Canister Filters Vs Hang On

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Fishacus, May 20, 2018.

  1. Fishacus

    FishacusNew MemberMember

    What about canister filter vs hang on filter for a large tank? The pet stores are recommending the canister. Since people in these stores are after sales I thought I might ask others in here what their experiences are? I’ve had a hang on filter for years for my 30 gallon. What are your opinions?

    What is the best filter type for a 75 Gallon tank canister or hang on and why? I’m about to have a large investment into a tank and I’d like to know what you think is best for someone on a budget and also best for goldfish health. The fish are 10 years old, thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2018
  2. DarkOne

    DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    I started with a 406 but picked up a FX4 on sale at Petsmart for $200 with the plan that it would replace the 406. I ended up keeping and running both. I would say a FX4 alone is a good choice for 5 large goldfish in a 75g. It has a utility valve to help with water changes. I use 25' of 1/2" tubing from Home Depot to empty and fill my 75g. Much easier than using buckets. I have a 32g Rubbermaid Brute trash can I fill and treat before pumping it into the tank.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2018
  3. oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

    Hello Fish...

    There isn't a best filter, really. None of them do a very good job of keeping the tank water clean. So, for my Goldfish, I use a couple of dual sponge filters. They do a fair job of keeping the tank water clean, but most important for Goldfish is this filter creates a lot of surface movement, which mixes oxygen into the tank water. You should be in the habit of changing out at least 75 percent of the tank water every week. The large water change is the true filter, because it removes the old, toxic water and you replace it with pure, treated tap water.

    Sponge filters are inexpensive and work. The type that hangs on the back and pushes water down and creates a strong current. This isn't the best for Goldfish. Canister filters are expensive and much more difficult to clean. Plus, with HOBs and Canisters, there's media to buy. Go with a couple of dual sponge filters and be a good water changer.


  4. OP

    FishacusNew MemberMember

    Where do I buy sponge filters? I’ve not heard of them.

    Going along with this comment, I use the aqueon water changer that allows you to both empty and fill the tank directly from the facet . I make sure to turn off filter media so it doesn’t kill my bacteria and throw in the tap water conditioner while the water from the sink flows in. Is this okay?

    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2018
  5. DarkOne

    DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    As long as you dose for the full tank, you're fine.

    I read some issues with filling directly from the tap so I like having the trash can to treat and check temps (test if necessary too).
  6. CardeaterValued MemberMember

    You definitely can just go with a hang on back. People even go with just sponge filters. It all depends on which you prefer and what you'll maintain. A common problem with canisters is people get lazy cleaning them and they can be easy to ignore.

    I filtered my 125g for years with two HOB. I've since added an Aquaclear 110 and some sponge filters.

    The point is you don't need a canister. You can buy whatever you'd like including a canister if you prefer it.

    I recommend not buying the filters from an LFS, at least without price checking, unless you really want to give them the extra business. In terms of cost, Amazon is almost certainly going to be cheaper. I also discovered a place in IL that does price matching plus 10% and returns like 5% with their rewards program:

    I have no affiliation with them except that I ordered some stuff from them after price matching.

    If you get the bigger Aquaclear, the 110, Amazon may be better. Cory of Aquarium Coop says that one doesn't ship well. I got mine from Amazon as I hadn't found out about Aquacave yet. It came nestled inside a larger box with no issues. Reputable places should make it right concerning damage in shipping but just thought I'd mention it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2018
  7. CardeaterValued MemberMember

    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2018
  8. Dawn Michele

    Dawn MicheleWell Known MemberMember

    Hi. I use 2 Marineland Penguin 350's on my 125 & 55. They do a great job & the price is good!!!
  9. wodesorel

    wodesorelWell Known MemberMember

    Canisters come with a little shut off lever (at least my Fluvals do) where you can stop it pulling water from the tank without having to mess with it in any other way. So long as the input stays below the water surface and doesn't drain out, you won't need to reprime! I have always been a HOB girl but got two canisters (hoping forna third) for my turtles and now I wish I had an excuse to get one for my community aquarium. For large volumes of messy water they are awesome.
  10. CardeaterValued MemberMember

    You can minimize what you have to buy from HOB or canisters. For Aquaclears, you won't have replace the sponge or rings for years (you don't have to use the carbon). I've linked it before but this is a great video explaining how to hot rod filters and get off the cartridge treadmill. You can also add cheap filter floss or pads to polish the water.

  11. oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember


    You can get the sponge filters on line. Amazon has very good prices and the filters are easily cleaned. The Goldfish tank is set up differently than a tropical fish tank. You won't need a heater for the Goldfish and they'll do better in a tank where the water current is minimal. They simply require higher oxygen content in the water than tropicals. Keep the tank water cool, no more than 68 degrees and keep the surface agitated to keep the oxygen level high and steady.


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