View Full Version : Filtration for a 50 gal?

FishoPhile J
02-18-2003, 11:29 AM
hey, i'm thinking about getting a 50/ 60 gal tank (mine's 29 now), but i don't want to have to get a new filter for it. Would 2 h.o.t. magnums be enough to filter a heavy stocked 50 gal? also, how many watts does a heater need to be for a tank that size?

02-18-2003, 06:08 PM
How heavily stocked? Turnover with 2 Hot's is good for a 55.

As far as a heater goes, I have 1 150watt in my 55g, but I live in FL.

If I was still in Jersey, I'd go for a 200w


02-18-2003, 07:42 PM
i had 1 300 wat in my 60 gal.

02-23-2003, 02:10 PM
The 2 hot magnums will be fine for a 55 gal, get a 300 watt heater and your ready to go.

02-23-2003, 02:56 PM
I have a 55 gallon and I have a 300 watt heater.

02-27-2003, 07:25 AM
Are you stuck on the HOT magnums? I prefer the Emperor 400 as it is easier to change media. You can still get micron filtered water if you modify the set up. Also, the media containers are great. I've tried them all, and as far as power type filters go, this is my strong preference. I've found that canisters don't work for me too well in cichlid tanks due to the bioload. I like to get the organics out of the system frequently rather than let them sit in the filter media, and I just hate messing with canisters. I make my own cartridges so that it is economically appropriate to replace the Emperor media every week.

The 200 watt heater sounds about right for where you are. I guess if you wanted to be perfect, you'd get two 100 watts so that neither could have enough strength to overheat the tank if the thermostat broke. Get a 200 watt Ebo Jaeger, though, and you're set. I've never had one break or malfunction. I've had just about every other mishap with the others though.

02-27-2003, 07:44 PM
Hi chc,

Would like to hear your tank/water/stock info.



03-01-2003, 10:34 AM
Too many tanks...... all fresh water........ almost all central american cichlids now.......... particularly like Nicaraguan cichlids and the like....... A. labiatus/citrinellus species complex........ attempting to get rid of all "normal" sized tanks and create very large geographically based biotopes..... first attempt is underway now (Nicaraguan Crater Lake biotope: wild caught labiatus, managuense, nicaraguense, citrinellus, dovii, nigrofaciatum, spilurus, maculicauda, multispinosa etc. LOOKING FOR ROSTRATUS) in a tank as big as the wall in my living room...... we'll see if there's enough space for the big guys so that the little guys can survive (they breed like rats anyway, so I expect so in the rocks; still it's a good thing the little guys are cheap and "replaceable"!)..... spent forever (like 5 months) figuring out the filtration and it's about ready to go; we'll see!...... have some Mexicans, Guatemalans, etc. looking for a similar home now..... we'll see if the first try works better than individual species tanks (75 gals. and so on) as it's easier to do one huge water change than a million small ones!...... also, I'm not in it for the profit, so I like the idea of having a little corner of Central America in the house!

My next project is to solve the Hole-in-the-Head "mystery........ my I'll try solving cancer first!

03-01-2003, 08:39 PM
Sounds like a lot of thought is going on about this project. How big are you talking? Will you do the wet/dry thing?

What are your thoughts about filtration, also since you have so many tanks, whats your opinion on chemical filtration?

I am testing a carbon/resin free 55g at the moment to see how the fish do, also adding Kent cichlid trace elements to the same tank. If the fish do well I will probably go chemical free in my other tanks as well.

I kept T. meeki, and convicts when growing up, so I can see why people get excited about south/central Am cichlids. I could watch my meekis forever and never get bored. What part of the country are you in?



03-02-2003, 12:16 AM
Matt, yes, I'm going with a modified version of a wet/dry. I have some friends at a Marine Science Museum, and I've learned a great deal from them. Since I wanted an "open" system where a good exchange of gasses could take place, and I was turned off by fluidized bed filtration as a sole bio-filter method due to its instability in power outages, etc., the wet/dry won out (I have plumbed the design for additional biofiltration from a fluidized bed though; I want to be able to "jump start" some tanks with it after it matures). I have had the opportunity to really study the techniques in use at the Museum and a few other places, and even in very large instances they use some form of a bio-tower (of course, their's may be 25 feet tall!).

My wet/dry design is heavily modified to handle the 3,000 gallon hourly flow and has a couple of features intended to allow the quietest possible operation. Also, a micron bag is the "first line of defense" in the filter, so I can remove an entire day's amount or particulate waste from the system every morning. The water is thus polished with no possibility for bypass.

I don't see the need for carbon in well maintained systems (i.e. those that are properly filtered and stocked and benefit from regular water changes; I am, actually, more concerned about carbon leaching organics back into the system and stripping trace elements; the stripping of trace elements has not been entirely proven but has not been ruled out either!). I have more faith in Poly Filter, and I find it easier to use and longer lasting (of course, it is more expensive). Still, I only generally use chemical filtration in heavily stocked tanks or while I'm on vacation for a little extra insurance. You've probably read about carbon eventually serving as a bio-filter due to its porous nature. That is where the chief benefit is, I believe. So, I just try to make sure I have enough biomedia available to take the place of carbon's absence (biowheels and sponges in all tanks without wet/dry filters).

With respect to my location, I'm in Virginia. I noticed you're from O-town! I lived in Jax for years until recently and spent quite a bit of time in Orlando. Great place (but HOT!). Ever take any trips to Tampa and the fish farms?

03-03-2003, 12:20 PM
Funny you should mention fish farms, I am in the process of setting up a tour of Segrest farms in Gibsonton. Will let you know how it goes.

Cant wait to get out of Orlando, Its like living in Las Vegas for kids. Dont get me wrong there's a lot to do, but after 6 years I yearn for the NYC burbs. Lived in VA Bch for a year and loved it.

Your system sounds great $, keep us posted.



03-10-2003, 06:17 PM
How big will the tank be? (gallon wise?) And how much will the whole project cost and what are you making or buying the tank with? glass, cement, wood, acrylic, plexiglass? I love monster tanks, and I really want to make one, I just need to move out of the house.