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Filtration selection...10x ?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by scottward, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    For a tank of X volume, the correct filtration selection should be 10X in terms of *manufacturers* turnover?

    For example, for my 400 litre/100 gallon tank, I need a total filtration turn over of 4000 litres per hour/ 1000 gallons per hour?

    Considering my existing Eheim 2217 has a manufacturers rating of 1000lph, this means I would need 4 of them, correct? :D

    I think I might be grossly 'under filtering' for a planted tank.

    Scott.
     
  2. tjbuege

    tjbuege Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have the same question, so I'm interested in hearing from others. Somewhere here Tom made a comment about 5x-10x being the range to shoot for in filtration. I think the rest can be made up with water movement (i.e., Vortech, powerheads, wavemakers). At least, that's what I've gathered so far reading through these threads.

    I'm in the planning/research stages of a tank upgrade. Considering a 40 breeder, and the Ehiem 2217. I think I was told that would be sufficient (just one). But with additional flow?
     
  3. AquaticJim

    AquaticJim Guru Class Expert

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    I'd much rather the 10x tank turnover come from filtration than from a powerhead.

    Since I have upped my filtration to 10x my tank has never looked better.
     
  4. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    I'm not sure if Eheim even make a canister filter that can do 4000lph...

    Hmmm...what's the turnover on an FX5......?

    Scott.
     
  5. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I'm using two 2078e's in my 180. together 3700 lph. (900g)

    If I were you I'd buy another 2217, which you place at the other end of the tank. Cheap and will effectively double the capacity.
     
  6. Charles Crews

    Charles Crews Prolific Poster

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    I believe 10X is certainly on the upper end of the spectrum, though you can never be over filtered right! I run a FX5 and a XP3 on my 140g tank and am pretty happy with it. I see people running four filters and it sort of scares me, thats increasing your odds of a hose coming loose or something happens where you have a lot of water on the floor. I say two filters is a good number, that way you have a solid backup if one goes down.

    Plus I make an effort to conceal all in the inlets/outlets as much as possible and that becomes harder to do when you get a bunch of filters in there.
     
  7. feh

    feh Guru Class Expert

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    Filtration is one thing, but flow is another. I do like a lot of flow in my planted tanks. It helps with nutrient uptake, but you still need to take the fish into consideration. Some don't like a lot of flow. I run 2 Eheim 2073s on a 75 gallon and ran the same filters on a 55 gallon. I had much better flow on the 55 because of the slightly shorter depth. Even in saltwater tanks which have as much as 40x flow. They aren't pushing all that flow thru the sump / filtration system. Usually 5 - 10x is a good number for filtration. I think people tend to combine the 2 in planted tanks to minimize the equipment in the tank.
     
  8. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Hey, 2260/2262 is right under your nose!:gw
    Not that it can do 4000lph, but neither the FX5...

    But, this Jebo is really interesting:
    http://www.blueaquarium.org/2011/01/3rd-project-tank-by-hc-rotala/
    The guy even compared it with a 2260, and he still preferred
    the Jebo 950, because it's surprisingly better made (except the pump).

    I don't know the price of the Jebo, but if it is much cheaper
    than the 2260. Then, just buy it and a pump of your choice,
    and keep the stock pump as spare.

    Or go wet-dry.
     
  9. tjbuege

    tjbuege Lifetime Charter Member
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    I got to thinking some more, and thought, "wait a minute, what do I have in my tanks now?"

    29 gal with Eclipse 3 hood (250 GPH) = 8-9X
    20 gal with HOB power filter (150 or 180 GPH, can't remember) = 7-9X
    10 gal with HOB power filter (100 or 120 GPH, again, can't remember) = 10-12X (!)

    So, that was a good reality check for me. I'm already close to or beyond the 10x factor. I also have a couple MaxiJet power heads (old style) for additional water movement. I believe it's the 110 GPH model in the 10 gal and a 160 GPH model in the 20 gal. And they could both use more.

    I bet I would not be happy with only 5x filtration. For my new 40 gal project I'm working on, I'll definitely shoot for closer to 10x. That rules out the 2217 as an ONLY filter. Maybe two, or maybe one bigger one.

    Scott, thanks for starting this thread... it has me thinking in the right direction now. :)
     
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    I Wonder What A One Knot Flow Rate Would Be In Aquarium Hourly Turnover... Hmmm...


    Hi All,

    There is really no such thing as a “10 times an hour turnover limit,” The 10 X is more of a low end average. Some tanks such as low-tech, deep sand beds can get away with an internal pump and less than 3 X. A big high tech, tank with high light and high bio-load may need more like 17-22 X, actual (as opposed to manufactures rating).


