I Have An 55 Gallon Aquarium Do I Need An Under Substrate Filter?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Jeffsglo, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. JeffsgloValued MemberMember


    I have purchased an 55 gallon aquarium. I was wondering if an under substrate filter is needed? I thought I would ask before buying. The filters that come with this starter kit are basic. So I plan on repacing the filters with a canitster filter. But also thought a under substrate would be beneficial?
  2. TropicalFishieFishNew MemberMember

    It doesn’t really matter if your happy with it and the fish are then that’s all that matters

  3. SmalltownfishfriendWell Known MemberMember

    No I don't think an under substrate filter is nessasary!! I would get a filter that is rated a bit higher than you need.. one for a 70 or 80 gallon tank! You should be fine with that!! I don't think many people like under gravel filters!!

  4. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    Ok thanks, and is it true that more filtration is better. Or if not just do what you say 70 or 80? I was thinking about 2- 35 gpm or 2 - 40 gpm canister fluvul? Or ieheim? I know I didn’t spell correctly.

    And what about keeping the existing filters. And just adding 1 - 35 canister? Thanks

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  5. 2211NighthawkFishlore VIPMember

    For canister filters you want around 6-8 times the turnover depending on how heavily stocked your tank is. So for a 55g you’ll want about 350-450gph. If it’s a hang on the back filter then 8-10x turn over.
  6. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    I used under gravel filters since the 70's. A few years ago I started to use both UG and power heads and HOB biowheels.

    I am now fully switched to sand (pool filter sand or Black Diamond Blasting Sand depending on the aquarium) With canisters and HOB on each aquarium. Marineland only. Technology marches on.

    I am in the camp of 10x the water column in filter flow per hour. So you should have 550 GPH or better.
  7. ParrotCichlidWell Known MemberMember

    Within reason more filtration is always better.

    Forget the under gravel filter.

    If you want really effective filtration get a large canister filter for at least 8 times the tank volume per hour and get a large sponge filter.

    With all the canisters on the market people often forget the importance of good old sponge filters. They are very effective. If you ever had the set up a hospital tank the sponge filter can easily be removed and its instantly cycled ect.
  8. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    Thanks so much. I bought a 55 gallon. But I plan on buying a canister to assist the store bought. Just an experiment to see what happens. But plan on adding 12 Zebra danios along with my existing 2 first. Then adding 6 tiger barbs along with my 1. From what I’m reading. Tiger barbs can be aggressive to Zebra’s. So if there are twice the Zebra then less aggressive barbs. Then I will let the tank be. Maybe after a while I’ll add plants. But think 21 fish is plenty. I plan on adding my two Zebra to s fish in cycle. And using their 10 gallon as a established QT. After a month adding to tank. And repeating 3-4 at a time. Until I have my quota. Then doing the same with barbs. Adding my one barb to tank. And using that tank and other tank established for Qt 3 in each tank. Whatcha think?

    Is the sponge filter something I use in the filter that comes with set up? I will also look it up thanks

    Ahhhhh yyeesssss I see now. Lol. I will use a sponge filter or two in with the in tank filters. That should do the trick. Thank you so much for your knowledge. I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  9. pugletfanWell Known MemberMember

    When you set up your new tank, and you are ready to move your fish, you can switch their filter over to the big tank and move the fish at the same time. This should give you an instant cycle, because you are moving the fish with their beneficial bacteria (which lives on the filter media of an established cycled tank). Or you can move their filter media to one of your new filters to accomplish the same thing.

