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Old 06-15-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
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HOB or canister?

Starting with a 45 gallon tank, to be used for freshwater. Reading all the posts here with appreciation for cycling before adding fish, a good test kit, etc. Thanks for the words, they will be followed as i build this new system.

When looking for a filter for this tank, I found a HOB for $35 and a canister XP1 for $135, both rated for the size tank I have. Given the price difference, this question seems like a no-brainer, yet perhaps there are things I know nothing about. Is the XP1 such a benefit to justify the huge price difference? Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-15-2008, 08:22 PM   #2
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I have a 46 gal myself and I just use a aquaclear HOB, and it works great. I've havent yet had a tank large enough to justify buying a canister filter.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:03 PM   #3
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AquaClear HOB is what I like. The media area is very flexible if you don't want to use unlike some HOB's. I've never used a canister, to much money and I'm very happy with HOB's.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:07 AM   #4
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If you have the money, go for a canister filter. Quiter, easier to maintain, able to hold much more filter media then a HOB, able to install an in-line heater, able to use different attachments, (this could go on forever) ect..

You would need an XP2 for that size tank.
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:26 AM   #5
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Yea i would much rather have a canister filter on my tank. I have a 55 gal with an Aqua Clear 110, Emperor 400, and a XP2. Im selling the Emperor 400 and XP2 to a friend and getting an XP4 but maybee an XP3 to replace them.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:53 AM   #6
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I'd go with the canister. It's more expensive up front but worth it IMO. HOBs are fine but canisters are easier on the eyes and easier to maintain IME.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:45 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I see this is not quite so cut and dry. Several responses are Hang on back, yet more than one states the canister (XP2 I've learned) does a better job and easier to clean, etc.

Will the XP2 go longer between taking it apart to clean? Does it do a better job in maintaining the Hydrates, Hydrites, and Ph overall? These are to be monitored over time of course. What do I get for the extra $100 that will justify the cost over time? The filter medium itself can it be bought in bulk thereby saving money over time?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:53 AM   #8
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I take apart my canister about once a month. It's very easy (easier IMO to clean). With a canister filter you just unhook the hoses (really easy) and carry the entire thing to the sink. The HOB gets a little messier since you have to pull the input tube out of the water and carry it to the sink. I always ended up with a puddle on the floor from water drainage from the HOB. Plus when the water level gets lower on a HOB you hear the splashing. The water has to get really low on a canister before you'd hear water splashing. With a canister all you will see are the input and output tubes. With a HOB you see the entire unit. The AquaClear is a nice filter (it's what I use on my 29 gal) but it's good for small tanks. A 29 gal is the max I'd use a HOB on. Anything larger than that and I'd upgrade.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:18 AM   #9
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Thanks Fishy for the quick reply. Hadn't thought of the size of the medium and ease in cleaning. The XP series has a switch so you don't lose prime when disconnecting, which is important as it sounds (?) I guess.

Taking my time to set up this tank, as I would like it to last a good long time. The canisters last longer in general? How long would the expectation for a HOB to last? I'll have to check prices on the filter medium itself too.

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Old 06-16-2008, 11:07 AM   #10
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I would deff go with an XP2 over any HOB. Aqua Clear has great HOBs but i like cansiter filters alot better. Honestly would prob just spend a few more bucks and get the XP3 incase you decide to upgrade your tank later one. HTeyn you already have enough filtration for a bigger tank, you wont have to do another cycle, and the extra filtration will never hurt an aquarium.
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