Filter discussion for waterbox 4820

ryancamaratta

Community Member
Tank is on the way and I need some help making sure I get filters capable of good flow.

Dimensions of the wb are roughly 48x20x20, will be heavily planted w 3 inches of landen, planning on stocking rainbow fish eventually.

I'd like to run either:
a left canister with outflow front left and inflow back left + a right canister with outflow back right and inflow front right, one of these powering a reactor

Or
The same setup above but with a DC pump on the right side running a reactor instead of a canister.

I feel like I'd rather have the 2x canisters because the flow would be easier to dial in than canister + DC pump, and I'd have more mechanical filtration that way.

Which option would you go with? Would you fill the filters equally or do all bio in one and all mechanical in the other, etc?

Pros and cons of what I listed?

Actual filter recommendations?

My friend has this same setup powered by 2x eheim professional 4 350 (now called eheim professional 6666) so I was going to go with that, but I hate how the media trays are set up. Fluval is an option but I wouldn't know which one to go for. I don't like the media compartment setup of the 07 series so it would have to be an FX, again their media setup seems weird and I would hate having to convert their weird ass 1" hosing to standard 16/22. I run an Oase on a 20 long now so that would be an option, that would also be pretty pricey if I went with the two canister idea.

Let's have a discussion!
 
Hey Ryan first of all great to see you here and glad you joined.

With larger tanks like this my personal preference is to have multiple filters. #1 there is no such thing as too much filtration and too clean of a tank. More mechanical filtration is always better.

With two filters it's a bit easier to create a good flow pattern. And if one filter were to fail you have another one that can keep the tank going while you get parts to repair. Put it this way it's less of an emergency. If you go with a bunch of expensive and difficult to source Rainbowfish this becomes even more important.

As to brand that is always a tricky question. Usually when you ask people just recommend whatever they have. I'll probably be going down this road at some point as I have three Rena XP's and they are no longer being produced. That being said I have stocked up on gaskets/seals/parts so that could still be a while.

And that brings me to another point. If it were me I would probably stick with one brand. I stuck with Rena because I understand them and know pretty much everything about them to keep them running well. I keep spare parts and if something is wonky I know what to do. In the end they are all very similar. Probably most important is how they are serviced. The easier the better.

Also something with a spray bar option is nice to have. Wide gentle flow aimed up at the surface creates a good constant gas exchange and helps keep O2 levels up. The Bows would appreciate that.

As to cost I like to look at it as amortized over many years. My Rena's are all over a decade old (one is 17 years old!) and still chugging along.
 
Gregg, fitting that you would be my first comment on my first thread (history repeats itself 😂) glad to be here, super excited about the new forum and thanks to you and Art and everyone else for the effort.

I do remember you mentioning the Rena's awhile back which is the only reason I never reached out to you before posting lol, you've the got the last gems of the old guard there.

With two filters it's a bit easier to create a good flow pattern.
This is my primary reason for wanting to do two canisters versus one canister and one DC pump. Easier to make sure both have identical rate for good flow pattern.

If I were to go with a spray bar across the back of the tank, how would you recommend setting up the two outflows? I'd probably have both returns on back left and right, but if one canister's outflow was on the spray bar I'm not sure where I'd set the other outflow up. I like the spray bar idea for oxygenation though, I just switched to using one on the 20gal. I really don't think it takes away from the aesthetic and the fish do love it (you know what bows I'm putting in this!)

I never considered getting used to the same make of filter, which makes me want to maybe just pick two Oase 350s or two Oase 600s, not sure which would be too weak or strong. They're not terrible to service and the fluvals, to me at least, look like a maintenance nightmare.

As to cost I like to look at it as amortized over many years. My Rena's are all over a decade old (one is 17 years old!) and still chugging along.
This is a fact. While I cringe a little dumping money for them, it's pretty much an area I won't compromise on for the importance of good reliable flow.
 
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I had a Biomaster 250 on 20 long and loved it so I upgraded to a Biomaster 600 for my 75. Unfortunately they just don't have enough power. They use they same pump on your 350 as they do on the 600, so all you pay for is a bigger heater and more filter media. The 600 was also fairly noisy for a canister, which I've heard from other folks as well.

