filtration for planted tank
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:32 PM   #1
Tracy
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filtration for planted tank


I have 2 tanks and each one has the hanging filter type. I'm frustrated with these filters because once a week I have to take it apart and clean out all the plant goo and the filter cartridges seem to only last a week before they start to clog - even if I rinse them good. Is there anything that is less maintenance? I do weekly 50% water changes. Should I get a canster filter? Maybe I don't need a filter at all?

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Old 03-29-2010, 07:34 PM   #2
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If your filters clog up a lot it must mean you have a lot of particulates. So you probably need a filter.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:09 PM   #3
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What kind of filters are you running?
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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Depending on the filter type you may be able to use polyester batting to reduce the cost of replacing the filter every week. I use it on my HOB filter for a 10G and once i switched the water became even clearer than the previous filters.

Depending on the source of the particulate matter in your tank maybe some gravel vacuuming will help. But give us some additional details.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:33 AM   #5
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They are Aqua Tech, the small one's on a 20 gal. and the bigger one is on a 55 gal.

Polyester batting would help buy saving me money.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:45 AM   #6
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It's not as pretty, but I get less clogging if I put a coarse sponge over my intake strainer.

I have a penguin and a whisper HOB on my 55. The penguin is always clogging, but I'm too cheap to replace it. The whisper floss clogs alot less. First month it clogged alot, but now everything has settled. I think that the colony of bacteria on it helps it from clogging as much by breaking down the stuff into smaller pieces.

Polyester batting tended to restrict the flow ALOT on mine causing it to overflow. Unless you use like a thin layer or something.. It's cheap and worth a shot however.

Depending on how many fish you have, you could get away without a filter. I have no filter/circulation on my 10g. It won't look pretty because you'll get algae everywhere from circulation. Low bioload and circulation I think would be fine if it's a heavily planted tank. It would take forever for the water to clear if you kick up stuff however, have to wait for it to settle to the ground..

I've been eyeballing the SunSun Canister filters. You should look into them. AFAIK you can just use coarse media in a canister and reduce the time between cleanings. Super-fine media has the potential to clog in a day.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:14 AM   #7
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Planted tanks do create alot more debris than fish-only tanks, and this can be hard on filters.

Personally, I'd either double your current filtration on each tank or get a canister.

You can also help by keeping up with maintenance inside the tank; pruning out dead and dying leaves, and being sure to vacuum up debris during regular water changes.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:30 AM   #8
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Put prefilters on the intakes. That will reduce the amount of large plant bits that end up in the filter.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:13 AM   #9
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I guess my main concern is less maintenance, and using polyester batting sounds like it might not solve my problem but is cheap enough to try. If a canister filter is easier I think I will look into getting one for my 55. I have never used one before so I don't know anything about them. Are canister's less maintenance? Where's a good place to get one? Thanks for all the good ideas.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:17 AM   #10
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Also, if I put a pre-filter on intake, what do I use a sponge? won't that just get clogged?
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:28 AM   #11
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Yes, you're right- using a sponge prefilter won't change your maintenance issue since then you'll just have to clean that on a weekly basis...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy View Post
I guess my main concern is less maintenance, and using polyester batting sounds like it might not solve my problem but is cheap enough to try. If a canister filter is easier I think I will look into getting one for my 55. I have never used one before so I don't know anything about them. Are canister's less maintenance? Where's a good place to get one? Thanks for all the good ideas.
If you go with a canister, I'll recommend either a Rena XP3 or an Eheim 2217 for your size tank.

You can check out Ebay for used ones, or new from DrsF&S (see this thread to learn how to get big discounts over the "normal" posted price http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sw...a-xp2-xp3.html)
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:05 PM   #12
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If you get a canister or any filter that is rated for a bigger setup then you will be able to do less maintenance. I got the Marineland C360 because it seemed large compared to other filters of its size. With polyester batting there are several thicknesses and densities you can get it in. I use the thick stuff because i have no fish and I am trying to get micro particles out of the water right now. But you can put in a small layer in and still have good flow.

I still have the question of what is clogging up your filter. Is it plant debris, fish poop, substrate stuffs, algae? What goes into the filter may also help you figure out how to reduce the amount of work you need to do each week. But changing a layer of batting 1-2 times a week isnt too bad. You could alternate which side of the filter you change too. v0v
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:31 PM   #13
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Oh- I forgot to say, I only clean my canisters once a month or so, and that's just to replace the disposable floss. I do a more thorough cleaning (squeeze out sponges, etc) every 2-3 mos.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Yes, you're right- using a sponge prefilter won't change your maintenance issue since then you'll just have to clean that on a weekly basis...
On my canister I have sponge filters as intakes and I clean them every couple weeks and my canister only needs to be cleaned every 6 months
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:12 AM   #15
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I think I should get a canister..
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