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What type of filter are you using in your 29 gallon or smaller tanks?

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I'm curious to know what people are using in smaller tanks that are 29 Gal. or less for filtration?
  • Sponge
  • Combination of filters? if so, which combination?
  • HOB
  • Hamburg Mattenfilter
  • Small Canister
  • Sump
  • Refugium - some people use them in different configurations and for "several small tanks"
  • Aquaponic
  • Other - if so, what?
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I'm curious to know what people are using in smaller tanks that are 29 Gal. or less for filtration?
  • Sponge
  • Combination of filters? if so, which combination?
  • HOB
  • Hamburg Mattenfilter
  • Small Canister
  • Sump
  • Refugium - some people use them in different configurations and for "several small tanks"
  • Aquaponic
  • Other - is so what?
I have 4 - 20 gallons with Eheim 2232 filters. 2- 5 gallons with Aquaclear HOB filters.
 

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I run a small 7g wet/dry (trickle) sump on my 35g hex tank. After I switched to a sump I can't stomach all the labor involved with the other filter types.

$200 Eheim + Fluval 404 + Rena + Penguin Emperor + a couple others sitting on the shelf. I might give away some of them but the Eheim was to expensive not to keep "just in case".
 

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29 Gallon has an Aqueon QuietFlow 30 and a SunSun HW-603B that feeds into my breeder HOB and then there is a 500 GPH circulation pump too so lots of filtering and flow as I have 3 plecos and lots of tetras

In my 5.5 I have just a tiny sponge with a petco air pump running it till I can get something else as I want 2 azoo mignon 60s so theres lots of flow. I like flow its just something I have done since having African cichlids.
 

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Ive used a HOB Fluval C2 and the filtration is good but flow is minimal. Would actually recommend this HOB if you are going this route. Its a little loud, but after applying Vaseline to the spindle its really really quiet.

Recently upgraded to a 2213 and the flow is perfect for a planted 20L. Motor does hum like a solenoid though. No control valve. PS: Flow may be a little too strong for inhabitants :]
Overall, am pleased with this filter and would purchase again.
 

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It's overkill for sure in my tank, but I have seachem tidal 110. Mainly got it because of its media capacity, and you can really dial down the flow. Quiet and self priming.
 
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Most of my tanks have either sponge filters or Lee's corner filters. The cheap economy ones.

Those that need a bit more circulation I run Whisper HOBs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all, very helpful. My tank is a 20high, and all is well except my C3 is providing too much downward flow and it tends to clobber my stem plants forcing them downward, so I was curious to see how people were filtering their smaller tanks and the flows. This is great and enough to paint some more color into the picture here, so I can figure out how to keep my water polished without clobbering my tall stem plants. My C3 is customized and does an amazing job otherwise, I prefer the design over the AqualClears, even though they both use the same motors with the exception of the 110 model and the designs are very similar, the C2,3,4 has changed my tune over the AqualClears. Also, occasionally the AqualClears develop this issue where a clog develops on the intake between the intake chamber to the 2nd reservoir chamber and they actually start overflowing at the top and fill up with water, a lovely site when you come home from work after three days and find a small flood. I might use a little black cube filter, stuff it in the back on each side and perhaps use a small 80gph tank for mid-level current? Current is so beneficial in my experience especially with my effort to control algae and I might even richochet the flow pump off a panel? The flow should be adequate enough to keep the plants stronger, algae off the leaves and sides panels and I may end up trying this. HOB’s are so efficient when you can control the flow, but the c2 and C3 only throttle efficiently for so long and then particles (blood worm remnants) cake up enough so that you need to clean out the filter and really the last thing I want to do is clean out my friendly local bacteria. Sponge filters like the little cubes with the custom tubes e.g. Swiss Tropicals with the ability to use whichever ppm filter squares you like are my personal favorites. I guess it’s just one of the reasons why I prefer larger setups so that you can avoid all of the gear inside the tank, but I digress as I still like smaller tanks.


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You've got it right on the tank sizes. For some things big tanks are better while there are also reasons to like small tanks. I've been a big tank fan for a while as I was raising big fish but now I have converted several of the growout tanks to planted as the growouts are no trouble combining with most any plants. Now that I'm doing more in the small tanks, I'm finding it fun to do them. Very much easier to sort out a problem and change things on the smaller tanks. Much easier to spot that I have a nutrient lacking on some specific type plant when there is only one of that type rather than a dozen and those on one end doing something different than the same plant on the other end.
Same old thing, we all need to look at what we want and move that way as the mood feels right. There really is little value in trying to do what somebody else likes! One of the reasons that I no longer get involved in clubs and groups is that there are always those who promote the idea of "competition" which totally flies in the face of doing my personal choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a corner HMF in my 20 high and absolutely love it. It does eat up some real estate in the tank, but maintenance is minimal and it keeps the heater out of sight.


Actually, I really want to try the Swiss Tropicals corner filters, those look like they’d be the ticket? Haven’t’ tried it yet, it’s just a matter of time before I do. If I can figure how to stuff some equipment in the corner and still make it work. For instance, check this out: http://www.swisstropicals.com/filtration-shop/cornerfilter-shop/. Even if this doesn’t work out, it will be worth trying. My next idea after that would be (for small tanks for starters) to take some black polymer or acrylic and my table saw and create a small weir to cover the C2 or C3 in my small tanks and create the more holes with a drill below where the intake pipe is located.

There is a better way to get filtration with some experimentation and not clobber my steam plants in the back of my small tanks. So far with my current mods, using mostly filter floss, a custom filter pad and stuff my bag of media down below the filter floss has managed to really make my water sparkle.

With this, and this other light project (don’t want to get off topic) I’m working on, I think I’m going to have a cool tank to share. Clean water, shimmering lights, likely an Apistogramma or a Ram and it will be showtime. Just wish I didn’t have so much work to do.

Cheers,
DD




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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's overkill for sure in my tank, but I have seachem tidal 110. Mainly got it because of its media capacity, and you can really dial down the flow. Quiet and self priming.


These look pretty nifty, I like the return lip for flow back into the tank, but like most HOB’s we have to keep an eye on the evaporation factor.

Is that really true (I read some reviews on this line of filters) can you truly throttle down the flow up to 80%? Hm... ? If so, these look cool and I noticed they’re keeping the price reasonable and it looks like you can add on a sponge filter extension, which is always helpful.


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