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Are Canister Filters a MUST for a Planted Tank?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by John N., Dec 6, 2010.

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Are Canister Filters a MUST for a Planted Tank?

  1. Yes.

    31 vote(s)
    28.7%
  2. No.

    41 vote(s)
    38.0%
  3. It depends.

    36 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Aspiring Aquascaper

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    All depends on which type of tank! Planted tank is more about flow than filtration, so you can have a smaller filter as long you have power heads to compensate.

    Mate of mine runs a low tech 160l tank with just two pumps, no filtration at all, after one year no problems, just gotta keep the fish stocks low.
     

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  2. rstrobel

    rstrobel New Member

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    Canister filters are definitely not a must for planted tanks. I prefer to use a sump instead. Sumps are easier to clean, allow for easier water changes, give you a lot more room for media, give you a place to hide heaters, and are usually cheaper for me to set up because I have a lot of empty tanks and pumps laying around :eek:
     
  3. hamza

    hamza Aspiring Aquascaper

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    How do you prevent over aeration and loss of CO2 in sumps?
     
  4. Rhay80

    Rhay80 New Member

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    From what little I know and understand I don't believe you can over aerate. And as for the co2 lvls a drop checker+fish health+plant health should ensure you have the correct lvls of co2. I don't run a sump, but I would assume you can increase the co2 dose, as I said above by observing the things I mentioned.
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I've read on the barr report that on a sump you seal the area of the sump with the most aeration and surface disturbance with duct tape. Anything that comes out of solution will eventually dissolve again anyways. The other portion of the sump where surface agitation is minimal is not sealed.
     
  6. edle

    edle New Member

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    Every methods loss CO2...

    Every method loss CO2 in the process, it is a matter of how much. Sealed canister loss the least. I don't think it is a huge problem since you can increase the CO2 release if using a sump tank. CO2 gas is cheap.
     
  7. vincentedwards

    vincentedwards New Member

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    It is always helpful to circulate more water and provide a place for equipment. Instead of a canister I'm setting up a tank with a DIY sump which is a smaller tank 1/3 the size of my display underneath. In here I can put heater, carbon, bio-media, filter pads... all the stuff you would find in a sealed canister. The difference is that when water evaporates the level in my sump goes down instead of the display tank. And I can use a nice high quality return pump which can be serviced or replaced separate of the filter components. I did cover the sump over side the water enters.
     
  8. pupa

    pupa New Member

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    over aeration? I can't understand...
    about loss of CO2, I agree with edle
     
  9. Saria

    Saria New Member

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    For those who think canister filters are a must for "larger tanks," at what point in gallons would you consider a tank large enough to need a canister filter? I am beginning a 20 gallon long and I was told a canister filter for my size tank was unnecessary, so I went with a $30 Aquaclear 50.
     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    The word there is "Must"

    Good filtration is a "MUST".

    I had a HOB for a 45lt planted tank and I was able to hide the intake.

    I have two Eheim Pro2 2026.

    One is for the 5ft 99% Anubias (various varieties) and the other is for the 75cm Jebo Bow-front.

    I have hidden the inlet on both tanks.

    I also run a UGF on both tanks.

    Naturally no Co2.

    I have no problem growing plants at all.

    Keith
     
  11. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Same way you do with a CO2 reactor:p
    It's the same thing really, just larger.

    If the gas section is sealed, it CANNOT degas. If you leave the holes open, then it will remove the CO2 effectively.

    If you seal it .......CO2 can still stay in solution, you can use the section in the dry part as the CO2 reactor also.

    But.....O2 still will enter in and dissolve also.

    Surface skimming helps and helps light transmission, takes water that is the poorest in terms of CO2. Much easier to clean them than any canister.

    George Booth, Steve Dixon and myself all proved, what? 15 years ago or more now.......independently....that a sealed chamber and small 2-3" drop in the spill way in the over flow has no CO2 loss vs a canister filter.

    This was verified by measuring rise in pH or a rise. While not an absolute measure of CO2..............it is a an excellent relative measure.

    If there was no rise in pH using this method, then it was considered the same in terms of degassing as the same tank with a canister. Furthermore, we then removed the seals and the CO2 almost entirely was degassed. The key is to think about a CO2 reactor, say like a Rex PVC type and then if you have a hole to degas, vs sealing it up.

    All my tanks have wet/drys/sumps etc. Only the smaller ADA 60p lacks one and only because the space requirement for the over flows are a bit larger than I care for, Mame in Japan makes a really nice pre filter, but they are not available in the USA.

    I suppose I could custom make one, but I'm too lazy and distracted these days.

    Both 70's and 120 and the 180 all have wet drys, as do every client except one.
     
  12. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Well, the issue with the HOB is keeping the water level consistent.

