View Full Version : Default 180 Gallon what kind of filteration

10-17-2007, 05:46 PM
Hello All
I am in the process of setting up a new 180 gallon for my africans. I will decommision one of my 75 gallons. Any ideas on filteration would be greatly appreciated. Some folks say undergravel is a good choice and some say wet/dry is the way to go. I would like to know the opinion of the experts on this forum. You guys helped me setup my first tank a year ago and I would have not been able to so this without you.

Thanks for the time and consideration !!


10-17-2007, 08:21 PM
Any tank that size is best suited by a wet/dry! Nothing else will even remotely compares favorably to a wet/dry on tanks this big!

For Cichlids that dig and expose the plates, an undergravel filter is a poor choice. Cannisters are about your only other choice for tanks that big, although 3 AC110's might handle a light fish load. Your bioload can be so great in tanks this big that you really must be sure to have enough bio-capacity. (more than GPH)

That being said, for the w/d I would go with the highest flowrate your overflow can handle.

10-17-2007, 10:13 PM
As RustyNut said, a wetdry is the best way to go traditionally with a canister being the only other practical option. If its drilled then I would go wet/dry where if it is not then I would run one of the big Eheim canisters and their new wet dry canister, which I am thinking about getting for my own undrilled tank. Sorry I hate to sound like a Eheim comercial, but for tanks that big I beleive their the best.

10-17-2007, 10:37 PM
I have three Eheims in my 180 - 2213, two 2217s. The 2213 is small but I already had it. I had nine adult frontosas with that setup with no problems at all. With heavier loads there may have been problems.

10-18-2007, 06:30 AM
I still have to purchase/order the tank. That said, I can choose to get a drilled or a non drilled. I think the drilled is more $$$$. However, if I choose to go with the Eheim 2260 with two Aqua clear 110's would that be a good setup?

If I go the wet/dry route, what is the maintainece like for a wet/dry? Do I have to get a pre drilled tank for a wet dry?

What is the model number for the Eheim wet/dry canister?


10-18-2007, 06:36 AM
Ok I found the Ehiem we/dry online. It is Eheim 2229 Wet & Dry Canister Filter. This one is rated for tanks upto 159 Gallon. So If I get this with 2 AC 110's is that sufficient?

Do you guys believe that a drilled tank and a wet/dry is the way to go.

Sorry for asking all these questions. I am not in a rush and I need to make a wise decision :-)

10-18-2007, 02:27 PM
You do not need a drilled tank to use a wet/dry system but it makes everything much simpler if you do.

Ehiem Cannisters are great, but I don't like the design of their wet/dry system, for the same money you could have a killer sump w/d system and gain the benefit of the additional sump capacity that the Cannister won't give you.... (You want a 35-40g sump or bigger so you're system capacity would be closer to 220g)

I have a 210g and a 180g here and I would not feel comfortable using two AC110's and a single cannister.... Minimum I would say is two cannisters and an AC110....personally I would use three cannisters and forego the HOBs entirely.

From a cost analysis they are about the same once everything if figured in with the w/d system being somewhat cheaper in the end.

Ehiem 2229 = $325 each
AC110 = $65 each

Drilled tank = $125-150
Overflowkit = $125 (Or DIY for under $30)
Sump = $200-375 (Or DIY for under $100)
Pump = $100 (depending on how much flow you can have)
Hardware and Plumbing = $100
Bio-balls and misc = $50

One well designed W/D system will outperform 3 Ehiem 2229's in bio-capacity giving you an excellent reserve capacity. Depending on pump choice, a w/d will pump as much or more water as all 3 Ehiem 2229's

To be honest, I'd be more inclined to go with a MEGA cannister system before I would ever consider the Ehiem 2229s.... Ehiem makes a few different systems that are superior and usually less costly.

Maintenance routine entails rinsing out sponges (or changing floss on some models) and rinsing off the bio balls a few times a year.

10-18-2007, 06:35 PM
what rusty said.
do a search in here for sumps and you will see my name pop up a lot.

for the prices you are talking for (3 filtration units) it could not begin to justify not buying a drilled tank

lots of information here on sumps. and for a tank that big sump +UGJ/usj would be Ideal.

UGF is just a bad Idea

10-18-2007, 07:22 PM
what rusty said.
do a search in here for sumps and you will see my name pop up a lot.

for the prices you are talking for (3 filtration units) it could not begin to justify not buying a drilled tank

lots of information here on sumps. and for a tank that big sump +UGJ/usj would be Ideal.

