to last. Shoot, I am still using a heater in my 5.5 gallon tank that I got when I first got in this hobby. It just keeps on working and working well year after year. We are lucky to get 2 or 3 years out of a heater today.

It seems pride in workmanship is a thing of the past. In today's world it is get it out there as cheap as we can and hope it breaks soon so another one will be bought. We live in a disposable world today. Very few things are designed to last.

I still have a small heater that is not sealed at the top. It has to hang on the rim of the tank rather than being submerged. It seems like submersible heaters will leak sooner or later and need replacement. With a hang on heater, you can take it apart, dry it out, clean the contacts and it will keep going another 10-20 years.
 

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