55 gallon filter upgrade help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Groveland, FL
Posts: 73
55 gallon filter upgrade help

Well I recently upgraded from a 29 gallon to a 55 gallon. My 29 had an AC50 for a filter so I transferred that plus my substrate and plants from my old tank to the new one. I knew the AC50 was not enough so I am shopping for a new setup.

Here is what I have been leaning towards....swapping the AC50 for an AC70 and getting either an Eheim 2217 or Rena XP3 as a second filter.

From all the research I have done I have quickly realized that asking which is better, the Eheim or Rena is like asking if an iPhone or Android phone is better. Both have their loyal fan bases and both have pro's and con's. So my hope is that if I explain my tank, needs, concerns, etc....you can help me make a decent decision.

From what I have read the Eheim classic series excels at being quiet, reliable, and while it has less flow it also has less bypass and allows the water to spend more time going through the bio filters.

The Rena's have much better flow, baskets which make cleaning easier and media layering easier, but have mixed reviews on reliability.

Normally the 2217 costs more but amazon has them both around $120 right now.

So now my tank. Right now I have the AC50 and two powerheads and notices I have a lot of dead spots where debris is accumulating at the base of some plants. While I don't want to create a white water rapid replica I want to make sure particulates are not allowed to settle. I also like a slightly fuller tank fish wise so I need to make sure the bio filtration is up to the task.

Not sure if it matters but other than the filter/power heads I mentioned above I am running the home depot diamond plate t8 lights, no co2 and have wisteria, moneywort, anubis bateri, java fern, egeria and an african sword. Fish wise i have 5 cories, 6-7 pristilla tetras, 4-5 ottos (lost count and they hide), 1 gbr, dozen or so ghost shrimp, and an albino bnp and black bnp along with a bunch of babies (both albino and black). The plecos other than one baby albino bnp will be rehomed or traded for credit at my lfs.

So now that my book is over, which do you think is the better canister for me? Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 177
I have to be honest here. I truly believe that this debate over canister filters is a little misguided. While I have done the "Great Filter Debate" myself several times, I think what it really boils down to is purely personal preference and reliability.

The Eheim is a tried-and-true workhorse that will probably last longer than the Rena. Both filters are good, but I would give the edge to Eheim in the reliability department.

Now. Back to your question. Almost all canisters are the same - media trays and a pump that forces water over/through these trays for your filtration needs. Surface area would be my #1 concern - biological filtration is what you need. Sure mechanical and chemical filtration are nice, but you do not "need" them in a tank. Assuming the Rena and the Eheim are closely matched in canister volume, I would personally pick the Eheim. The water is going to be in contact with the beneficial bacteria for a longer time, and with less pass-by, MORE of your water will be filtered as it passes through the filter. Essentially, the Eheim is more efficient. Hope this helps.

Last edited by ProndFarms; 11-21-2012 at 12:54 PM. Reason: can't spell :)
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 02:27 PM
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Location: WI
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it's really up to you..

i have eheim 2215 for a year now and i am lazy anyway so 4-6 month i clean it once and flow is still very strong. .

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