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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While wandering through Petsmart, the wife and I found a 120 gallon tank and stand on sale. Now it's in the living room. My previous aquarium experience is limited to a couple fancy goldfish in a 20 gallon tank with a Whisper HOB. I need some help with equipping this big thing. So first I have been trying to knock out the filtration system. I have seen good things about the Eheim 2217, though I have never used a canister filter and have no idea how to hook it up. Is there any reason not to get a couple Emperor 400s also?

I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to stock the tank yet. I know there will be atleast a of couple oscars. I was planning on using sand and a few pieces of driftwood to decorate.
 

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I love my Eheim 2217. I have them one all my large tanks. Since Oscars are messy fish I would do a 2217 and a HOB filter. The Emperor filters are good, but I prefer the Aquaclears.
 

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For oscars, I'd agree, get the Eheim and two HOB's. That wouldn't be too much.

The Eheim will have complete instructions, so shouldn't be a problem getting it going. But, post back here with questions and lots of folks that can help out.
 

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If the Ehiem is in the budget, go for it. HOB's are nice as well and can be added at any point once the tank is up and cycled properly. The only reason I mention that is I like to go slow and add equipment as it is needed rather than all at once. Read up on the cycle in the library on the forum here. Make sure when buying the 2217 that you get media with the filter when figuring pricing. Other than what to put in the filter, running them is a simple affair. Don't let that part scare you.
 

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prov356 said:
The Eheim will have complete instructions, so shouldn't be a problem getting it going. But, post back here with questions and lots of folks that can help out.
I've never been more confused at any point in my life than the time I installed a 2213 on one of my tanks. And this is after installing a different canister on a different tank.

All of my guesses were right but the lame instructions just made me doubt myself every step of the way - if a friend of mine hadn't been a long-time Eheim user I would still be wondering. There was one bracket for which I still don't know the use.

Don't get me wrong (and call me stupid if you will) it's a great filter and has done a wonderful job quietly for years - but Eheim's instructions would have to try hard to be any worse.

(and I hate the bright green tubing!)

kevin
 

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yeah, the instructions leave a little to be desired. But I love these filters!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would 2 Eheims be better than the 1 with 2 hobs? I would prefer to the least amount of visible equipment in the tank. Would 2 canisters provide sufficient water movement?
 

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^^^ Two canisters would be better IMO.

I run two canisters on my 120, my experience:

I bought a Fluval 405 first. Instructions just made me double think myself and I had some leaks. I had issues with the O ring as the O ring and impeller come uninstalled (to prevent damage the instructions said) and I could not get the O ring and motor assembly to sit flush. This coming from someone who has broken down and reassembled car motors several times.

Returned it for a Rena XP4 and it took 15 minutes. Went and got another, same thing.

Take that with a grain of salt as I have not tried Eheim.
 

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That just goes to show you how different experiences can be for different people!

I can barely operate a screwdriver but I found the instructional DVDs that came with the three different Fluvals I use a snap to follow.

To answer the OPs question, 2 filters is better than one in most instances. Redundancy in case of failure and increased water movement are just two reasons.

If you are going for quiet of closeness to a wall you'd want two canisters.

If a little splashing doesn't bother you and you want a little easier time cleaning filters than go with two HOBs or and HOB and a canister.

kevin
 

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I agree with Ridley.....everyone has different experiences with filters so I would say it's really up to you. I personally have 1 HOB (Emperor 400) and a canister (Eheim) in the same tank. I use the HOB as my mechanical filtration (change the media 1x per month) and my canister as my biological filtration (change the media 1x per 3-4 months) seems to work well for me :thumb:
 

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I have 3 Fluval canisters and 1 in-tank fluval (U2).

My first canister ever was a 305 - I got it up and running no problem. I had never been to this forum, nor did I know anyone that had experience.

My 2nd was a 404, used - I just replaced the O-Ring and previously replaced the impeller cover (a plastic clip broke - who knows how old this thing was, but the replacement part was like $7).

My most recent is the FX5 - a massive 17" across beast of a filter on my 125. I would highly recommend this filter. Has plenty of bio-media capacity and lots of water flow (over 600GPH fully loaded, 900+ with no media if you're comparing).

Very solidly built in all areas in my opinion.

IMO Fluval & Eheim make great filters - can't really go wrong with either.
I've heard a few too many negative reviews on Rena/Marineland canisters to make me try one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just ordered 2 Eheim 2217s and 2 Hydor ETH 200s. I'm pretty convinced on using pool filter sand. Do you guys get your self sinking driftwood from a lfs or from online somewhere?
 

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Most african cichlid folks use rocks instead of wood/plants.

Not sure on the SA cichlids.
 

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Jeff personally I would have ordered the Eheim 2250, 2260, or the 2262. I also agree with Jason I would get the AquaClear HOB filters. They are the best HOB filters!
 

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I have a fluval 405 and so far sometimes I can't even tell if it's running it's so quiet. I can't even hook up a dvd player but I did this on my own. But looks like you already bought your Eheim. IDK anything about Eheim other than their expensive.

Definelty get a HOB to go along with your cannister. U can never have enough filtration, especially if you want Oscars in your 125. For HOB I would get Aquaclear, their the best. I plan on getting one myself when my Oscar gets bigger to compliment the Fluval
 

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I dont like the look or sound of HOB's and have never had a dirty water issue with running only a canister on tanks.
 

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well...if I could afford 2 cannisters I would of done it..but I have also been told that an HOB is good for backup, god forbid your cannister breaks down or something at least you have something going until you can get a new filter. But I do get what your saying. I want one just because it's a cheaper way to have more filtration which hopefully would lead to less % water changes.
 

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Having more filters won't change the amount (frequency or how much) of water changes.

And your tank will be fine for at least 1 day without a filter. Unless I'm away on vacation (rare with 4 kids!), I can always run out to any 5 chain stores and pick up a high-volume HOB while I wait for repair/replacement on a canister.

I have single canister filters on each of my 3 main tanks. The rest (20, 10, 5) have HOB due to either location or size.
 

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I guess it has to do with more of the bio load of the fish and the size of fish./tank their is definelty a difference of water change % between a 2 inch Oscar and a 12 inch oscar.

But you can never have enough filtration...that's what I really mean to say
 

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You are correct. Water changes are based on bio load / tank size, not filtration.

Filtration amount required is determined by tank size/bio load.
 
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