I love the heater, prefilter, and big media space on the 600, but you are going to be disappointed when it comes to flow. Due to the additional media, it actually seems to have lower flow rates than the 250/350. I ended up buying a Jebao DC inline pump and running it inline with the Biomaster which has been a pretty good solution. The Jebao has lots of power to spare (I run it at 50%) and flow is silent.

I do wish the folks at Oase would just shell out for decent pumps.
 
This is my primary reason for wanting to do two canisters versus one canister and one DC pump. Easier to make sure both have identical rate for good flow pattern.

If I were to go with a spray bar across the back of the tank, how would you recommend setting up the two outflows? I'd probably have both returns on back left and right, but if one canister's outflow was on the spray bar I'm not sure where I'd set the other outflow up. I like the spray bar idea for oxygenation though, I just switched to using one on the 20gal. I really don't think it takes away from the aesthetic and the fish do love it (you know what bows I'm putting in this!)
I can tell you the way I have mine set up.

Two of the Rena's have spray bars. They are both aimed up at the surface at about a 45* angle. The flow goes across the top of the tank, down the front glass, then sweeps across the substrate to the rear. Most all of my detritus accumulates at the back of the tank and is easy to vacuum up. The flow also keeps the front of the substrate looking nice and clean.

I've been doing it that way for years. The constant surface agitation keeps oxygen levels high which the Bows appreciate. I also run pretty heavy aeration for 15 minutes every hour during the day. The bubbles rise in the back and increase the flow pattern across the surface toward the front of the tank.

Here's how the surface agitation looks.

 
I been using Ehiem for so quit sometimes and most of my filters is ehiem I never had an issue with it, the only thing I change is there plastic media and use lava rock instead. if you think of Fx it's a good filter too but it's the black corrugated hose that I don't puts me down it's since you can put lily pipes on that tubes and if your planning to put a reactor there's so much works need to be done
 
Aloha Ryan! I am doing a similar set up to what you have explained on my 70 gallon. I have 2 Oase biomaster 600’s and one of them powers my reactor, I am also considering putting my pump on the reactor to make it stand alone and have extra surface agitation. I like the Oase because of easy maintenance, but they are lower powered than other filters like fluval. But no complaint so far. My water stays crystal clear as long as I keep up with waterchanges. It’s a hot mess under there right now or I would show a picture of it
 
I had a Biomaster 250 on 20 long and loved it so I upgraded to a Biomaster 600 for my 75. Unfortunately they just don't have enough power. They use they same pump on your 350 as they do on the 600, so all you pay for is a bigger heater and more filter media. The 600 was also fairly noisy for a canister, which I've heard from other folks as well.

I love the heater, prefilter, and big media space on the 600, but you are going to be disappointed when it comes to flow. Due to the additional media, it actually seems to have lower flow rates than the 250/350. I ended up buying a Jebao DC inline pump and running it inline with the Biomaster which has been a pretty good solution. The Jebao has lots of power to spare (I run it at 50%) and flow is silent.

I do wish the folks at Oase would just shell out for decent pumps.
First of all good to see you have joined here @gjcarew! You are a guy who should have a lot to add the discussions......especially about Dutch scapes.

I looked on the Oase website and it shows a 15w motor with the 250 model and a 23w motor with the 600 model. But I have never used one, have no frame of reference on their flow rate and no horse in the race.

But I am interested in this discussion of filters because at some point I am likely to be going down this road.
 
First of all good to see you have joined here @gjcarew! You are a guy who should have a lot to add the discussions......especially about Dutch scapes.

I looked on the Oase website and it shows a 15w motor with the 250 model and a 23w motor with the 600 model. But I have never used one, have no frame of reference on their flow rate and no horse in the race.

But I am interested in this discussion of filters because at some point I am likely to be going down this road.
Good to see you as well. I do love talking Dutch aquascaping but have been lacking conversational partners!

Maybe they have upgraded the motor since I was originally shopping. I really do like the features other than the underpowered flow rate.
 
