Unsure About New Tank Filter

  1. z

    zwinch New Member Member

    I just got a 30 gallon tank secondhand (I'm somewhat a newby). It came with an aqua-tech 30-60, but all the media is not there, I'd have to get it. I also don't know if I want to deal with the constant waterfall sound.

    Everything I've read is pointing me towards wanting a canister filter. My questions would be, is there really less maintenance on a canister and when it does is the media more costly than the HOB I have now. I plan on having a sandy bottom with kuhli loaches, neon tetras and some cory cats.

    Any help on what canister would be adequate or if I'm just worrying about more frequent servicing of the HoB for nothing.
     
  2. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    I do HOBs so I'm no help. I only get the waterfall sound when my tanks are not full. I know a lot of people here have gotten SunSun canisters recently and are pleased with them. They are not that pricey either. But I have to ask, A canister for a 30 gal?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    z

    zwinch New Member Member

    I really don't know what I'm doing. I had a tank many years ago and undergravel filters were the thing to have. I'm just looking for a very low maintenance filter. Was hoping someone would set me straight.
     


  4. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    Okay, I understand. (I used to run undergravel filters...Ugh) I really would not spend the money on a canister. You can get an Aqueon 30 for $24 dollars if you order online from PetSmart and pickup in store. I see tonight for online, instore pickup, they are giving an additional 10% off. So that's another $2.40 off. It is for 30-45 gallons so unless you have an overstocked tank, that is all you need.
     
  5. m

    minervalong Well Known Member Member

    I have not had a canister nor a sump, yet. I have run undergravel and lots of HOBs. Undergravel takes a commitment to doing your gravel vacs and water changes, no skimping and are obviously not suitable for a sand bottom.
    A canister must be removed from the system and hauled either outside or to the bathtub to service and clean since it holds water and media. This is what I have understood of them.
    A sump takes up more room but can be very easy to service, according to the media you use. If you make say a trickle tower, you just slide a drawer open, clean the media and replace it. There are lots of diy sump designs on youtube. I am going to make a 10g sump for my 30g because I don't want equipment intruding into my watery world. However, there is a danger of overflow if you are not set up right and there is a power outage or if something gets clogged.
    A Hang on Back is always my preference unless I am going for a very specific look on a tank. The current can be modified or baffled, the media is very cheap and easy to service, you can stash extra media in case you have to emergency set up another tank, the sorts of media you can use are varied and in general they are efficient and simple.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    z

    zwinch New Member Member

    Makes sense. I think i'll just stick with the aqua-tech 30-60 I have. Any recommendations on media? Brand new tank, I haven't put water in it yet.
     


  7. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    Almost anything works. I have foam, filter pad, filter sponge, little bags of ceramic...What is the easiest for you to come by? For new tank set ups, a lot of times I stuff in some filter floss to polish the water. (Harder to come by locally, you can get it online) It seems you already know not to buy into that "replace monthly" garbage.
     
  8. m

    minervalong Well Known Member Member

    Go to the crafts department of walmart, look for untreated fiber fill it is the big fluffy white stuff. It is best used in some kind of mesh baggie because it is uncompacted. They also have untreated polyester pads, like for making pillows and stuff, that is easy to cut into the shape you need. You can use crushed lava rock, bioballs, purigen packs, petco has a filter pad that you cut to size that helps with ammonia and one for nitrates. There are so many things out there to use. I go the cheap route, poly pads cuts to size, crushed lava rock and spend a bit on the purigen. I have ammonia in my tap water so I like the extra protection purigen gives me.
     
  9. m

    minervalong Well Known Member Member

    Jinx, you owe me a coke.
     
  10. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    Hey mine posted first. Who owes who a coke???
     
  11. m

    minervalong Well Known Member Member

    LOL, ok ok, next time we meet. ;)
     
  12. OP
    OP
    z

    zwinch New Member Member

    I guess this was my main concern. After everything I've been reading it just didn't make sense to use a toss away filter cartridge and get rid of all the good bacteria on a regular basis. I think I'm defiantly going to keep the Hob and make my own filter inserts.
     
  13. m

    minervalong Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, you don't throw away media until it is falling apart, then you use it for a couple of weeks crammed in with the new stuff. This is where the bb lives that does the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate conversion. At most just give your mechanical filtration a swish in tank water when you do a water change.
    It would be good to look up the stages of filtration, usually it is a coarser sponge for mechanical (bits of food and detritus), followed by bio (where the bb live) then any chemical filtration (like carbon in a mesh baggie to remove tannins or medicines).
     
  14. sfsamm

    sfsamm Well Known Member Member

    I have used all types of filters on different setups. Canister isn't terribly expensive for a 30 gallon but a hob is definitely easier on that size in my opinion. Hob filters are easy to maintain, get one that doesn't require cartridges or toss the cartridges and add your own media, great ideas for it listed above. Get some type of ceramic biomedia and a sponge and you're set. Swish it around the discard water during water changes and it only takes a minute to maintain. A canister almost always involves a complete removal from the system and though you do not have to do it as often it definitely takes more time, but there's more options for media in a canister.