    In tank aquaculture for tilapia and various perch we use turnover upwards of 100 times an hour, the fish grow healthier, stronger and get along better.
    • Did I mention are less fatty and tastier.:eek::rolleyes::)

    I have found that many of the cichlids, including Discus fish and Angelfish in particular actually seem to enjoy higher rate directional flow.:)


    If you think about it and do the arithmetic, you will see that even at 20 times plus turnover we never come close to even what we think of as a lazy stream or the convection currents of a lake.:rolleyes:


    Biollante

     
    #10 Biollante, Sep 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2011
  11. DukeNJ

    DukeNJ Lifetime Charter Member
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    There's been some talk around the web that stacked flow-through filters aren't the most efficient. That circular filters such as the FX5 are much more efficient in terms of throughput efficiency and effective mechanical filtration.

    Any thoughts from the experienced folks here?
     
  12. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the replies and interesting comments/information.

    Just to clarify, my question was exclusively about filter turnover, not additional water movement related to powerheads etc. So I'm talking about 'my planted tank is X gallons, what filtration do I need?'.

    It makes sense that one can be under filtering (I'm sure that's me), I don't believe I am satisfactorily processing the organic load in my tank, and of course over filtration, well, diminishing returns I suppose and eventually a planted tank that's more like a washing machine. So it seems the best approach is to set up the required amount of filtration, a little over as a buffer zone, and then stop there. This of course assumes that the organic load on the tank doesn't increase too much.

    Dutchy, that's my current thinking, putting another 2217 in place. That would give me 2000lph (as per manufacturer) on my 400 litre tank, so about 5X filtration turn over.

    This sounds like the same as what you have set up on your 180g. How are you finding 5X turnover? How heavily stocked is your tank (I remember your tank but don't remember what you have in it).

    Common sense, I suppose, would be to add just one more filter, see what sort of improvement it makes, and only buy another one if I need it I suppose.

    That makes sense Charles. 2 filters seems like the ideal number to me; you have a backup if one goes down whilst not cluttering the tank too much with intakes/returns. I can appreciate that when 1 goes down the other still running filter will only go some way to cope, as the bacteria colony won't grow fast enough (might not even be able to grow any further) to cope with additional bio load, hence an algae bloom might be unavoidable, but I suppose it's better than no filter at all.

    Perhaps the discussion on filtration turn over is really no different to asking another hobbyist what there 'bpm' rate is for their CO2 (in that it's a very difficult thing to compare due to too many variations in setups etc).

    Bio - maybe ORP readings would tell me something here? Would be nice if I could, measure ORP, deduce from the number that I am close to a healthy reading and can be confident that adding additional filtration of X will hit the 'sweet' spot without going overboard?

    Scott.
     
  13. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Maybe it's about filtration CAPACITY?

    So far we've talked about filtration in terms of turnover.

    I remember before I turned this tank into a planted tank, I used to keep some large cichlids in it (fish only). I had a 2000lph internal power filter in it. This filter had a series of sponged connected to the intakes and that was it. Too long ago for me to rememeber what the water quality was like....I know the lighting was extremely low and I did a lot of water changes........

    Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is, that even though this internal filter had a flow of 5X my tank volume, the media capacity was very small. My single Eheim 2217 is only 2.5X my tank volume, but the media capacity is about 9 litres I believe.

    So which is going to do the better job of managing all the DOC and POC etc?

    My money is on the canister. Less flow, sure, but much more surface area for all that bacteria to grow on.

    So maybe a better guide is to say something like: For a planted aquarium of X litres, 'well stocked' with fish (whatever that means!), you need a filter system with biological filtration capactity of X/10 litres?

    So in my case, my tank being 400 litres, maybe I do indeed need 40 litres of filter capacity, which would be about 4 Eheim 2217's. :)

    I dunno.

    I understand that plants also help with water quality, but in terms of design/planning the correct filtration for a particular setup, it might be best to forget about the plants, and consider there additional help once they are established and growing well as a bonus??

    Thoughts dudes/dudettes?

    Scott.
     
  14. Matsyendra

    Matsyendra Junior Poster

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    *deleted*

    What I offered didn't help. No point keeping it out there.
     
    #14 Matsyendra, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2011
  15. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    I agree that water circulation is important...but my thread doesn't have anything to do with measuring nitrates, distribution of nutrients, or CO2 or anything like that....

    My thread is about filter selection. Originally I 'seeded' the discussion talking about selection of filtration based on manufacturer turnover, but, as per my previous post, I'm thinking that media capacity might be a better way of choosing appropriate filter....

