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Is there any downsides to 'overfiltering' a planted aquarium?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by JenniferK, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. JenniferK

    JenniferK Junior Poster

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    Hi all, new to your wonderful forum :)

    Is there any downsides to 'overfiltering' a planted aquarium? Is that even possible to do?

    I have a 4' long tank that is U.S 120 gallons. I have 4 x Eheim 2217 external canister filters for filtration and to give me a good circulation/flow for the tank. The plants do only have a gentle sway in the current.

    My LFS says that 1 canister the size of a Eheim 2217 is more than enough filtration and water movement for a planted tank and I should have a powerhead instead of the other 2 Eheim 2217s because having 4 would be actually doing damage to the bio activity of the tank.

    So am I overfiltering my planted tank and causing damage? Should I pack up 3 of the canister filters and install a powerhead?

    The tank looks good, but I'm worried now about the long term.
     
  2. 1077

    1077 Guru Class Expert

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    I use one eheim 2217 on 80 gallon planted tank with no CO2 and Koralia powerhead, but I am not injecting CO2 where dispersion is a bit more important.
    I also removed all of the bio-media (substrat pro) and just use five of the blue,coarse,foam pads for mechanical filtration in the eheim.(a little more flow this way)
    I might just run two of the filters you have,especially if fishes are being swept round the tank?
    Could alway's add a powerhead or two if you need more circulation.(less cleaning of filters)
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not think it is possible to over filter a tank.

    You might be okay with 1-2 filters, I'd opt for 2, then add additional flow with a power head etc.
    But doing so with 4 filters poses no negative harm really.

    Some folks add several on a tank to seed and cycle the filters before setting up a new tank etc.
     
  4. JenniferK

    JenniferK Junior Poster

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    I feel relieved with the replies - thank you :)

    The way I was thinking is that the bio load of the tank is divided by 4, there can be only so much bacteria (is that what the lil' critters are called?) for the bioload for a tank depending on the fish and plant waste. So instead of all them living in just one canister, mine are divided up between the four canisters. Am I thinking this right?

    The fish in my tank are in no way in a jacuzzi. I think sometimes between trims of the faster growing bunch plants that impede flow in my tank that I could even add a powerhead to increase the flow.
     
  5. 1077

    1077 Guru Class Expert

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    The bacteria (good kind) will colonize on all surfaces , Substrate,wood,rocks,glass,and plant's, as well as on media in the filter.
    Running two of the filter's would be my choice. Less maint,and less electricity.
     
    #5 1077, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2011
  6. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    I know your fish aren't like in a jacuzzi.
    Seen several 120 cm tanks with 4 2217's or more. :)

    But when given a chance, I personally like two bigger ones (or just one) better than smaller 4.
    Easier for maintenance.
     
    #6 nipat, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2011
  7. JenniferK

    JenniferK Junior Poster

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    Golly and here's a girl thinkin' she's unique! :) :)

    Thanks for the informative and helpful replies everyone.
     
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