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Favorite Filtering Systems


SGcvn69

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Hilariously, my favorite isn’t what I run, except in quarantine and smaller tanks.  I much prefer sponge filters and matten walls.  

But my main goldfish system is two parallel sand filters and canisters in line with one another.  The main tank looks great but there is definitely a maintenance hassle with all the plumbing (I water change out the bottom of the system) and trying to stay on top of muck and mulm in the canisters - they make it easy to be lazy, unfortunately.

So if I had to make recommendations - do a sponge filter.  Cheap, easy to clean, and work beautifully.

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10 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Hilariously, my favorite isn’t what I run, except in quarantine and smaller tanks.  I much prefer sponge filters and matten walls.  

So if I had to make recommendations - do a sponge filter.  Cheap, easy to clean, and work beautifully.

Me too! Although I have a few other filters that have been work horses too! I think it's a Fluval on my 29 gallon tropical freshwater tank....we've had it for 18 yrs and it still kicks! I have had to do some repairs on it, but hey....pretty low maintenance really! My Shark filters are quirky, but they still work too! Cartridges are a bit hard to come by, but worst comes to worst, I stick my own stuff in there!

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The struggle is real with canister spills.  I’ve had some models that were difficult to get seated and sealed, not a great fit.  My current Rena/API Filstars are absolutely great, though.  I only wish they had a manual prime pump because the auto priming is dodgy most days, which makes tank maintenance a pain when I’m not sure it’s all kicked on properly or a big bubble stops the priming.  

That’s how I had a filter failure about two months ago - one filter loop  was going fine but the other was pumping but only cavitating air, not actually advancing water, so the filter media sat in stagnant water for about two weeks and caused a massive cycle bump.  There was also a lot of nasty anaerobic grossness from the bacterial die off and some got into the tank when I started it back up, which I think precipitated my fish getting sick after almost a year symptom free.  Sigh. With delicate fish who are carrying stuff, one bad water day can be all or takes to stress and weaken them and cause a flare up of opportunistic pathogens.

But anyway, good filter except for that feature.  I’m seriously considering moving to powerhead driven sponges, alone, someday though.

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I hate my canister filters, I always end up in super pain after cleaning then (well even during cleaning them, just undoing the hoses and pulling them out from under the stand is enough to hurt), always struggle to get the heads off, always make a mess, hate messing with the tubes...As such my filters don't get cleaned nearly as often as they should :ignore but for my big tanks HOBs wont work.
I'm not entirely sure whether sponge filters alone work work with tanks the size of mine. I'd love to have a sump setup in a way where I can just reach into it to pull out media for cleaning/replacement, but I don't know much about sumps at the moment.  

I mean I think canisters are great in general, Lots of room for media, easy to customize with media of your choice, just with my physical limitations they are a literal pain. 

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I'm actually really liking my modified marineland bio wheel filters.
You can throw away the cartridge if you want. I have been using the plastic cage looking ones they recommend putting charcoal or something in but instead put the small pellet size bio media from fluval. And in the back part of the filter I have just been being lazy and all honesty and using a larger piece of filter floss folded up fan fit into the back. Been surprised at how well it actually works like that.

Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk

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4 hours ago, Daniel E. said:

I'm actually really liking my modified marineland bio wheel filters.
You can throw away the cartridge if you want. I have been using the plastic cage looking ones they recommend putting charcoal or something in but instead put the small pellet size bio media from fluval. And in the back part of the filter I have just been being lazy and all honesty and using a larger piece of filter floss folded up fan fit into the back. Been surprised at how well it actually works like that.

Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk
 

I put bio media in my Fluval too. All I really have is that coarse sponge, charcoal and the bio media in my tropical fresh water tank. It works like a champ! 

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I use to love canister filters, but I went through a few until I found a couple that i was happy with.  But when you run a few too many tanks, the higher maintenance schedule starts to wear thin.  I have several classic Eheims in drydock, they worked so well and so efficiently, I hope they can find some service but for the unsuspecting.  lol.

I shoot for denitrification in all of my tanks.  Zero or near 0 nitrates between water changes.  My overhead trickle filter does that, the simple good old corner box filter too for tiny tanks and my latest filters, the Better Box Filter invented and sold by Swiss Tropicals can do that too.  The Better Box Filter is an improvement on the old box filters, higher media capacity, easier to clean and a good poret filter sponge on top.  The nice thing with all these filters are that I can control the flow rate with air valves.

HOB - are probably the most versatile of the bunch.  My favourties are the are the Aquaclears and the newish Seachem Tidal Filters.  Most tanks have a combination of an HOB and some sort of a sponge or box filter system.

Edited by dahling8
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11 hours ago, Daniel E. said:

I'm actually really liking my modified marineland bio wheel filters.
You can throw away the cartridge if you want. I have been using the plastic cage looking ones they recommend putting charcoal or something in but instead put the small pellet size bio media from fluval. And in the back part of the filter I have just been being lazy and all honesty and using a larger piece of filter floss folded up fan fit into the back. Been surprised at how well it actually works like that.

Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk
 

I used to make up my own bio filter media for my HOBs too, it worked really well.  My biggest issue with them tends to be the low flow rate and smaller media capacity but they’re extremely convenient and less unsightly than sponges, to be sure!

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