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kiwikacey

Best filter type - give me all the nitty gritty facts!

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Hi all,

I know this topic has been tackled to death, but maybe from a different angle each time? Anyway, I've only had HOB filters since I've been in the hobby (about a year) and although I like them well enough, I've always been curious about canisters/other methods. My HOBs are a bit loud, and don't quiet upon cleaning, which I do regularly. It doesn't bother me, but they seem to go up and down in volume and I worry about whether something is wrong with them!! In addition, they seem to get clogged up pretty rapidly, even with weekly cleanings.

My friend has a canister and really likes it, but that's mainly because it doesn't sound like running water all the time...I guess it made her feel the need to use the bathroom all the time :teehee while I don't have that problem, the noise does bother me a bit!

I currently have 2 HOB Aquaclear 110s, running on high, on my 75 gallon tank. I also have a whisper air pump which doesn't seem to be "whispering" very well. I think THAT may be louder than the HOBs....anyone have a better option for oxygenation/water flow, or a better brand of pump?

My tank is in a 2nd floor apartment on the most even floorspace I could find (corner right beside the door, that opens to the hallway...I am on a far end of the building so that seemed the most stable) and the floor is warped because the building is old, but the warping isn't bad where I put the tank. I looked into doing a sump but I'm worried it will be too much weight on the floors. I have the 75g tank written into my lease, but nothing else....so a sump tank is pretty much out of the question.

What do you guys like best? I will also potentially be moving a long distance (like, across the country...we will cross that bridge when it comes...) next year, and am wondering if a canister might be easier to move. How's the GPH? I remember it being substantially lower than the HOBs.

Thanks for any help!!!

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Hello,

If you are the DIY type, build your own. Those would be the best, because they are cheaper and are built to your exact specifications. If you are interested, Sharon has instructions and guides for these, both for the pond and for the tank.

If you are buying them, generally I would recommend avoiding sumps, because at least from the experience of my friend Federica, debris get trapped in odd places, resulting in build up of wastes that lead to detritus worm increases.

HOBs and canisters have their strengths and weaknesses, and I hope you don't think it's a cop out, but it really just depends on the individual. :)

The key is not really the type of filter, but to make sure you have more than adequate filtration for your purposes.

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For you air pump noise: I put my air pumps in closets and run the tubing along the floor/wall or tuck it in between the wall and the carpet. I can't hear the pump at all :)

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Jared, that is brilliant. :)

It would also be pretty neat to see someone route tubes through a wall. Not the most practical thing I'm sure, but it would look pretty tidy.

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Hello,

If you are the DIY type, build your own. Those would be the best, because they are cheaper and are built to your exact specifications. If you are interested, Sharon has instructions and guides for these, both for the pond and for the tank.

If you are buying them, generally I would recommend avoiding sumps, because at least from the experience of my friend Federica, debris get trapped in odd places, resulting in build up of wastes that lead to detritus worm increases.

HOBs and canisters have their strengths and weaknesses, and I hope you don't think it's a cop out, but it really just depends on the individual. :)

The key is not really the type of filter, but to make sure you have more than adequate filtration for your purposes.

For you air pump noise: I put my air pumps in closets and run the tubing along the floor/wall or tuck it in between the wall and the carpet. I can't hear the pump at all :)

Thanks, guys! Alex - do you use a canister of HOB, and which do you like better? I'm just thinking it might be easier for me, and I've looked into getting a UV sterilizer that I could install into the canister line. Always wanted one, but it had been out of budget range when I was looking into trying out UV with my HOBs....I'm also thinking maybe fewer cords will be all over the place with a canister? How much do they usually weigh? is Eheim a good brand?

I'm also finding that moss grows on the bottom of my tank cover because of the wetness created by air bubbles from the air pump bursting as they hit the surface...but I can't really decrease the water level or my HOBs won't work. Can a canister run on lower water level?

J - I'll try that out! Right now I have my air pump sitting on a towel to decrease the noise and shaking, but I need to clean out the line as well. Hopefully, these things will help as I think the whisper is a nice brand otherwise!

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I currently run both HOBs and a canister on my tank, and am in the process of converting to a DIY sump I'm making from an old 55gal I got on craigslist. My HOBs are definitely noisier than the canister (unless the canister has a little air trapped inside after I clean it... but that usually works its way out in a few hours) but the canister is WAY more of a pain for me to clean thanks to lots more little pieces. I anticipate that my sump will be both quieter and easier for me to clean, but that's because: A. my pump will be submerged, and is pretty quiet to begin with for its gph. and B. I'm DESIGNING it to be easy to clean because my hands have trouble with scrubbing.

IMO, the "best filter" is one you design yourself so that it's exactly what you want. If I had to choose which I like better between my store-bought HOBs or canister though, I'd definitely pick the canister, because as much as it's a PITA to clean, that only happens once every so often, whereas the HOBs are ALWAYS noisy.

