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Filter help..

Holmesy

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4 Jul 2013
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Hi everyone. i'm new to this forum and this is my first post, so go easy on me! I have some questions that have been bugging me for a while, so i would be ever so grateful for you help :)

i've never kept planted tanks in my life as i'm an African Cichlid Hobbyist, however i'm in the process of setting up a 60L Dennerle cube planted Ram tank in my kitchen.
With the help of a good mate, I seem to have picked out all the plants for the tank and red moor wood decor etc. I will be using ADA AquaSoil and I will be using liquid co2.

I have two areas that i'm looking to get some advice on if i may:

1. Filtration:

What are most people using? I like the idea of a small external so i have been looking at the Eden 501 and 511. Does anyone use a the 501? What ever filter i go for it must be able to sit behind the tank as i can't put anything below it. So the filter will have to sit next to the tank. This pretty much rules out any big externals.

I did some reading up on it, and even though the quality and build was there, it lacked some guts and i'm thinking it might be a little small, plus lack of room for media that i want to use. This is Seachem Matrix and Purigen.
Someone please do correct me though if you find the 501 to be more than good at what it does!
The 511 looks like it has more guts and a bit more room, but i would really appreciate some advice

I have some lily pipes that are 9mm that would fit on the 501 but could I use them with the 511 or another brand of filter?

I have also been looking at HOB filters.
There are many to choose from. I have looked at the Eheim Liberty range and APS models.
My only gripe with these, is the lack of room for media, but i would be interested to see what you all think.
I hear that with plants and the AquaSoil filtration doesn't need to be crazy as they help? Maybe someone can educate me more on this?

2. Next is water quality. The ph where i live is 7.2. Rams require lower PH. However the breeder i'm getting them from breeds and raises them in 7.2 but recommends i go lower to get the most out of them. So how do i get the PH down? Once again will the Soil and plants etc contribute to this or just keep things stable or both? Should i go for RO water? I can get it from my local shop or i have found a non self piercing unit for £60 which i just screw on my tap. Or do i go for something like API PH down? The GH = 15 and KH = 18. So that works out to be GH = 269PPM KH= 322PPM.

Sorry for all the questions but i really want to get things right.

Thanks guys
 

ceg4048

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If I were you I would forget about pH. You'll get more trouble than you bargained for using toxic substances like pH down. Rams don't really care about pH. They care about clean water.

Cheers,
 

Holmesy

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If I were you I would forget about pH. You'll get more trouble than you bargained for using toxic substances like pH down. Rams don't really care about pH. They care about clean water.

Cheers,

Ok.

What's your thoughts on the filter side of things?
 

ceg4048

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I agree with the idea of using an external filter. Suggesting a filter model though is like suggesting an ice cream flavor. They all work the same and everyone has a favorite. Some are noisier, some are cheaper and so forth. In a planted tank, the only thing that matters in a filter is the amount of throughput, which is necessary to deliver the proper levels of nutrients and CO2 to the leaves. Stagnant water is bad news for plants under high lighting, so we always suggest that whatever filter you get, it should have a turnover rating of 10X the volume of the tank per hour. So if your tank is 10 US gallons, the filter should have a rating of 100 US gallons per hour. I'm not really sure what the turnover rating for the filters you specified are and I don't think you mentioned the tank size.

Also, in a planted tank, media is not very important, and if you stuff your filter with a lot of media the flow suffers dramatically, so it's best to limit the media quantity and limit the media type to something basic, like foam, alfagrog and maybe some carbon or sintered glass. Some people like to add Purigen instead of carbon, and that works fine too. You'll find that CO2 enriched plants produce a lot of organic waste, so there needs to be a lot of water changes and filters will clog more quickly than you would imagine.

Cheers,
 

LancsRick

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18 Apr 2012
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A rough rule of thumb for filter throughput in planted tanks is 10x tank volume per hour. There aren't that many HOB options that will meet your needs.

Generally, an external gives you a lot more flexibility in both media volume (as you've already spotted), but also the various inflow and outflow options, such as spraybars.

