Aquarium equipment recommendationsAuthor: Yeo-Hoon Bae
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2012
Which aquarium equipment should I buy?
There are the following key equipments you need to purchase if you want to maintain your aquarium successfully. The following recommendations are based on my own experiences but I also did my own homework, reading literally hundreds of reviews on the internet before making any purchases. Rarely, the equipments I purchased went wrong. So I cannot guarantee problem-free results, but by choosing the following, at least you know you have a decent setup.
Despite how it sounds, it is easier to maintain a larger tank. Yes, when it comes time to change water, you will need to deal with larger volume of water changes, but only if you have the amount of fish that is proportionate to the volume of your tank. If you keep the same choice of fish in two different sized tanks, it is almost always true that the larger of the two will contain more stable water parameters and is more tolerant against failures such as thermometer and filter failures. So if your home can afford a larger tank, get it. Key thing here is not to overstock the larger tank. Then, you will end up doing more maintenance work. As a minimum, I tend to suggest a tank with at least a foot print of 30x12 inches. Smaller tanks are harder to maintain stable parameters.
Aquarium FiltersThere are many different types of filters and some of them you may have heard already - power filters, canister filters, internal filters, HOB filters, etc. Regardless of what you end up, I'd like to emphasize that overfiltration never hurts. Always buy more than you need. If something goes wrong, you have more time to react. If you choose to upgrade your tank, you may still be able to use the current filter.
Here are the recommendations based on the tank size.
10g tank - For a tank this small, just get a small reliable power filter (also known as Hang-On-Back filter). I've always liked Hagen AquaClear line of filters and for this application, I'd suggest . It is reliable, quite small, quiet if your water level is close to the top of the aquarium, media is easy to clean, and the flow is adjustable which means you can keep variety of species whether they like fast or slow water flow.
20g tank - This is still a relatively small tank, so I would recommend . Just like the smaller models, this filter has all the same advantages.
55g tank - For this medium sized tank, you have couple of choices. If your tank is not heavily stocked, you can go with a single high-end power filter setup, such as . This is also the cheapest setup. If you are willing to spend a bit more on filters that are more future proof, try a canister filter, something like . This line of filter is a tried-and-true filter that has been on the market for a long time and many aquarists still swear by them, including yours truly. 2215 will handle larger bioload than AquaClear 70, it is quieter, you can hide the filter container away from visible areas, more flexible with the filter media and will allow for longer between maintenance periods. One major disadvantage of maintaining a canister filter is that you will need to dissemble it each time you need to clean the media. Once you get used to it, this is just a 10min job, but still it is more painful than it is to maintain power filters. It also takes up more space too.
75g tank - For tank of this size, you could either go with one canister filter setup or one canister plus a power filter setup. Having two filters provide redundancy. If one breaks down, you have more time to react. If you are going with one filter route, try . This filter will provide plenty of bioload capacity to handle tanks of this size. If you can afford the two filter scenario, then try something like and .
150g tank - This is a large tank and you will need serious amount of filtration capacity. 2 filter setup is highly recommended. I would go with something like two .
(More to come)
You can further discuss or leave suggestions in this forum.
Try out our Intellegent Aquarium Stocking Calculator.