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Hi folks, I am new to the forum. I have had freshwater tanks off and on for probably 20 years (and my grandfather used to breed fish and sell them to the local pet stores...) but I am still far from an expert! I am looking at setting up a tank my kitchen (please tell me if this is a crazy idea!) and I am looking to upgrade to a larger tank than what I have had in the past... I don't want to obstruct my walk way too much. The guy at the store suggested using a canister filter so I could get the tank closer to the wall. I never used a canister filter and I thought they were for salt water. Have any of you used a canister with your freshwater tanks? How do these work? Thanks!
 

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they perform exactly the same role as internal filters, with the added advantage of you being able to use all the tank space rather than having a filter inside.

How having a filter outside will give you more space on the walkway i dont know, that makes no sense to me as the filter takes up room outside and you need to get an in and out pipe to the tank. Perhaps the generally higher rrp of externals influenced his thinking lol

but wherever possible i would use one, makes for a more natural looking tank and generally out-perform internals
 

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I think he was trying to tell me that the in and out pipes would only take up about 2" of space behind the tank instead of the 6 inches I was calculating for my hang-on type filter. Does that make more sense?
 

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ahhh right i forget about HOB filters never really see them here (uk) to be honest. Therefore i have no exp. with them lol but i would think that if its doable canister is the way to go and he is actually right

What are the dimensions of the tank btw?
 

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I am trying to decide between a 36"x18" or a 48"x13"... but the set up that seems to be winning is a 39 gallon 30"x12" but we were hoping for a little bigger (deeper to be exact) but we don't want to be running into the tank all the time. The baker's rack that is currently there is 18" deep... decisions, decisions...
 

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yeah plenty of choices which brand/model etc to use then on a tank that size.

Im guessing you are in the US? one of the members that side of the pond may recommend a make to you, imho Tetratec are excellent value for money and go a great job (i run the ex1200 model but you wont need that big) other good ones are eheim (but you will pay a premium) and also used widely used are fluval and rena.

hth

having said all that someone will probably now give you an argument as to why HOB is the way to go lol
 

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xingumike said:
yeah plenty of choices which brand/model etc to use then on a tank that size.

Im guessing you are in the US? one of the members that side of the pond may recommend a make to you, imho Tetratec are excellent value for money and go a great job (i run the ex1200 model but you wont need that big) other good ones are eheim (but you will pay a premium) and also used widely used are fluval and rena.

hth

having said all that someone will probably now give you an argument as to why HOB is the way to go lol
Yep -- US resident here. :wave: I have heard of the eheim brand (from when I was researching a saltwater tank...

And, I may here that a HOB is the way to go but it would turn a 18 in deep tank in to a 24 in deep tank and when walking around the kitchen table, I need as much room as I can get. If HOB is the way to go then I can get an 18 in deep tank. Thanks for all your help!
 

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Ok -- I did a little reading and what I found said that canisters only do bio filtration and that I will still need mechanical filtration in the form of a HOB... does this sound right... sometimes the internet can be so helpful other times it can be so confusing.
 

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A canister will be more efficient then a hang on back filter. I don't know about Enheim but I know the Fluval and Rena canisters do 3 stage mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. If you really want to be able to walk around it then buy a canister and put it underneath. You'll still have 2 tubes coming up to the tank. A canister filter is all you need you will not need an undergravel, inside filter, or a hang on back filter. Canisters are really more for freshwater tanks than salt.
 

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ILoveMyKids said:
Ok -- I did a little reading and what I found said that canisters only do bio filtration and that I will still need mechanical filtration in the form of a HOB... does this sound right... sometimes the internet can be so helpful other times it can be so confusing.
no that is wrong it does them all
 

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Gosh -- I wish I knew about canister filters a long time ago. I used a combo of undergravel and HOB for quiet some time... it sounds like one good canister would have been better than both. I see that some canisters have built in heaters, any one have any advise on that? It is one less thing to plug in and one less thing to have in the tank...
 

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Canisters will do it all, you just have to set them up right which with the newer ones is easy to do because they have so many chambers.

As for space you could even run a canister on the side of the tank instead of in back, for that matter an HOB could be run that way but you would want a powerhead at the other end for circulation. A canister will be more efficient though and is probably the best choice, second would be the HOB because of cost. You could put one at each end and not spend as much as a canister might run you.
 
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