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FAQs about Canister, Cartridge Filters For Marine Systems 3

Related Articles: Physical FiltrationReview of the ViaAqua Canister Filter

Related FAQs: Canister Filters 1, Canister Filters 2, Outside Power Filters& FAQs on: Rationale/Use, Placement, Media, Plumbing, Maintenance, Troubleshooting/Repair, By Manufacturer: Eheim, Fluval, Other Brands,

Alteration to a canister filter for increased suction/Water Flow 8/8/11
Hi Crew..
<Hello Srinivas>
Am back again..
<That phrase is reserved for Arnold. :-)>
Have a small query and sure to sound stupid too..
anyway feel better to take your advice rather than doing anything stupid.
I have a 220 Gallon FOWL <FOWLR> with a 35-40 Gallon sump.
The sump is a 3 chamber set up with one having a DSB , one chamber hosing <housing> a Protein skimmer nad <and> the central chamber with the return pump.
There are several pumps placed on the side walls of the 6' ft display tank nad <and> cause much movement of the water through the tank.
While this takes care of the basic filtration, I still find fine particles of algae/debris/etc floating in the display tank. The movements in the tank keep it afloat and many such particles are nit <not> rushed through the overflow hole that flows to the sump.
I have a spare Eheim Canister filter (though much lesser in capacity for this tank) which I thought for using to suck in these floating matter. The problem is that the suction is too low and particles just float besides ( if they do not happen to touch the intake pipe end) pipes and remain visible in the tank. They are more irritating on days when I clean the tank (weekly once).
Can I attach a powerhead ( more powerful than the canister powerhead) to the suction tube to increase the suction rate?
My purpose is just to suck the floating matter and not for water circulation?
Kindly advice
<You just need to fine tune/experiment with your powerheads by pointing the output in different directions until you get your desired results. May even want to try placing one or two of the pumps
near the bottom of the tank. James (Salty Dog)>

Best Filter Canister, sel.    1/21/11
Hi there how are you today?
<Fine, thank you>
I have a 95 gallon FOWLR aquarium of saltwater with a 404 Fluval canister with 4 filter media basket (carbon, foam, BioMax and Clearmax), but I want to upgrade to a better canister, when I say better I mean
2010-2011 model.
I saw the JBJ Reaction 4-Stage Canister Filter + UV and it caught my eye, its not that expensive and has also 4 media baskets, look really neat.
Would you recommend me this filter?, if not what other filters are there that are good comparing my actual Filter canister and affordable price.
Thank You, have a nice day !
Ingrid Leija
<Though these lines of canister filters have GREATLY improved over the years, my favorite brand/manufacturer is still Eheim:
Quiet, dependable, energy-conserving... VERY long lasting. Bob Fenner> 

Flow Rate -- 09/25/09
<<Hiya Rod'¦no need to be quite so formal, mate>>
In your responses you state that the water turnover should be 4 to 6 times the tank size.
<<Hmm, have you corresponded on this with someone previously? Do please include prior related correspondence with your submissions so we can refer them to the appropriate crew member. But to get back to your statement'¦ There are no hard and fast rules re water flow in aquaria. Like so many other factors, it to needs to be tailored to the occupants>>
I have a 75 gal tank so flow should be over 300 gph, if I figured right.
<<Maybe so'¦not enough data here for me to give an informed reply>>
Then how is an Eheim 2215 with a flow of 165 gph supposed to be good for up to a 95gal tank?
<<This rating is for the 'filtering capacity' of this canister filter'¦and has nothing to do with whether it provides 'adequate flow' for any particular system>>
Do I really need 2 of them?
<<To filter a heavily stocked system'¦very possibly, yes. But if only more 'flow' is needed/desired, there are better methods/devices for this. Have you read here, and among the associated links (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm)?>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>

Flow Rate -- 09/25/09
Thanks for the quick response.
<<Quite welcome>>
Sorry for the lack of info. But that answered my question; they are looking at filtering capabilities not flow.
<<Ah'¦very good then>>
Keep up the good work.
<<We're trying>>
I use the planted advice all the time.
Thanks again,
<<Cheers, EricR>>

Canister filter in a SW setup? :Eheim ECCO 2236 6/1/2009
Hello All,
I hope you are enjoying the warming weather.
<Well, stuck in Montreal Canada at the moment, so it is a bit cooler than what I am used to in Florida.>
I have a questions regarding using (or not) the Eheim EECO 2236. I received one as a gift and I am not sure how I can use it in my current setup:
<Some of us are for them, other are against, I have two big Eheims on my tank.>
2 juvenile maroon clowns. 100lbs of Live rock (no corals, yet)
62.5 gallon with a 20 gallon sump with 15 setup as a refugium (4 inch sand bed with small live rock fragments, also Chaeto with lights running against the tank cycle (12 on / 12 off)
<Sounds good.>
All the other mechanics, Aqua C EV120 protein skimmer (Your suggestion IT ROCKS!!), heater/chiller 3Xpower heads.
My levels are all acceptable and I have no issues currently with nitrates, ammonia, PH, etc.. (except for evaporation, living here in LAS VEGAS!!!)
Is there any use for this freebee?
<Certainly. Canister filters work differently in a marine setup. I would not use it for biological filtration - let the live rock take care of that.
They are good for mechanical and chemical filtration, as well as additional water movement You do have to be stricter on the maintenance, I clean mine every two weeks.>
I should say that I am setting up a 50g fish only system (any suggestions about a puffer and tank mates) that has a Fluval 304 and a Coralife Super Skimmer, maybe the Eheim can work hand in hand with the Fluval?
<Not much else with a puffer in a 50 gallon.>
To Eheim or not to Eheim.. That is the question.
Thanks again for your help.
<My pleasure, MikeV>

