Can you over filter?

thanson

Active Member
I just found a filter that moves 360 gph for the same price as a 220 gph. Is this ok for my 55 gallon tank?
 

Shawnie

Fishlore Legend
I think it would be great....IMO you can never over filter unless you have weak fish that can't stay away from the filter intake
 

cerianthus

Well Known
I would guess more the merrier for majority of fish. If 55G, probably 48" long, would rather recommend two filters, one on each side, for better circulation and filtrations. Alternate the maintenance b/n 2 filters thus minimal disturbaances to you system at one time.
 

sirdarksol

Fishlore Legend
There is no such thing as over filtering. There is such a thing as too much current, but a 360gph isn't going to produce too much current in a 55g.

Now, are you talking about canister or HOB? If you're talking canister, 360gph is pretty good. If you're talking HOB, you'll probably want to add another filter (on the other end, as cerianthus suggested) to provide more complete filtration. Canisters are more efficient than HOBs, so can provide complete filtration with fewer gph.
 

Dozey

Well Known
I have a canister filter at one end of my 35 gallon tank (240 gph) and a HOB filter (200 gph) at the opposite end. Even my new (still very small) neons have no problem in any area the tank.

If your fish are being forced about the tank, forced into the glass or getting stuck against the intakes then you might have gone too far. But otherwise the sky is the limit.
 
OP
T

thanson

Active Member
Marineland c360 canister. So I am glad to hear I should be ok.
 

Dozey

Well Known
The Marineland C360 will more then sufficient at keeping your tank clean. And with an air stone or two you will lots of movement.

Good choice on the Marineland C360
 

GouramiGirl1221

Well Known
I'm sure the airstone wouldn't hurt...you can never have too much oxygen! Plus, my fish like to play in the bubbles, so I've got them in all my tanks.
 

Butterfly

Fishlore Legend
Usually the recommendation is 10gph(gallons per hour)x 55(water capacity of the tank) = 550gph for your tank. So that filter would be great. I prefer two filters on my 55 gallon also, with only one I seemed to have a dead zone(little water movement) at the end without a filter. I tend to over filter but the fish and plants don't seem to mind.
Carol
 

Dozey

Well Known
Perhaps the only downside to a canister filter is that it does not provide much aeration. As I’m not currently keeping live plants I can not comment on how they handle water oxygenation. But a heavily planted tank would cause some water flow restrictions. Finding any area in your tank that isn’t getting a lot of water flow is a prime candidate for an air stone.

I’m not sure how others find these areas but I found mine vacuuming. Certain areas of my tank seemed to have heaver deposits of waste when I was vacuuming and that is where my air stones went.
 

Fishies-for-me

Well Known
I have a hob filter rated at 300gph ( aquaclear70 says for a 50-70 gal tank on the box ) in my 29 gal guppy tank. The gups swim thru the current and it shoves them over a little but they are used to it and have no prob swimming across the flow. I do have a sponge on the intake to keep fry out of the filter but I would have to do that with any filter.
 

Bob_Marley88

New Member
The marineland 150 I had for my 30 gal was starting to make a lot of noise from the motor for some reason. I called marineland and told them what was happening and they told me to put the propeller in vinegar for 3 hours and that should fix the problem. Well fearing that my fish would not do well for 3 hours without a filter I went and bought a Aqueon 50 which is rated for up to a 50 gallon tank.

So I had the Aqueon 50 running while I had the propeller from the Marineland 150 soaking. After 3 hours I tried the marineland again and it does seemed to have fixed my noise problem. Now I have the both running at the same time. I have 2 bichirs and 2 chinese algae eaters in the tank. Is this okay or should I remove one? I really like the Aqueon and if I had to get rid of one it would be the marinland 150. I'm wondering is the tank is being over filtered or causing too much current, all the fish are behaving normally just wondering if this is bad news for the long run?
 

HOWsMom

Well Known
If the current isn't negatively affecting your fish, I'd say you are good to go !

It would be next to impossible to over-filter a tank, unless you somehow managed to make it SO clean that no bacteria would grow in your filters (not sure that that is even possible).
 

