to canister or not to canister? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-07-2007, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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to canister or not to canister?

I have a question, I have been looking into it for a while.

Canister filters, after doing reasearch seem like they can blow most HOBs out of the water, they seem like they would be quieter, more astectic, and better overall filterwize for the tank

the downside, they are a minimum 80$ it seems in most cases, and it seems like the media could cost you a fortune!

anyway i was wondering if anyone had any real experience with canister filters and could give me a little rundown on them

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post #2 of 16 Old 09-07-2007, 01:53 PM
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If I could afford the canisters right now I would not even have HOB filters and I would never use them. Yes the media is more to start with but well worth it. Ceramic rings, bio balls, biochem stars, and the like are a one time investment and last for years. The filter media can be resuseable sponges that you only have to replace when wore out. Just so many more options thatn you will ever see with a HOB filter. Get a good canister and the options for filtration media and combinations there of are nearly endless.

Not to mention inline heaters, CO2 diffusors and UV sterilizers that are so much easier to use with a canister filter. Don't get me wrong, I love AC20 HOB filters and for tanks under 25 gallons they are a good choice but I could clean all 3 of my 10 gallon tanks with one good canister filter instead of 3 HOB filters and heat them with one inline heater.
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-07-2007, 02:11 PM
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I honestly couldnt see the upkeep costing any more than the HOB filter I use atm. the carbon and mech filter media are all in 1 kinda unit, so they only last about a month or so and you chuck em, where as a canister filter you can just chuck the carbon, or if your water is clean and doesnt smell, remove it all together.

thats also convenient when you need to medicate the tank. I had to take one of my filters and bust the back of it open to get all the carbon out. with a canister you can just... remove it :D

F4A, how does that work, filtering several small tanks with one big filter? how do you make sure that you arent getting too little in-flow from one and too much out flow to another (thus causing an overflow)?

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-07-2007, 02:21 PM
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PVC bridges would be put between the tanks, one for natural water level control one with a powerhead for circulation between tanks. I have actually seen a setup that was filtered by one single canister filter handling 6, 20 gallon tanks. It was amazing and the tanks were absolutely pristine. A lot of powerheads and fittings but it looked really cool.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-07-2007, 04:42 PM
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Canister filters are so easy! Honestly, I rarely clean mine. I vacuum the tank once a week and clean the filter at random months in between. And my water is clean and clear! Also, as f4a said, it is easy to hook up other things to it. I have a CO2 diffuser hooked up to one and a UV filter hooked up to another. In my 15gal I have a HOB filter and the water gets nasty way too quick!

90gal: 2x Tangerine Discus, 2x Clown Pleco, 2x Catfish.
75gal + 10gal sump: 2x Large Goldfish, 1x Common Pleco, 14x Leopard Danios
55gal: 5x Angelfish, 1x Common Pleco, 8x SIlver Tip Tetras, 16x Neon Tetras, 8x Albino Corys
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-07-2007, 04:51 PM
Canisters all the way, pretty much as above. Less hassle, better turn over. There's not really much I can say that has'nt been said already.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-07-2007, 05:51 PM
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You really cant understand the difference between the two until you get one but for an example i have a fluval 204 on my 65 gallon tank. It is made for tanks up to 40 gallons but i only have about 20 gallons in my tank. When i put in the substrate i put a layer of flourite on the bottom. I didnt rinse the flourite at all before putting it into the tank. Within an hour the fluval had made the water turn from a thick brown color to perfectly clear. I also only change the media about once every 3-4 months and you can essentially put anything from any brand inside of it. I would say as far as upkeep in a year i spend about 20-30 dollars.

All in all buying a canister filter is worth every penny.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-07-2007, 06:43 PM
Yes canister filters rock. That would be why I currently own 9 Eheim canister filters. Eheim are the gold standard as far as quiet, dependable, and simple to operate. With 4 Eheim 2217 canisters on my 125g tank you simply cannot hear them operate.

To give you an idea how much I love Eheim filters... I recently purchased the 2260 for $400 without media. My combination of media set me back another $350. That's $750 total for one filter and worth every penny.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-10-2007, 01:14 AM
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wow.... $700.... well there is always things you can do to save on money. i have a rena xp3. it came with the sponges the only thing i added was some pollyfil. there are always cheaper way to do the media.

i think they are worth it more so on bigger tanks. right now my favs are the hot mag and the rena xp3.

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-10-2007, 06:31 AM
Sponges trap waste quickly clog, this reduces the efficiency of the canister in days instead of weeks.

A properly set up canister with layers of media in the different shapes and sizes will allow the waste to be washed from the media and settle in the bottom of the filter away from any media. The sponges at the top of the filter are there to collect the finest particles thus keeping the water crystal clear. It's all about keeping the water flowing through the canister instead of being restricted.
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