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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off i posted this on another thread and then realised this was the best place so posted again but was actually in the decoration and rocks thread so made another mistake. FInally got it right. Appreciate your feedback:

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 you can do a sump on a large tank, I think you'd be crazy not too. In cotnrast to your comments, a good sump makes it easier to add water to your system. The water level in the tank is constant, only the sump levels fluctuate. Sumps allow for lots more filtration in variety, quantity and quality. A good pre-filter in your sump can mean occasional maintainence that is done in seconds. Any maintainance of a canister is a project.

Sumps allow you to put heaters etc out of sight so all you see in the tank are the small water returns and the fish!

As for money... for what you would spend on an Eheim canister, you could get two or three of another brand that would do you very well. Look at the Fluval FX5 for around $200 and Eheim wants to compare it to a $450+ model of theirs. You have to spend over twice the money to get their "comperable" unit? :lol: There's some die-hard Eheim fans in the world, but it is hard to justify on a budget.

I recommend the sump, get a pump that will pump 6x your tank including head loss (Mag 12 or bigger) and you'll be glad you did.
 

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I would suggest you carefully consider this question. I went through the same thought process and I went with the cannister. But now I am starting to change my mind. The reason I went with a cannister is because I didnt want the noise of the sump, but my tank is far from quiet, so Im wondering if the noise of the sump would make any difference.

The problem is I have my tank setup, so I'm wondering if there is a way to do it without any drilled holes. But after only a few weeks of doing maintenance it'd be really nice to do most of the work in the sump instead of in the main tank.

Does anyone have any good links to DIY sump articles or threads? I have read some on this site that aren't that good. Especially since I am not really familiar with how a sump works.
 

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Guy I have a 75 gallon aquarium w/mbuna's. I know of 2 others in my neighborhood that don't have them. They have 2 HOB and one Canister and still the tank is floating debris all over the place. I'm telling you hands down your going to go with 3 filters and not have the tank clean or go with a wet / dry filter and be happy as ever. nothing worse then buying filters that don't get the job done. Sure I have to wash the floss every 3rd day, but my aquarium is not floating debris like the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for you input guys. I think i will gow ith the sump. A tank im looking to buy already has the goods. The bio balls hab bacteria all over them and it is completely dry, the tank is empty. Do these balls need to be washed clean, is the bacteria useless now?

It also comes with a diatom filter. Are these things good? He said it really cleans the water etc. Is it used when putting new water in?

Also boredatwork here is a link to a bunch of youtube DIY vids. Some are pretty good. Scroll right down the page aswell beacuase the ones at the end are good to. The one at the very bottom is a helpfull video:

http://youtube.com/results?search_query ... arch_type=
 

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If the bioballs are dry they have no bacteria on them, at least not the bacteria we want for the nitrogen cycle. Wash everything well, just to be sure its clean before setting up the tank. You will have to cycle the tank. The diatom filter is used for polishing the water, it is not designed to run continuously. You run it every once in a while to clean the tank.
 
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