Filter For 125 Gallon 120 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by NatureFine, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    What filter is suitable for a 125 gallon tank? I'm looking into Fluval as I have heard many positive reviews on it. But the Fluval 4FX seems really expensive! The Aquaclear 110 seems good as well.
    Are there are any reliable filters that aren't too expensive? Could I use a Fluval 406 and Aquaclear 110?
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  2. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    Does this filter seem suitable also? I am concerned about leaks.

    It is a Polar Aurora External Canister
  3. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

    Two of those.
  4. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

    Might want to look at this also. Sunsun HW 5000 1200 gph with controller.
  5. SkavatarWell Known MemberMember

    I have a similar one, basically a SunSun 304B. Its on my 150 gallon stock tank patio pond. just becareful, the plastic parts are somewhat brittle. cracked my spray bar pushing the pieces together.

    you could try a pair of Aquaclear 110 or a pair of Tidal 110.
  6. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    Could I run a Fluval 406 Canister Filter? It says it is for 100 gallons but with the Aquaclear 70, would it work out? I'm still not very convinced on the SunSun or Polar Aurora as they seem TOO cheap if you know what I mean. I have heard reviews saying that you get what you pay for and that makes sense. So the SunSun or Polar Aurora seem okay but they are not very strong or the best. And it also seems fragile.
  7. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

    Well Sunsun sells more canisters than all other manufactures combined they are so big. Considering all canisters have only $40 in parts there is profit to be made and others are making it. Sunsun and Polar Aurora are also 4+ star rated on Amazon. I've had mine for going on 8 years now with no issues.

    You do know you need about 1000-1250 gph for that tank right?
  8. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    I thought I needed around 625 gph as that is 5 times the amount of gallons the tank holds.
  9. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

    But when you add your media trays, tubing, pump height lift, U bends and all media it's now only is pumping at around 50% or 2.5 times. That's why you spec out to 8-10x to cover all the loss. But, it's up to you.
  10. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    Oh yes, good point!
  11. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    I'm just really unsure because the SunSun or Polar Aurora don't seem like much. Is the Fluval FX4 really worth it? Does it have an extensive surface area that is much larger than the Fluval 406? Couldn't I add a sponge on the intake tube to increase surface area? This would increase the efficiency. All these things make me really unsure of what to get. I know surface area is what makes a filter efficient as well as water circulation. What if I put 3 large sponge filters and a Marineland 350? Do I even need a canister filter? The sponge filter may support bacteria with surface area and the power filter circulating water. I'd like to hear opinions as I'm not sure myself. I just know that people tend to overload aquariums with too much filtration that may cost a fortune and I don't want to do that. And the stocking is a community fish tank so I'm thinking I won't need to much.
  12. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

    I would go with what @Skavatar said then and go with 2 Seachem Tidal 110's then. You have plenty of choices.
  13. IslandvicWell Known MemberMember

    @NatureFine , how do you plan on stocking your 125g?

    Heavily stocked African cichlids? Some large South American's like Oscars?

    I think a lot of the negative reviews on SunSun products comes down to user error, though I am sure there are occasions (like all brands) where the product physically breaks.

    Applying a food-grade silicone lube (not vaseline) to all the seals, o-rings and gaskets will go a long way for the prevention of leaks.

    If you want to go the route with HOB filters, look into getting a pair of Tidal 110's from He has them for $62 each, which is the cheapest price I have seen.

    Another HOB filter option is a trio of Penguin 350's which usually are $26-$30 each if you look around online.

    Those loaded with blocks of sponge foam (in lieu of the cartridges) and a bit of Polyfil works well for the price, and they move a lot of water.

    While on the Ken's website, check out the ATI Hydro Sponge IV and V sponge filters.

    A pair of those tucked into the corners will really boost filtration. The normal Hydro Sponges use a fine foam (around 40ppi pores-per-inch) and the "Pro" versions use a coarse foam sponge material (around 15-20ppi). The "Pro" version has a higher flow rate over their finer standard foam sponge.

    You mentioned an option with 3 large sponge filters and a Penguin 350.

    A couple of videos on the YouTube channel "Prime Time Aquatics" shows the host Jason giving a tour of his personal fish room. He has either a 125g or a 150g, running 3 large ATI sponge filters and a Penguin 350 and it works for him. From what I recall, that tank was densely stocked. He is a hobbyist/breeder and a biology professor, so he probably knows what he is doing. He has a ton of informative videos that are species specific and on topics such as pH, water hardness, nitrogen cycle, etc etc. He really gets into the science behind stuff.

    Also, try a Google search of both "Jehmco" Those places (+ Ken's Fish site) have the best prices and carry the full line of sponge filters , pre-filters and parts for the ATI brand.

    Jehmco also have pics of "stacked" sponge filters. ATI's are modular by design, and you can stack their fine foam sponge filter on top of their "Pro" coarse filter.

    That gives you the higher flow rate through the coarser "Pro" sponge on the bottom to draw in muck and the finer top sponge for increased bio-filtration.

    Running a power head on top of the sponge filter bumps up the flow rate.

    Finnaly, check out and their Poret brand of foam sponge products imported from Germany.

    They use the "Jetlifter" air lift method which is a very efficient design.

    For every 1 liter per hour of air delivered, you get 3-4lph of water flow through the lifter tube.

    That is a lot more lift, versus the traditional airstone-in-a-tube method.

    Most breeders and keepers of fishroom primarily rely on sponge filtration, with HOB's and/or powerheads to supplement water movement.

    Let us know what you decide and how you set your tank up.
  14. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

    Found this one also, Sunsun vs Fluval and the Fluval broke. And Fluval wants $25 for a $1 part.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  15. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    What would be a suitable SunSun filter for a 125 gallon tank? There are so many types that I have been a little overwhelmed. By the way, the setup will be a community tank with Silver Dollars and Angelfish.

    Also, it seems the filter has a UV light. Should it be run all the time?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  16. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

    Suggest you get 2 Polar Aurora (same as Sunsun) here. No media, 525 gph.

    One on each side of the tank. UV lights only needed with green water problems. Do not use the UV lights at they are just a gimmick since the water flow will be too fast. Only use the foam pads that come with it and throw the other media away. Load the bottom tray with course, medium and fine filter floss/media. Now just fill all trays with Matrix and you are set.
  17. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    Two Polar Aurora filters seems like a good plan. Is filter floss basically sponge? And could I replace the Matrix with bio rings? I was thinking of having it this order:

    Filter Floss
    Bio Rings
    Filter Floss

    Does this seem okay? Should the carbon be in bags or chunks? I was thinking of not using lots of bio rings as chemical filtration isn't as important as biological filtration. Am I right?

    By the way, is the media the filter comes with not suitable?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  18. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

    I would watch this video on how to set up a canister. Ceramic rings will work OK but Matrix is much better.

    No need for any carbon at all. Carbon only used to remove medications or smells from the water.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  19. Mr. KgnaoValued MemberMember

    Canister filters were invented by marketing departments for the boardroom, that they'll happen to be used in an aquarium is incidental. In a 125 a pair of sponges, or a matten filter, would be a cheaper, more efficient, longer-lasting solution that won't drain everything in your tank onto your floor if something goes wrong.
  20. NatureFineNew MemberMember

    Does this filter pad seem fine?

    And since I will be using two canister filters, are sponge filters and a hang on filter required or will I have enough filtration?