    Jeff, @Thunder_o_b has experience with Marineland canister filters and can give you more information and recommendations about what model of filter he prefers.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  10. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    Ok, but I have Zebra danios in one tank. Ten gallon. And barb in the other. So I can do this with danios. Two. But then what to do with barbs? Just put in cycled danios tank? I would have to

    But awesome that’s it will be cycled. When I transferred them from a 1.5 gallon. I poured half the aquarium water in with them. This will be exciting yeah

    I think I answered my own questions. I will keep danios ten gallon cycled. And use this one exclusively for QT. That way I just have the one barb to transfer last. Excellent

    Thanks, I think I’m going with store bought kit filters with two sponge filters. Should be fun.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  11. pugletfanWell Known MemberMember

    So right now you have a 10 gallon tank with two danios and another 10 gallon tank with one barb, right? I thought you wanted to move the two danios to the new 55 first. So you could move the danios and also run their filter on the 55 to cycle the 55. Does that make sense? Then build up your numbers of danios.
  12. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Sunhawk's 55 gallon is setup with a Marineland Magniflow 360  
    and a Marineland 200 bio wheel HOB  

    We have been using Marineland Canisters and HOB filters for many, many years and will use nothing else. With Bio wheels remember to put a drop of silicone lubricant on the pins.

    Right now we are running 3 Magnum 350's, 3 Magniflow's, 2 Emperor 400's, and 4 Penguins.

    The Magniflow 360 is a brilliant canister. Chewy had them for $135.00 a while back and PetSmart had them on a 6 day sale for $99.00 I bought the only two they had and wanted more but they were out and the sale ended the next day.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  13. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    Yes, that sounds great. I realized after my questions. Then do new barbs. And last the one barb.

    Thank you. I am going to eventually switch to canister. But for the start. Jus as comes from store with two sponge filters. Baby steps. And I will look for sales.

    Does anyone know about cheap substrate? Can I use something from the landscaping company?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  14. CraniumRexWell Known MemberMember

    You are absolutely on the right track, but I think tigers can be aggressive to just about anything when there aren't enough of them. I believe keeping them from that nippy behaviour has more to do with 6+ (preferably 12) barbs, not in having more zebras than barbs. With a shoal of 12 or more tigers, you will probably see them snark amongst themselves to establish the pecking order, and leave the rest of your fish alone.

    Planning a big tank is so much fun - enjoy!
  15. pugletfanWell Known MemberMember

    Do you want gravel or sand? Pool filter sand or Black Diamond Blasting Sand (bdbs) is cheap.
  16. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    Will either interfere with the two sponge filters?

    Ok, yes, I will stock 12 and 12 then. Perfect
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  17. CraniumRexWell Known MemberMember

    Well you may not have to and likely will add a few at a time anyway so as not to overwhelm your beneficial bacteria.

    I like the "new barbs in, then the existing one barb" strategy you have mentioned, and I think you could still do that and see how they fare with the 6 and go from there. Just know that often adding more can help with aggression issues.

    If there is anything fishkeeping has taught me, it's patience and observation are among the best tools for success.
  18. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Black Diamond Blasting Sand in the med-coarse grit is great ($8.00 for 50 lb. at Tractor Supply Co.). It does not dust up at all. I have a finer grit in the 37 gal guppy aquarium and it does not dust up. With all the filtration I have the last thing I need is impeller damage from sand. I also use pool filter sand from ACE hardware ($12.00 for 50 lb). After a good rinsing it is also fine.

    1. The 44. 700 GPH filtration. Black Diamond Blasting Sand.

    2. 37 guppy aquarium with the finer grit. 7oo GPH filtration.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  19. pugletfanWell Known MemberMember

    No, you can run sponge filters with sand.
  20. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    oh yes, I plan on adding my two danios. And then buying 3 more glo danions of course. And putting them in the 10 gallon for a month to watch (QT). Then add them and do over. All the while using my api fresh water test kit to monitor the water. And then doing the same with the glo barbs. But since these are for my kids. I like the idea of having 12 of each. They are 13 months apart and are very competitive. My oldest is my daughter and then my son. So equal works perfectly. And I don't have to have bottom suckers shrimp etc. I like it simple. Less crowding. and I am looking now for blue LED lights for my kit hood. As the kit hood lights are only white. But yes, you have to have a lot of patience for this hobby. And educate educate educate yourself.

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