Filter for 400l tank

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Hi all,

I'm hoping for a bit of advice. I've recently purchased a 400l aquariums4life tank that I got direct for an amazing price. I'm currently building a stand but need to look at filtration. It's going to be a peninsula tank. The dimensions are a bit odd, 3ft long 30 inches high and 2ft wide all Optiwhite. My plan is to run it as a no injected co2 dirt planted tank.

It wasn't initially built as a pensiular so due to bracing and glass covers I only have one filter access easily accessible the other is on a viewable end of the tank.

My initial plan had been two large filters, but this is going to be tricky.

I was therefore considering one fx6 or aquael ultramax and a circulation pump a bit like Zeus uses in his journal. If I'm relying on one filter I want reliability!

Does any one have any hints/tips or filter recommendations?
I'm probably going to start a journal thread as I need lighting advice etc as well!

IMG-20190524-WA0000.jpeg IMG-20190511-WA0006.jpeg IMG-20190511-WA0004.jpeg
 

Millns84

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I'd be tempted to try an Aqua One Ocellaris 3000 in that.

Fx6 are great but need a bit more work Terms of DIY for spray bars, skimmers etc.

Come to think of it, the Ultramax has standard size hoses so would be the easiest in terms of accessories.
 

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I really like the look of the ultramax, the thing that worries me is spair part availability. If I'm going to rely on a single filter I'd want to be able to get parts easily and most places sell fluvel.

I guess the other option but a cheap second filter I could switch on to the tank for emergencies.

I'd not though about the Ocellaris, that's a good shout.
 

Millns84

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The good thing about the Ocellaris is that spare parts are everywhere and they've got a really good guarantee (4 years if you register it I think).

Just some general musings, but the Eheim pro 3 1200xl might be a good idea. Two inlets so it could pull debris from both ends of the tank, standard size hoses and there's a thermo version (albeit punitively priced!).

Aquamanta Efx 600 would also do the job and there's plenty of spares sold in every Maidenhead Aquatics.
 

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That's good, busy watching reviews on all of them. While standard plumbing would be nice I think I'll put the heater in the tank and I'm not too fussed by glasswear Vs spray bar.

Any circulation pump recommendations?
 

Zeus.

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The FX6 has been great but it did require some plumbing for my setup as for reliability I havent had an issue but I do have a spare one just for spares if needed and handy for when doing a full filter clean as you can have one ready. The FX6 canister is pretty heavy when its full of water too. I would suggest two smaller canisters which are easy to clean as I do clean my FX6 out weekly as I do use the canister to filter out all the detritus after I have turkey blasted the whole tank as turkey blasting and siphoning the tank at the same time was a PITA with my setup and cleaning the filter quicker, however with a low tech tank maintenance shouldn't be needed as much OFC.

The size and number of filter also depends on how many fish you plan to have and size of fish mine is mainly about the plants/scape so dont need much filtration as the plants are the biggest filter. So it also depends on the plant density you plan as the densely planted tanks with few fish its more about the output than the filtration

I use Twin Maxspect Gryes which work great with my setup but not cheap but you should need the levels of output going low tech. But they fit a deam and the control unit works a dream and the gryes are easy to clean.
 

Regent

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The FX6 has been great but it did require some plumbing for my setup as for reliability I havent had an issue but I do have a spare one just for spares if needed and handy for when doing a full filter clean as you can have one ready. The FX6 canister is pretty heavy when its full of water too. I would suggest two smaller canisters which are easy to clean as I do clean my FX6 out weekly as I do use the canister to filter out all the detritus after I have turkey blasted the whole tank as turkey blasting and siphoning the tank at the same time was a PITA with my setup and cleaning the filter quicker, however with a low tech tank maintenance shouldn't be needed as much OFC.

The size and number of filter also depends on how many fish you plan to have and size of fish mine is mainly about the plants/scape so dont need much filtration as the plants are the biggest filter. So it also depends on the plant density you plan as the densely planted tanks with few fish its more about the output than the filtration

I use Twin Maxspect Gryes which work great with my setup but not cheap but you should need the levels of output going low tech. But they fit a deam and the control unit works a dream and the gryes are easy to clean.
Thanks for the detailed reply Zeus, I'd much prefer two filters, I just can't see how to make the plumbing work with only one corner to run the all throughtge pipes through the bracing. Prehaps I just need to buy them and figure it out later.
I guess any of the big filters will heavy when full?
I'd say it'll be moderately stocked. It's a tall tank so I'm looking for fish to fill all levels. It's was originally for discus/Angels.
I'm worried about flow because of how deep the tank is so the gyres may well be the solution to that!
 

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I'm considering using 2 aquael 1500s would 3000l an hour be enough circulation to start with for low tech? I could then add a circulation pump if I need more.

The lighter filters would be easier to handle. I could clean them alternate weeks. The larger filters are far less energy efficient and more expensive.

