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Recommended filtration for a 120 Goldfish tank?


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I'm setting up a new tank I just picked up.

It's a 120 long. What kind of filtration system can I set up on it for both a good function and budget choice?

I'm tempted to pick up a couple aquaclear 110s and call it a day. I have a very active Toddler so whatever I use can't be accessible outside of the bottom cabinet.

Edited by Sieta
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Depends - what do you want your filter to do? Just biological or mechanical and chemical as well? How visibly obtrusive in the tank is acceptable?

My favorite filters are primarily biological and I deal with mechanical filtration with syphoning. I can count the number of days on one hand I've used chemical filtration in my two decades to fish keeping. But everyone has different priorities.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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If I hadn't gotten a great deal on 2 canister filters with my 125 i would be using 3 Aqueon 55/75 with custom media setup. 36x3 is $108 on Amazon. Plus some money for the media brings you close to the $130 for 2 aquaclear 110 but gives 200 more gph plus an extra filter for more circulation and in the event one fails you still have 2 filters opposed to just 1 aquaclear. 3 intakes and 3 outputs would give better circulation in a big long tank. How long is it?

Edited by DieselPlower
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I have two Aqueon 55/75 on my 55 gallon and they really are pretty great. I did chuck those crappy filter things and added my own carbon bags and sponges and bio balls, but the filters themselves are pretty efficient.

Edited by mjfromga
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Something to consider if you go with HOBs is placement... 120s are 18" wide? Something like that? Add another 5ish off the wall with an AC110 and it may come out too far. :idont

For that reason my vote would be with canisters or diy.

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It's one of the 120 long tanks. 60x18x26.

Right now I really only use bio filtration, on my 55 I have 2 aquaclear 70 with double biomax and no carbon and a double barrel sponge filter.

As far as looks I paint the back of my tanks black as well as any tubes so I don't mind them showing, once painted they aren't very noticeable.

I am interested in more info on the diy pond filter, I've seen some threads about some with the planted buckets and they are beautiful how they have the fountain effect... The area the tank is in is carpeted though, is there any splash out of the tank? Also my only other concern with that is the bucket being outside the tank and accessible to the Toddler.

If I go with the Aqueon, what is the preferred custom media?

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I showed a build of a filter system I used with my 40B here.  That has a link to a filter in a 5 gallon bucket filter used outside which has much more detail.  While the principles haven't changed, I certainly would alter some of the methods and materials in these old threads.

 

When you build a filter, you have complete control over the outflow.  You can put an elbow on the outflow, put a pipe on it that reaches below the surface of the water and have completely splash-free, silent operation.  Or you could make a spray bar for it to increase aeration.  You could also have the outflow empty into a plant container that drains to the tank, making a little aquaponics system.  In any case, no splashing out of the tank.  The outflow and the dump valve have the only joints for possible leakage.  If one uses a bucket or a plastic drum for the filter, these virtually never happen.  Even if a leak does occur, they start very slowly, so sitting the filter container in a pan will protect your carpet until you seal the leak.

 

The filter has to be high enough so that the outflow goes over the top of the tank.  Since you have a cabinet  for the tank, you have to build a stand for the filter, and can make that something that a toddler can't climb up or tip over.  The smallest filter I would recommend holds 5 gallons of water and that weighs more than 40 pounds, which makes it hard for anyone short of Supertot  to tip over.  The plants filling the top of the filter make it impossible for a child to fall in.  

 

 

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I showed a build of a filter system I used with my 40B here.  That has a link to a filter in a 5 gallon bucket filter used outside which has much more detail.  While the principles haven't changed, I certainly would alter some of the methods and materials in these old threads.

 

When you build a filter, you have complete control over the outflow.  You can put an elbow on the outflow, put a pipe on it that reaches below the surface of the water and have completely splash-free, silent operation.  Or you could make a spray bar for it to increase aeration.  You could also have the outflow empty into a plant container that drains to the tank, making a little aquaponics system.  In any case, no splashing out of the tank.  The outflow and the dump valve have the only joints for possible leakage.  If one uses a bucket or a plastic drum for the filter, these virtually never happen.  Even if a leak does occur, they start very slowly, so sitting the filter container in a pan will protect your carpet until you seal the leak.