Re: Canister filter in a SW setup? :Eheim ECCO 2236 6/1/2009
Thanks, What media would you use for mechanical and chemical filtration?
<For mechanical filtration, I just use the bulk filter pad available at any pet store and cut it to fit. For chemical filtration,. I use plain activated carbon, plus a Poly-Filter as needed.>
I am new to the world of canister filtration. I assume I need to remove the "Substrat" ?
<Yes, the Substrat is for biological filtration, and should be left out of a canister filter if you have live rock.>

I need help - PLEASE! SW canister filter media    12/21/08 Hello, <Hello Roxie> I have a huge dilemma and need help with this. I recently purchased a 75 gallon bow front aquarium. I have set it up as a salt water tank. When i got the fish tank from my brother, everything was included in it. Unfortunately, I have misplaced a vital component. I am not sure what exactly it does, but my brother says it is very important. I think it is a part of the protein skimmer or the filtration system. It is a back sponge-like material shaped in a cylinder. It was approximately 2-5 inches tall and about 2-3 inches wide. It had a "ball" inside of it. <Mmm... interesting... Would you please send along some photos of this outfit, particularly the area where this filter element goes?> I looked on the internet for over an hour tonight and I still don't know what this part is. <Mmm, I can't tell from the description either> There aren't many pictures to look at to compare, that is why I am seeking your expertise. The product name on the protein skimmer is JEBO and the other is a Cascade Canister Filter. <Oh... likely some part of the filter media here... an insert-able pad that goes near the top and or bottom... Mmm, maybe: http://cgi.ebay.com/Bio-Sponge-Fits-CASCADE-CANISTER-500-filter_W0QQitemZ330 272293187QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item330272293187#ebaypho tohosting no worries re substituting other material instead. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mcanfltmed.htm and the linked files where you lead yourself> Please help me. I don't want my fish to die. Thank you for your time, Roxie <Mmm, I would do a bit of reading re marine filtration period... There may well be other options, and definitely more that you'll want to know... to assure your success as an aquarist. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Filter Question 4/23/08 Hi Crew! <Hello Liyu> I have been reading your website in the past week and thanks for the effort to put them together. <Glad you enjoy/learn.> Some of them answered my question that my LFS had no clue about. Now I have only one quick question left in regards to the filter. I have a 55G tank, with live rock and live sand (3" thick), Coralife power compact 65wx4 (2 day lights and 2 actinic blue). A modified SeaClone skimmer (thanks for the link !) and 2 Hydor Koralia 600GPH power head. I used to have a Rena XP3 canister filter but found it is a pain to clean it every week or less. Since the tank is in the living room and there is not much room under the stand, I end up getting a ProClear Aquatics Pro 75 Wet Dry. I want to keep the XP3 running just as carbon filter and it also will give me extra flow. Question is that can I use the XP3 as my return pump so the water goes back to main tank through it? It rated a 350 GPH I am not sure if it is a good idea. <The filter depends on a gravity return line such as what is supplied with it. It isn't going to suck water up from the wet/dry filter.><<What? RMF>> Thanks for the advise. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> //Liyu

Re: Filter Question 4/23/08 Hi James <Hello Liyu> Thanks for the quick reply. <Welcome> I am not sure what you mean by " It isn't going to suck water up from the wet/dry filter". <I guess I'm not sure how you intend to use it.> The Wet Dry is using gravity to drain water from main tank to the wet dry and there is a return pump to pump the water back to the main tank, at least my wet dry does this. <Ok, what to you want the XP3 to do?> The wet dry is sitting below the main tank so there has to be a pump to get the water up to the main tank. <Yes, understand, and you have a return pump now doing so, correct?> What I mean is that use the XP3 to take the water from the Wet Dry filter (sump) and pump back to the main tank, the XP3 rated at 350GPS not sure if it will do it. <Exactly, but with the XP3 sitting on the bottom of the cabinet along with the wet/dry sitting on the same surface, creates a delivery problem to the XP3. You just can't run the suction hose from the XP3 into the sump and expect it to suck the water out of the sump into the filter. It does require gravity feed, the same as your wet/dry set-up. Am I reading you right?> Thanks again <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Liyu

