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Filter Suggestions for 46g Bow Tank

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Funkimaniac, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Funkimaniac

    Funkimaniac New Member

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    Hello everyone! I'm currently looking to upgrade my 15 gallon tank to a 46 gallon bow tank with a decent amount of plants. I've currently been debating getting the aquaclear 70 as its on the cheaper side or a canister style filter like the Sunsun 302 or maybe fluval 204/304 if I can find a used one. What do you guys think would be my best bang for my buck here? Also if you guys have any experience with similar size tanks and what you use/used, any information would be appreciated cheers!
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    First thing I suggest is do not get a bow front tank. It can be difficult to work out how much water is in them and this can be an issue if the fish ever get sick and need treating. In addition to this, if the front ever gets damaged, you usually throw the tank away and buy a new one because the curved glass costs a lot to replace.

    As for filters, the AquaClear is a very good brand and so is Fluval. The AquaClear is cheaper and easier to clean and maintain and is one of my favorite filters. I have also had Fluval canister filters and they were good.

    The best value for money is the AquaClear or a secondhand Fluval. But beware of the secondhand filter, if the motor doesn't work then it will cost you a bit to replace it.

    I normally have 3 sponges in my AquaClears and Fluvals but you can use whatever filtration media you want.

    ---------------------------
    If you don't plan on keeping the smaller tank going, you could move the current filter onto the new tank. Even if you do plan on keeping it running, you can take half the filter media from it and use that in the new filter so you don't have to cycle the new tank.
     
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  3. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    Yep, I would go with the AC70.
     
  4. Funkimaniac

    Funkimaniac New Member

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    I picked up the bow tank yesterday for 60 cdn. I guess if I wanted to be technical I could set up fill marks on a sticker to see how many gallons I'm at. Yes I love how AQ gives you the space to use what media you would like to use. Okay I agree AQ is definitely my cheaper option for a great filter. Would you guys think it would be better for me to be running 2x AQ 70 for my 46g? Or is this not needed unless I'm going to have a lot of waste? Yeah I can find used fluval 204s for around 100 and the 304 for 150 or more. Also noting the sunsuns 302s are only about 150 new also. And I have heard a lot of good things come from them lately. As for my old filter yes I would run that filter in my new tank for maybe a month to get all that beneficial bacteria and swap a few things over as well.
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The filter on any tank should be suited to the intended fish, as they have differing needs when it comes to water movement which is a primary issue with a filter. Live plants were mentioned, and that means less filtration (via a filter) is needed.
     
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  6. Lajos_Detari

    Lajos_Detari Fish Fanatic

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    Hang on filter(HOB) is still the easiest and most convenience to use.
    On the other hand, canister filter will give a better or more effective filtration but will require more work for cleaning and maintenance.

    If you are thinking of getting an AQ hang on filter, then I suggest that you get two AQ 50 instead of one AQ 70 for the following reasons:

    1)It's better to have two lower power filters than one higher power filter. Too high power may create too much current flow in your tank and may not be suitable for most fish especially fish that prefer slower flow rate.

    2)Having two filters will be more effective for your tank filtration as you can place one on the most right corner and the other on the most left.

    3)When cleaning/maintaining your filters, always clean only "one" filter at a time and not both at the same time. This is to prevent you from removing too much beneficial bacteria from the filter medias. If you only have one filter, then you'll have to be more careful when cleaning the filter media.

    4)Having two filters will also serves as a backup in the event one filter breakdown or malfunction.

    One AQ50 can support a tank of up to 50gallons.
    If you have two AQ50, it'lll be more than enough for your 46 gallons tank.

    https://usa.hagen.com/Aquatic/Filtration/Clip-On/A610

    By the way, take note that for hang on filter, usually you have to fill the water up to very high level (near to the rim of the tank). So, just make sure that you're fine with the water level. (just a precaution note)

    If you are considering getting a second-hand filter, make sure that you clean them properly with bleach to prevent any parasites/bacteria that is left behind.(just in case)

    Lastly, you don't need to reuse your old filter for your new tank. You just need to reuse your "old filter media". Transfer the old filter media into your new filter together with the new filter media so that the beneficial bacteria can be transferred directly to the new filter media.

    Note: Make sure that your old filter is free from disease(parasite/bacteria).
     
    #6 Lajos_Detari, Apr 24, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
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  7. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    Lets talk a little about filters. Filters help some with water clarity, but they don't improve water quality. The 'dirty truth' about filters is that they trap detritus where it continues to decompose and pollute the water! More filtration (bigger more powerful filter(s) or additional filters) doesn't change this simple truth.
    Good filtration is about how well we filter water, not how much or how fast we push water through filter media, Just my nickle, I wouldn't put a canister filter on anything less than a 55g-75g tank.
    ...And what is an AQ? I abbreviate Aquaclear as AC.
    ------

    I have two AC70's with AC50 impellers on my 60g (The 2nd was a [failed] denitrate experiment). They are both currently set to maximum re-filtration/minimum output and are filled completely with bio-sponge material.
    I have another AC70 on a 37g with reduced flow AND filled with bio-sponge material. They all have coarse sponge pre-filters on the intake tubes....(extra bio surface area and a fry saver.
    ------
    I still vote for the AC70 (over an AC50 or other), because of the increased media space - but I would use an AC50 impeller for reduced flow AND set the filter for max re-filtration/minimum output. It would work great on a 46g tank.
     
