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Old 03-13-2009, 02:03 PM   #1
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Dodge the cannister?

I think I've pieced together a Frankenstein answer from reading old posts, but I'm a terrible over thinker and will just keep pestering you poor folks till I'm outsted form the boards.

Preparing to set up a 55g FW tank. Making it low light for now and will hopefully upgrade to medium later on. I'm not sure I can afford a fancy plant substrate and was just hoping to get away with a fine gravel with root tabs. Fish wise I'm not looking for anythign too challenging. I was thinking just a school of neons and whatever else I can find to accompany them.

I've read many posts saying cannisters are the answer for 55 gallon tanks. I know little about them other than that they are pricey. I know I could be fine with two HOB's instead, but I was wondering what problems down the road a cannister filter would help me avoid? In other words, after gaining some experience, why will I be kicking myself for choosing the HOB's?

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Old 03-13-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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IMO, the canister is the way to go with a 55 gal. You could get away with a couple HOBs but I'd spend the extra money and upgrade from the get go.

In my opinion, the pros of a canister:
1) Easy Maintenance. All you have to do is shut off the intake and output tubes, disconnect, and carry it to the sink. The water stays contained inside the filter so you won't have spills. The first time that you do maintenance it may take you a few minutes to figure out the procedure to take it apart but it's a snap for me. In fact, it takes me longer to do maintenance on my hobs than the canisters.
2) Clean look in the tank. With a canister you can move the tubes to hide them easier. With a hob the input and ouput are right next to each other and can not be moved. But with the canister you can put the input on one side of the tank and the output on the other. It would seem to me that it would be better for filtration.
3) Quieter. While the AC filters are silent, the canister is just as silent. When your water level gets low you'll hear splashing sounds from the water on a HOB. With a canister the water level would have to get very low before that would happen.
4) Air Bubbles. Since you are going with planted, you'll want as few air bubbles in the tank as possible due to CO2 issues. The hob will splash into the tank unless the water level is kept right below the output.

The only disadvantage to the canister that I can think of is that when you clean the filter and set it back up, you'll need to add water back to the tank because the canister will be empty of water. I do filter maintenance as the tank is draining so it's not a problem for me.

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Old 03-13-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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Well...I suppose my birthday is coming up soon . Thanks for your informed opinion. You have me mostly swayed. I'll have to compare different price/sizes and see what kind of bargains I can find. This probably isn't something to buy used.
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