Which filter for 20 gallon?

Kendle

I recently set up a new 20 gallon tank and it’s still cycling at the moment with an Aqueon 20. However, I realized ~2 weeks after running this filter that one with a larger capacity would be more helpful. Now I’m trying to decide between an Aqueon 30, Aquaclear 30, or Fluval C3 if I decide to get another. Which would you choose and why? I mapped out the prices and Fluval will be cheapest long term although Aqueon is the one I am most familiar with. Also how would I go about changing out the filter without disrupting the cycle? Would taking out cartridge and pad and putting it in the new filter help?
 

Pfrozen

I like the aqua clear because its easy to clean and it's easy to adjust the flow rate. The basket style also makes it easy to put whatever you want in there. I would go with a 40 though if you aren't running sponges. You can always turn it down if you want and better safe than sorry. The 30 will give 7.5x turnover per hour at max setting
 
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kallililly1973

I would run an AC 50 and a sponge filter. Also depends on your stocking plans.. for example our 20 long has 12 Cory’s, a LOT of guppies, 2 otto cats and an SAE and we run a tidal55 a dual sponge filter and a Fluval206 canister.
C771D88B-2B82-47F3-96E0-E64C3DEEAED5.jpeg
 
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Pfrozen

I would run an AC 50 and a sponge filter. Also depends on your stocking plans.. for example our 20 long has 12 Cory’s, a LOT of guppies, 2 otto cats and an SAE and we run a tidal55 a dual sponge filter and a Fluval206 canister.
C771D88B-2B82-47F3-96E0-E64C3DEEAED5.jpeg

Brb upping my filtration game LOL
 
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Twinklingtea

Not an expert (just a disclaimer) but I've been keeping goldfish for 2 years and I love my aqua clear- I only change out the carbon, and rinse the sponge with tank water weekly... it's low maintenance and the adjustable flow is great for my goldfish. I use a huge one- 70 gallon size for my 29 gallon tank- because goldfish are messy. I feel it does a better job and has way more filter media than the the aqueon. I also like that you can replace just one thing at a time to avoid disrupting your cycle- although tbh I've not replaced the sponge or the biomax since I got the filter over a year ago. I could be making a mistake there... again, not an expert. It's also customizable so you can add or remove ammonia reducers, carbon, and whatever else you may possibly need. It's also fairly quiet, if that matters to you
 
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ghostdawg

With my 20g long I got the Aquaclear 30, I probably should have gotten a 40. But I tore down my 10g tank and running the Top Fin 10g filter with AC30 for now.
 
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Twinklingtea

Oh! Also I changed my filter while doing my fishless cycle... I simply ran both the new and the old filter at the same time for about a week to give the new filter a chance to seed without removing the bacteria from the old filter.
 
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Cherryshrimp420

I used a canister filter for my 20 gal.

Im not really a fan of HOB filters.... too low filtering capacity....gets clogged easily...only provides flow in one corner of the tank....
 
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Twinklingtea

I used a canister filter for my 20 gal.

Im not really a fan of HOB filters.... too low filtering capacity....gets clogged easily...only provides flow in one corner of the tank....
All very true, but canisters require room under the tank, so it works well if you have a tank stand, not so much if you keep the tank on (a freaking solid) dresser like I do!

Just out of curiosity what cannister filter do you use? I'm going to have to get one when my goldies get bigger and I move them to a ~50 gallon.
 
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Cherryshrimp420

All very true, but canisters require room under the tank, so it works well if you have a tank stand, not so much if you keep the tank on (a freaking solid) dresser like I do!

Just out of curiosity what cannister filter do you use? I'm going to have to get one when my goldies get bigger and I move them to a ~50 gallon.

Haha yeah that's true. I use Eheim 2217, and my tanks on a dresser too so I just put the filter on the right side. It is probably not the prettiest lol
 
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Twinklingtea

Haha yeah that's true. I use Eheim 2217, and my tanks on a dresser too so I just put the filter on the right side. It is probably not the prettiest lol
Hey, whatever keeps our fishy friends healthy!
 
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AcornTheBetta

I recently set up a new 20 gallon tank and it’s still cycling at the moment with an Aqueon 20. However, I realized ~2 weeks after running this filter than one with a larger capacity would be more helpful. Now I’m trying to decide between an Aqueon 30, Aquaclear 30, or Fluval C3 if I decide to get another. Which would you choose and why? I mapped out the prices and Fluval will be cheapest long term although Aqueon is the one I am most familiar with. Also how would I go about changing out the filter without disrupting the cycle? Would taking out cartridge and pad and putting it in the new filter help?
How heavy would the stocking be? What fish will you keep? Personally, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Fluval canister filters and a 107 would be appropriate for this size tank.
 
