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Old 10-08-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
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External Canister for my 30 gallon reef.

Hey guys, just a quick question about external canister filters,

How much flow through my external canister should i have for my 30 gallon reef tank, i am buying one within the week. There is an option of 400gph, or a 580gph filter, both come with a UV filter and filter media.

I am thinking, is it possible to have too much flow coming out of a filter for a smaller tank such as a 30 gallon. Thanks a lot, i need help now before purchasing.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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If they both have the same size UV I'd go for the 400gph.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CorallineAlgae
If they both have the same size UV I'd go for the 400gph.
Ohkayy awesome, thanks a lot, yeh I thought the big one might had been too much, but then I've also heard people say the bigger the better cause you might always upgrade tanks in the future and it wi save money. .
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bigalwoo

Ohkayy awesome, thanks a lot, yeh I thought the big one might had been too much, but then I've also heard people say the bigger the better cause you might always upgrade tanks in the future and it wi save money. .
That's true but for a saltwater tank you want live rock to carry most or all of the biological load and canisters are mostly used for mechanical and chemical filtration. You don't need a massive canister to do that. Plus, UV sterilizers work better with less flow than with more. The faster that water moves through them the less effective they work. The 400gph is plenty IMHO.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:26 AM   #5
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Awesome thanks again, I will be getting that one than, just not looking forward to high maintenance of the canister haha.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Well, you don't actually need it. I had a 30 gallon reef for about 12 years without a canister filter. I know lots of people who do great with only a CPR backpack or some combination of a small HOB filter and a skimmer. You could also go with a skimmer and a reactor, either for carbon or GFO. If you want to use a canister you certainly can, though. My system had a sump but there are lots of ways to do it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CorallineAlgae
Well, you don't actually need it. I had a 30 gallon reef for about 12 years without a canister filter. I know lots of people who do great with only a CPR backpack or some combination of a small HOB filter and a skimmer. You could also go with a skimmer and a reactor, either for carbon or GFO. If you want to use a canister you certainly can, though. My system had a sump but there are lots of ways to do it.
What do reactors actually do, I have heard of them numerously but thought that seeing as my canister already had bio balls, carbon, uv and other stuff it was already adding carbon? I also was told that having the water run out of the tank and then circulate back is a good part of water movement/circulation.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bigalwoo

What do reactors actually do, I have heard of them numerously but thought that seeing as my canister already had bio balls, carbon, uv and other stuff it was already adding carbon? I also was told that having the water run out of the tank and then circulate back is a good part of water movement/circulation.
That's all true. I was just suggesting a skimmer filtration approach. If you would decide on a skimmer then a reactor would be a good addition for carbon or GFO. You can have a canister for mechanical, chemical and biological filtration though most people use them for freshwater tanks. Live rock and sand are usually used in most reefs for all of the biological filtration. Reactors are commonly used for chemical, and protein skimmers are considered the most important part of reef filtration. You can easily replace a reactor with a canister for the chemical filtration but nothing can replace a skimmer. Canisters need to be cleaned out very often in saltwater reefs and are a bit of work. That's the main drawback to using them in saltwater.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:08 PM   #9
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That's all true. I was just suggesting a skimmer filtration approach. If you would decide on a skimmer then a reactor would be a good addition for carbon or GFO. You can have a canister for mechanical, chemical and biological filtration though most people use them for freshwater tanks. Live rock and sand are usually used in most reefs for all of the biological filtration. Reactors are commonly used for chemical, and protein skimmers are considered the most important part of reef filtration. You can easily replace a reactor with a canister for the chemical filtration but nothing can replace a skimmer. Canisters need to be cleaned out very often in saltwater reefs and are a bit of work. That's the main drawback to using them in saltwater.
Yes I have an external skimmer on its way I bought online, it's pumps 380gph, do you think I should add this with the canister or lean towards the reactor, seeing as a sump is not an option. Thanks
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bigalwoo

Yes I have an external skimmer on its way I bought online, it's pumps 380gph, do you think I should add this with the canister or lean towards the reactor, seeing as a sump is not an option. Thanks
I think you'll have a great system with the canister and skimmer combo. A reactor can't do half of what the canister can do. If you have both it'll be more than adequate. You don't need a sump to have an amazing reef and this is from a guy who loves loves loves refugiums. They're great but not essential.
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