Picking the right filter?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by annaleigh, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. annaleighValued MemberMember

    Hey. So I am wanting to add a second filter to my tank. I have the Aqueon 36gal kit that came with QuietFlow 30. I'm still very new to the hobby, so I dont actually know if this is a good filter? What I do know though is that it isn't enough filtration. So-

    1.should I get a second Quietflow? why/why not?
    2. what are your favorite filters?
    3. how should i go about if instead of adding a second filter, i introduce a brand new one with double the capacity and not risk losing BB establishment from the old filter?

    Ive had my tank set up for a month, fish-in and am still cycling (no nitrates yet!!! ugh)

    Also- are gravel vacuums necessary if I have "sand" substrate? Its called sand but its not beach sand, looks more like a smaller gravel
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  2. tokiodreamy

    tokiodreamyWell Known MemberMember


    Okay so you'll need to know what the gph is on your current filter. There's a thread here somewhere that lists a lot of it.
    You'll want 8-10x your tank volume, so with a 36g you'll want 288-360gph.
    I have 2 HOB filters on my 29g. I have a Topfin 30 (old version they dont make anymore. Dont get the new one) an API Superclean 50.
    On my 20g I have a Second Nature Whisper 1 (which they don't make anymore).
    On my 10g QT I have a Fluval Aquaclear 30.

    API superclean 50
    - two intakes. One normal and one at the waterline
    - comes with biomedia rack and filter cartridge
    - powerful filtration
    - adjustable counter to set a date when to clean your filter next
    -knob to adjust flow

    -filter media cartridge is sealed so unless you cut it, you cannot replace the carbon without throwing it out. I just got another cartridge that can be opened and replaced it.
    - not sure if the top intake does anything extra
    - when doing waterchanges you need to unplug it sincethe top intake is at the waterline

    Fluval Aquaclear 30
    - comes with sponge, carbon, and biomedia
    - filters from the bottom and not the back (more controlled)
    - knob to adjust flow
    - sponge is large

    - sponge is large
    - only has room for 3 types of media, so you'll need to cut the sponge in half in order to add any extra fine sponges or floss
    - you have to take out the carbon and biomedia to reach the sponge for cleaning

    My next filter is probably going to be a quiet flow. I'm interested in trying it out but I heard they're loud lol so let me know your experience with it!

    You can run both filters at the same time for 2-3 weeks then take out the old one.
    You can put the media in the old one into the new one (if it will fit). But watch out for a mini cycle.

    You can use a gravel vacuum on sand. But instead of going into the sand (like you would with gravel) you hover over it and do a circling motion to kick up all the bad stuff then suck it up. If I accidentally hit the sand 90% of it usually doesn't go through the vacuum.
  3. Dragones5150918

    Dragones5150918Well Known MemberMember

    What I know us you need a bigger filtering system. You need at least 10X the GPH, and your quiet flow does 200 GPH only.

    You can do 2 HOB filters. The plus side is, if one dies, at least the second one is there until you can get a new one.

    My personal preference on filters, I have 2. Marineland and AquaClear. Marineland because you can customize it to a point, and comes with a biowheel. In my media box, I like running Matrix. AquaClear is also customizable. I like to set up things the way I want.

    How to keep your cycle, just cut off the old floss and put it against the back of the new cartridge. In my Marineland, I put the old floss in the media box with my Matrix.

    Yes vacuuming is necessary. Old food and fish waste sits on top, and does need to be removed. If it is more like rocky sand, even more so, because food can slip into cracks and crevices. If not removed, it will start to rot and mess up your tank peramaters.

    Also, about your cycle. You have 0 ammonia? You have nitrates? Did you use a BB seed like stability or TSS +?

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  4. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    IMO, I would get an AquaClear 50 which would give you a total of 400 gph. You can never have too much filtration. The best thing about AquaClears are the large customizable media basket that you can switch out for different media and each stage of filtration is separate so it's easy to clean or replace.

  5. OP

    annaleighValued MemberMember

    tokiodreamy thanks for the details! super helpful. and i find it to be relatively quiet? when i have the water filled higher, the splash is almost silent. but i prefer to keep the water 2-4 inches from the brim to get surface agitation and a bit more oxygen in the water.

    Dragones515918 thanks for the reply! my quietflow only has a carbon filter in there - is that what you mean by floss? and sorry! i meant no nitrates. past few tests show no nitrites, the occasional .25 of ammonia and no nitrates :( im starting to think i have a faulty bottle of nitrate solution (using API master) and no TSS was used. its not sold locally

    el337 thanks! aquaclear seems like the best bet. that's the Fluval one, right?
  6. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Yes, I think Fluval bought Hagen. They also make the C series which has a similar set up though I don't have experience with those. I have the regular AquaClears (50 and 70).
  7. hampalong

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    Fluval isn't a company, it's a range of equipment manufactured by Hagen, always has been. :)
  8. dcutl002

    dcutl002Well Known MemberMember

    I hear the Fluval is a tad better than the AquaClear. Maybe a higher model? Anyway, they are both good.
  9. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Huh. I thought I read that from several members here. Thanks.
  10. tokiodreamy

    tokiodreamyWell Known MemberMember

    Filter floss is the finest media you can really get. Basically you want:
    Course sponge
    Medium/fine sponge
    Carbon (or other chemical filtration)
    Bio media

    My super clean has the regular carbon cartridge (like i described earlier) then a medium/fine sponge (cut it myself from API canister media) then biomedia.

    In my aquaclear I only have a course sponge and a medium sponge. Its for QT only. But I'm looking to see what kind of floss options are available for that filter. Only really bad thing I hate about the filter so far is that it's not self priming. So if the power goes out when you're not home and it turns back on you have the chance to kill your motor.
  11. Dragones5150918

    Dragones5150918Well Known MemberMember

    The filter looks kind of like this right?


    The white stuff on the out side is the floss, which you can cut off if you need to. Just throw out the plastic and the carbon when you cut it off, and place the floss behind the new filter cartridge. That way your cycle transfers over. If you get the AquaClear, just place the floss on top of the sponge.

    As for the nitrate testing. Do you beat up the second bottle for 30 seconds at least? I pound mine on my hand the entire time. Some people will pound it on a desk. That second bottle can be the problem if not mixed well. So the next time you use it, beat up that bottle. Then make sure you shake that test tube for the full minute like you are trying to get a soda to explode.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  12. OP

    annaleighValued MemberMember

    el337 if i go and get the fluval aqua clear 50, and have both filters running, how long should i wait before i ditch the aqueon to avoid ruining my cycle? or could i get a 20 or 30 in the aqua clear and have that running with the aqueon 30 permanently? all that is used inside the aqueon is a carbon insert and honestly, even being a newbie, i think thats outrageously insufficient filtration?
  13. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    I'd either get the AC70 and run it alongside the Aqueon 30 for a month before you ditch it OR get an AC50 and run it alongside the Aqueon 30 permanently.

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