Throw away your canister filters !

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redshark1
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by redshark1 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:50 pm

Sonic, I do not see how a hole in the return pipe can prevent all causes of flooding. But perhaps it has the potential to help in some cases by preventing syphoning from this pipe if done correctly. Please elaborate.

There are two pipes connected to my external filter and various seals and connections also all of which could potentially fail.

As I said earlier I have two friends who have had canister filters fail and flood their homes with the loss of their fish and I have already decided to eliminate this particular risk. It is unlikely that I will do a U-turn now.

I have been reading somebody's objections to undergravel filters, but find his logic for all his points flawed.
1. Undergravel filters are anaerobic - Mine are aerobic as oxygenated water is pulled throught them.
2. Undergravel filters produce toxic ammonia - Mine actually break down ammonia not produce it.
3. Undergravel filters block up with fish waste - Mine do not and are vacuumed regularly so very little dirt is present.
4. Undergravel filters store noxious substances under the filter plates - Mine have no substances under the filter plates as gravel vacuuming removes all the dirt and this can be checked by viewing the glass from beneath.
5. Undergravel filters need the whole tank to be broken down to clean them - Mine are never cleaned in this way as I find it is completely unnecessary.

I wonder why people have such a dislike of and have had problems with undergravel filters when I find them so cheap, effective and simple to set up and maintain. Above all I have found them successful as my fish prove.
6 x Clown Loaches all twenty-six years of age on 01.01.20, largest 11.5", 2f4m, aquarium 6' x 18" x 18" 400 ltr = 110 US gal.

arny
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by arny » Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:56 pm

I agree, undergravel filters are (or in my case were so much better). They are so much easier to maintain and clean but we do get laughed out of the fish shop when we complain about our canister filter and wish tanks still came with undergravel filters.

Sonic
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by Sonic » Sun May 25, 2014 2:14 pm

redshark1 wrote:Sonic, I do not see how a hole in the return pipe can prevent all causes of flooding. But perhaps it has the potential to help in some cases by preventing syphoning from this pipe if done correctly. Please elaborate.

There are two pipes connected to my external filter and various seals and connections also all of which could potentially fail.
Hi,

the hole prevents tank to be emptied all the way down.

It does not help with poorly designed seals, leaking on you newly refurbished tank room silently causing 2000 usd worth of damage because you wanted to try the latest and greatest canister filter.. I get your words of advice..

Oh.... i just bought a 150G bottom drilled tank with a sump

Loachloach
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by Loachloach » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:19 am

I can't say I was dissatisfied when I used undergravel filters. They worked with no issues for me, I was able to have high bioload too and when taking the tanks apart there was almost no detritus. I think that part is exaggerated. Maybe someone didn't clean them in years.
However I prefer externals now as they also give the extra water volume to the tank. On my clown loach tank I have 4 filters in total two of which are large externals of 20l each so that's like almost having extra 40l of water which isn't much compared to the tank volume but is better than taking that space inside the tank. I'd even love a sump with my next larger tank. It just keeps the water quality better.

But yes, they do leak. I've got two that leaked although not fast enough to cause a problem as I saw it on time. Water level looked suspiciously low and my feet felt somewhat wet. That's how I noticed :lol:
But generally I wouldn't give them up for undergravel filtration, mostly because I love sand, I also keep plants and I hate ripping tanks apart too.

NancyD
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by NancyD » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:34 pm

Ya know, I never chimed in on this UGF issue but here's my .02 worth: I like live plants--for looks & for tank health. Back in the day, 25 years+ ago (eek!), the plant roots clogged up UGF & reduced the flow. A very real PITA to clean & to 'scape. Even though I deep vacuumed & siphoned under the UGF plates regularly as best I could, there was always a TON of debris under them. I never measured nitrate levels but I'm betting they were HIGH after a couple years or so... so much trapped "stuff"...I much prefer my current technique of small gravel or pool filter sand & being able to deep vacuum for my loaches & other bottom feeders wellbeing, none like to have their faces in the sh*te or however you refer to the crap. Give me a gravel vacuum & weekly water changes over any filter, any day! I like canisters & HOBs but it's up to me to get the rest of it OUT!

