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Does having more filters make a difference?


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  • Regular Member

Hi,

Will having more than one biological/ mechanical filter in your tank help to purify the water and take more toxics out like ammonia, nitrites and nitrates out? I have been thinking of buying another HOB filter to filter out the water as well but if its not going to make much difference then I will not buy it.

What other methods will purify the water and take toxics out besides filtration?

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  • Regular Member

Filtration and water changes are the best ways to remove toxins.

Having one filter at either end of the aquarium makes for a more efficient debris removal system. It also provides more space for more media.

Having more filters can also create more current, which can be an issue for the fish if it's too strong.

What's your current filtration?

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  • Regular Member

Hi,

Will having more than one biological/ mechanical filter in your tank help to purify the water and take more toxics out like ammonia, nitrites and nitrates out? I have been thinking of buying another HOB filter to filter out the water as well but if its not going to make much difference then I will not buy it.

What other methods will purify the water and take toxics out besides filtration?

With goldfish you need to be filtering at 10X the tank capacity per hour--i.e., a 55 gallon tank needs enough filtration to be turning over 550 gallons per hour. It's hard to find that in one filter, so most people have more than 1. I have on my 90 gal an Eheim canister filter (300 gph) and 2 Penguin HOBs (330 gph each) for a total of 960 gph.

Water changes are, of course, very important as well--no matter how much filtration you have, you still need to do frequent large WCs with GF. But filtration is vital as well! Stick to the 10X formula and you will be doing great.

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I agree with the above comments. Also, if you have two filters on your tank and one should break you at least have the other one working and it will give you time to purchase another one. (with that said, I do only have one filter on my 34g tank but it's at 500gph and I'll just be up a creek to hurry up and buy a new one)

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Personally I really like having more than one filter on the tank for a number of reasons, namely the strong current stirring up the debris from the bottom almost constantly so things don't gather and look dirty, and the current is also a lot of exercise for the goldies. Just make sure your goldies are strong swimmers! For the fancier types, baffling the flow of multiple filters may become necessary.

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Multiple filters will certainly increase mechanical filtration, as the more filtering you have the better and faster the large poop wil get cleaned. More filtration can increase the current.

For biological filtration if you do not have enough biomedia using an additional filter can top up your biomedia. Note that beneficial bacteria (BB) only grow to accomodate your bioload and will not grow further. Even if you add 4 times the biomedia your BB will not grow 4x as much as you have now. BB use fish ammonia as food. With insufficient ammonia the BB cannot feed and therfore cannot grow.

Having the maximum biomedia you can will allow the BB to process the ammonia into nitrites and then nitrites to nitrates as quickly as possible, reducing the amount of toxic exposure to your fish. More BB and filtration does not reduce nitrate levels at all. These must be removed by water changes, plants, or other fancier means.

In general multiple filters are better, but only up to a point, after which benefits taper off.

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Personally I really like having more than one filter on the tank for a number of reasons, namely the strong current stirring up the debris from the bottom almost constantly so things don't gather and look dirty, and the current is also a lot of exercise for the goldies. Just make sure your goldies are strong swimmers! For the fancier types, baffling the flow of multiple filters may become necessary.

Will you suggest ways to baffle flow, please. :idont

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Flipper, If Niiku is talking about the aqua clear filters they have a knob thingy on top of the product. You turn it left or right to turn the flow/current higher or lower.

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I was considering getting a second filter just for the reason of if my current filter dies, I have the second one going, especially if I don't notice!

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Multiple filters will certainly increase mechanical filtration, as the more filtering you have the better and faster the large poop wil get cleaned. More filtration can increase the current.

For biological filtration if you do not have enough biomedia using an additional filter can top up your biomedia. Note that beneficial bacteria (BB) only grow to accomodate your bioload and will not grow further. Even if you add 4 times the biomedia your BB will not grow 4x as much as you have now. BB use fish ammonia as food. With insufficient ammonia the BB cannot feed and therfore cannot grow.

Having the maximum biomedia you can will allow the BB to process the ammonia into nitrites and then nitrites to nitrates as quickly as possible, reducing the amount of toxic exposure to your fish. More BB and filtration does not reduce nitrate levels at all. These must be removed by water changes, plants, or other fancier means.

In general multiple filters are better, but only up to a point, after which benefits taper off.

Multiple filters will certainly increase mechanical filtration, as the more filtering you have the better and faster the large poop wil get cleaned. More filtration can increase the current.

For biological filtration if you do not have enough biomedia using an additional filter can top up your biomedia. Note that beneficial bacteria (BB) only grow to accomodate your bioload and will not grow further. Even if you add 4 times the biomedia your BB will not grow 4x as much as you have now. BB use fish ammonia as food. With insufficient ammonia the BB cannot feed and therfore cannot grow.

Having the maximum biomedia you can will allow the BB to process the ammonia into nitrites and then nitrites to nitrates as quickly as possible, reducing the amount of toxic exposure to your fish. More BB and filtration does not reduce nitrate levels at all. These must be removed by water changes, plants, or other fancier means.

In general multiple filters are better, but only up to a point, after which benefits taper off.

Fantastic post!

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Something else to add: canister filters and sumps increase water volume. The added water they add/hold is always nice, particularly if you are near (or over) your stocking threshold. Not to mention these types of filters contain large amounts of filter media and places to colonise bacteria. :)

Edited by dan in aus
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  • Regular Member

Filtration and water changes are the best ways to remove toxins.

Having one filter at either end of the aquarium makes for a more efficient debris removal system. It also provides more space for more media.

Having more filters can also create more current, which can be an issue for the fish if it's too strong.

What's your current filtration?

I agree with Celsea here completely; on "larger" tanks -- that is, say, 55 gallons or over -- I recommend and always keep one HOB on either side for efficient debris removal and agitation of the water in different spots...

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When I bought my (pre-owned) 90 gal tank years ago it was SUPPOSED to come with filters & everything....well..I never got the filters. I had a small hang on back filter at the time & it looked almost comical on there!! My hubby went out & got a Aquaclear 110 for me. I thought it looked like a BOAT MOTOR!! I was so surprised to find out it STILL wasn't enough. My sons then surprised me with ANOTHER 110 (I love surprises!) I have run those 2 for years & REALLY love them!! I later got myself another one for my 29 gallon tank!!

Anyway I have been TOTALLY happy running TWO filters!!!!

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:thumbup2: Believe me, I took "the long, slow learning curve" path but I THINK I have it down pat pretty much!!! My goldfish are spoiled rotten!

Edited by Jeana727
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