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Re: [APD] filtration goals

Quoting "John F. Hess" <JOHNFHESS at comcast_net>:

> We spent Saturday in SF and went to Aqua Forest Aquarium.  very nice
> shop with tons of ADA accessories.  in looking around and talking to
> the owner(?) I think that maybe I don't have enough filtration for my
> 55g tank.  They suggested more bio filtration ceramic things, so I
> bought some to add.  I bought a Fluval 204 when I set up the tank,
> thinking that a planted tank would need less filtration than a tank of
> fish.  the folks in SF suggest that more filtration is better.  Can
> anyone comment on appropriate canister filters for a 55g tank?

I have a Fluval 304 on my 40g planted tank, and another on my 30g  
turtle tank. It's overpowered for both applications (and turtles put  
out a *lot* of waste), but I got them cheap.  The turtle filter has a  
lot more mechanical filtration media, the plant filter is primarily  
ceramic rings.  A 204 on a 55g planted tank should be fine, as long as  
you get adequate water flow for whatever you're growing.

Why do we have filters on aquariums?

1. Water flow
2. Removal of large debris
3. Biological digestion of nutrients
4. Optional chemical absorption

(1) and (2) are done by almost any filter, even a powerhead with a  
sponge on the inake, as long as you clean it frequently. (3) is  
primarily necessary on fish-heavy or fish-only tanks. If you have a  
lot of plants, biological processing of nitrogenous wastes will be  
done by the plants.  (4) is primarily necessary in fish-only tanks, or  
after administering something that needs to be absorbed.

Adding more biological filtration medium (such as ceramic  
rings/sintered glass) won't hurt anything, especially becaused they do  
an OK job at mechanical filtration, too.  However, adding charcoal or  
zeolite may absorb things that would be better processed by your plants.

If your fish are suffering, your filter may be inadequate. But if  
they're not, and your plants are thriving, the filter's probably fine.


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