Should I get a canister filter

djtuzik

New member
Currently have a 55g with some corals, RO BH-100 skimmer and GFO reactor
Both skimmer and GFO sponges get super dirty with debris. I have live rock, cole tang, blenny, clown and cardinal. All small. A friend suggested a canister filter
 

fishgate

Active member
Most will say not to use one due to its ability to create nitrates. But as long as you thoroughly clean it weekly. I was always concerned that a canister filter would also suck up pods too.
 

djtuzik

New member
Most will say not to use one due to its ability to create nitrates. But as long as you thoroughly clean it weekly. I was always concerned that a canister filter would also suck up pods too.

I don't understand this argument. Nitrates come from detrius but if not in the filter, they are still in the tank. Am I missing something?
 

soulpatch

New member
that is why he said constant cleaning. In the tank you have some livestock that will eat it like snails and such which help. The sand bed can also handle it to an extent. Then you have skimmers and more.

In a canister filter there is nothing and hence it has to be constantly cleaned. Nothing wrong with that but you have to be ready for the upkeep of the filter as well as continual replacement of the filter.

For example I am running poly floss in my AIO to take up extra food and other items. I swap it out a few times a week. If I had a canister I would get tired of cleaning it rather quickly.

In a regular sump you could run filter socks so long as you cleaned them constantly as well. Everything needs cleaning but the ease of doing it changes between filter types.
 

billdogg

Active member
If you want to use a canister filter, there is nothing wrong with that. I used one on my 60g cube for the entire 22 years it was running. I found that it was best used as a place to run carbon and keep a little spare LR rubble. The (already mentioned) downside is the need for cleaning, which does become a chore. If it is a PIA, you will not want to do it as often as you should.

If your primary use is as a detritus remover, either filter socks in the sump or even a HOB filter (I used a Marineland Emperor on the 60) is the way to go.

hth

Oh - and after the first 15 or so years of regular cleanings (every 2 weeks), I switched to every 6 - 8 weeks with no noticable difference in parameters - Nitrates might have gone up a bit, but because it was primarily a soft coral and zoanthid/palythoa tank, the dirtier water was a bonus.
 

Wryknow

New member
Normally the recommendation is not to use cannister filters because they can add a lot of nitrates and the biological filtration is redundnat when you have live rock. I've used them succesfully in the past though but I change the media a bit and used a small one as a carbon and GFO reactor and fine mechanical filtration. As has been pointed out, it will release a fair amount of nitrates if you allow detrius to accumulate (i.e. don't clean it frequently) but that's not going to be a concern for a FOWLR tank.
 

3FordFamily

In Memoriam
Mine constantly needed cleaning that I was often too lazy to do.

I also made a stupid decision when it was so clogged that it stopped returning water to put the return side in to my sump (while it was taking water from top). It fixed the issue temporarily so it continued to work.

The issue was when the power went out --- no check valve in the Rena, so it continued to take water from the top and dump it in to my sump (even with power out because of this thing called gravity). Destroyed my main living room, kitchen, and finished basement underneath.

So although my issue was largely stupidity, I want as little equipment as possible! lol
 

Kyle918

New member
I don't understand this argument. Nitrates come from detrius but if not in the filter, they are still in the tank. Am I missing something?

Nitrates technically come from oxidized nitrites. Taking a look at the nitrogen cycle, ammonia is oxidized into nitrite, then nitrite is oxidized into nitrate. The bacteria that do this are aerobic. To reduce nitrate into nitrogen gas requies another bacteria that are anoxic.

Canister filters can become nitrate factories because of this. In other words, detritus is caught by the filter, broken down and oxidezed to nitrate but since the canister contains air, no bacteria exists in it to reduce the nitrates to nitrogen gas so in essense it is only adding nitrates to the system, especially if not cleaned regularly.

When you say the protein skimmer gets super dirty, isn't that the point?? It means it is working well and pulling good, dark skimmate out of the water column. Usually people have to empty the cup every other day or so.
 
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