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Filter for Planted Nano Shrimp Tank


10 Jun 2016
I picked up an Aqua One Aspire 22 from P@H whilst they were on offer at £55. I believe the lights are heater are OK and figured at that price I can always replace the filter if necessary. Plan is to turn this into a low tech planted shrimp tank for RCS.

The tank itself is a P@H exclusive which is the same as the Nano 30 but it does not have the fake back with hidden filter but instead is a 30cm genuine cube. It comes with an internal filter for which you can only officially buy media at P@H at £15 a pop :eek: Apparently it is the same as AquaManta IFX50 sold by Maidenhead Aquatics where they do sell the media separately (and indeed it is cheaper to buy a new filter than get new media from P@H)
Filter.jpg Pump.jpg Media.jpg

Filter itself looks OK but I think I would probably replace it as it looks a pain to replace media. There are to phosphate pads, the two sponges look pretty low quality and then there is this big plastic carbon box which forms part of the outlet pipe to the spray bar. I guess after taking the carbon out the cage and replacing the sponges it would probably do OK for a Betta in a small tank??

The inlets on each chamber overflow into them (they are sealed on the pump chamber) so I guess even though they are relatively small slots this is asking for shrimp fry to get introduced to the impeller.

A lot of American advice is to get a HOB but (a) they do not seem to be as available over here and (b) this is a nano tank to go in the kitchen and I am not sure the aesthetics will get past the wife :rolleyes:
Next advice is always the sponge filter but I am concerned about the noise. I have an Eheim 400 which is meant to be one of the quietest but despite lots of playing around with non-return values, piping, air stones, valves ... I still consider the hum far too noisy.

Which all has me coming back to the JBL CristalProf M Greenline which sounds pretty good and what I hear is pretty quiet. This also has space to add media behind the sponge and the ability to extend if necessary.

I am presuming that the bio load of a tank full of shrimp is still going to be pretty small and that the filter would possibly be providing more benefit for the plants in circulating the water than the shrimp?

If I did go for a sponge filter, how noisy are these? (I have read stories about the bubbling of the filters being louder than the air pumps) and should me Eheim air pump actually be audible? Would the plants care what type of filter as long as water and nutrients were being circulated?
I'd avoid hob, I've been using them recently and while great for bio filtration; flow is crap, and you'll get a lot of evaporation with them. Anything with flow is good, if you can slow the flow on the external so it doesn't create a whirlpool, you're golden. Be quieter too.
I've found TMC air pumps to be excellent. I have one running in my bedroom at very low noise levels.