View Full Version : new tank

11-19-2003, 04:51 PM
I am moving and am setting up a 70 gallon african tank. What do some of you recommend for filters and substrates? I will no longer have access to my naturally hard well water:( . I currently use a UGF and canister, but people here don't seem to like UGF's Perhaps reverse UGF or none at all?
Suggestions please:confused:

11-19-2003, 05:16 PM
I would suggest 2 Emporer 400's for filtration and crushed coral for a substrate to keep ph levels up.

I am using sand as a substrate because it is easy for smaller fish to move around, but I also have a large piece of coral to help with ph. I have 2 Emporer 400's and a Magnum 350 with a micron cartidge for water scrubbing. Filteration is paramount.

I don't think UGF's are bad, just not popular like they used to be. I haven't used one for yrs.

11-19-2003, 11:30 PM
I like what cichlid fan suggests two emporers, and maybe I would add a couple of power heads with sponges to help move water.
Hope that didn't shock ya S.Gypsy, no mention of UG's lol.

giraffe hap
11-20-2003, 02:21 AM
I would also have to go with a set of Emperor 400's as well or just one Emperor 400 and a canister....my suggestion would be either the Filstar XP2 or XP3--pretty cheap at Big Al's. I am running one Emperor and a Filstar XP3 on my 75 gallon right now and I am very pleased with the clarity as well as the water circulation. Also, check out a couple of small power heads if you have allot of rock work. As for substrate, I use regular playsand because my peacocks/haps like to filter through the sand looking for left over food particles after their feeding---pigs!:rofl:

11-20-2003, 10:05 AM
:) thank y'all for the good advice. Which canister filters are the quietest? I have an old magnum 300 now that is too noisy and need to replace it

11-20-2003, 12:31 PM
Can't beat the Ehiem canister filters. They are the easiest to clean as well.

11-20-2003, 02:42 PM
I have a Filstar xp3 for my 55 gal. and have no problems with it at all. Quiet and easy to maintain. Not as easy as a HOB but I think it does more filtration at this point.

11-20-2003, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by giraffe hap
As for substrate, I use regular playsand because my peacocks/haps like to filter through the sand looking for left over food particles after their feeding---pigs!:rofl:

I don't suggest play sand because it is quite dirty. What I use is a sand used for sandblasting. It is cleaned and you can get it in different types ie. #0 and #00 for example. I use #00 which is similar to play sand.

With a thorough cleaning, you can use the playsand instead. This also depends on the brand. Some are better than others.

11-20-2003, 06:36 PM
Eheim is the best, but also the most expensive. I use 2 Filstar XP3's they are very quiet and after 6 months no problems so far. Easy to clean too! LOL

11-20-2003, 11:04 PM
Lots of good advice here........... I would echo the Emperor recommendations...... go for two 400's (look on this site under Projects and DIY for ways to modify them).

Eheims are generally the canisters of choice, but I am increasingly leaning away from them and toward just Emperors. Keep in mind it is often easier to have two of the same filter rather than two different types (buying one set of cartridges, etc.). Also, two Emperors would cost less than one Eheim and would move quadruple the water.

I prefer not to use coral sand due to the possibility of it having sharp edges. An aragonite based sand from a fish store would buffer the water nicely........... or you could put crushed coral into the filter, but I'd go with the aragonite substrate.

I agree enthusiastically with the comments about adding power heads. They don't have to be big; you just need some extra water movement in the lower layers of the tank (especially if you have just two Emperors spilling their water across the top layer of the water). If there are no live plants in the tank (and, thus, no plant particles to worry about clogging up impellers), I wouldn't use any sponges on the pwerheads....... just let them run without prefiltering them. That way, you'll only have to deal with them to clean the impellors every month or two. If you prefilter them with sponges, you'll need to clean those regulary, and getting to them isn't always as easy as replacing an Emperor cartridge.

11-21-2003, 06:40 AM
How do the Emperors do with "buffing"
the water-that's the one thing I like about the Magnum micron filter

11-21-2003, 08:54 AM
I've used (and still do on one tank, now that I think of it) the Magnum. Good results with polishing the water, but I hate having to break down a canister for cleaning (so I just have the one still running). I found a way to load the Emperors with micron felt which allows me to accomplish the same thing as the Magnum but in a better, more convenient filter. See the DIY section on this site for details about how to modify Emperors.

BTW....... if you still choose to go with the Magnum, make sure to use a floss sock over the micron cartridge or you'll be clooged up daily.

11-21-2003, 04:51 PM

Is it possible to have too much water movement? I felt that with my 75, the twin 400's and the magnum was too much. I still run all three though. What's your opinion?

11-21-2003, 07:18 PM
Also, many here use swimming pool filter sand. #20 grit silica, from Home Depot. Not particularly hard to rinse clean.

11-21-2003, 07:43 PM
Thanks for all of the advice. I just ordered two emperor 400's and read chc's post about using the batting so I think the advice has been a big help. another question- my 70 gal tank has been sitting in my barn for 12 years should I reseal it?

11-23-2003, 02:00 PM
I had a tank sit that long with no problems but then again, I may have been lucky.

11-23-2003, 10:58 PM
Cichlid Fan......... You can have too much water movement, but it is really difficult to do so in a home aquarium.

My experience with Emperors is they don't create much movement at all below the top layer of water, so the addition of a Magnum could add some much needed movement in other layers if aimed properly.