Upgrading Powerhead In Filter - Will It Work?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by tony8028, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. tony8028

    tony8028New MemberMember

    I purchased an aqua one Aquatica 240 which has a built in canister style filter system which uses an Aqua One 1300 powerhead to suck the water through the filter media....although I don't think it does a very good job. The suction through the inlets is quite weak and I can see particles floating by that don't seem to be in any danger of being sucked in.

    My question is, if i upgrade to a more powerful head, will it empty the canister too quickly leaving pump exposed or will the intakes automatically draw in more water to accommodate.

    See attached diagram of the filter set up taken from the manual.

    many thanks

    Attached Files:

  2. fa4960

    fa4960Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore.

    Don't know your exact setup but I have something similar on my 150 L / 40 Gal tank. It is build on overflow, not actually the pump "sucking" water into the system. There will be a limit to what the overflow and the filter media can accommodate in terms of throughput. Your powerhead seems to be rated for 1100 L/H which is quite okay for a 240 liter tank system. I can't say if your overflow can handle a 2000 L/H powerhead but these are typically quite cheap to acquire so if cost allows you could try it out? If it doesn't work with your overflow at least you have a nice powerhead to speed up your WC....
  3. OP

    tony8028New MemberMember

    Yes you are spot on....it is an overflow. Considering I am going to be setting this up as a Discus tank, I am thinking that I will need a canister filter to support this 'overflow' system given it seems pretty lackluster.

    And yes good point re trying out a new one, although the Aqua One powerheads can be on the expensive side - here in Australia where everything is expensive!
  4. fa4960

    fa4960Well Known MemberMember

    I don't think you will necessarily need a canister filter but I am all for as much filtration as possible so it is always an option.....

    For powerhead you can look at any powerhead brand, so have a look at some of the Chinese ones also. Here in Thailand we have several CN brands to choose from and most of them are very affordable. I think they will be down under also.

    Secondly, since you want to set up a discus tank you might want to join our "discus gang" on fishlore? If so please look out for threads by @coralbandit @jmaldo @86 ssinit @Thedudeiam94 @nikm128 Please start your own discus thread for the rest of us to follow. It is nothing formal, just a bunch of guys having discus and helping each other out as best as possible.
  5. 86 ssinit

    86 ssinitWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome Tony. A cheap powerhead on eBay below. It comes with the sponges so if it doesn’t work in your filter it is a filter:). E5A3DB60-96D5-45BD-9508-221E3F840688.png
  6. JayH

    JayHValued MemberMember

    Another way to increase the pull of the inlets would be to cover some of them. As long as you don't starve the pump, the remaining open ones will pull faster and create more of a directed current. I'd start by covering the mid-water inlets.

    From just glancing at the diagram the thing that jumped out to me is what seems wasted space in the heater chamber and the pump chamber. At a minimum I'd move the heater to the pump chamber and dump more bio media in the heater chamber. Alternatively, rig a small platform above the pump, put a thin layer of fine foam on top and then load it up with bio media. The foam is just to stop any grit from the bio media getting to the pump. Put the bio media in bags and it will be easy to remove when you need to service the pump. With the larger fish you plan on putting in this tank, I think you can make use of all the filter media you can cram in there.

    If you cut it carefully you could probably get some filter foam in that triangular weir that pulls water from mid and bottom. Even if you can only fit a couple inches worth in the top, the water would still have to flow through it so it would help.
  7. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    Yea you will get more surface draw by blocking the top 2drain slots in column part ..
    Leave bottom open so water always has easy path to pump but that should increase your surface draw .
    Welcome to FL..
    Discus huh ?
    What's your fish keeping history ???
  8. aussieJJDude

    aussieJJDudeWell Known MemberMember

    Powerheads aren't that expensive, just got to shop around a little bit! ;)

    Ebay is definitely a good source, but look at techden, aquarium online, the aquarium shop and aquaholics. They all have a pretty good range of stuff, and can be useful in finding something for your budget/tastes.

    I'd avoid putting the heater in the filter/pump chamber. It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, since any evaporation will lead to a decrease in water level in the pump chamber. The heater is better off where it is, and sticking something like bioballs or an open/porous sponge (that's not touching the heater) for added filter efficiency.

    But I do agree with the side inlet, blocking the top two screens will greatly increase surface pull to the main chamber, but also reduce waste settling on the substrate and the far right empty chamber since the bottom slot is open.

    If you want to look up for filter design, its commonly called an internal sump. Googling that may show similar setups that you could use as inspiration to modify your own to suit your tastes.
  9. JayH

    JayHValued MemberMember

    Good point about the heater. It's hard to judge size properly from the drawing. It looks like maybe you could subdivide the heater chamber to keep media from touching the heater and still get a fair amount in the rest of the chamber. Just have to be sure to leave a gap at the bottom for the water to get to the heater. Maybe just cram a thin length of sponge in as a separator.
  10. fa4960

    fa4960Well Known MemberMember

    Yes, absolutely do not put the heater in the pump chamber. I have similar setup on my 40 Gal and after a WC I make sure that the pump chamber is almost full. A week later when next WC comes around at least half the water has evaporated.

    How about putting the heater in that triangular chamber where water is initially let in if not coming from the overflow? In my case I don't need a heater and that chamber is too small in my setup to hold a heater, but it always holds a constant amount of water and it would secure a good flow over the heater if it is big enough?