Re: Filter Question 4/24/08 Hi, James <Hello Liyu> I know what you mean, I guess the XP3 is not powerful enough to suck the water from the wet dry and pump it back to the main tank which is about 3.5 foot higher. Nice try :), thanks for info. Now, any suggestion about the return pump, the CA1800 that came with the wet dry sounds like a tractor, any good quiet pump you can suggest? <I like the Mag Drive and the Quite One pumps.> Thanks. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Liyu

Filtering a Marine Aquarium on a budget, Nitrate problems 03/27/2008 Afternoon Crew! <<Afternoon, Andrew today>> I wrote to you last week asking about compatibility and stocking for my 55 gallon Bow Front. To give the run down again, I have a Prizm Pro skimmer, a CPR BakPak skimmer, Aqua Clear 1200 powerhead, about 35-40lbs of live rock, crushed coral, and an Ehiem2215 Canister Filter. The inhabitants are 2 Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Yellow Tang (who's going to be moving in a few months), a Royal Gramma, 2 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, 3 Peppermint Shrimp, and soon to be a Flame Angel. <<ok>> My questions is about my canister filter. I accidentally erased the response one of you sent me last week with the links to the information on the canister filters, but have done some searching myself on your site, and decided it needs to go. I do biweekly water changes, and after checking my Nitrates last night, I'm very concerned. If I remember correctly, the test strip read 260 ppm, or mg/L. PH is 8.1, Nitrites are zero, and I wasn't able to determine Ammonia, but I'm assuming zero since this set up has been running for over two years now. <<Yikes !!!! ....Start of with, get rid of the test strips, they are highly inaccurate. Purchase a good range of liquid test kits like Hagen, API or Salifert and then test again to get a more accurate reading>> I'm wondering what are some options for my set up besides the canister filter. I just started school and am on quite a budget, but also want to do what I can for the health of my tank. Plans are in the works with my father and I for a large (120 gallon) tank with 40 gallon sump, but until them a sump/refugium is not an option on this tank. Could I just get rid of the canister all together, and if I do, should I replace it with anything? Can I just take out everything besides the two pouches of Chemi-pure and let it run like that? Are there any better filtering options for me? <<I would slowly raise your live rock level to 55lbs and then slowly over the coming weeks, remove the canisters / hob filters and rely solely on the live rock to provide your filtration>> Again, thank you for all you guys do for us. I'm an every day reader and I picked up Mr. Fenner's book before I picked up my first fish. Sincerely, Heather <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Nitrate and Canister filters, Nitrate Sources 10/2/07 Hi, <Hello> So I've recently decided to add some corals to my 3 month old 65 gal with a 6" DSB, (green star polyp, a brown mushroom and a waving hand). My set up is a marineland C-360 canister filter filled with carbon, phos-guard, Purigen and filter sponge, I took the bio-balls out because they were adding to nitrates. <The nitrates are still being created in the same amount, now just hopefully in an area more conducive to nitrate reduction such as LR or your DSB.> I also have a 15 gal refugium with Caulerpa lit 24/7, which is growing nicely, an Aqua C Remora, a mat of Chaeto growing the main tank to supply food for a Mandarin, <You are aware that Mandarins do not eat algae?> and a submersible UV sterilizer. My nitrates have been constantly at around 10-15ppm for a few weeks now, after dropping initially following the introduction of the refugium. Everything is fine otherwise, my ammonia, phosphate, nitrite are 0, pH-8.2, calcium 380-400, alkalinity 10dKH, and my corals seem to be doing great, all opening and waving nicely in the water. So my question is this: I was considering getting rid of the canister filter, because I read that they can become nitrate factories, and figuring that this may be where the nitrates are coming from, was wondering if my tank would benefit from switching the canister with a Tidepool II from Marineland. <Will be in the same boat, both just trap detritus instead of removing it from the system like skimmers and water changes do.> I do regular feeding of three flakes of ocean nutrition (about 2" in diameter), and every other day replacing this with some frozen foods soaked in garlic. <I would switch to pellets from flakes, they hold their nutrients better, especially water soluble vitamins.> My tanks inhabitants consist of 4 perculas, 1 coral beauty, 2 Chromis, 1 blue tang and the mandarin goby. <Think you are going to have trouble with this mix.> I do not think I am overfeeding them, because they are constantly hungry, and seem to be pretty healthy with this feeding schedule. I do a 10gal water change bi-weekly. I was also wondering about De-Nitrate from SeaChem, which I am currently using in my refugium. Does it really do as it says, because it looks just like small porous rocks, which would most likely house aerobic bacteria along with the anaerobic, and create nitrates as well as remove them. So I guess the point of this rambling question is should I remove the canister and De-Nitrate? Or do you think something else may be contributing to my nitrate levels? Thanks, Dan <I would not use the De-Nitrate, only a bandage over the problem, not the cause. At your current nitrate levels I think if you do weekly water changes that would be enough. On a side note please take a second look at your stocking, I think you are headed for trouble here.> <Chris>