 

The filter has to be high enough so that the outflow goes over the top of the tank.  Since you have a cabinet  for the tank, you have to build a stand for the filter, and can make that something that a toddler can't climb up or tip over.  The smallest filter I would recommend holds 5 gallons of water and that weighs more than 40 pounds, which makes it hard for anyone short of Supertot  to tip over.  The plants filling the top of the filter make it impossible for a child to fall in.  

Not to take over this thread :hide: But, I have a question. Would a 5 gallon bucket filter be enough filtration for a 100+ tank?  The reason I ask,is that I was leaning toward trying this for my 75:

My main concern with it is the noise(my 75 is in my bedroom)

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I showed a build of a filter system I used with my 40B here.  That has a link to a filter in a 5 gallon bucket filter used outside which has much more detail.  While the principles haven't changed, I certainly would alter some of the methods and materials in these old threads.

 

When you build a filter, you have complete control over the outflow.  You can put an elbow on the outflow, put a pipe on it that reaches below the surface of the water and have completely splash-free, silent operation.  Or you could make a spray bar for it to increase aeration.  You could also have the outflow empty into a plant container that drains to the tank, making a little aquaponics system.  In any case, no splashing out of the tank.  The outflow and the dump valve have the only joints for possible leakage.  If one uses a bucket or a plastic drum for the filter, these virtually never happen.  Even if a leak does occur, they start very slowly, so sitting the filter container in a pan will protect your carpet until you seal the leak.

 

The filter has to be high enough so that the outflow goes over the top of the tank.  Since you have a cabinet  for the tank, you have to build a stand for the filter, and can make that something that a toddler can't climb up or tip over.  The smallest filter I would recommend holds 5 gallons of water and that weighs more than 40 pounds, which makes it hard for anyone short of Supertot  to tip over.  The plants filling the top of the filter make it impossible for a child to fall in.  

Not to take over this thread :hide: But, I have a question. Would a 5 gallon bucket filter be enough filtration for a 100+ tank?  The reason I ask,is that I was leaning toward trying this for my 75:

My main concern with it is the noise(my 75 is in my bedroom)

 

I think a properly set up 5 gallon bucket would be enough assuming it is paired with a proper flow rate.  What that is exactly, im not sure. I will say this though, the site recommends a flow rate of 5-7 times the gallons of the tank.  A bucket filter would be about the same as a canister filter so lets say 6x flow.  This would be 720 gph. That seems like a lot of flow coming out of a filter.  I would be concerned with it overflowing.

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It's one of the 120 long tanks. 60x18x26.

If I go with the Aqueon, what is the preferred custom media?

Since it is only 60" long you could probably get away with the aquaclear 110's but they only flow 1000 gph.  The site does recommend 1200 gph flow for your tank, HOWEVER, I think that the aquaclear filters are top of the line and can hold a lot of media so you might be able to use two of them.  They already come with the media which is a cost saving bonus.  If you did want to get the aqueons, I found that there are some decent media packages you can buy from Sun Sun.  I bought them and theyve been working great.  Some people might note the bioballs are not the most effective type of bio media but I also use them in my pond because they stay cleaner so it was a good buy for me.  Heres a link. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=biomedia+sun+sun&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abiomedia+sun+sun

The set on the far right is what I have in my filters for biomedia.  Then for mechanical filtration you could use something like these... http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=aquarium+filter+pad&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aaquarium+filter+pad

I will post a picture of my filter below this post.

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For ponds, the "rule" says a container filter should have 1/10 the volume of the pond.  However, the people who say that also say you need a 10% water change weekly.  With aquarium level water changes you can certainly go smaller.   I have used a 5 gallon filter for a 100 gallon pond quite successfully.  You can't really relate turnover rates of aquarium filters and pond type upflow biofilters.  Using pond filters with 1/10 the volume of the pond, you should turn over 2x the pond volume per hour, but you can go as high as 4x for a very small pond.  The large volume of the filter makes a lower turnover rate more effective.