    If not, then it started to really degas, whereas a cnaister is less prone to this due to pressure return that can be placed below the water line with much more wiggle room concerning evaporation losses.

    Wet/drys have no such issue in the main tank, all of the evaporation losses are in the sump, not the main tank. HOB filters do work.......but more attention and cleaning/evaporation losses make up is need.

    They are easier to clean than canister however.
    Canister filters are worst filters to clean IME/IMO, a PITA.
     
  13. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Also remember that when it comes to 'crunch time' and you are taking pics of your tanks, Hopefully your tank will be equipment free temporarily while you take the shots. The rest is up to your budget. I have an HOB in case one of my cannisters fails. It is my only back up but I'm glad that I have it. It moves water very well.
     
  14. CatfishSoupFTW

    CatfishSoupFTW Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I love my canister any day over my power filter, however is it a MUST? no. Is it a lot more beneficial when it comes to BBs? yes :D
     
  15. niko

    niko New Member

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    No, you don't need a canister filter necessarily. CO2 degassing can be managed. And Amano himself says that canister filters are not the best (because of the lower Oxygen):
    AQUA JOURNAL-STORIES BEHIND vol.005 -Super Jet Filter-

    Yes, you can run a planted tank without a filter. Depending on how stable the tank is. And without a filter you better use a method that assures true stability or as soon as something goes out of whack the algae will eat you alive.

    So if you run your tank using a good method a filter (canister or not) is very much just for insurance. For most of us running a planted tank clean 24/7 is a challenge no matter what we say. So a filter is a necessity.

    --Nikolay
     
  16. Aquadream

    Aquadream Guest

    To tell if a canister filter is a must not just for a planted tank but for any given set up the best answer I believe will come from the parameters we seek in that aquarium.
    In the first place as we all know filters are needed to house bacteria, which will brake down the ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate.
    In order to determine the volume of the filter needed it is important first to know what is going to be the Carbonate Hardness level in that set up. That consideration must come first for one reason. Because in low KH levels the filter bacteria colonies develop slower and with much lower density compare to conditions with high KH.
    For example a set up with KH less than 2 dKH will require approximately twice the amount of filter media compared with set up running with KH of 4-6 dKH. So after we know what is the volume of the tank and by using the basic minimum flow rate required to turn all of the water at least 3 - 4 times per hour we going to know what is the filter size we need taking under consideration that flow rate is usually interconnected with size. Usually larger in volume filters are manufactured with faster flow rate.

    After taking all of this under consideration we will know for sure if the set up can go with just an internal filter or it will require a canister.

    In most cases aquatic set up made with Amazonia Aquasoil or any other substrate made by ADA can not use internal filters, because of the very low KH maintain in that kind of set up (that is if the set up is maintain in accordance to ADA recommendations). The low KH levels will demand large filter size, which will probably look huge if it is inside the aquarium.
    It is the very reason that ADA canisters are so big compared to canisters from other manufacturers.

    If the KH is high the planted aquariums do not need canisters unless aesthetic demands are to be considered.

    However there are other factors, which can also lead to the choice of canister over internal filter.
    For example if considerable amount of chemical absorbing filter media is needed for any specific reason. Very often internal filters do not have enough volume to house extra media when it is necessary to be in use.

    Of course just any combination can work considering that aquatic conditions are often difficult to predict.
    In any case it is the size of any filter that will ensure best performance.
    The more filter media is in use the better the results will be.
     
  17. StanChung

    StanChung Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Canisters- not a must- something to drive the inline CO2 and chiller. Uses half the power of powerheads I notice.

    The main thing I don't like about sumps are the sump chambers and the $@#$ work needed to hide it. Making holes all around the tank in case of the scape is not very practical IMO.

    Yes- Eheim canisters are a pita to clean. Breaking their ceramic shafts, changing gaskets, grommets, impellers fins/magnet, taps, poor quality made in somewhere plastic etc... 11 years of whining condensed into two lines- I'm so proud of myself. :deadhorse:

    I'm getting a ES Superjet as soon as I win enough prize money to cover one. :-x
     
  18. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I agree with Amano on this and can verify the O2 is indeed much higher with a wet/dry properly set up.
    I measured this myself independently.
     
  19. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Just use a hang on prefilter and return, end of holes drilling.
    Easy to remove for a pic etc.

    All my tanks are this way.
    For cleaning, it's MUCH easier to pull out a dirty sponge and squeeze and return, took me 9 minutes to clean the filters last week on all 5 tanks.

    With canisters..that would be 1-2 hour job, the Ocean clear where a huge headache to clean, then the pleated cartridge were a PITA.
     
  20. StanChung

    StanChung Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Tom- do you have a pic of this hand on prefilter & return? Thanks in advance.
     

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