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-   -   Canister filters vs. Hang-on filters. (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium-equipment/canister-filters-vs-hang-filters-6247/)

MattD 06-01-2007 10:37 AM

Canister filters vs. Hang-on filters.
 
Hi there.

Within the next short period of time (maybe today or sometime next week even) I will be getting a tank which is anywhere from 33 gallons to 50+. I'll only be getting the tank and the hood, and I will be buying the accessories separately. Throughout the past, I've only ever used hang-on filters (which were fantastic btw), but a friend of mine suggested I pick up the large Fluval canister filters, since I'm getting a stand as well, and it can just be placed underneath in one of the cupboards.

I've never used canister filters before, but I have read up on them many times, and was intrigued by how efficient it seems since there is tons of room for inserts etc..

Would it be better to buy a canister filter instead of a hang-on?
Are they noisy?
Difficult to maintain?
Can I transfer the bio-media (sponge, ceramics) from my current hang-on filter directly to the canister filter?
Does my tank size matter?
How does the water exchange work? I understand hoses are used, but how does the water return to the tank, and how is it set up to create surface disturbance for gas exchanges and aeration?

Thanks a lot! Appreciate any help or advice.

Mr.Todd 06-01-2007 11:28 AM

Well, here are my two bits... I was considering the same sort of thing a month or so ago... I am glad I chose a canister myself... But both are good!

Would it be better to buy a canister filter instead of a hang-on?

"better" is definitely a matter of opinion in this case... They do have larger capacity for filter media, meaning more filtering power if that's what you are asking... However, HOB filters are very cheap...



Are they noisy?


My two canisters (Eheim) are very quite (in fact I am sitting right by my aquarium right now and I can't hear a thing)



Difficult to maintain?


Not really, you do have to worry about them clogging from time to time, but depending on your media choice they don't require a lot of maintenance.



Can I transfer the bio-media (sponge, ceramics) from my current hang-on filter directly to the canister filter?


Sure, you can transfer media that is already seasoned into the new canister, it will help with cycling. That's the beauty of canister filters, you can put anything you want in them!


Does my tank size matter?

Yes, as with HOB filters every canister filter is rated for tank size and output in gallons or liters per hour. You should get one that would be adequate for your tank size. If you are looking at a 30G tank then you should be covered. I think the smallest canister Eheim makes has about 116G/hr output which would work great for a 30 and suffice for a 55 (even though I would go with a little larger filter despite Eheim's ratings)


How does the water exchange work? I understand hoses are used, but how does the water return to the tank, and how is it set up to create surface disturbance for gas exchanges and aeration


One hose sucks and one hose pumps it back into the aquarium... Its a closed loop so you don't have to worry about a mess if the power goes out or anything. As for the aeration, you can set your input/out hoses to do whatever you want. For example the output could have a spray bar above water and "aerate" in the same way a HOB filter does. In my tank (I use two canisters) I have one canister's intake on a skimmer and the other intake deep in the aquarium. This way I hope to circulate oxygenated / non-oxygenated water as well as cover my bases with tank flow.


I would suggest either of these don't get me wrong there are lots of good canisters out there ( don't want to offend any Magnum lovers out there)

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...3&N=2004+22777

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...3&N=2004+22777

MattD 06-01-2007 11:55 AM

Excellent! Thanks for the help!

GW 06-01-2007 12:19 PM

Mr. Todd, I've been considering the same thing as MattD and thank you for your information.
I have a question though...Do these canister filters have their own pump or do you have to get a submersible one for the intake???

MattD 06-01-2007 01:59 PM

Good question, I would also like to know.

In addition, would it be beneficial to have a canister over a biowheel? Or are they about the same as far as filtration efficiency and simplicity goes?

Mr.Todd 06-01-2007 02:02 PM

Yes they do...

In fact you can take advantage of this...

I use one of my canister outputs on my UV unit, but you could use it on any external unit like a phosphate reactor or anything that requires a pump or powerhead... I have even see setups that the output of the canister is on a little bio-wheel that dumps back into the aquarium...

You just have to make sure they don't cut down the flow of your canister too radically much or you are going to loose filtration.

:D :D :D :D :D

Train Tracks 06-01-2007 08:10 PM

I have a 55 gal with (2) 40-60 gal Aquatech HOB filters. I finally upgraded to the Magnum 350 three months ago for my first canister and I absolutely love it. I kept the two HOB filters while having the magnum going and the magnum leaves only bits and pieces to be picked up by the HOB filters.

I have this bad habit of using my HOB filters as extra storage space. I'll have test kit bottles, flourish and what not, so it makes it a hassel to check the filters.

mHeinitz57 06-09-2007 09:49 PM

I agree with a previous post that it all is really a matter of opinion. I have used both canister and HOB and both work great. If you are going with the 30 gallon tank, you would be fine with a large HOB. I always reccommend going bigger so if you get an HOB on a 30 gallon, get one rated for at least a 50 gallon tank. If you go with the 50 gallon tank, there is a big advantage with the canister filters. A typical 50 gallon tank is 4 ft long and one HOB filter does not create a lot of circulation in that long of a tank. With a canister filter, the input hose can be on one end and the output on the other...so you are guarunteed to get circulation. Most canister filters will let you go deeper down into the water as well which is nice. The maintenance isn't as easy as just changing a cartridge but you don't have to do it as often due to the larger ammount of media in there. If you want a good canister suggestion, fluval is good but I fell in love with the Rena xP filters. They have a lot better quality of parts and an easy startup system. You can easily transfer your bio media, in fact I use AquaClear biomedia in mine. I use one entire basket of mine for biomedia (most important part of filtration) to ensure that it can always handle the bio load of my tank. Go big with canister too but not so big that you create too much current. I use a Rena xP2 (75 gallon filter) on my 47 gallon tank and it's perfect. If you are going with HOB filters, you can't beat penguin or emperors.


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