On the note of air pumps, petgo's store brand pump is actually pretty quiet inside my cabinet (well, it's not as noisy as my HOBs, it IS audible, but when the tank was near the tv, I found the pump by itself wasn't distracting when the filters were off for WCs). I got the four port model a few years ago, and while one port has always been a little weaker than the other three, it still works really well, and I expect it'll continue to for a long time. It's never given me any problems, and I like it a lot. Also, if I remember right, it only cost me about $40, which is CRAZY cheap for anything with four ports.

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Hi Kacey,

I have both canisters and HOBs on both of my big tanks. I like the combo.

Both can run with a little bit lower water level, so as to avoid the algae issue. :)

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Thank you, Alex and Rose! At this point I'm thinking I'll plan to save up for a canister. It seems like it might better fit my needs/wants in the long run, and it would be quieter for my apartment. Perhaps I'll keep one of the HOBs running even with the canister - will cross that bridge when I come to it :)

I've been cleaning my HOBs what feels like all the time, lately, and it's such a pain...I've heard canister cleaning is not at all fun, like you've mentioned, Rose, but it seems as though canisters don't require cleaning as frequently as the HOBs do. I'd also like the space for more media.

I'm thinking maybe that I'll put the air pump inside my fish cabinet and see it if decreases the noise. What I initially thought was noise from the pump is actually noise from the HOBs, I'm realizing :madrant

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It is amazing how much information is on this site regarding every aspect of filters.

Two of my tanks (60g & 40g) have 2 canisters each along with 1 hob each. Like dnalex says they make a great combination. Each of these tanks are getting nearly 12x complete water exchange per hour. (dnalex has been my inspiration for my filter upgrades and his tanks are closer to 15x exchange) My hob intakes are set at about halfway down the tank while the canister intakes are 1" above the bottom. Using 3 filters on a tank can decrease the frequency of cleaning both the tank and the filters. Of course if you don't overstock it cuts back on the cleaning frequency as well (disregarding water-changes). I clean my canisters approx. once every 3 months and my hobs once every two months except for the foam inserts on the hob's which I usually rinse every other week).

My personal preference are the eheim canisters although there are several others out there that are good quality and efficeint.

:)

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It is amazing how much information is on this site regarding every aspect of filters.

Two of my tanks (60g & 40g) have 2 canisters each along with 1 hob each. Like dnalex says they make a great combination. Each of these tanks are getting nearly 12x complete water exchange per hour. (dnalex has been my inspiration for my filter upgrades and his tanks are closer to 15x exchange) My hob intakes are set at about halfway down the tank while the canister intakes are 1" above the bottom. Using 3 filters on a tank can decrease the frequency of cleaning both the tank and the filters. Of course if you don't overstock it cuts back on the cleaning frequency as well (disregarding water-changes). I clean my canisters approx. once every 3 months and my hobs once every two months except for the foam inserts on the hob's which I usually rinse every other week).

My personal preference are the eheim canisters although there are several others out there that are good quality and efficeint.

:)

Great!! This seems to be pointing me even more strongly in the direction of canisters. Right now, I am cleaning my HOBs once a week, and I feel like the media is not doing too well for that :( The sponges tend to fall apart, but the filters themselves get too loud if I don't clean all the time. Now, I just have to get together the funds. This should be okay - expecting something within the next few months, and I have adequate filtration for now so the fishies can wait :) Maybe a birthday present to myself?!

I've looked into a Fluval as well. I want to go with a brand that is reputable....and I have heard good things about both Eheim and Fluval.

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I tightened the two screws on my whisper air pump and that helped a lot to reduce noise.

Edited by LisaCGold

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i use canisters,hobs and sponge filters.on my goldie tank i run a fluval 306 and a sunsun hw-303b. in my opinion i like the sunsuns. they are half the price of a fluval or eheim. they have quite the following now.they are made by the same company that makes the aquatop,all pond solutions(uk) and gretch. they then rebrand them.i love having two canister filters on my tank.i have one set up as a biological filter with a sponge prefilter.the other is set up as a mechanical filter.i only clean the bio filter 3-4 times a year.

if your pump is loud a good trick is to hang it inside of your cabinet in a small bag. i recycled a mesh orange bag for this.hang it so it does not touch the cabinet walls.

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In my opinion the best bang for the buck is the Aqueon 55/75 on Amazon for about $30. I do not know why people say they are constantly cleaning their HOBs. Perhaps they are overstocking or overfedding. I rarely have to spray off my filter pad and my water has very little suspended debris. I have 2 fluval 405s sitting in my basement because I haven't found any need for them running 3 Aqueon 55/75 on my 125 gallon.

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Thanks for all the advice! I'll take a look at the sunsuns as I have never heard of that brand before. I'm getting such great feedback from you guys - this is just what I needed :)

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