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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was on this forum earlier and saw someone else ask this question but after looking over the threads I haven't been able to find it so I have to ask again.

I am going to set up a 75 gallon planted South American aquarium and I want to know what is the best filter to buy for it. I think I read something about having both a canister filter (Eheim or something like that) and a HOB, but wasn't sure. Could someone please advise?

Thanks
 

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I wouldn't say there is a 'best' filter down to the model for any application. Most enthusiasts have tried a few and have a favorite, but that doesn't mean that the others aren't as good.

If you are going to overstock your tank or have larger, messier South Americans you want to get a filter rated for more gallons than you have. This over-filterage helps compensate for the messier or overstocked tank.

As far as my 2 cents as to what is the best, I like fluval's and for a 75 gallon I would do a 305 if you aren't using large fish or overstocking and the 405 if you are. You can also make your own filter if you are a DIYer. There are several threads on how to make your own canister if you search, or I have a DIY sump plan here: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... e+diy+sump

have fun and good luck :thumb:
 

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I prefer multiple smaller filters over a single large filter. I use the following on my planted SA tank:

Rena Filstar XP3
Aquaclear AC70
Eheim 2215 Classic
Another small filter that is a part of my UV sterilizer.

To each his own though, and others probably prefer vastly different filters than myself.
 

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Hey Jimmy what kind of plants do you have in your SA tank, got any pics?
 

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hey there, i am going through the same thing right now. i am setting up a mostly driftwood sa tank (will have a few plants, probably floating). i am also trying to figure out filtration. i actually am halfway there, as i bought an ac110 yesterday. i will have that and buy either another ac110 or get a canister. not sure which canister i would get in addition to the 110, but probably an eheim like the 2217. we will see, not sure. i dont know how much that helps you but i figured i would share. make sure to post anything you decide or anything else you find out!
 

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i forgot to ask, what kind of fish are you keeping. the size of your sa's may help you decide what would work best (think someone may have already asked this, sorry if you did)
 

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G'day iLuvAngels,

Just a couple of quick examples.

On my 150 gallon tank, I have a trickle filter fed by 2 internal pumps, each rated at 235 gallons an hour, plus 2 eheim pro 2228 canister filters rated at 275 gallons. So a total of 1020 gallons per hour at maximum output. Realistically total flow per hour is probably around 900 gallons per hour. So a total turnover per hour is 6 times the volume of the tank.

I will be selling this tank soon and will use the eheim filters on my new smaller, 50 gallon tanks.

Instead of using multiple filters on each tank, I'm going to use one eheim pro 2228 canister filter and add a Eheim Surface Suction Extractor using a t bar reducer so that I have the normal filter sieve and spray bar at one end and the surface extractor at the other end. (http://www.aquariumguys.com/extractor.html)

Personally I would be in favour of two small canister filters, on at each end. As I'm only familiar with Eheim filters, something like 2 Eheim pro 2224. rated at 185 gallons per hour each.

Though a lot of LFS here are really pushing the Eheim pro 3 http://www.eheimasiapacific.com/English/pro3.htm for planted aquariums, but these are very expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am going to put Angels and Bolivian Rams in my tank for sure because I have always loved those fish. Not sure how many of each just yet. I'm also going to have some Cories and probably some type of schooling fish. I too was thinking about putting a AquaClear 110 and Eheim 2217 on the tank for filtration. I don't have any experience with canister filters but I keep hearing a lot of good things about Eheims. The tank will have a sand substrate and be moderately planted with Amazon Swords, Vallisneria and Pygmy Chain Swords. I am not sure if any of that will have an impact on what filtration is needed.

This is my first "Big" aquarium and I am trying to do things the right way if that is possible. :)
 

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I'm not very knowledgeable abouth Angels but I can tell you a group of 7 to 9 Bolivians will be fine in a 75,.....some things do depend on other tank inhabitants of course. If you chose to go with a larger group of cories I suggest 6 Bolivians. But,....the question was about filtration!

Sooooo there are a lot of diferent types of filtration, sponge filters, HOB's, canisters, sumps,..... Every system does have it's advantages and disadvantages. You will get a lot of diferent answers on this question and to say what filter is the best is just not possible becouse there are many way's to accomplish the same effect. Thing to consider are:

Flow,.....do your fish like a high flow or not
Bio load,...with a large bio load you need a large quantity of filter media
Space,.....is there space for the filter system (a sump or an in-tank filter)
Risk,.....do you want to take risks with leaking hoses / overflow / seals
Product qualety,.....some product do look the same but there is a huge diference in qualety.