Canister Filter / Lighting Question   4/16/07 Hello WWM Crew people! <Hello Kevin> So I got a really good kick in the butt e-mail from someone on there about a horrible set-up that I had with a 10 gallon tank, a whole mess of salt water fish and a horrible protein skimmer.  After a few months, I was left with only one surviving damselfish and an anemone that was sold to me by some crooked dude whose business looked like he was doing some "fish hustle". Needless to say, I have changed my ways and upgraded a bit after doing some MORE research (by the way, you guys have answers for just about everything on this website that it's ridiculous).  I have limited space in my room so I wanted something nano, and I know how much some people on this site have expressed their hatred for nano set-ups. <Nothing wrong with a nano if done properly.  I've seen really nice looking nanos.> This is what I currently have: Hardware: 28 gallon Odyssea Fish Tank Prism Pro Protein Skimmer Magnum Pro Canister Filter Livestock: 35 Lbs Live Rock 1 Unknown Damselfish 1 Domino Damsel <Yikes!  Find a home for this guy.  Will become very aggressive with age and they do grow quite fast.> 1 Maroon Clown <Tank is/will be too small for this fish.> 1 Coral Beauty <<Way too small for this Angel... RMF>> 1 Cleaner Shrimp 2 Mini Hermit Crabs (used to be 5, those things are cannibals) <Do provide various sizes of empty shells.  They are more than likely killing for larger quarters.> 1 Condylactis Anemone (surprisingly hosted by the Maroon and looking VERY much in love with each other). <Anemones do not fit in well in community systems.  The possibility of other fish being stung is always present.> 2 feather dusters So, I've run this set up for 2 months.  I'm religious at cleaning the skimmer out and have been doing water changes once every two weeks.  I have not tested the water yet (will be going to the LFS to get a free test, test kits / boosters for ph, alkalinity, etc. to try and get better colors out of my live rock /coral polyps growing on the live rock).  My question is about the canister filter.  I bought the filter before doing enough research on this site about how in most marine set-ups, canister filters don't do the job that people expect them to do.  I'm currently running it with the basket insert, some exterior floss media (at least that's what it looks like to me) and some white carbon in the basket insert. <Nothing wrong with canister filters providing they are cleaned on a weekly basis.  I've never heard of white carbon, must be some other type of chemical media.> The canister filter is pretty much the only water flow in the tank, and I had read that canister filters are notorious for not doing their job at cleaning marine tanks as well as wet/dries. <Weekly maintenance is the key here.> I cleaned it out this weekend and boy did it smell funky, but I'm sure the fish were happier with me doing so.  I read on this site that you have to clean them quite often in marine set-ups. <Any system, not just marine.> Is there anything that I can do to the canister filter, add some type of media or whatever that might be able to give me more time between cleanings? <Ah, we are trying to find shortcuts already.  Can't be done my friend. Weekly cleanings must be done.  Cannot allow collected nutrients/waste to remain in the tank.  They are still in the system, just relocated.> Also, I did some research on the power compact lighting that came with the tank, and it's pretty much crap (something like 35 watt maximum).  Do you have any suggestions on how I can get a better light set up in there, places that might sell different types of fixtures that I can install myself, etc.? I did research on the Condy and it seems they don't mind less lighting, <Mmm, wrong here.  They require a high light level.  As for light fixtures, a Google search will provide links to plenty of etailers selling such.> but I wanted to check it out just in case.   Thanks for your help! <You're welcome, and do search/read about animals before you buy.  Ensure you can provide the requirements/needs of the animal and it's compatibility with others you may have.  James (Salty Dog)> Kevin

Rena Filstar Issue... air leak   1/31/07 Hi Guys- <Howdy> I have a 300 gph Rena FilStar canister filter which has been functioning beautifully for about 6 months.  Over the last few days the water level in the canister has dropped and every 2-3 minutes, there is a sucking sound and a whoosh of aire entrapped in water is jettisoned out through the out let hose.  It creates quit a horrendous sound. <Yes... you have an "air leak" somewhere on the intake side of your plumbing> Have I lost my seal on the filter? <Yes> How is air entering the canister? Whats the remedy, new o ring, or a new canister filter? T Joe Tremper <Mmm... a careful examination (possibly with a length of tubing against your ear, other noise turned off... and/or a squirt bottle with "just water"... to try and detect the leak... starting from the intake from the tank... to the canister itself... Perhaps a systematic disassembling, trimming of "old" flexible tubing, re-fitting to the hard plastic couplers/els... maybe the addition of a bit of smears of pure Silicone lubricant to seal all a bit easier... including the top/O-ring... Good hunting! Bob Fenner>

