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Discussion Starter #1
Now that I have all my cycling questions answered, I thought it would be appropriate to start a separate thread on filters and heaters.

I will be keeping a 5 gallon in my room with me and need a recommendation for the quietest, most affordable, filter that does not have to be baffled. I know, demanding right? I am a light sleep and already have 2 mini fridges in the room. I had to swap an older one because it would keep me up at night, which is what I am afraid of with a filter.

So what is the quietest filter? I know I heard of a brand that is quiet and not too strong that was within my preferred price range but I cannot remember what it is.

Also, heaters? Favorites? Best kinds? Most reliable? Any advice/recommendations are appreciated!

EDIT:: Also, I will house only one boy, no live plants or companions.
 

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Really all power filters make a sound. . . There's no "silent" power filter.

I'm not sure about sponge filters, I think they're are the quietest filters out there, but I'm not sure.

Heaters? A 50w heater would work. Best brand? I enjoy the Elite heaters very much, have three of them, all of them work. No problems.
 

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Tom mini internal filter, even has a spray bar for more even flow. It also has adjustable flow so yeah I am getting one, but the reviews are amazing!
 

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My favorite internal is Marineland Duetto and my favorite heater is ViaAqua Quartz heater. Both are reasonably priced and perform really well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sounds like I am getting lots of suggestions!

I don't need a filter that is literally silent but one that is very quiet. I've also never used one before so I'd also prefer one that has cartridges that are easily buyable.
 

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You would really hate living where I live, I live next to the interstate and hear constant roaring of semi-trucks and cars. But, I did find that internal filters tend to be more quite because their equipment is muted by the water. Just be sure that the water line is at or above the outflow to prevent the water dropping noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. I want to avoid baffling as much as possible but I'll take a look at it at my local PetSmart.
 

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Sponge filters are a personal favourite of mine. No cartridges to change, no mechanical whurring and no baffling required. The only downside is that they run off an airpump which can get pretty noisy if it starts vibrating against something (which can easily be avoided, you just have to experiment with the pumps positioning a bit to start with).

If you get a sponge filter make sure you also get a non-return valve and an air control valve (most air pumps come with an air control valve); the non-return valve will increase the life of your air pump by making sure no water gets into the it (blow air through the valve to see which way it goes when rigging the stuff up). The air control valve will reduce the rate at which the air is pumped through the sponge filter. Sponge filters generally make a bubbling noise if the air is on high, but this can be reduced by stuffing a piece of porous sponge in the out-flow.

There are two types of sponge filters: stick on the side and lone-standing. The lone-standing ones can end up being absolutely huge and are difficult to disguise; I personally prefer the stick on the side ones as they are easier to hide.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've never heard of sponge filters. What are the pros/cons of them? How do they work? Why are there no cartridges?
 

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Sponge filters are a chunk of sponge or foam that acts as a biological filter. The sponge/foam is porous enough to allow a great deal of beneficial bacteria to set up shop and help keep the aquarium free of ammonia and nitrite. The sponge is attached to a small mechanical thingie-ma-jig (or sometimes just slotted onto a carefully designed plastic thingie-ma-jig).

I'm not 100% certain of how they work exactly but I believe that the air supplied to them by an air pump creates a vaccume that causes particles of dirt/dust/whatever to be sucked into the filter sponge. They are exceptionally simple in their design and absolutely ideal for fry tanks/betta tanks as they have next to no output flow and no inflow that would damage a betta's delicate and generally long finnage.

Pros? I'd say... lack of filter flow, lack of intake suction, adjustable stream of oxygenating bubbles that can prevent stagnantion and bio-film development (the slime on surface of still water), a HUGE house for beneficial bacteria, easy to do maintanence on (just squeeze the sponge out in old tank water once every few months), no mechanical whurring, can be powered using other methods during a power cut (if you have something that can blow air down the tube it'll keep working). They're also great with live plants that don't like filter flow (such as Amazon Frogbit) and won't damage delicate plant leaves.

Kaze liked to watch the bubbles of his stand-alone sponge filter come out and would bite at them on occasion, so they are quite amusing when used with playful bettas. They do still need to be cycled as well.

Cons... lack of filter flow, lack of instake suction (these aren't so good for tanks with messy fish), the air pump can end up exceptionally noisy if it starts vibrating against things (easy to fix though), the filters themselves can be quite unsightly, the sponge can dry out very quickly if taken out of water for any reason and my baby Malaysian Trumpet Snails try to burrow into the foam of one of my filters. Not a bad thing as such as it won't harm them but it's still... random.
 

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I have a Red Sea Deco Art Nano filter for my five gallon tank. I have this tank sitting on my desk at work, and don't hear it at all. It has an adjustable flow, and works great! You can't get them in stores anymore, but can buy them online. I don't buy the filters online, but buy the fluval filter materials at Petsmart and just cut it to fit in the Nano filter. It is even cheaper that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the suggestion. I am still debating on which filter, there are SO many choices.
 

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Tom mini internal filter, even has a spray bar for more even flow. It also has adjustable flow so yeah I am getting one, but the reviews are amazing!
+1

I have two of these filters and they make virtually no sound at all. They are good for up to 6 gallons and do not need to be baffled. The spray bar is wonderful for Bettas and it can point it any direction. I like to point it towards the back of the aquarium.
 

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If it hasn't been mentioned Red sea deco filters are the bomb. They got bought out and are under a different name but same design.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
+1

I have two of these filters and they make virtually no sound at all. They are good for up to 6 gallons and do not need to be baffled. The spray bar is wonderful for Bettas and it can point it any direction. I like to point it towards the back of the aquarium.
Double recommendation? I am almost sold! Can I get them at PetSmart?
 
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