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October 30th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Hi there, I just got a 20 Gallon tank and it came with a power filter and a heater. I was doing some searching and I found that there exists submersible internal filters as well. Are these any good? Which are better? The model I am looking at is the Hydor EKIP 350 Thermofilter 100W 125 GPH. Info at

Please let me know what is best, keep the old, or get the new. Also, what are the benefits?



October 31st, 2005, 12:47 PM
What fish are you planning to put in your tank? Sponge filters need to be cleaned more often than hang on filters. I'm guessing your aquarium came with an aqua-clear model. I have the 50 or 200 model, it is a very good filter for a twenty gal tank. needs monthly maintenence which is easier to do and disturbs the residents of the tank less. Reaching in to clean the submersible will disturb your fish as you don't clean the filter at the same time you change the water and clean the gravel. My advice would be to stick with the one that came with the tank and do some more research before changing to a new filter. Sorry this is so long but I don't want you to make the same mistakes I made with my fish tanks. With fish simpler is often better. If the heater in the submersible went haywire the tank would be out both a filter and a heater. Your call ultimately though. Good luck with your fish tank. {Please don't rush introducing fish, big mistake}

November 1st, 2005, 11:09 PM
AC are good for 20 gallons.You dont need to use other filters.What fish are you planning to put?

November 3rd, 2005, 01:20 AM
I wouldnt waste your money on one of those
internal filters there.
If you have an Aquaclear Filter, they are alright filters,
but there are many better. Cascade for one, makes a
superior hang on filter, so does Penguin/Emperor.
If you want top quality filtration though, nothing can
beat a canister filter. For canisters, the top of the line
ones are
#1: Eheim Canisters
#2: Rena XP series Canisters

Hagens Fluval series canisters are also good, a 104 or 204 would be
excellent on a tank that size and keep it crystal clear.
Canisters are also low maintenance, only requiring cleaning every 1-3 months.

November 3rd, 2005, 06:19 AM
That 20 gallon is going to cost a lot with a

What types of fish are you planning?

November 3rd, 2005, 05:55 PM
a canister filter can be purchased
for not much more than that
internal filter he has chosen up there.
A fluval 104 or rena xp filter will run you
about 60.00, but will do the work of
6 Aquaclear 200 filters.

November 3rd, 2005, 10:04 PM
What i was trying to say is that is for a 20 gallon depending on the type of fish,you dont need such filtration.I never saw people having 20 gallons use cannisters.

I usually ran AC 300 and I am very happy with it but my 20 gallon consist only of fish.

November 4th, 2005, 08:35 PM
I run a Fluval 204 on my 25g tank.....

November 5th, 2005, 01:59 AM
What fish do you keep?

I sold nearly all of my tanks to get my dog.

Very nice coloration on the L014.Is it L014 or L177?

November 5th, 2005, 02:10 AM
Hi There,
I have 3 tanks, a 10g tank, a 25g tank, and a 75g tank.
I also have a 10g, a 5g, and a 90 g (leaky) in storage.
In my 10g tank, I have 4 Cory Hasbrosus (Daint Corys)
1 Paradise Fish Female
and a Rubber Nose Pleco
in my 25g tank I have
9 Corydoras Aeneus Bronze+Albino assorted
1 Stone Lapping Barb
Breeding Pair of Large Koi Angelfish
in my 75g tank I have an assorted community including:
2 Discus
1 Koi Angelfish (born of breeding pair)
3 yoyo loaches
1 queen loach
1 polka dot loach
2 dojo loaches
1 imitator catfish (looks like cory. melanistius)
2 upside down catifsh
2 leopard danios
4 buenos aires tetra
1 boesmani rainbow
3 female pearl gourami
2 sailfin mollies
white clouds
7corys assorted: trilineatus, ambiacus, pepper
1 bristlenose pleco
1 inspector pleco
1 rainbow shark
2 sae
5 bolivian rams

November 5th, 2005, 03:30 AM
Woah,you keep track of all your fishes :)
The community tanks should be really nice to watch.

November 5th, 2005, 05:55 PM
Yep, i am an avid aquariast for sure!

