Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Wet/Dry Sump VS. Canistr Filters (

MetalArm3 07-25-2011 06:34 PM

Wet/Dry Sump VS. Canistr Filters
What are the pros and cons of each and what do you favor?

AbbeysDad 07-25-2011 09:23 PM

Was this a trick question?

Wet/dry sumps often with bio-balls and/or other bio-media and sometimes in conjunction with protein skimmer, algae filter etc. are often used for salt water aquariums, but rarely for fresh water. Care must be taken to control the siphon volume relative to the return to ensure against runover (e.g. in the event of a power failure, the siphon must break).

For smaller Fresh water tanks, the HOB rules and there are some very good ones (I use 2 AquaClear 70's on my 60g.). For the larger tank sizes, the canister filter seems like the best choice. Sometimes one or more HOBs AND a canister. The canister provides ample space for mechanical, chemical and biological media.

As I have learned from friends here, a well managed and well planted tank will only require minor filtration as the eco-system handles filtration. It is also deserving of note that some filters don't handle reduced flow settings well and many fish will not do well with excessive current produced by high GPH return water.

MetalArm3 07-25-2011 09:56 PM

Not a trick question. I have been hearing more about sumps being used on freshwater tanks because it's easy to clean, can hides heater and other equipment, and allows your tank to hold an additional 20gal. I was looking at the Aqueon Wet/Dry Sump: Aquarium Wet Dry Filters: Aqueon ProFlex Sump Filtration System at and was interested how they compare to canister filters?

I have a Marineland penguin 350 and am becoming more agitated with it every day, will probably buy a canister. But while doing research on them I cam across this.....

AbbeysDad 07-25-2011 10:01 PM

Just my $.02, but I'm thinking you'd be better served with a top of the line canister and save some money in the bargain.

MetalArm3 07-25-2011 10:18 PM


Originally Posted by AbbeysDad (Post 751109)
Just my $.02, but I'm thinking you'd be better served with a top of the line canister and save some money in the bargain.

Couldn't agree more! I just wanted to know how the two compare in effectiveness. I see these sumps and DIY sumps mainly if 100gal plus ranks, and it sounds like a good idea. The only thing I would be concerned with us noisiness.

Byron 07-26-2011 09:58 AM

From my research on bacteria, it seems that sponge filters, canister filters and wet/dry filters will all provide roughly equal biological filtration provided they are properly maintained. The wet/dry work for very large tanks, but no better than canisters on tanks under 200g.

At this point, one must also consider the intented aquascape, as AbbeysDad mentioned. Planted aquaria do not require biological filtration because the plants are doing that, so any filter that encourages this would be detrimental. A sponge filter on tanks up to 55g and a canister over that work well. Both of these also have minimal flow, or in the case of canisters the flow can be adjusted; and this is imortant for plants and also fish, since most planted tanks will contain forest fish and these do not appreciate a lot of current, with a few exceptions.


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