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2 filters or one

Paul Kettless

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17 Aug 2015
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Hi All,

So I am in a dilemma regarding my filtration, I had every intention of a 60cm tank, and last minute took the plunge on an aquascaper 900. I only have a JBL 701 currently and even though it will start off low tech I know this filter will not be enough. What I love about these filters is that they are quiet and only draw 9w. I have the stainless steel pipe set with top skimmer on inlet.

Im ready to pull the plug and buy another filter and my budget is really £150-200 maximum. I initially thought about buying as big as I could afford like the jbl e1502 or the aquael ultramax 1500 and just go with the one. However, I started thinking that maybe a smaller canister and run the 2 together with 2 sets of pipes, assuming that this would possibly give better flow. Also if one filter failed atleast the other would still be running.

Whats your thoughts on this? appreciate any advice you can give. For those that are not quite sure of size the Aquascaper is 90x50x45 and approx 200 litres minus hardscape soil etc, and i guess will end up with maybe 150

Kind regards
Paul
 

Driftless

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I run two filters on two of my tanks, 75 gallon, and 68 gallon UNS 90u. I like the redundancy in case a filter should fail and I like that I can arrange the input and output pipes so that I have consistent, even flow around the tanks. Most of all I like the increased area for the filtration media, particularly the biological media.
 

Andrew Butler

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I always ran 2 filters on a tank that size but I'm sure others don't.

Not really knowing anything about the JBL 701 a quick search tells me it has 700 LPH pump performance; many people on here will state the old rule of 10x turnover meaning you would want 2,000 LPH for your 200L aquarium so you're falling quite short here.

Aside from another filter there are other ways you can get get greater turnover such as powerheads or I've even seen people use a simple return pump plumbed into the same style inlet/outlet you would be using, I'd probably want to put a simple prefilter before the pump if I done this but there are some great adjustable DC pumps and cheap pre-filters you could use and even run your heating and/or CO2 inline using this.
Ignoring the lack of turnover I wouldn't like to say if the 701 had the filtration capacity alone, there are many threads about a planted aquarium not relying on the biological factor filtration gives you as it should be a self sustaining system but I've no knowledge about this.
 
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Interesting question.

So your JBL 701 has a flow rate of 700L/h which would give a real flow rate (0.4 x flow rate) of 280L/h for your 150L that would be a turnover of 1.9 x per h

using this data: JBL e1502 would have an estimated real turnover of 3.7 x per hour. Aquael ultramax 1500 would have an estimated real turnover of 4.0 x per hour. So to get close to the fabled 10 x turnover you would need 2 of which ever one you choose when you decide to go high tech.

I used this bit of research I have been doing, it is no way finished and might not be precise or correct. Butt might help with an overview and stop you spending hours collating data. Hope you can read it?
filter compare.jpg
 

Conort2

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As mentioned there are cheaper ways of providing additional flow such as power heads. However I always use two filters as it’s beneficial to have a back up when something goes wrong.

cheers

Conor
 

Paul Kettless

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Thanks gentlemen for your input, and especially for the chart that's a big help.

Is the 10x still relevant or a myth I guess I'm opening a huge can of worms with that question. I have read lots on this on this and especially the ADA filters that turnover far less p/H but have a more true turnover figure seem to have immaculate water. I have also seen many of George farmers tanks that have only been running one Oase thermo 600, that's nowhere near the 10x ten rule.?

I always ran 2 filters on a tank that size but I'm sure others don't.

Not really knowing anything about the JBL 701 a quick search tells me it has 700 LPH pump performance; many people on here will state the old rule of 10x turnover meaning you would want 2,000 LPH for your 200L aquarium so you're falling quite short here.

Aside from another filter there are other ways you can get get greater turnover such as powerheads or I've even seen people use a simple return pump plumbed into the same style inlet/outlet you would be using, I'd probably want to put a simple prefilter before the pump if I done this but there are some great adjustable DC pumps and cheap pre-filters you could use and even run your heating and/or CO2 inline using this.
Ignoring the lack of turnover I wouldn't like to say if the 701 had the filtration capacity alone, there are many threads about a planted aquarium not relying on the biological factor filtration gives you as it should be a self sustaining system but I've no knowledge about this.
Yes I spent most of last night reading these threads which is why I was questioning the x10

I like the look of the aquael 2000 but the 19/25mm tubing is a real shame with the change as it won't fit my pipes.
 

