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no name canister filter on ebay... for a 55 gallon cichlid tank!

This is a discussion on no name canister filter on ebay... for a 55 gallon cichlid tank! within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Mikaila31 I don't see the point of a completely biological filter. If your going to run a power filter it might ...

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no name canister filter on ebay... for a 55 gallon cichlid tank!
Old 04-09-2011, 05:09 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
I don't see the point of a completely biological filter. If your going to run a power filter it might as well be mechanical and biological. I also agree that ceramics have WAYYYY more surface area then and sponge. Gravel would work, but less surface area then even the sponge IMO.
I agree as well - I don't see the point. However, I can see the value of having a filter devoted to chemical filtration - Easier to change the carbon in an HOB than in a canister
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:34 AM   #22
 
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I have an aqua one aquis canister and it's been running perfectly for 4 years now. I don't use carbon - if I have a sick fish, it goes into a hospital tank. That and carbon is very little use for me, really - we don't have the range of meds here in Australia that you have in the States, so no need for carbon to remove meds. Don't use meds a lot, either! lol

So, for me, it's about mechanical and biological. :)
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:19 AM   #23
 
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I agree with Mikiala, stay away from the cheap Chinese filters, Do it once and get an ehiem!! If you buy cheap you get cheap!!
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:28 AM   #24
 
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I agree as well - I don't see the point. However, I can see the value of having a filter devoted to chemical filtration - Easier to change the carbon in an HOB than in a canister
So much controversy - let me see if I can explain, at least to those with an open mind.

Manufacturers of bio-ceramics indicate that the media should be replaced every 6 months. This is because those tiny pores that provide all that surface area easily plug and the game is over when water can no longer pass through...and no, they can't simply be rinsed off and reused and still be effective as the pores remain clogged so the only surface is the external surface...at which point, you might just as well be using a good layer of gravel. (They may be cleaned in an acid bath, but this is not practical.) And consider that if they plug so bad they need to be replaced in 6 months, how effective are they at 3 months??? Think about it.
Open cell foam is more open expands and contracts and if/when required, can be [more] easily and effectively cleaned and re-used. (disclaimer: I didn't invent sponge filters <g>).

The reason to separate mechanical and bio-filtration is maintenance and performance. A good bio-filter can run undisturbed nearly indefinitely as long as water flows through it. It is best left undisturbed. On the other hand, a mechanical filter absolutely requires routine cleaning and/or replacement to ensure removal of solids that would otherwise continue to decay and compromise water quality. HOB Cartridge power filters are best at this because the cartridge can be quickly removed and cleaned/or replaced.
Filters that do combo mechanical, chemical, bio are a somewhat inefficient "do it all" compromise.
Lets take my HOB AC70. Like a canister, water enters the bottom and exits the top. Flow sees a sponge first for mechanical, then carbon, then bio-media. To perform the appropriate weekly maintenance (ensuring that solids are removed), it has to be torn all apart. This disrupts the bio-bed in order to get at the sponge - much easier to just pull a cartridge.

Ya know, in the old days, we'd use a UGF and a HOB bubble-up or power filter. And as long as there was routine gravel siphoning to remove solids, we had excellent bio-filtration. We really had it right, even 40 years ago!
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:07 PM   #25
 
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So much controversy - let me see if I can explain, at least to those with an open mind.

Manufacturers of bio-ceramics indicate that the media should be replaced every 6 months. This is because those tiny pores that provide all that surface area easily plug and the game is over when water can no longer pass through...and no, they can't simply be rinsed off and reused and still be effective as the pores remain clogged so the only surface is the external surface...at which point, you might just as well be using a good layer of gravel. (They may be cleaned in an acid bath, but this is not practical.) And consider that if they plug so bad they need to be replaced in 6 months, how effective are they at 3 months??? Think about it.
Open cell foam is more open expands and contracts and if/when required, can be [more] easily and effectively cleaned and re-used. (disclaimer: I didn't invent sponge filters <g>).

The reason to separate mechanical and bio-filtration is maintenance and performance. A good bio-filter can run undisturbed nearly indefinitely as long as water flows through it. It is best left undisturbed. On the other hand, a mechanical filter absolutely requires routine cleaning and/or replacement to ensure removal of solids that would otherwise continue to decay and compromise water quality. HOB Cartridge power filters are best at this because the cartridge can be quickly removed and cleaned/or replaced.
Filters that do combo mechanical, chemical, bio are a somewhat inefficient "do it all" compromise.
Lets take my HOB AC70. Like a canister, water enters the bottom and exits the top. Flow sees a sponge first for mechanical, then carbon, then bio-media. To perform the appropriate weekly maintenance (ensuring that solids are removed), it has to be torn all apart. This disrupts the bio-bed in order to get at the sponge - much easier to just pull a cartridge.

