Placement of pump/filter in 20L

Mcostas

I have a ten gallon planted aquarium alreay and I'm setting up a 20 long. I've decided on easy plants (like I have) for the most part. I'm trying to find fine gravel (not sand) and am going to check out the stuff at lowes/home depot to see if its something I want. I have ecocomplete and some other similar black gravel for my 10 but it seems kind of sharp.

I'm satisfied with the top fin filter/pump on my ten but I'm thinking of the fluval aqua clear 30 for the 20 for filtering flexibility.

My big question is what would be the best placement for a 20L aquarium? My filter is in one corner and the heater in the other on my 10 but that seems inefficint for a long. I thought about getting 2 smaller ones for each end but I think I will be happier with the larger and more flexible fluval. I am also planning on a small sponge filter.

Could I put the pump in the middle? I'm planning on shrimp and neons (or small rasboras if i can find them) and shrimp, fluval sells covers for their intakes which factored into my choice.

The reason for the sponge and fluval is that I can keep the sponge in there when I have to change the media in the big filter so as not to disrupt the equalibrium. My small top fin doesn't have room for those ceramic cylinder biomedia but with the fluval I get the impression I can put those in, then save them after I change the filter to recolonize the new filter media.
 

kellerjake2004

For a 20 long I think that putting the HOB filter on one of the short sides of the tank will be most efficient
 
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Mcostas

But doesn't that make it far away from most of the water area? The furthest part of the aquarium will get no filtration at all unless I agitate the tank somehow.
 
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kellerjake2004

the water moving across the top of the tank will push the water at the other side of the tank towards the filter intake. It's not really a big deal, as long as the filter is running your tank is still benefiting.
 
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ruud

I can't imagine an aquaclear 30 to be sufficient for a 20 long. If the water level is not at par with the outlet of the filter, the aquaclear acts as a small waterfall, with very modest water movement and zero surface agitation at the other end of your tank.

That doesn't necessarily have to be a problem. Some people do water changes twice a week...

But it also makes your heating less efficient.

For me Hobs are good solutions if the water level is at par.

In the past I even placed a heater inside the Hob (and taking out the media), which offered very efficient heating.

Anyways, if not at par, I would always opt for a small canister with spraybar. You can simply place small canisters next to your tank.
 
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Mcostas

I haven't even considered those.

This is why I'm taking my time setting it up.
The fluval I'm looking at is a hob, it's supposed to be good for up to 30 gallons.
 
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ruud

I never ever look at those marketing claims. I look for 2 things; 1) the wattage of the filter, which gives an idea of the potential strength of the current; 2) the manner in which water is or can be released in the tank.

The first one is fairly unrelated to type of filter. The smallest canister filter I use is the Eden 501 which only has 5 wattage. It simply stands next to my tank behind a plant. The size of this canister is only slightly bigger than an Aquaclear 30, that actually runs on 6 wattage.

The second is where I find Hobs to be limited and makes me prefer canisters. The water flow is very narrow and directed downwards, unless the water level is at par with the filter, then the water surface is nicely agitated and direction is much more horizontal.

So only when the water level is at par, I continue to use Hobs till this day, as the only thing I don't fancy with canisters are the tubes. But if not at par, I use canisters. If heating is an issue, there are canisters with integrated heaters. Works great and avoids having an ugly heater inside your tank.

But as I mentioned, you can place small heaters inside a Hob as well without the media. Works very efficiently as well, as I can claim by experience. Your Hob will not melt... I used to have an Eheim preset heater with plastic covering inside a Hob and worked great.

For instance, you could use 2 Hobs, one with media, and another with a heater on the other side of the tank.

But again, if not at par, I would go with a small canister. I also run a small Eden 511 with integrated heater. The size I would say is equivalent with an Aquaclear 70. These canisters also run more quiet than Aquaclear.

The Eden canisters are similar to the Oase smartfilters, exactly the same quality, but cheaper. You pay extra for the Oase brand...
 
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mattgirl

I can't say it is the best way but I center my HOB filters on the back of my tanks. For my 55 gallon I have 2 HOB's and 2 sponge filters. The sponge filters are in each of the back corners hidden behind plants. The HOB's are about 1 foot away from each end of the tank.

I keep the tank filled up enough to prevent the water fall sound if the water level is too low. In other words the out flow is under water. I don't get a lot of surface movement this way but the sponge filters take care of that.

I've added extensions to both HOB filters so water is being pulled from the bottom of the tank. I keep it about 3 inches above the substrate in the tanks with sand. It is closer to the bottom in the tank with gravel. Sand in a filter tends to chew up the impeller fairly fast so we want to prevent that from happening.
 
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