Bio Wheel with Canister Filter
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Bio Wheel with Canister Filter

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Bio Wheel with Canister Filter
Old 03-24-2011, 01:57 PM   #1
 
Bio Wheel with Canister Filter

Okay, I just got a Magnum 350 pro canister for a 100 gallon tank (I'm still in the process of getting the tank setup). It also comes with two bio wheels. Since the canister will hold a lot of the bacteria, along with the gravel and such, are the bio wheels necessary? The reason I ask is that's about four more hose splices and connections....I'm starting to get paranoid about some part of the canister system developing a leak when I'm gone and wind up with a drained tank.
So, I've got two questions for the experts:

1. Can I maintain a biologically stable tank with only the canister and not the bio wheels?

2. Anyone have horror stores about canisters draining the water out of the tank? Is there something I can do to minimize this preceived problem?

Thanks
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:00 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by never quit View Post
Okay, I just got a Magnum 350 pro canister for a 100 gallon tank (I'm still in the process of getting the tank setup). It also comes with two bio wheels. Since the canister will hold a lot of the bacteria, along with the gravel and such, are the bio wheels necessary? The reason I ask is that's about four more hose splices and connections....I'm starting to get paranoid about some part of the canister system developing a leak when I'm gone and wind up with a drained tank.
So, I've got two questions for the experts:

1. Can I maintain a biologically stable tank with only the canister and not the bio wheels?
Yes, you can. In a non-planted tank, there's no such thing as 'too much filtration' though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by never quit View Post
2. Anyone have horror stores about canisters draining the water out of the tank? Is there something I can do to minimize this preceived problem?

Thanks
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I have no horror stories, although I know, a canister could totally drain a tank in an houror two at the most (although it's extremely unlikely). If you follow the instructions, I'm sure you'll be fine... but if you're worried, you can always apply some silicone or wrap some plumber's tape around all the connections.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:34 PM   #3
 
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I'm also a little paranoid about my canister leaking. I have a 2-gallon bucket (from a big-box home improvement store) that the canister sits in nicely. The idea being the bucket will catch leaks early. I don't have an alarm on my tank, but any leak you develop is likely to be a small leak initially. The bucket catches any leaks around my canister and the canister inflow-outflow lines are angled so any seeping water (at joints) should end up dripping into the bucket. I just make a visual inspection of the bucket every day or two for my piece of mind.

Don't forget a GFCI outlet for all the electrical!

If you want a loud audible alarm, Home Depot sells a water alarm, I think it's called water watchdog, or bulldog, something like that. It's on their web site if not in the store. When that water alarm goes off, it's like a smoke detector, really loud. We use it at work to remind us not to overflow our 100 liter DI water storage tank - you can hear it 100' away easily. Stick the contacts of the alarm in the bucket bottom. Won't stop a catastrophic failure, but those are unlikely - a small steady, unnoticed, leak is much more likely, IMO.

Additional thought - put your intake and returns @ upper or mid-tank level, that would at least limit the amount that would be siphoned out due to a complete failure of your plumbing!

Last edited by DKRST; 03-24-2011 at 05:37 PM.. Reason: additional thought...
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
 
Thanks! I was thinking of that, putting some silcon on the hoses....Hopefully, my fears are ungrounded.

Thanks for the information
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:22 PM   #5
 
Thanks for the tips! Those are good ideas....I'll get a GFI and the water alarm would also be a good idea....I just hope I don't need them!

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Old 03-24-2011, 07:45 PM   #6
 
I would use the bio wheels otherwise maybe get a canister that holds more bio media instead of the magnum.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:58 PM   #7
 
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Coincidentally - my 29 gallon tank's bottom failed quite "catastrophically" after I posted here this evening. Talk about leaks! I saved the fish, put them into a 5 gallon bucket, moved the small canister to the bucket and now I have a 5-gallon bucket aquarium. Not pretty, but works and even has a heater... New tank tomorrow, that one was over 17 years old.

Point is that accidents, by definition, are never the ones you plan for!
Now, I've got to go wet-vac the carpet again...
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:05 PM   #8
 
Okay, I need to add a little bit more information.....The 100 gallon tank will have live plants. I understand they help out with the biological stability...If I don't need the bio wheels, I'd like not to use them. However, if the tank size is just too big for only a canister filter and the bio wheels are needed, then that's a different story. What do you think? Any experiences?

Thanks
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:20 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by never quit View Post
Okay, I need to add a little bit more information.....The 100 gallon tank will have live plants. I understand they help out with the biological stability...If I don't need the bio wheels, I'd like not to use them. However, if the tank size is just too big for only a canister filter and the bio wheels are needed, then that's a different story. What do you think? Any experiences?

Thanks
Never Quit
The first question is how heavily are you stocking? If you don't stock really heavily, and don't massively overfeed, you probably wouldn't actually need the HOB at all. The HOB is nice for pulling out debris in the water though.

Next question, what fish? In a planted tank, you don't usually want a huge amount of current and some fish prefer very slow-moving water.

Finally, you can have too much bio-filtration. Your bacteria can out-compete the plants for nutrients in the water. If it's going to be a planted tank, I'd say lose the bio-wheels.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:38 AM   #10
 
I'm no expert but when we think about it, bio-wheels, bio-balls, bio-ceramics, bio-fiber, bio-sponge....it all comes down to providing a place where a bacteria colony can grow and thrive. Frankly, back in the day, regular old gravel and a UGF were used effectively for bio-filtration.
So wheels, balls, ceramics, foams, fibers - just make sure you have plenty in the canister and logic suggests it will be fine - the bacteria really aren't that fussy.
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