Which Option For Plumbing A Separate External In-Line Filter? - 01/18/07 I have a 142 gallon aquarium that drains through a 12" x 12" central overflow via a 2" Durso standpipe into a 30 gallon sump. <<Ok>> A Reeflo Barracuda then pumps the water back into the tank at about 1500 GPH.  I want to run a second loop through a Nu-clear 533 filter, primarily for additional circulation and chemical filtering with Purigen and PhosGuard. <<I see...excellent>> I have a Little Giant 4MDQ-SC for this purpose, although I would like to eventually replace it with something cooler and quieter. <<One of the small Iwaki or GRI pumps would do nicely...even BlueLine or PanWorld for a bit less dosh.  Choose the smaller models without the cooling fan for less noise...would still be plenty of flow for the purpose of the filter>> My question is, how should I supply this second pump? <<Preferably with its own throughput/bulkhead fitting from the tank>> I have three available options.  The first is to feed it through a 1" bulkhead in the bottom of the overflow. <<Mmm...only if the overflow can take the extra volume...I believe RC has a 'calculator' for this>> The second is to use the currently plugged hole in the side of the overflow near the bottom, and then through the 1" bulkhead in the bottom of the overflow via 1" tubing.  In that way, it will draw water from the tank outside of the overflow, not from within the overflow itself where it may compete with the 2" drain. <<Indeed...this is a much better option in my opinion.  The bulkhead in the side of the overflow can easily be fitted with a screen to protect livestock>>>> The final option is to feed the pump from the sump, but will that be too much for the sump or drain to handle? <<You'll be pushing, maybe even exceeding the limits of the drain...at the least this will create more noise/turbulence, and the associated plumbing hassles to resolve same>> Thank you very much for any assistance that you can provide! <<Best to go with option two in my opinion.  This is the approach with the least hassle and the best chance for success...you will in effect be creating a closed-loop with an in-line filter.  Regards, EricR>>

Using A Manifold With An Eheim Canister Filter 1/10/07 Hi crew! <Hello Laura.> I read through the info on the Goodbye Powerheads article and was wondering if this manifold idea would work if I built it and ran it out from the return on my Eheim 2028 canister filter (rather than having to add another pump to my already crowded 55 gal. reef tank).  What do you think? <Laura, the Eheim pump that is incorporated into the filter will more than likely not develop enough pressure to use a manifold with it.  The Eheims usually come with a spray bar option, and this is what I would use.> And also, does this manifold really allow a tank to flourish without the use of all these powerheads? <It does help to eliminate dead spots in the system, and yes, can take the place of several powerheads if the pump is sized correctly.  Do search our site on this subject for more info.> I will admit I am a bit skeptical, but I'd love to give it a try if I can eliminate them! Thanks so much for this wonderful site and your expert advice! <You're welcome, and thank you for writing us.  James (Salty Dog)> Laura

Filter Question, SW, Can.    12/28/06 <Hey Ricky, JustinN with you today> You guys have an awesome website and I have been reading articles from your site for the past two years.  Today is my first time asking questions.   <Thank you for the kind words, is a collaborative effort.> 1) I have a 125 gallon saltwater tank fish only with live rocks.  Now I have a Naso and a Juvenile Queen Angel, four cleaner shrimps, and some blue-leg helmet crab.  I also have a protein skimmer, UV, an Eheim 2229 wet/dry filter, a magnum 350 canister filter.  Now I want to replace the 350 canister filter to a FLUVAL FX 5 canister filter because the FX5 can clean up to 400 gallon tank.  Do you think this is a good idea?  Do you think this would lower the nitrate level? <Honestly, I think it would be an unnecessary step. How often are you cleaning out all the media in these filtration devices? Without proper and thorough maintenance, both wet/dry filters and canister filters can become 'nitrate farms', built up with so much tank gunk that the tank can't handle the load. Thoroughly cleaning the canister filter every water change, and cleaning out half the bioballs at the same time should help some. If I may ask, how much rock do you have in this tank? If you have less than 80-100 pounds of rock currently, you would see positive results from increasing this amount. Hope this helps! -JustinN> Thank you and I really appreciate if you could get back to me. Ricky