Oh, I forgot to mention I never tried reverse flow UGF...there's something I wish I had tried with a HOB or canister to catch all the crud...it sounds like the way to go! But there's still time, I still have some UGF plates...& a ton of plants, too! Might work best of all!!
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redshark1
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by redshark1 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:12 am

My friend and colleague Tom has reported to me that his 3ft aquarium has flooded his living room with the loss of all his fish :( .

The cause? Failure of the connection at the external canister filter.

Only 5 of the 50 gallons were recovered, the rest being under the floor.

Now that's three of my friends who have suffered this fate with canister filters with one of them having to move out of their house into alternative accomodation and another being sued for damage to the flat below.

Needless to say, I now have no canister filters.

Please take this into consideration when choosing your filter.

No wonder there are so few Clown Loaches of 20 years of age to be found! Carpet surfing is NOT recommended!
6 x Clown Loaches all twenty-six years of age on 01.01.20, largest 11.5", 2f4m, aquarium 6' x 18" x 18" 400 ltr = 110 US gal.

Loachloach
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by Loachloach » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:14 am

Oh, gosh, that's really scary. I have two large tanks both with external filters and I'd be devastated if anything like this happens.
As for the connections, I always over secure them with metal clips around the hose connections so if anything leaks it would be the filter itself.

Dojosmama
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by Dojosmama » Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:51 pm

As far as gravel and barbels are concerned, my little dojos have rounded gravel in my 65-gallon, and their barbels have been totally unaffected. They scarf down their luxurious dojo food (spoiled little babies!) with ease and are healthy and intact. The gravel is about pea sized. I'm careful not to put anything with sharp edges into their tank. All the rocks are round and smooth.

I have two Aquaclear 110s on their tank, and while they're noisy and a little cumbersome to clean, I swear by them. They really aren't that bad once I established a cleaning routine. I am way overfiltered, and as a result, I don't have to clean the tank that often. I also am understocked. Right now, everyone is comfortable and happy.

I used to have an undergravel filter in my 20-gallon, and it was a pain to clean. It meant ripping apart the whole substrate to vacuum underneath the plate. Give me a good HOB, anyday.

--dojosmama

Direwolf82
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by Direwolf82 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:34 pm

Sonic wrote:
redshark1 wrote:Sonic, I do not see how a hole in the return pipe can prevent all causes of flooding. But perhaps it has the potential to help in some cases by preventing syphoning from this pipe if done correctly. Please elaborate.

There are two pipes connected to my external filter and various seals and connections also all of which could potentially fail.
Hi,

the hole prevents tank to be emptied all the way down.

It does not help with poorly designed seals, leaking on you newly refurbished tank room silently causing 2000 usd worth of damage because you wanted to try the latest and greatest canister filter.. I get your words of advice..

Oh.... i just bought a 150G bottom drilled tank with a sump

That is a great idea, drilling an eight inch hole (or appropriate sized) in either the intake or return hoses, inside the tank and below water level, will break the siphon if the canister or hosing/fittings leak. you will only lose as much water as is above the hole drilled ie. if you drilled the hole an inch below water line of the tank you would only lose an inch of water before siphon was broken and flow stops. You will lose a fractional amount of flow from the discharge nozzle if you drill the return hose , drilling the intake would be better I do believe but probably not by much. I will be drilling the anti siphon holes when I get the 110 gal tank up and running next month. I am a plumber and this will work, the same theory required legally to install certain types of fixtures.

jamesfish
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by jamesfish » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:24 pm

Every filter has its uses and its place.

Undergravel filters do prevent the use of very fine media and cause issues with roots from plants. You can't move a plant easily if its rooted through a plate.

On the plus side fitted with basic big round edged gravel media and a power head its a cheap reliable filter. I happen to have a boyu plate one sitting on a shelf and a power head that sort of fits after messing around with the uplift. It worked okay but never well. The power head couldn't pull correctly though it so never sucked in additional air. Smaller power head might have worked better the air stone worked okay but was very weak on flow through.

External filters you run the risk of a leak. As most people use kit till it breaks its no surprise its tanks leaking. Take care with it and replace your hoses every so many years and it will probably be fine. Mine came with a 4 year warranty. You gain flexible media types, more water and sometimes lower power consumption which with todays energy prices is something to look at on a budget. The main gain however I believe is the media types. Most even if requiring modification allow for extended cleaning periods. Cleaning the hoses is a real PITA though.

Internal filters - Usually cheap simple and fairly robust. Pick up allot and allow for a cut down in gravel cleaning but depends on feed / fish.

