How is my filtration

  • #1
Good morning

I currently have a 55 long tank stocked modestly and some month old easy to maintain plants, no C02. The filter is an Aqueon Quiet Flow 75 HOB, using Aqueon replacement filter cartidges. Plus a Pre-filter sponge on the bottom of the up-take tube.

a. According to some people the filtration should be three or more times the volume of the tank. What I am using seems to be working. Should I consider going to a larger filtration
system? If so do they make a larger volume HOB filter or would I have to switch to a canister filter?
b. The replacement filter cartridges contain charcoal. Should I be using a filter without charcoal? Do I need to be running a charcoal filter all the time if there are no problems in the tank?
c. Do I need to be concerned with the charcoal removing any of the nutrients from the plant food?
d. Currently I am doing a 30% water change every 7 - 10 days. Replacing the filter cartridges ever 2-3 weeks.

Thank you
  • #2
I have an AC70 and a Fluval406 along with 2 sponge filters running on my heavily stocked and planted 55. You could add another HOB filter or add a canister. I would also look into modifying your Aqueon 75 by using sponges filter floss and a type of ceramic media instead of the cartridges which will end up costing you a ton of money and possibly hurting your cycle if you replace them and essentially throw away your cycle. I started with that filter on my 55 when I got the kit but it broke down 1.5 years later thankfully I had the 406 already running and then added the 70... 2 filters are better than one incase one has a problem like in my case. In the main aquarium forum there is a great thread under the filter section on how to modify your 75. Good luck. Do you have pics?
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Kallililly 1973 Thank you for your suggestions. I will look for the thread you suggested. I do not have any current pics of the planted tank.
  • #5
To answer your questions, in my opinion......

A. If your setup works, then it works. If you do add secondary filtration, I would suggest keeping the current filter as well. Many fishkeeper's (myself included) run 2 or more filters, and many times different types on one tank.

A second filter could be a large sponge filter in the back corner on the opposite side of the Aqueon. I run a spong filter as secondary filtration in all of our tanks.

Another option is an inexpensive filter such as the Top Fin Silenstream 75. It's usually $29 online at PetSmart with extra 5-15% off of you buy online and pick up instore. I like them because it has an adjustable flow rate. You can stick a block of foam sponge from an Aquaclear 70 sponge refill on the 1st reservoir and some Polyfil + bag of bio-media in the 2nd reservoir. Or just insert an Aquaclear foam block in both reservoirs.

Dont under estimate the ability of foam sponge to colonize beneficial bacteria.

I happen to also use Aquaclear filters, amd never had an issue with them. Their AC70 would work well, and it has an adjustable flow.

B. Charcoal / carbon is not needed, and usually for removing residual meds after a treatment. You can cut a slit in the cartridge felt amd pour out the carbon, and re-instert the cartridge. When it's time to clean the cartridge l, remove and swish around in a bucket of tank water.

C. I believe charcoal/carbon can remove fertilizers. The amount in a cartridge is not very much though, and its ability to adsorb is probably exhausted very quickly.

D. Everyone's WC schedule is different. I happen to use a pump + vinyl hose to drain my larger tanks and another hose (Camco brand drinking water safe garden hose for RV) that attaches to my sink faucet with an adapter to refill the tanks. This way I can perform 50%-75% WC's without using buckets. I still use a siphon gravel vac to clean the substrate as needed.

I wouldn't throw out the cartridges unless they can't be cleaned anymore. You're throwing out a lot of beneficial bacteria. Yes a lot is in your substrate, but there is alternatives to using cartridges.

I recommend reading the thread that kallililly1973 posted a link to in its entirety.

Lot of good info there regarding filter media and keeping your cycle going. Lots of pics and examples as well.

Good luck with tank, let us know if you have more questions !

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