Re: Filter Question   12/28/06 Thank you for your answers.  Your answer helped me save my money.  I know the FX5 is not cheap.  I do water change every two weeks (20 gallon) using purified water.  I clean my filter every month.  The live rocks are less than 80 pounds (70 LBS).  But if I add more rocks to the tank, there won't be enough room for my fish to swim around.  I have 3 power heads.  One of them is maxi-jet 1200.  The other two are SEIO super-flow 1500.  My nitrate right now is about 50(SALIFERT test kit). Can I add any more fish in there?  I lost 2 ACHILLES tang in two weeks. One died in the quarantine tank. What kind fish will be the better choice? THANK YOU SO MUCH!! <Well, Ricky, I think you'll be ok if you clean the filters a bit more diligently, and do so at every water change. You should also consider doing weekly water changes until you get the nitrates under control. Once your nitrates are under control, I think you'll be ok to add a few more small fish. Hope this helps! -JustinN> Canister media   12/16/06 Hello-   First, I want to say "I love your site". All you there are doing a great job.   Second, I want to ask two questions.  My first question is about canister filters. (I do know you are not fond of them) <Only for certain applications... I actually use them on my present two systems (Eheim)... but do need careful, regular maintenance in most marine applications> but I am just starting out and bought a used tank that came with 2 canister filters and Aqua C skimmer. Due to a $$ issue I cannot go with a sump at this time, but will upgrade to one when able to. Anyway, I'm going to use the canisters for now. Can you tell me what you would recommend to use in them? <Mmm, yes... and much of this is posted: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcanistfltfaqs.htm and the linked files (articles, FAQs) at top> They have so many different medias, pads, carbon and such. <Yes... my best "advice" (what I would use) is from the first water (some filters are top down... most flow bottom up)... something like Ehfi-Mech or Siporax (an everlasting aerobic and anaerobic media... you will just gingerly rinse every cycle... Next, a course then fine mesh-fiber media... e.g. Eheim's Ehfi-Grob and Ehfi-Fein... These also just rinsed weekly... then a unit or two (depending on the size of the canisters themselves) of Chemi-Pure or equivalent... can be home-made with Dacron bags... replaced, switched out every month or so...> I know I should maintain them once a week. <Yes>   My second question is about the skimmer. The tubing that goes from the skimmer to the pump is only about 2 inches long. Again, no sump, so this will be in the tank for now. Can I buy a piece of tubing long enough for the pump to sit on the bottom of the tank behind the rock? <Yes... your LFS, or a large hardware store...> It has a model 3 pump.   I appreciate your response. <Welcome my friend to our ever-wonder full hobby. Bob Fenner>

Re: canister media  12/17/06 Thank you for your quick response. I do appreciate it. You don't mention the use of any filters (fine or course), you would not use them? <Mmm, are mentioned... are the intermediate media by Eheim... made of poly... a one-time purchase...> Lastly, when you mention rinsing, you mean by the tank water not the tap water? <This is best, yes> Again thank you and keep up the good work. Your site is very educational for all. <Thank you for seeking clarification here. Bob Fenner> Re: canister media   12/18/06 I want to apologize for taking your time again. <Hello Unnamed Questioner - Tim answering your question today!> I asked the wrong question in regards to the use of filters. (I later realized.) Can you tell me where to purchase the Ehfi-Grob and Ehfi-Fein? I was unable to find these products anywhere. I have only found Ehfi-Synth, Ehfi-Fix and Ehfi-Substrat (pro). I appreciate your response. <And we appreciate your query. Do a google search for these and any online shops that sell these products are likely to show. Best of luck.> Re: canister media   12/19/06 I do apologize again, but are these the actual names of the products? Ehfi-Grob & Ehfi-Fein? I did a google search for these products and the results are "0" items found. Any links that did come up, I used their search feature and again "No products found." Thank You again. <Mmm, please see here on Eheim's site re: http://eheim.com/filtermedia.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: canister media   12/21/06 I am just writing in regard to the Ehfi-Grob & Ehfi-Fein. After trying to search everywhere, I contacted Eheim. As per Eheim these products were produced many years ago and are now discontinued. <Thank you for this my friend... I was produced many years ago... and have not yet been discontinued... Heeee! They still make similar, the same products, but have changed their names> I also have one more question, do both canisters have to have the same media? <Mmm, no... I find it easier to stack both the same though... We used many Eheim canister filters in our service company's systems (mainly freshwater applications) years back... and did the same with all of them. Bob Fenner> SW canister filtration   12/6/06 I have been reading over your site and now realize I may have to change my filtration. You almost always recommend a sump for all salt tanks... I have 2 Eheim canister filters on a 75 gallon with an aqua c remora pro skimmer. In the Eheims I have the white filters, blue filter, Chemi-pure and the ceramic rings. Would this be ok with weekly maintenance? Or will my water quality eventually become poor due to inadequate filtering? Any suggestions you have would be of great help. < With diligent maintenance you can avoid common problems associated with canisters, but the main concern is a power outage. These filters can become anaerobic in a short time if power is lost, and pump some really nasty stuff back into the tank when the power is restored. If you have enough live rock you can remove the canisters, albeit one at a time over a few weeks. You can also keep a canister to place your chemical filtration in as long as you clean it out often. > Thanks < Most welcome and best of luck - Emerson >

