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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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Old 06-16-2008, 12:35 PM   #11
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Most (if not all) canisters will have that feature (not losing the prime). Don't buy one that doesn't. It is an excellent idea to research it first (as you are doing) do you don't end up wasting money in the long run.

I think canisters may last you a bit longer in regards to the life of the unit. Don't quote me on that though. I would say they would both last you several years. There are members that have used the same Eheims for 10 + years.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:54 PM   #12
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There are some HOB's out there that last quite a while. I have a Emperor 280 that's still going strong after 9 years and a friend hat an AquaClear that last about 10 years. I'm not really good about keeping mine clean and she was much worse than me at 'proper' upkeep. I'm not sure about other HOB's so they may have been an exception to the rule.

As a general rule the more it costs the better when it comes to filters. I've bought a few used/barely used filters through a club I belong to at very good prices. I got a AquaClear 500 (now called 110) for $20 but it turned ot it's way to big for my needs so it's up for sale. I've seen good deals on other forums and occasionaly Craigslist.
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:50 AM   #13
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I stick with AquaClear filters, easy to maintain, dependable, and more than do the job for a cheaper price. Don't get me wrong, canisters are excellent filters, can't argue with that, but i get the same water quality with my AquaClears at a cheaper price and they are not as much of a headache to clean.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:07 AM   #14
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I've never used canisters, only AquaClear HoB's, but I have a question for all the canister folks out there: do you ever have issues with water aeration? I ask because it seems to me one of the nice benefits of an HoB is that the filter outflow also churns up the water some, which helps oxygen transport. Since a canister doesn't do this, is it "necessary" to use an airstone to oxygenate the water? Or is that simply a non issue?
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnPaul View Post
I've never used canisters, only AquaClear HoB's, but I have a question for all the canister folks out there: do you ever have issues with water aeration? I ask because it seems to me one of the nice benefits of an HoB is that the filter outflow also churns up the water some, which helps oxygen transport. Since a canister doesn't do this, is it "necessary" to use an airstone to oxygenate the water? Or is that simply a non issue?

It all depends on how you want it to operate. If you want surface movement, you can set it to give you more surface movement then any HOB can. If you don't want the surface movement, you can set it up not to give you any.

Unlike a HOB, you can set up the output any way you want.
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:40 PM   #16
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I don't find the canisters a headache to maintain. Quite the opposite in fact. It depends on what you get used to. Every situation and tank is different. Ie: I wouldn't put a canister on my 10 gal but I would never put a hob on my 55.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:58 PM   #17
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On my 55 that i had years ago I used two Aquaclear 300 power filters and an under gravel power filter with 2 402 powerheads I had excellent results this way.
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