01-14-2009, 08:45 PM
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I find canister filters are way more trouble than Emperors. Canisters require a special effort to clean, where the Emperor filters have cartridges that are very easy to access at any time.
Additionally, if you were to go several months without cleaning the canister units, the buildup of detritus has the possibility of causing problems with your phosphate levels and carbonates that make up your buffer system. These are problems the marine hobbyist is very familiar with, paying very close attention to these ions. The same principles are at play in a FW tank.
Canister filter manufacturers often brag about the forced flow of water thru the filter pads. I laugh at theses statements, because the water is forced to flow thru the filter pads in a Hang on unit as well. The only exception is when you neglect the clean the pads. And the truth is you would be better to not have mechanical filtration at all than have mechanical filtration thru a filter pad clogged with detritus.
Moving on, not only are the Emperor units very efficient biological filters, they are exceptionally well designed. The placement of the blue filter pads to catch debris allows for the activated carbon chambers to remain unclogged. This high efficiency use of activated carban is very effective at keeping Nitrates low! The reason is that activated carbon absorbs organic acids that would have been processed by the biological filter. In the case of the Emperor, ALL WATER first flows thru the activated carbon chamber, effectively removing organic acids, before these acids have the chance to be broken down into Nitrate by the biowheels. Less organic waste entering the biofilter means less buildup of Nitrate.
It is really an incredible unit. I doubt there will be any advancement in the FW hobby for a long time that outperforms the effectiveness of this hang on. For the last decade every manufacturer has tried, but so far nobody has touched what Marineland has accomplished with the Emperor product line.
If you haven't noticed, I won't use anything other than Emperors on my FW systems. I have used them on dozens of setups and never experienced any degree of dissatisfaction.