In your position I'd personally look at the JBL e701/e700 if buying new, and if second hand, either an Eheim or JBL.
 

Holmesy

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Thanks!

But one of the problems I got is this Dennerle 60L is on my kitchen surface. I can't put anything under it. So I'm looking for an external that can sit to the back or side of the tank. That's why the Eden range caught my attention. Any good? Is the 501 too weak?
 

sa80mark

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Imo the 501 is way to under powered for anything over 30l the 511 would be pretty much ideal for your situation and will sit behind or to the side of your tank, a member on here bought one recently but I cant remember who it was :(
 

LancsRick

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Ah, in that case then a HOB would be a good option for aesthetics, I understand now.

Have a look at offerings from Boyu, Azoo, and Eheim Liberty.
 

Holmesy

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Be interesting if that member comes forward! I'd love to know his/hers view on it. I was thinking hob but I think it might go against the above advice that there needs to be some good movement in and around plants. A HOB would only just do a good job at breaking the surface only right?
 

Henry

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Judging by the information on the internet, the 511 is probably your better bet. A quoted 600L/h might just be enough if you keep the media light. You could also use as much media as you like, then add a small powerhead to supplement the flow.
 

sa80mark

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I cant really advise you on hob's but theres a few very very nice members tanks that run hob filters, for me it has to externals but filters really are personal preference
 

Henry

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APS HOB filters are excellent for the money. They tend not to give an even flow, which can cause problems. You're best off with something that can incorporate a spray bar.
 

Ady34

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Holmesy

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Anyone think the eheim liberty 200 would be good for my needs?
 

dw1305

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Holmesy

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Yes. I read that thread. Do you find it gives good water movement? I'm only setting up a low tech slow growing plant set up.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Do you find it gives good water movement? I'm only setting up a low tech slow growing plant set up.
Absolutely fine for this. If you are worried you can always run an internal as well, on 60 litre tanks I usually have 2 filters (External or HOB and an internal "Eheim Airball" or Maxijet and sponge).
If I were you I would forget about pH. You'll get more trouble than you bargained for using toxic substances like pH down. Rams don't really care about pH. They care about clean water.
Clive has a point, but personally I think your water is too hard for Rams.
Next is water quality. The ph where i live is 7.2. Rams require lower PH. However the breeder i'm getting them from breeds and raises them in 7.2 but recommends i go lower to get the most out of them. So how do i get the PH down? Once again will the Soil and plants etc contribute to this or just keep things stable or both? Should i go for RO water? I can get it from my local shop or i have found a non self piercing unit for £60 which i just screw on my tap. Or do i go for something like API PH down? The GH = 15 and KH = 18. So that works out to be GH = 269PPM KH= 322PPM.
RO is an option, or I use rain-water.One of the problems is that pH is quite a strange measurement, and only really interpretable with a measure of the dKH as well, your 18dKH means that your tap water is hard with a lot of carbonate buffering.

Products like "pH Down" don't really work, the problem is that it is really easy to add things to water (it is a very good solvent), but really difficult to remove them.

I'll use a "cup of tea" analogy, you start with boiling water, and then you add a tea bag, milk and sugar. Once you've got your cup of tea there isn't anyway of turning it back to hot water.

This is the same as the hard tap water, when it fell as rain it was (close to) pure H2O, but now it is has percolated through a limestone aquifer, dissolving the limestone, and is a dilute solution of calcium (Ca++) and carbonate (HCO3-) ions. We can exchange those ions for other ions (usually sodium and chlorine (salt = NaCl = Na+Cl-) this is how ion exchange water softeners work), but the only way to remove them is by distillation or Reverse Osmosis.

cheers Darrel
 

Holmesy

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Great insight. The Ph is something I'm not to I worried about as I'm looking at investing in some peat balls which will naturally bring the ph down and buffer it.

I don't really want to use an internal as I want maximum room inside the tank. So that's why I was wondering If the Eheim Liberty 200 model alone would be perfect.
 

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