Bob_Marley88

New Member
Cool thanks for the speedy response! I will leave as is for now and just monitor everything!
 

t-ace

Active Member
You can take some media from your old filter and put it in your new filter. This will help speed up the colonization of bacteria. I have an aqueon 50 and I put a foam filter replacement from an aquaclear in the extra space to the left.
 

bowcrazy

Well Known
You can’t really over filter the water but you can cause to much current for the fish to stay happy. I run more than one filter on most of my tanks just for the filter media and it also provides me with some place to get good used filter media if I need to set up a tank quickly.

The more filter media you have the more stable the tank’s cycle will be and the less problems you will have. As long as your fish are not fighting to swim or the current isn’t beating them up I would personally leave both filters but if you decide to remove one of them use the old media in the new filter so that you don't loose your cycle.
 

Bob_Marley88

New Member
You can’t really over filter the water but you can cause to much current for the fish to stay happy. I run more than one filter on most of my tanks just for the filter media and it also provides me with some place to get good used filter media if I need to set up a tank quickly.

The more filter media you have the more stable the tank’s cycle will be and the less problems you will have. As long as your fish are not fighting to swim or the current isn’t beating them up I would personally leave both filters but if you decide to remove one of them use the old media in the new filter so that you don't loose your cycle.

This leads me to my next question, for a filter that uses only one actual filter media, how do you prevent a new cycle when you replace the old filter media with a new one?

My marineland 150 has slots for two filters, I replaced them both at the same time as I thought I was a good thing to do, I now realise I probably shouldnt have done that but I think I may as well leave it now since the fish are doing good.

But most filters don't have two slots(for 30 gal or less), so how do you keep it from starting a new cycle? Is the water that's in the tank good enough to keep the cycle alive?

You can take some media from your old filter and put it in your new filter. This will help speed up the colonization of bacteria. I have an aqueon 50 and I put a foam filter replacement from an aquaclear in the extra space to the left.

Or is this the answer to my last question? Do you have to just get creative as to get the old bacteria into the new filter?
 

HOWsMom

Well Known
This leads me to my next question, for a filter that uses only one actual filter media, how do you prevent a new cycle when you replace the old filter media with a new one?

My marineland 150 has slots for two filters, I replaced them both at the same time as I thought I was a good thing to do, I now realise I probably shouldnt have done that but I think I may as well leave it now since the fish are doing good.

But most filters don't have two slots(for 30 gal or less), so how do you keep it from starting a new cycle? Is the water that's in the tank good enough to keep the cycle alive?

I ditch the filter media cartridges and just make up my own.

Most of my filters (I'm only running 5 tanks, which seems low around here) have some kind of sponge / foam, biomax or ceramic type things, and polyester batting.

I rinse out the sponge in old tank water when I do a water change, and occasionally change out the polyester batting. Haven't had to do much with the biomax stuff at all.
 

soltarianknight

Fishlore VIP
Just to answer the initial question, yes you can over filter. If the bacteria spreads itself to thin on the pads it makes the cycle less stable. Is it easy to do, not really.
 

t-ace

Active Member
Anything that came out of your old filter will have bb on it. Placing any amount of bacteria-covered media will dramatically speed up the cycling process of the new filter. (The more, the better). I have been running two filters in my 29 for a couple of years now (one for quarantine media), and I have never had any cycle-related issues. Just make sure to keep them clean. I think that it it easier to get elevated nitrate levels when you have two filters full of poo instead of just one.

SoltarianKnight, what kind of gecko is that in your avatar? I had a leopard gecko when I was a kid. He was a neat pet. Beautiful animals.
 

bowcrazy

Well Known
I have to respectfully disagree with soltarianknight on the possibility of a tank being able to be over filtered but you can easily under filter it. In my almost 50 years of keeping fish I have never encountered a single case of the filter media being so large that it became less affective, of course I have never hung 15 filters on a 55 gallon tank to test this theory. Now this is not to say that water can not be too pure because it can. There are good things in the water like minerals that the fish require to stay healthy which is why I don’t ever recommend the use of reverse osmoses water in freshwater tanks if there is anyway that the local tap water can be used. By doing regular water changes you are replacing most of minerals that the fish use but in some cases it is necessary to use additives to replace them, especially in saltwater tanks.