UGF is just a bad Idea

What Rusty AND Northernblades said!!!!!

10-19-2007, 06:34 AM
Well what can I say? It takes a lot of time and effort to come out with these suggestions. Rusty, can I thank you enough?? I see you are in NY, I am in NJ. Maybe next time you visit NJ look me up, I will buy you a drink.

Thanks all for the enlightment.

Now, here is the deal. I am leaning towards a 150 Gallon instead of the 180. The reason being the depth. I do have 24 inches but I think the 150 with 18 inches deep would fit better in the spot. That said I have two options :-

Option 1 --- Buy a non drilled tank. But two Eheim 2250 canisters. Move a AC 110 from the 75 to the 150 (Not going against what you said Rusty, but since I have an extra one I guess I can use it?). The 2250 are $210 a piece. So I figure $450 shipped.


Option 2 --- Buy a drilled 150 gallon. Get a wet/dry with 50 ~ 60 gallon sump? I am not a DIY person. So please fill in the blanks here, as to how much I need to spend, what to buy, maybe a good website to get this from ??

Also, I keep hearing about egg crate. I have not been able to find anything in Home depot ot Lowes. I did a search online and amazon is selling this.


They have 2 , 3 and 4 inch. Is this what we are talking about?? If yes then how does one place this in the tank ? (Groves facing down or up).

Again, all the help is very greatly appreciated ...


10-19-2007, 07:33 AM
hi! i can't help withe sump but i can help with eggcrate what they are talking about is the plastic light defusers you can get at local hardware mega store the white kind with the little open squares. you can cut it fit the bottom of your tank to help distriute the rocks weight more evenley

10-19-2007, 07:36 AM
Can you post a link of how it looks?

10-19-2007, 08:02 AM
Ok disregard the eggcrate question. I found another post with the picture of egg crate. I think I know where to get it from...

10-19-2007, 08:42 AM
You might want to rethink your 150 over the 180 idea if the reason is because, as you said, it fits better in your space. Once you put the Aquaclear on the back of the tank it will stick out from the wall almost as much as does the 180.

If you get a drilled 180, you can put it completely flush against the wall.

If you just use canisters, your intake and return lines will require you to move any tank a couple of inches off the wall.

Here's a simple DIY wet/dry design that could work for you.


10-19-2007, 01:59 PM
The 150g is only 18" wide instead of 24" like the 180g....

As CHC said, you can place a drilled sumped system nearly flush with the wall, while and AC110 require about 4.5" of space behind the tank.... that means the 150 with a HOB would only stick out 1.5" less that the 180g with a sump.....

On the HOBs I didn't mean to suggest you shouldn't use the AC/HOB's on tanks that size, only that they lack enough bio-capacity compared with the other methods. I use an AC110 on my 210g tank that also has a Sump w/d and USJ's (over 3300gph total) However my AC110 is only being used to polish the water and not for biological filtration at all.

10-19-2007, 02:23 PM
I never toataly understood why this question keeps comming up. is a sump/wet/dry that scary?

as for trouble with the space you could... instead of worying about how far it protrudes from the wall.. you could.... put it in the wall (touching little finger to lips)

ps,, as for diy sumps, any potable water contaner = 20% or more of the volume of the aquarium that fits under your aquarium, with an inverted culigan container with the bottom cut off, is an apropriate sump/wet dry.

10-19-2007, 04:04 PM
I never toataly understood why this question keeps comming up. is a sump/wet/dry that scary?

Sorry to jump in, but MY answer is YES! I want to do a wet/dry so bad for my near future 125 but I still can't grasp the concept/ diy. I need very simple baby steps. I want to turn my 29 into one. Any suggestions on a website that can walk through slowly, without assuming anything.

Sorry, again... I've just been watching this thread.


10-19-2007, 04:16 PM
easiest way to start, would be to find a guy, glass/aquarium guy, who builds this kind of stuff. tell him the type of gph your talking, and see what he recomends.

then in the perfect world, run it for a while, find out what you like/dislike about it. then start over :ugly1:

there are a lot of posts here about sumps, overflows and stuff. some quite simple, some not so simple.descide what you want, and go from there.

someone sould make a sumps for dummies book. as there are always asumptions. and beliefs. (how much flow will pass through a 2 inch pipe) kind of stuff. how much drainage is needed, and how much flow is overkill.

how far below the top of the tank do you want the water lvl to stay at. stuff like that. but the overflow, and return, usualy prety strait forward, sump design, as complicated as you want to make it.

