240 Gallon Tank Canister Filter

Boujii

I have a 240 gallon freshwater glass tank. I drilled 4 holes for inlet and outlet. Each hole has a 1 inch bulkhead. I would like to run two canister filters on this. Each filter will have it's own inlet and outlet to the tank.

The canister of choice would be the FX6 of course. But two of them new is rather expensive. So I was looking at another option at buying two Penn Plax Cascade 1500 Canister Filters instead. I specifically like the 1500 model since it has 5 bays compared to most canisters which only have 3. I would like to think the FX6 is so much more expensive because of the higher GPH. But don't quote me on that. There may be other features such as the electronics and 'smart pump technology'. I don't need all that fancy stuff and would rather more bays for added media.

I understand that the GPH is lower for the Cascade 1500 then it is for the FX6. In light of this, I would add an additional DC external pump to each. It would be placed after the filter and before the rise to the tank. I have done this before with a single Eheim pump. It works well as long as it's after the pump and it's not starving. Adding it before the pump creates a lot of pressure and can weaken the seals. Too much pressure and it would leak immediately. The externals I would need wouldn't have to be that big or expensive. Just enough to make up for what is lacking (or better).
The Cascade 1500 has a 350 GPH compared to the FX6 at 563 GPH. That's a 213 GPH difference. I could get two 250 GPH DC externals to compensate for that. I could even go higher as long as I don't stress the canister out too much.

The Cascade 1500 comes in around the $140 mark


The Fluval FX6 comes in around the $293 mark


I still haven't priced DC return pumps in the 250 - 500 GPH range yet.

I think I would still fair better with two Cascade 1500's with two DC external's then I would with two FX6 since I would have more media trays per canister.

I do not wish to go with the sump and would rather stick with the canisters.

Thoughts on this?

Thanks,
Jeff
 

tyguy7760

I would humbly suggest looking into the sunsun 304/404 canister filters. Usually you can get one new for about 60-80 dollars. It is marketed as having a gph of 525. I run two of these on my 75 gallon (I know...way over filtered) but plan on transferring these to a 135 when I get it. These might be a more cost efficient option for you over the cascades. I've run sunsun canisters for a while now and never had any issues with them (outside of the one I dropped on concrete and busted the motor in it but that wasn't sunsuns' fault). In the US the brand is called aquatop but you'll pay more for aquatops than you will a sunsun. Same exact filter though. Check ebay and amazon.
 

TexasDomer

I've heard so many good things about the FX6. I had problems with the only SunSun I tried, but I would splurge on the FX6. They're beasts.
 

Boujii

Thank you tyguy7760 for that suggestion. I did look at these a while ago, but had forgot/dismissed them as I didn't think they was more than 3 bays.
Here are the Sunsun's I was looking at just now.

HW-304B - 525gph - 5 (4 Baskets, 1 UV) - 55W Motor - No UV Safety Sensor - Dimension: 11" L X 11" W X 17" H - $79.66
HW-704B - 525gph - 5 (4 Baskets, 1 UV) - 45W Motor - UV Safety Sensor - Dimension: 12" L X 12" W X 18" H - $91.69
HW-404B - 525gph - 5 (4 Baskets, 1 UV) - 55W Motor - ? UV Safety Sensor - Dimension: 11" L x 11" w x 19" H - $86.89

I have heard mixed reviews about all three. Some comments say the flow without media trays is more like 325 GHP. And most of the reviews lean towards much smaller tanks than my 240. Although for the price, adding 2 external's to these would be cheaper then 2 Cascades with two externals. I would technically lose a bay due to the UV takes up 1 of the 5 bays. I already have two external 45w UV that would go inline. But for the price of even two 704B and two externals would be cheaper. The 704B appears to be larger in L x W which I would think would take larger media trays.

Indeed TexasDomer, the reviews for the FX6 are quite satisfying. For all of the Sunsun's the average review score is about 3.8 compared to the FX6 of 4.4 on Amazon. And a lot of the complaints on the FX6 was clearly bad husbandry/tank maintanance.
 

TexasDomer

Canisters do lose a good part of their GPH when you add media, but I remember reading somewhere the FX6 doesn't lose much, while SunSuns do.

Other than the price, I've never heard a bad thing about the FX6. I've heard (and experienced) more bad things about SunSuns.
 

fissh

I have 7 FX 6's and 50 assorted size sunsun's 22 are 304B, I love the sunsun's, but I think 2 on a 240 is a very weak filtering system! I don't run the cascade's, but looking at the specs it wouldn't be any better than the sunsun's on a 240 even with your add on pump on both . I run 4 FX 6's on a 360 gallon, and a sump and think it's just enough to keep the tank really clean! I like the sunsun's better than the FX's but for a 240 with just enough outlets to run 2 canisters I'd use the FX's. By the time you monkey rig the extra pump the price difference isn't worth it, and The FX's would be a much cleaner set up.
 

tyguy7760

Yes I wasn't suggesting running 2 sunsuns alone on the 240. That's clearly not enough

I will say that if money was not a factor in the decision, I'd go with the fx6. But from a cost efficiency perspective, I'd go with sunsun
 

Swampgorilla

For balancing economy and filtration - I think the OP has a good plan. If it were me I'd try it first without the external DC pumps.
 

