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Old 08-12-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
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Question 50 gallon canister filter question

Good morning all-

I'm deciding to make the leap and getting a canister filter for my 50 gallon long. I think I've settled on a Fluval but I'm not sure which model to get. I know that "more is better" in general, but I'm looking for something that will be "good" for this size since I know I wont be upgrading to a larger tank (no more room!). Would the Fluval 305 be plenty of filtration for schooling community fish (can't be more specific atm; it's an empty, cycling tank and the wife gets to choose the occupants)?

Also, I've never actually seen a Fluval or any other canister filter in person and it seems pretty intimidating even with how easy everyone makes it seem to clean. Do any of you happen to have old photos of the "guts" of your canister filter, Fluval preferably, so I can ease my fears? Haha

Much thanks!
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
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I see a Fluval 305 on ebay for $104.95 and on amazon $109.90 with free shipping for both.

Are these pretty good prices?
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:33 PM   #3
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The price between the 305 and 405 is close enough that it's definitely worth going bigger IMO. On my 46 gallon I run the 405, and with a bit of searching and patience I found one for around $120 (on Amazon I believe). I've also seen some sell brand new, but without the box for around $90-100. Just IMO, but it's absolutely worth stepping up from the 305 to 405 even if you've got to do some searching or paying a bit more $.

I don't have any pics, but there's some videos on YouTube which shows them in detail.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by eco23 View Post
The price between the 305 and 405 is close enough that it's definitely worth going bigger IMO. On my 46 gallon I run the 405, and with a bit of searching and patience I found one for around $120 (on Amazon I believe). I've also seen some sell brand new, but without the box for around $90-100. Just IMO, but it's absolutely stepping up from the 305 to 405 even if you've got to do some searching or paying a bit more $.

I don't have any pics, but there's some videos on YouTube which shows them in detail.
What's the advantage the 405 has over the 305 other than more filtration? I'm totally open to either one but I'm just trying to find the best purchase for the best price if that makes sense.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sobersteve323

What's the advantage the 405 has over the 305 other than more filtration? I'm totally open to either one but I'm just trying to find the best purchase for the best price if that makes sense.
I believe the 405 also has extra media baskets so you can customize what you have in there. For example, in mine I run poly-fil (pillow stuffing) in my bottom tray, bio-max (ceramic media) in the middle 2, and in the top I have random pieces of filter media I can use to seed new tanks or set up QT's or hospital tanks. The other thing is how filthy it gets. It's really easy to clean, but you'll be shocked how much detritus it collects in a week. I can't image how dirty a smaller canister would get in that time. And just like you said, bigger is better (even though it's not mandatory in this case), but when there's not a major price difference...you'll be glad you stepped up a level. I always try to shoot for double filtration, so the 405 is rated for 100 gallons and you've got a 50 gallon tank. There's one right now on Amazon for ~$140 with free shipping, which really isn't that much more than the 305.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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I believe the 405 also has extra media baskets so you can customize what you have in there. For example, in mine I run poly-fil (pillow stuffing) in my bottom tray, bio-max (ceramic media) in the middle 2, and in the top I have random pieces of filter media I can use to seed new tanks or set up QT's or hospital tanks. The other thing is how filthy it gets. It's really easy to clean, but you'll be shocked how much detritus it collects in a week. I can't image how dirty a smaller canister would get in that time. And just like you said, bigger is better (even though it's not mandatory in this case), but when there's not a major price difference...you'll be glad you stepped up a level. I always try to shoot for double filtration, so the 405 is rated for 100 gallons and you've got a 50 gallon tank. There's one right now on Amazon for ~$140 with free shipping, which really isn't that much more than the 305.
Are the 2 vertical pads before the trays filter media like the ones you'd find in a Tetra or similar HOB filter?

Thanks for the tip about youtube, found exactly what I was looking for. You rock with the info!
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sobersteve323

Are the 2 vertical pads before the trays filter media like the ones you'd find in a Tetra or similar HOB filter?

Thanks for the tip about youtube, found exactly what I was looking for. You rock with the info!
The 405 actually has 4 foam filter pads before the media trays. As far as I know they're specifically made for the Fluvals. They're a bit pricy to replace, but you really shouldn't need to replace them for, I don't know, a couple years? They're pretty tough, mine are about 5 months old and don't even have a hint of being dated. I just rinse them in water from the tank each week to remove the debris it collects.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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Oh, btw...I assume the 305 does as well, but the 405 comes with all the pads, bio-media and even carbon (which I don't use). It's all included so there's no additional cost.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:32 PM   #9
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Oh, btw...I assume the 305 does as well, but the 405 comes with all the pads, bio-media and even carbon (which I don't use). It's all included so there's no additional cost.
Thanks. I couldn't figure out what it was from the video I was watching. Since I have a bunch of extra biobag media, could I use that in the first tray until I'm out and then switch to the stuffing like most users on here?
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sobersteve323

Thanks. I couldn't figure out what it was from the video I was watching. Since I have a bunch of extra biobag media, could I use that in the first tray until I'm out and then switch to the stuffing like most users on here?
What is biobag media? Like mechanical filter cartridges? You can pretty much throw anything in there you want. The poly-fil isn't mandatory by any means...it's just something a lot of us use to polish the water and catch the fine particles that make it through the foam.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:04 PM   #11
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What is biobag media? Like mechanical filter cartridges? You can pretty much throw anything in there you want. The poly-fil isn't mandatory by any means...it's just something a lot of us use to polish the water and catch the fine particles that make it through the foam.
Oh sorry, yeah it's the tetra brand filter media with the plastic frame.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:08 PM   #12
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If nothing else I'm sure you could take a pair of scissors and cut it out of the plastic (if it's filled with carbon, just shake it into the trash) so it fits into the canister.

Another thing to consider is running both filters together. If you did that, I'm sure a 305 would be fine. Running both gives you some benefits. For one, added filtration (obviously), second it wont interfere with your cycle, and third...if you had to set up an emergency QT, you just pull the HOB off, stick it on the QT, and you've got an instantly cycled quarantine tank.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:12 PM   #13
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If nothing else I'm sure you could take a pair of scissors and cut it out of the plastic (if it's filled with carbon, just shake it into the trash) so it fits into the canister.

Another thing to consider is running both filters together. If you did that, I'm sure a 305 would be fine. Running both gives you some benefits. For one, added filtration (obviously), second it wont interfere with your cycle, and third...if you had to set up an emergency QT, you just pull the HOB off, stick it on the QT, and you've got an instantly cycled quarantine tank.
It's like you read my mind! I was actually going to run the 2nd HOB on my 36 gallon just for that reason!
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