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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am setting up an mbuna tank. I am either going to purchase a 5x2x2 or 6x2x2 tank. So thats roughly 15og and 180g. I was wondering what you guys think would be a better set-up. Either setting up a sump system below the tank with bio-balls an pump etc or usiing canister filters?

I have heard with sump's that they are a nuisance. I heard the temperature flucuates quite a bit, they are noisy and getting the water level right is annoying when you say turn the pump off the sump may fill-up. WHat are your guys thoughts on these issues with a sum set-up.

If i chose canister filters do you think that would be the preffered option. What would i need for a 150g tank or even 180g. I may prob purchase eheim but am open to suggestions of other brands. Could i have 1 canister while the fish are juvies and then as they get bigger add the other filter... just for the sake of not buying 2 straight away for money reasons?

Thanks for your guys time, eagerly await your feedback.
 

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If your the type that likes to tinker with your system and get everything just right... making a few DIY modifications along the way... the sump would be better...

If your looking to plug it in, watch it work and be done with it... then Canisters can do the job too...

It may be nice for someone with ample experience with each to post a pro/con list of comparisons... I don't feel thorough enough in sumps to do so fairly...
 

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Sumps are great if done right. You could add a big refuge with fast growing plants like hornwort which could double as a growout tank.
 

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Hey Aramz

I've just bought a 54"x24"x24" (600ish Liters) for Mbuna. I use an Eheim Pro III thermal and I can say that it isn't enough for a tank that size (not once you have it loaded with media anyway). I’m going to add an FX 5 to the tank just before I fully stock it. Canister filters are great things, especially now you can get them the size of the Pro III and FX 5, but there are real advantages to a sump (increase water volume, turnover, versatility, etc). For me the decision was down to two things, noise (sumps can be noisy) and work to maintain. I love my hobby, but I have a young family and need to balance the two so canisters were easier to maintain and safer (little fingers and all that).
 

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I have a 180 with an Amiracle wet/dry and a mag 1800 pump (a bit of overkill, wish I would have gotten a smaller pump). The only noise you really have is the sound of water running down the overflows and in the wet/dry. I kind of like the water noise actually. If you put the pump in the sump, there is no noise from the pump itself. Wet/drys are actually real easy to maintain after you get them set up. The water level is not a problem at all, I really don't see how anyone could have a problem with that. The sump will never overflow if the power goes out. The only way a sump could really be a danger to kids is if it is a bigger one that maybe if the kids were real young could go head first into it...just like the warnings on the 5 gallon buckets. Wet/drys are a little safer as far as leaks go. With connection and hoses if there is a leak with a wet/dry, only the overflow water and sump water would leak out on the floor. With a canister filter leak, the water in the tank itself would leak all the way down to the intake of the canister. You can also hide your heater in the sump easy with a wet/dry, which is nice. The only thing I don't like about wet/drys is the wasted space the overflows take up in the tank itself that the fish could be using.

I also have a 125 with an UGF, C-360 and an Emporer 400 which does work well. The hoses on a C-360 do NOT fit on the in-line heaters however. With the use of in-line heaters it does create another chance for leaking. On a 180, two good sized canisters and an Emperor 400 should be enough. The Canister way would be much faster and easier to get the tank up and going and they do work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your advice.

I was looking at filter options. A Fluval Fx5 sound slike it would happily do a 6x2x2 sized tank. Would i need anything else for the tank ni the way of filtration... i'd still need a pump wouldn't i?
I haven't seen any ehiem that matched the Fluval for the amount of water it can pump in an hour. All the eheim's i saw would require me to purchase 2x of them to filter the tank, the Fluval sounded like that would be all i needed to purchase.

Also with the sump what would i need to purchase? Is there alot required and is it quite a bit less expensive to set up then purchasing at $430 Fluval or 2x $300 eheim's? Also if i were to obtain a used sump set-up that had alot of bio-balls and had been dry for quite some time would the bacteria be usefull still?

Also Britnick you mentioned that sump's have benefits in the way of increased water volume, turnover and versatility. Cold you please explain these things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If anyone could answer the any of the questions just above it would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
 

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i have a fluval fx5 and i'm going to use it on my 125 tank. it is a great turn over rate and would be perfect for your tank. however i wouldnt pay 430 for it i got mine for 200 brand new. if ya got the fluval thats all you would need no need to buy any other pumps or anything like that its just a plug and play type filter. i dont have my tank and filter set up yet so i cant give ya any personal experience of it but i have heard nothing bad about them.
 

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Would i need anything else for the tank ni the way of filtration... i'd still need a pump wouldn't i?
Depends on how you set up your filter lines. Without a pump you would want the return water flowing across the substrate towards the filters pick up to keep detritus from accumulating. A better option is to have the return water flowing across the surface of the tank to create turbulance to break up film and create better oxygen exchange. In this type of set-up you would need a powerhead or two to circulate water at the bottom of the tank.

If you decide to go canister you'll want to have a higher gph turnover rate then would be required for a wet/dry. 7-10 times per hour of total tank volume is usually recommended for a heavily stocked tank.

Also with the sump what would i need to purchase?
You would need an overflow to get the water to the sump. Thier are many types and you'll want to be sure you get one that will handle the amount of flow you decide to run through your filter. With a wet/dry system you won't need as much flow as the canisters to get adequite bio-filtration. 4-6 times per hour of total tank volume per hour is usually recommended. The overflow boxes are also excellant at keeping surface scum from building up. Ideally if you haven't bought the tank yet you could purchace one with the overflows allready buit in.

You will also need a pump rated for your wet/dry and what your overflows can handle. You also need to take into account head preasure when making this purchace.

Is there alot required and is it quite a bit less expensive to set up then purchasing at $430 Fluval or 2x $300 eheim's?
Probably less expensive then 2 Eheims but about the same as the Fluvall if you bought new.

Also if i were to obtain a used sump set-up that had alot of bio-balls and had been dry for quite some time would the bacteria be usefull still?
No. Once they have dried out and been sitting around for a while the bacteria have all died off. You would need to clean the bio-balls and start a new cycle.

Also Britnick you mentioned that sump's have benefits in the way of increased water volume, turnover and versatility. Cold you please explain these things.
I don't presume to speak for Britnick but will say that imo the sump is a superior filter for larger tanks. More water in the system, ability to place equipment in it instead of the tank, ability to customize for your particular needs, better oxygenation and a constant water level in the aquarium are just a few of the advantages.
 

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As the others have said, sumps are better but not easier. After you get everything up right I think they are easier to maintain than a canister. They are problem free and quiet if engineered properly, but that may take some tinkering.
 
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