I use (for the first time ever) a Fluval 205 cannister. I used to use the HOB types when I had fish years ago. I love this one..easy to maintain, very quiet. Now I'm no expert by any means...but I'm happy with this one.
I have the Fluval 405 in my 100gal tank. It says it is made for a 100gal tank, but it only pumps 225gph. From what I understand I need at least 500gph of flow in my tank. What Should I do to help the flow? Should I put in a power head? Or it ok they way it is now?
In large tanks, powerheads usually help the flow, yes. A powerhead should be placed at the opposite end of the tank (that is, the opposite end to the one where the filter is placed). What you want is a uniform water flow/circulation, without any dead and stagnant spots.
From what I understand, in your case it would be best to have a filter (or 2 filters) that pump 500 gallons per hour in total (if yours is a canister filter). If you have an external power filter, it should pump 1000 gallons per hour total. The general guide for canister filters is to pump at least 5 times the volume of a tank, and for power filters to pump 10 times the volume of a tank.
If I were you, I'd get another Fluval 405 canister filter (that pumps 225 gph) for the tank, instead of the powerhead. And I'd place it in the other end of the tank. I assume the filter is a canister type. Is it?
If you cannot buy another filter, I suppose the powerhead and airstones will have to do. They should be OK with respect to water circulation. All this, especially if your tank is lightly stocked. BUT if your tank is fully stocked, or overstocked, it would be best if you could buy another filter for the other end of the tank. Not only would it provide good circulation, but it would also provide enough of biological filtration for the entire tank. Two times 225gph (450gph total) of a canister filter filtration would be excellent for a 100 gallon tank. If you bought the additional canister filter, you wouldn't have to use the airstones and powerhead, unless you'd want to use them.
I really like Aquaclear's...but I haven't had any of the other types listed.
My 10 g has an aqua-tech 5-15 and I HATE it,,,cant wait to get a new one.
I have a little Hagen Elite Stingray 5 too....its submersible. I think its an ok filter for a tiny tank.
My tank has been up and running for about 2 months. I went w/ an XP2 and I couldn't be happier.
The intake and output can be put anywhere you like, what I really like about the Rena system is that you can get their heater that goes on the intake, so it heats the water as it's getting pulled into the filter and you only have 1 thing stuck to the back of the tank.
My output is horizontal on the opposite side and pointing straight down, then I have a powerhead next to the intake for extra circulation.
The XP is easy to prime (only required the first time) and is super easy to clean and take care of... the hose is long enough to reach under your cabinet so the filter can be hidden away, and you certainly won't hear it.
One thing it took me a few times to figure out is that after you clean the filter out and you connect the hoses back, if the filter doesn't fill up automatically, check the output hose to make sure all of it is above the filter, otherwise it will create a trap and not let the air out, so the water won't come in...
I would get the XP3 if I were you, and get the heater to go on the intake too!
I love my EheI'm Ecco for my 55 gallon overstocked Mbuna tank, I also have a penguin biowheel on it overrated for a 55 (its rated for a 75g)...
for my other tanks they all have penguins.
My 36g I am getting a EheI'm Ecco for it soon.
I'm actually using both aqua-clear and penquin350. I put a small aquaclear on my wifes 10gal tank so I could adjust the flow all the way down for her Betta's. Not a bad filter except its noisy and I shoulnt have to disassemble to make it quiet. That being said I bought the penquin350 for our 55gal tank and found it to be almost silent, so I went and got a 2nd penguin350 and that one had a water trickle noise that bothered me. I figured out which biowheel was causing the nosie and flipped it over and no more noise. I am more than happy with the penguin filters and would buy them over the other's. Now I'm running both the 350's on my 55gal tank and have room to upgrade size without buying all new equipemnt just the tank. Also atleast at my local petsmart the penguin's are cheaper than the aquaclears.
I've used Rena FilStars for over a year and a half and have always liked them. They certainly do the trick. I recently switched to a sump on my reef instead of the Filstars and I will never go back and would love to go sump style on all my tanks but I still run an XP3 and an XP4 on other tanks. The XP3 is almost 2 years old and has run without a hitch from day one. Never had to replace any parts or anything. Their downfall is carrying them to the bath tub or sink. I hate dragging them to the tub to clean them out. An XP4 is pretty good sized and weighs a bit when full of water and media.
I have a EheI'm 2215 classic for my 50 works solid I love it I have it cycleing on my 29 gal so when I move in to my new place in July it will be full of good bacteria.
I also have AquaClear 100 on my 29 gal I don't really like it as well as a bunch of other filters that I picked up when I drove to Florida. Everything is half price in the states compared to what I pay up here, the only problem is they don't carry the media for most of them up here so I have to fashion my own.
I have never had a problem, in properly stocked tanks, with power filters that turn over the water volume 5-6 times. I set up all my kits to run a minimum of 7 times and up to 10 times. The problem with putting on such a large filter is that people use it as an excuse to overstock their tanks. While I would rather have a 10X per hour than a 6X per hour filter on my over stocked tank, its a stopgap measure and you are destined for failure eventually. Also, a 4 or 5 times over hour filter can work if your water change regimen is sufficient. It is much too simple to say "for x size tank you should get a filter that turns your water over "y" number of time. A 30 gallon tank with 4 mbuna cichlids would need a bigger filter (or more water changes) than a 55 gallon full of live plants with 25 neons.
All those filters you have listed are OK. You will get lemons with anything so listening to one person saying "don't get this brand because they suck" doesn't mean that is true.
I have been a Marineland person for most of my fishkeeping life and I have had no problems whatsoever. I am switching over to Hagen now though because of certain business practices that marineland/tetra/whatever have implemented that I feel do not support me as a retailer. I also think Hagen is a great filter.
I have used and sold most of the filters on your list and all I can say is that filters are really a fairly insignificant part of your aquarium setup unless you intend to be lazy. Granted, you don't want a cheap piece of **** but as long as they turn the water and keep turning the water they are pretty much one in the same.
If I were choosing a filter for my own tank I would pick the one that was easiest (for me) to maintain and not pay so much attention to the brand.
When I kept turtles I heard EheI'm was one of the best filters around to keep up with turtles. I could never afford one, but had a couple of fluvals. They were alright, but I always had issues getting them to prime and set up. We now have a rena xp3, and my hubby and I love it. We have it set up on a 55 gallon right now, but will be moving it to the 125 gallon when we get it set up. Its rates for up to 175 gallons and has adjustable flow so you can set it for what your fish need.