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Bunkerchunk

I have an aqua clear 50 on my 20.
run it at the lowest setting with a sponge in the intake. No problems so far...
 
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Kendle

I would run an AC 50 and a sponge filter. Also depends on your stocking plans.. for example our 20 long has 12 Cory’s, a LOT of guppies, 2 otto cats and an SAE and we run a tidal55 a dual sponge filter and a Fluval206 canister.
C771D88B-2B82-47F3-96E0-E64C3DEEAED5.jpeg
I plan on: 6 cherry barbs, 6 panda corys, 1 honey gourami, and possibly some swordtails/mollies. Is cleaning the aquaclear time consuming? Also I’ve seen a lot of reviews saying it won’t start up on its own if the power goes out but will run dry, has that been true for you?

How heavy would the stocking be? What fish will you keep? Personally, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Fluval canister filters and a 107 would be appropriate for this size tank.
6 cherry barbs, 6 panda corys, 1 honey gourami, and possibly some mollies/swordtails. I don’t know how heavy you’d consider that. I prefer HOB filters over canister.

Not an expert (just a disclaimer) but I've been keeping goldfish for 2 years and I love my aqua clear- I only change out the carbon, and rinse the sponge with tank water weekly... it's low maintenance and the adjustable flow is great for my goldfish. I use a huge one- 70 gallon size for my 29 gallon tank- because goldfish are messy. I feel it does a better job and has way more filter media than the the aqueon. I also like that you can replace just one thing at a time to avoid disrupting your cycle- although tbh I've not replaced the sponge or the biomax since I got the filter over a year ago. I could be making a mistake there... again, not an expert. It's also customizable so you can add or remove ammonia reducers, carbon, and whatever else you may possibly need. It's also fairly quiet, if that matters to you
Thanks, I’ve heard conflicting reviews on the Aquaclear’s loudness. Some say it’s loud and others say it’s quiet. Noise is important to me because it’s in my bedroom.

With my 20g long I got the Aquaclear 30, I probably should have gotten a 40. But I tore down my 10g tank and running the Top Fin 10g filter with AC30 for now.
What stock did you have and how well did the 30 work?

I like the aqua clear because its easy to clean and it's easy to adjust the flow rate. The basket style also makes it easy to put whatever you want in there. I would go with a 40 though if you aren't running sponges. You can always turn it down if you want and better safe than sorry. The 30 will give 7.5x turnover per hour at max setting
How’s the maintenance? Do you clean it every 2 weeks as suggested? Is this time consuming?
 
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Mikedick77

Marineland Penguin 350 is my go to for 20 gallons. Cant beat 25 bucks or so on Amazon. They sell cheap refillable filter cartridges too, which is what i've been doing. You can even skip the carbon for these, which is useful if you ever have to medicate your tank. Dont keep the water too low, and you wont hear it that much.
 
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Prest12

Thanks, I’ve heard conflicting reviews on the Aquaclear’s loudness. Some say it’s loud and others say it’s quiet. Noise is important to me because it’s in my bedroom.
Aquaclears are very quiet. Sometimes the lid will rattle a little, but that can be solved by putting something heavy on top, or simply taking it off until it’s ready to behave.
 
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Plecolover4477

I would run an AC 50 and a sponge filter. Also depends on your stocking plans.. for example our 20 long has 12 Cory’s, a LOT of guppies, 2 otto cats and an SAE and we run a tidal55 a dual sponge filter and a Fluval206 canister.
C771D88B-2B82-47F3-96E0-E64C3DEEAED5.jpeg
I was thinking about that..i have a 20 long and I use a AC 50 only.I have a sponge filter still in the box but its only up to 10 gallons.I originally got to use for a QT set up.But I'm thinking about setting it up and dropping it in there.Now,that wouldn't be too much filtration would it???
 
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Cherryshrimp420

Having owned 7+ Aquaclears I can say that it is hit or miss with them. They can be extremely quiet and reliable, or they can be extremely noisy, overflow, leak, and ruin your tank. So far I think only 1 or 2 has remained quiet, the rest all eventually became noisy.
 
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Kendle

Having owned 7+ Aquaclears I can say that it is hit or miss with them. They can be extremely quiet and reliable, or they can be extremely noisy, overflow, leak, and ruin your tank. So far I think only 1 or 2 has remained quiet, the rest all eventually became noisy.
Now I’m scared haha, that’s why I’m so hesistant to switch from Aqueons because mine has served me well in my 10 gallon for a year. How has yours ruined a tank?
 
