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Old 10-31-2013, 12:18 AM   #1
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Canister exterior filter

Looking for input on if it's good or bad to use an exterior canister filter on a 55 gallon tank?

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Old 10-31-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
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In a FOWLR, it would likely be fine.

In a reef, unless you are very zealous with regular (probably weekly) cleaning, it's generally not a good idea. Canister filters are so good at mechanical filtration that they trap detritus and end up many times causing high nitrates.

It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labelling.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:23 AM   #3
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+1. Since this is in the Reef Aquaria section, I'm assuming this isn't for a FOWLR.

When a canister filter traps solids, the water flow is still moving across them, and as they decay, it contribute to the nitrates & phosphates in the system. There are healthy systems with canisters, but you must be very diligent in your maintenance routine & clean them on a regular basis without fail.

A much better option is a sump with a filter sock, a good quality skimmer, and a refugium. The filter sock catches course detritus the same as a canister, but it's MUCH easier to change out a filter sock every couple/few days rather than repeatedly having to tear apart a canister. A skimmer filters out much finer particulates and deposits them into a collection cup, thus isolating them away from the water column, and a refugium with some macro algae help consume excess nutrients to prevent algae in your DT.

If you can't do a sump, IMO your best option is a good HOB skimmer & regular pwc's, but you are at "that" size where a sump begins to almost become a necessity for a healthy system.
Wanna calculate the cost of that new reef tank?? Take your worst nightmare, double it, and you're halfway there.
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