 

I'm a big fan of Joey, and use a lot of his ideas.  If you don't want noise, you don't want a trickle filter.  Pond people agree that trickle/shower filters provide the most efficient biofiltration, however they have two problems: noise and instability.  People even complain about the noise outside.  I have dragged the containers and media out of the pond after a minor blast of wind.  Indoors, this may not be a problem unless one has boisterous children or pets.  As Joey said, eventually it will clog and you need to clean it out.  

 

I use trickle filtration with plants after a bucket/barrel upflow biofilter in virtually every pond.  I take the outflow pipe down to the surface of the media, and let it flow out with a "holey pipe" going the length of the container, usually a "window box" type of planter.  I use hydroponic media, either clay pellets or recycled glass,  These have huge surface area and provide good support for the plants.  I have a bad picture of such a trickle filter on one pond.

 

061.jpg

 

The deck rail planter above comes from Lowes.  I have seen these used on aquariums.  I drilled holes in the bottom of the lowest part, allowing the water to leave below the surface of the water.  You hear only a soft pleasant trickle of the water over the pebbles.

 

 

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This is my 125 gallon Oscar tank. I have 2 Marineland Penguin 350 filters on it. My Nitrites are 0, Ammonia 0 and Nitrates are around 10. I do 50% water changes every week. The water is crystal clear.

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For ponds, the "rule" says a container filter should have 1/10 the volume of the pond.  However, the people who say that also say you need a 10% water change weekly.  With aquarium level water changes you can certainly go smaller.   I have used a 5 gallon filter for a 100 gallon pond quite successfully.  You can't really relate turnover rates of aquarium filters and pond type upflow biofilters.  Using pond filters with 1/10 the volume of the pond, you should turn over 2x the pond volume per hour, but you can go as high as 4x for a very small pond.  The large volume of the filter makes a lower turnover rate more effective.

 

I'm a big fan of Joey, and use a lot of his ideas.  If you don't want noise, you don't want a trickle filter.  Pond people agree that trickle/shower filters provide the most efficient biofiltration, however they have two problems: noise and instability.  People even complain about the noise outside.  I have dragged the containers and media out of the pond after a minor blast of wind.  Indoors, this may not be a problem unless one has boisterous children or pets.  As Joey said, eventually it will clog and you need to clean it out.  

 

I use trickle filtration with plants after a bucket/barrel upflow biofilter in virtually every pond.  I take the outflow pipe down to the surface of the media, and let it flow out with a "holey pipe" going the length of the container, usually a "window box" type of planter.  I use hydroponic media, either clay pellets or recycled glass,  These have huge surface area and provide good support for the plants.  I have a bad picture of such a trickle filter on one pond.

 

061.jpg

 

The deck rail planter above comes from Lowes.  I have seen these used on aquariums.  I drilled holes in the bottom of the lowest part, allowing the water to leave below the surface of the water.  You hear only a soft pleasant trickle of the water over the pebbles.

I can deal with some noise, but a lot wouldn't be a good idea with the tank in my bedroom. Plus, I already don't sleep very well. (Lucky if I get 4 hours a night) So the trickle is out. :( My son inlaw will be doing most of the work and suggested the bucket filter also. He is a civil engineer and works with underground tunnels, etc. But, I'm not sure that he knows anything about what is good for a fish tank! ;)  I sure as heck don't know what I'm doing, that's why I'm here!  So, what you picture above, could work on a 75?  

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Sure, that would work.  You see there an 8 gallon upflow biofilter, emptying into a trickle filter made from a 24" rail planter which has holes drilled in the bottom-most part to allow the water to exit below water level in the tub.  This also works as does this.  You can add a "trickle planter" to these as well.

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My 125 has two Filstar canister filters. They do 5xgph an hour. So they are perfect for my tank. I have one on each end.

Edited by Hidr
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