10-19-2007, 04:47 PM
I would love one of those books. Anyone who wants to write one, I'll will more than willingly give you $39.99 plus shipping.

I understand the concept - it is quite simple. The only problems I am having are the details.

I've been looking at this website because it is the most detailed one google gives me, but some components do not make sense. This overflow box confuses me. How does water go from the inside box to the outside one? OH how confusing. I'm just going to pack my canister with bioballs! Can someone post pics of theirs???/ That would be awesome! If you don't to interrupt this thread throw them over in my 125 thread.



10-19-2007, 04:54 PM
ok, as an avid fish keeper, I asume you know how a syphon works?

suck the water through a hose, and then gravity, and the rules of syphon suck water from your tank and into a bucket.. right?

if you hold the one end at the same lvl as the aquarium water, the water will stay even..

if air ends up in the system, the syphon breaks, and the water on one side flows into the bucket, and the water on the other returns to the tank.

the syphon box you see, is desigend to maintain a syphon, prevent a syphon break, remove air the may acumulate in the syphon, and "pause" the syphon in the even that the pump stops or water lvl gets to low.

personaly I dislike them. as I have found syphons to be. finicky creatures.

a drilled tank with over flow is simple. even if it is just a strait pipe design.
unfortunatly a little bussy, but if some time you want to go over it, pm me

10-19-2007, 04:56 PM
Thanks a lot buddy. As new tank time comes closer, I am sure we will be in touch.

EDIT: You're last post was very beneficial btw. It's actually coming together slowly, or at least better than it was.... :) My fathers a big physics guy, so I have him trying to plan this out.. A family project. We'll get it! Maybe write a book too.


10-19-2007, 05:54 PM
I would seriously consider having the tank drilled as opposed to an overflow box.

10-19-2007, 06:53 PM
Yes sump/wet dry is scary. I never said I had space issues that is why I do not want wet/dry. It is just that I have canister for 2 years and wet/dry is a new thing. I am sure everyone felt same when they started/switched to wet/dry.

I am trying to find a guy who can do a wet/dry setup for me. I called the LFS today, they want me to go to home depot and pick things up for fitting. I have no idea what it entails and I am a little apprehensive to drop $2000 on a new tank and not get what I want.


10-19-2007, 09:06 PM
well. not much I can say. if you are buying new.. I think your not too far out on the price.

I bought a 100 gallon. and "pipe dreamed" it. everything but UGJ (and only because I didn;t want "anything" in the tank.) and after everythign was said and done about 1000$ I figue. so I do not think your too far off.

as for apprehensive. IMHO anyone who will send you to a hardware store with anything less than a comprehensive list, on your first attemp is not worth doing business with.
you want to find someone else with the finess to know what they want, and someone who preferably HAS several, of the design they plan to use on your tank.

a plan in theory does not always work. as an overflow/wet dry, nearly anything works, but, Noise, vibration, air bubbles, a fish death trap, or a sump that requires daily top off, is not what you want.

I realise this is your project. but I would have someone skilled recomend something to you, then come back here.

Problems I have had
too small of holes drilled (nothing less than 2.5 inch IMHO)
Overflow too small, or too near top (minimum 1 full inch from top of tank) and remember the smaller the overflow, the las water will "cascade" down the side, and the more will fly, fall, and make noise) however I was stunned to see how effective a single pipe, up to 1.5 inch from top of tank, with a "T" and a 45 on each side can be.
buy propper NEW bulkheads, as this is one of the worst things to leak.
don;t be a wuss GLUE everything.
install valvs, at 20$ each, they will saive you a lot of grief. (install above pumps, and anything seperatable. . buy unions. being able to remove pumps ect. without cutting and gluing is real nice. (keep unions position above sump, so if they do leak, it don;t matter) yess i know they shoudl not leak.

I know it is a lot to soak up when in doubt, ask around here. e3veryone has info, and people like rusty and his rockhaven, and. (sorry missing name) malawai hap? with paradice. Are great places to start. Both have done an AMAZING job on their setup.

with the latter being a nearly perfect journal and build order. and honestly duplicating this project would be a great Idea.

as for sumps, for simplicity and functionality. I like mine. but even mine I would change given opportunity.