55 Gallon Tank Filter Decisions.

slinger

Member
OK,,, so I have a shiny new 55 tank waiting to be put together. I have been wrestling for a while on the whole idea,,, and now I kinda have it narrowed down to 2 HOB filter choices. I really don't wanna go canister.

#1 Choice :
MarineLand Penguin 350 BIO-Wheel Power Filter

#2 Choice:
Aqua Clear 70 - Fish Tank Filter(40 - 70 gallon model)

So let me hear of your "personal experiences" with either. Booth seem like a reputable choice to me. FYI: I will probably throw in 1 sponge filter just to help out. I'm kinda a conservative player,,,, as in more filtration is better than less.
 

Cichlidude

Member
The general rule of thumb is your fish tank should turn over your water volume at least 4x per hour for best efficiency. All manufactures rate their pumps at the head level only. This means their ratings do not include head pump lift (canisters typically 3-4 feet: 7-13% head loss alone), filter media baskets, filter media itself, tubing length, U bends from the input tube and output tubes or even the 90 degree bend for your spray bar. All this alone will reduce the flow by at least 25% right out of the box.

Now add all your media which is jam packed with course, medium, fine pads, bio ceramic rings, porous large surface area media like Matrix, Biohome or Marine Pure Media and now it gets dirty and clogged in weeks. This adds another 25% reduction. So now you have a 50-60% restriction in water flow. Which now leaves you at 2x your flow rate and you need 4x to run correctly. This is why you should get a filter with at least 8x-10x flow rate (manufactures specification) because of this 50% reduction will bring you to the 4x recommended flow. Canister filters hold more media than a HOB, so they can have a little less flow if you want (5x-6x) but 8x will cover both types of filters. Always best to have slower water flow over your media than more, so the water stays in contact with the media longer to promote maximum bacteria growth/filtration and still keeps good water movement in your tank. This is for normally stocked to heavily stocked tanks.

Tanks with less fish or lightly stocked will do just fine with a smaller filter than mentioned above.

With that said…

Your 55 will do best with a filter running at 440-550 gph. Neither of those will be enough. You should have a AC 110 at 500 gph or better yet a Seachem Tidal 110 at 450 gph. Two AC 70 will work also at 300 gph each (600 gph total) or two Seachem Tidal 55's at 250 gph each (500 gph total- Tidal 75's run at 350 gph each). I don't recommend Marineland filters with bio wheels.
 

Skavatar

Member
the biowheel is too gimicky to me. I don't see the point, except for being a visual attraction.

either a pair of AC110s or a pair of Tidal 110s. both have adjustable flow rate so you can lower the output if its too strong. both have large media storage. the Tidal have an actual basket to put the media into. The Tidal is self priming and has a built in skimmer.
 

kallililly1973

Member
I have a 55 that's been running 2.5 years it was an Aqueon kit so I used the filter supplied for the first few months then added a Fluval 406 canister. Then the Aqueon 55/75 filter was acting up and added an AC70 . All the while running a corner sponge filter and a dual sponge filter off of a dual outlet airpump. So clear I think I could scoop a glass in it and drink it. But I won't . Always better to have 2 filters running on any tank to be able to keep everyone safe incase one of the filters have an issue. Even if its a sponge filter running in there.
 

qquake2k

Member
I've never liked the BioWheel filters. Too many problems keeping the wheels turning. I'm a big fan of canister filters, especially the Fluval '06 and '07 series. I'm also a new fan of the Tidal HOB's, for the reasons Skavatar mentioned. I have a Tidal 35 (along with a Fluval 206) on my 26 gallon. I'm renewing a 46 gallon bowfront, which will have a Fluval 306 on it. I was going to order a Tidal 75 to add to it, but Ken's was out of them, so I ordered a 110. He still has them on sale at a good price.

Seachem Tidal 110 Power Filter
 

Islandvic

Member
slinger , how is the tank going to be stocked?
 
  • Thread Starter

slinger

Member
Thanks guys!!
Cichlidude,,, I never thought of the "flow restriction" created by media. Thanks for bringing that issue to light.An obvious answer/reply based on knowledge. Thanks.

qquake2k,,, Kens price was too awesome to pass up on the Tidal 100. It's ordered. And as I mentioned originally,,, I will add a sponge or 2.
 
  • Thread Starter

slinger

Member
Islandvic said:
slinger , how is the tank going to be stocked?
I am redoing a few of my smaller tanks in order to move my TOO MANY Bettas into them. So some fish will come from those tanks,,, Tetras, Rosorbas, Cory Cats, Loaches, Dwarf Gouramis, etc.

I know well enough to "cycle" the 55 BEFORE stocking it.

Eyeballin some nice BonsaI driftwood for visual effect. Dang it man,,,, that stuff is pricy.
 

qquake2k

Member
slinger said:
Thanks guys!!
Cichlidude,,, I never thought of the "flow restriction" created by media. Thanks for bringing that issue to light.An obvious answer/reply based on knowledge. Thanks.

qquake2k,,, Kens price was too awesome to pass up on the Tidal 100. It's ordered. And as I mentioned originally,,, I will add a sponge or 2.
My 110 will be here next week. I can't wait to play with it!
 

Mongo75

Member
I don't think you will be disappointed with the Tidal. Not only does it have a very configurable media basket and output flow control, but you can also adjust the skimmer as well. I really like the 55 I have on my 20g.
 

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