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hittchris
02-26-2003, 08:18 PM
im getting either a 55 gallon or 75 gallon tank for a midas or red devil cichlid that will go in my room what air pump and filter should i use

merlyn2221
02-26-2003, 08:30 PM
I currently have a 55 gallon setup. I run two filters (I have Africans).
I have an Emperor Bio Wheel over the tank filter, and a Fluval 304 canister.
With the amount of water movement on the surface of my tank, the oxygen levels are good, but I run an air pump anyway. I have a Whisper 9500.

If I had it to do over again, I would have gone for two canisters or one huge canister that way overfilters the tank. Canisters (Fluval and Eheim), to me, are the easiest to deal with when performing regular maintenance. The Emperor is a wet/dry and works well, but I just like the canisters better.

Rudy
02-26-2003, 10:25 PM
I personally can't stand air pumps. I have bought even the most expensive and all they do is give you an extra month before they start vibrating and chattering away. For the price of a good air pump go with a aquaclear powerhead with an air attachment for extra oxgen in the water. They give you water movement and everything else that comes with it.
For the filter if you have a 55 I would go with an ac 300. With a 75 go with an ac 500. One fish and you will have enough filtration with either of those.

I do not work for aquaclear, but man I sure like them. I have used various filters throughout the years but these things truly kick but. They are easy to clean and cheap.

JB wind
02-27-2003, 12:00 AM
I agree with Rudy the air pump is worthless. get yourself 2 aquaclear 402 powerheads. I love them. I have a 75 and i run 2 emperor 400's and a fluval 404. very quiet setup .

WorldNation
02-27-2003, 01:49 AM
powerheads are much better then air pumps, i use both still. the air pump i got hasnt made a sound ever since i bought it. it's some tiny company i never heard of before. anywyas, for a 55gal. get an AC 500, for the 75, get an AC 500 annd an AC 300.

that'll be 10x

chc
02-27-2003, 07:37 AM
I agree with the air pump vs. powerhead comments. Powerheads are silent and create much more motion (which generally translates into more surface turbulence and oxygenation).

I disagree with the use of canisters on large cichlid tanks. A full grown Midas or Red Devil produces too much waste ti have a canister. You would really need to be getting the organic wastes ouof the system weekly, and that is easy with a cartridge type filter, but difficult with a canister. Canisters become nutrient traps under heavy bioloads.

Aquaclears are good for smaller fish, but I don't think they are as silent as some other types (well, one in good working order is silent, but most of mine make some noise now after a couple of years). I also prefer disposable materials in my tanks with big fish, so my preference is the Emperor 400. They are very easy to modify for cheap operation too. Done correctly, you can get basic mechanical, micron level mechanical, chemical (if needed; I don't run with carbon or similar often), and biological filtration for very little replacement cost (if modified)..... and they are silent as long as the water level is high. Also, they have the best feeding adjustment feature on the market (it really works, unlike most others) so your food doesn't go straight to the filter!

Years of experience and tests with just about eveything suggest (still, IMHO):
- Two Emperor 400's (modified)
- Two mid-sized powerheads with sponge prefilters (your choice of brand)

Point the powerheads downward, but position them high in the tank so you can easily grab the prefilters.

merlyn2221
02-27-2003, 04:19 PM
CHC, what exactly do you mean by "modify?"

I can think of a great deal of modifications that could be made to those filters. Could you specify, please?

chc
03-01-2003, 10:15 AM
Merlyn........

FIRST ROW OF CARTRIDGES
I cut the blue floss off the cartridges with a razor. That way I can use cut to fit pads on the old frames indefinitely and at low cost (I adhere them to the frames with rubber bands or velcro siliconed in place; I don't trust the normal adhesives on velcro).

I generally run without carbon, but since the floss pad has been cut off, you can by carbon in bulk, and replace it yourself whenever you change the floss (I change floss weekly).

SECOND ROW OF CARTRIDGES:
Method 1:
I use the Media Containers for chemical and micron filtration. I cut Poly Filter pads just slightly wider than the rectangular sections in the media container and fill the entire unit. Then I cut micron filter felt (I buy the big sheets of 100 micron, but you could use 50 micron also) to fit over the entire inside of the media container frame (overlapping the edges of the Poly Filter for no water bypass) and that is held in place by a friction fit once you close the media container. The micron pads keep the Poly Filter fresh for a very long time, and the water is CRYSTAL CLEAR. You will not have to replace the micron pads as often as the floss in the first row (probably every couple to three weeks).
Method 2:
For use when the water needs a buffer..... same deal wtih the micron, but put coral gravel, etc. in the media container. I use this for most of my wild caught central americans that are not accustomed to my tap water.

Note: if you are cleaning the filters (i.e. replacing the first row of floss) at least weekly, and you are changing water weekly, you probably need no Poly Filter or carbon. I use the Poly Filter mostly just for a bit of "insurance" in my more valuable tanks.

Hope that helps!

Cichlid Jeans
03-03-2003, 03:42 PM
[quote:13c0e57627="chc"]I disagree with the use of canisters on large cichlid tanks. A full grown Midas or Red Devil produces too much waste ti have a canister. You would really need to be getting the organic wastes ouof the system weekly, and that is easy with a cartridge type filter, but difficult with a canister. Canisters become nutrient traps under heavy bioloads.[/quote:13c0e57627]
Which canisters have you found this to be a problem in?