Hey guys, Oase user here and I agree on the underpowered comment. I chose maintenance convenience over flow for my last tank.

The Waterbox 4820 is a beautiful aquarium. Congrats. I too would go with two of the same brand on either end. This time, I would prioritize flow over ease of maintenance. While I found the Oase's to be slightly less work, it was work nonetheless.
 
Good to see you as well. I do love talking Dutch aquascaping but have been lacking conversational partners!

Maybe they have upgraded the motor since I was originally shopping. I really do like the features other than the underpowered flow rate.
Also agree that they are underpowered flow-wise. I should also add that the Eheim Pro 4 has a prefilter too. I’ve seen mixed things about them, but I’m pretty sure @spawnerjp runs them on his tank and loves them.
 
I been using Ehiem for so quit sometimes
Yeah I was checking out the 6666 you linked and wasn't sure about the media setup. Then as far as fluval I don't think I'd do an fx, if two 407s could make it work I'd go with them maybe..simpler media trays.

That fluval hosing does suck but you can get the adapter that takes it to normal 5/8" so it's still an option


Aloha Ryan!
Aloha my brother! the two 600s are the biggest contender right now 💪

If I were you, I’d be probably be choosing between either biomasters, the Aquael Ultramax models, or Fluval 407s. They all have sponge prefilters which make maintenance so much easier as you know. Pretty sure you can just use normal filter hoses with the 407s too.
The champ himself chimes in! :) I forgot about aquael, I'll check them out in the comparisons I'm trying to do tonight. Good to hear someone else chipping in about the 407s too, I was not aware they had normal hose..like I mentioned above, not a deal breaker, but definitely a huge plus.
I looked on the Oase website and it shows a 15w motor with the 250 model and a 23w motor with the 600 model. But I have never used one, have no frame of reference on their flow rate and no horse in the race.
Funny you mention this Gregg...Oase North America wasn't too much help confirming or denying this lol, I'll upload the email I sent them. I caught the wattage differences as well though

We've got 2x Oase 600s in the running for great, simple media setup and straightforward maintenance (plus I do already have an Oase canister on the 90l)
2x 407s in the running for what looks to be a decent media setup and not bad maintenance wise after talking to a couple people that run them..407s also get a point for being vastly less of a spend than two oases for what seems like roughly the same flow rate.
And now we're gonna throw in aquaels to the race too

Appreciate the different inputs from everyone so far and it's super cool to see everyone from the fb groups as well as tpt on here

Edited for the Oase screenshots
 

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Hey guys, Oase user here and I agree on the underpowered comment. I chose maintenance convenience over flow for my last tank.

The Waterbox 4820 is a beautiful aquarium. Congrats. I too would go with two of the same brand on either end. This time, I would prioritize flow over ease of maintenance. While I found the Oase's to be slightly less work, it was work nonetheless.
Thanks man! I'm excited to set it up, excited for a 4' footprint, and more excited to finally have an excuse to load up the T5 fixture.

What you said about the Oase maintenance is completely on point...mildly more convenient, but you know what happens when you have a convenient prefilter collecting all that debris? ...you have to clean that prefilter more often 😅

I'm gonna take the advice to heart, prioritizing flow over ease of maintenance seems like a good call for this tank. I prioritized same as you for my last tank with an Oase 250 so maybe it's time to see what a couple fluval 407s are made of

Art, I don't believe we've ever interacted before, but as a big forum guy and someone who didn't find the other plant forums until pretty late in the game when things got weird, thanks alot for investing the work and time to get all of us a good forum space, this is great man
 
Art, I don't believe we've ever interacted before, but as a big forum guy and someone who didn't find the other plant forums until pretty late in the game when things got weird, thanks alot for investing the work and time to get all of us a good forum space, this is great man
Thank YOU so much, Ryan. It's truly my pleasure. There are a few people behind this place (like @GreggZ) that make it possible.

The mission is to create a welcoming home for us to exchange experiences, ideas and enjoy our hobby. I appreciate any feedback you, or anyone, has to make this a better place.
 
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