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Canister filter questions

This is a discussion on Canister filter questions within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> It's not that. Your filter media is not solid. In fact to the average water or ammonia molecule it's down right transparent. It's quite ...

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Canister filter questions
Old 03-20-2009, 08:01 AM   #11
 
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It's not that.

Your filter media is not solid. In fact to the average water or ammonia molecule it's down right transparent. It's quite easy for those molecules to slide right through a bit of foam or rings without ever contacting the structure of the media, where the bacteria live. Even if they do bump into the structure there's no guarantee that where the contact there's going to be a hungry bacteria waiting for them. If you look at the flow path on your average HoB the thickness of the biomedia isn't that great. The thinner the media the easier it is for ammonia or nitrite molecules to slip through without ever coming in contact with a bacteria. So what does a HoB do? It tries again. Sucking the molecules back up and forcing them back through the media. However, the odds are really no better that they'll get consumed this time either. It's like rolling a die. You're trying to get a six. If you don't get it the first time you'll roll again. Eventually you'll get it. How does the HoB keep trying? By flowing the water through it again.

Canisters are different. In most you'll see that the media is much greater. Thicker beds of foam, or rings, or balls or whatever. That increased thickness of media improves the chances that any polluntant molecules will run into a hungry bacteria. Also, because of the volume of a canister compared to a HoB the water will move through it more slowly. A lower flow rate gives the water more time to go through the media, again increasing the chance that at some point in its journey the pollutants will meet their end in a bacterial gut.

I'm glossing some things over. Obviously you can't slow the water down too much, you need the flow to keep oxygen and pollutants coming to the bacteria. You can't speed it up too much or you'll make it almost impossible for the bacteria to do their job. There are a lot of trade offs made as well in the design of both styles that aren't directly related to their filtration efficiency.

This is actually quite a bit like the situation in my job with the selective catalytic reducer on my boiler. It's job is to remove nitrous oxides from the flue gas in much the same way that a filter does. In fact it's designed much like a canister filter.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:10 PM   #12
 
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A dead fish that lies in a corner of the tank where water flow and filter media are absent creates an ammonia source.
The bacteria that colonizes on every surface in the tank ,will begin to feed on this.I understand your posistion. But in my view,, It is the flow rate of the filter that would help keep the free ammonia from settling, as opposed to keeping it in the water column where the biological media in the filter can also work on it ,in addition to the bacteria that resides on or in the substrate. In any event,, I would want a filter capable of turning the volume of water over at least four times per hour depending on stocking levels,feeding schedule,and types of fish kept.
I do love such discussions.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:30 PM   #13
 
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Ammonia doesn't really settle out in water,it's going to disperse into the column pretty evenly. I don't argue that flow is important. All I'm really trying to say is that for purposes of filtration canisters are going to have a lower gph rating than a HoB and that's ok purely from a filtration standpoint. It's like with a 55 gallon tank. A single Emperor 400 can handle just about whatever you care to put into the tank, but for purposes of getting decent flow in the tank I always will recommend a second filter to improve flow in those long narrow tanks.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:09 PM   #14
 
Well MB... what did you decide to get after reading the well written and expressive posts ? I hope you bought it. I agree that contact time is necessary and i think you'll end up using the extra basket.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:27 PM   #15
 
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Wow, I am at work all day and I come home to such a debated thread! When I said temporary I actually mean more like 9-12 months, plus I will still keep it around if I should ever need to repair the wet/dry I will eventually have. I am looking in the $100-120 price range after shipping which the choices are:

Jebo 829
Rena xp2
Fluval 305
Eheim 2215 or ecco 2236

I have to dismiss the fluval right away because it is only rated to 70 gallons. The Eheims says that they can handle up to 92 gallons, but they have a measly flow rate of ~160gph, so I don't think that seems to be in the running either. I am probably going to go with the jebo because of the flow rate(396vs300) and 5 media trays to allow for more fine tuning if needed. I have read quite a few reviews on the jebo and the main complaint was that if you didn't follow jebo's direcitons when opening the canister you could get a gallon or two of water everywhere because of the return tube. Others said that if you followed the directions, then there isn't an issue. Some people also commented about slight vibration niose now and then, but I think I found that in reviews of almost all the brands. I think that it is all relative, because I have heard that whisper pf30 are very loud HOBs but I have two on my 30 gallon, and unless I am paying attention to them I can't hear them running. So off to the internet I go to buy a Jebo canister. Thank you to everyone who gave input!
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:35 PM   #16
 
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To clarify more. The reason I like the Jebo is because it has five trays of different media to try and catch pollutants, and the high flow rate will allow me to hopefully not have dead spots from current or heat. I am planning on setting the intake on one side of the tank with the heater, and the ouput on the opposite side. This should do the trick correct?
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:07 AM   #17
 
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[quote=Tyyrlym;181069]Ammonia doesn't really settle out in water,it's going to disperse into the column pretty evenly. I don't argue that flow is important. All I'm really trying to say is that for purposes of filtration canisters are going to have a lo


My apologies,, Perhaps I should have stated that it is in my view the flow rate or GPH that filter is capable of which helps to keep that which contributes to ammonia in the aquarium in the water column. Such as dead fish or decaying food and or plant matter.
It is not so unlike the boiler you described. While boiler is in high fire, the water inside is quite turbulent. When the boiler has satisfied the demand for heat, or steam setpoint is reached ,it shuts down ,and the particulates that were being suspended in the water,settles to the bottom and to remove them, a bottom blow down is needed to allow that which contributes to scale or sludge build up to be removed. Sadly, we cannot perform similar procedure in our aquariums so it is in my view, better to have more water being moved in the aquarium at a higher flow rate to help keep the particulates and dissolved organics from accumulating on the bottom of the tank. I agree with you nearly 100 percent.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:24 AM   #18
 
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The nice thing about a canister filter is that you can plumb it yourself. It'd be easy to put a stop valve right above the canister on both lines so you can close them and isolate the canister to work on it. Going with a high flow five tray design seems like a pretty good idea to me.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:57 PM   #19
 
^ The marineland c-series have a turn key device to return and stop outflow. It's so easy, i luv it. Good to know you can convert others.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:38 PM   #20
 
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Any canister of sump filter you can plumb yourself.
Aquarium Plumbing Supplies: Vinyl Tubing, Clamps, Adaptors, Water System Directors, & Ball Valves
You have to be careful doing it because if you start up a pump with a valve closed you can cause a lot of problems.
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