Boujii

I think I am going to go with the dual Sunsun's with 2 externals. Out of the Sunsun's I plan on getting the HW-704B model. It's the only one that has the UV Safety Sensor (no water fail-safe). But more important that that, it's media baskets should be larger as the LxW is larger then the 304B and the 404B.

HW-304B - 525gph - 5 (4 Baskets, 1 UV) - 55W Motor - No UV Safety Sensor - Dimension: 11" L X 11" W X 17" H - $79.66
HW-704B - 525gph - 5 (4 Baskets, 1 UV) - 45W Motor - UV Safety Sensor - Dimension: 12" L X 12" W X 18" H - $91.69
HW-404B - 525gph - 5 (4 Baskets, 1 UV) - 55W Motor - No UV Safety Sensor - Dimension: 11" L x 11" w x 19" H - $86.89

I feel that since it's such a large tank, that I am going to have to go with externals. If it was a 180 I would probably attempt it without the externals. That and a lot of comments rated it much lower then 525 GPH with the media. I think between the Sunsun and the externals I would still fair better in value then I would with 2 FX6.

Here are the externals I eyeballed. The first one that I really like is the Uniclife DEP-4000. It was just calling my name. I found the other two Jebao along the way.
The Jabao DCP is just an upgrade of the Jabao DCT.

Uniclife DEP-4000 Controllable DC Water Pump 1052 GPH with Controller for Marine Freshwater Aquarium Pond Circulation $63.97
DC 24 V, Power: 35 W, Max flow: 1052 GPH, Max-head: 11.5 ft.


Jecod/Jebao DCT Marine Controllable Water Pump $77.99
Power: 30-watt, Max flow: 1056GPH; Max-head: 9.8 ft


Jebao DCP Sine Wave Water Return Pump $89.99
Power: 40-watt 110-120V 60Hz, Max Flow: 1450gph, Max head: 13ft, Dimension: 7x4x5 inch


In regards to the External UV light, I thought I had two, but looks like I only have (1) 40watt.
It's a Lifegard QL-40 UV Ultraviolet Modules Aquatics Sterilizer.
Lifegard Aquatics 40 Watt UV Sterilizer QL-40 - Marine Depot
I had believed both that UV and the internals within the Sunsun's will be rendered useless with the high flow rate. But it appears the QL-40 has a Max Flow Rate: Up to 1500 GPH.
A 15 watt bulb will usually kill algae and bacteria with a 120 gph flow, but you will need to lower the flow rate to around 75 gph for it to effectively kill parasites.

If I could get some input on the DC pumps with controllers I have shown, or anything not mentioned, would be appreciated.
 

Boujii

I was about to order the 2 new Sunsuns and externals and was doing another heater related post. In that post I was asked:

AmnScott said:
Just curious, why the switch from Eheim to Sunsun? Are the Eheim filters old or worn out?


I really had to think about this as there really isn't anything wrong with either of them. They are just slow gph.

Here is what I have currently running on the 240 gallon.

Eheim Pro II External Canister Filter 2028
Eheim Pro II External Canister Filter 2028 with Filter Media & Installation Kit - Marine Depot
Aquarium Size: 158 gal
Pump Output: 277 gph
Filter Circulation: 198 gph

Eheim Professional Wet/Dry Filter Canister Filter 2228

Aquarium Size: 156 gal
Pump Output: 273 gph
Filter Circulation: 195 gph

They both look near identical and the specs are relatively the same. Visually the only thing different is the one has a 5/8 input and 1/2 output while the other both the input and output are 5/8.
The media baskets are identical and can be swapped. Technically I am sure you could even swap heads.

So now I am thinking why buy two Sunsun's and externals instead of just buying two externals for the Eheims. I could unplug the Eheim internal motors and just use the externals that are relatively in the 1050 GPH area.

That seems the most cost effective way to go since I have two working canister filters.

Now it's back to the question of which externals to buy.

Here are the externals I eyeballed. The first one that I really like is the Uniclife DEP-4000. It was just calling my name. I found the other two Jebao along the way.
The Jabao DCP is just an upgrade of the Jabao DCT.

Uniclife DEP-4000 Controllable DC Water Pump 1052 GPH with Controller for Marine Freshwater Aquarium Pond Circulation $63.97
DC 24 V, Power: 35 W, Max flow: 1052 GPH, Max-head: 11.5 ft.


