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Old 12-06-2005, 12:44 AM   #1
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Filter Question

What is the benifit of canister filters? I used to have one, and cleaning it was a mess, it was big and bulky, and changing media was a pain. Now I replaced my 404 with a cheap Whisper 60, and I have not had any problem with my fish in the transition (its been over a year). Replacement media is $12 for 24 and its simple to fix and clean. Am I missing something?
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:10 AM   #2
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I prefer my canisters over my hobs. Mostly because I don't like the look of the hob. I have a fluval 402 and a rena xp2, and I have to say I have never liked the fluval. It seems like guck builds up faster in the tubes and I don't like the way the media sits inside. I like my xp2 and my favorite was the cascade 1000 (which I don't have any more). I think a hob can be as efficient at cleaning the water as the canister depending on type/size. By far the best hob I have used is my aqua clear. I love the fact that I can pick what media goes in, and I can change out parts of it as needed. I guess it just basically boils down to personal preference.
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:12 AM   #3
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Yeah, Tony, you are missing all the trouble that cannisters are to clean. I have one going, and it is a pain compared to an Aqua Clear HOB. The hoses are a real pain to clean. I won't say they don't have there place, but they are definitely more work, if you keep them properly maintained.
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:25 AM   #4
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I am the complete opposite BillD. I find it easier to maintain my canisters over the hobs. I'm not sure how the Fluvals are setup, but the Cascade line is very simple to operate. They have a carry handle which makes them easy to move around. Basically you pull out on two pieces and pull up on two other pieces. The top comes off and the media is held in baskets with handles that slide out so they can be transported. I don't know how easier it can be. My hob on the other hand I can't stand. If I could find a canister for a 10 gal, then I would definately go that route. Canisters IMO are more efficient and catch more "gunk" than the hobs. I don't have a problem with crystal clear water in the tanks that have the canisters. But the ones with the hobs, I can see cloudy water or small particles floating occassionally. I think it's all just personal preference. I prefer not to see or hear the filter.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:48 AM   #5
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The hoses are a real pain to clean.
Yeah, they are horrible. The whole thing just seems so much more complicated for no good reason. HOBs are smaller, cheaper, and easier to maintain.
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Old 12-06-2005, 06:17 AM   #6
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There are advantages to both canister and HOB power filters depending on the price, configuration, media options, etc. One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is that canister filters allow for more efficient CO2 injection because they don't agitate the water surface as much. I switched from using a Penguin BIO-Wheel 330 HOB to a Filstar xP1 canister during the summer and I noticed immediately that my plant growth took off like crazy (because the plants were better able to get CO2 from the water). I also like the fact that the filter is hidden below the tank in the stand and it is much quieter. At the same time I added the canister filter I switched from two submersible heaters to one inline heater outside the tank. The tank is now less cluttered (aesthetics can make a difference) and water evaporation is down because there are much smaller openings in the hood on top of the tank. HOB filters may be easier to service for some people and cheaper to buy but they aren't as powerful or as efficient IMO. I don't think a canister filter makes much sense for tanks smaller than 30 gallons but I also think that with larger tanks a canister filter will do a better job.
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Old 12-06-2005, 07:44 AM   #7
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The advantages of a cannister filter are many. They are unobtrusive and quiet. Spray bars can be positioned to maximize water movement. Media baskets allow plenty of room for versatility. Components such CO2 diffusers and UV sterilizers can be easily plumbed into them.

The advantage of an HOB filter is one. Ease of maintenance. I use HOBs on all my discus and grow out tanks. Cannisters on all my planted tanks.

I must sound like a broken record but using a sponge prefilter keeps hoses clean, reduces maintenance, and extends the life of a cannister filter. It's much easier to rinse a sponge than open up the cannister.
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BrianNY
I must sound like a broken record but using a sponge prefilter keeps hoses clean, reduces maintenance, and extends the life of a cannister filter. It's much easier to rinse a sponge than open up the cannister.
I haven't heard you say this yet, great idea. I like the canister because I feel like it requires maintenance less often. Maybe this is just due to the fact there there is a LOT more media in my oddyssea CFS4 than in my AC300, but i definitely prefer the canister in pretty much every respect!
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:59 AM   #9
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For larger tanks, you just can't beat a canister on efficiency. Plus all the goodies like in-line heaters, to reduce clutter in the tank.

And for planted tanks, big HOB's just aren't an option because they outgas too much CO2, unless you modify the return 'ramp'.

Plus, with my 75, I'd need two AC500 HOB's to have enough mechanical filtration for the cichlids, where as my XP3 has more mechanical filtration than two 500's, and buying online during a sale, cost less.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:51 PM   #10
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I must sound like a broken record but using a sponge prefilter keeps hoses clean, reduces maintenance, and extends the life of a cannister filter. It's much easier to rinse a sponge than open up the cannister.
How is it that I ALWAYS forget about this?? Every time someone mentions a prefilter I go "OH yea!! thats a great idea!!" I need to make myself a note or something.
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