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Old 09-20-2006, 02:33 AM   #1
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Canister filter vs. HOB filter

what are the pros and cons vs. a hob filter

i have a 29g tank with a marineland 75gallon filter.

how well woudl a canister filter hold up to it, and how does a canister filter provide biological filtration
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Old 09-20-2006, 02:43 AM   #2
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canister is by far better than a HOB.

From what I have heard, the good canister filters hold up for longer than most HOB's. Also, they have much more foam/filter floss in them which provides a lot more surface area for bacteria to grow.

I recently got an XP1 for my 20 gallon and it has atleast 3x the amount of surface area my old tetratec had in it. Plus it is quieter and allows me to hook up my inline co2 reactor without the need of a second pump. I much prefer not having something huge hanging on the back of the tank as well.

I just got it going so I can't comment on how well it is really cleaning the tank yet, but I have heard from just about everyone that a canister does much better than a HOB.
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:25 AM   #3
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canisters hold more mechanical filters and have more room for biological filtration like bio rings or lava rock and filter floss. they really polish water better. mine is almost silent, cant here it unless im the only person home and have the tv off. you can also install an in line heater which keeps your tank free of eye sores and gives a more natural look. my in line heater doesnt let the water very by even a half degree. so you make the choice.
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:49 AM   #4
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If it can be squeezed into a budget,canister is the way to go, for all the above mentioned reasons....with maybe the one exception being more biofiltration imo.The bacteria is biolaod dependent,not so much "surface dependent" imo and a sufficient amount will develope regardless of filter choice.

I have the xp3 and love it.
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Old 09-21-2006, 10:42 AM   #5
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If you want the most quiet option, definitely go with the canister. It also allows you to set our tank up closer to the wall, as you don't have anything hanging off the back of the tank, plus I agree with everything else that was mentioned. The only con IMO is price, but I still think it's worth it. I have a Fluval 204 and a Rena Filstar XP1 and I really like them both. I also use Emperor HOBs on other tanks, but I prefer the canisters and will replace the HOBs when I can afford it. HTH
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SCFatz
with maybe the one exception being more biofiltration imo.The bacteria is biolaod dependent,not so much "surface dependent" imo and a sufficient amount will develope regardless of filter choice.
The more surface area you have the more space for bacteria to grow. You can support a higher bioload with a canister than a HOB. Granted if you are keeping a good size ratio to your tank (especially smaller tanks) a HOB provides more than enough surface area for bacteria to grow.

Plus a good chunk grows on the substrate and plants/rocks....But the fact remains! more space in a canister for more bacteria!
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:54 PM   #7
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I think more important than the surface area, because I agree with the sentiment that there is already a very large amount of surface area for bacteria to grow, is the not often mentioned benefit of the volume of the filter. Canisters hold a not insignificant volume of water. Its a great way to add that much more water to your tank for the purpose of diluting waste. I really think that's one of its biggest benefits. I don't know how many gallons of water are in the different models but for a smaller tank they could easily increase your water volume by at least 25%
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:02 PM   #8
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Yes, there is more surface area on which bacteria can grow, but if your tank is stocked at an appropriate level, then a decent sized HOB will also provide more than enough surface area. At reasonable stocking levels, I agree with scfatz that this really wouldn't be a huge consideration for me either.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:07 PM   #9
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I know some of the newer canisters are easier to deal with, but I find an HOB easier to clean than a canister. With an HOB you don't have to worry about hoses coming loose and getting water all over the floor...
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:15 PM   #10
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cannister all the way. i have run hob filters on all my tanks and they are great and do a good job but the fact is that a cannister is amazing and does a spectacular job. i had a penguin 350b on my 55 gal and it was filtering the tank fine. but the splashing and noise that came from it was unbarable. i put an XP3 on it and i noticed my water clarity increase and happier fish. the cannister output can be put underwater which creats a useable current for the fish to play in. my cichlids love fighting against the current of the out put. it also help to stir the crap up better and keep the problem areas on your tank where stuff settles clean. so u can look at it this way... u can have a hob filter that does a good job or you can have a cannister filter that does an amazing job. i am currently designing and going to buld my own cannister filter. hopefully for under 25 bucks.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:21 PM   #11
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For a CO2 injected (DIY or pressurized) planted tank specifically a canister is the best way to go. I do like the ease of cleaning my Aquaclear HOB for my 20 gallon. I think over a 29gallon its a no brainer decision, but under 30 and its a toss up when $$$ is a factor.

That being said, I would love to have a canister instead of my HOB.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:33 PM   #12
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While a canister filter may do a better job, I really like hang on back type filters. I generally try to purchase one double the gallon rating for my aquarium, although I am not very good at math, and if the gallon size is not on there, I get confused.

The larger filter allows me to increase the media in it.
I also like them because I can use the level of the water to increase oxygen rather than an air pump. And you simply cannot beat the value. I do not use the filter cartridges that come with them, and use my own recipe of filter media, generally floss, ceramic media and additives such as carbon or zeolite if needed. I really like the AquaClear brand filters.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:36 PM   #13
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Well if you're not keeping a planted tank with CO2 then there's certainly nothing wrong with a HOB. Honestly even with the standard media they're usually going to do a fine job of filtering.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Well if you're not keeping a planted tank with CO2 then there's certainly nothing wrong with a HOB. Honestly even with the standard media they're usually going to do a fine job of filtering.
I have a 20 gallon moderately/heavily planted tank with the AC50 filter, and while I would prefer a canister, it gets the job done.
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:40 AM   #15
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Canister filters have their good points, but there are more parts to replace, so they tend to cost more both up-front and long-term. I have a fluval 304, and several Aquaclear hob's, on different tanks. It depends mainly on what's best suited to your needs. I heard Eheim has come out with a new computer-controlled model, with a huge pric tag. It shuts off automatically if something clogs the impeller. The problem is, it doesn't restart after the impeller is cleared. I'd much rather have 2 much cheaper hob's. If one jams up, the other is still running, keeping the water circulated (and the fish alive).
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