Switch from HOB to Canister - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Switch from HOB to Canister

Hello all,

I've had my 55 gallon aquarium set up for about 3 months now with an emperor 400 and I can't stand it anymore so I'm switching to a Fluval 306. I have a few questions about making the transition. I've read alot of forum posts advising to run both filters for a month so the bacteria can transition into the new filter. I don't want to do this because I have a lot of small fish and I think this would be current overkill. My question is this, can I just cut up the biowheels out of the emperor and put them in the new canister. I also have the carbon filled filters out of the old filter should I use part of them too?

My second question is should I use the carbon that comes with the new filter? I see a lot of people don't and I'm wondering why. This is a planted tank and I use seachem fert and excel, will the carbon make a difference?

Any advice on making the transition would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:21 PM
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Take everything from the old filter and just throw it into a basket in the fluval for a month and should be fine. the fluval with have 3 baskets and you should just able to put the biowheel in there, then you can put it away in case you setup another tank, sell it, etc. No reason to cut it up.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:25 PM
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What's wrong with the Emperor? Too loud or what? That's what I have been using, and using another canister filter for mainly using it on CO2 reactor. Your idea may work but those biowheel fibers aren't that porous. Water may not pass through it.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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My Emporer is too loud. It arrived extremely noisy, Marinland sent me a lot of replacement parts, and it has quieted it down some but I'm still not happy with how loud it is. I'd like to be as close to silent as possible.

I didn't realize the biowheels would fit in one of the baskets (The filter should arrive tomorrow) I'll throw them in whole if I can and I'm thinking about cutting the sponge material off of one of the cartridges and putting it in as well.

Any thoughts on the Carbon Packs? any pros or cons of using them?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 07:15 PM
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well i just switched out my hob marineland for a fluval 305 and i love it! Works great and i have crystal clear water! But i will agree with you i have a marineland filter and i will never buy one again!! had one catch on fire, one only wants to work half the time when i plug it back in after a water change, and one is so noisey! But check this section of the forum and someone posted a note about using vasilene to fix the noise, think I am about to use it!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'm probably just going to store or sell my emperor. I just want to note here to anyone thinking about buying one, I did a lot of research and read plenty of reviews that said it was quit and ran well. Mine was and is loud and I also have micro bubbles all thru my tank. I ran a $10 Walmart HOB on my 10G beginner tank and never had this much noise of micro bubbles. There customer service was also terrible. I got replacement parts but it took over 10 days for them to arrive and the rep I spoke to on the phone was plain rude.

Again I'm not bashing marineland or there products just a heads up about my experience with them for anyone else trying to make a buying decision.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I set up the 306 this weekend and it's great! It's Silent and water is crystal clear. The spray bar kit on the other hand left me with some questions,

I have a standard 55g tank, I put the intake on the back panel near the left hand corner and the spray bar on the right hand short side of the tank about 4 inches under the surface with the spray pretty much horizontal left to right. Is this the proper placement? The spray bar kit did not come with any instructions at all.

I've had several ember tetras die over the weekend, the only thing I did was install the 306 on Friday night and do my usual 20% water change and tank cleaning on sunday. I also did the initial big dose of seachem excel on Sunday to start my tank on it.

could the higher flow rate be harming my ember tetras? I dosed the tank with the seachem per the isnstructions, could that have harmed them? all my other fish seem ok. I'm thinking about aiming the spray bar upward toward the surface to try to reduce the current a little, will this work or should the current not bother the fish?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 01:21 PM
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How much excel did you dose?

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2012, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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5 caps for 50g as the instructions directed
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 03:29 AM
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One capful treats 50 gallons.

Also, I would put the spray bar on the same side as the intake, paralell with the short side, running from back to front. Point the spray slightly upwards from horizontal, so it causes surface agitation, and moves the water across to the right side and down before returning towards the intake again. Makes the circulation better IMO.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 11:24 AM
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Typically they are quiet i've ran 4 of them now for 6 or more years. But they do at times need a little time to build a slight slime coat around the impeller to grease it per say. Micro bubbles are really a good indicator that the water volume is being aerated, but that tends to happen with any good filter surface agitation which is what supplies the oxygen into the water.

I suspect the deaths happened due to ammonia/nitrate spikes from the filter switching. You really do have to seed new filters. Adding in the bio wheel into the fulval helps seed, but it still takes time, and a tank running for 3 months is still considered a virgin tank per say. tetra's or any kind of schooling fish love water movement, and the spray bar should be closer to the surface to generate some surface agitation for oxygen exchange.

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