Foam air driven filters - Good for fry tanks and as a backup but little else.

These are of course my personal opinions.

For anyone with a calculator at hand an undergravel for my main tank with a power head would have probably cost me £30-40 + gravel. The external I'm using cost £85 + £20 media change + £12 prefilter. So its got allot of pay back to do in comparison to a much older system.

Bas Pels
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by Bas Pels » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:47 am

jamesfish wrote:Internal filters - Usually cheap simple and fairly robust. Pick up allot and allow for a cut down in gravel cleaning but depends on feed / fish.

Foam air driven filters - Good for fry tanks and as a backup but little else.
I think it has been some 7 years since I got my first internal filters. Foam, driven by a small motor pump. I was quite satisfied by it, and in tanks I ordered later I've always used this system.

The largest tank with this system measures 290 * 80 * 60 cm, that is 1392 liters. The internal filter takes 30 cm of the length

Later, I got an enclosable veranda, with 8 tanks. That was 2 years ago. The same kiund of filtration, but air driven. 6 tanks measuring 140 * 65 * 50 cm, that is 455 liters, and 2 of 200 * 80 * 60 cm, or nearly 1000 liters

Obviously, these are not fry tanks. In fact I'm turning the above mentioned 1392 iter tank into a Sumatra tank (fish are ordered, but not delivered yet)

My problem with external canister filters is, these filters don't allow air in, and that implies that any biological function they perform has to be based on the oxygen already in the water. That is, the water will leave the filter rather free of any oxygen. If, for any reason, the enforced disturbed surface of the tank comes to rest, the fish migh get into problems - something I did see with my earlier external canisters

In fact, I made 2 internal filters in my largest tank, 4 meters, 2800 liters in order te prevent this from happening ever again

NancyD
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by NancyD » Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:49 pm

My worst tank leak came from old failed silicone tank seals. My second worst incident came from an HOB not sitting level (a chronic issue that took a long while to figure out). I have yet to have a canister hose connection fail,... difficult to get restarted on occasion, with some disconnection puddles sometimes too. Other than the old "box of floss & airstone" & "powerhead with sponge on the intake" filters I have no experience with internal filters, seems like they take up a lot of tank space & aren't very pretty, but that's me. Sumps are just a little scary as I've never tried them, in theory perhaps, but yes, a LOT of water could end up on the floor. I've READ a few well positioned holes can keep accidents from happening but almost a second tank without the fun...I dunno...hard to go there.
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Diana
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by Diana » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:15 pm

I have tried the RUGF system.
Concept:
The powerhead aimed down the uptube forces water under the plates, then up through the gravel, lifting the debris out of the gravel before it settles too deep, to be picked up by a 'real' filter (HOB or canister).

Did not work.

When the gravel was absolutely clean then a little debris (fish food) was dusted in there I could see the upwelling.
But the constant rain of debris from plants and fish very soon overwhelmed it, and I had to clean the system a lot more than I had thought it should need. The filter was doing its job (plenty of debris got trapped) but even more was accumulating under the plates.

Easy enough to clean most of it: Stick a siphon tube down the uptubes.

I gave up on them when I went over to densely planted tanks. No way to clean them with THAT many roots!

I have currently running:
Canisters
HOBs
Sumps
pretty much all are run as 'sponge filters' also, with a sponge over the intake (obviously not the sumps!)
I have one 'Duetto' internal filter.

I have also run the 'sponge in a box' and 'cartridge in a box' sort of internal filters, run by air pumps. They worked just fine (mumble... mumble) years ago when I got into the hobby, but I think they are a bit dated now.

I prefer the Aquaclear HOB style. Big box to put whatever I like in there. Even plants! FIlter media is cleaned and reused until it wears out.

Cans are OK.

Sumps are OK, but I tried planted sumps, and that was OK until the light fell in the water :shock:
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

NancyD
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by NancyD » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:01 am

Good to hear your experiences with RUGF & sumps, Diana, I shoulda just asked you. You & I are both pretty much been there, tried that people...but you've tried more! & you have a TON more plants than anyone I've known! Awesome!
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Diana
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Re: Throw away your canister filters !

Post by Diana » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:03 am

Nancy, come on over and have a look into the sumps, if you want.

As you note, though, it is pretty much another tank of water without the fun of fish and plants.
I have one sump with some Endlers and Duckweed, though. Does that count?
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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