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Canister filters

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Tomorrow is my birthday, and the one thing I really want is a canister filter. I have a 29G with one fancy goldfish and some Corys and White Clouds.  This spring I'll be setting up a 55G and hopefully getting my fancy a friend or two.  So I'll definitely need a more powerful filter. So, I've been researching canisters over the past few months. I thought the Sunsun sounded like a good deal, but now that I'm getting a tax refund, I can afford to go a bit higher on the price. I can spend around $125 max, but less would be better. I've been reading so many good reviews and now I can't choose - PLEASE help me choose! I won't even mention which ones I'm interested in - I want your thoughts and reviews on what you have!


Also, what GPH should I choose? I figured 370-525 range. Is that too much for the 29G? Thank you

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Once you go canister, you'll never go back. I like my tanks quiet, and canisters are virtually silent. No more waterfall sounds and random rattling noises!

I've been using Filstar XP canisters for years. I ran a 29 gallon for goldfish with an XP2 (300 GPH) and was more than satisfied. When I had a 46 gallon, I ran a pair of XP1s (250 GPH each, for a total of 500).

The XP2 (sometimes called the XPM) can be had for about $110 on places like thatpetplace, or you can find a coupon elsewhere.

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Id get a canister that will work for the 55 when you get it set up. So something with around 380-400 gph. I have a sunsun and have necer had one problem and my water is crystal clear. That said I know some people have had problems with sunsun. I also have a small canister for my 10 gal that I love but idk if they make bigger ones. So thats about all I can say lol.

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I recently bought my first canister; I went with an Eheim 2075, and am happy with it, but it's about twice your price range. Fluvial is another highly regarded brand (and I have no experience with it). I've also heard good things about the Rena/API "Filstar XP" filters, and Marineland.  Many like the value of the SunSun filters.


Here's the thread on the same subject which I started:

From my own research (and only a few week's more knowledge about the subject than you), here's what I've found:

  • My Eheim is able to cycle 328 Gallons per Hour, though a 55 gallon tank.
    • That works out to about 6x 'turnover' per hour.
    • I was told between 5 & 7x turnover per hour is 'enough' for goldfish
    • I've seen some guidelines of 10x turnover for goldfish. The difference appears to be an argument of "quality vs quantity" of filtration.
  • Noise and Power Consumption are often the biggest differentiators.
    • In general, they're all pretty quiet, and use less power than an incandescent light bulb.
    • My Eheim is practically inaudible, and is much quieter than my hang-on-back filter.
  • Most canisters allow you to select whatever filter media you want, which often negates many differences between filter brands
    • Many come with their own filter media
    • Just about everybody who makes filter media claims theirs is the best (of course).
  • Be aware that canister filters can leak, just like your house can burn down. It's rare, but it happens.
    • If they do leak, it can empty your entire tank onto your floor. This is catastrophic from both a homeowner's perspective as well as for your tank.
    • Cheap water alarms can be obtained from a hardware store, which provides a fair amount of protection, assuming someone is home most of the time.
  • You probably want to add the canister filter to your tank for at least a couple of months, to let the biofilter colonize. Only after the time has passed do you want to consider removing the old filter.
Edited by troy.telford
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