Hufsa

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Im gonna go out on a limb here and say the 10x is a theoretical goal and not what you need in actual turnover. Guideline, not the rule, and all that. Also that the various filters are different in how accurate they report turnover, throws another complication into the mix. Ive also heard from many that in low tech its not as critical. I think with all the research you are doing you will probably end up with something perfectly fine, if you dont hit the mark 100% I reckon youll still be fine. Flow can be tuned in further with some custom spraybars as well, provided your pump is within the general range of the flow you need. Im running an Ultramax 2000 on a 180 liter and getting more than enough flow, so much that im looking to reduce it a little bit for the comfort of the fish. Ive had some issues with the pump which is a shame, but thats another story.
Thats just my two cents, im not an expert so please take with a grain of salt :)
 

Paul Kettless

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Im running an Ultramax 2000 on a 180 liter and getting more than enough flow, so much that im looking to reduce it a little bit for the comfort of the fish.
Would buy this filter in a heart beat but the 19/25 tubing on the newer models means my stainless steel pipes won't fit on it.

Thanks for your input Hufsa
 

Hufsa

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If you like it a lot can you not get the older model while you can?
As I said ive had some issues with it, building of air (which may have been due to air getting in via the tubing), then clicking sounds of the rotor, and now I struggle to get it primed and sometimes it will not start at all and just stalls. Im currently acting like AquaEls personal creepy stalker and trying to reach them through all their various channels, as they at some point this spring stopped responding to my emails. My hope is to get the entire pump head replaced as I know for a fact they have made several edits to the rotor and associated parts after they launched the filter, and the replacement rotor they sent me just changed one problem for another one. I dont know if youre familiar with this guy Seb's Fish Corner but he had some of the same problems and got his head replaced.
Anyway this is far off topic so ill stop now 😁
 

Andrew Butler

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Is the 10x still relevant or a myth I guess I'm opening a huge can of worms with that question. I have read lots on this on this and especially the ADA filters that turnover far less p/H but have a more true turnover figure seem to have immaculate water. I have also seen many of George farmers tanks that have only been running one Oase thermo 600, that's nowhere near the 10x ten rule.?
It's a guide you often hear people quote but you then read people saying to follow the advertised turnover and not the actual pump turnover - huge can of worms as you say.
Flow is probably just as important, if not moreso than turnover - you could have a turnover of 20x but dead spots in your tank not getting any flow to them which isn't much use.
The ADA filters do have a very low flow rate but I believe designed to work with the whole ADA philosophy, fertilisers, water changes and many other things I don't understand.
As for what George does I've no idea, it must work for him.
All of this is just me guessing at something I don't really know the answers too.
the 19/25 tubing on the newer models means my stainless steel pipes won't fit on it
You can get simple hose reducing barbs to put inline, how that would affect the performance of that filter I'm unsure.
 

Zeus.

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My take on this is with a 'well planted tank' which isn't stuffed with fish do we need a filter in the first place 'if' we can get the flow from elsewhere ??? IMO no we dont.

However the filter does provide a nice place to have a detritus trap that collects the detritus from the water column so it can be removed easily. I have two FX6 one on tank and one as spare as the cost of a backup motor for it was nearly the cost of a complete FX6. Since fitting Maxspect gyres to my tank I have the FX6 output contributing next to nothing to flow by use of very simple output. My FX6 is a detriuts trap mainly IMO and its output drives my CO2 reactors. The main biological filter is the plants.

However 'most folk' use the filter output as the main driving force for the flow in their tanks and the filtration is secondary so dont stuff them with fine media which will reduce their primary output function ie flow production, also a filter with better flow gets more oxygen which is better for canister filters as they tend to somewhat Oxygen deprived due to their closed design
 

