Canister Filtration help. Serious help

  • #1
Ok, so I have a 125 gallon tank with mixed african cichlids. Couple Frontosa Burundi, one tropheus, few peacocks, few haps. One nightmare ob peacock getting rid of. Few Lelupi. Couple Mbuna. Don't worry. I feed them perfect. Veggie gets veggie. Meat eaters get protein.

So I have for filtration on it. One emperor 400 and an eheim pro 3 2080. Used the eheim substrate set to fill the 2080. I'm looking into getting another canister filter. The emperor is hanging on the side of the tank right now because I don't have room in my apartment to put the emperor 400 hanging on the back where it belongs. So I had to cut one of my tank lids to the right size to fit it with the filter hanging on it. This is the main reason I want another canister filter so I can butt the tank up against the wall tighter without needing so much space behind.

There is a big sale at marine depot for the Eheim 2180 which has a built in heater so that would remove the need of any heaters in the tank. I already have two hang on heaters that aren't nearly enough wattage. So that means I would have to buy 2-200 or 300 watt heaters in addition to the canister filter. The eheim would save me money in this department providing the heat. I also have been looking at the FX5 because it's better at mechanical filtration. I have noticed a lot of floaties that the eheim is missing. And I've read that where they fault it is mechanical.

So my question is: should I just get the Eheim 2180 from Marine depot and have a Eheim 2180 and my original Eheim 2080 running on my 125 gallon tank. OR, should I get the FX5 for the better water flow and mechanical fitering and then get something like a in line heater for the heat. I like the fact of not having heaters and cords hanging in the tank taking away from the esthetics.

When answering please be scientific if you can. I research into everything immensely before I make a big purchase. I just want to make the right one.

I've also read into biological bottle necking. Would that occur with the 2 - eheims. I really think it's rubbish. If you have a heavily stocked tank or overfeed. There would be plenty to feed both filters. But I"m new and need some great advice. Please be specific. I am looking at these two. So please don't throw and other filters or sumps into the mix. Unless you absolutely must. I am leaning toward the FX5. for better water flow throughout the tank and I think it would be a good balance. What do ya think!

Thanks everyone. I sure need this help.
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
So nobody wants to comment or take the time to help me. 30 something views no replys. Waste of my time writing this.
  • #3
Welcome to Fishlore!

You posted less than a hour ago, please be patient. Just because someone veiwed your thread doesn't mean they are knowlegdeabl about the filters you are asking about.
  • #4
I have a small ehime and a jbj reaction 4 canister filter. both are great sorry iv never used the ones ur talking about but seen many people with both and don't think you can go wrong either way. the built in heater seems very nice, I have a hydro inline heater on the jbj and it works great if you deiced to go that road. sorry I couldn't help more but seemed like you wanted some kind or response so I did my best.
  • #5
Hi, welcome to Fishlore
Please be patient, you have asked for some very specific information.

Canister Filters, the general recommendation is for a minimum of 5-6x turnover (on a 125, that equates to minimum of 625-750 GPH). In a more heavily stocked tank, a higher turnover would be beneficial. Scientifically - this means the water will run through the filter more often, thus running over the media more often, exposing beneficial bacteria to more ammonia etc. It also pushs the water through the mechanical filtration more often (polishing pads etc), which theoretically, should give clearer water.

Which brand to go with? Personally I prefer Eheim filters. The bio-media that you can fit in is huge compared to some of the other filters, and, IME, they are very efficient. I would think your decision should be made based on the purpose of the filter. If you want bio, then probably Eheim. If you're more interested in mechanical, possibly the Fluval, but as I say, I think the Eheims do a phenomenal job in both areas.

I haven't played with the FX5, but if I were to criticise Eheim..... They do fill their canisters with media, making it more difficult to add other things to the filter (e.g. phosphate sponges if necessary)

Biological bottle necking? I haven't heard that term before, but I think I understand what you mean. This would be more to do with available media for the bacteria to grow on. If the bio-media is reduced, the bb colony can't grow large enough to handle the bio-load? Is this what your mean?

As for running two filters, I think you'll have enough bio-load to sustain both, but that said, the colony will only grow as large as the food source allows.

In-built heaters - great idea, but be sure to keep the others on hand, just in case of failure. In larger tanks, I think two are better than one for more even heat distribution.

Water-flow. My personal opinion is that I would forego some flow for better bio-filtration. You can always shorten a spray bar to create more pressure and thus more flow. Or add a small powerhead to the tank for flow/current. I haven't kept African's, so I'm not sure whether they prefer high flow rates/currents, or a more subdued, still tank. I would base my decision on the requirements of the fish.

Hope that helps.

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