Marineland Penguin Pro 125 fit issue

Fish20G

Hi, everyone. I currently have a Marineland Penguin 150 in my 20 gallon (tall not wide) freshwater tank. It's great (I think so anyway). Right or wrong I'm a fan of the biowheel. I think this goes back to my very first tank when I was a kid that had an under gravel filter. To me, the biowheel was a huge amazing innovation from that. Anyway, I was thinking of switching to the Penguin Pro 125 since it has a flow control on it. Why? The current seems a little strong and even if it's not, I just like the idea of being able to adjust. I maybe want to add some neon tetras (or similar) to my current tank of 4 serpae tetras (had 5...replacing one soon) but I think both prefer a little less current. Although maybe adding a Cory Catfish of some sort too... and I think my PH is too high for the neons at about 7.6-7.8 so it may be a non-starter, but anyway I digress.

My question on the filter is that it seems to be too tall:
  • My tank is about 16.75 inches tall. Minus 2 inches of gravel leaves 14.75 inches from top lip of the tank to gravel bed.
  • From the spot where the filter rest on the tank lip to the bottom of the impeller/motor intake assembly is 4.5 inches.
  • Subtract that from the 14.75 inches I have to work with and I'm left with 10.25 inches to go before we hit gravel.
  • Next is the mid-level strainer at 3 inches. Now down to 7.25 inches to gravel.
  • Next there are two tubes...regular and extension..both 5 inches. One fits inside the other to make it extendable. I just use one. That leaves me with 2.25 inches to gravel.
  • The strainer is 2 inches. Once that is on, I'm at 0.25 inches to gravel. My understanding is that I should be at 2-3 inches away so this is way too close.
The obvious answer is to leave out the mid-level strainer. I like the mid-level strainer...but let's assume I could live without it. Why would it be designed this way?

I called Marineland. They said I should exchange it and it shouldn't be like that. I went back to PetSmart and opened two others on the shelf to inspect and they were set up the exact same way.

Has anyone else run into this, or have any ideas?

Thanks!
 

mattgirl

If your substrate was sand having the uptake tube that close would be a problem. It would pull sand into the filter and ruin the impeller. Since you have gravel I see no problem having it that close to the bottom. (as long as the filter isn't strong enough to pull up gravel) As long as the filter is working well I see no problem with this setup. We want to pull water from the bottom of the tank.
 

Fish20G

OK thanks. I may go aead and install it then. Still, I'm not sure why it would be designed like this. Thank you for the reply!
 

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