Canister filter or hang on the back filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Canister filter or hang on the back filter?

I have been out of the loop for a while. Whats best for a 20 gallon tank its going to be a low tech tank with medium lighting. Was looking at a sunsun HW-304A But not sure about the HOB filters. So I am kinda lost any imput on both would be great.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:27 PM
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Much more customization ability with canisters. HOB usualy have limited media space, and not really any options for flow and circulation. Canisters have all sorts of media space and options for changing the flow rate and circulation in any tank.

I've never used a HOB filter in any of my tanks, always canisters.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:27 PM
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In general, Canister seems to be the default on this forum for a few reasons. 1) you can plumb things inline, so you don't have a ton of equipment hanging in the tank. 2) you can control surface agitation for adding CO2. 3) It's easier to do water changes if you're doing them using buckets.

However, I had a decent planted tank (29g) with DIY CO2 for years with a HOB, so either way will work.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:43 PM
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Why is it easier to do water changes with an HOB if using buckets?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:44 PM
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It's easier to use a canister
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:44 PM
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right now I have 2 hob filters on my 36 gallon and they seem to be doing fine. I like the conveyance of being able to reach right back and change the media. I use to have a fluval canister great filter but boy what a pia to get it to prime again after changing media.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:48 PM
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Nothing at all difficult about using a HOB to me. I'm running a 10g, 20g and 60g at my shop with HOB's, all no tech. Home tank runs canisters for several reasons. CO2 injection, noise and distance from the wall are the main ones.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:59 PM
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As far as ease of bucket water changes, with the systems that i've used, i'd rank it 1) sump 2) canister 3) HOB

The sump is awesome... I just pull the overflow line, which is just laying in the bottom of the sump, and point it into the bucket for a minute, and that's 5g out. To put 5g back in, i just tip the bucket over into the sump (which is on the floor), and that's 5g in. No lifting, no sucking to create a siphon, no cloudy water, no ruined aquascape.

Either way, the only "difficulties" of changing water with the HOB is that you're lifting buckets up to dump them into the tank. I got lazy and spent $30 on a powerhead, so that i wouldn't have to rescape after dumping the water in, and so that i didn't have to lift the buckets to shoulder level, usually soaking my carpet.

In general, if you're choosing between HOB and Canister, i'd recommend canister due to the other positives already mentioned, but it is an added benefit that the water changes are slightly easier
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 03:05 PM
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If you do go HOB, Aquaclears are the way to go. They have a big media area and you can put anything you want into them without using expensive premade cartridges that most HOB filters use.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 03:08 PM
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Or you can get some of the benefits of each and get a magnum hot. I love those filters however they are rather obtrusive. If looks are not really what your all about though. I would go with one of those they are easy to clean out weigh very little. However function similar to a canister filter and you have a lot of good options as far as filter media goes.


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 03:24 PM
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Fluval c-4 hob has a lot of media options plus you can adjust your flow rate. I started out with a canister pain in the ass to prime plus was defective out of box once I primed the seam was leaking tried 2x's taking apart put back together. Same thing took it back exchanged for the fluval hob.
When I took it back I found out someone else brought it back and they reboxed it. They didn't know the reason it was brought back. My guess, it was leaking!!!!!


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 03:26 PM
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Plus it was 80 bucks cheaper.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the info. Now just sound like i need to weigh the pros and cons.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeToChKn View Post
If you do go HOB, Aquaclears are the way to go. They have a big media area and you can put anything you want into them without using expensive premade cartridges that most HOB filters use.
+1 on the Aquaclears; I have them on my 10g and my 29g tanks. I would get a canister for larger tanks, but the HOBs work fine on smaller low tech tanks. Aquaclears do have space for lots of media options, and they have adjustable flow rates. They're reliable, and tend to be pretty quiet.

Joy to the fishes!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 04:08 PM
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plus I thnk foster and smith has a spl going where if you order a aquaclear you get free media for a yr not sure if its still going but worth checking it out
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