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Would this be a suitable filter?

ellena

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14 Apr 2009
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Hi, i'm just looking into my first planted setup. I have a clearseal 18" long tank, 27l. I would like to keep it clutter free, so I'm thinking an external filter and I like the inline external heaters too. Had a good google and I think the hydor prime 10 at 300lph with the hydor 200w heater would be good. All the other brands of external filter start much bigger, giving at least 20x turnover. Would the 200w heater be overkill? Are there any other options I've missed?
I could have the filter either on the same level as the tank or lower, anyone know where the hydor has to go?
Thanks :)
 

George Farmer

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Hi ellana and welcome to UKAPS!

The Hydor external filters are ok but are pretty basic i.e. no self-prime, awkward maintenance.

Consider the Fluval 105. Dan Crawford uses one on his 10 litre nano to great effect.

A 200w inline heater will be fine. It will simply turn on and off more frequently than a lower power heater.
 

TLH

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One thing to bear in mind is that if a 200w heater malfunctions it'll heat the tank alot quicker than a smaller one. A 50w would still be able to heat your tank more than well enough, maybe even just a 25w would do in a 27 litre tank.

External filters need to be below the tank to work best.
 

ellena

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Thanks guys :) I'll have a look at the fluval, although the hydor does say here that it has self prime?
TLH, that's what i was worried about with the heater, but I can't find an external one less than 200w?
 

ellena

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Thanks gordon, another possibility. grr, how do you ever choose? lol!
 

AdAndrews

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TLH said:
One thing to bear in mind is that if a 200w heater malfunctions it'll heat the tank alot quicker than a smaller one. A 50w would still be able to heat your tank more than well enough, maybe even just a 25w would do in a 27 litre tank.

External filters need to be below the tank to work best.

This is what people told me when i put a 200w on a 35litre and then again when i put a 300w on a 125litre, but how many ETH's do you hear malfunctioning...

ellena personally i would recommend tetra tec's, i have 2(ex1200, ex600) and they are easy to prime, well built and easy to maintain, and come with all the media for a tidy price-check ebay! on this i would put the hydor ETH 200W and if you want some nice glassware, go for the cal-aqua nano set for £40 i think on Aqua essentials. For me this external heater/filter and glassware combo is way worth what i saved for, you get a clear finish in the tank, stocking choices are much better, due to the massive filter and then not even the inlet and outlet are very visible(if kept clean) :thumbup:

Adam
 

dsandson

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AdAndrews said:
This is what people told me when i put a 200w on a 35litre and then again when i put a 300w on a 125litre, but how many ETH's do you hear malfunctioning...

Thats actually quite a good point, and well made. Remember that people are always more likely to share a horror story than an its-all-worked-fine story.

Dave
 

ellena

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Thanks guys :) It is really a case of it's all fine unless it goes wrong. And then no matter what size heater you have, you're pretty screwed!
Thanks for the mention of the nano set, AdAndrews :) Can I just run this by to see if I've got my head round it?
So I get an external filter which sits on the floor. There are 2 tubes running from it, inlet and outlet. On 1 of these, (not sure which?) I attach an inline heater. I put the glass inlet tube on the inlet pipe and hang that into the tank. I put the lily tube on the outlet and hang that into the tank. At opposite ends?
And on the glass tubes, I presume the filter tubing goes on the little T piece that sticks out? Is the bottom blocked off?
Do you just push the tube on?
Sorry that turned into a lot of questions :oops: Thanks of you can help with any of them. If there's a better section for them, I'll ask there instead :)
 

ellena

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Just thought, do I not need a spraybar? I have seen a diagram of how the lily pipe creates flow around the tank, is that alternative to the spraybar?
 

BINKSY1973

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ellena said:
I have seen a diagram of how the lily pipe creates flow around the tank, is that alternative to the spraybar?

You are correct here, the lily pipe replaces the spraybar.

Cheers Gordon.
 

BINKSY1973

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ellena said:
So I get an external filter which sits on the floor

yep, most people put them in a cabinet under the tank.

ellena said:
There are 2 tubes running from it, inlet and outlet.

You got it, the heater goes on the return, and then would go up to your spray bar or lily pipe, i think on a tank your size the inlet and return may be best on the same side of the tank.

ellena said:
Do you just push the tube on?

Not having used glassware myself, im not sure but i believe so, i think sometimes the tube has to be heated to help it on, if its a little on the tight side.

Hope all that helps.

Cheers Gordon.
 

AdAndrews

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ellena said:
Do you just push the tube on?

yes, the glassware will be 13mm for a 12mm hose, this ensures that once pushed on(may need a bit of hot water to expand the filter hose) it is a tight fit and will not fall off.

thanks
Adam
 

chris1004

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27 Dec 2008
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Hi Ellena,

Welcome to the forum.