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Plecolover4477

I would run an AC 50 and a sponge filter. Also depends on your stocking plans.. for example our 20 long has 12 Cory’s, a LOT of guppies, 2 otto cats and an SAE and we run a tidal55 a dual sponge filter and a Fluval206 canister.
C771D88B-2B82-47F3-96E0-E64C3DEEAED5.jpeg
With the sponge filter running with the AC50 wouldnt that also be adequate aeration in the tank???
 
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kallililly1973

I was thinking about that..i have a 20 long and I use a AC 50 only.I have a sponge filter still in the box but its only up to 10 gallons.I originally got to use for a QT set up.But I'm thinking about setting it up and dropping it in there.Now,that wouldn't be too much filtration would it???
With the sponge filter running with the AC50 wouldnt that also be adequate aeration in the tank???
I would definitely add it to your tak for more filtration nd if you ever need to set up another tank once that sponge has been runnin in your tank for a few weeks and becomes established you can drop it into a new tank and it will essentially instantly cycle it.

We run AC filters on all our other tanks and none of them are noisy except when the water level is low. They are hit or miss as far as startup after a power outage but i would say as long as the tank is full it will usually start back up. And yes they are very easy to clean. All we run in ours are the block sponge some polyfill ( get a bag of the rolled up type from walmart for 7-8$ it'll last a long time ) in the middle and the ceramic media in the bag on top. Then for filter maint. you can just drop the sponge and ceramic in a bucket of tank water toss the polyfill and cut a few new squares. Just be sure to clean the impeller area good cause any excess buildup will usually make it tough to restart, but that is also simple with a small pipe cleaner or a q-tip.
 
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Plecolover4477

I would definitely add it to your tak for more filtration nd if you ever need to set up another tank once that sponge has been runnin in your tank for a few weeks and becomes established you can drop it into a new tank and it will essentially instantly cycle it.

We run AC filters on all our other tanks and none of them are noisy except when the water level is low. They are hit or miss as far as startup after a power outage but i would say as long as the tank is full it will usually start back up. And yes they are very easy to clean. All we run in ours are the block sponge some polyfill ( get a bag of the rolled up type from walmart for 7-8$ it'll last a long time ) in the middle and the ceramic media in the bag on top. Then for filter maint. you can just drop the sponge and ceramic in a bucket of tank water toss the polyfill and cut a few new squares. Just be sure to clean the impeller area good cause any excess buildup will usually make it tough to restart, but that is also simple with a small pipe cleaner or a q-tip.
ok sounds really good i will add the sponge, and btw you mentioned the media in a bag..Ive always left that media in that meshy thing that came with AC filters.Its funny I have a crate load of equipment for my aquarium I need to utilize it more than just the basic.
 
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86 ssinit

Lol lots of overfiltering going on . Well for $25-30 yes the marineland 350 is the best bang for the buck. And can be used on many tanks. I have it on a 30,45,75 with a sponged powerhead and a 90 with a tidal 110. This is a workhorse of a filter. Now if getting it you will need to buy sponge for each chamber and throw away the cartridges. These sponges will last forever. Just ignore the bio-wheels yes there fun to watch spin but there’s no proof they do anything .
 
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kallililly1973

Yes that’s what I meant by the bag...
ok sounds really good i will add the sponge, and btw you mentioned the media in a bag..Ive always left that media in that meshy thing that came with AC filters.Its funny I have a crate load of equipment for my aquarium I need to utilize it more than just the basic.
the mesh bag that comes with the filter.
 
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ghostdawg

Kendle "What stock did you have and how well did the 30 work?"
I have 6 black skirt tetras, 5 ember tetras, 3 zebra danios, 2 peppered cories & 1 bolivian ram.

I've been running the AC30 along with my Top Fin 10 filters since I've setup the 20g long tank. Together, both are working great for me. Until I setup the 10g to use a gain, I'll keep both filters in the 20 long.
 
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ForceTen

Aquaclears are very quiet. Sometimes the lid will rattle a little, but that can be solved by putting something heavy on top, or simply taking it off until it’s ready to behave.

I have to leave the lids off both my AC filters due to noise. Still like and recommend them.
 
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Bellasmith

I purchased the Fluval C3 model for my 29 gallons planted tank and the filter looks great and all media can be replaced whilst it’s running which is a bonus. The trickle feed is brilliant and exactly what I needed for a betta aquarium which doesn’t need a lot of water flow.
 
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