How much filtration is enough filtration? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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How much filtration is enough filtration?

I'm upgrading from a 40 gallon to a 55 gallon regular (48" wide x 20" high x 12" deep) and need some advice about filtration.

The 55 gallon will be heavily planted with 2 24" Finnex Ray II DS fixtures placed end-to-end to span the length of the tank. I plan to have up to 30 fish, all about the size of cardinal tetras.

Given that fish load and amount of plants in a 55 gallon tank, what would you recommend for filtration? Some options I'm considering:

1. Use my Fluval 204 (yes it's old and still going strong!) from my 40 gallon.
2. Buy a Fluval 206 or equivalent.
3. Buy a Fluval 306 or equivalent.

I keep reading that more filtration is better but my understanding is that the amount of filtration should be based on fish load.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 07:48 PM
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How much filtration is enough filtration?

Will you have any other equipment hooked up inline on the filter?

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 07:57 PM
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Re: How much filtration is enough filtration?

I think your filtration will be fine as long as you keep a good water change schedule.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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huhu89151734, no I won't have any other equipment hooked up inline. Heater will be in the tank itself as will be the C02 diffuser.

CoffeeLove, are you saying my old Fluval 204 will suffice?
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:34 PM
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My vote is you keep your Fluval 204 and add a Fluval 306. The nice thing about two filters is that you can alternate maintenance schedules every other month so you always have an established filter running. Also, if one stops working, you still have a fully cycled back-up.


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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarionOak View Post
huhu89151734, no I won't have any other equipment hooked up inline. Heater will be in the tank itself as will be the C02 diffuser.

CoffeeLove, are you saying my old Fluval 204 will suffice?
A 204 was only rated for a max of 40 gallon. With 30 fish and a bunch of plant matter in the tank, I would be more inclined to say you need a larger filter or a second canister.


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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:45 PM
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With that size bioload and in a planted aquarium, I imagine you could get by with your current Fluval. Over filtration is always nice and only rarely is it detrimental (usually via flow and hurts the plants). We have a Fahaka and numerous Tropheus keepers will agree, if you have room under your tank then you are not filtering enough, lol. It sounds crazy, but very true. In my opinion though, I would be happy using a seasoned sponge filter in a planted 55 gallon with 30 Cardinal Tetra.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Actually flow is one of my concerns, just as you mention, mnemenoi.

If I got a Fluval 306 I'm wondering if the flow would be too strong for the plants and even for the fish. I suppose I could set up at least 1 spray bar, two if need be.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 09:10 PM
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In a planted tank with a very light bioload, I imagine some minimal surface flow is really all you'll need as far as filtration goes. I have some that I actually have to overfeed to achieve Nitrate levels whatsoever

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 09:12 PM
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Tank Filtration

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarionOak View Post
I'm upgrading from a 40 gallon to a 55 gallon regular (48" wide x 20" high x 12" deep) and need some advice about filtration.

The 55 gallon will be heavily planted with 2 24" Finnex Ray II DS fixtures placed end-to-end to span the length of the tank. I plan to have up to 30 fish, all about the size of cardinal tetras.

Given that fish load and amount of plants in a 55 gallon tank, what would you recommend for filtration? Some options I'm considering:

1. Use my Fluval 204 (yes it's old and still going strong!) from my 40 gallon.
2. Buy a Fluval 206 or equivalent.
3. Buy a Fluval 306 or equivalent.

I keep reading that more filtration is better but my understanding is that the amount of filtration should be based on fish load.
Hello Lar...

This particular filter is small for a 55G. However, if you change half the tank water weekly, you don't need heavy filtration. I'm a water change fanatic and typically underfilter my tanks, with a much heavier fish load. So, I'd use the filter you have and see how it works. You have a small fish load, so you shouldn't have a problem keeping the water chemistry stable. The large, frequent water changes will guarantee this.

There's a slight hitch, though. You want your filtration system to do a proper job of gas exchange. This means having a filter with enough power to move the surface water enough to mix oxygen with the water and release CO2. A heavily planted tank will do part of the job by using the CO2 produced by the fish and release oxygen into the water. I use a lot of floating plants like Anacharis and Pennywort.

Try the filter you have for a while and change half the tank water every week, religiously and test the tank water frequently. This situation may work fine.

Just one reporter's opinion, though.

B

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dx3Bash View Post
A 204 was only rated for a max of 40 gallon. With 30 fish and a bunch of plant matter in the tank, I would be more inclined to say you need a larger filter or a second canister.
Lots of plants will also act as filtration granted the plants are healthy and not decaying.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 10:19 PM
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I am a big fan of good filtration. I use a 2213 on a 10 gallon, so a filter rated for 50 gallons on a tanks 1/5 of that. I have seen people run 2 2213's on a 60P.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 10:42 PM
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Re: How much filtration is enough filtration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterlook View Post
Lots of plants will also act as filtration granted the plants are healthy and not decaying.
This is what my answer is based around, should've mentioned it.



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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your responses!

Sounds like the consensus is that I could possibly get away with keeping my smaller filter and that regular, large water changes would be key. However, to be honest, as a hobbyist in his 15th year of maintaining a freshwater tank, I'm not sure if I could stomach doing 25 gallon water changes weekly.

I'm going to think about upgrading to the Fluval 306 or equivalent, the wallet permitting!
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-14-2013, 02:39 AM
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Make the water change easier on you. I am sort of addicted to them now that I have a python hose. I drain to the garden and refill from the kitchen sink without using the water wasting attachment. My little magnolia tree has never been happier, it bloomed for a month this year.


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