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  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Very accurate and true.
     
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  9. Funkimaniac

    Funkimaniac New Member

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    Thanks so much for taking the time and writing back! Okay reading what you both said, I would say I'm definitely getting an AQ for my 46g instead of a canister filter. I ordered a AQ70 last night and should show up tomorrow. I do like the idea of having two filters so one is on each side and would keep the tank extra clean. But I did already order the AQ70 and would have to return. So I think I'll stick with the one AQ70. And I'll also look up to see if I can find a AQ50 impeller for lower flow rate.
     
  10. Funkimaniac

    Funkimaniac New Member

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    Could you tell me the media order or setup you do for your aq70? I ended up ordering some pond matrix and filter floss for mine ontop of what comes with it.
     
  11. Lajos_Detari

    Lajos_Detari Fish Fanatic

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    I guess my response is too late.
    I think you can still use the AC70 impeller unless you find that the flow rate is too strong even after reducing it to the minimum. You can try it out first before getting the AC50 impeller.


    Just some sharing for your knowledge only.

    My previous proposal was having two AC50 filters vs one AC70 filter.

    Here are my points:
    1) When you have two AC50 filters, you cover both sides (left & right) of the tank and the filtration will be more effective. This is useful especially for a long tank. I guess your tank is 3 feet long.

    2) One of the disadvantage of "hang on filter" is the water inlet is next to the water outlet.
    So, the filter will suck in "water that has been filtered" instead of dirty water from other area of the tank.
    Hence, it may not be effective for the whole tank.
    That's why I suggested to have two filters.

    Canister filter performs better in this area.
    For a canister filter, you can place the inlet and outlet at two opposite sides of the tank(extreme left and right).

    But having said that, I would say Aquaclear is also a good filter due to these two reasons:
    a) There is a big space for more media & different types of media.

    b) The direction of the water flow.
    The water flows from bottom to the top and hence, the water is being forced to go through all the media before flowing back to the tank.

    I'd checked through many types of hang on filter, and I can conclude that Aquaclear 70 is a good hang on filter.

    One hang on filter that performs better than Aquaclear is "Totto" hang on filter which works like a canister filter.

    https://green-chapter-shop.myshopify.com/blogs/aquarium-gadgets/totto-hangon-canister-filters

    There are also other cheap China made hang on filters that have very huge compartment for more media. And they are very cheap.


    3)When you have two AC50, you actually have more filter medias than one AC70 when you combine both together.


    Let me explain briefly about how to have effective filtrations.

    1)A hang on filter provides mechanical, biological, chemical filtration.
    The most important filtration for fish is the "biological filtration".

    And in order to have effective biological filtrations, the water must "stay long enough" in the "filter media". The longer the water stays in the filter(or filter media), the better it is.

    Note: The water flow must not be too slow, else the bacteria may not have enough oxygen (my opinion). The beneficial bacteria require oxygen to work.

    This is when the beneficial bacteria will convert the ammonia to nitrite, and nitrite to nitrate.

    2) If the water flow rate is too fast, you are having mostly "mechanical filtration" as the water is being quickly pushed through the filter, and it doesn't stay long enough in the filter for the bacteria to work on it.
    The bacteria probably may not have enough time to convert the ammonia and nitrite.(my opinion).

    So, having a very fast flow rate may not be really useful, and having two slower filters is better than one very fast/powerful filter.

    Mechanical filtration is not so critical as you can always remove the fish waste with a siphon whenever you change your tank water.

    Canister filter has a longer body and has more layers of filter media than a hang on filter.
    Hence, it's a more effective filter as the water stay longer in the filter and it passes through many layers of media.

    If you make a study on "a pond filtration system", you can understand the biological filtration better.
    There are articles in the internet discussing on ponds filtration (if you are interested).

    Sorry, I'm typing from my mobile phone.
    I may have errors in my typing.

    Note: Your AC70 should come with all the necessary medias for filtration.

    The only media that you might want to replace is the carbon filter. You can replace it with a coarse sponge(if the sponge provided is a fine sponge) and place is below the finer sponge provided. Or can consider other types of media.
    There are many articles discussing the different types of filter media for different purposes in the internet.
    Carbon filter is not necessary unless if you want to filter the water after medicating your tank.
     
    #11 Lajos_Detari, Apr 24, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
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  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    You don't need a different impellor for the AquaClear 70 because they can have the flow rate reduce by half simply by moving the intake tube to one side. This will reduce the water going into the filter but you will still have the same size filter with all its media (filter material).

    I have 3 sponges in my AquaClears and nothing else.

    The AquaClear HOB filter comes with a sponge, carbon and ceramic beads. You can have sponge on the bottom, then carbon then beads on top, or do what I do. Order in 2 more sponges and just have 3 sponges in the filter.

    You don't need carbon and sponges trap more gunk and hold more beneficial bacteria than ceramic beads.
     
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  13. Byron

    Byron Member

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    You are going with one filter which is better, but as you do mention two filters one at each end I will just point out that there is absolutely no benefit to this in most cases. If the tank is very long, say six feet or more, this might sometimes be beneficial depending upon the filter(s) and type of fish. But in any tank under 4 feet there is no benefit to more than one filter.
     
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