Filtration for a 55 gallon tank

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by kinezumi89, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I inherited a 55 gallon show tank and it came with a Tetratec PF300. Apparently they're no longer in production, but here's a picture at least:  

    I read in a different thread that your water should cycle 10 times per hour, so for a 55 gallon tank, should I have a filter that cycles 550 gallons per hour? This filter only does 300, but it was used with success for many years. It says it is rated for up to 60 gallons. I also have two air stones to aid with aeration/surface agitation.

    A quick search of filters that cycle 250 GPH turns up filters that are about $50. Unfortunately I'm not really in the financial position to be purchasing extra, possibly unnecessary filters. My questions are:

    1. How necessary do you think it is that I increase the filtration? Currently there is a male betta and a female BN pleco; final stocking is: one angelfish, possibly a DG, 8 neon tetras, 6 platys, 6 cory cats, a BN pleco, a bamboo shrimp, and a nerite snail or two.

    2. If you feel that more filtration is needed, is there anything I can do besides spending $50 on another filter?

    Thanks! :)

    Edit: Upon further research, it seems that filters that cycle 250 GPH are rated for 55 gallons! It seems almost silly to have two filters rated for the volume of the tank. Maybe I misread, and that suggestion was for particularly messy fish?
  2. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Is there a petsmart near you? We picked up a filter that does 350gph for less then $50.00(it was on sale regular price was $49.99). I think that I have seen ones that may work for you for about $35-$40.

    Most of the ratings for what the company says a tank filter will filter are off.

    Another option would be to keep your stock low until you could afford a second ( or even better, a canister) filter.
  3. OP

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    How many fish would be considered low stock? Should I stop with the platys and tetras, and hold off on the angel, the corys, and the possible DG?

    Also, how strict is the 10x/hour rule of thumb? Is my eventual stocking plan considered fully-stocked enough that I would really need more filtration?

  4. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I am not familiar with that filter, but is there any extra room on the interior for extra media? If you have extra media in the filter in will handle a much greater stock of fish. What I mean by media is room for the bacteria to grow that is needed for cycling. I have my HOB stuffed with sponges to create a better media source. Seems to help a lot.

  5. OP

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Well, that's good to know. There are four Tetra filter cartridges in it (large size), plus the cartridge that came from the 10 gallon (same variety, small size), which was initially housing the bacteria. It's actually pretty spacious in there, and I have a few small pads (maybe 3"x2") that I could stick in there as well. Thanks for the info!
  6. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Keep a mindful eye on overflow, though. Unlike canisters, there is a point at which the filter housing is too full to allow for fast enough water movement, and it will back up and spill out over the intake tube. This may not happen with every brand of HOB, but it happens with a lot of them. This problem is exacerbated as the media clogs.
  7. slade

    sladeValued MemberMember

    You should be fine with that stocking. The 10x recommendation is for large/messy fish like cichlids and plecos. Manufacturers give ratings for pumping water without obstructions, and adding filter media, etc cuts down on this number. As Wendy said, pack your filter with extra media for BB to grow on. During PWC, rinse the media in tank water - don't replace it unless it's falling apart or you'll lose the BB.
  8. OP

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Jaysee, I've had that happen with the 10 gallon filter, so I'll be sure to keep an eye out for it.

    slade, one pleco should still be okay though, right? I was contemplating getting a second, but with this information it sounds like not a good idea.
  9. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    I disagree that the recomended flow rate of 8 to 10X turn over being for large or messy fish, if you read through the info on most of those fish it is recomended to have extra filtration above and beyond the 10x turn over on a HOB.

    Since I have been following your threads,I know you plan on QTing all your fish for 2 weeks, so it will likely be a few months until you have the tank fully stocked, maybe you could get one by then? If you could do that and just add the angel and second pleco last? You may be find for a while though, it seems you have changed your stocking a hair.

    Also, the recommendation is 8 to 10x turn over, 8 would be about 440gph, so you could get by with a filter that does about 150gph, which would be cheaper.

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