I'm just going to put my two pennyworth in here for a second. When you choose a filter its worth remembering that if you choose a slightly larger filter than you need the flow can be can be turned down to suit (on most filters nowdays) and turned back up again to compensate for losses of flow should they arrise (blocked media, extreme plant growth etc.). The larger capacity filter will more often than not take a larger volume of media which will help with your filtering and if you decide to upgrade your tank to somthing larger in the future could still be usefull. Obviously you don't want complete overkill but if you go for somthing like a tetratech EX 600 and turn the flow down it won't cost a great deal more than its smaller cousin the EX 400 but would be more addaptable, providing you have the room.

Also bear in mind that you will no doubt loose about half the filters output rating as soon as you fill it up and place it underneath the tank. This is because the manufacturers tend to rate the filters with no media in them and a zero head height (ie. no water to pump uphill). This has been taken into account though when you apply the 10x general rule of thumb for flow ratings on planted tanks (total flow should be rated at 10x tank volume), your 27Litre tank will require a filter with a rated output of at least 270Litres an hour or more.

Therefore the hydor prime 10 would be ok, somthing like an Ex 400 would give you quite a bit of room for manouvre and its cousin the EX 600 turned down would have a huge filter media capacity for a tank of that size and may be more benificial to you in the long run.

Which filter to buy is very much a personal choice, but I can recomend the tetratech range of external filters as I use these myself and they seem to be offering the best overall value for money at the moment. Shop around though as prices vary considerably. Warehouse aquatics, zooplus or pets products online seem to always have these at reasonable prices to name a few and there are usually second hand deals to be had on ebay. If you can afford it Eheim have a great reputation and are very well made and there is probably one in there classic range that would suit your requirements. Personally I would steer clear of the eco range though, just heard some duff reports about them thats all, didn't mean to offend anyone.

Whatever filter you decide to go with its worth remembering that it will only be as good as the media that you use in it. Sometimes filters are priced without media and sometimes with a full range of top quality media. Some filters may be cheap initially but require filter media that you have to keep buying from the specific manufacturers which are invarioubly expensive.

The external heater will be fine. Its not like there is a lot of choice anyway if youv'e decided that external is the way you want to go. You could use a more suitable 50W or so standard heater and spend the money you save on a better filter, or beer!!!

Regards, Chris.
 

Ed Seeley

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Actually the height of the tank above the filter only effects the head because of the length of the pipe work involved.
The head of any pump is broken down into two different parts; the static head and the dynamic (or frictional) head.

The static head is the height above the open water's surface that you are pumping to. In a pond this would, for instance be the height from the pond's surface to the top of the waterfall. In a tank with a sealed up external filter that is the height from the tank's surface to the highest open point of the return pipework.

The frictional head is the reduction caused by the friction generated in the pipework and this is the one you really need to try and reduce by having as large a diameter pipework as possible with as few bends as possible. Every 90degree bend reduces the flow considerably, not to mention restrictions in pipe diameter.

While I completely agree with Chris in buying an oversized filter as it will give you spare capacity and extra media and allow you to use it on a bigger tank in the future, don't go too mad as you'll just be wasting energy if you do (a small amount I know, but it all adds up over the lifetime of a filter!). Pick a pump or filter slightly bigger than you need; or pick a smaller filter and have a flow pump (which are very efficient as they operate with effectively a zero frictional and static head) for the most efficient way of doing things IMHO.
 

chris1004

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Hi Ed

Whilst I agree that the water will naturally level out in a closed loop system such as an external filter, the filter still has to lift the total weight of the water within the pipework from its lowest point to its highest. All the manufacturers that I know of quote a maximum head height which they refer to as the differance between the lowest point of the filter and the highest point of the pipework.

For instance if the lowest point of the filter where 500mm below the top bend the total volume (and therfore mass) of the water within the pipe work which had to be lifted would be significantly less than if it were 1500mm below the top bend, by a factor of 3 no less. Add to that the increase in internal friction which you have also mentioned..

Thats how I understand it anyway, could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time.

Regards, Chris.
 

Ed Seeley

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chris1004 said:
Hi Ed

Whilst I agree that the water will naturally level out in a closed loop system such as an external filter, the filter still has to lift the total weight of the water within the pipework from its lowest point to its highest. All the manufacturers that I know of quote a maximum head height which they refer to as the differance between the lowest point of the filter and the highest point of the pipework.

For instance if the lowest point of the filter where 500mm below the top bend the total volume (and therfore mass) of the water within the pipe work which had to be lifted would be significantly less than if it were 1500mm below the top bend, by a factor of 3 no less. Add to that the increase in internal friction which you have also mentioned..

Thats how I understand it anyway, could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time.

Regards, Chris.

Those pumps are so weak that they cannot lift against a significant head. What increasing the depth does is increase the pressure within the unit which is a lot more of the recommendations than any percieved head. All you're doing is increasing the frictional head, the static head is the same - there is no lift of water at all except that above the waterline.
 

chris1004

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Ed ,

This has gone off at a bit of a tangent to the original post but interesting non the less, seems your never to old to learn somthing new, thanks.

Regards, Chris.
 

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