View Full Version : Best Filter... ???

03-05-2003, 02:15 PM
Hi Guys,

I went to the store today and looked at all of my filter options. I'm considering the emperor 400, fluval 404, and Tetratec pf500. The fluval is by far the most money and the TetraTec is the cheapest yet the TetraTec does 500 gallons per hour and the other two around 400. Why is the Fluval so much money? Is it the best one? or are you paying for the fact that it's a cannister filter?


03-05-2003, 02:18 PM
p.s. I will have at least two of any of these filters for my 90 gallon to aim at 1000 gph

03-05-2003, 02:40 PM
Fluvals are one of the best filters out there. if i were u though. it'd be cheaper to get 2 AC500's from Big Al's. fluvlas and AC are both made by hagen and are both high quality products.

03-05-2003, 04:31 PM
I'd suggest two Emperors. Much easier to maintain than canisters and can be modified to meet many needs (buffering, micron filtering, chemical filtration, added biomedia, etc. easily done). Don't be put off by the cost of replacement cartridges.... many ways to get around that. You could get two for less than the cost of one Fluval. More flow and more filtration for less money...... hmmmm......

Canisters will always be more expensive but not necessarily better. It depends on the application. What kind of fish are you keeping? Any plants? Power filters aren't the best for planted tanks (too much surface agitation).

Stay away from the TetraTecs.... very noisy and of dubious quality..... cartridges are not well designed.... the bio component is not well designed either. I've just about tried them all, many times for each type, and TertaTec would be at the bottom of my list.

Aquaclears would work also, but I prefer the Emperors for their ease of use and quality (I also like to be able to "jump start" them with a mature bio-wheel from one of my other tanks).

I think the important thing is to get two of the same thing so you only have one type of filter media to deal with.

03-05-2003, 08:01 PM
Thanks for replying guys,

CHC, I'm actually not too sure what fish I'll be keeping yet. I was thinking about a GT and a Texas (90 gallon). I still am not sure about whether these two fish are gravel-diggers or not. I would also like to find out the possible growth rate of these two fish; anyone know from experience or general rule of thumb? I hear GT's grow slower than average cichlids, but I don't know if this is true and I have no knowledge about the growth of a Texas.

As far as decor for the tank, I was thinking about some driftwood and as for substrate I was thinking sand, but I read in Tetra's popular guide to tropical cichlids that larger cichlids should be housed with a thin layer of gravel. I've thought for some time now that larger cichlids need a lot of gravel since most of them stir it up, but I read that a thick layer of gravel demotes bacteria growth. Anyone have ideas or know better?

I will get 2 emperor 400's thanks for the advice.


Rex Karr
03-05-2003, 09:12 PM
Yes, both Green Terrors and Texas cichlids will dig, as will nearly any large cichlid. Growth rates for any species can very a lot depending on several factors. If the water is kept very clean and warm, and the fish are fed well, you may see explosive growth. Yet if the fish are kept at cooler temperatures, and fed sparingly, growth may not even be noticable. And I have not found Greenn Terrors to grow any slower than the average American cichlid.

Gravel is no better than sand. Its really just a personal choice. I have sand in all but 2 of my tanks. I think it looks nice. A thick layer of undisturbed fine gravel or sand can harbor harmful bacteria. Its best to use a somewhat thin layer and make sure it is stirred every so often. With large cichlids they will most likely take care of this.


03-05-2003, 09:22 PM
Thanks Rex,

I'll def get sand now, looking foward to the change in look.

I've pondered adding a 3rd fish to my choices a jack dempsey. Would that be pushing it: GT, Texas, and JD in a 90 gallon? I wouldnt want to over stock but I dont know how much water each fish needs. whats the rule of thumb for how much water each fish will need?


p.s. What do you mean by a "thin" layer of sand? Are we talking a half inch or so?

Rex Karr
03-05-2003, 10:23 PM
Yeah, .5" sounds perfect.

In my opinion 90g is more than enough for 3 fish that will most likely reach 7-9" SL. But it may not be enough territory for three cichlids of that size. If you want more tankmates I would suggest medium sized Characins and Catfish. There are some really interesting families of characins. Leporinus, Distichodus, Prochilodus, Mylossoma, and Myleus to name a few. Do some some research and see if you might want a couple of the medium sized species species to help fill out your tank. I've heard of people keeping large Leporinus with Red Devils in 75g tanks. Never tried that combo myself but it sounds interesting. But remember, adding more fish means you have to be more rigorous with your water changes and such. For me its definantly worth the extra work.