So I use canisters and build several in-tank biological filter based on sponges. The DIY in-tank filter is easy to build, no risks on leaking, reliable, low maintenance and cheap. It cost a pump, some glass, silicone and sponges. The only drawback is that it will take away space in the tank.

Eheim canisters are reliable, quiet, and spare parts will be available for a long long time! There is only one type with some problems and thats the Ecco line. The bar is the weak spot on this one and can break if you use to much force. I have 2 of them and one of 8 years old that need to be replaced. I can order the part easely so not a big problem. The Eheim Pro series are excellent canisters! I like the Pro2. A very good alternative are the marineland canisters! They seem to be a cheaper but reliable alternative. If you plan on a CO2 system I suggest to skip the HOB. This creates a lot of movement on the surface and becouse of this a lot of CO2 will escape the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh no, I have no idea if I will need a CO2 system or not. Looks like I have to post some more questions about that in the appropriate forums. :?

Thanks for mentioning that Dutch Dude
 

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Well CO2 is a thing to consider. It makes it much more easier to create good plant growth and maintain the more demanding plants. It isn't cheap dough! You can do without but this also depends on plant species. Echinodorus, anubia, java fern and some others can do well without.
 

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Dutch Dude said:
Well CO2 is a thing to consider. It makes it much more easier to create good plant growth and maintain the more demanding plants. It isn't cheap dough! You can do without but this also depends on plant species. Echinodorus, anubia, java fern and some others can do well without.
If you are a DIY'er it can be pretty cheap, couple empty bottles, some airline sugar and yeast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is all new to me so I can't really call myself a DIY'er :) I just want to recreate the South American River and Stream environment as much as possible in my tank. I have a printout that shows how to do this and it has a list of several plants that I want to use such as Amazon Swords, Vals and pygmy chain swords and I think I'll plant some java fern too. I hope these plants can get by without having to buy a CO2 system. If it's not that hard to make then I will be willing to try so I can save some money!
 

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One cheater method you can do is to use flourish excel as a carbon supplement. Not as good as CO2, but it is better than nothing.
 

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I prefer sump style wet drys on bigger tanks, but these are not always cost effective on mid-size or smaller tanks. So my second choice is usually the emperor line of HOB, or the penjuin line on smaller tanks. Those wheels have a huge surface area, and they have flow control so you can determine how fast or slow they flow.

If you do go the carbon dioxide route, homemade CO2 is so inexpensive that I don't mind mixing them with HOB style filters. If I ever sprung the money for an actual CO2 unit though, I'd deffinately agree with Dutch Dude and skip the HOB. I don't mind throwing a couple dollars away on the DYI CO2 with HOB ... but would not do so with the expense of a real CO2 unit.

Though most of the plants you listed really don't need a CO2 unit, the flourish excel would probably keep up with their needs along with what the fish produce.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
dwarfpike said:
Though most of the plants you listed really don't need a CO2 unit, the flourish excel would probably keep up with their needs along with what the fish produce.
Good. I am trying to have plants that are not too difficult to keep alive and healthy. The only plants I have experience with are Java Fern, which of course are the easiest to grow, and Wisteria which does just fine in my tank with adequate lighting.
 

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Though most of the plants you listed really don't need a CO2 unit
I agrea on that. CO2 definitely will have a positive effect on the plants (nice green leaves, faster growing and larger plants) but without they will grow to and be nice plants. Easy plants from SA are most of the swords (Echinodorus), vallisneria (doubtful if it is realy a SA plant and if only the straight V. spiralis) and Egeria. Especially the Egeria is a fast and easy specie. It will extract lots of phosphates and nitrates and is the plant that produces the most oxygen. By the way,.....plants hardly occur in SA rivers and streams. It are the oxbow lakes that contain most of the aquatic plants.

Yeast CO2 is indeed inexpensive but the right dose of CO2 is harder to control. Thats why I prefer a pressurized CO2 unit. Unfortunately those are expensive so I do consider the yeast CO2 units as a good alternative especially on smaller tanks. In a 75 gallon you need several bottles of DIY CO2.
 
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