How do you clean a canister filter? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-28-2012, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
Question How do you clean a canister filter?

I have a chance to buy a Penn Plax Cascade 700 canister filter for not very much...but I can't find online how to clean the darn thing. Is it difficult? Will I get water everywhere? How often should I clean it?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-28-2012, 10:07 PM
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10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-28-2012, 10:26 PM
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I am not familiar with this brand or model but I did Google it to see what it is. I found it on Amazon listed for $79.95.... what would you be getting your item for?
I AM familiar with some cannister filters, have used 3 different ones over the years. I have had both my Eheim 2215 and my Fluval for over 15 years. So both are early models and likely improvements have been made over time however if you are buying something older and used be aware of the following...
Does it need and have the seals and rubber ring to complete a seal.
Does it have a "prime" or does it self start. This means you plug it in and it automatically pulls the water up the intake tube and created the syphon circuit so to speak to run. Neither of mine have this!!!!!
Does it come with shut off valves in both the intake and out put tubes. These allow you to set up the cannister filter under your tank, and when it is time to clean you shut off the 4 valves and split the hoses leaving half hanging on the back of the tank, and take the unit to the tub to clean.
Inside when you set it up you will layer filter media in 3 or 4 layers depending on the unit. Carbon is not used in this kind of filter generally.
Remember any work you do with a cannister filter must be done with de-chlor or old tank water or you will kill the good bacteria held within. Generally the only thing I do is rinse the foam pads, make sure that I pull all the layers and rinse with dechlor and make sure all hoses have no gunk in them. replace the layers back in the same order, fill with new dechlor water, latch the seals, dry the outside and go put it back under your tank. connect the 2 hoses, open the 4 valves, check for leaks and turn it on. Check again for drips and leaks a few moments later. If you see water drips wipe dry and watch or come back a few moments later to see if there are new drips. If there are, shut the valves, disconnect, reconnect and try again.
Depending on the number of layers, you may have hollow ceramic tubes, a coarse gravel, sponge like layers and fiberfill. each layer needs to be sufficient to force the water thru and not around that layer.
I never change my ceramic or gravel layer. only rinse the pads and replace the fibrefill.
If you can find one... find yourself and Eheim. They are worth every penny, and the "work horse" of the filter world. Hope this helps you, I'm sure I missed stuff but hope it's enough for you to get the jist of what is involved. Can anyone add anything to this?

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-28-2012, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
Wow! Thanks for the detailed answer! My main concern is about unhooking the tubes...if you shut off the valve, it prevents water from the hose from leaking out?
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-28-2012, 11:26 PM
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They look scary when you first get them, once you get the idea of the parts, they are actually really simple but extremely effective at what they do.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lookimawave View Post
Wow! Thanks for the detailed answer! My main concern is about unhooking the tubes...if you shut off the valve, it prevents water from the hose from leaking out?
yes you bet!! just make sure the 4 valves are in the OFF position and unscrew the coupler (?)/connector. I will of course still have about 1-2 tablespoons of water in the space the connector takes up so have your towel handy. You will get some drips but it will stop if the valve is shut.
Once you get your unit home, and see the input and output tubes involved, you will immediately see how hard it is/will be to take the entire unit and hoses off every time you need to clean the unit.
The valves allow you to only take the cannister away leaving the hoses in place at the back.

One more point to consider. Put your input and output in two different spots in your tank, not side by side or you will refilter your clean water. lol So needless to say you don't want to cut your tubing too short or you can't reach different locations without buying more tubing. Parts are not cheap when bought separately but are still available even for my dinosaur Eheim.
I have a spray bar on mine across the end of my 75 gallon tank, and my take up tube at the other end and this creates a "flowing river" effect in my 4 foot tank.... They all face one direction... upstream together. (Except the mollies who all for some reason face downstream)

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jakiebabie View Post
I have a spray bar on mine across the end of my 75 gallon tank, and my take up tube at the other end and this creates a "flowing river" effect in my 4 foot tank.... They all face one direction... upstream together. (Except the mollies who all for some reason face downstream)
cuuute!
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
Question Hang on the Tank canister filters?

So I discovered these smaller cheaper hang on the tank canisters. They seem much more size appropriate for my little 22gal, also easier to clean and quieter maybe? Mixed reviews. Do you guys have any experience with these?
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tazman View Post
They look scary when you first get them, once you get the idea of the parts, they are actually really simple but extremely effective at what they do.
yes, terrifying. it looks like it's going to transform into a beetle bot...
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lookimawave View Post
So I discovered these smaller cheaper hang on the tank canisters. They seem much more size appropriate for my little 22gal, also easier to clean and quieter maybe? Mixed reviews. Do you guys have any experience with these?
When deciding on which filter, the main question is, what fish will be in the tank? Fish have different needs respecting water flow, and this is usually connected to the filter. Also, the presence of live plants (which can do much of the true "filtration") can have a bearing on the choice of filter.

For a 22g my choice would be a simple sponge filter or one of those small internal filters that is basically a sponge with a motor (avoids an air pump). This suits forest fish which is what you would generally keep in a 22g. But if for instance you intend Hillstream loaches that need water movement, then an HOB (hang on back) would be better.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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