The thing I'm still struggling with is plumbing all the pipes would have to feed through a single 6.5x6.5cm access in the bracing or would need a very long run to make it to the far end and would then be visible at the peninsula end of the Scape which I don't want!
 

Millns84

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Bear in mind that canister filter output is considerably less than stated pump power.

Some manufacturers state filter circulation (Fluval and Hydor, possibly others) which is more accurate but even then there's questions about head height, specific media used etc so it doesn't quite work like a powerhead's rating where the flow is what it says on the tin.

There's some large canisters that have wheels (Eheim 1200XL and JBL e1902) if weight will be an issue.

I'm terms of energy efficiency, Eheim 1200XL is 25w and the Aquael Ultramax 2000 is 24w. They're the two best big filters I'm aware of in that area, otherwise you're looking at downsizing the filter.
 

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Thanks Milns, thanks for the help, I realise that most filters underperform (or manufactures over rate them!)
Hence my question about 2 smaller filters.
I'm not fussed about lifting them really. I guess I feel like I will probably need circulation pumps either way due to the height of the tank as getting flow at the bottom may be tricky. Filtration media wise the 2000 is only 3 l bigger than the 1500.
What I hadn't spotted is that the 1500 has a max head of 1.8m vs 2.5m for the 2000 (I'm not sure what difference this would make in practice?

I was in part drawn to the energy efficiency as 2 1500's would be 30 watts and thus leave 18 watts for circulation pumps which higher specific output. This has both a running cost and environmental impact!
 

Millns84

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Head height is the distance the filter can pump water vertically before it stops. Essentially, the amount of pressure the pump can create.

In practice it means that the lower the head height, the more flow will be lost from certain restrictions (how far the filter is pumping water but also things like in line heaters, diffusers and even the media in the filter).

Some newer 'eco' pumps with the same or even higher lph rating than old pumps have lower head heights. Technically that could actually result in less flow at the business end, but I digress!

If environmental impact is a concern (ignoring that the Chinese announced a few weeks back that they're building 300 new coal fired power plants - We have 7 in the UK!!), then the Eheim wins in my opinion as I don't believe you'd need a second in terms of filtration capacity and if powerheads are going to be added regardless then flow shouldn't be an issue. You also tend to find with Eheim that their flow rates are a little more accurate than other manufacturers.
 
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Bit of an aside I know, but we apparently just went 2 weeks without using any of our coal power stations! Burnt a lot of natural gas though!
 

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You both raise interesting points. I'm all for not burning coal, at least gas is cleaner, even if it'll run out first...
I just feel somewhat responsible burning loads of power to support keeping lovely wild thing and in return destroying where they live! But it's probably a bit out of my control!
I'm currently watching videos of filter outputs. A bit shocked that the aquael 2000 tested with no media is only really flowing 1000lph...
Thanks for the info on head height.
 
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Im at risk of going off topic again here, but you also need to consider what benefits your tank brings... and can bring.

CPDs are endangered in the wild I believe... you could be breeding these in your tank for example. I know my tank helps me to deal with the stresses and strains of modern life. Another advantage.

As with most things I think this is all a question of compromise... I have committed to making 2 of my 3 tropical tanks into temperate or coldwater setups over time as fish pass and are replaced I will only choose suitable species for example. I have already gone coldwater and filterless in my shrimp tank.

Not saying I'm right or wrong about anything here by the way... just other things to consider...

@mods - feel free to move this to a more relevant topic if you prefer!
 

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I actually think it's an interesting topic in its own right.
I also like the idea of temperate tanks. For this tank I'm also drawn to Altum angels as the tank is so deep. I did have a clear plan of exactly what I was going to do for this build and then a4l offered me this tank and I couldn't say no but it's left me very confused about what I'm going to do

From a wellbeing point of view there's no doubt maintaing and relaxing watch a tank help me unwind no end. I work long busy days and coming home to sit and watch an aquarium is my wind down time. Hence the new bigger tank going in as penisular.
 
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That is quite the spreadsheet and I'm sure will be very useful for others with the same quandry. My tank is smaller so alas it is not so useful for my purposes, but let me know if you want to do the same exercise for 200 litre tanks! I suspect not, as that must have taken some time to put together!!
 

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That is quite the spreadsheet and I'm sure will be very useful for others with the same quandry. My tank is smaller so alas it is not so useful for my purposes, but let me know if you want to do the same exercise for 200 litre tanks! I suspect not, as that must have taken some time to put together!!
I'm more than happy to add some other filters in if you let me know which you're interested in? Most of it'll calculate itself. The tricky bit is finding real world flow in a clean filter with media. I think the info is easier to find for JBL, fluvial and hydor, there are some flow tests of the aquael on YouTube..
 

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I already had the data for the 350 and 600T versions. I have added them in. Let me know if you want others? I do think that the built-in heater is a big win with these filters and if the cost had been lower or the flows higher I'd have considered them.

Note I've done the calcs for two filters as that is what I was looking at, I may reformat the sheet a bit if it's of use to others so it's all done for one filter.
 

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