What’s Better For A 125g

  • #1
I'm planning on getting a 125G aquarium, I’ve heard canister filters are better but I’m not ready for the extra maintenance included or the price for that matter, so I’ve been researching the best HOB filter and I’ve come to the conclusion that the aqua clear HOB is the best one you could get. My main question:
Should I get 2 aqua clear 70s?
Should I get 1 aqua clear 110?

I’m also open to suggestions on any other filtration. I plan on keeping 3 large cichlids.
Jocelyn Adelman
  • #2
I have a canister plus 2 ac 110 on a 75... (overfiltered)

I would recommend 2 ac 110 at minimum, 70 is too small for a 125 (I use it on a 40b)
  • #3
I agree with above, I would get 2 110s or at least one 110 with a power head for additional flow.
  • #4
The canister filter is the way to go on a large tank. The initial cost may be a bit high, but it will pay for itself in the long run. Besides the maintenance is no different between an HOB or a canister, only on a bit larger scale.

If you search enough on ebay you can snag a really good deal on a canister filter. I scored an Eheim Pro 4+ 250 for $46. I was expecting a smelly, dirty piece of junk, but I was surprised it was actually brand new and unused. Just needed a little repair: Got My Eheim! I also purchased a Sunsun 304B brand new for $77 again from ebay. I have an AC 110 on my 45gal, an AC 50 on my 40 gal. Tho great HOB filters, I dislike the water splashing noise they make.

For the price you're going to pay for 2 AC 110 filters, you can get one really nice (and larger) canister filter.
  • #5
Please allow me to add my perspective.

I recently got a 60-gallon setup - it's very nice in my humblest opinion, and it's the first aquarium I have had in about 20 years. I had many aquariums in my youth. I had started with various filters and brands, had a local shop that always recommended Aqua Clear Fluvals etc. Never worked for me. Finally an amazing local pet shop recommended that I try the Penguin Bio-Wheel filters by Marineland, and they worked amazing for me. I had nothing but total success with them. So when I was ordering my 60-gallon setup, I decided I would go with Penguin Bio-Wheels again. Even though the aquarium came with a stand that has purpose-built cabinet-doors for holding decent-sized canister-filters, I was pretty much never even considering one.

I wound up buying both a 350B and a 200B model of filters and they work great. They share the same cartridge, they work well and I have excellent water quality numbers. They're "broken-in" nicely and

But now I wish I bought a canister filter and am seriously considering one. It's more expensive ... $136 for a Marineland model comparable to the size and quality of filters I have now... so I'd have to spend that money, of course buy different stuff for it, and of most negative (other than cost) set up and run it WITH the other 2 filters running for probably several months while it builds up it's own biological filtration colony etc.

The canister filters are apparently much, much quieter than any HOB filter and my tank is in my bedroom. The thing is, I am the type of person who likes silence for sleeping. Even if I turn the air-pump off at night, the filters make some noise vibrating and moving the water etc. Canister filter would negate this. Plus of course it provides great filtration.

If I were you, particularly with that great size of aquarium (I wish I had bought a bigger tank. I always wanted something like 60 gallons, I finally got one, and it seems small lol. ) I would just bite the proverbial bullet and get a canister filter.

In the online firearms community, people always recommend you buy the absolute best (ie, most expensive) optic you can for a rifle. The common phrase used is "buy once, cry once" ... and it's true. I recommend you Buy Once Cry Once for your filtration, especially for that big bad boy tank.

best of luck
max h
  • #6
I you look around eBay you can normally find the Marineland Magnaflow 360's brand new for $70-80, I have bought 2 in the last 2 months one was $73 and the other $78 new and free delivery. One alone won't support a 125, but 2 will. If one does go down the second unit will by you more time then for parts etc.. then most of the HOB's will.
  • #7
Canisters are good but I've never personally used them. Going the HOB right, two Aquackear 110's, one on each side would work nicely.

There is an argument to going HOB over canister. HOBs are way easier to maintain, especially these Aquaclear. I read some many complaints about how much of a chore a cannisters filter is and that means you'll be less inclined to service it when you should. With the Aquaclear, you just life the top off, rinse the bags in tank water, and then squeeze out the sponge in a bucket of tank water.

There is also a slightly greater chance of getting aflood with a canister. I've heard stories of people not sealing it properly after maintenance. Also the seals will eventually wear out over the years so you have to be on top.about replacing them. If you make sure to level the Aquaclear with the knob on it, ithere is no chance for a flood.

I'm not saying there's a big chance for a flood with a canister: I'm saying it not zero and it has happened to people.

If it were me, I'd get the two Aquaclear 110's. I have one on my 125g tank. I'd have two but I have two older HOB filters that are still working 20 years after I got them so I'm using those .
  • #8
The price will end up being the same whether you go canister or hob.

Everyone just went no way lol !!!

Some people will put on an over the top canister or some will do two to three HOB. Or start out with one HOB and buying more over time. The cost will get close to each other.

I run both. I have a Fluval FX6, I run at about 75 percent. I have a Seachem Tidal 110 HOB, on a 125, I run the hob at about 25 percent and use it 100 percent as a surface skimmer.

My point is you likely won’t just buy one HOB. maybe you will, but you will eventually buy another one, and maybe a third. Eventually you may spend the same as a canister. And if you buy a canister, you’ll eventually buy one hob. Cost is going to be about the same either way you go. It going to be about what you like to do in the hobby and you will make it work for you.

You were looking for an alternative to a aqua clear. I like aqua clear a lot. Recently I went with a Seachem. I’m not sure I will go back to a aquaclear. They are a little noisier. Both good choices. You can customize both filters to run a set up the way you want to. My advice on an hob is don’t buy one that uses proprietary filter media. Not going to name any, don’t want to get anyone going.

If you are thing aqua-clear get the 110. You will by one more 110 for sure later one guaranteed, and a third one over time. If you buy the 70 or even 2 of the 70s eventually you won’t feel like you have enough filtration.

Best of luck
  • #9
This is likely a bit late to reply, but I figure I'll give you my opinion. I currently have 4 tanks - all with pretty different filtration. 125G running on a sump, 75G running on an FX6, 40G with a Marineland HOB, and something like a 40G corner running on a Sunsun. Out of all the filters I have been HIGHLY satisfied with the capabilities of the Sunsun in comparison to the price, and if the 125G wasn't drilled as a reef setup previously I would almost certainly throw one of the larger Sunsun's on it and possibly another one depending on how heavily stocked the aquarium is.
max h
  • #10
Nothing wrong with the Sunsun filters, there's plenty of people happy with their performance.
Dawn Michele
  • #11
Hi. I have a 125 gallon Oscar tank. Big Boy is about 12 inches. I use 2 Marineland Penguin 350 filters one on each side. They do an incredible job. You can get 2 of them on Amazon for about $50.
  • #12
Nothing wrong with the Sunsun filters, there's plenty of people happy with their performance.

Yup. I'm happy with my 304B. Had to swap the impeller as it made noise. It's not perfect, but it's a great filter for the cost.
  • #13
I run 2 marineland emperor 400 hobs and a Cascade 1000 canister on my 125 community.
max h
  • #14
My 150 is running a pair of FX4's, the 100 has a pair of Magniflow 360's as well as the 55 gallon.

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