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Old 02-29-2004, 08:42 PM   #1
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Filtration Questions

Before I ask, here's a little background.

When I kept FW aquariums years ago, I always used a combination of UG filters (w/ PH) and HOB filters. I know that I could be successful with the same arrangement in my new 75 gal. I am just wondering if there is a better method. If there's a way to have cleaner water and healthier fish, I'm interested. To that end, I have been reading everything I can about filtration. There are two types of filtration systems that I am trying to learn more about. One is the cannister and the other is... well I don't know what its called, but it is a wet/dry system that runs inside a smaller tank.

What is that second type of system called?
How does it compare to a cannister system?
How does a cannister filter compare to my previous methods?
Do cannister filters require an additional/external pump?
Will a cannister filter siphon the water out of my aquarium when the power fails?

Thanks for looking.
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:44 PM   #2
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Ugh! Please excuse the itchy trigger finger. I cliked post (several times) and nothing happened.
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Old 02-29-2004, 09:37 PM   #3
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I like a canister myself. I have a few of the hot magnums and a couple of hte magnum 350 and love them. I have very clean water and when I want to really polish it I put the micron filter in it and sometimes some diatom and a few hours later it sparkles.
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:34 PM   #4
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I'm not sure what other type of filter you are referring to, but I go with canisters! Currently we have Fluval and a Via Aqua. We will be getting another Fluval with our 50 gal. Used to have a magnum 350, but it broke in the move and my fiancé decided he liked the valves/baskets/switches better on the Fluval (I research the fish--his job is to make sure the tanks are running!).
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Do canister filters require an additional/external pump?
no
Quote:
Will a canister filter siphon the water out of my aquarium when the power fails?
no, unless you have it on a generator

I just saw another post about an interesting way to filter a larger tank. I'll go find it.
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:37 PM   #5
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TheMadNucleus had an interesting idea in the "150g New Tank" topic. I don't know that it would work for your 75 gal. As I said earlier, I have canisters on all the tanks--including the 80 gal and I think they do a great job.
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:49 PM   #6
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The other type of system you are referring to (I think) is referred to under several different names and they are all related and differ slightly on the specific set-up used. Sop let me throw some names out that are all related and then I'll explain why I like a canister/Sump combined method:

Sump, Wet/Dry, Overflow, Refugium. These are all related to the method of using an overflow box (or overflow plumbing) and a seperate tank under the main tank referred to as a sump. These Sump/Overflow systems can be set-up in a variety of ways (Bio Balls, Carbon, Skimmers(for SW), etc.). This approach mainly came from the SW systems of today and Wet/dry systems (Which are Sumps which Basically contain adrip plate and bio-balls for bio filtering).

I part of this approach is very applicable for FW as well. I posted on another site this basic approach for FW tanks: Use an overflow system to deliver water to a Sump under the main tank (this is only a delivery system to get the water supply for your main filter - I'll explain why this is good in a moment). Then pump that water out of the sump into a Canister system loaded with your favorite media (and include a bio media like Seachem Matrix). Then the return of the canister goes back up to your main tank.

The advantage of this system is that it takes water from the surface of your tank - this is where most of the DOC's reside. Have you ever noticed slime on the surface of FW tanks? This is the protiens and DOCs that we want to feed to our bio-system. Since this is the water that is delivered to the sump and which then flows into the canister - voila - you are bio-filtering where it is needed most. This also frees up the surface area of the tank for increased O2 exchange.

I'm not sure why the overflow approach seems to only be used in SW systems - it is clearly very applicable to FW systems as well. You will never see that ugly film on the top of your water and your bio system will function at it's peak.

Also since you now have a sump - you can put your heater in there as well, and you can use the sump to dose any additives you might want to use.

I am a big adovacte for this type of approach to FW systems and if you have any questions about my explanation please let me know.

Tom
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:50 PM   #7
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Oops - was writing at the same time as you Menagerie

Thx for the reference.
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:54 PM   #8
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No problem--I am impressed by your idea!
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
What is that second type of system called?
What you are referring to is simply called a wet/dry filter, more popular with salt-water tanks, but still can be used in a freshwater setup if you want.

Quote:
How does it compare to a cannister system?
It has a lot more surface area for bacteria colonies, and also wet and dry areas for different types of beneficial bacteria (hence the name "wet/dry"). It usually has a sump, or the tank you were referring to, that is big enough to hold heaters, thermometers, and other peripherals so you won't see them in the tank. On the downside, the pump required to make it all work is noisy, and you may find the setup too expensive for fresh water.

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How does a cannister filter compare to my previous methods?
I don't like ugfs, for the simple fact that I had to clean one once, and it wasn't pretty. I have a small canister filter on my 30 gallon. It replaced my hob filter, and I love it. Not much harder to maintain than a hob, either. If I was to get a bigger tank, I would definitely get a canister filter, both for efficiency and looks.

Quote:
Do cannister filters require an additional/external pump?
No, they don't--everything's built in. Most setups also come with the hoses and everything you need.

Quote:
Will a cannister filter siphon the water out of my aquarium when the power fails?
A canister filter has a water-tight seal, if the seal breaks, you will have a lot of water on your floor. But if the power fails, and the seal is fine, it won't leak.

HTH!
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Old 02-29-2004, 11:03 PM   #10
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DOH! too many people typing at the same time! I said pretty much the same thing that TheMadNucleus said sorry! Cool idea though...I may look into it!
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