Filter Advice - Aqua One Maxi 104f

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aussiealex

Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Joined
Apr 1, 2024
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Noosa Heads
Hey there! New to the aquarium life and upgrading from my first tank (28L) to a bigger one (180L). Just purchased the Aqua One Maxi 104f filter and after some research have seen people recommending to upgrade the foam/filter system (because it comes only with 1 piece of course foam per chamber). We’ve come up with the below pic (top of photo is the bottom of the filter > top of filter at bottom).
Do we need media in the top chamber or is our foam placement okay with course through to fine?
Thank you for your help!
 

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Im kind of guessing youve watched this video.


Richards videos are very good at showing how to set up filters. Your set up will work, sponge is great biological filtration. Richards will work better. All that sponge will slow the flow rate down, which may or may not be a problem for you. I have a filter set up with a big sponge block and i find i have to rinse the sponge out every couple of weeks or the flow slows to almost nothing after a month because it gets so clogged up.

Only other comment i would make is that while the bottom chamber works from back to front, i think the top chamber works bottom to top. So your sponges are aligned the wrong way round in the top chamber.
 
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Further to previous post, filters are generally good for about half their actual rating. Your filter is rated up to 180 litres, so IMO it would be good for maybe a 100 litre aquarium. I would want a filter that has about 2 litres of capacity for that size aquarium. I cant find anything online that gives a capacity for your filter, but it doesnt look that big.

So, if you plan on fully stocking a 180 litre aquarium, that filter might struggle with holding enough filter media to cycle the waste.
 
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Further to previous post, filters are generally good for about half their actual rating. Your filter is rated up to 180 litres, so IMO it would be good for maybe a 100 litre aquarium. I would want a filter that has about 2 litres of capacity for that size aquarium. I cant find anything online that gives a capacity for your filter, but it doesnt look that big.

So, if you plan on fully stocking a 180 litre aquarium, that filter might struggle with holding enough filter media to cycle the waste.
Thank you so much for your reply! You make some awesome points. Do you usually want a slower flow in a tank or is that something I will figure out once the tank is full of water? I’ve seen a few reviews saying this filter is super strong and sometimes blows plants/fish around.
Also you’re completely right, I forgot in the video for the top chamber he put the sponge on the bottom and the media on top - will definitely adjust this!

That’s very interesting about the filter only being good for half their rating! I didn’t know that so thank you! We are also planning on having lots of live plants too and mainly small fish and 2 bristlenoses (scared of overcrowding). But thank you for the advice we will look into maybe a bigger filter.
 
So you had seen the video. I thought you might have done with the way you set up yours.

Some fish like low flow, some fish like high flow. Generally a flow rate turning over 3 or 4 times the water per hour is good, but its not 1 size fits all situations. You need it to be fast enough to move detritus into the filtration to keep the water clean, not too fast that it blows fish about the tank that dont like high flow rates.

I agree the flowrate is high on that filter for its size. That filter turns over about 1500 litres per hour, but its tested in ideal circumstances. So thats empty with no filter media, minimum head height. In practice when its full of media you lose 25 to 50% of the the flow rate. So 1500 litres per hour in your 180 litre tank, thats about 8x per hour empty at optimum, reducing down to about to maybe 5x when filled with media. If its just sponge it will probably slow things down some more, and some more as the sponge gets clogged between filter maintenance.

Im just making estimations in my head though, you will have to see how things look in practice.

There are many metrics for judging what filtration is suitable, but generally they work out at half the rated value. I like 1kg of biomedia for every 100 litres of water for a fully stocked tank. 1kg of biomedia is about 1 litre of capacity. Some people work on flow rate of getting 3 or 4x turnover per hour, your filter will do that if its regularly maintained. It doesnt hold much media though, so that limits its ability to hold the microbes that cycle the tank.

While i dont like the 1"/ gallon rule too much it will stop you overstocking tanks if you are talking about groups of small bodied fish. 180 litres/ 47 gallons. If you stick to about 45" of adult sized fish you will probably be ok.
 
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So you had seen the video. I thought you might have done with the way you set up yours.

Some fish like low flow, some fish like high flow. Generally a flow rate turning over 3 or 4 times the water per hour is good, but its not 1 size fits all situations. You need it to be fast enough to move detritus into the filtration to keep the water clean, not too fast that it blows fish about the tank that dont like high flow rates.

I agree the flowrate is high on that filter for its size. That filter turns over about 1500 litres per hour, but its tested in ideal circumstances. So thats empty with no filter media, minumum head height height. In practice when its full of media you lose 25 to 50% of the the flow rate. So 1500 litres per hour in your 180 litre tank, thats about 8x per hour empty at optimum, reducing down to about to maybe 5x when filled with media. If its just sponge it will probably slow things down some more, and some more as the sponge gets clogged between filter maintenance.

Im just making estimations in my head though, you will have to see how things look in practice.

There are many metrics for judging what filtration is suitable, but generally they work out at half the rated value. I like 1kg of biomedia for every 100 litres of water for a fully stocked tank. 1kg of biomedia is about 1 litre of capacity. Some people work on flow rate of getting 3 or 4x turnover per hour, your filter will do that if its regularly maintained. It doesnt hold much media though, so that limits its ability to hold the microbes that cycle the tank.

While i dont like the 1"/ gallon rule too much it will stop you overstocking tanks if you are talking about groups of small bodied fish. 180 litres/ 47 gallons. If you stick to about 45" of adult sized fish you will probably be ok.
Yes sorry forgot to say I’d seen the video :) but ah you’re amazing, thank you so much for your help and taking the time to provide that information!! Definitely given me so much more to go on and also to continue researching. It’s so hard to know where to start when learning from scratch so thank you!
The tank was initially set up with a sump tank filter system (which I read is waaay better for a tank) but after going to the pet store they said it was a super difficult system, so got a bit overwhelmed and decided to go this route instead. Will definitely take your advice for biomedia/maintenance/fish stocking - thank you again for your help :)
 
Really depends on the type of sump.

If its the type that sits at the back of the tank, whats called an all in one aquarium, they are super easy to set up. They are also fairly easy to improve as you can get off brand media trays that give you the flexibility to adapt what goes in them, or you can just chuck in bagged up media if you dont want to get dedicated media trays. I like all in one aquariums.

If its the type that is a separate sump underneath the aquarium in the cabinet with overflow boxes then thats another level of complexity, although if everything comes out of the box like Waterbox do, shouldn't be too difficult to understand and set up. Ive never used these types of sumps, but i understand the principal.
 
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