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TOPIC: Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why?

Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 5 days ago #71681

  • Jessie
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Hey All!

I'm looking for some general guidance on filters mainly...I've had some recommendations, but am hoping to get more of a broad view - what are people's favorites, what features/aspects make them your favorite, even what brands/specific models you'd suggest avoiding. Right now I've got a breeding pair of oscars who are my main concern in a 125 gallon which I plan to upgrade as soon as I'm able (seems everything in our house cascades, so when they get their next tank upgrade my convict and plecco will get the 125, then the angels will get the 55, etc. so seems smartest to focus on the biggest and let the rest flow down).

Personally I love the filstar canisters - I find them to be super easy for maintenance with the quick disconnect for the hoses, and even the biggest isn't so huge and heavy that I have any trouble carting it around. I'm really tempted to just stick with those as all my tanks currently run on them, so over time I've also been as a by product building up spare parts, and there's something super handy and reassuring knowing it the motor dies on one I've got another ready to swap in. But I've also heard what I really NEED is a Fluval FX6, so I've been keeping an eye out for good deals on those as well as Filstar XP-XLs.

Any highlights or complaints about either, or other specific models you think are the godsend we've all been looking for? Lol you guys changed my life leading me to the python - hoping for more tools I never thought to look for that'll take my water puppies lives to the next level. I love Eheim as a brand as well and have always had great luck with them and gotten awesome customer service, but just searching around on Amazon I'm not finding much with the kind of gph one would be looking at with the FX6.

I'm not stuck on just canisters, but HOBs aren't really feasible for that tank for a number of reasons, but I've seen other submersible filters that may make good additions, so suggest away!

Also, what kinds of filter media do you most swear by?

Lastly - upgrading tanks...I was planning to just keep an eye out for a good looking 180 gallon, but more and more as I read reviews of the kinds I could order in at the various pet stores around here the more nervous I'm getting. That's a LOT of water and I keep seeing reviews about tanks bursting or leaks starting after the first year, and frankly I don't really care that in most of those situations the manufacturer replaced the tank - still would end up likely with dead fish that've been my buddies for years and a lot of water damage in my living room. This has been making me lean toward acrylic. What are your thoughts? Is bursting really pretty unlikely and those just happen to be the folks who bother posting a review? The thing with acrylic too would be that it'd be a much longer term goal when looking at the price tags on most, unless I get lucky and find a nice used one on eBay within a days drive, so I'm not sure if it's an issue I should be worried enough to put off the tank upgrade until I could go acrylic and in the meantime just focus on continuing to upgrade filtration, or if I'm more likely being paranoid and a generic 180 from Petsmart or someplace should be fine and that extra space would be a bigger boost to their quality of life right now than more filtration?

What's your IDEAL system to shoot for when considering two adult oscars? Love to hear everybody's thoughts!
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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 5 days ago #71682

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Welcome to the forum. :)

I've only got a limited amount of experience with canisters considering the range of brands out there. My go to suggestions is the Marineland C-series. I think that I own 4 Marineland C-360's and love them. They are built well and their cartridge design allows for little to no bypass for max filtration efficiency. They do have a slight tendancy to grab air after a year or so - so be sure to use mineral oil on the gasket during maintenance. That will keep it flexible and a lot less prone to getting hard and thus leaking air. Mostly I think its due to lack of routine maintenance resulting in the motor over heating, but I could be a bit biased. I've only had issues with one of my 4.

Media - I prefer the marinepur block, or spheres. Back in the day Kmuda did some research on the square inches that a single sphere provides and compared it to a bunch of competitors and I believe this brand shattered the competition. That was several years ago though and there may be some new stuff on the market.

I've never had a breeding pair of O's, nor a 180g tank so that territory will be for you to explain to me. As far as tank busting - I think if you look hard enough you can find a story of a tank busting at every single size. Are 180's more prone to issues than 125's? Probably not, but I'm just speculating. I personally would go glass and not think on it too much. I think that those cases are pretty rare or a result of poor planning or just plain stupidity.
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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 5 days ago #71683

  • FreshyFesh
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I like a combination of Aquaclear 110 hang-on-backs, with canisters. You could even throw a few sponge bubbler filters in the mix if you've already got air lines in the tank.

In terms of canisters, I only have experience with the Marineland C-360 and Sunsun. Love them both. I refuse to pay huge dollars for one because none of them are made the way they used to be IMO. If I were in the market for another large canister, it would likely be a Sunsun 304B or larger if possible.

On the other hand, I've always heard good things with Rena/Filstar canisters. If cost is no issue, stick with'em!

