which canister filter to buy?
I am changing my back of tank filter to a canister and have my eye on an aquatop 400 w/uv sterilizer. is this a good choice? sooo many choices. please help!
What are the fish species and what size is the tank? And are there live plants?
The above affects the type of filter one needs. Normally in freshwater a UV sterilizer is not necessary, but there are situations where it can be useful. But for instance if live plants are intended, I would not use a UV Sterilizer as it will break down "good stuff" much as chemical filtration can do.
This has the potential to be a very good thread, if not taking the responses with a grain of salt since most folks won't have a lot of experience with many brands of canister filters and almost everybody will 'love the one they're with'.
Having said that, it's fair to ask forum members what canister they're using or have experience with and how well they are pleased.
I am currently using an AquaClear 70 HOB filter on my new 60g. It is working well so I'm not driven, but I have been casually looking at canisters and like the look of the Fluval 305, but also realize that there are many other canister filter brands out there.
I bought my first canister filter for my new nano tank primarily because I did not want the filtration system to detract from the look of the tank. I looked around, did some research and read up on a couple of other forums and decided on the Zoo Med 501. It is designed as a filtration system for a turtle tank but I did not see any reason why it would not work in my particular application since it will do pretty much what any canister filter would do or other filter out there be it HOB or internal. I kept the sponge filter that came with the ZM but skipped the carbon filter and in place used bio material that I had festering in a bag in my oldest tank for this project.
It has been in service only one week but here is what I can say about it so far.. it is quiet, I barely hear it running in my office when I am at my desk. The tank is clean which is also a good thing. Other than changing out the filter I decided to go with a new set of acrylic pipes that are more visually appealing and suit my function. For your everyday tank the stockers are good, just too unsightly for my tastes.
The flow is not horribly bad and with an gang valve in line you can probably regulate the flow if you find it too strong but it really is not bad.
Canister filters bring their own set of challenges and what I can see is changing the filter will be interesting. You cannot simply plug in a new one like a HOB. Yanking out the hoses and cracking open the canister will mean a flood of nasty funk all over your floor so the whole thing needs to be contained so you can take it apart. Aside from that which I am sure it is not going to be a mission, I am quite happy considering I purchased it under $50. Compared to Eheim and the other larger name brands it is a good entry level for a smaller tank.
footnote: I mentioned that I'm using an AquaClear 70 along with a supplemental AquaTech 5-15 that I happened to have. I have the AC70's flow at minimum and the two seem to be working quite well. Now I have a background so I only see the tubes. Anyway, call me crazy, but in thinking I'd like to dedicate one filter for mechanical and another for bio, I'm thinking for the $40, I just might replace the AT5-15, with another AC70 and run two HOB AC70's on my 60g instead of a canister.
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