Paul Kettless

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If you like it a lot can you not get the older model while you can?
As I said ive had some issues with it, building of air (which may have been due to air getting in via the tubing), then clicking sounds of the rotor, and now I struggle to get it primed and sometimes it will not start at all and just stalls. Im currently acting like AquaEls personal creepy stalker and trying to reach them through all their various channels, as they at some point this spring stopped responding to my emails. My hope is to get the entire pump head replaced as I know for a fact they have made several edits to the rotor and associated parts after they launched the filter, and the replacement rotor they sent me just changed one problem for another one. I dont know if youre familiar with this guy Seb's Fish Corner but he had some of the same problems and got his head replaced.
Anyway this is far off topic so ill stop now 😁
No not at all and thanks for the further information. Longivity of a new product is an important factor. That why I have ben a fan of the JBL filters over the years, as they are quiet, low energy an abolsute snot to prime but once running I have not had any problems. I have called around looking for the older model and cannot find any. Be careful guys when ordering as I was on Charterhouse enquiring as there website still show the diameter as 16/22mm but the email from confirms there stock is 19/25mm and the are having the website updated.
 

Paul Kettless

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As for what George does I've no idea, it must work for him.
All of this is just me guessing at something I don't really know the answers too.
Yes thats my point it works for him, and thats all that matters
You can get simple hose reducing barbs to put inline, how that would affect the performance of that filter I'm unsure.
I hadnt thought about this, I wonder if the increased the diameter for back pressure on the pump, as must have been done for a logical reason. Last thing I want to do is create a problem that they had tried to solve lol
 

Paul Kettless

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I run two filters on two of my tanks, 75 gallon, and 68 gallon UNS 90u. I like the redundancy in case a filter should fail and I like that I can arrange the input and output pipes so that I have consistent, even flow around the tanks. Most of all I like the increased area for the filtration media, particularly the biological media.
Do you have you inlet and outlets all. On one side of the scape, or are they configured either end...
 

Sammy Islam

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I wouldn't have 2 filters on the 900 unless the inputs/outputs are all in the same place otherwise you will end up battering stems at the back.

I have an oase BM600 and a tiny 500LPH pump in the opposite corner to the input/output. The little pump pushes water around the back and through my rotala without battering them too much.
 

Paul Kettless

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I wouldn't have 2 filters on the 900 unless the inputs/outputs are all in the same place otherwise you will end up battering stems at the back.

I have an oase BM600 and a tiny 500LPH pump in the opposite corner to the input/output. The little pump pushes water around the back and through my rotala without battering them too much.
What is the BM600 rated at Sammy, I want to say 1250 lph without checking
 

Paul Kettless

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Looking at the The grumpy one's chart my little Jbl e701 only has areal flow rate of 280lph that's less than your little powerhead Sammy. However it would give me more litres in the system and more trays for biological media etc 🤷‍♀️ really am undecided at the moment.
 

Sammy Islam

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What is the BM600 rated at Sammy, I want to say 1250 lph without checking
I'm not sure but probably around that, maybe 1150?. To me I think the reason we say 10x flow is we all know we won't be getting full flow from the filters once filled up, maybe 1/2 or 3/4? Which is fine really, but if noobs were told 5x flow is fine they would buy a filter rated for that but actually have way less. So saying 10x is compensating for the loss in flow because i certainly don't have 10x.
 

foxfish

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The ten x flow rate is based on the filters rating not the actual flow, it is a guide line.
If we go back 10 years or so, there were several guide lines (based on tried and tested methods) that were quoted on this forum on a daily basis.
2 x T5 tubes the same length as the tank, 10 x flow rate, EI ferts, 50% weekly water change, full length spray bar, 6 hours of light building to 8 hours, Amazonia substrate...... all perfectly sensible starting points for long term success.
Still good advice today but there are always going to be exceptions and different opinions.

The flow within the tank is very important (critical even) if you are trying to evenly distribute injected C02 but the scapes layout can make a huge difference.
10 x flow through a full length spray bar is a proven way, especially in a Dutch style layout, but perhaps not necessary if you have an island scape or a carpet and branch design.

Just a guide line as part of a well tried formula to help beginners get started on the right foot.
 

Driftless

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Do you have you inlet and outlets all. On one side of the scape, or are they configured either end...
No, on both tanks I have one outlet on each side of the tank, which creates a nice even flow. Don't forget that the flow is adjustable on most filters so they do not have to be going full blast. One tank I have two inflows right before one of the outflows and on the second tank I have an inflow before each outflow. One of the tanks has stainless steel lily pipes where you can adjust the direction of the outflow, which is very nice. On both tanks one of the inflows has a skimmer. Powerheads are nice if you want to increase things like surface agitation but they do not increase filtration.
 

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