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Canister filters and aquarium use - with forum

Brief description

If you came here searching for online suppliers of canister filters, simply click this link! The article below explains how canister filters work and contains forum. You're welcome to share your experiences or questions at the bottom of this page!

As words „canister filter“ say, this equipment is used for filtration in aquariums. But why are they good, what are their advantages and disadvantages? Firstly, let me say that this kind of filters are used for both, biological and mechanical filtration. Canister aquarium filters are very robust and powerful, but you should clean them periodically. You should bear in mind that filters which are installed for aquariums with a lot of waste must be cleaned often, because filthiness in the water flow could cause fish diseases. Some sources say that you should clean canister filters once a week, some sources say that once per 5 months is enough. I strongly recommend you to clean it when it’s needed. For example, I've been using internal filters and I clean them if only they don’t aerate the aquariums enough. My external filter is cleaned regularly once every month or once every other month. Generally, any aquarist is able to determine the situation when a filter isn't clean enough. However "cleaning" doesn't mean we're replacing filtration media! By cleaning I meant cleaning only - removing debris, dead plants, fish waste and any pollution that is sucked inside is meant as cleaning. Replacing filtration media in any type of filter is different in every case; Activated carbon should be replaced once a month (canister filters with several filtration chambers may contain more chambers with carbon, thus "once a month" isn't rule), foam can be changed after 1-2 years, bio ceramic rings can be changed in 3-6 months.

A canister filter can’t be placed inside of an aquarium and since it isn’t a hang on tank filter, it should be placed somewhere where people won’t look at. There are usually two tubes which suck and blow the water. Their size varies, but it usually starts from 30 cm (11") x 30 cm (11") x 30 cm (11"). Just for your imagination, you can find some images at the bottom of this article. Let’s quickly go through how these filters work. Firstly, water from a tank enters the filter through the lid. Various filter media in the series of chambers are used in order to clean the water. Imagine, that the largest dirt is being caught at the first chamber, and it goes this way to the smallest dirt in the water. Finally, there is a biological filtration, which means that the water goes through a bacterial colonies medium. When you clean the filter, don’t remove and clean the biological medium, since you could kill all nitrification bacteria colonies.

Fluval 305 external aquarium filter, picture 1

Fluval 305 external aquarium filter, picture 2

Fluval 305 external aquarium filter with cartridges

Generally, a canister filter doesn’t allow to aerate the water, so you should install some hang on tank filter (internal one), or any other equipment which brings oxygen into the tank. However, you can buy parts which allow you to use this filter for aeration too. Anyway, another filter isn’t a bad investment. Any canister filter is usually more expensive than ordinary hang on tank type filters. Some time ago, they offered very silent run and lasted for a long time without being broken down. In my opinion, ordinary hang on tank filters are of outstanding quality these days and two filters I bought last time are very quiet too. The rule is still; the more expensive a filter is, the greater chance that it's quiet and more reliable.

What are the worst things about canister filters? It’s their „unfriendly temperament“ to all fish newborns, no matter if they are plecos or cichlids. This filter will suck them and they will die. Unlike hang on tank filters (internal), which suck the water from the bottom only - this depends on depth of your fish tank - , people use to place tubes which suck the water at the top levels of aquariums, which makes it dangerous to run them during spawning or until newborns grow enough. On the other hand, if you install them wisely, you will be happy with the result. It's a well known fact that sponge filters are better in terms of fish breeding.

Aquarium canister filter, example 1 Aquarium canister filter, example 2 Aquarium canister filter, example 3

Even though I primarily wrote about my experiences with canister filters, I also used the following sources for this article: and for the images.

Read these filters-devoted articles too

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