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Zoo Med Nano 501 Canister Review


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I thought I would do a quick review of the Zoo Med Nano 501 canister because I don't hear much about these ever :)

This nano canister was suggested to me by one of my youtube subscribers. I was using a little aqua clear HOB on my betta tank, but I wanted to add some more lighting and because of the way the lighting hooked onto the glass canopy, the HOB interfered, so I began asking around about nano canisters.

I have been using this canister for several months now. At first it was a bit loud, to the point where I was going to return it, but within 1-2 weeks it quieted down and now it is as close to silent as you can get. Even after cleaning it is still silent.

The canister itself has two chambers, one that holds a large sponge, and the other side holds bio media (along with carbon if you want it). Water comes in the sponge side through an intake and out the bio media side through an output.

The canister comes with a spray bar or regular output option. Because this is on my betta tank I chose the spray bar to reduce current. The spray bar is long enough for a 10 gallon tank, but can be cut to any size. I angle my spray bar down so that the only current is along the back wall of my tank which is heavily planted. It creates very little current and my betta has never seemed bothered by it :)

The filter claims to run 80 gallons per hour, who knows what actual output is, but It is more than enough for a small betta tank :) (my tank is 5 gallons btw)

Overall, I really like this canister. It is quiet, there's lots of room for media, and I love the spray bar option. My only complaint is that the canister itself can sometimes be difficult to open, I usually have to use a butter knife to help pry it open, but this also means it is sealed very well :P It also can be a little tricky to get going the first couple times, but I have had no problem once I figured out the angle I need to hold it at to get it to prime.

I think it is a great canister for a little tank! :)

EDIT: you can get this on Amazon for $45, I bought mine at Petco.

Spray Bar (this is actually typically under the surface, but I am doing a water change so I could show it to you :) )

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Media - I replaced the carbon with more bio-media

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Front View:

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Side view (sorry about the blinding light!):

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Edited by tithra
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Thanks, Tithra. It's always nice to learn about others' experiences with equipment I haven't tried yet.

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This is awesome because the petco near the mall in daly city, ca is closing down and they are having a store sale lol. 20%, so I have a canister for my shrimp tank woot!

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Question, what kind of sounds did you have with that first 1-2 weeks?

It just sounded like a loud filter, kind of grindy I guess. I think the impeller just needed to run and get gunked up a bit. It was not unbearable but this tank is in my bfs recording studio so the tank needs to be pretty much silent

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Yeah, it took like 2 hours but the noise went away, I think it was all the air in the sponge side

oh good! I hope it works out well for you :)

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I have the fluval 88g co2 system :)http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Pressurized-88g-CO2-Kit-Ounces/dp/B004G44ZQQ

I like it, but if I had any DIY know how I would set up a paint ball co2 system, which would be less expensive than the fluval kit, but the fluval kit has worked great for me so far :)

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Luckily I do not have much DIY myself lol, so we're keeping a company in business at least. Last question, what plants do you have in your 5?

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lol, glad I'm not the only one!

Right now I have Italian val, dwarf sag, dwarf hair grass, crypt parva, and flame moss, oh and some floating dwarf baby tears from when I had those in the tank ;) and I have a total of 39 watts of lighting (3x 13 watt fluval compact florescent fixtures)

Edited by tithra
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HMMM, I wanted to get those ADA glass kits for it... but they only go to 133mm, must improvise thanks!

Did you mean for the co2 kit? Sorry I wasn't sure which tubing you were referring to. The co2 kit uses normal sized airline tubing.

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Oh interesting I have never seen glass intake/outputs before! I would be scared I would break them!

The whole point is so it is less visible, Takashi Amano uses glass tubes in his 'nature' tanks.

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