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Old 01-17-2006, 03:25 AM   #11
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The only draw back is the price of maintaing a canister filter, I was told by the same people you would have to replace all the media you use every two weeks, and that seems a little pricey to me......
Wow, that salesman needs a sign...

You can use a cannister filter on a 10 gallon, your just going to want to restrict the flow to keep from blowing your fish around in a tornado. A good cannister filter will come with valves for disconnecting it during maintenece, they can be used to slow down the current too. Usually it's better to deflect the output though so your not putting exess strain on the pump, it just depends on the type of output you have.

You can also wash the filter media with tank water through a siphon hose and most likely not have to replace it for years if ever.
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Old 01-17-2006, 03:31 AM   #12
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wait wait wait then why is carbon in all the HOB filter cartridges? so lets say i buy some media bags and decided to use them in my HOb filter, what would i need to put in them media wise besides zeolite to remove the ammonia and maybe some bio balls?
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Old 01-17-2006, 03:32 AM   #13
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Also, some cannisters come with both a power output as well as a spraybar. A spraybar is great for reducing the amount of flow in any one spot, spreads it over a wider area, which may also help in a smaller tank.
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Old 01-17-2006, 03:57 AM   #14
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what would i need to put in them media wise besides zeolite to remove the ammonia and maybe some bio balls?
A cycled tank won't have any ammonia to remove. The bio-balls collect bacteria that converts the ammonia to nitrite, then to nitrate. Then you just do the water changes to keep the nitrate down, once a week or two weeks depending on how many fish you have. The only thing you need in your filter is floss/sponge to remove particles, and the bio-balls to hold your bacteria if the floss gets too clogged or needs to be cleaned heavily enough to kill the bacteria.

The coal is used when you medicate the tank and want to remove the meds, or if you have tannins in the water from an un-cured piece of driftwood. Ammonia and nitrite should be removed by the bacteria, doing it any other way is expensive (bacteria are free) and usually prone to failure at some point.
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by tropicfishman
wait wait wait then why is carbon in all the HOB filter cartridges? so lets say i buy some media bags and decided to use them in my HOb filter, what would i need to put in them media wise besides zeolite to remove the ammonia and maybe some bio balls?
Not all HOB's use carbon. You can get cartriges with no carbon. It's not really necessary.

As for the ammonia, that's what the bio-media does, eliminates ammonia. The ceramic rings, lava media, etc, gets tons of bacteria in the pores, and as water passes through, the bacteria instantly eliminates the ammonia, turning it into Nitrite. Then when that nitrite goes by the 2nd bacteria, it is converted instantly to nitrate. So there's no need for zeolite, etc. And if you use zeolite during cycling, it can prolong cycling the tank, as it absorbs the ammonia, causing the bacteria not to grow as fast, as there's less food for them to grow to completely cycle your tank. Once completely cycled, the gravel and the bio-media do all the work for you, not the carbon or zeolite.
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:35 AM   #16
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Media to use are ceramic rings or cylinders, lava granules, bioballs, biostars, floss, sponges. All are excellent for removing ammonia and nitrites. The ceramic rings and cylinders, lava granules, and bioballs generally never need replacing. The sponges and floss only need rinsing in old tank water and placed back in, and require occasional replacing. The only time you need to replace them is when they start falling apart, which can be 3-10 years, depending on the quality of the sponge or floss. A friend is going on 6 years on the same sponge, and looks to be in good enough condition for another 2 or 3 years possibly.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:04 AM   #17
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Filter floss needs to be changed everytime maintenance is done on the canister. But if you just use batting from Wal-Mart, you'll save a TON of money. It's something like $2 for a bag and it'll last you a year or so. The floss polishes the water and keeps small particles from entering the tank. If using ceramic rings, they don't ever get replaced unless they somehow start to disinigrate. I am going on 14 months with the same ceramic rings.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:06 AM   #18
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Basically they tell you to use carbon because then you will replace it every 2 weeks. It becomes inactive quickly and for it to do it's "carbon thing" it would have to be replaced and its money in their pocket.
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Old 01-17-2006, 10:59 AM   #19
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I would suggest getting a small Penguin or Aquaclear HOB for your 10 gal, and deal with the cannister filter when you actually get the bigger tank. These HOBs cost $18 - $30 depending on where you buy. Online stores like Big Als are usually 60% of the lfs price.

The Penguin cartridges are a fibrous pad melted onto a slotted plastic tray filled with carbon. I don't concern myself at all with the carbon unless I'm dosing meds - it's just there and provides more space for good bacteria to grow. I wipe the crud off the pad every other week, and replace the cartridge when the pad wears thin and starts falling apart. I get about three months of use out of each cartridge - a far cry from the monthly replacement schedule recommended by the manufacturer. Remember, they make their money by selling cartridges!

I don't own any Aquaclears myself, but I've heard that they are superior to all other HOBs. They have a sponge and a big media basket that you can fill with whatever YOU want and need.

Cannister filters are the ultimate in low maintenance. I open my cannister filter every six months, and dunk the media baskets gently in a bucket of tank water to remove crud. Then I hose out the cannister itself, rinse off the coarse pad under running water, and replace the fine pad. Once a year, I replace about a third of my biological substrate because its small pores do become clogged with fine debris over time.

But as I said, I'd hold off on getting a cannister until you get your bigger tank.
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