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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. Looking for advice on the best type of filter to get for a 55 g planted. I want to over filter as I'm debating on getting discus once the tank is planted and established (not sure yet though but overfiltering won't hurt anyways). Tetra wisper 60 I believe is what came with the tank. I've read that aquaclear is good. I've never had a canister but I remember somewhere reading that a canister was best for planted? Any help? Right now I have a 15G column with an aqueon 20 on it (for a 30g tank) but I'm having a black algae problem and I'm thinking it's due to poor water flow perhaps? I'm not planning on a CO2 system right now, just going to dose daily with flourish excel and weekly with flourish comprehensive. TIA
 

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Canister filters are the way to go, and honestly to me all the good ones are roughly the same it just depends on how much you want to spend. Also don't ever buy replacement media for your filter, make it yourself, I use quilt batting to make all my filters and a big roll costs about $13 and it lasts over a year for me and I've four aquariums. I used this material as my ore filters and I use it to make media bags, once you get the hang of it, it is very easy and extremely cheap.

I have used Fluval filters exclusively for five years but am swapping all my Fluvals out for a brand called SunSun, it's an Asian brand, but fish keeping is a major hobby over there, not a niche hobby like in the states. A lot of people still think it's the "off brand", but not too long ago Fluval and AquaClear were the "off-brand from Gemany".

I am currently running one of their four stage canister filters with built in IV light on my 55 gallon aquaponics aquarium. It works very well, never have had a leak, it filters the water about 3-4 times an hour, the out flow is strong enough that I do my need an extra circulation pump, so I am saving on electricity. A lot of people will say the 9watt light is not strong enough to work at the high flow rate of the unit, I say other wise, it may not clean as much in a single pass, but the water passes by the light a lot more frequently.
 

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I've never had a canister filter. What do I look for? What should I get? I need a heavy filtering preferably. Thanks

Canister filters are the way to go, and honestly to me all the good ones are roughly the same it just depends on how much you want to spend. Also don't ever buy replacement media for your filter, make it yourself, I use quilt batting to make all my filters and a big roll costs about $13 and it lasts over a year for me and I've four aquariums. I used this material as my ore filters and I use it to make media bags, once you get the hang of it, it is very easy and extremely cheap.

I have used Fluval filters exclusively for five years but am swapping all my Fluvals out for a brand called SunSun, it's an Asian brand, but fish keeping is a major hobby over there, not a niche hobby like in the states. A lot of people still think it's the "off brand", but not too long ago Fluval and AquaClear were the "off-brand from Gemany".

I am currently running one of their four stage canister filters with built in IV light on my 55 gallon aquaponics aquarium. It works very well, never have had a leak, it filters the water about 3-4 times an hour, the out flow is strong enough that I do my need an extra circulation pump, so I am saving on electricity. A lot of people will say the 9watt light is not strong enough to work at the high flow rate of the unit, I say other wise, it may not clean as much in a single pass, but the water passes by the light a lot more frequently.
Do you mean make your own filter media for the canister? How often does it get replaced? I've never had one. Any suggestions as to what to buy and where? I'm in Canada...
 

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If you go with a HOB filter I'd recommend the AquaClears for their total media capacity. The AC 110 would be what I'd look at for your tank.

If you go with canisters, my own personal favorites are the Rena XP and Eheim Classics. I'd go with an XP3 or an Eheim 2217 for your 55gal.

You might check out Big Als Canada, Big Als usually stays pretty competitive with pricing plus I think they still do price matching? Or you can often save some $$ if you check for used ones here in the Swap n Shop, or E Bay.

All that being said- if you're serious about wanting to get discus down the road, you might want to consider setting up a sump filtration system (in addition to probably wanting to upgrade them to a bigger tank ;) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you go with a HOB filter I'd recommend the AquaClears for their total media capacity. The AC 110 would be what I'd look at for your tank.

If you go with canisters, my own personal favorites are the Rena XP and Eheim Classics. I'd go with an XP3 or an Eheim 2217 for your 55gal.

You might check out Big Als Canada, Big Als usually stays pretty competitive with pricing plus I think they still do price matching? Or you can often save some $$ if you check for used ones here in the Swap n Shop, or E Bay.

All that being said- if you're serious about wanting to get discus down the road, you might want to consider setting up a sump filtration system (in addition to probably wanting to upgrade them to a bigger tank ;) )
Your tanks are beautiful! Would you personally recommend filter or canister? I've never had a canister.
 

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IMO I think a canister filter would be the way to go, u lose a lot of good bacteria when changing the filter on a hob cartridge, the sun sun is really affordable compared to others, I have a fluval 306 can. On my 55 and wish I got the next size up. If u do a hob get one with what's called a bio wheel to help keep the good bacteria brought in through cycling a tank. And also reccomend a circulation pump with the hob like the one in this pic
 

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I would go with a canister flilter BigAl's has Aquatop Canister filter thay are the same as the sunsun filter or go on e-buy and to lean about Discus go to SimplyDiscus.com you'll found all the info you need on Discus.
 

