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Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Russ, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Russ

    Russ Guest

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    Hi folks,

    I'm new to this forum and a bit of a newbie as far as planted tanks go. I have a planted 46 bowfront w/pressurized CO2 and a canister filter that I've been learning on and I'm setting up a 75 gallon for the first time. I've never had a tank this big and could use some advice on equipment/set up.

    Filter:
    I know people don't usually use power filters on planted tanks due to surface agitation, but I like the ease of maintenance with an Aquaclear 110. I was going to set up the filter on one end of the tank with the intake plumbed under the substrate to the other end of the tank to get as much circulation as possible. This would also limit the surface turbulence to one end of the tank.

    Another reason I'm considering a power filter is to get a little surface turbulence to keep oxygen levels up for the fish. I lost some apistos to oxygen depletion in my 46gal and added an Aquaclear 70 using a 50 impeller to stir things up a just a little. I haven't lost any fish since doing this.

    So... is a power filter a total no-no and this all just crazy talk or could it work well? The alternative, would be to get an Eheim ECCO 2236 and do things by the book.

    CO2 reactor:
    I'd like to do without a powered reactor and I was wondering if an AquaMedic spiral reactor would be efficient enough for a 75 gallon? Not the AM 1000, which requires a pump, but the in-tank, non-powered one where the gas bubbles spiral up and around.

    Thanks for any advice or comments,

    -Russ
     
  2. magicmagni

    magicmagni Prolific Poster

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    If it was me I'd go with the Eheim/ Rena/ XYZ (honestly the tank doesn't care IMO) canister with a spray bar on one side of the tank aiming toward the surface and the intake on the other side have your tank. This configuration will allow water movement the length of your tank. Eheim are the best IMO (easy to maintain) but I think any canister with the proper flow rate will do. The filter is somewhat over rated on a planted tank because the tank is the filter. Think about it plants are covered with all kind of beneficial nitrifying bacterial just like a filter, and in addition than can take in Ammonia and Nitrates. I think the key is that what ever you use make sure it provides good water circulation. You're are looking for around 2.5X the tank volume per hour. Probably at least a 200 GPH filter, but even 250 would be nice especially if you run a reactor in-line. Moderate surface agitation is OK and actually beneficial. Like you say you'd like to make sure your fish have enough oxygen. This is especially important at night when both the fish and the plants will demand oxygen. What I like about going with the cannister too is that you can put an external reactor in-line, which on a tank this size would be best, especially if you plan on doing EI dosing and having that moderate amount of surface agitation.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    I'd go with a Via Aqua, Rena filstar or Ehiem depending on the $. They are all fairly decent and extremely easy to care for.

    Simply, as mentioned, adjust the spray bar to provide some surface movement.

    Thjere is no diffusion only reactor that will supply enough CO2.
    Use the AM 1000, or the DIY Reactor I have on line here(the easiest to use/make-3$) or the DIY Ghori Ghanzafar suggest(about 10$) for external CO2.

    Turn the CO2 off at night. This will prevent any chonic build up and put less chronic stress on the fish. Only when there is a high O2 levels from plants will there also be high CO2 levels.

    Main thing is adding mulm to the gravel/filter, and add enough plants from the start.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Russ

    Russ Guest

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    Re: reactor and "mulm?"

    Well guys, your responses are fairly unequivocal concerning the filter. I’m the Amano rookie, so I’ll be looking for a canister filter, which breaks the budget. I have a Filstar XP2 I don't like much, in some ways it is well designed, but it’s noisy and has a leak somewhere so it sucks in atmosphere and expels it with a big whoosh every half hour or so.

    Could someone fill me in on the "mulm" that Tom mentions? Is it the decomposed plant matter and fish waste that accumulates in the gravel of an older aquarium or what? How much do I put in and what's a likely source of it? I put it in the filter too?

    Also, Tom, is the reactor you're talking about the venturi/pump reactor in the DIY section? It's the only one I can find on this site. I've seen the Ghori Ghanzafar one.

    Thanks again,

    -Russ
     
  5. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    Yes, that is what mulm is and you don't need a lot of it. You should add it to your new canister filter because that is where the bacteria will colonize. Obviously, you don't want to put two heaping fistfuls of crud in your canister because that will just clog it up. Really, you only need to add a small amount. You want just enough to carry over a viable source of nitrifying bacteria from a healthy, established aquarium. It will multiply on it's own.

    When Tom said to add enough plants from the start it was a very important statement. Do not put a few plants in and wait for them to grow out. This is very important to remember, I've dealt with this problem myself. Ideally, you would pack the aquarium with fast growing plants from day 1 and leave them for at least a week or two. You need these plants to suck up nutrients and out-compete algae so that you do not have algae or green water blooms.

    I have used a HOTB power filter and could not stand the noise it made or how often I had to top off the water in the aquarium to try to keep the waterfall effect to a minimum. I purchased an Eheim 2026. It is the only canister filter I have ever tried. I am extremely happy with it. My aquarium is in my bedroom and I HATE inconsistent noises or humming. The Eheim is very quiet. I thought I heard it once, but it turned out it was the air coming out of my floor vent. I thought I heard it another time, but it turned out to be the lights in my room. That's right, when I flip on my light switch, I can hear that, but I cannot hear the Eheim that sits 3 feet from my bed. As far as how it compares to other brands of canister filters, I cannot comment as I have no experience with other brands.


