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Quick question, for more seasoned aquarists. I've currently got a whisper power filter running on my 30 gal, which I'd like to upgrade. I've been going with fluval products for a while, and I really like them. I've currently got the option between a 205 or 305, basically 180 vs 260gph turnover, for about the same price, ~$75-80. In fact, I could even go insane and get the 340gph model for ~$90, but I could only believe it would turn my little tank into a wave pool.

So, anyone have any suggestions? Or can point me to a different canister filter for the same price range?. I know a sponge filter would probably get the job done way cheaper, but since I've got the aesthetic design already well in order, I'd rather not throw in a giant sponge.
 

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Sure sponge filters work but they make canisters for a reason… they’re nice…

I suggest for a typical Cichlid tank to filter the tanks volume 10 times per hour… or 300 gph for your 30 gal…

I have tanks with well over 15 times turnover and the Dwarf Cichlids and young grow outs do just fine swimming in the peaceful water… there are a couple strong currents in the tank… as well as a dead spot or two… but all in all the tank is quite clean and the fish are healthy.
 

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I had a Emperor 400 on a 30-long for 4 years and my fish did perfectly fine. It kept the tank pretty clean and moved plenty of water. I have Malawi cichlids in there. They started as juvies and grew into adults, I had 3 generations of fish in that tank, so I think they liked it just fine. Get an emperor, they work great and are pretty cheap.
 

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I have a Fluval 304 on my 29 Gallon. About 36" long. I think it works perfect. I have tropicals in that tank but even when I had a variety of cichlids in there it did more the excellent at keeping the water crystal clear.

It doesn't make whirl pool at all. Its almost a perfect match for tank size and filter flow. A 405 would be a bit stronger which I would reccomend if you had cichlids. I tend to point the output of stronger filters more toward the glass to help kill the current that may be not wanted.
 
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