1st Time Canister Filter User. Advice?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Greengirl87, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Greengirl87Valued MemberMember

    So I got a canister filter in the mail today! It will be a bit before I get it set up, as I don't have media for it yet. Well, it came with bio balls, but everything I've read about them makes it seem like they are crappy.

    I have tetra internal filters that I've been using like they are canister filters. I have coarse foam on the bottom, then medium foam, then quilt batting as a fine/polishing layer, then bio media. I've been using small size pieces of lava rock(boiled to clean it) in a mesh bag for this. It seems like that has more surface for bacteria than bio balls or ceramic rings. And it must be working fine, because my water parameters are great. Yet, I was curious if there was anything better out there. So I've been researching.

    While watching a youtube video about biohome media, the guy dipped just the very end of it in water to show how fast it wicks water, ergo how many pores it has for surface space for bacteria. Well I have some hyroponic grow rock from orchids that has this same property. It says it doesn't affect ph, just like bio media says. So I wondered if I'd be able to use it in my canister filter? Anyone ever tried this?

    Also any other tips and advice people have discovered about using canister filters is welcome! Tia!

  2. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    You obviously know what your doing with filters. I wouldn't change anything that your already doing. Just put the same stuff you've been doing in to the canister and let that run along with your HOB for a month before you take out the old one.

  3. DechiNew MemberMember

    In mine I used to have coarse foam, fine foam and ceramic rings. This was a winning combination for me, for years.

    Canister filters are so easy, I think just about any good quality material will do. What you have sounds good.

  4. DechiNew MemberMember

    Oh, and I forgot I also had another one, the white powder stuff, I forgot the name.
  5. DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    The guy posting the video of biohome has a financial interest in the product so take that into consideration. Otherwise, his videos are very informative.

    I have 4 Fluval canisters and I have a mix of BioMax, generic ceramic rings and lava rocks in them. I've moved the ceramic rings and lava rock to seed new tanks and had no issues. I wanted to try Seachem Matrix but I have no available space for more bio media so I left my canisters alone. They all work to some degree and unless you're extremely overstocked, you will be fine with just about any media, including those bio balls.
  6. Greengirl87Valued MemberMember

    I wasn't planning on getting biohome, it is too expensive. Same with matrix. I mean, the $3 bag of small size lava rock I got from home depot is enough media for 4 converted regular filters. Lol! Another bag or 2 I'd say would be enough for the canister.

    But I already happen to have some of this grow rock. It actually wasn't wicking enough to use for my orchids. I live in such a dry place. But I got like 10 lbs of it for $18. I'm gonna use maybe half of it for a drainage layer in my bioactive vivarium. Leaving me with another 5lbs I don't have a use for. Since it seems pretty similar to bio media, I thought it would be super if I could use it for my canister filter. Waste not, want not and all.
  7. Greengirl87Valued MemberMember

    Ok so I got my canister filter. And I am reading all about them before I start setting it up this weekend. I have seen horror stories about water all over. This is a thing I hadn't really thought of, but duh, it is outside the aquarium so of coarse it is possible.

    I've concluded this would happen from a hose coming off, or the o ring leaking. How do I minimize my chances of either of these things happening?

    With the o ring, I'd assume you just need to lube it every now and then. Like anything else with a rubber seal. But what sort of lube do you get for this? How often would that need done? Is that even the extent of leaking from the canister body issues?

    With the hoses coming off, I just don't know how you'd stop that. Be super careful putting them on? Like maybe the stories about this are user error rather than product failure?

    Sorry, I'm really excited for my new canister filter. But I have anxiety and so I'm also very paranoid. Especially because I rent, so deposit gone if my tank empties on the floor.

    I appreciate any words of wisdom here. Tia!
  8. DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

  9. DechiNew MemberMember

    After initial installation or after washing my canister filter, I would put a big towel around it on the floor and make sure I check it for wetness every hour. If it’s still completely dry after a few hours, you’re okay.

    If you’re really anxious, you can also put your canister filter into a big plastic tray, so if there is any spill, it will take a really long time before it reaches the floor.

    After a while you’ll get to know your equipment and have confidence in yourself. Don’t try to put too much stuff in the filter. Make sure the cover had good leverage to close. Don’t force it.
  10. Greengirl87Valued MemberMember

    I did wonder about putting it in a bucket or something. Good thinking on the towel on floor idea.

    So any waterproof 100% silicone grease will work? I'm wondering if there is something at the autoparts store I could get.

    I appreciate the answers guys! I'm sure I'm being super paranoid about it. But at least I'm learning before doing instead of jumping in without looking.
  11. DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, 100% silicone grease. Amazon was the only place I could find a small amount for a decent price. You don't need to use a lot so the little tube will last a long time.
  12. AmStaticValued MemberMember

    I keep my canisters in containers. Any leaks will be noticed by water level drop in the tank before anything gets in the stand or the floor. 20180729_145707.jpg
  13. Joe woodValued MemberMember

    Are you referring to the pondguru? I just watched several of his videos. He really seems biased against all media except biohome which made me wonder if he was profiting off it or not. Here's a link to a video he did about inner porousness. He seems like he knows what he's talking bout for the most part.
  14. CichlidudeWell Known MemberMember

  15. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    A couple of things to think about. "lava rock" from home center stores is pumice. There is no control over what the make up is. The pumice that you get from say Seachem is a known form.

    Bio media: Even though I am a user of Marineland Canisters (have 6 running at this time) I use the Fluval bio max. I consider it to be a far better product as it is more porous.
  16. DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, Pondguru. The point that he makes about media being porous is good but what he doesn't mention is that all filters have some bypass of the filtration stage and particles will make it to the biological stage, clogging those tiny little pores. This is the main reason most (all?) media companies will tell you to change out the bio media every 6 months or so. In reality, BB will live on every surface so even when your bio media is clogged, you won't lose your cycle and the BB will colonize elsewhere in enough density to process ammonia and nitrites.

    I bought a bag of lava rock to try out. It was only $5 for a 5lb bag. It was dusty and needed a really good rinse but it works just fine as far as I can tell but I have it in a canister with BioMax. I also bought 6.6lbs (3kg) of some chinese biomedia because I had so much space in my canisters and it was cheap. I use that media to seed new tanks and they work great for that. I did want to try Seachem Matrix but I was already up to my eyeballs in biomedia.
  17. Joe woodValued MemberMember

    I just spent an hour yesterday and an hour this morning reading this. I think it seems relevant to this post. They run a test to prove Matrix is nothing more then pumice stone.  
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  18. Joe woodValued MemberMember

    Has anyone used pumice here instead of matrix
  19. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    @Joe wood I believe there several people here that use it. But for the life of me I cannot remember who.

    The thing is that it is pumice, but there are many variables in pumice. What you get from a home center store might have minerals that you do not want in your aquarium. Seachem says that their product is aquarium safe.

    Me, I would be willing to pay the higher price to be sure the product did not have copper or other minerals that would leach in to the aquariums and harm my plants and inverts.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018

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