    As far as CO2 reactors go, I've tried a few methods.

    First, I ran a CO2 line into a venturi nipple on a small submersed water pump. This pump shot the bubbles out in a very fine mist -- highly inefficient and the misting created an audible noise every few seconds.

    Then, I ran the CO2 line into the intake strainer of my canister filter. This seemed to work well when using low amounts of CO2, but I did not like the idea of those bubbles slamming into my impeller at high speeds.

    Next, I ran my line down into a CO2 bell made from a small softdrink bottle. This worked ok, but could not keep up even with yeast produced CO2, let alone compressed. It was also an eyesore and delicate as far as tipping over or cleaning around.

    I then tried making my own internal reactor from an old siphon end and a water pump. This worked ok, but was also an eyesore and hard to keep submerged in a vertical position. Also, it did not keep up with the CO2 as well either, but it was the best method I had tried up to that point.

    Finally, I bought an AM 1000 external reactor and ran it in-line with my canister. I put it off till the last resort because it was expensive. However, it works very well and I love it to death. Now, I can't imagine diffusing CO2 any other way. It is expensive for the material you get, but I think it is fairly priced when you factor in the efficiency and the convenience of it, let alone the improvement it makes in the appearance of your aquarium having removed the reactor to the outside of the tank. You can make your own external CO2 reactor, but that wasn't my idea of a fun project and knowing myself, I would have likely gone through several designs and ended up spending the same amount of money as the AM 1000, along with spilling several gallons of water in the process :)

    I think setting up a freshwater planted aquarium is an easy endevour, once you've accumulated all the right equipment and have gone through the process of doing everything the wrong way at least twice in your past. If, despite your best intentions, you do end up with green water that does not go away easily, I cannot say enough nice things about the Turbo Twist UV Sterilizer. The fact that they can sell aquariums without these things is almost criminal. To think of the months I spent trying to get rid of green water when all along all I needed was a 9w turbo twist, a small pump, and three days. Like I said, do it the wrong way at least twice and you'll get a much clearer picture of what works and why.
     
  6. Russ

    Russ Guest

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    random_alias,

    Thanks for the thorough reply to my posts. Coincidentally, I bought a 2026 just an hour ago at Drs. Foster&Smith for $135 (good deal I think).

    best regards,

    -Russ
     
  7. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    2026 a super filter, so easy to use and maintain, quiet and efficient. I dumped my nasty Fluval 404 for one...................I'm never going to buy another filter without the name Eheim attached to it.

    Ian
     
  8. magicmagni

    magicmagni Prolific Poster

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    Yeah, you'll be pleased with it. Eheim stuff is really nice. I especially like the green tubing that comes with it. It cuts easily and doesn't kink as much as others I've worked with. Have you decided on a reactor yet?
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    ADA sells a very nice canister, it's about 2-3x as much as an Ehiem.
    Ehiem are very quiet, so are the Via Aqua's, I have the Via Aqua in my bedroom, never an issue over the last 4 years.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    :) a comment on filters and reactors. i think canisters are best overall,and eheim is a very good choice,time tested and very quiet.( the germans make very high quality products.)i have two 2215 eheims that i like very well. i allso have four rena's that are easy to service, but are noisy,and they have a problem with air getting into system,(an issue that should be addressed to company,HA! as if they would listen). as far as reactor's go,a inside tank works fine. you just have to try to hide in the plants.the external reactors are probably much more efficient but do not allways work out because of room outside of tank.some day i'm going to try one.regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  11. Russ

    Russ Guest

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    I haven't decided on the reactor. I'm toying with making one of the "Ghori" external ones or I saw a similar one at http://www.aquarium-plants-store.com/en-us/dept_27.html for $20. They also sell the AquaMedic 1000, but there's no way I can spring for that one. If I make one, I found some clear 2" acrylic tubing that should work so I can see all the lovely "mulm" (new vocabulary) clogging it.

    BTW, this is a very friendly forum. Thanks to all.

    -Russ
     
  12. metasyntax

    metasyntax Junior Poster

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    I took a 10" python cleaner, cut the hose off, pushed the green plastic "top" over a powerhead, and bubbled the co2 into the bottom.

    So far it's the easiest one I've built, and one of the more efficient. Since I already had the powerhead, it cost me $9CDN for the python. It's running with few problems in my 75g right now.

    FWIW, I've never had any real problems with my Fluval 404, but the 104 I had was a leaker that I was never able to fix.
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    See the reactor DIY in this site.

    Small, works great, easy to make, cost 2-3$.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. JHipkin

    JHipkin Junior Poster

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    I've looked but can't find the DIY Reactor plans on this site.
     
  15. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    JHipkin, its under Gallery -> Do It Yourself Projects -> Venturi Design Gallery.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    Ghori's is pretty simple and works well.
    If you want an external, that's a good design and can be modified further to increase the efficiency.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. FrankG

    FrankG Junior Poster

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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    Tom,

    Which size of the viewtainers would you use for a 75-gallon tank? Is the Rio 180 enough?

    Thanks,
    Frank
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Filters and reactors for 75 gallon?

    Yes, a 180 is fine.........you can use a 6" viewtainer

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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