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Old 09-25-2013, 10:31 PM   #1
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Canister Filters! Are they really that bad?

I have been using my Fluval 206 for almost a year now without the nitrate jump everyone keeps talking about. I have tested my water and it keeps saying 0 along with everything else but my PH which is at 8.

So whats the deal? It keeps my water really clear and clean and not one issue everyone has warned about. It continues to run as if it was brand new out of the box. Of course I do clean this filter out once every two to three weeks. I clean the whole thing out and I replace the Polly filter I buy and the carbon. I Squeeze out the sponges in dirty tank water to keep the Bactria on them.

I have read many articles on the use of bio-balls and canister filters. I have come to the conclusion that most people don't clean them out at all or as often as they should. This leads to the build up of the organic matter that causes the spike in nitrates.

Of course everyone is on the same page when it comes to a reef tank, that using bio-balls and a canister filter is no good, but for a FOWLR tank the use of the wet-dry filter with bio-balls and a canister filter should be fine so long as you are willing to do the work and clean them when necessary.

So why do people so passionately say no to the bio-balls and the canister, When they are proven to provide great filtration and benefits if used properly? I for one believe that so long as you only plan on doing a FOWLR tank you should be fine going with any method you choose for filtration.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:13 AM   #2
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I also have been using my 306 for almost a year and the most my nitrates have ever shown where about 5ppm, and that was due to me being away and tank maintenance slipping behind a week.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:33 AM   #3
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Nope... There's absolutely no problems with running a canister filter on a sw tank... I'm so sick and tired of people saying that they're "nitrate factories" without giving a shred of evidence. Wet drys and canisters are great for getting rid of ammonia. So next time someone brings up the fact that you need a refugium or mentions the ever so trite "nitrate factories" ask them to give you scientific evidence that proves it... Otherwise it's just hearsay.. Before refugiums, hobbyists were running beautiful sw tanks with HOB filters, canisters, and wet drys. So please don't be fooled by the stupid "nitrate factories" for anything.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:36 AM   #4
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Bio balls and wet drys are also fine for reef tanks. Just have a good skimmer and lighting. Again, hobbyists were doing reef setups with these filters at their disposal for many years.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #5
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to be fair I think if you read what a lot of people put they are nitrate factories without the proper care to them. If the filter is well maintained then of course they are fine in saltwater aquaria but it is a case of ensuring the extra cleaning is done imo. Also I think refugiums are not a must but they are very beneficial for a tank even if you take aside the filtering they are a great place for pods to breed which will then feed your tank. not saying its a must but i would say they are worth having if you can again only my opinion on it.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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The only people that say they are nitrate factories are those without enough knowledge about how to properly maintain one!
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:12 PM   #7
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It's not really about knowledge it's not difficult to understand how to clean a filter but it takes more effort than to empty a skimmer cup and I'm not saying there aren't any but personally I don't understand the benefits of a filter compared to a skimmer?
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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The benefits also mean you don't need live rock AND a skimmer. Which both can be very expensive. I guess it depends on what your plans are.

Okay maybe knowledge wasn't the right word.... Maybe laziness is what I was looking for!
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:22 PM   #9
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But with nothing converting the nitrate back into harmless gas and thus completing the nitrogen cycle surely that would mean increased water changes? And agreed it is more laziness
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:24 PM   #10
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That's why they need to be maintained but poor maintenance can lead to what we're talking about here originally. That they are nitrate factories
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