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Old 08-02-2010, 10:08 PM   #1
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Canister filter debate

Are canister filters good or bad for reef tanks? I think there bad, someone else thinks there good. Am I an idiot, or can someone tell me what I can tell them so they believe me?
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:28 AM   #2
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Are they good or bad? That depends. And that's the answer.

But seriously... why does there have to be a correct answer? If someone is using a canister, and it's working for them and their tank is thriving, then why change? And if someone isn't using one, and their tank is thriving, then why change?

Canister filters equal more water volume... that's a good thing. It gives you a place to run chemical filtration... that's a good thing. It gives crud more places to get trapped and decompose that a cleanup crew can't reach... that's a bad thing. It is one more thing to leak or generally make life miserable... that's a bad thing.

If you keep up your maintenance and clean any sponges/pads in the things weekly, canisters can be great additions to a reef. If you're lazy on your maintenance, canisters can be a very bad addition to a reef.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:29 AM   #3
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I wouldnt run one for a primary filter but a piggy back or kicker filter wouldnt hurt.
I dont run a stand alone canister at all not even on freshwater but I do use them as water polishers and use wet/dry for the central filter units. Canisters are also known to barf mulm back into the tanks when the power is cut off and again when they turn back on.

Under 500 bucks(cost of a decent canister that performs)you can have a wet/dry filter with pump,skimmer and overflow.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:09 AM   #4
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Pretty much what Kurt said, but I think that also depends on tank size. Once you get to 75g or more I think you are better off with LR, sump, skimmer. Partly due to the increased water volume you will have a larger bioload. Therefore more buildup in the cannister.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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Ah, well good answer. I've never used one myself. I have a 46gal with 20gal sump. It's more of a fuge, got plant alge and a little rubble. It also holds my skimmer and heater. Got 80lbs LR in the tank and everything is doin great. They are having troubles keeping any coral alive, shrimp and crabs live though. It sounds like they are pretty beneficial if you clean them. How do I make a wet/dry in my sump and what do they do?
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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Wet dry systems are nitrate factories. Better to turn them into sumps. They have the same issues as cannister filters, but IMO are harder to clean.

If they are having a hard time keeping coral alive they need to check for nitrates and phosphates and other livestock (toadstool leather, etc.) that may be warring with them.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:02 PM   #7
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Alright no wet dry for me, got enough stuff to maintain as is. What is the best way for them to lower nitrates/phosphates?
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