Fluval Canister Filter for Sump Intake? Not Safe... 12/2/06 Hi Bob, <Hey Laura, JustinN with you today.> My husband and I have a 150 gallon tank with approximately 60 lbs of live rock.   <I would add more rock to this, for natural filtration.> We have had a recurring problem with nitrates and find ourselves doing 30% water changes weekly.   <10-25% weekly is recommended anyhow.> Our filtration system consists of a Fluval FX5 canister filter.  We do not have a protein skimmer but we plan to purchase one soon.   <This combination is likely your source of nitrates. The canister filter, unless cleaned thoroughly and frequently, will tend to become a nitrate farm. Add to that the lack of waste proteins being removed by a protein skimmer, and you've got nitrate issues.> Our bio load is relatively small in relation to the tank size.  A tang, an angelfish, a couple clowns and two sea anemones currently inhabit the tank.  We would like to install an in-sump protein skimmer, but we want to continue utilizing the canister filter instead of purchasing a wet-dry filter.   <A live rock filled sump would likely provide better results than a wet/dry here anyhow.> We were wondering if there is a way to use the canister filter's intake/output in conjunction with the sump.  Would it be possible (and effective) to place the canister output hose inside the sump (instead of the tank) and then use another pump to push the water from the sump back into the tank?   <Not practical (or safe!) to do this. Without drilling the tank, an over-the-back weir will be your only practical solution. It would be nearly impossible to keep the canister flow matched to the return pump, eventually leading to an overflow somewhere in the line.> We were hoping to avoid the use of a weir or a protein skimmer that hangs off the side of the tank.  I have done some extensive Googling but I haven't seen much documentation on the topic.  Any advice/suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated. <I would suggest using hang-on-back weirs, as you're unfortunately wishing not to do. If you choose this solution, do use a pair of weirs per drain, for redundancy. You're simply too likely to run into severe problems with your proposed setup.> Thanks in advance for your help, Laura <No problems, Laura. Glad to be of service. -JustinN>

Canister filter 'paste'   11/19/06 Hello Crew, <Mark> I have a 3 year-old set up consisting of a 75 gl FOWLR, (~45 lbs live  rock), 1/2" aragonite substrate, Remora Pro skimmer, two power heads pumping a total of 3880 LPH and an Eheim 2217 canister filter.   Critters include 1 - Firefish, 1 - Hepatus Tang 1- Maroon Clown 1 - Lawnmower Blenny 3 - Green Chromis 6 - Hermit crabs 1 - nuisance pistol shrimp I cannot seem to get rid of ... (what is their life expectancy anyway?). <Can be years...> Every couple months or so I check the canister filter and find almost no trace of typical brown gunk as I was used to with my freshwater tank  filter.   However, there is always a cream-colored paste accumulated on  the filter pad.   Do you know what this stuff is? <Likely a "bio-film"... conglomeration of microbes of various sorts, and near-tissue life (sponges)...> Do you think I have enough  rock to eliminate the filter? <Mmm, worth trying... but if you have no discernible metabolite anomaly, I would leave this canister in place... the "gunk" is actually highly likely beneficial> Also, I perform a 15 gallon water change (all RO water) every 2  weeks.  The substrate always accumulates several 'blobs' held together with  a brownish, mucus-like material. <Good descriptions> I have been vacuuming this out each time  I make changes because it is unsightly but eventually I will need to replace  some substrate. Do you know what this is? If so, do you have any advice on  eliminating it? <Likely an algal component... along with protozoans of various orders... Maybe a QX3,4 scope under your Xmas tree this year...> Thanks in advance for your help Mark <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Eheim For Rowaphos   9/4/06 Dear James Hope you are well. <Not bad, thank you.> A further question or two. At the moment I run 2 Eheim filters on my 37g reef tank : 1 mechanical and  1 wet and dry. There would seem to be enough space in the bottom basket of the mechanical filter to add an inch or so of Rowaphos which I would like to use to eliminate phosphate.  Maybe I could mix Rowaphos with the Eheim media, or replace the whole bottom basketful with the Rowaphos. <I'd do the whole basket.> Does this sound like a fair idea and/or would it ruin the efficiency of the filter? <Should be fine.> If you think I should keep the filters as they are (I know you guys are not great fans of Eheim always, <I've never had problems with the Eheim line.> but I am 'afraid' to take them out of action)  are you acquainted with the Deltec MCE600 skimmer which has a space for adding Rowaphos.  Is that a good option perhaps? <If you are not presently using a skimmer, this would be a very good option. Not familiar with Deltec, but understand they are a efficient skimmer.> Many thanks for your time. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> All the best. Peter Hosier

Canister Filter Media/Maintenance - 09/01/06 Hello Crew: <<Good Morning>> Today I purchased an AquaC Remora Skimmer with Maxi-Jet 1200 and the additional pump box online to replace my Prizm. <<A good move>> My tank is a 55 Gallon with a 3-inch DSB, 25lbs of Tufa Rock from my previous Cichlid tank and 10 lbs of Live Rock.  I have a canister Filter that has Carbon, BioSponges, and Floss.  The question I have is what components of the canister should I  remove? <<None...necessarily.  All can be used if rinsed (sponges) or replaced (carbon/floss) on a weekly/bi-weekly basis...though personally, I would replace the sponges/floss with Poly-Filter and rinse weekly until exhausted and then replace>> The Tank currently houses 2 Perc. Clowns, 1 Six line Wrasse, 1 Royal Gramma, 1 Neon Goby, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Fire Shrimp, various Hermits and Snails and I plan on adding 1 Flame Angel, 1 Watchman Goby, 1 Pistol Shrimp and a Brittle Star or Two.  With more rock should I remove it all together? <<Only if you won't keep up with the maintenance>> I also am setting up my quarantine tank so that I can purchase the Flame Angel and was wondering if the floss from the canister filter would cycle the QT? <<Indeed it will>> Thank you so much for all your help. <<Quite welcome, EricR>>

