Aquarium Setup • Use of old power filters

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Use of old power filters

Postby 5cents » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:02 am

I have been away from Afican Cichlids for over 3 decades and I'm finally at a place where I want to relax and watch some of my old friends play in the sand. I've been checking out some of the topics and thinking, wow how things have sure changed since I was in the business. I used to breed back in the 70's when there wasn't that many species available to pick from.

Anyway, back to my question. I have some old Aqua King and Aqua Queen power filters that are still in great shape and was wondering if these would be fine to use or should I box them up as antiques and go buy some of the new filters? :?
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Postby BelfastGranny » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:51 am

lol :thumb: I have a feeling that this forum may be populated mainly with young American males who have much disposable income to spend on their hobby, they will probably tell you to spend your pension/life-savings on the latest, coolest gagetry! :wink: I don't think today's cichlid's care any more about having the latest technology than they did in the seventies, as you well know, all they care about is clean, good quality water. :fish: As long as your equipment is safe I would make use of it. (see my question on Pond Filter also on this page, I would value your opinion on it)
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Postby Sub-Mariner » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:35 am

If you have old filters that work use them. If not theres nothing wrong with spending a little hard earned money on the latest and greatest.
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Postby newforestrob » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:19 am

For the newer hobbyists unfamiliar with these products, this little walk down Memory Lane should serve to show you how far we have come and how lucky you are to have the equipment that is available now.

You can visualize these filters as a small aquarium that hung off the back of the main tank and had its own under-gravel filter. Instead of placing gravel on top of the filter though, you were to put layers of Polyester filter fiber and activated carbon. This worked ok, but these units had other problems. The water got into the filter chamber by means of two large siphon tubes. These were difficult to fill with water and a general maintenance headache. The water was returned to the display by way of a powerful pump, but this pump was loud, ran hot, and was not designed to get wet. Furthermore, it was balanced precariously over the open water in the filter area by two plastic bars. This always was a delicate proposition with the possibility of a disconcerting shock hanging over your head. It is probably best that these filters went the way of the dinosaurs and have been replaced by safer and more efficient designs.

I copied that from another website,sound familiar?I would go new from reading it,however,I have never seen one,or heard of them until now
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Postby 5cents » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:38 am

newforestrob wrote:For the newer hobbyists unfamiliar with these products, this little walk down Memory Lane should serve to show you how far we have come and how lucky you are to have the equipment that is available now.

You can visualize these filters as a small aquarium that hung off the back of the main tank and had its own under-gravel filter. Instead of placing gravel on top of the filter though, you were to put layers of Polyester filter fiber and activated carbon. This worked ok, but these units had other problems. The water got into the filter chamber by means of two large siphon tubes. These were difficult to fill with water and a general maintenance headache. The water was returned to the display by way of a powerful pump, but this pump was loud, ran hot, and was not designed to get wet. Furthermore, it was balanced precariously over the open water in the filter area by two plastic bars. This always was a delicate proposition with the possibility of a disconcerting shock hanging over your head. It is probably best that these filters went the way of the dinosaurs and have been replaced by safer and more efficient designs.

I copied that from another website,sound familiar?I would go new from reading it,however,I have never seen one,or heard of them until now


You had me all excited for a minute as I thought I found someone that could actually relate to the old days of setting up aquariums and maintaining a good African Cichlid population. Not many people that I've heard of in Montana raise African's. Yesterday I just removed 6 boxes of aquarium filter supplies that I'd had stored. Some are sponge filters used in fry tanks, old corner filters, numerous power filters and air pumps. I'm retired now so I have to deal with the fixed income issue. Oh well, here goes nothing. lol :fish:
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Postby 748johnd » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:26 am

I did use those filters by made Danner and I really liked them. In fact, I wish I had kept mine. I sold them years ago. If you still have them I would use them.
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Postby PfunMo » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:38 am

