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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting to plan a low-tech tank to house primarily guppies. I haven't had a tank with a HOB filter in years (I'm talking early college and I'm now 43. It was just a little 5g, IIRC). Because of the length and shallow depth of the 20 long I'm thinking smaller HOBs at either end might be a better fit than 1 larger filter.
 

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I would prefer one hob rated your tank size.
Aquaclear hob filter rated 20g up should be ok. You can slope away substrate from the filter intake if the tube is getting into the substrate level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would prefer one hob rated your tank size.
Aquaclear hob filter rated 20g up should be ok. You can slope away substrate from the filter intake if the tube is getting into the substrate level.
Aquaclear is what I'm looking at, as a matter of fact. Are the intake tubes cut-able? I'm guessing I'll need a relatively short tube on a 12" deep tank, once substrate is added.
 

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Aquaclear comes with a short tube, OK for a 20 long. Not cut-able (there is a bell at one end and a slotted intake at the other).
I suppose you could cut off the slotted intake and drill/cut more intake holes higher up. But unless your substrate is very high you should not need to do this.

I am running an Aquaclear 20 and a small power head on a 20 long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aquaclear comes with a short tube, OK for a 20 long. Not cut-able (there is a bell at one end and a slotted intake at the other).
I suppose you could cut off the slotted intake and drill/cut more intake holes higher up. But unless your substrate is very high you should not need to do this.

I am running an Aquaclear 20 and a small power head on a 20 long.
Perfect, that should work for me, then. :grin2:
 

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You will regret getting a single filter once the plants really start to fill in. I have two aquaclear 30's on my high tech 20L and I am getting a nano powerhead for better c02 circulation. I know you said your doing low tech, but circulation is still important. For a moderately planted low light 20L, I think two 30s is perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If I had the space, I'd do two smaller. If you do one big one, you'll definitely need a powerhead.
I was guessing a powerhead would be necessary with a single filter, too. Looks like it's pretty 50/50 on 2 smaller vs. 1 larger HOB. :laugh2:
 

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just get 2 aquaclear 30's and put them on ether end. you can adjust flow on ether and alternate cleaning them so you will have less of a chance of loosing te cycle of the tank. but if you get 2 then your getting close to just going with a used eheim 2215 canister filter.
 

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NO, two larger ones than you think you need. The flow slows down a lot with even moderate clogging of the media.
It is nice to have a small powerhead lower down to blow up mulm for collection by the hob.
 

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Starting to plan a low-tech tank to house primarily guppies. I haven't had a tank with a HOB filter in years (I'm talking early college and I'm now 43. It was just a little 5g, IIRC). Because of the length and shallow depth of the 20 long I'm thinking smaller HOBs at either end might be a better fit than 1 larger filter.
I have an Aquaclear 50 on my 20-long. It's rated for 20-50 gallon tanks and does a fine job.
 

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Hehehehe. I run three Aquaclear 50 on my 20 gallon long, going from back to front (B2F). If I were to do it over, then I would do four Aquaclear 30 for less concentrated, even flow. I have a lot of plants and hardscapes filled with crevices. I need that flow without distracting tank equipments. :D My tank is pearling just fine even with all that surface flow. Ssshhh! Don't tell anyone.

I had previously

(1) tried one Aquaclear 50 running BtF, left to right (L2R), right to left (R2L) and it did just fine except there were detritus collecting all over the tank, especially among the dwarf hairgrass and around the hardscapes. Adding a second Aquaclear 50 solved that problem without me having to ever manually fluff the grass carpet.

(2) tried two Aquaclear 50 running L2R and R2L to create a whirlpool. That works wonderfully well--too well in fact. Since I have some tall stem plants along the back wall, they get blown all over the place (visually unappealing) so I had to settle for the final configuration of 3 Aquaclear 50 running B2F. The front glass greatly reduces the power of the incoming water, unlike the relatively unobstructive L2R and R2L configuration that only needed 2 filters (a la iwagumi layouts).

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I am going to ignore money, canisters, whatnot and just answer your question. Since your setup is comprised of guppies and probably is sparsely planted with few hardscaping materials, I must concur with some of my brethrens above and start out with 2 HOBs (must be Aquaclear). If you ever want to upgrade then you can add CO2 directly into the Aquaclear air off-gasing hole. No biggie. Want the heater out of the tank? Stick it in the second filter. YAY! So many options. Not too big of an investment and won't overwhelm you with all the gizmo of higher tech setups...until you're ready.

One may be enough from a purely get-rid-of-this-ammonia-nitrite point of view; but considering flow, etc., one is definitely not enough IME. But then again, I am aggressively plant-centric. I never want to lay eyes on barren fish-centric tanks, unless it's well-scaped with branches, rocks, leaf litter, etc. Some of those are uber nice...nicer than even the planted ones. *drools* ^__^

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So why not compromise and start out with an Aquaclear 30 and see how it fits your tank and style. If you find that it's not enough then add a second/third/etc. or even a powerhead/wavemaker like Ms. Diana (that's one smart, well-spoken, succinct lady, just so you know). No need to get a headache over whose opinion to follow. Hehehe.

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EDIT: Oops. Forgot to talk about the tube length. Like Ms. Diana stated, there is no need to modify the intake tube. You can even make it uber short by not using the included extension tubing. My substrate line rises maybe 4 inches in the back and there's still a good separation from the inlet strainer (2" perhaps?). In fact, I kinda wish the tube is a bit longer TBH.
 
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