30 Gallon Tank HOB or Cannister?

justonemorefish

New to the hobby. Tank came with an internal filter but it was too bulky and I ended up replacing it with an aquael turbo 1000, because it has a sponge + media chamber... but it's not ideal. Shrimp get sucked in, it gets disgusting/clogged quite often and it's internal so it's a bit of a hassle to clean. So now I've decided to move to an external filter and the choices seem to be HOB or canister. I'm wondering if there is a definite answer or if it's a matter of personal preference. Every year I travel for about 2 weeks and ideally the filter should be able to survive for that long without cleaning, and could restart on its own in case of power failure (I'll have an emergency contact but would feel more comfortable knowing that these things are covered).

Edit: Should I worry about the weight of the HOB? Tank does have a rim.
Is there any benefit in opting for an oversized filter to have more space for media (assuming that flow can be controlled)? If yes, how much larger is too much?

Tank inhabitants are cherry shrimp, 2 BN plecos (the smallest variety), 9 Sterbai Corys, 12 pygmy corys, 4 tail spot corys, 3 dainty corys. They are as messy as can be and are always digging into the sand.

Current media is filter floss, Clear FX Pro and ceramic rings (and sponge).
 

86 ssinit

My advice is a tidal 75. It has a great media basket. Because of shrimp I would but a sponge over the intake. Keeps the shrimp in the tank. For me it’s hob over canisters. Canisters just leak. Sooner or later they leak it’s inevitable! Yes your hob can go 2 weeks without cleaning.
 
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justonemorefish

Thanks! I do worry about leaks, and was already looking at Tidal so will be picking up the 75!
Should I worry about the weight? Is there a way to check if my tank can "take it"?
Also, the Tidal 110 is only 5Euros more expensive than the 75, would it be too much? Would it bring any benefits?
 
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86 ssinit

Ok I think the tidal 110 for that price will be fine. When I had a 30 I had a marineland 350 on it. So the tidal will be fine. Tanks were made to hold hob filters :).
 
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awilkinson871

I just added an aquaclear HOB to my tank when my old HOB died. It is great. You can add whatever type of media you want. It would be easy to add a sponge prefilter over the intake to keep shrimp safe.
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

Edit: Should I worry about the weight of the HOB? Tank does have a rim.
Is there any benefit in opting for an oversized filter to have more space for media (assuming that flow can be controlled)? If yes, how much larger is too much?
No limit to how big! It will never be harmful. And it shouldn't break the rim of your tank. I personally prefer canister, as it's almost invisible while looking at the tank. But I have never gotten one, because of the price. But I do hear that canisters are harder to clean.
 
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Linda1234

Tidal and aquaclear (both mentioned) as well as a specific model made by marineland (I forget the model) are the leading hob filters. I'm personally partial to cansiter filters but there are no right answers here because both offer different pro and cons. To be honest your tank is not particularly large or over stocked so I would go with whatever is most cost effective.

In general filters require very little cleaning and i frequently only clean them once every 6 or 9 months (but the prefilter i clean weekly read below). You should, as mentioned by 86 ssinit put a pre filter over the intake whether it be hob or canister. A prefilter is just a sponge to prevent larger items like plant matter or shrimp from getting into the filter. The negative of the prefilter is it will tend to get clog over time reducing the flow rate so you will need to clean it relatively often depending on the amount of debris in your tank. The reduce flow is not a matter of concern during your two week vacation so do not be overly alarm.

If you do go with a canister filter most canister have shut off valves to aid in cleaning but in many models these are not intended to reduce flow and using them for that function can damage the motor over long period of time so check the instructions carefully if you go that route.

I have used aquaclear on a 40B and quite frankly i found the current from it quite disruptive and for that reason i prefer a canister filter with a spray bar.

The negative of buying a 'too large' hob is the current might be an issue so it is not as simple as bigger is always better. The aquaclear does have toggle to reduce flow but it is mostly in effective with regards to producing a gentle flow. One trick with canister filter is if the flow is too harsh you can point the spray bar into the glass angled slightly down so there is no splashing. This will help buffer the flow. With the hob if you find the flow problematic you might try a large piece of drift wood or similar to disrupt the flow.
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

The negative of buying a 'too large' hob is the current might be an issue so it is not as simple as bigger is always better. The aquaclear does have toggle to reduce flow but it is mostly in effective with regards to producing a gentle flow. One trick with canister filter is if the flow is too harsh you can point the spray bar into the glass angled slightly down so there is no splashing. This will help buffer the flow. With the hob if you find the flow problematic you might try a large piece of drift wood or similar to disrupt the flow.
Well you have more room for media and on many there is a flow valve, so by turning that down, it may be a little less effective, but it still is more effective than a smaller one with the same flow.

On HOB filters.
 
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justonemorefish

The negative of buying a 'too large' hob is the current might be an issue so it is not as simple as bigger is always better. The aquaclear does have toggle to reduce flow but it is mostly in effective with regards to producing a gentle flow. One trick with canister filter is if the flow is too harsh you can point the spray bar into the glass angled slightly down so there is no splashing. This will help buffer the flow. With the hob if you find the flow problematic you might try a large piece of drift wood or similar to disrupt the flow.

Thank you, I was a bit worried about too much flow. Just looked it up and according to Seachem "The flow on the pump is adjustable using the dial on the front, from the powerful full flow rate of 450 gallons per hour on the Tidal 110 down to a gentle 90 gallons per hour on the same filter. Water recirculates within the filter, so turning the flow rate down will not wear the pump down or cause problems within the filter". That sounds encouraging, but if still too much I'll move large driftwood or one of the moss rocks as suggested :)
 
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justonemorefish

Update in case anyone ever finds this thread on a google search:
Bought Tidal 110. Installed it. NOISY. 50db according to apple watch, and that's without the waterfall, just the pump. Basket not too full, but with intake sponge and a sponge covering the "skimmer". Opened it up, cleaned impeller, checked for imperfections in shaft, added vaseline. 46db. Gave up on HOB.
Bought a canister (JBL Cristalprofi e902). Tested with no media and a large bucket first, no output nozzle just the hose. 48db. Oh , I exchanged 6 for half a dozen. Added media, same noise level. Oh well, this is my life now. Set it up in the tank with the provided spray bar. 48db, as expected. Added cardboard to inner part of aquarium stand, still noisy. Spent hours online looking for possible solutions. Tilted canister in every possibe direction, air came out, same noise level. Realized there's vibration on output hose. Added sponge between hose and cabinet. 45db. Sad noises. Accept my fate, what other call whisper quiet is intolerable to me, I am the problem.
Since I'm keeping the canister, start looking into how to get the better flow/turbulence balance. Read about spray bars. Decide to try making larger holes on spray bar to reduce water velocity. Break spray bar in the process, get superglue all over my desk, my fingers, my mouse... Finally assemble spray bar and back into the aquarium. Fish look happy. Realize there's no noise: canister is whisper quiet. Weep with joy.
 
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Linda1234

Most of the smaller canister filters are pretty quiet. My eheim are near silent once the air is removed from them; but the fx6 is of course a bit of a noise monster. Glad it worked out.
 
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