Filtration Question - Filter vs Power Head

Discussion in 'Filters, Filtration and Pumps' started by tennis4you, 18 Oct 2008.

  1. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    USA
    I am currently battling a low water movement issue in my tank. My tank is a 125 gallon tank. I have a canister filter than turns over 165 gallons per hour and a powerhead that does 270 gallons per hour (Did some research, the power head pumps more than I thought).

    That puts me at almost 3.5 turn overs per hour. I am sure that neither of them pump at what they say they do, so round down to 3.0 turn overs per hour.

    As I look into getting more water movement, would I be wiser to get another filter or is it safe for now to get another power head? The power head will move more water compared to a canister filter (at least the canister that I have (Ehiem)).

    I am sure the filter is more valuable overall but the powerhead will be far cheaper for now. Can I get away with a big powerhead for now?
     
  2. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Powerhead
    Advantages
    It wil be much cheaper than a filter.
    At equal lph it will be much smaller.
    There will be almost zero flow reduction.
    It will be easy to clean.
    Disadvantage
    It will be inside the tank.

    External Filter
    Advantages
    It will be outside the tank.
    It will provide increased media surface.
    Disadvantages
    It will cost a lot more than the powerhead
    Its flow will be severely reduced when clean and even more as it becomes dirty.

    I am sure there are much more pieces to add.

    In your case because your tank is so large and as your filter has such a low lph compared to tank volume I would keep your filter on one side of the tank, then add a new one to the other side. You could also keep the powerhead you have to give even more flow.

    If it were a smaller tank and had higher filtration already I would suggest a powerhead even if purely on financial grounds.

    AC
     
  3. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
  4. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks you two. I can live with the powerheads in the tank (shoot, I have one now) if I must. I am still learning about everything and it is not like my tank is a masters work of art yet anyways. Right now I am just trying to get my arms around all of this. Seems like every time I think I have what I need, I need more.

    I am looking into the Fluval FX5 as it seems to filter a ton more. The question is though will the Fluval FX5 even provide enough water movement or just better filtration? If it does not provide enough water movement then I will still need a power head or two. I cannot imagine just one filter (big or not) providing enough circulation for a 6' long (125 gallon) tank.

    Thoughts?
     
  5. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    it is 600 Us gal p/hr so it will provide about 5x turnover. so you could get 2 of these or just one then an additional powerhead
     
  6. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Or use the FX5 at one end and your Eheim at the other end

    AC
     
  7. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    USA
    Wow, I shouldn't be surprised that I would need two. But I guess the question remains. Will my current filter be OK with just 2 power heads that all get my close to 10 turn overs per hour? Will I gain much benefit by getting a bigger filter to do some of the turn over?
     
  8. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    USA
    And from what I have read, it looks like the FX5 does 925 gallons per hour. So that is getting me closer.
     
  9. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    If your filter and the powerheads get you close to 10x then that should be OK. Wouldn't hurt getting a larger filter eventually and always worth having 2 on a large tank so that the ammonia doesn't have to travel the length of the tank all the time before reaching the filter return.

    AC
     
  10. tennis4you

    tennis4you Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    USA
    Well, I picked up a 400 gph power head today, that should help some. Doesn't put me to 10x but it gets me from 3x to close to 6.5x per hour so that has to count for something for now. I think the next step will be to get another canister filter and place it on the other side of the tank. I think that will help a lot since I will be cleaning the filter 1 time per month now. The other filter can run undisturbed while the other is cleaned. That means I will be cleaning one once every 2 weeks which sucks, but it is doable :)
     
  11. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I would leave each one for 2 months cleaning alternatively.

    AC
     

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