Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Big Fate 09-08-2012 08:33 PM

$100 Canister Battle! (Poll)
Hope I didn't mislead you thinking you were going to win a 100$ for having an awesome canister filter lol

So here's the deal, I have about 100 bucks to spend on a Canister filter for my 55 Gal African Cichlid tank and was wondering what would be the best for my buck. (Keep in mind I have an additional HOB filter on the tank rated for a 55gal)

Cascade 1000 vs Aquatop CF400UV

To the stats:

Cascade 1000
100 Gallon rated

Price: $94.99
Reviews: 4.5 Stars

Link: Cascade® 1000 Canister Filter for up to 100 Gallon Aquariums, 265gph: Pet Supplies

Aquatop CF400UV
100 Gallon Rated
370 Gph
UV 9W Sterilizer
4 Stage

Price: $99.99
Reviews: 4 Stars

Obviously by looking at the stats Aquatop is clearly the winner due to it pushes more GPH and has a 9w UV included. But, i'm a high believer on reviews and the Cascade has tons of great reviews all over. So i'm looking for advice from you all, some of you may even use one of these.

Let me know what you think! Who's the winner in your eyes?

Blackfeet 09-08-2012 11:59 PM

You are asking the same question as I did. First why the 1000 for a 100 gallon tank instead of the 700 for a 65 gallon? You have a 55 gallon tank so that is an awful lot of overkill flow.
I like the cascade 700 myself. I like the aqua top as well but I noticed there was no info given on replacement bulbs and the wattage for a bulb that small means that the bulb would likely burn out faster than other bulbs. If you want a uv filter in my opinion you would be better off using an inline filter with valves so you can control the flow past the light ensuring complete sanitization

AbbeysDad 09-09-2012 07:05 AM

Don't be fooled. Good filters/filtration is not about how much or how fast we move water. Good filtration is moving water (often much more slowly) through very fine media. You're using a HOB and now are looking to add a filter rated for a tank twice as large as you have. Overkill Plus! Consider a high quality filter rated for your tank size. Rather than high flow as the benchmark, a better measure is a history of long, leak free service life.
Just my $.02 ;-)

Blackfeet 09-09-2012 01:57 PM

That is why I liked the cascade lots of good reviews and with the media basket so you can use loose media which helps keep long term costs down. I was looking at fluval until I found a lot of leak complaints. Apparently you have to use fluval grease on the canister gasket each time you clean it or it leaks like a sieve.

Geomancer 09-09-2012 07:47 PM

I have the Aquatop CF-400UV .... on a 125 gallon tank!

It is the only canister I have ever owned, one of those Amazon reviews is actually mine.

Overall I have been mostly happy so far. I've only cleaned it twice since I got it. I should probably update my review.

The baskets in it are huge, there is plenty of room for whatever you would want for it. For parts/media they sell most of it through their own store, however I personally use a mix of brands in my media because it really does not matter what you use. The pads/sponge are pre-cut to the size and shape you need, only advantage with getting the aquatop ones. The baskets are an odd size, so if you buy something else you'll have to cut it to fit.

The primer is a joke though, always takes me awhile to get the thing going again after cleaning. That's really my biggest complaint on it.

As others have said ... why the overkill on the filter? X fish produce Y ammonia that results in Z Nitrates. Any filter beyond what is needed for the nitrogen cycle is wasted effort.

Blackfeet 09-10-2012 07:01 AM

Geo, what is your experiance on the UV part. I have not found any reviews on that brand more than 3 months out. With that in mind it seemed the in line UVs seem a better option long term

Geomancer 09-10-2012 10:15 AM


Originally Posted by Blackfeet (Post 1237245)
Geo, what is your experiance on the UV part. I have not found any reviews on that brand more than 3 months out. With that in mind it seemed the in line UVs seem a better option long term

Well, by and large UV filtration is worthless to be perfectly frank. It can help if you have a case of green water, but that's about it. I don't believe many have much affect on other pathogens because the time the water is exposed to the light is minimal at best. Without scientific study though I don't think anyone can give a definitive answer as to how effective any one UV light is as every brand will have a different exposure time in addition to wattage, both are important and can't be taken singly.

It turns on, that much I know, but I personally don't use it and leave it switched off.

Even in the case of green water ... better to solve the cause of the problem then the symptom of the problem. If you kill all that algae floating in the water, then the result is a tone of decaying plant mater = ammonia = nitrates.

1077 09-10-2012 10:18 AM

Having kept cichlid's for a few year's, I would opt for the filter that turned the most water per gallon,per hour.
Is clear to me,,that those suggesting weaker, or slower flow,have not kept these fishes for any length of time .
Advertised flow rates for many/most filter's is at zero head height, and no media.
Add three or four feet of distance up over the tank from below,,and stuff the filter with media of your choice,,and the flow rate will be between 25 and 35 % less than advertised.
The idea,opinion, that slower flow through finer media is more efficient,only work's well for small tropical's, but with medium to large cichlid's, and or heavily stocked tank's, this only result's in fine filter media that get's clogged very quickly,and much waste laying about on the substrate.
Don't spend money underfiltering a tank .Fish may be small as most cichlid's are sold as juveniles..but they grow quickly, and produce considerably more waste than your average tropical's.
More flow in these tank's,means more debri is kept in the water column for mechanical media to grab rather than settling to the substrate where it can help water deteriorate much more quickly than need be.
Take my word for it,,you'll be sorry for not going with the higher GPH filter when keeping cichlid's.
And your fish will thank you.

Blackfeet 09-12-2012 02:26 PM

1077 as a byproduct of your statement it sounds like you condone overstocking cause you can just filter more.

Boredomb 09-12-2012 03:03 PM

I have not keep Cichlids other then Angelfish before but I know with some species of Cichlids you HAVE to overstock your tank to spread out aggression issue. If you dont then you have other issues that show up. So in this case yes overstocking is needed and therefore more filtration is needed.

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