Ya know, in the old days, we'd use a UGF and a HOB bubble-up or power filter. And as long as there was routine gravel siphoning to remove solids, we had excellent bio-filtration. We really had it right, even 40 years ago!
Sponges are also suggested to be replaced every few months by manufactures too . I have 4 year old ceramics and they are still very porous. What plugs them I might ask? Unless you are poring silt on them any organics that get lodged in them will eventually break down and be consumed by the filter bacteria. There are alot more then 2 types of bacteria in our filter. We just emphasis the importance of 2 specific ones. As far as cleaning them a pressure washer would probably make super quick work of them. For me all I really care about is biological filtration in most of my tanks. There is no point for ANY chemical filtration, especially no point for a filter devoted to chemical filtration. Sponges/ ceramics use whatever you want. All filters need maintenance. If your sponges do or don't get clogged eventually that fun biofilm crap will build up in the impeller blade and motor housing. A lot of people seem to think we only preform maintenance on the filter for the sake of the media. Doing maintenance for the sake of the filter itself is just as important. That is the most determining factor IMO on the life of a filter.

Your mechanical filter is still a bio filter though. You can't separate those two fuctions, its impossible. Using those cartridges is a waste of money IMO. They don't remove stuff well at all compared to a 3 stage mechanical filter. There is a reason for the 3 stages... Cleaning a filter does not at all bother the bacteria. Unless you are dipping it in bleach, our filter bacteria can divide every 24 hours if conditons are good. The cartridge HOBS are only good if your the one selling them

In the end its your filter so do what you want to do. I can tell you though my canister, not at all like your HOB is setup to go sponges>sponges>sponges>ceramics>sponges>sponges>f loss. Everything except the floss has been in there for 4 years. The only other filter I use, my internal, runs on nothing but cheap floss that I change maybe once a year.

I agree with you in, "Filters that do combo mechanical, chemical, bio are a somewhat inefficient "do it all" compromise.". All filters are inefficient. The only truly efficient filter is plants because they do away with all 3 .


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Old 04-09-2011, 12:21 PM   #26
 
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Ya know, in the old days, we'd use a UGF and a HOB bubble-up or power filter. And as long as there was routine gravel siphoning to remove solids, we had excellent bio-filtration. We really had it right, even 40 years ago!
LOL I wish I was around when there were bubble-up HOBs.

In other mindset though think of all the cool fish we can keep now that were "expert" back then
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:24 PM   #27
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
So much controversy - let me see if I can explain, at least to those with an open mind.

Manufacturers of bio-ceramics indicate that the media should be replaced every 6 months. This is because those tiny pores that provide all that surface area easily plug and the game is over when water can no longer pass through...and no, they can't simply be rinsed off and reused and still be effective as the pores remain clogged so the only surface is the external surface...
Manufacturers say to replace them so that they can SELL MORE! As was said, they say to replace the sponge too. Business are in business to MAKE MONEY, and the best way to do that is to sell consumable items. How do you do that if what you sell never needs to be replaced?? You tell them to replace it anyway.

I have ceramic media that is several years old....it is still porous, water STILL flows through it. And YES, they can simply be rinsed off and reused. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that would say otherwise.

Open minded or not, you're understanding of biomedia is a bit misguided.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:41 AM   #28
 
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Sponges are also suggested to be replaced every few months by manufactures too . I have 4 year old ceramics and they are still very porous. What plugs them I might ask? Unless you are poring silt on them any organics that get lodged in them will eventually break down and be consumed by the filter bacteria. There are alot more then 2 types of bacteria in our filter. We just emphasis the importance of 2 specific ones. As far as cleaning them a pressure washer would probably make super quick work of them. For me all I really care about is biological filtration in most of my tanks. There is no point for ANY chemical filtration, especially no point for a filter devoted to chemical filtration. Sponges/ ceramics use whatever you want. All filters need maintenance. If your sponges do or don't get clogged eventually that fun biofilm crap will build up in the impeller blade and motor housing. A lot of people seem to think we only preform maintenance on the filter for the sake of the media. Doing maintenance for the sake of the filter itself is just as important. That is the most determining factor IMO on the life of a filter.

