Canister filter

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Moscow, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Moscow

    MoscowNew MemberMember

    I am looking to upgrade my filtration for my 40 gallon freshwater tank.
    I currently have a penguin bio wheel hanging filter. I would like to buy a canister filter that is easy to prime without dumping all the water everywhere. I would also like not to spend a ridiculous amount for a tank that my kids insist on putting sharks and other beautiful decor throughout. I keep a few to many fish in the tank by choice and vacuum the tank weekly as well as wipe it down. The objective is to spend less money on the replaceable filters while keeping a crystal clear tank.
  2. Libelle

    LibelleNew MemberMember

    The only benefit of a canister filter is the media volume. You will still need to replace the filters at some point. This will depend on the fish you have, your care of the tank and the canister itself when you will have to replace the filters. Media should be rinsed weekly. Omg I am going to say it, but if your tank is well established you can rinse your media under the tap. If you have multiple media inserts stagger their rinseing. Your kids are going to be so happy with the tank once they have picked out the decor that they like!
  3. OP

    MoscowNew MemberMember

    I do rinse my media weekly but still have to replace monthly because the filter overspill. I have another tank with a canister and it is a pain to replace and clean media. I am definitely going to upgrade, just want some feedback so I don't go at it blindly.
  4. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Unless your filter media is falling apart, there is no need to replace it. Some of our members have media that has been in their filter for 20+ years.

    In my Eheim canister, I only replace the fine polishing pad once every 4-6 months. I wait for the flow to slow to a trickle, at which point I:
    - Rinse all media in old aquarium water, including the coarse sponge.
    - Replace the fine filter pad
    - clean the hoses

    IMO canisters require the least maintenance of all filter systems available.

    Oh, and IMO, one should never rinse filter media in tap water, the chlorine/chloramines can and do kill beneficial bacteria. Chlorine/chloramine is included in municipal water supplies with the intention of killing bacteria. If you can't use old aquarium water, fill a container with tap water, add Prime (or dechlorinator of choice), and then rinse.

    For a cheap canister, I believe SunSun (available on eBay) are the best bang for your buck.

    EDIT: If you have the cartridges with carbon in them, simply cut a slit in the cartridge to remove the carbon, there is no need to replace the whole cartridge.
  5. Orion5

    Orion5Well Known MemberMember

    Just curious... Have you thought about just getting another hang-on-the back filter (HOB) that is easier and cheaper to deal with? Aquaclear has several models, even for larger aquariums, and their media is extremely easy to take out and rinse or replace. Plus, it's really cheap. They don't use "cartridges" like many other HOB models- just boxy sponges that cost next to nothing and last for years. And it's really easy to put other media in it as well, like cylinders and the like, if you want to.

    You can google Aquaclear 70, or 110 if you want to go really big.

    +1 on everything Ryan said as well.
  6. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    +1 for easier maintenance with a canister. I've converted all of my tanks to canisters - I clean them twice a year, with tap water. Established bacteria colonies are pretty resilient, so while some bacteria will die, the media is far from sterilized an the colonies bounce right back. I never change the media. Since I don't use carbon, I only open the filters up to clean them. The motors never get fouled, unlike HOBs. So, while it is easier to clean the media of a HOB, you have to do it far more often and have to periodically clean the motor, so it's not as "easy" IMO. I agree that cleaning a canister is a bigger pain in the rear, and if one was going to constantly clean them then I can see the allure of the HOB. But, there is absolutely no question that canisters are superior to HOBs.

    Sunsuns are the best bang for your buck. They are cheapest on eBay, but don't search for sunsun - search for canister filter. They are the white ones and have either 265, 370 or 525 gph flow rates.
  7. OP

    MoscowNew MemberMember

    Is this system easy to do maintenance or messy and hard to prime?
  8. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    With canisters, you really only have to prime them once. Once you have the intake tube full of water, then refilling is just a matter of reconnecting the quick connect piece and depressing the lever, which opens a ball valve which lets gravity fill the filter. The water in the intake tube drops into the filter which creates a siphon. The air in the filter is forced out the spraybar as the water fills it.

    However, I prefer to fill the filter up manually with a pitcher. Once it's full, I put the head on and just plug it in.

    For cleaning, the hardest part is carrying the filter body to the sink. The head comes off and can stay with the tank. I place it on something to keep the carpet dry. Once the filter is at the sink, I pull out the media baskets and stack them in a bucket, in reverse order. Then I dump out the water in the filter. At that point I "clean" the media and put it back in the filter body. Then I carry it back to the tank and fill it with tank water, put the head on, connect the hoses and plug it in.

    I'm not gonna lie, the first few times are going to be a bit messy, but once you get the hang of it it's a piece of cake.
  9. Gold Coast

    Gold CoastValued MemberMember

    Every aquarium I have ever had have always been canister or wet/dry filters. I have had numerous aquariums over the last 25 years as big as 180 gallon. Moving a few years ago I did not have one till about 8 months ago and now have a 40. I tried for the first time a AC110 HOB filter. Its ok but will never replace the filtration of a good quality canister filter. I my self prefer Eheim canisters but that my own choise. I prefer the spray bar return of the Eheim. I use there Pro 3 series filters. I like the 3 large media trays and the ease of filter cleaning. In about 2 months I will be getting a 72 gallon bow front aquarium. It will have an Eheim Pro series canister right from the start. I have had as many as 8 going at the same time. That is really time consuming as others know. I think 2 maybe 3 will be the max now. When you have acrerage to maintain fish is secondary. Hate to say that tho. If you convert to canisters and get the hang of servicing them you will appreciate them for the water quality they produce. Its a good choise to make.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  10. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    I'm a canister fan also. They tend to be much quieter than HOBs, unless the waterfall/running water sound is something you want to have.

    Another cheap canister place- I've not tried these yet but my next purchase will be one.
  11. Orion5

    Orion5Well Known MemberMember

    Personally I've never heard the waterfall sound if the tank was properly full, however when the water level drops it's true that this becomes a problem.

    In addition, the only time I've ever had my aquaclear motor stop is after many many months of not cleaning it at all-- but again I've heard of this happening from others so it's true it does occur. And canister filtration is definitely better, as mentioned, often due to the increased media and mechanics.

    It really depends on what you're willing to get used to. I've never had problems with canister filters but have always found them to be more of a task to clean, the few times you must do it. With the aquaclears, 10 minutes and it was done, with no water anywhere. :)
  12. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Something else - canisters are impervious to sand, while it can be the bane of an HOB's existence.