Jeans

chc
03-04-2003, 10:21 AM
It has less to do with the type of canister and more to do with the basic design of canisters. For fish that produce a very high bioload, I find it useful to replace/clean the mechanical media at least weekly. That is very easy with a cartridge based power filter, but I find it difficult and tedious to break down my canisters weekly for cleaning. Mechanical filtration removes the particulate waste from the aquarium, but it remains in the system until you remove it.... much tougher to do with a canister.

I guess if you heavily prefiltered the canister it would improve things. Note, I actually like canisters in some operations (smaller fish, planted tanks, etc.). Eheims in particular are excellent.

Another benefit of power filtration is increased flow rates. You can, for the price of one large canister, utilize several power filters each of which has a higher flow rate than the canister.

One shortcoming of power filtration is its relatively small biological capacity. I always make sure I have extra biofiltration like extra biowheels, etc.

Cichlid Jeans
03-04-2003, 01:03 PM
This thread started with the issue of quiet filtration and I'd still say canisters are the answer, regardless of species.

I'm guessing we're talking show, because that's the context in which I'd be concerned to minimize noise. For a large show tank, the Cadillac approach is a pair of Eheims (one for mech, one for floss) plus weekly use of a microfilter like the Magnum or Vortex. Nothing touches this setup, IMHO (although I've been known to curse when it comes time to clean the tubing!!!).

I've never heard anyone report a bio buildup with a proper canister setup, regardless of size of tank or species, which is why I was wondering whether chc's complaint was based on experience. I have to believe that a properly-sized canister setup can cope with any species.

And on the noise issue, biowheels are public enemy number one. For the fishroom -- that's an entirely different story.

Jeans

jonah
03-04-2003, 04:16 PM
[quote:81a2094c47="Cichlid Jeans"]This thread started with the issue of quiet filtration and I'd still say canisters are the answer, regardless of species.

Jeans[/quote:81a2094c47]

Actually, I think it was his other topic that has almost the same question with the addition of wanting it quiet. That's how multiple posts of the same topic cause confusion. The other topic asked for a quiet filter for a bedroom tank, certainly nothing is going to be quieter than a canister, regardless of whether it can handle the load or not.

chc
03-05-2003, 10:13 AM
Yes, my comments are from experience. I would not post my opinions if they were not founded in experience or study.

If someone were truly willing to go to the trouble of breaking down a canister frequently, then they have more patience (and time!) than me, but a canister filter would certainly work in that case.

There are other options to biofiltration, but biowheels can run silently if the water level is correct. Power head driven sponges are absolutely silent also.

It is also possible to outfit a wet/dry filter for silent operation if one uses a Durso standpipe and ensures the outlet into the sump is submerged. It is clear that wet/drys are superior in may ways to most other types of filtration (e.g. the value of free gaseous exchanges, bioload handling capacity, modification/upgrade possibilities, etc.). Granted, a silent configuration in a commercially purchased sump is difficult to find (although a CPR can be very easily modified to allow for it), and most standard wet/drys are very noisy indeed. I've had more success in building my own sumps anyway.

I think most of the readers of this forum are African Cichlid enthusiasts, and, with a few notable exceptions, such Cichlids tend to be smallish to medium sized fish. In such a case, the bioload on a canister on any other filter would not be overwhelming. But when one keeps, as I do, large Central American Cichlids it is important to realize the sheer volume of waste they produce each day. One large dovii or managuense can easily produce more waste in a single day than a school of 200 neon tetras can. Think of it this way, some CA Cichlids are as big as small house cats. Pretend you keep a house cat in a 200 gal empty aquarium with a litter box in one corner. How long do you think it would take for that set up to become unliveable? Now imagine the same situation but with a fish which is forced to live WITHIN its own waste. You can see the need to remove from the system (i.e. filter), not just the aquarium, as much waste as possible on a regular basis.

I am not pointing out a design flaw in canisters as they are no worse than a standard power filter in accumulating waste materials. My point relates to the need to get those waste materials out of the system a.s.a.p., and that is much easier with a cartridge based set up. If one were set on using a canister, I'd suggest Eheim as they have a prefilter module available which could be cleaned frequently without having to break down the canister.

Adam
03-10-2003, 06:42 PM
[quote="chc"Aquaclears are good for smaller fish, but I don't think they are as silent as some other types (well, one in good working order is silent, but most of mine make some noise now after a couple of years). [/quote]

I have a 20 year old AC2000, and it is the quietest of all my filters.

Ray
02-19-2006, 07:18 AM
go to bigalsonline.com get you an emperor 400 there for 37.00
you can't beat an emperor bio wheel.
as far as air stones i have four here that I have had for 3 years or more still work great!! they are aqua culture, ( actually the cheapest air pump I could find. they work great in my tanks. I use the air strip that you bury they are like 8 or ten inches long
and put out a wall of bubbles at the end of my tank.

Ray
02-19-2006, 07:20 AM
oh to get rid of the rattling noise , the air pumps have a hole for mounting them to your' aquarium stand vertically with a screw