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Hi there!

I'm setting up a new (to me) 120 gallon (4 x 2 x 2 footprint) and need filtration advice, please! I go round and round and round!

I plan to stock one oscar, some silver dollars and some other tank mates (maybe a severum and or a firemouth, and some bottom feeders or something like that). My priorities are very high quality filtration, energy efficiency, and something that's very simple to install and maintain - I'm very new to the hobby and not very technologically inclined!

Assuming I'm ok spending up to $500 on filtration (but I don't want to overspend unnecessarily - want to get a good value but quality is very important to me!), I'm debating between one Eheim 2080 (or 2180), 2 Eheim 2217's or 2 Fluval FX5's.

For redundancy (in case one filter fails) and ease of cleaning, I'm leaning towards either 2 2217's or 2 FX5's. The super high gph and media baskets are compelling with the FX5's, but I've read nothing but positive reviews about the Eheim 2217's being easy to maintain and very high quality and long lasting. I've read mixed reviews on the FX5's.

SIGH - round and round I go.

Advice? Experiences? Thanks!
 

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No experience on tanks that large but I do like my 2217 very well. One small problem with it was the lack of baskets for the loose media. I solved that with a DIY basket but you can do it simple by putting the media in a loose knit bag. Saves you sorting the stuff piece by piece. My big idea would be not to resort to cheap!! You are correct to buy good quality as I kick myself every time I deal with a cheap canister I bought.
 

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Based on your requirements of energy efficiency and simple install/maintenance, I would suggest the following three options.

1. Two Eheim 2075 Pro3's. I have this setup and it's an absolute joy to maintain. Upgraded spray bars, intakes, media trays (all you do is shake the media tray in tank water to clean). Comes with media.

2. Two Eheim 2217's. Cheaper but field tested for decades. DIY bags are crucial for mess-free maintenance. Comes with media.

3. One Fluval FX5. This thing is a monster. Check the footprint first. It's basically the size of a small shop-vac you buy from Home Depot. You have to buy your own media.
 

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An AquaClear 110 or 2 for less than the cost of one can would more than do the job, especially if you double the foam inserts. Very easy to maintain (easier than any can) and the inserts last for years
 

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^^ This is prolly the best of both worlds with that tank. Plenty of bio , mech and good circulation. We mix cans and HOB's like this on a few of our tanks, very easy to maintain mech filtration using the HOB for this.

I have a 2080 and love its volume of bio media and two intakes, might not be a bad choice over the 2075.
 

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I have the same sized tank. Started off with a Pro II 2028 and AC110. Replaced the AC110 with an FX5. Right now I'm using 2 x 2217's, main reasons for the switch, I'm using 2 Hydor inline heaters, reliability issues with the 2028 and the noise from the FX5.
 
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