For media in my canisters, I like sponge for mechanical and use various bio medias, including Seachem matrix, ceramic rings, plastic pot scrubbers, etc.
75g a tiger oscar and a green severum
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55g goldfish tank
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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 5 days ago #71684

  • Northstar5
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If serious about jumping to a 180, then absolutely get an FX6. I have a couple, several older FX5's and a newer FX4. No issues with any, ever. I also have about a dozen or so Filstars. Old Renas and newer API models. My personal favorites. My oldest is an xp4 from 2002. Still runs perfect. I have an xp3 from 2006. Same reliability. I have 2 180g tanks. One has an FX5, XP4 and 3 AC110 hobs. The other has an FX6, FX4 and 3 AC110's. A single FX and 2 AC's will handle either tank, but I am a filter nut, own that many, so I use them. The Aquaclears take a lot of mechanical strain from the canisters, and for me, its a chore to lug and clean big FX's. The FX4 with 2 baskets instead of 3 isn't so bad. As for tanks, I have been a Marineland user for a very long time. I have 10 of them. Wouldn't buy a new one. Reputation has gone for a big dump. All BigAls here in Ontario are now carrying Seapora, the new kid on the block. Too many Marineland returns from leaks. If you could find a good used ML 180 from 2014 or back, then yes I recommend. Filter media I use Seachem Matrix or Fluval Biomax. When you consider that an FX6 holds 9lbs of media, good quality is good enough.
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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 4 days ago #71686

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Nothing wrong with going for an FX6. I still would depend on a new build to go a different way and go internal.

1: No Chance for leaks or floodings by hose or cans
2: Easy to maintain as a open System
3: Energy efficent
4: Affordable and easy to install for anybody.

A filter with 60 cm hight 15 cm deep and 60 in hight will give you around 15G of filter volume at best seperated in 3 Chambers. First for mechanical second bio and 3 for pump and heater and maybe for some extra bio.

You can switch to any pump you want and you are flexible on flow rate. If you want the Output of an FX6 what is no problem at all you arcive this with line 40% of the wattage of an actual FX.


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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 2 days ago #71697

  • JAJameson2010
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A totally different perspective, I will never buy another canister filter ever again. I will also never buy a Marineland product ever again.

I had the canister filters on my two 90 gallon tanks.

I've had 4 Marineland 360s die in the last 5 years. 1 was a warranty replacement. All cracked motor heads according to the dreaded clicking sound and their staff over the phone. Waste of money! After the 3rd one died, I rushed out and bought a super cheap SunSun 302, since I felt the tank had too heavy of a bioload for sponge filters. It actually seems to be working better than the Marineland 360! How long it will live will be interesting to find out. The 4th 360 died Saturday night, so it's still very fresh and I'm bitter! I'm not wasting my breath on the phone with them any longer.

I'm only interested in air driven filtration right now. Seems a whole lot more reliable and affordable! One the SunSun dies, That tank will be moved over only using a couple simple sponge filters.

Jessica
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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 2 days ago #71701

  • FreshyFesh
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^ I hear you.

I've got 2 Sunsun 302s in service. One for almost 5yrs now and one for a bit over a year. They are cheap enough @ ~$44 shipped to keep a whole unit for spare parts.

I'm with you on simple air lines and sponge filters too. Nothing wrong with going that way too.
75g a tiger oscar and a green severum
55g community tank with plants
55g goldfish tank
29g community tank with plants
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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 1 day ago #71703

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FreshyFesh wrote:
^ I hear you.

I've got 2 Sunsun 302s in service. One for almost 5yrs now and one for a bit over a year. They are cheap enough @ ~$44 shipped to keep a whole unit for spare parts.

I'm with you on simple air lines and sponge filters too. Nothing wrong with going that way too.

Maybe that Sunsun will last forever then! LOL I've yet to have a sponge fail on me. Air pumps are easy enough to have tons on hand in case of failure.

Jessica
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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 1 day ago #71704

  • toom
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You have to admit that you don't use regular Sponge filtration but HMFs Jessy ;)
That is a big difference bit for an 180 or bigger with big Fish the 3 Chamber internal filter would be the bigger and more effective alternative.

Like said before. It has so many advantages and if you cover it propperly you don't even notice it.
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Canister filters and aquarium types - favs & why? 5 months 1 day ago #71705

  • JAJameson2010
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I'm actually using regular sponges. I was having baby fish and shrimp getting behind the mats and getting sucked up the drain tube. Then they were getting stuck between the sponge and glass and were dying. Maybe I needed stiffer sponge mats? I was jumping into the giant task of lets just silicone the actual sponge to the glass, but then it was just easier to move to the simple sponges. Breaking down all the tanks with the fry and itty bitty shrimp was just too daunting! LOL So far it's going alright. I have some wide pore sponges and they haven't clogged yet. Worst case scenario is that I squeeze them out once a month in old tank water

Jessica
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