    Thanks for your post all the same...(maybe I'm missing the connection?)...?
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Circulation Always, Light Then Circulation


    Hi Scott,

    Redox potential can be an excellent indicator of biological filtration effectiveness.

    It would seem (to me anyway) that the amount of water through a filter is meaningless if the filter is not capable of removing or reducing the “wastes.”:)


    One of the reasons open-loop systems are more effective is that the bacteria, little creepy crawlies and fungus that preform the magic are not as dependent on system resources and allow (with fewer restrictions) the expansion and contraction of the critters that breakdown and convert wastes from our systems.

    Another way of looking at is that it really doesn’t matter how many filters or how much media of what quality there is if, for instance, the dissolved oxygen levels of the influent are low.:rolleyes:


    Personally, I like vegetative filters; the plants in our tanks are the first line, running wastewater through a tank or container of emersed plants for example.;)



    However, from a strict point if you have high dissolved organic compounds then chemical filtration is the most direct method of removal. If you have organic compounds that are in the form of particulates then mechanical filtration, followed by chemical filtration makes sense.

    Biollante

     
  17. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    A 2217's media capacity is just 5 litres, sadly.
    Eheim says its filter volume is 6 litres, but when you exclude the space
    taken by the two lattice screens. What is left for media is just 5 litres,
    I've measured it.

    I use 2x2217 with my 340 litres tank. I like the flow but am doubting about
    media capacity, compared to when I was using one 2217 with a 80 litres tank.
     
  18. RukoTheWonderDog

    RukoTheWonderDog Junior Poster

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    I used to run two Eheim 2217s on my 55 gallon when I was keeping African cichlids. A lot of people thought this was way overkill for this size tank, even though that is only a 7x turnover. While I was able to breed many different Lake Tang cichlids in these conditions, adding a XP3 to the same tank provided increased color and behavior in the fish.

    Keep in mind when calculating turnover rate that manufacturer flow ratings are usually a bit, well 'optimistic' is a good word I suppose. The Eheim 2217 is rated at 263 gph, 215 gph with media. When I tested mine I found the actual flow with 1" of head loss to be less than 200 gph. When the filters got dirty I saw as much as an additional 30% loss in flow.

    I definitely prefer a sump over a canister or even series of canisters for the additional flow the sump affords. I like the ability to really crank up my filtration and flow simply by changing pumps (right now I'm running 2x 1000gph pumps on my 180 gallon, and will be increasing those to larger units soon). Also, I've found the wet/dry to be significantly more efficient than a conventional canister (I have not yet tried the Eheim W/D units) and the flow never degrades if/when the filter starts to get dirty.
     
  19. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    This may be where the wet/dry filters shine. Very large media capacity and large dissolved O2 content. Flow through is not really so much a consideration. You can run an extremely high throughput or lesser and just make it up with flow in the tank. This would tend to more energy efficient. Also, these are extremely cheap to make. The most expensive part will be the overflow if you need an over the tank siphon style. Otherwise a bulkhead fitting will suffice with some sort of overflow box.

    Surface skimming will keep the O2 high but not so much on the CO2. It will however, keep the CO2 at a constant level, if considerably lower than we would prefer to keep it. As long as you can keep the lighting at a reasonable level, the CO2 should be fairly constant and possible non limiting. Certainly it will be cheaper than filling CO2 tanks but would require some discipline in nutrient and light levels. In terms of overfiltering though, this may be one of your best options, just don't expect to end up with high CO2 retention. This probably won't be your best choice in energy efficiency compared to a cannister either. Either can be supplemented with a Koralia or other prop pump.

    -
    S
     
  20. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Snake Oil & Canister Filter Salesman


    Hi,

    Obviously I am going to agree with Shoggoth43 that terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter[SUP]1[/SUP].


    I think the ruthlessly greedy; aquarium-industrial-complex has snookered aquarium-keepers into believing they needed some underpowered, overpriced “canister” filters that actually competes for system resources, mess with the nitrogen cycle, oxygen availability; almost certainly guaranteeing the inexperienced planted tank enthusiast nasty and in some cases chronic problems. :eek::rolleyes:



    I have heard of otherwise intelligent people, flimflammed into paying $50 or $60 or even more for one of these miracles of modern marketing. :p:gw



    Hobbyists convinced that only the magic canister could give them the pristine clear water, to raise shoals of happy fish swimming through a wondrous forest of exotic plants, fork over what meager earnings the taxman lets them keep, to these charlatans. :mad:



    Horse poop! :p



    Biollante
    [SUP]1[/SUP]H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness
     
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