I also wanted to mention, another good in the tank
filter is a simple sponge filter. When I originally
set up my breeder tank with just angelfish,
I had a problem with some cloudiness, dont know whether
it was a bacterial bloom or a microscopic organism,
but I got a large sponge filter that is for up to 50g,
that hooks up to an air pump. The tank to this day
stays crystal clear.
Sponge filters are great if thats the type of problem
you are having. They come in a wide variety of sizes as well,
are reasonably cheap, and easy to hide in your tank. A large
sponge filter would greatly assist your other filtration, and they
provide a large area for bacteria to colonize, which improves your
bacterial filtration.

Heres a pic of my 75g tank taken a couple of months ago:

November 5th, 2005, 11:56 PM
Very nice tank :)

Did u post that pic on other website?I think i remembered sawing it.
What Co2 system do you use?

November 6th, 2005, 12:34 AM
I probably have it posted elsewhere yes.
I dont have any c02 on that tank at all.
Its doing really good

November 7th, 2005, 04:12 AM
How do you control algae in such a tank?How many hours do you keep on the lights and how many watts and what type pf bulbs?Do you use any fertilser either liquid or clay based one?

Makes me want to start one planted one.I have the collection of amano books.

November 7th, 2005, 04:12 AM
Amazing :)

How do you control algae in such a tank?How many hours do you keep on the lights and how many watts and what type pf bulbs?Do you use any fertilser either liquid or clay based one?What about waterchange?

Makes me want to start one planted one.I have the collection of amano books.

November 7th, 2005, 07:26 PM
Hi there,
first about the light- it is a Corallife Compact Flourescent
fixture, 48 inches long, and is 135 watts. This gives me
about 1.5 watts per gallon of light. Enough to grow most
low-medium light requiring plants.
I run the light for about 14-16 hours on, and 8-10 hours off.
So basically, when Im awake.
The substrate is a regular smooth pebble, and underneath
each one of the heavy root feeding plants, I put one of those
Jobes "For Houseplants and Ferns" Fertilizer sticks like you can
buy at walmart or the like. I bury them deep under the gravel to
prevent them from leeching excess nitrogen into the water.
This feeds the plant without causing algae.
I do a 25-35% water change every 10-14 days, usually closer
to the 14 days. I always vaccuum the gravel as much as possible.
I add liquid fertilizer once a month. I alternate between "Flourish" liquid fertilizer, and a locally made one called "Pond Plant Food" by the Aquarium Stuff Company. It is a highly concentrated fertilizer, 1 capful per
hundred gallons. I dose a whole capful for my tank, because I have so
many plants. The flourish is 1 capful per 60g. I add 1.5 capfuls. So I alternate monthly doses between this two. The reason is that Flourish
fertilizer tends to cause problems, like brown diatomaceous algae, and
causes black beard algae, and even green water. So I limit its use.
The pond fertilizer however, doesnt have as much iron or potassium
in it, so thats why I supplement with the flourish.
I always dose ferts after my 2nd water change for the month.
On my 75g tank I run 2 large canister filters- an Eheim 2217 (for tanks up to 175g), and I run a Fluval 204 Canister. This gives me about 10X per hour
turnover rate, which is great for a planted tank.
In my filters there is a trick though....
Trick 1- No Carbon. Carbon removes the nutrients from the water
that plants need to grow. I never use carbon in my filters unless I have
to for some reason add some type of medication- which I try to avoid
using in this tank. Too many sensitive fish and plants.
Trick 2- I use about 1 pound of "Fluval" Brand "Peat Granules" in each
filter. Thesee concentrated balls of pure peat moss, leach tannic acid into
the water to lower the hardness and ph. Because I am on well water,
the general hardness is well over 180 ppm with a ph of around 7.6.
Because I have soft water fish, this isnt acceptable, and so the peat granules
soft water fish, so the tannic acids in the peat granules soften the water bringing it down to a ph of about 6.5-6.7, and a hardness of less than 60ppm.
This makes the water suitable for the discus, tetras, angels, and assorted other soft water fish i have.
I clean the Fluval filter once a month, rinsing the foam inserts,
changing the filter floss (polyster fluff), in the bottom, and I inspect the
bioballs for damage, but I only clean the bioballs once every 4-6 months. This prevents the tank from re-cycling. I replace the Peat granules about once every 3 months when the water hardness starts to rise again.
The Eheim filter I clean once every 3-4 months. I rinse the sponges,
and alternate, one cleaning I will rinse the efhimech (bio balls), and the next cleaning I will rinse the ehfisubstrat (lava rock). This keeps a good
biological filtration.
again, I change the Peat granules in this filter at this time.

