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Old 06-10-2005, 12:35 AM   #1
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Canister vs. HOB on 30 gallon

Hey all. My understanding is that most people prefer a canister filter over a HOB for tanks larger than 10 gallon. I've got a few questions regarding this.

1) Is there any particular reason for this? Is it purely cosmetic? Or are canisters better than HOBs for some reason?
2) Does the filtering capabilities of a canister filter make up for its prohibitive cost?

I'd really like to hear some pros and cons as to why one is better than the other. I'm deciding between an Aquaclear 200 Power filter (HOB) and a Fluval 204 (Canister). They're both good for up to 40 gallons. So why should I go for a Fluval 204 ($60.00) over the Aquaclear 200 ($17.00) given that they both have the same filtering capacity, aside from the obvious cosmetic and economic reason?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-10-2005, 01:19 AM   #2
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Canisters typically have larger media volumes compared to HOBS which provides more surface area for bacteria growth, and allows for more media flexibility, like using lava rocks for example. Personally, I think you're fine with an aquaclear, although, I'd probably recommend you go with the AC70/300 instead. It'll give you room for growth for a few bucks more. Another advantage of cannisters over a HOB is the distance your tank needs to sit away from the wall to accommodate the space for a HOB. Cannisters only need enough room for the hoses.
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Old 06-10-2005, 01:54 AM   #3
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I say that it depends on the fish you want to keep, and the place that the tank is. If you are keeping messy fish, then the canister is better. it is much more effecient in cleaning. also the canister will be much quieter, but in the end, it all comes down to what you want to spend vs. the effeciency of the filter.
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:24 AM   #4
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I'll have to admit that I somewhat dread cleaning my Jebo 828 cannister although I'm pretty diligent with cleaning my AC30 HOB simply because it's easier to get to. I've found both aquaclears I've used before (30 and 70) to be very quiet, you just need to keep the water level high enough to avoid the sound of water splashing. I double sponge them with a little bit of filter floss to polish the water and they work really well for my guppies and gourami which really aren't the messiest of fish. I've always thought it was media volume and the turn-over rate that matter, so does a AC110/500 for example work as well as or better than a Fluval 204 in a 30G tank? They both look like they have comparable media volume. although I've not used either. One thing I like about canisters is the fact I can use an inline Hydor heater. I needed hose adapters to get my Jebo 828 working with a Hydor ETH300 though.
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:09 AM   #5
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I love my canisters! Quiet, out of the way, and you can add what ever media you want. I have not used the aquaclear, but I have the fluval. I know a lot of people prefer this filter, but its really turning out to be my least favorite (I also have a filstar xp3, and a cascade 1000) The tubing on the fluval is like the bendy part of a bendy straw, and it seems like the tubing gets gucked up faster than the other filters with smooth tubing.
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Old 06-10-2005, 05:03 AM   #6
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While I have Marineland power filters hanging on my 29 and 30 gallon tanks I am looking at getting a canister filter before the end of the summer to put on my 30 gallon tank. The reason why is that I plan to add CO2 injection for my plants some time in the future and canister filters disturb the surface of the water less than power filters do. It wasn't mentioned if the new tank was going to be planted or not but this might be a consideration.
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:13 AM   #7
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I prefer a canister filter. Sometimes an HOB will not produce the water movement that a canister will. I'm not sure if your 30 gal will come with a brace in the top trim. If it does, you will need to put the HOB on one side, and it may create areas of less circulation on the other side. In that case, though a powerhead on the other side may remedy that situation.

With a canister filter, I just put the intake on one side of the tank and the outlet on the other.
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Old 06-10-2005, 09:42 AM   #8
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The tank will most assuredly be planted, though I am going to stay away from the high light plants I'm used to (riccia and rotala, for example). I plan on mainly just keeping java moss and java ferns. I got this 30 gallon as a hand me down from a friend who hasn't used this tank in 15 years, not since he replaced it with a 70 gallon. The strip light that came with it has a 40 watt ballast, and I'm not up to spending another $70-80 to retrofit. I figured it's either a better light with a HOB, or just a canister.

Why must I suffer the curse of watching my fish tank stay empty till I have more cash!!!??? Why???? Estellaaaaaa!!!!!!
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