Canister Filter Isn't Really Filtering?

UnderwaterGalaxy
  • #1
The last month I've been battling with debris in the tank and nothing seems to help. I have a Cascade 1000 filter. It has 3 baskets with media. About 3-4 weeks ago I did maintenance on the filter after the water got a bit cloudy from millions of tiny particles in the water column. Upon inspecting the filter media, I noticed that the floss pads were pretty much destroyed. So I changed 2 of the 3 pads with bonded pads from marineland. This did not help with filtering out the debris. As a matter of fact it got worse. So a few days ago I purchased some polyester batting and also some purigen. This is how I setup my filter media.

From bottom up...

1st basket = sponge pad on the bottom and bonded pad on top.
2nd basket = bonded pad on the bottom and polyester floss on top. purigen bag on top of polyester.
3rd basket = polyester floss on the bottom and marineland ceramic rings on top.

Filter has been running with this setup for 2 days now. It did help a tiny bit but there is still a lot of tiny particles and the water is nowhere near being clear. In addition to the filter I also have a powerhead on the opposite side of the tank. I think the particles are from brown algae/diatoms that are all over the plants and driftwood. Some of the particles are very tiny and look like brown dust. Other particles look tiny brown and fluffy. My tank has been running for about 4 months now. Can it still be diatoms? I know it's normal on new tanks, but is it normal for a 4 month old tank?

By the way, I do 50% water changes every 7-8 days. And I do have black diamond blasting media as my substrate.
 
PeteStevers
  • #2
Sounds like there is a major malfunction with that filter. The only time I see fluffy debris is when I change out my filter pad and some of the junk sitting in the bottom of the filter gets into the water. Usually, it is gone within a day. Are you getting good flow? is it possible that something is not seated correctly or not setup properly? It's almost like the water is totally bypassing the pads and just pumping straight from the tank back into the tank.
 
UnderwaterGalaxy
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
The flow is good. I don't know if its even possible to setup this filter the wrong way. It does seem as if the water isn't going through the filter media. I think I watched a review on youtube and the person reviewing mentioned that the way this filter is designed the water circulating through doesn't make 100% contact with the media. Maybe it's just a poor design? However, most reviews on this filter are positive. I'm thinking of adding a HOB filter and see if it helps.
 
PeteStevers
  • #4
Yeah, I just watched a review where a guy was saying that the flow is not strong enough and causes bypass. Just the nature of this filter I guess. Maybe using a more porous media (especially in the lower basket) would allow for better flow through. Just guessing...
 
Wraithen
  • #5
Try a prefilter if you have enough flow. Mine are really good at picking up the gunk floating around. Water changes can get messy though when you go to remove it.
 
cadd
  • #6
I have the Cascade 1000 as well. Had it since summer of 2017 and only cleaned it twice so far...the last cleaning was a few weeks ago.

I use the spray bar for the output along with a prefilter (sponge) covering the intake. My flow is pretty good.

I haven't had any issues with it not filtering the water in the tank.

My set up is as follows (from bottom up):
Bottom basket:
OEM black sponge on the bottom
Polyfil on top of that

Middle basket:
Biomedia at the bottom
Polyfil on top of that

Top basket:
Biomedia on the bottom
Polyfil on top of that

Then there's a blue cover that goes on top of the top tray.

And there's a rubber/soft plastic gasket that cups onto the hole.

I also made sure that all trays are seated tightly on top of each other before assembling the canister back together.
 
AllieSten
  • #7
Have you tried cleaning out the tubing too? Too much gunk in the tubing will cause debris also.

I don’t have that canister, but with 3 baskets, you need to filter from larger to smallest with sponges/pads.

Bottom basket I would do coarse sponge, medium sponge, then filter floss

Second basket all biomedia. Ceramic rings, bioballs, or whatever you want to use

Top basket is for chemical, so purigen and carbon go there.

When you add filter floss to the other trays, it then draws the debris upwards instead of it settling to the bottom of the canister. You want all the dirty water at the bottom, and clean water at the top. No filter floss or pads above the bottom tray.

I have had my SunSun set up this way for 3 months and I have had nothing but success. The ceramic rings and carbon, barely have any debris on them near the top. Just 2 weeks ago, I finally rinsed them in dechlorinated water for the first time. They had just a small amount of debris on them after 3 months.
 
UnderwaterGalaxy
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I have the Cascade 1000 as well. Had it since summer of 2017 and only cleaned it twice so far...the last cleaning was a few weeks ago.

I use the spray bar for the output along with a prefilter (sponge) covering the intake. My flow is pretty good.

I haven't had any issues with it not filtering the water in the tank.

My set up is as follows (from bottom up):
Bottom basket:
OEM black sponge on the bottom
Polyfil on top of that

Middle basket:
Biomedia at the bottom
Polyfil on top of that

Top basket:
Biomedia on the bottom
Polyfil on top of that

Then there's a blue cover that goes on top of the top tray.

And there's a rubber/soft plastic gasket that cups onto the hole.

I also made sure that all trays are seated tightly on top of each other before assembling the canister back together.