As for algae? Well, I have a few fish that take care of it:
Siamese Algae Eater (not to be confused with the flying fox or chinese algae eater), SAE's are excellent prevention for Beard Algae, Hair Algae, and Soft Green Algae. I have 2 of these fish. They grow to about 6 inches and are very peaceful, but fast swimmers so require a lot of space (55g or more).
Bristlenose Pleco- this is a smaller pleco, growing to about 4-6 inches, and he keeps the driftwood clear of green and brown algae, as well as cleaning
green algae off the glass.
Inspector Pleco- this little pleco is about 4 inches, wont get much larger,
and keeps excess food from piling around rocks and wood and plants. He doesnt eat algae much, but mostly eats leftovers, helping to keep the tank clean.
Mollies- I keep a breeding pair of Sailfin Molly (1 black dalmation female, 1 green yucatan "giant green sailfin", in the tank. These fish also browse on the algae on plants and on tank glass.
So between these fishes, I have no algae in the tank!
There is also a Singapore Wood Shrimp in the tank. This large shrimp grows to about 3 inches, and is a filter feeder. So it siphons nutrients directly out of the water column, which helps keep the water clean and free of floating
Sorry for such a long post, but I hope it answers your questions!
If you have any more questions please feel free to ask,
or you can email me if you want @

November 9th, 2005, 10:43 PM
Thanks for these good info.Unfortunately,right now i will not have the time nor enough resources to set up a planted tank :(

November 10th, 2005, 05:39 PM
Well, if you do decide to do a planted tank,
keep it in mind aside from the lighting issue,
its not really very expensive.
A regular flourescent strip will allow you to grow most
low light plants.
I will be having some plant cuttings available
in the early spring from my tanks, including some low light
plants, so keep that it mind if you want a nice plant package
at a decent price.

November 11th, 2005, 07:01 AM
Thanks for the offer, I will keep that in mind :)

I am currently looking for clown loaches,siamese tiger and flagtail.Size should be around 3 inch plus.
I am going to check the LFS this weekend.

November 11th, 2005, 04:44 PM
You are sure gonna need a very very large tank Dodo!
Clown Loaches grow to 12-14 inches.
Siamese Tiger fish, of which there are several species, grow
to a minimum of 12 inches, and many of these fish reach well into the
18-20 inch mark.
The flagtail you speak of, well there are nine species, only one is
a freshwater fish, and these are a schooling fish that grow
anywhere from 10-20 inches.
To host all these fish, assuming you want to keep the clowns in
a school, as they absolutely must be kept in groups of at least 3, but
preferable 6 or more, and the flagtails are schoolers needing "at least 4 individuals to feel safe and not be reclusive",
You will need a tank at least 125 gallons for these fish together.
And the Siamese Tiger Datniode will eat fish up to as large as 4 inches,
so you will be very limited to what you can keep with it.
How big is your tank?

November 11th, 2005, 10:19 PM

Right now,I have a motoro stingray and an RTG in a 90 gallons.Since it is rare to find the tiger datnoids,I am planning to get them around 2.5 inch and let them grow.About the loaches,i will get them around 1.5 inch and let them grow.I am only looking for one flagtail.

I have an empty 3 footer to stock on loaches(will pay no more than 7 dollars) and datnoids (looking around 30 dollars)if i can find them at this size and at good price.

I will move them in a bigger tank next year.How much time does the loach takes to come around 5 inches?


November 11th, 2005, 10:41 PM
Hi there,
Clown Loaches are Slow Growers,
about 1-2 inches a year.
The Tiger will probably reach 10 inches in 1 years time, depending on how big it is when you get it.

November 13th, 2005, 01:36 AM
I got 15 loaches today and 3 Flagtail.Loaches are around 1.5 inch and FF around 3 inch.I will see how they goes.They are in a bare 65 gallon which is a standard 3 footer.I was lucky to get FF.

Tiger are hard to get.