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Canister filters are the way to go....
I TOTALLY disagree. 45 year aquarist here. In the 1960s Eheim ran some flashy ads in TFH, and other publications, and the "Canister is best" myth was born.
Now, with the internet and "parroting", canisters are touted by many as "the only way to go".
I continually read about fitting leaks on canisters, or no flow, dead bio issues.
For the most part, they are a PITA to service.
Why would one need media bags for four? different types of media in a fresh water aquarium?
30 to 50% weekly water changes eliminates the need for most "special" media, people!

My first preference is wet/dry (sump) filtration, as inexpensive to set up as most caninsters, and cheaper than a bunch of them!
Super easy to service! Bio balls/lava or whatever for bio, and a prefilter pad you throw in the washing machine, and re-use!
I change my prefilters on the fly, don't even shut the filter off! New pad in place in less under a minute!


Second choice is Fluval's Aquaclear HOB, (used to be Hagen).
These are generally less than HALF of a canister filter price!
Squeeze the sponge out, when dirty, and throw it back in!

As for Discus, here is my award winning 130 gallon Discus tank from years ago, running a wet/dry filter, and CO2 injection.
I wouldn't even think about raising Discus, with the high protein beefheart/whatever diet,
and pristine water conditions necessary to grow out high quality Symphysodon, with a cannister filter! Unless you wanted to swap out your mechanical media every couple of days!
To the original poster Chickie_online, if you want to do a planted tank, with some schooling tetras and Corydoras catfish, a cannister might suit your needs.
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There are some awesome canisters out there, but the price is also "awesome".:)
 

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If you go with a HOB filter I'd recommend the AquaClears for their total media capacity. The AC 110 would be what I'd look at for your tank.

You might check out Big Als Canada, Big Als usually stays pretty competitive with pricing plus I think they still do price matching? Or you can often save some $$ if you check for used ones here in the Swap n Shop, or E Bay.

All that being said- if you're serious about wanting to get discus down the road, you might want to consider setting up a sump filtration system (in addition to probably wanting to upgrade them to a bigger tank ;) )
Smart lady! :)
 

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I think the answer will be different depending on your goal with the tank. I have used every type of filter in every type of situation. In my experience all have pros and cons.

A sump will generally get you the most pristine water conditions, hide your equipment and get you ultimate flexibility. On the other hand they can take some work to quiet down, really need an auto topoff or regular attention to sump water levels, and I have found many plants are more difficult to grow.

Canisters are amazingly quiet and generally very good companions to heavily planted tanks but they can be a pain to service and clean.

Hang on backs are the easiest to service and do a great job with filtering particles out of the water. They are often the easiest to stay on top of because they are front and center. They are my least favorite because the simply do not have the biological capacity and there is no control over surface agitation but that may not be a problem. They are also economical so they can be a fine choice if you have plenty of bio filtration from plants.

I am currently switching a reef ready sump setup to a large canister as the tank is heavily planted and I am seeing better results. If I had discus or large cichlids I would be staying with my sump.

There really is no right or wrong, just pros and cons.
 

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Go with an Aquaclear 110 or 2 ac70s much easer to clean than a canister.
I had a friend who's canister filter leaked at the output connection and emptied all the water from his 120g onto his hardwood floor wile he slept
There are no cartages to change in an Aquaclear just a sponge to rinse and your boi media no big deal
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
K so I ended up going with the aqua clear 110 and aqueon 950 circulating pump for extra flow. Now I keep reading about the people who use quilting batting a etx as filters? Doesn't the ac have a three filtration? Do I not use the carbon? Tia!
 

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AC filters

I am using 2 aqua clear 70 hob filters on my 55 gal. Use sponge and as much bio media you can get in it. I am not using the carbon in mine. Carbon might take stuff from the water your plants will need. My tank is crystal clear with these filters. Canisters are a PINA! The 950 will more than likely be a bit much for the plants. Make sure its not blowing them around a lot.
 

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I am late to the party so I will only say this.....canisters, very easily cleaned every 2 months. I use Eheim Classics (2217) because they are simple. No extra "prime" buttons to leak and does the job perfectly. I do keep a small HOB in the tank in which I keep Purigen or carbon if and when necessary. It all provides flow at the opposite end of the tank. All those new Chinese knockoff filters.....let's see how great they are in 4/5 years. Generally I adhere to the adage, "you get what you pay for", although I understand that many do not have the resources to spend a lot on their hobby at this time.
PS: kensfish.com beats BigAls 95% of the time on price.
 

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Canister, preferably Eheim classic. Been using them for decades. Easy to service with the included valves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am using 2 aqua clear 70 hob filters on my 55 gal. Use sponge and as much bio media you can get in it. I am not using the carbon in mine. Carbon might take stuff from the water your plants will need. My tank is crystal clear with these filters. Canisters are a PINA! The 950 will more than likely be a bit much for the plants. Make sure its not blowing them around a lot.
Should I get the next step down of circulation pumps? I don't have this installed yet. What do you for bio media?
 
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