Question about canister filters...

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Merri68, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. Merri68Valued MemberMember

    Because I am partially disabled, and very short, I have my tank ( 55 gal) placed lower in height than is the norm, so that I don't have to stand on a stool to do any maintenance to the tank's interuor.

    I would really like to invest in a good canister filter, but the placement of a canister may prove problematic: I cannot bend down adequately in order to clean it.

    So far I have read that the canister must be positioned below the level of the tank. Is this true of all canisters? The table that supports my tank has room for the canister to sit right next to the tank. (I am not worried about esthetics) I could reach it easily at that height.

    Would using a canister rated for a lesser volume tank be enought to solve any flow pressure issues? I am assuming that a canister located below the tank would need more pressure in order to properly circulate the water.

    I am not sure if I am explaining my dilemma correctly. I really would prefer to use a canister.. (marineland).. But I cannot bend down or get on my knees to reach it for maintence, and raising the height of the tank is out of the questions. The difference in the height of the canister is only a matter of about a foot and a half.
  2. leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    According to Marineland, the unit will make excessive noise when not placed below the aquarium.
    I don't have experience with that brand, but It could have to with head pressure (vs syphon effect) or flow rates as to why it needs to be below the aquarium
    I hope someone comes along and tells you to do it anyways.
    good luck.
  3. SnyperToddValued MemberMember

    I haven't tried running a canister filter next to a tank for an extended time, but I've tested plenty of them with a bucket of water in the bathtub and they always work just fine. There isn't really any head to overcome with a canister filter because they are a sealed system and the siphon effect does a lot of the work. What Marineland filter are you considering? Marineland makes an HOB canister, the Magnum 250, but it's not a traditional-style canister. It only allows for 2 stage filtration and isn't very flexible in regard to inlet and output options, but they are decent, reliable filters. One of those would be okay for a reasonably stocked 55.

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  4. leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    Priming could be an issue if you don't have exp. with one. Getting it going could be a little difficult until you get the hang of it.
  5. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    If you are getting a canister, I'd try to get one that comes with those self-primers, such as the Fluvals. Saves a lot of time and effort.
  6. SnyperToddValued MemberMember

    Priming could be an issue, but as long as the hoses are short and don't have loops in them and the top of the filter is below the water level in the tank I think it would work fine.

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  7. Merri68Valued MemberMember

    The one I was considering is the Marineland PC-ML220 Multi-stage Canister Filter, 30 to 55-Gallon, 220GPH.

    At the present I am using 2 basic tank-in-a-box internal filters that came with the Tank, (bought at a general big-box store) . I don't particularly like that they take up space in the tank. I am also uncomfortable with using a HOB filter because if it gets clogged, the water will go everywhere.

    At least if a canister gets clogged, water should just back up into the tank... right? Or uh-oh.. Would the tubing go BOOM, leaving me with even more mess than a HOB filter?

    BTW... Thanks to the members who've answered my post I 'm a raw newbie at fish keeping.
  8. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    I have several tanks stack on top of each other on stands, and the bottom tanks have canisters on them. So the filter is sitting right next to the tank. No problems at all. I use Eheims, and would not use any other them.
  9. SnyperToddValued MemberMember

    Okay, you're worrying too much! :)

    I haven't had an HOB filter for many years, but all of them I've ever seen have a kind of "spillway" where if they get plugged, the water simply bypasses the cartridge(s) and overflows back into the tank. No real chance of a mess from a plugged filter cartridge.

    If a canister gets plugged, again there's no real danger of a catastrophe. Depending on the style, some will simply slow the flow down until they're just tricking into the tank, while others will bypass water around the media and maintain their flow. They won't blow hoses or anything like that. No matter which type of filter you get, the chances of having it leak from being plugged are basically zero.
  10. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Just like BDpups, I have one stand that has two tanks, one over the other. This puts the lower one only a few inches above the floor. I have a Sun Sun canister connected to that bottom tank, sitting on the floor next to the tank, and it primes and runs just fine. And it is virtually silent.

    The priming gadget on the filter works just fine that way.

    As someone pointed out earlier, since a canister system is sealed, there is technically no "static head" involved in the circuit.

    Any amount the water must be lifted is offset exactly by the distance the water in the closed circuit must fall. So there is no "static head" in the system. All you have is dynamic head created by frictional losses in the tubing, valves, etc.

    As someone also already pointed out, the only problem I can see would be that if the top of the filter was above the water level in the aquarium, you might build gas in the filter due to there always being a bit of negative pressure within the filter. Dissolved gasses from the water might collect at the high point, and that might create the noise the manufacturer mentioned. It would also be hard on the pump.

    And, it might make priming difficult or impossible.

    The way I see it, as long as the tubing and the filter are all kept below the water level in the aquarium, you shouldn't have any problems.
  11. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    I've had hob filters get clogged and they never overflowed, the output just slowed waaay down to a trickle, no leaks or anything.

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