Jecod/Jebao DCT Marine Controllable Water Pump $77.99
Power: 30-watt, Max flow: 1056GPH; Max-head: 9.8 ft


Jebao DCP Sine Wave Water Return Pump $89.99
Power: 40-watt 110-120V 60Hz, Max Flow: 1450gph, Max head: 13ft, Dimension: 7x4x5 inch


In regards to the External UV light, I thought I had two, but looks like I only have (1) 40watt.
It's a Lifegard QL-40 UV Ultraviolet Modules Aquatics Sterilizer.
Lifegard Aquatics 40 Watt UV Sterilizer QL-40 - Marine Depot
 

TexasDomer

Why not just add another canister filter? It seems a much better and cheaper option that replacing the Eheims that you have with SunSuns (Eheims are higher quality than SunSuns) and buying so much more equipment.

I haven't heard of people adding external pumps to existing canisters to increase the GPH. I'm not sure if that's bad for the life of the canister.
 

Boujii

HI TexasDomer, My tank is currently only drilled for two ins and two outs. I have heard of people using external pumps on canisters before. But it has to be placed after the pump and not before. Placing it before the pump puts too much pressure on the canister and can cause it to leak.
 

TexasDomer

Makes sense! I would still add another filter instead. Eheims are great.
 

ounderfla69

Have you thought about a sump, a 75 gallon should fit under there no problem and give a lot more filtering capacity then two canister filters. 75 gallon tanks are on sale for $90 at petco now.
 

AmnScott

Yeah I would keep the eheims and add another canister as well. Or if that doesn't work due to logistical reasons, you could maybe replace one of the eheims (whichever has the slower gph) with an Fluval FX canister? Just an idea, not sure how plausible that would be in this situation.
 

Boujii

If this was in my basement or somewhere other than my living room, I probably wouldn't be so objective to a sump. But honestly, the quietness of the canisters is what really has me. Even with the two Eheim's running 24/7, I don't hear a thing since they are both connected to drilled bulkheads. That's not to say at some point I wouldn't put in a sump for cases when nobody is home or I just don't care. Sumps do make me nervous though and I feel a bit uneasy about them. I understand that if set up right, that risk is minimized. I am just not ready to take that on yet. The last sump I had one it was obnoxious. The water and the pump where just too loud for my liking in the area the tank is in.
 

TexasDomer

I also vote for an FX6... It's a beast. Going on sale for black Friday, too!
 

Boujii

I also vote for an FX6... It's a beast. Going on sale for black Friday, too!
Where would one look for such a "Black Friday" deal?
 

TexasDomer

Amazon, Petsmart, and the like! Drs. Foster and Smith might have a sale on them too.
 

Boujii

Hello again friends
So I've been running my two Eheim Pro II External 2028 & Eheim Professional External 2228 and two Marineland Emperor 400 HOB's.
Yesterday I came across and add for a 90 gallon tank and a FX6 filter for $200. I asked them if they would sell the pump by itself and they agreed to it at $100.00.
I snatched it up immediately. She didn't really know anything about it which I kinda figured by the price. Tonight I am eyeballing how to hook it up to my one inch bulkheads that I have previously plumbed. I'd rather avoid using the flex hose that comes with it and going with pvc/vinyl hose. It looks to be 1 inch ID. I'l check out Lowes/Home Depot tomorrow and see what they got. I previously am plumbed out for my Ehiem's that use 5/8 hose.

I came across someone else this evening that said they had a spare FX5 with a FX6 motor. So going to check that out tomorrow and see how much they are asking.

This is the first time seeing the FX6 in person. Wow this thing is huge compared to my Ehiem's. I'll follow up as I progress.
 

fissh

an FX 5 is just an old FX 6 without the worthless dials on top. Same filter.
 

TexasDomer

Awesome deal for an FX6!
 

Boujii

I now have 4 FX6 and a FX5 with a FX6 motor. I finally got the two FX6 hooked up on the 240 gallon. The two FX6 are plumbed into the 4 drilled bulkheads.
I am looking to use the FX5 as a extra filter to run into the external heater and the 45w UV light. This will probably go over the top since I don't plan on drilling any more holes.
The FX6 uses 1 inch hose while the external heater and the UV light use 5/8. I figured no big deal just just get a 1" barb x 5/8" barb. Well this proved to be more of a challenge then I thought. 5/8 really isn't quite as standard as say 1/2 and 3/4. I found tons of 1 inch to everything but 5/8. After about an hour of Googling, I finally found one at a pond place. I couldn't even find one on Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. I could had gone with the 1 x 3/4 and then 3/4 to 5/8 if I had to I guess.

The one from the pond place has multiple barbs which I would prefer over just single barb.



I am still running the two Eheim's over the top for the moment. By the time I got the two FX6 hooked up, I was out of energy to do anything else. The Eheim's are not very good when it comes to head pressure. I mean they would probably be great for a 50 gallon on a stand. But to reach from floor level, up and over the 240 on the stand is near 6 feet. So I built up some milk crates and put them on there temporarily while I was working on getting the FX6's. I'll eventually take them and the Marineland 400 Emperor HOB out of commission as I will be running 3 FX6.

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