The bio-load of the tank and the available growing space for the beneficial bacteria determines the amount of beneficial bacteria that will grow and how much ammonia and nitrites that it can process. The same amount of bacteria is going to grow whether it is all in one filter or spread out over three or four of them and it will still be able to process the same bio-load. It is not like you are deluding the bacteria but are just spreading it out and giving it more room for growth when needed.

By running an over sized filter or more than one filter on a given tank you are providing a larger turn over rate of the total water volume than one filter sized for that tank can do. This is going to allow the filter(s) to process the water more times an hour which is going to lead to cleaner water but the bacteria colony is still only going to process the same mount of ammonia and nitrites but will allow the colony to adjust to a larger bio-load easier because it has more room to grown and places to attach than can be provided by the smaller or single filter.

Now having said that, it is possible to provide too much current in a tank for the fish to be comfortable. I am not recommending someone to put a 1000 gallons per hour filter on a 10 gallon tank because that is way more than is needed and the bacteria is still only going to process the same bio-load plus I don’t think there would be any fish that would be happy in that environment. I am just saying that if you increase the amount of water that is turned over per hour and the amount of growing area for the bacteria your water will stay cleaner and the bacteria will be able to adjust easier to a larger bio-load if it increases.

Another point I would like to make is if all your beneficial bacteria is growing in one place you can easily affect the bacteria colony when cleaning. If you are running two filters and only clean one of them during a water change then you only have the potential of killing off half of the beneficial bacteria if you over clean it or contaminate it, not all of it. I never replace the filter media except when it starts to completely fall a part. I only lightly clean it in used tank water by sloshing it around. I have also removed the activated charcoal from the filter media and have replaced it with charcoal socks that I can replace once a month that way the bacteria colony is not affected by the replacement of it.

One quick analogy of this would be – 100 people will eat the same amount of food whether they are all in one room or spread out across the country. But the 100 people in the room will have less room for comfortable expansion than the 100 spread out across the county would have.
 
This leads me to my next question, for a filter that uses only one actual filter media, how do you prevent a new cycle when you replace the old filter media with a new one?

My marineland 150 has slots for two filters, I replaced them both at the same time as I thought I was a good thing to do, I now realise I probably shouldnt have done that but I think I may as well leave it now since the fish are doing good.

But most filters don't have two slots(for 30 gal or less), so how do you keep it from starting a new cycle? Is the water that's in the tank good enough to keep the cycle alive?
:;pirateI did exactly the same thing... as my local pet store recommended to change the filters every 30 days for the charchoal in them!! I am still paying as I am trying to cycle or recycle my 60 gallon tank. URRRRRRRRR
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
I have to respectfully disagree with soltarianknight on the possibility of a tank being able to be over filtered but you can easily under filter it. In my almost 50 years of keeping fish I have never encountered a single case of the filter media being so large that it became less affective, of course I have never hung 15 filters on a 55 gallon tank to test this theory. Now this is not to say that water can not be too pure because it can. There are good things in the water like minerals that the fish require to stay healthy which is why I don’t ever recommend the use of reverse osmoses water in freshwater tanks if there is anyway that the local tap water can be used. By doing regular water changes you are replacing most of minerals that the fish use but in some cases it is necessary to use additives to replace them, especially in saltwater tanks.

The bio-load of the tank and the available growing space for the beneficial bacteria determines the amount of beneficial bacteria that will grow and how much ammonia and nitrites that it can process. The same amount of bacteria is going to grow whether it is all in one filter or spread out over three or four of them and it will still be able to process the same bio-load. It is not like you are deluding the bacteria but are just spreading it out and giving it more room for growth when needed.