I suspect I'm in the same age group and remember some of those filters. Some I would use, some not. Undergravel filters, no way. Spong filters, definite yes. They still work the same and hooked to a powerhead, can do a lot more. The standard old power filter, maybe not. The old syphon setup is not that good. The motors used were cast iron type horses which might last forever but that is the part I might junk first if I wanted to save money. Check the power ratings on those motors and then look at new mag drive motors before you decide. A new Eheim 2075 runs on 16 watts. That can make a difference in the electrical bill. Then you figure how much of the extra power used goes into heating your house when you don't want it heated and it begins to look more like new really is better. I'm sure the heating/cooling is different for you than for me but the bill is still there to figure. Then there is the noise!!! WOW>
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Postby Jmanolinsky » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:07 pm

The filter I remember from back then was the Metaframe Dynaflo Motor Filter. Does anyone recall it? It may have been the first HOB. I don't recall any others except for the clear plastic corner filters that took up a chunk of space in a 10 or 20 gallon tank.
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Postby PfunMo » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:31 pm

That is one of the things I notice most after coming back to the hobby. Lots of people insist that it requires a tank of at least 55 gallons. Nobody seems to remember the days when 55 WAS a large tank and the standard was 10-20 and thirty. Once I did get a few 55s together, there seemed to be little limit to the African cichlids I could keep Except there were few around. I'm glad to see some experienced folks who remember the days when it didn't require a half acre to set up a cichlid tank. :roll:
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Postby Mike_G » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:27 pm

Jmanolinsky wrote:The filter I remember from back then was the Metaframe Dynaflo Motor Filter. Does anyone recall it? It may have been the first HOB. I don't recall any others except for the clear plastic corner filters that took up a chunk of space in a 10 or 20 gallon tank.


I remember those Dynaflo motor filters- they had a magnetically-coupled impeller design that was pretty ingenious for the time. I was using one of those HOB filters that used an airlift system around then so a Dynaflo would have been a real upgrade.
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Postby beachtan » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:50 pm

kensfish.com is running very good specials on AquaClear HOB's & their cascade glass heaters are cheap and have worked best for me in my fishroom, and maybe the replacement ATI sponges would fit your sponge filters? If you can ship to someones office, commerical UPS shipping is cheaper than residential on that site...
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Postby reddhawkk » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:51 am

I too am just getting back into the hobby after several decades off. I pulled my Aquakings out of storage and looked at them with fondness and then bought a cannister filter. I would have used them except for two things. One, the little parts that held the motor out of the water were not in good shape and might not have kept the motors out of the water (same issue I had with them 25 years ago). Two, the motors, although they worked, had not fared well in storage and were fairly rusted to the point that I would not trust them running while I was not actually looking at them, not very practicle. So I would say if yours are in really good shape, use them, otherwise replace.
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Postby 5cents » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:19 pm

reddhawkk wrote:I too am just getting back into the hobby after several decades off. I pulled my Aquakings out of storage and looked at them with fondness and then bought a cannister filter. I would have used them except for two things. One, the little parts that held the motor out of the water were not in good shape and might not have kept the motors out of the water (same issue I had with them 25 years ago). Two, the motors, although they worked, had not fared well in storage and were fairly rusted to the point that I would not trust them running while I was not actually looking at them, not very practicle. So I would say if yours are in really good shape, use them, otherwise replace.


Good points and for me it is definitely going to be fun getting back into the cichlids. I'll check everything out thoroughly before trying to use them. I realize some of the new stuff makes life easier, but I don't always take the easy way out. Thanks all for the advice.
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Postby BillD » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:07 am

Jmanolinsky wrote:The filter I remember from back then was the Metaframe Dynaflo Motor Filter. Does anyone recall it? It may have been the first HOB. I don't recall any others except for the clear plastic corner filters that took up a chunk of space in a 10 or 20 gallon tank.


I have a brand new Dynaflow sitting in the basement waiting to be put to use. A large number of them turned up in auctions a few years ago, brand new and still in the box. Apparently someone found a cache of them in a warehouse, where they had been sitting for years.
As far as new filters, there is a lot of gimmickery being used to sell product. The AquaClear filters have been around for about 30 years and still rank with the best of what is available.
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Postby Jmanolinsky » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:54 pm

I also had a Stow-a-light made by Metaframe as well. Anyone recall those? The fluorescent tube was mounted in the stainless steel lid in the front. In the back was a storage area with a lid for keeping food, nets, etc. My tank was a Metaframe too, come to think of it. I guess I was a Metaframe fanboy, lol. :lol:
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