Filters for 55 gallon? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Filters for 55 gallon?

When I used to have a 55 setup a long time ago, I used two Aquaclear 70 power filters. I recently acquired another 55. I would like to try something different thats low maintenance, cheap and quiet. No canisters. I was thinking maybe sponge filters? Any suggestions? I also used to really like internal filters since they are usually really quiet despite being somewhat bulky looking.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:46 PM
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I think you just safely ruled out sponge filters by specifying you wanted quiet and with the height of a 55 gallon you're not going to get quiet. Have you considered something like an HMF?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Not really sure what that is.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:54 PM
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Sorry, HMF = Hamburg matten filter. You basically install a large piece of foam in your tank that creates a space behind it which you put a submersible pump. That pump draws water in through the sponge wall and is returned up and out from behind the wall which drives the flow. Here's an image I found when did a quick google for hamburg matten filter


*edit: here's a good writeup someone did on seriouslyfish where they did a corner HMF http://www.seriouslyfish.com/a-basic...-mattenfilter/
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah cool idea but definitely not for me.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 09:07 PM
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If it’s not broken why fix it. Reason why aquaclears have been sold for decades now. Quiet, easy maintenance, can always find replacement parts if needed. All exact requirements you have for a filter. Don’t worry about buying something different. Buy what works and has been working for decades.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Id like something that doesnt make a ridiculous loud spashing noise whenever the tank drops an inch of water. And preferably something thats not bulky on the back of the tank. The closer I can keep my tank to the wall the better
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tls2death View Post
Sorry, HMF = Hamburg matten filter. You basically install a large piece of foam in your tank that creates a space behind it which you put a submersible pump. That pump draws water in through the sponge wall and is returned up and out from behind the wall which drives the flow. Here's an image I found when did a quick google for hamburg matten filter


*edit: here's a good writeup someone did on seriouslyfish where they did a corner HMF The HMF ? What?s That? ? Seriously Fish
Thanks for sharing that. Great article.

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Id like something that doesnt make a ridiculous loud spashing noise whenever the tank drops an inch of water. And preferably something thats not bulky on the back of the tank. The closer I can keep my tank to the wall the better
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:19 AM
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Powerhead driven sponge filters would be quiet.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 04:06 PM
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Powerhead driven sponge filters would be quiet.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Powkoo Sponge Filter Corner Filter Sponge Bio Filter for Aquarium Fish Tank Up to 60 Gallon

This is a very efficient design. Its bigger than it its looks. I paired it with a small-medium powerhead.

Use a set on your left and right corners and you're all set. When you clean them, do them alternately, not both at the same time.


PS : eventually, you'll switch to the aquaclear. Then if you stay in the game long enough, you'll switch to canister filters. Just my prediction.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by psychofisho View Post
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Powkoo Sponge Filter Corner Filter Sponge Bio Filter for Aquarium Fish Tank Up to 60 Gallon

This is a very efficient design. Its bigger than it its looks. I paired it with a small-medium powerhead.

Use a set on your left and right corners and you're all set. When you clean them, do them alternately, not both at the same time.


PS : eventually, you'll switch to the aquaclear. Then if you stay in the game long enough, you'll switch to canister filters. Just my prediction.
Is this to me or the OP?

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 11:11 PM
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Is this to me or the OP?
Giving credit to your idea, but sharing with op a specific example of what I think works well on a spong+powerhead combo,

i.e. corner sponge filters should be shaped to fit the corner for best space efficiency.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 02:48 AM
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I got a Jebo internal sponge filter when I set up up my 55 gal tall. It was poorly designed--the plastic housing for the sponges was hard to take apart & put back together, and seemed brittle like it would end up breaking in time. The tabs on the powerhead that it attached to were poorly positioned (didn't allow much leeway in positioning the outflow) and they kept breaking off. I returned it.

I did research these custom-made corner mattenfilters: Cornerfilter Shop - SWISSTROPICALS

They also sell "tower filters" that are basically standalone mattenfilters; or will custom design a half-moon filter (basically two corner filters side-by-side. No idea of the cost--you' have to email them with your dimensions and they'll give you a quote.

Another good resource I found was: Aquarium Filtration | Filter Types | Advantages & Disadvantages . They have some great articles on filtration & other aquarium topics--great reading for newbies. And they sell a variety of sponge filters which you can custom mix & match for your needs. With the addition of a quiet powerhead (which they also sell) you can create your own not-internal sponge filter that runs as quietly, and is a helluva lot easier to maintain. Having had an internal sponge filter, they only advantage was that if I wanted I could replace the sponges in some of the compartments with filter floss to better polish the water. But a cheap drop-in box filter (or DIY) would do the same thing. I can sometimes replace the sponge in my HOB to do the same thing if needed.

Full disclosure--I took 2DaveKS' advice and ended up with an Aquaclear HOB. But agree with @Blackheart that the splashing is annoying when evaporation drops the water level. And it's a little too tight on my standard plastic-rimmed tank to fit all the way down to the rim--it sits about 1/2" above. Is there some kind of extension you can add to bring the waterfall outlet lower?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post

Full disclosure--I took 2DaveKS' advice and ended up with an Aquaclear HOB. But agree with @Blackheart that the splashing is annoying when evaporation drops the water level. And it's a little too tight on my standard plastic-rimmed tank to fit all the way down to the rim--it sits about 1/2" above. Is there some kind of extension you can add to bring the waterfall outlet lower?
If your at all handy it’s not hard to build /install custom ramp, good source of plastic is just one of those cheap thin black poly binders at office supply store. I went downstairs and prototyped this one out of chipboard to show you how to fit it under ramp, took about 20min. Weight of filter will hold it down on rim or you can attach it to front of filter case with some double sided tape, use the good 3m acrylic stuff. Plastic milk carton is good scrap plastic to prototype with then go black plastic when you get it just right. A heat gun is a essential tool for me for shaping plastic. Been doing these type mods for decades.



Note I put little curl on one end, if you want to make output push a certain direction or make a little wave coming off end or you can drill a few holes if you want diffuse/soften output flow. No limit on what you can make water do at ramp by changing shape, even go backwards down back wall if you want.


It will only raise filter by whatever thickness material you use.
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