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What canister filter for my 55 g?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by MythT, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. MythT

    MythT Junior Poster

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    I guess I'm not very good at finding material here using the search engine. I've been searching the site for information but I can't seem to find anything so I am going to ask.

    I have a 55 g. aquarium set up for about 7 months now with pressurized CO2 injection (am waiting on a drop checker in the mail) & 130 watts of lighting using Current Sunpaq CF lighting (6700k & 10000k). I'm guessing you would call this a Medium light with CO2 setup? Correct? It has mostly red flourite, some gravel & some kind of pond gravel (clay based I think, suspiciously looks very similar to flourite only little lighter in color) mixed for substrate & about 40 gallons of water. It is a standard 55 g. size, bought at Wally World.:eek:

    Anyway, I have a HOB filter & I'm so ready to purchase a canister filter instead (finally got my husband's approval :D ).

    Is there an article somewhere that will help me decide what size filter to buy for this 55 g? Or can anybody give me their opinion? I am currently considering a Rena Filstar XP3. Would this be good for this size aquarium? I have never used a cansiter filter before & am not sure all of what I need to buy with it & what to put inside it & how often to clean it, etc.

    Susan
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The Rena Filstar XP3 would be a good size filter for a 55 gallon tank. I use it on a 45 gallon tank. It comes with everything you need to use inside. There are four media baskets, as I recall, but I only use two of them. One has some ceramic biomedia rings, and the other is the fine and medium filter sponges, as shown in the instructions. A "polishing" filter pad/sponge is also included in the box - it goes in the topmost basket. I keep thinking that I will use some floss some day, but haven't done so yet.
     
  3. MythT

    MythT Junior Poster

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    Thank you so much for your opinion. I think I will be getting the XP3 then. I would love to buy the XP4 but it's a little high for my budget.:(

    I have been using HOBs since I first started in the hobby in 1990 so I really feel clueless about this. Not interested in plants back then, just fish. I was considering just putting a second HOB filter on this tank since I have another one just sitting around but was concerned about driving off too much CO2.

    In the meantime while I wait for the canister filter to get here the HOB that I have has 2 biowheels on it, do you think I should remove them? I have 3 swords, lots of dwarf sag., about 5 jungle val., 4 crypts., 2 coffeefolias (sp.), 1 anubius nana, 12 ludwigias in this tank.
     
  4. MythT

    MythT Junior Poster

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    Ooops, I just measured the space under my aquarium in the cabinet & it is only 15" high at the opening where the doors are and only 19" high to the bottom of the glass of the aquarium. I went online to see how tall the Rena XP3 is including the barbs on top & can't seem to find any consistent information. One sight says 15", another site says 17", another 16".

    Could anybody tell me how tall it actually is so I can determine if it will fit? Maybe I will have to settle for the XP2 instead since it is shorter. Would the XP2 be good enough?

    Susan
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It isn't the height of the filter that is a problem, but the amount of clearance needed to get the hoses turned to the back and out from under the tank. It looks like it takes about 18-19 inches for that, based on measuring my installation. And that is very tight, making it difficult to remove the hose/shut-off valve assembly when you remove the filter for cleaning. Another 2 inches would be very valuable for that.

    The XP2 would, in my opinion, be a bit too little flow for a 55 gallon planted tank.
     
  6. MythT

    MythT Junior Poster

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    Thanks for answering again. I was wondering if the flow of the XP2 would be a little too slow with a planted tank.

    Well, I suppose I can get the XP3 and if I can't get it to fit, I could always cut out a hole in the bottom shelf and set it directly on the floor if the XP3 isn't too wide. I had to do that for my 10 lb CO2 canister. It's not something I enjoyed doing though.

    Two things I do have is a jigsaw & a sawzall. :D Although, the fish might be in for a bumpy ride.

    If you don't mind, could you tell me how wide your XP3 is?

    Susan
     
  7. rusticitas

    rusticitas Lifetime Charter Member
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    I just want to chime in that the Rena XP1 (or was that XP2?) was the very first canister filter I bought, having only had hang-on-back types previously. I found it very nicely engineered, designed and built. I have not had a problem with it in well over a year now on a 20-long. The larger models seem just a nice, and I plan on using one on my first "large" tank (which for me is anything above 20 gallons!). :)
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The base of the XP3 needs about 9 1/2" X 8 1/2" rectangular space, so a 9 1/2" square hole would work fine.
     
  9. MythT

    MythT Junior Poster

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    Thanks Hoppy,

    Good, I should be able to make that fit. I think I have enough room if I cut the hole in. It will give me 23" from the floor to the bottom of the tank.

    I'm completely convinced now that this is the best thing to do even though it will be a pain and leave the inside of the stand looking a little strange. Oh well, guess that's what the doors are for anyway.

    The stand is a little on the short side, not very good for viewing when standing up but perfect when sitting in a chair next to the aquarium. At least the lower height makes it easier to clean.

    I can't wait to get that XP3 filter & get rid of all the little particles I see floating around in there. :D

    Another happy customer!!!!
     
  10. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    If you can find it cheap enough, the eheim pro2 2026 is a good can. I have been using it for a year or two and its amazing. I picked it up for $75 off a local guy.
     
  11. icom

    icom Junior Poster

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