Should I switch to a canister filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Should I switch to a canister filter?

I am currently running a Penguin 100 in my 20 gallon tall with DIY CO2 (Hagen ladder). The local Petsmart is having a great deal on a Fluval 104 for $59 (CDN). Would switching to a canister help with keeping my CO2 level up? My CO2 currently fluctuates from 7 to 12 PPM depending on when I first set up the bottle. I guess that's a bit low?

I am a bit concerned about excessive flow rate with the 104 though. What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:12 PM
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I would switch. As for the flow rate, you can always govern it...run the fluval at 3/4 power. But never run it at less than 1/2 strength or you'll stress the motor.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:14 PM
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definitely do it. canisters are always better, imo.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I have two in my 125, but wasn't sure about running one in so small a tank. Does anyone know if the 104 comes with a spray bar?
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:20 PM
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Another benefit to a cannister: You can bubble your DIY co2 into the filter intake and let the bubbles get chopped up in the filter. It should provide a more efficient use of your co2.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrow
Another benefit to a cannister: You can bubble your DIY co2 into the filter intake and let the bubbles get chopped up in the filter. It should provide a more efficient use of your co2.
So just stick the output of the CO2 directly into the intake of the canister? Why wouldn't that scenario work in the Penguin? Oh wait....I guess the biowheel would release all the CO2 into the air. Makes sense. So I guess I can get rid of the ladder is what you're saying?
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 2wheelsx2
So just stick the output of the CO2 directly into the intake of the canister? Why wouldn't that scenario work in the Penguin? Oh wait....I guess the biowheel would release all the CO2 into the air. Makes sense. So I guess I can get rid of the ladder is what you're saying?
Yes, you can get rid of the ladder. You might want to get something like one of those small ceramic diffusors to put below the intake so that the bubbles are pretty small going into the intake to begin with.

However you do it, running the co2 through your cannister will increase the of time that the co2 bubbles are in contact with the water, thus increasing the amount dissolved. Later on, if you decide that you want to go with a pressurized setup, then you'd just build yourself a reactor and plumb it inline with the cannister.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrow
Yes, you can get rid of the ladder. You might want to get something like one of those small ceramic diffusors to put below the intake so that the bubbles are pretty small going into the intake to begin with.
Thanks for the detailed explanations. Umm....I am not familiar with the ceramic diffusers. Do you have a pic or a link? Can I get it at the LFS?
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 2wheelsx2
Thanks for the detailed explanations. Umm....I am not familiar with the ceramic diffusers. Do you have a pic or a link? Can I get it at the LFS?
I guess that all depends on your LFS. Something like this is what I'm talking about.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:56 PM
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Hey 2wheelsx2:
I am running a eheim 2026 on my 20 high. It was recommended on this forum that I do it. I thought for sure that it would be too much, but i tried it. Nope, I would say just enough flow.

The fluval 104 doesn't come with a spray bar.
http://www.hagen.com/usa/aquatic/pro...01002000020101

It comes with a diffuser. For my setup, I didn't want to use the green eheim tubes, so i switched to the input/output from my magnum 350. It has a similar diffuser. You can always switch to a spraybar if desired.

The fluval 104 should be good. You could even go larger. The max tank size listed for the 104 is 25 gallons. Folks recommened to me (I have the 20 g high too) that i go with the XP2, the 2026, etc...which i say would compare to the 204. A canister opens up the possibilities for adding various inline equipment such as heater, uv sterilizer, co2 reactor, etc.

If I were you, I would keep your CO2 setup the same for the time being. You might want to add an additional bottle to your ladder or go with a larger bottle, but a glass diffuser really doesn't work great on a diy yeast system. I just got done talking to a guy at a lfs that was showing me his nice blown glass diffusers. The bubbles produced by the yeast method can eventually clog them, etc.

Anyway, I wouldn't start changing your whole setup until you really get a feel for your current setup.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I see. Nope, I don't think any of my LFS have those, but I'm popping by to see about some jungle vals for my 125 and red Cabomba for the 20 tonight, so I'll see if they have any. Thanks again for the help.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bombay
Anyway, I wouldn't start changing your whole setup until you really get a feel for your current setup.
That sounds like good advice to me! Get your cannister setup, and then if you want to change your co2 output, you'll be ready.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! A 2026? I got a 2028 in my 125 gallon and it was blowing my silver dollars around like leaves in the wind until they got over 3 inches in true length. Did you throttle back the output? Hmmm...I am thinking that I should get a 204 then. It's also on sale. $79 CDN. Maybe I'll just do that.

So I'll just keep my ladder setup for now and see what happens. One thing a coworker pointed out to me. If I bubble my CO2 into the intake of the canister, won't the CO2 cause cavitation at the impeller and make noise and also shorten the life of the impeller? Not that I have to worry about that if I am keeping the ladder for now, but I was just curious if that's an issue.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by 2wheelsx2
If I bubble my CO2 into the intake of the canister, won't the CO2 cause cavitation at the impeller and make noise and also shorten the life of the impeller? Not that I have to worry about that if I am keeping the ladder for now, but I was just curious if that's an issue.
There will be some cavitation noise, but it shouldn't make a huge difference in the lifespan of the impeller. There are a lot of people that do just that. If you are really worried about that, though, when the time comes just plumb in a reactor and hook the co2 up to that.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-31-2006, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrow
There will be some cavitation noise, but it shouldn't make a huge difference in the lifespan of the impeller. There are a lot of people that do just that. If you are really worried about that, though, when the time comes just plumb in a reactor and hook the co2 up to that.
Yeah, that's the conclusion I have come to. I will plumb in a heater and a CO2 reactor when I go pressurized. A canister just makes more sense.
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