By running an over sized filter or more than one filter on a given tank you are providing a larger turn over rate of the total water volume than one filter sized for that tank can do. This is going to allow the filter(s) to process the water more times an hour which is going to lead to cleaner water but the bacteria colony is still only going to process the same mount of ammonia and nitrites but will allow the colony to adjust to a larger bio-load easier because it has more room to grown and places to attach than can be provided by the smaller or single filter.

Now having said that, it is possible to provide too much current in a tank for the fish to be comfortable. I am not recommending someone to put a 1000 gallons per hour filter on a 10 gallon tank because that is way more than is needed and the bacteria is still only going to process the same bio-load plus I don’t think there would be any fish that would be happy in that environment. I am just saying that if you increase the amount of water that is turned over per hour and the amount of growing area for the bacteria your water will stay cleaner and the bacteria will be able to adjust easier to a larger bio-load if it increases.

Another point I would like to make is if all your beneficial bacteria is growing in one place you can easily affect the bacteria colony when cleaning. If you are running two filters and only clean one of them during a water change then you only have the potential of killing off half of the beneficial bacteria if you over clean it or contaminate it, not all of it. I never replace the filter media except when it starts to completely fall a part. I only lightly clean it in used tank water by sloshing it around. I have also removed the activated charcoal from the filter media and have replaced it with charcoal socks that I can replace once a month that way the bacteria colony is not affected by the replacement of it.

One quick analogy of this would be – 100 people will eat the same amount of food whether they are all in one room or spread out across the country. But the 100 people in the room will have less room for comfortable expansion than the 100 spread out across the county would have.

Yup to everything. I've got nothing to add.
 

soltarianknight

Fishlore VIP
Hey I was just answering the basic question, never said it was easy or that it was being done in this case
 

Bob_Marley88

New Member
Cool, thanks everyone! Lots of info here and I learned alot!
 

NanaW

Well Known
I am changing Sid over to his new tank tomorrow which is a lot bigger than the one he is in 3.5 to 15g. My question is can you over filter the tank ?

I have a Fluval Flex 15 it has a black sponge with 3 compartments one is bio ceramic rings and one is carbon then one empty thought I would put a bag of floss there it has 3 chambers one holds pump and heater middle hold media third one is empty and I thought I could put my old filters in there until tank cycles fish in and then return them to the 3.5 for a QT.

I know this is long but I want to make sure he is comfortable in the big tank also when I move him over should I just move all his stuff first and then him and the water ?

Thanks

Nana
 

philip884551

Active Member
No you can't over filter
I would move all his stuff then him but I would use fresh clean water no point moving old dirty water into a new tank to move him just bag him up and leave him floating in the new tank so he will get used to the water temperature just like when you first got him
 

Islandvic

Fishlore VIP
As long as the old media is in one of the chambers when Sid gets moved over, it should be fine. If it's just the one fish, his bio-load should be able to be initially supported with the beneficial bacteria from the old media that you move over. That will slowly seed the new media in the middle chamber. Keeping the media in there and being able to pull it out for a quick QT is very smart.

I have always thought those Fluval Edge tanks (with what is basically an internal sump) are very slick. I really like that 3-camber design with the integrated media set up in the center chamber.

It is a very classy looking tank, with everything hidden behind the back wall.
 

NanaW

Well Known
As long as the old media is in one of the chambers when Sid gets moved over, it should be fine. If it's just the one fish, his bio-load should be able to be initially supported with the beneficial bacteria from the old media that you move over. That will slowly seed the new media in the middle chamber. Keeping the media in there and being able to pull it out for a quick QT is very smart.

I have always thought those Fluval Edge tanks (with what is basically an internal sump) are very slick. I really like that 3-camber design with the integrated media set up in the center chamber.

It is a very classy looking tank, with everything hidden behind the back wall.

This one is slick as well it’s a bow front and the only thing you will see in the tank mechanically will be the air bubbles lol, also I was told to move his tank water over as well should I change it and then move it over ?

