Filter Comparison

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ivanjay205

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I have a Tetra EX 20 on a 20 gallon tank. Water is never crystal clear and I cant get my ammonia to 0. Thinking it is undersized and no good on biological.
I know there are lots of reviews but looking at Aquaclear 50 vs c3 for my 20 gal guppy tank.

1. is that the right size? I dont want to undersize again...
2. I am intrigued by the c series but it is not available locally. I can order on amazon. Aquaclear appears to be a num 1 review everywhere and available at my petsmart
3. I cant get ammonia to stabilize on this tank at 0. I want to max my biological filtration opportunities. I think the ex 20 i bought is doing a poor job.
4. General thoughts on comparing the 2.

the marineland is available too but ai hear a lot about the wheel getting jammed up.
 

kallililly1973

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ivanjay205

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kallililly1973

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ivanjay205 said:
long...

just curious if the c3 is lots of marketing or real benefit
Just watched a quick review on it and it does look like it holds a nice amount of media. It usually comes down to how you modify it and with what types of media you use in it. Some use all sponges some add Ceramic media some use polyfill there are many combinations that you can add to a filter depending on your needs.
 
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ivanjay205

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kallililly1973 said:
Just watched a quick review on it and it does look like it holds a nice amount of media. It usually comes down to how you modify it and with what types of media you use in it. Some use all sponges some add Ceramic media some use polyfill there are many combinations that you can add to a filter depending on your needs.
im not a pro here. Really looking to buy something and have it work lol. Maybe over simplifying!
 

JayH

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Manufacturers are extremely... optimistic... when making size recommendations for their filters. The best thing is to ignore their recommendation and look at the number of gallons per hour (GPH) they claim. This will be about double the flow you can expect IRL, but it's a better starting point. Look for a GPH that's 8 to 10 times the size of your tank. That will get you to the actual 4 to 5 times per hour turnover that's usually recommended.

In addition to the Aquaclear, you might want to have a look at the Tidal 55. It has a lot of features that make it a good choice, not the least of which is a straightforward basket that holds the media of your choice. The Aquaclear is similar, though they use a sling to hold the media instead of a full basket. It makes cleaning the media a bit messier. Both are very good filters and spoken of highly by virtually everyone who has used them. You wouldn't go wrong with either.
 
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ivanjay205

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I went with aquaclear 50. Petsmart had in stock. I wedged one of the old filter cartridges above the biomax to maintain some contact with water and salvage whatever bacteria I had. Hopefully this clears the water and gets me on my way to a cycled tank.
 

ystrout

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A few recommendations:

1. Always get more filtration rather than less. A filter rated for 20 gallons is probably good for 10 to 15 gallon aquariums. A filter rated to 30 gallons is good up to 20 to gallons, etc.
2. Brands that have replaceable filter media are no good. Especially those all in 1 (sponge and carbon mix) cartridges. That filter/carbon thing isn't good. The carbon will retire and then it just takes up space in your filter. It's best to use a sponge and bio media like ceramic beads. You can also put some carbon in there if you want, but it's not necessary.
3. You can never go wrong with an AquaClear. I have them on 3 of my 4 tanks. Love them. My 75 gallon tank uses a canister filter which I'm happy with.

On my 8 and 14 gallon tank, I use the AquaClear 20. On my 20 gallon long, I use the AquaClear 30. Great filters, low maintenance, and run forever. Just use the media that comes with the filter. And only clean the media, never replace it!

If you do upgrade to an Aquaclear, run it in conjunction with your current one for a few weeks. Some of the bacteria that is on the current one will help the new filter grow faster.
 

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you could probably fit another bag of biomax in there after you're cycled and replacing the old filter cartridge. Aqua Clear Bio Max Filter Insert | fish Filter Media

i actually cut the sponge in half horizontally b/c i think its too thick, then a thin layer of polyfil on top, then the 50 biomax bag it came with plus an additional 70 biomax bag on top. Aqua Clear Bio Max Filter Insert | fish Filter Media
 
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ivanjay205

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I was thinking to let this run for a month with the carbon to clean the tank out since I think I was below where I should have been filtering. After that probably insert a small fine sponge and maybe more biomax. Unless seachem matrix is way better and I should add that?
 

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Skavatar said:
stick with biomax for hob. Matrix is more for anaerobic bacteria.
k, now here is to hoping that it doesnt take a full month to establish on the new media. I have an old filter cartridge in there
 

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the old filter cartridge will help, but it will still take a couple of weeks for the bacteria to start colonizing the new media.
 
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Skavatar said:
the old filter cartridge will help, but it will still take a couple of weeks for the bacteria to start colonizing the new media.
I am going to use seachem stability too. Should that go in tank or right into filter?
 

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either way will work.
 

jpm995

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I would toss in in the input chamber of the filter so the bacteria passes into the filter media first.
 
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jpm995 said:
I would toss in in the input chamber of the filter so the bacteria passes into the filter media first.
I went with that, made sense to increase contact with media
 
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Just wanted to share I am so happy with the AC purchase. I have had a NIGHTMARE cycling this tank. Buying the AC50 started it over.
Using stability today I hit 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, cycled! Phew!

i have the carbon media in there as it came with filter. I know it doesnt last. Recommendations on what to do with that middle section? Replace carbon or some other media? My water is a bit cloudy, assuming bacteria bloom, and once that settles down want to get nice crystal clear water.
 

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Add a 2nd foam sponge block and a thin layer of Polyfil batting.
 
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