Filter Extension Tube - pros and cons?

YellowGuppy

I have a spare filter extension tube kicking around. Why should (or shouldn't?) I use it? Are there benefits to water being pulled from lower in the column? Does it just mean I don't need to worry about emptying too much water when doing weekly WCs? Does it make my filter work harder, or somehow put undue stress on the system?

To save you a step, I'm running an Aquaclear 20 with pre-filter sponge in a 20 gallon high, moderately planted, with many guppies and red cherry shrimp, plus snails.

Thanks in advance!
 

Dechi

I like my inlet to be about 2 inches from the ground, as long as there are no plants in the way. This way, when fish swim next to it and the dirt from the substrate flies around, the filter will more likely catch it.

But it’s really as you prefer, and there isn’t just one answer. It really depends on your set-up, type of fish, ect. If your fish are swimming in the top part of the aquarium, for example, it wouldn’t make a difference.
 
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John58ford

I have designed systems to draw from the bottom, and systems that draw from the top. The systems that draw from the bottom, that don't use some pre-filter, usually keep the mulm reduced better. Systems that draw from the top are great at cutting biofilm or oils from live and frozen foods without having to resort to airstones or other options.

The system I have running drawing from the bottom, and using a pre-filter basically just hides the mulm in the pre filter. Some may like this more than it getting caught up in exposed roots like anubias or around the center of a rosette. I personally find mulm natural so in the tanks where I keep the surface calm I use top draw where possible.

I used to have a theory of ammonia and nitrogen byproduct settling/being created at the mulm and that's why my earlier designs were bottom draw. I haven't found this to be of any importance in the long run personally. I have been taking steps to simplify my filters eliminating long intake tubes or strainers.

One thing to think about if the HOB is your only source of flow, most of my own design is river applications. In a HOB, if you have a short intake, just below your outlet, you will "short circuit" a higher percentage of water right back into the filter, this will leave more dead spots elsewhere. A deeper tube would possibly help reduce that depending on the layout of your tank.
 
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