No you can't over filter
I would move all his stuff then him but I would use fresh clean water no point moving old dirty water into a new tank to move him just bag him up and leave him floating in the new tank so he will get used to the water temperature just like when you first got him

I was told to move him over with his tank water so I assume I need to do a WC then move him over right ?
 

philip884551

Active Member
I wouldn't move dirty water into the new tank no point the water don't have any good bacteria in it may well give him a tank with fresh clean water
 

Islandvic

Fishlore VIP
Maybe acclimate Sid in a separate container where you slowly pour in the new tank's water over a period of an hour or two to dilute the old tank's water.

So when you put him in new tank, he's fully acclimated.
 

NanaW

Well Known
Thank you for the help philip884551, Islandvic

My tank is pretty close to done now it’s warming up without fish is the something I can do to clear the water faster ?


IMG_3064.JPG
 

david1978

Fishlore Legend
Really the only reason to move over old tank water is that there isn't a need to acclimate to the new water. When I need a hospital tank or a qt tank I fill it out of the big tank simply so the water is ready to go.
 

NanaW

Well Known
Really the only reason to move over old tank water is that there isn't a need to acclimate to the new water. When I need a hospital tank or a qt tank I fill it out of the big tank simply so the water is ready to go.

This is all fresh water but everything in it is from old tank and some new gravel and a new piece of wood
 

david1978

Fishlore Legend
You just need to acclimate him to the new water is the only difference.
 

NanaW

Well Known
You just need to acclimate him to the new water is the only difference.

It’s a 74.2 isn’t that too cold yet although the container he is in is 75.5
 

david1978

Fishlore Legend
Yea that's a little cool. Another degree and you could add him and let it warm the rest of the way with him in the tank.
 

NanaW

Well Known
Yea that's a little cool. Another degree and you could add him and let it warm the rest of the way with him in the tank.

Haha you were born on my mothers B-Day the year I got married very cool
 

david1978

Fishlore Legend
Usually things make me feel old. Lol that makes me feel young.
 

georgelee1000

Well Known
aI'm at 10* tank size gph. So if you have 10 gallon, aI'm for 100 gph. You can never over filter a tank. Another thing is betta are weak swimmers, esp these Halfmoon and etc. make sure to cut a plastic bottle and cover your filter output. So water can be diverted to the back wall.
 

NanaW

Well Known
I have my filter output one with nothing focused on wall the other is covered with an intake sponge do you think I should cover them both he keeps going over to the uncovered one
 

georgelee1000

Well Known
Intake is not that necessary. It’s more important if you have fry. But since you already have one, keep it. But for output, most likely you need something to divert the flow. Observe your betta, if whenever he swims into the current and get splashed to another direction or swim frantically trying to get out of the current, then yes I would cut a piece of plastic bottle and divert the current.
 

NanaW

Well Known
Intake is not that necessary. It’s more important if you have fry. But since you already have one, keep it. But for output, most likely you need something to divert the flow. Observe your betta, if whenever he swims into the current and get splashed to another direction or swim frantically trying to get out of the current, then yes I would cut a piece of plastic bottle and divert the current.

Sorry you misunderstood me I have the intake sponge on the Output there are 2 of them so there is just barely a flow except the one that isn’t covered my other question is should I get a small air pump as well to help circulate because of outputs being covered ? If so I will wait a day or so he is a little stressed from the move to new tank
 

georgelee1000

Well Known
Oh sorry for that. Then you are all set. No flow means no water’s pumping out? Or they are just diverted. If they are diverted you are ok. If no flow, maybe your sponge’s clogged? Betta has a set of fake gill, so you don’t need an air pump/stone. They can breath out of water surface when they want. And actually if you hold food above water line, they will jump out to get it. Don’t do it frequently. I heard it’s not too good to the fish.
 

NanaW

Well Known
Oh sorry for that. Then you are all set. No flow means no water’s pumping out? Or they are just diverted. If they are diverted you are ok. If no flow, maybe your sponge’s clogged? Betta has a set of fake gill, so you don’t need an air pump/stone. They can breath out of water surface when they want. And actually if you hold food above water line, they will jump out to get it. Don’t do it frequently. I heard it’s not too good to the fish.

I tried feeding him that way once and now he expects it and he has bitten my finger twice now the little monster lol what is a fake gill ?
 

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