Your mechanical filter is still a bio filter though. You can't separate those two fuctions, its impossible. Using those cartridges is a waste of money IMO. They don't remove stuff well at all compared to a 3 stage mechanical filter. There is a reason for the 3 stages... Cleaning a filter does not at all bother the bacteria. Unless you are dipping it in bleach, our filter bacteria can divide every 24 hours if conditons are good. The cartridge HOBS are only good if your the one selling them

In the end its your filter so do what you want to do. I can tell you though my canister, not at all like your HOB is setup to go sponges>sponges>sponges>ceramics>sponges>sponges>f loss. Everything except the floss has been in there for 4 years. The only other filter I use, my internal, runs on nothing but cheap floss that I change maybe once a year.

I agree with you in, "Filters that do combo mechanical, chemical, bio are a somewhat inefficient "do it all" compromise.". All filters are inefficient. The only truly efficient filter is plants because they do away with all 3 .
> Bacteria does not/can not break organic waste down to nothing.
Example 1: I make a lot of compost for the garden largely from leaves and grass clippings. When the compost is finished, I'm left with a black (gold) earth like material.
Example 2: I live in the country so I have a septic system. Although the material in the tank breaks down, there is sludge that must be pumped out every couple of years. Failure to do so would eventually cause the leach field to plug (on a much larger scale, this is a good comparison to the pores in bio-ceramics). Eventually the pores in bio-ceramic will plug such that water will not pass through, making them far less effective.

> The mechanical filter, if a cartridge is used really can't also be considered bio, if/when the cartridge is tossed say monthly. The use of a cartridge filter is effective at mechanical filtration, but offers very little for biological. Actually, what would be ideal (prolly out there) is a HOB like my AC70 that has a removable cartridge as mechanical, then a good chamber for bio-media. This way the solids can be removed regularly (without tearing the filter apart) and the bio just chugs along, not requiring any attention for 2 or 3 months or so.)

> You poo poo my idea of having a mechanical filter separate from a bio-filter...but that is pretty much what you have with your canister and internal filters. Perhaps the only difference is you don't pre-filter the water going to the canister. You have convinced me to reconfigure my AC70 as follows:
Sponge, bio-max, bio-max, sponge. (AC70 sponges are thick) So our discussion has caused me to re-think bio-ceramic in conjunction with sponges, with one caveat (see below)*.
Also based on our discussion, I took a good look at the Fluval 305 canister and like what I see. If I am not happy with the AC70 operation/performance, it may be in my future.

> * It seems to me that the pores in bio-ceramics will plug (as per above) making the media far less effective. However, I think the used bio-ceramic media could be rejuvenated. We could replace with new, but I'd suggest another set of bio-ceramics for the filter to replace existing every few months. The used material could then be cleaned by soaking in white vinegar or bleach, then washing in the dishwasher (NO SOAP) or with a power sprayer. These two sets of bio-ceramics could then be rotated in the filter nearly indefinitely to provide superior performance.
Although open cell foam would likely remain open longer, one might take a somewhat similar approach for rejuvenating bio-sponge media.

I appreciate our "point, counter point" sounding board discussion as it helps to clarify.

Regards,
-Mike

Last edited by AbbeysDad; 04-11-2011 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:33 PM   #29
 
in the case of a septic tank, the waste is broken down in a closed environment no? a filter wastes out the broken down waste back into the tank from the ceramic medium and the plants and algae in the tank absorb it. I have also not changed my ceramic media for years now and they are all still fine.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:49 PM   #30
 
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in the case of a septic tank, the waste is broken down in a closed environment no? a filter wastes out the broken down waste back into the tank from the ceramic medium and the plants and algae in the tank absorb it. I have also not changed my ceramic media for years now and they are all still fine.
An aquarium is also a closed environment and I'm of course not positive, but I don't think algae can process the organic matter in suspension else protein skimmers would never have been developed. Besides, we're talking about organics trapped in tiny, nearly microscopic pores in the bio-ceramics. If a sponge, which is 1000x more open can plug, what likely happens in ceramic pores.
Like I said, that's not to say they can't be rejuvenated, but I'm betting that in time water does not freely flow through those tiny pores. I'm just saying for maximum effectiveness, they should be periodically replaced or rejuvenated to ensure they continue at optimum performance. Hey, just my $.02 .
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