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Old 08-13-2008, 02:45 PM   #1
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New at this Canister Thing.

Hi guys! I need to know a little about canisters, I am currently looking at fluvals to filter out a 75 gallon tank. I am used to using HOBs and I have never experience with a canister is it more maintenance, if possible I would like to have two filters running on a 75 to 100 gallon tank one possibly canister and another power. How does that sound? Do canisters have good biological filtration any flaws I need to know, Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:31 PM   #2
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Canisters are great. I switched from an AquaClear 70 to a Filstar XP3 on my 55 and I love it. The setup takes a little longer than with a HOB but once it's set up (which isn't difficult) they are just as easy to maintain. I am not familiar with the Fluvals but my XP3 has loads of space for whatever sort of filter media I would want to put in there. I have it on a heavily planted tank so I just have some ceramic biomedia in there for biological filtration but with the plants I don't need much anyway. As a bonus they are much quieter than the HOBs and no waterfall sound if the tank level gets low.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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As for HOBs I know you have to change out the carbon, is it different for a canister, is there any plumbing or certain kinds of cleaning you have to do? What about when the power goes out?
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:53 PM   #4
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I don't run carbon in my fluvial 304 or my fluvial FX5. I like to run purigen and LR rubble (LR rubble provides more bio filtration).
When I got my filters, I took out the foam sponges (causes lots o'nitrAtes) and added LR rubble.
When you clean the filter (which is pretty simple...well, maybe not the first time or two...I really made a mess, but am much better now), make sure you rinse your ceramic rings/LR rubble/foam in old SW from your PWCs, to save the beneficial bacteria.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
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Not sure if you're planning on using the canister on a FW or SW tank. Roka's comments about filter media are great but pertain mostly to SW.

If you use carbon yes you do have to change it out periodically same as you would with any other filter. Same goes for cleaning/replacing foam pads etc. I find mine is just as easy to clean as the HOB (if not easier, it's just bigger). Most modern canisters have a quick disconnect that lets you leave most of the plumbing attached to the tank and bring the filter to the sink. Once a year or so it would probably be a good idea to disassemble everything and clean out the tubing, but again, same would go for a HOB.

As far as power outages, well, nothing much happens. The new filters don't lose prime, and they start right back up again, usually with much less moaning and groaning than the HOBs. My power went out the other morning and the only way I knew it came back on was the tank lights, my two XPs came back on without a sound.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:53 PM   #6
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So with that in mind would it be ideal to run a canister and a HOB in the same tank for a FW? Is that Xp5 a Rena? Thanks for the LR input Rok! You Too Newfound, I appreciate this info. I know canisters are expensive I just wanted to make sure they were worth it, I am looking at fluval or Rena, both with great things, but should I get one that runs high gph for a 75 gal. FW tank? Do ya'll know any good models?
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:19 PM   #7
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you can get Fluval 404's new and cheap on Ebay. I just picked up a 304 for my 55G. Some dont care for this brand, others like the Rena Filstars like xp3-4 on a 75G or an Eheim Clasic cnister. If your using a HOB also then you could get away with a smaler filter but most would run both at all times and many do as a backup
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:44 PM   #8
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Here is a good Deal on a Fluval 404 NIB on Ebay...
Hagen Fluval 404 Aquarium Filter NIB! VS THE FLUVAL 405 - eBay (item 380054760200 end time Aug-15-08 10:10:10 PDT)

Or if you want to update you can get a Fluval 305 for the Same price as a Fluval 405 @ $149 with shipping..... Look at this Ebay listing on the Fluval 405....
NEW FLUVAL 405 AQUARIUM CANISTER FILTER UP TO 340 GPH - eBay (item 120293531271 end time Aug-14-08 13:04:23 PDT)

Both 404 and 405 are great canister Fliters as I just recently Purchase a 405 just to have the updated model but that JMO.... You can pick and choose which one you want to do and what's more suitiable for your tank.... Good Luck...
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:46 PM   #9
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Nice catch Newfound! You can run purigen in both FW and SW...LR rubble, not so much in FW. LOL!
Speed, how much did you pay for the 304?
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:08 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info, now that I have that in mind which one should I try first a fluval or a rena? Are they both about the same on maintenance, I am on a budget I do not want to go over 200 bucks. Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:19 PM   #11
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They both have their fans. Both are good filters. Online (Foster & Smith) the XP3 is $169 and has a max flow rate of 350 gph. The Fluval 305 (260 gph, up to 70g) is $149 but the Fluval 405 is rated to 100 gallons (340 gph) but is $199. I bought an XP3 for my 55 with the intention of upgrading to a 75 later on. The XP3 gets you the gallons per hour of the Fluval 405 but is $30 less.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:58 PM   #12
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Speed, how much did you pay for the 304?
I Got it from Ebay for $67 shipped to my house. I think the 404 is $85 shipped.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:56 PM   #13
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Thanks for the input guys, I just checked out that ebay site for fluval 405 for only 80 bucks plus shipping I think I might try it out, but does anyone have experience with the Fluval 404 is it user friendly? Thanks Again!
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:21 AM   #14
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I think the Fluvals are good filters. Its more like a 50/50 with them now as some people that used them had issues, then the Rena Filstar's were cheap and a good deal but they have since gotten more expensive.

The Eheim are highly recommended by almost everyone but more $$$

On the Fluval's the replacement parts are available but they change many things on the same model filters over the years so they are all pretty much a little different as far as parts. Also watch the plastic handle/clamp/locks as people tend to break them(they are replaceable).

So far my 304 is very nice, quiet, flows well and a great deal. Although I'm a noob so I dont have much experience.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:26 AM   #15
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Well Cheesehead whichever Fluval you go with would be a good one they are basically great for the money.... I think they all work the same just different brand name....
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:09 AM   #16
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Thanks Tank, one more thing! I've thinking about buying a fluval from e-bay and this lady said it comes with everything except hosing and fitting, it is not supposed to come with that right? Or is that why the price is under $100 for a 405? I hope its a good deal because those run up to about $200.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:13 AM   #17
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A canister in a FW would be better then the HOB but i would use both. Its the amount of stock you have that helps with carbon life. Low stock and good carbon might mean 2 or 3 months. Lots of stock and lower carbon might mean monthly or even bi monthly. I think you should be able to tell from your water readings. Just keep the ammonia level as low as possible.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:37 AM   #18
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Thanks Tank, one more thing! I've thinking about buying a fluval from e-bay and this lady said it comes with everything except hosing and fitting, it is not supposed to come with that right? Or is that why the price is under $100 for a 405? I hope its a good deal because those run up to about $200.
The Fluval's come with everything AFAIK, except maybe enough media to fill the filter(all hoses and fittings), thats one thing the Eheims are supposed to come with(enough media to fill the baskets). Like mine has 3 baskets. It came with carbon and some ceramic noodles. So that would fill 2 baskets, but I dont use carbon like many others. So I bought some 100% polyester batting(pillow stuffing) for the top tray, used the noodles in the 2nd tray and going to put some bioballs in the 1st tray(I purchased but they are on back order).
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:43 AM   #19
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Which Fluval you want? the 404 or the 405?
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:11 AM   #20
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I agree with Speed, that unit should come with the hoses, fittings, ceramic rings, and I think a bag of carbon (at least the 304 did).
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