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Is There A Such Thing As Too Much Filtration? Question

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by ThatMikeHill, May 20, 2019.

  1. ThatMikeHill New Member Member

    Hello friends,

    I wanted to know if there is a such thing as too much filtration?
    My thoughts on this are no—I mean better water quality is…better right?

    Reason for this is because I was able to purchase two Aquaclear filters from a guy on LetGo and there are slots for two filter on my tank ( these are already installed as I’m cycling the tank right now.)
    Also, I’m installing my sponge filter into my tank tomorrow because it’s been sitting inside my local fish store’s sump for a few day and that’s going to really help kickstart my bacteria cycle.

    Tank: 55 Gallon going to be filled with Clown Loaches. (Upgrading to 150 gallon next year or so when they need a bigger tank.)
    Filters: Two AquaClear 70 and one Bacto- Surge sponge filter.


  2. nikm128 Fishlore VIP Member

    You can't over filter a tank, just have too much flow and start blowing your fish around. Which Aquaclear models did you get?

  3. Crispii Well Known Member Member

    The more filtration you have, the better.

  4. ThatMikeHill New Member Member

    I have the AquaClear 70

    I have heard that Clown Loaches like a lot of water flow so I guess that’s good too.
  5. RSababady Well Known Member Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    The bacteria grow in the filter media and not the water - If I were you, I would put the sponge from your LFS in with the media of your filters. By setting up the sponge filter in your tank, you will cycle your tank to the ability of the sponge filter, but it will still take a while for the other two filters to cycle.

    There is actually a problem of over filtration. The thumb rules are 3 times the flow rate for a canister filter and 5-6 times for a HOB i.e. if you have a 50g tank, then you need a HOB that has a throughput of 300g/h or a canister filter with a throughput of 150g/h.

    The thing about filters is that they perform two-three functions:
    1. mechanical filter to remove particles and debris from the water - there is no limit on how much mechanical filtration you have unless of course the current in the tank produced by the water flow in the filters produces a tidal wave in the tank and your fish just cannot cope with it.
    2. chemical filtration - if you use something like active carbon to extract chemicals out of the water
    3. bilogical filtration - that is having bacteria that will oxidise ammonia into nitrites and another set of bacteria that will change nitrites to nitrates. If you overdo it, then you get to the point where you need very little bacteria in the filter to cope with the amount of ammonia & nitrites because the flow is so high. The filter then becomes fairly unstable as it cannot cope with sudden changes in the amount of ammonia it has to deal with.
    The other thing to consider is the water flow (current) in the tank. If you have too much filtration, then the water moves fast and not all fish like that environment.

    And finally, keep in mind that the specs that filter manufacturers give on their filters can be misleading. Some give the water flow for an empty (no loaded) filter i.e. the pump through put while others give the true throughput with loaded media...... and of course when your filter is completely clean it will have a certain flow rate and once it starts getting bogged up, the flow rate will flow. In a real-life situation I have measure my flow to drop by 50% and then I need to change the floss and rinse the sponge media.

    I hope you find this useful :)
  6. nikm128 Fishlore VIP Member

    They do like their flow, are you aware that they play dead sometimes?
  7. Cichlidude Well Known Member Member

    That is true.
  8. jmaldo Well Known Member Member

    I started with Aquaclears. Good Choice. Agree, it will be fine. I also keep a sponge filter in the tanks.
    Good Luck!
  9. ThatMikeHill New Member Member

    I have heard and saw some pics
  10. nikm128 Fishlore VIP Member

    Cool, just making sure:)
  11. NavyChief20 Well Known Member Member

    With those two HOBs you will be at 600gph turnover rate. That should work pretty well.

    The sponge from your LFS you can put in the tank or in the filter for now as it wont matter with regard to bacteria colony start. As long as it is in the water and you have a good circulation ratio then the colony will jumpstart and your media will be a grow bed. Saying you have to put it in the filter is just not true, for starting tanks i frequently just seed a sump with a bag of lavarock and presto chango its cycled almost immediately.

    As far as rules of thumb go with water turn over, those are as about as scientific as the "inch per gallon" "rule".

    Flowrate is important yes but bioload capability is more important an circulation ratio is more important. If you increase the turbulence within the tank then the filtration capability will be much more enhanced than worrying about 300gph or 700gph or 10x or 3x. If you use a sump then installing a venturi chamber in the sump will enhance this even more.