I always make sure the trays line up and that the power housing slips over the rubber gasket properly. Maybe I should try the spray bar. My output nozzle is behind the plants and whatever brown algae/diatoms grows on the leaves most likely gets knocked off by the water flow from the nozzle. On the other side of the tank my powerhead is also behind plants and is hitting the plants with even stronger flow. I do think that the debris is a mix of the brown algae/diatoms and possibly dirt from the filter hoses. I'll need to take a closer look at them and clean them.

Have you tried cleaning out the tubing too? Too much gunk in the tubing will cause debris also.

I don’t have that canister, but with 3 baskets, you need to filter from larger to smallest with sponges/pads.

Bottom basket I would do coarse sponge, medium sponge, then filter floss

Second basket all biomedia. Ceramic rings, bioballs, or whatever you want to use

Top basket is for chemical, so purigen and carbon go there.

When you add filter floss to the other trays, it then draws the debris upwards instead of it settling to the bottom of the canister. You want all the dirty water at the bottom, and clean water at the top. No filter floss or pads above the bottom tray.

I have had my SunSun set up this way for 3 months and I have had nothing but success. The ceramic rings and carbon, barely have any debris on them near the top. Just 2 weeks ago, I finally rinsed them in dechlorinated water for the first time. They had just a small amount of debris on them after 3 months.

I took the carbon out as I have read it sucks up the liquid fertilizer. I'll definitely need to clean my tubes/hoses. Stuff does come out when I prime the filter after maintenance. I'll look into rearranging the media too. Thank you.
 
UnderwaterGalaxy
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
One thing I forgot to mention is that my intake tube sits about 1" above my substrate.(black diamond blasting sand). The last time I've done maintenance on the filter, there was lots of black substance on the bottom and the water was black in the filter. I'm not sure if it was my black sand that got sucked in or just black sludge as I didn't bother checking before I dumped it. I think I may need to raise the intake tube up a bit higher.
 
cadd
  • #10
When you add filter floss to the other trays, it then draws the debris upwards instead of it settling to the bottom of the canister. You want all the dirty water at the bottom, and clean water at the top. No filter floss or pads above the bottom tray.

I have had my SunSun set up this way for 3 months and I have had nothing but success. The ceramic rings and carbon, barely have any debris on them near the top. Just 2 weeks ago, I finally rinsed them in dechlorinated water for the first time. They had just a small amount of debris on them after 3 months.
Great point! After I closed up the filter during my last maintenance/cleaning, I told myself I'll rearrange the baskets differently after someone else pointed out that the top trays with the media shouldn't have any sponges or flosses.

Going forward, I think this is how I'll arrange the baskets. Let me know what you think.
From top to bottom:
Top tray:
Seachem Matrix (smaller sized biomedia)

Middle tray:
Fluval Biomax (larger sized biomedia)
Filter floss under the Fluval Biomax

Bottom Tray:
Filter floss
Coarse sponge #1
Coarse sponge #2

Doing this, the water will flow as follows: From tank ----> 2 layers of coarse sponges ----> 2 layers of filter floss ----> larger sized biomedia ----> smaller sized biomedia ----> out to tank

Stuff does come out when I prime the filter after maintenance. I'll look into rearranging the media too. Thank you.
I've never cleaned my hoses yet (8 months) and I do not have any sort of debris coming out of the spray bar when I prime or first plug in the filter. I think you may have debris that's somehow by-passing the filter sponges/pads etc.

One thing I forgot to mention is that my intake tube sits about 1" above my substrate.(black diamond blasting sand). The last time I've done maintenance on the filter, there was lots of black substance on the bottom and the water was black in the filter. I'm not sure if it was my black sand that got sucked in or just black sludge as I didn't bother checking before I dumped it. I think I may need to raise the intake tube up a bit higher.
I positioned my intake about 2 inches from the bottom. However, I made sure to scape the tank so that a piece of slate is right under the intake tube. The intake for the Cascade 1000 is all the way to the right in this photo.



40074914342_4a8ec6ef76_o.jpg
 
UnderwaterGalaxy
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Great idea on putting slate under the intake.
 
UnderwaterGalaxy
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Quick update

I have yet to rearrange the media in my filter as I have ordered some fine sponge and more purigen that I'm waiting on to arrive. However, in the last few days the water has gotten a lot more clear. I would say 70% better than it was when I created this thread. I'm guessing the floss and purigen I have in there now is slowly but surely filtering out the debris. I bet once I get the my sponge and rearrange my media the water will be sparkling.
 
cadd
  • #13
I too, rearranged my baskets this weekend. And I find that the water flow is a tiny bit stronger with this new set up.
From top to bottom:

Top basket:
Bio media (completely full basket)

Middle tray:
Bio media (handful)
White fine sponge (takes up 3/4 of the basket)

Bottom tray:
2 layers of the black (coarse) sponge
 
clubtc05
  • #14
The way I have my 2 CC-1000 setup

Bottom: black sponge and on top of that I have the white fine sponge.

Middle: bio media.
Top: bio media & 100ml Purgien.

After watching Pondguru video " Why your filter is too small and not cycled" This was the best setup for now I found for my 38G Cichlid tank.
 

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