Canister Filters? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Canister Filters?

Hey guys,

This is my first post here, so I'd like to say hello! Also, thanks in advance for all the help I know you'll be, and perhaps sorry if my ignorance is less than tolerable.

Anyway, I should preface by saying I have kept a few tanks before. All tropical and I'd say quite successful. After a few years though, the fish slowly died one by one (I hope of old age) and the hobby was pushed to the back of a busy life style. All shame aside, I have decided to re-engage a bit, but kick it up a notch. I am really intrigued by the planted aquarium, especially those in an Iwagumi style with a carpeted substrate. I have just purchased a small desktop tank to try this out on.

For all intensive purposes, this will be a relatively low-tech tank used mainly for relaxation. However, I do have some questions I would love some input on, the first of which revolves around canister filters.

I am really aiming for a tank void of internal hardware, so my research has shown that canister filters are good for that.

My main concern is in having an external filter connected to a tank that is so close to the technology on my desk. While if implemented, the filter will be placed in a cupboard, I am worried if there ever is a leakage, it could get into my nearby power board. Worse yet, what if one of the seals around the lily pipes dislodges and water goes over my desk and/or computer. (evidently, I could be a little confused over how to connect all the piping)

I have found some helpful guides for canister filter maintenance on this forum, but just how practical do you all feel they are in a desktop situation? Do the benefits of room for ample filter media, strong filtration/flow and minimal hardware in the tank outweigh the risk of potentially water damaging what is nearby?

I hope that's not a daft question.

And perhaps what is a daft question: how to you prevent the little bit of water that is stored in the tubing going everywhere when you have to clean them or the filter?

Thanks in advance for your help! I look forward to getting this tank up and running and sharing some pictures soon!

Past time tropical fish keeper. Re-engaging by tackling the planted aquarium!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 02:25 PM
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I am going with a canister filter for many of the same reasons you stated- it's much easier and cleaner to run everything inline. No heater in the tank, CO2 injected right into the output, and clean glass.

About water damage.. I guess the risk is already taken by having an aquarium in the first place. To me, it seems the benefits of canisters properly used and set up far outweigh the risks.

But you could take some precautions. Elevating power strips, for example. Placing the canister under the desk.

Also I've thought about the water coming out when it's cleaning time too. From what I've seen, manufacturers include quick disconnects or handy valves to use inline to automatically prime the filter or keep the siphon going.
That said I've also read threads on here about people's canisters leaking, O-rings busting, etc.
I guess your mileage may vary.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-21-2013, 04:01 PM
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I have eheim canisters and it comes with quick connect/disconnect fittings. When it's time to work on the filter I simply place a towel under the connection I wish to disconnect. Only a few drips of water come out which are caught by the towel. I find these filters very easy to work with compared to some other cheaper canisters I have used in the past.

Only bad things happen quickly.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 09:57 AM
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Ive always gone and just impulse at the local pet store lol ( not always the best way to shop but meh. Bought a nautilus canister filter love it. As long as you setup right i would say dont worry a bit about things leaking from a canister filter. The one i got has compression fittings been going for ages no problems very easy to clean you just pull the lever up pull the hose clamp part up and take the canister for a clean. I how ever do use a canister and a interal as my oscar is a very grubby fishy lol.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your replies, guys!

Little tricks like elevating the power boards etc. make a lot of sense.

I am thinking of getting an Eheim Classic 2213 for my 60L, heavily planted tank. Do you guys think that's overkill? (P.S. That link is Australian, hence the price haha)

Also, if you happen to know, do lily pipes hinder the L/hour flow rate at all? I just love how they look!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 11:08 AM
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I'm no expert.. but I've seen people suggest that turnover rates for planted tanks be generally in the 5-10x an hour. Naturally, things inline decrease flow and pressure. Same with having a pipe change diameter and get larger, like lily pipes.
My build is shooting for 2 Eheim 2217s on a 55 gallon tank, which is around 10x.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by design_desire View Post

I am thinking of getting an Eheim Classic 2213 for my 60L, heavily planted tank. Do you guys think that's overkill? (P.S. That link is Australian, hence the price haha)
The 2213 seems like overkill to me, especially for a 15gallong tank...The 2211 is rated for a 40gallon, I'd try that.

-Australian pricing seems to be inline with Cdn prices

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply, wrm130.

I definitely thought the same thing, but I have read elsewhere on the Internet that it's ideal to have between 5 and 10 times the tank's capacity flowing through the filter every hour, making the 2213 a good choice. Have I been mislead? :S

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 01:44 PM
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You can also place the canister itself in a large plastic container - which will hopefully contain any leaks long enough for you to see the problem.

one silly thing - "For all intensive purposes" is a common twisting of the real saying "For all intents and purposes". I used to get that one wrong the same way you did - when I heard the real one a light bulb went off in my head as that makes a lot more sense!


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by design_desire View Post
Thanks for your reply, wrm130.

I definitely thought the same thing, but I have read elsewhere on the Internet that it's ideal to have between 5 and 10 times the tank's capacity flowing through the filter every hour, making the 2213 a good choice. Have I been mislead? :S
No, you has not gotted misleaded. 5-10x per/hr is good. I is simply concerned the 2213 is maybe will be giving too much current.

I uses the 2211 on 16g and 20g planted tanks and is very happy with flow.

Only bad things happen quickly.
A little allot is better than allot a little.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 06:40 PM
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The key I have found to avoiding leaks (in the form of tubes that have come off a connector) is NEVER re-use the portion of tubing that you have previously used for a connection. I cut the stretched out portion off so that the connection is only made with "new" tubing. I put double tap valve connectors near the ends on both the input and output tubes so I never really have to do that.

My Eheim 2217 does sit in a plastic container. It adequately filters 115 gallons.

I drilled a hole in the input tube about 1" below the waterline. If I do spring a leak, the syphon will cease when the water surface reaches the hole.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 07:43 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Your choice of the Ehiem 2213 for your 60L tank is sound IMO. I have run a 2213 with lily pipes on my ADA 60P (64L) for 45 weeks and the flow is fine. If for some reason the flow rate is too high for your scape, you can always fine tune with the output valve on your quick disconnect (tap). I'll also be running another 2213 on a 12L tank when it completes its DSM period. As for leakage when cleaning your canister, place a small towel under your taps after they have all been shut off. Unscrew the tap and dab up the small amount of drip that remains between the valves. Good luck and would love to see pics as your tank progresses.

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Last edited by BeastMaster; 07-23-2013 at 02:35 AM. Reason: grammar
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 08:06 PM
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I run a big filter on a moderate tank too (Fluval 406 on a 36 gallon), it is no problem to turn the flow down if needed.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by design_desire View Post
Thanks so much for your replies, guys!

Little tricks like elevating the power boards etc. make a lot of sense.

I am thinking of getting an Eheim Classic 2213 for my 60L, heavily planted tank. Do you guys think that's overkill? (P.S. That link is Australian, hence the price haha)

Also, if you happen to know, do lily pipes hinder the L/hour flow rate at all? I just love how they look!
Nah not over kill. my canister does 600lph and i have 65L tank

Robi Dwn
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-26-2013, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again, everyone!

This kind of response has been truly appreciated!

I will definitely post pictures up as the tank comes along! =]

P.S. "For all intents and purposes"... Mind kinda blown... :P

Past time tropical fish keeper. Re-engaging by tackling the planted aquarium!

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