Filter dilemma... Lions and canisters, no my!   8/24/06 Hi there! I've been asking lots of questions and every time your answers were more than helpful, thank you so much! I have a filter question this time... I am planning to set up a tank for a Lionfish (Pterois radiata). It's a 65 gal, <Will be too small...> I already have the tank, the lights, etc. Actually, I only need the filter to start the whole thing. I know that Lions need a damn good filtration, so I was wondering, what filter should I use? There are so many choices, and not enough info... <Lots of both available> I was looking at these two models, but if you have any other suggestions for this kind of setup, it would be more than appreciated... anyway, there are the two choices I have for the moment: - Pentair Aquatics canister filters (separate units, one mechanical, on chemical...) <Nah...> - Eheim Professionel II (more expensive, but I heard that it's a good choice...) <Is better, but not the route I would go either... Canisters aren't generally "appropriate technology" for marine systems...> I'm quite confused, and I'd really appreciate some help here! Thank you very much!! BTW, the Radiata will be the only fish in the tank... Merci infiniment! Ivan <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcanistfltfaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lionsysfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Bubble/Cyano Issues - 08/22/06 Greetings from Grayslake, IL <<Back at you from Columbia, SC>> I've read a lot (I won't say all) of the FAQs regarding bubbles but I am still running across an issue. <<Ok>> Here is my set up: - 29 gallon reef tank up and running for about 8 months now - CPR Bak Pak - Magnum 350 Canister Filter - 2x96 Watt 10k PC (On for 7 hours) - 2 actinic bulbs PC (On for 10 hours) - 40(+-) lb live rock - 2-inch live sand - RO/DI 4-stage system Here is my problem.  I still get bursts of air bubbles from the canister filter. <<Hmm, air intrusion from somewhere...builds up to the point where the bubble is large enough to "escape" to the outflow/impeller chamber of the filter pump...thus the "bursts" of bubbles>> I have broken down the system and have replaced the o-rings and have added metal clamps on the all of the hoses to try to tighten it all down.  Can't really find any leaks in the system. <<Have you tried "sealing" all the joints one-at-a-time with Vaseline? <Mmm, would not use a Petroleum-based material... too likely to act as a solvent... soften the tubing in the long/er run. Perhaps a Silicone-based lube. RMF>   Have you checked to see if bubbles are being generated/pulled in to the filter through the intake from the intake water chamber (sump?)?>> In addition to the bursts of air bubbles, when the lights are on I get a small amount of bubbles constantly. <<Check the placement of the filter intake/the possibility of bubbles in the surrounding water being pulled in to the filter>> Suggestions?  Replace it? <<Might be worth a try>> What would you guys/gals recommend for a replacement? <<I've always had good luck with the Fluval line of canister filters...and if you have the bucks, Eheim is a good choice>> I am also getting some muck on the top of the sand when the lights are on but it is gone when the lights are off? <<Cyanobacteria...possibly>> Some of my live rock has turned red on the tips, don't think that it is coralline algae.  Some form of algae was wondering if I need to be concerned here or not. <<Hard to say...likely not.  But do have a look through our FAQs/articles re "Cyanobacteria" and "blue-green algae">> Thank you for your time. <<A pleasure to assist>> Like everybody else...Love the site!  Very very informative. <<Always good to hear...thank you>> Sincerely, Richard Hunt <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Re: Bubble/Cyano Issues   8/22/06 Thanks for the reply. <<Welcome>> I am not running a sump, just the CPR Bak-Pak and the Magnum Filter.  Regarding the Vaseline... <Again, NO to the use of Vaseline... IS a SOLVENT. RMF> how is that done?  Do I pull out the connections and add it to the connection or to the hose? <<No need to pull apart the connections...just smear some around the "above water" connections to seal them temporarily.  Do this one at a time watching each for a bit to see if the bubbles stop>> The intake is behind a piece of live rock, so I don't really have any air coming from there I don't believe. <<The steady stream of air bubbles while the lights are on could be nitrogen bubbles from your rock/substrate being sucked in to the filter intake>> Again, Thank you Richard Hunt <<Regards, Eric Russell>> Re: Bubble/Cyano Issues - 08/22/06 Now that's interesting.  I do have tiny bubbles all over the red stuff on the rocks that I spoke about in my original post.  Could that be what is getting into the filter? <<Ah, most assuredly Cyanobacteria then...and yes, the filter intake could be pulling-in these bubbles>> If so...how do I get rid of the bubbles from the live rock? <<Increased water movement often helps when battling this blue-green algae.  Do have a read here and among the links in blue for much more information:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm >> Thanks, Richard <<Quite welcome, EricR>> Options for replacing Ocean Clear 325    8/13/06 Dear WWM, First of all thanks for everything and I mean everything. <<You're very welcome!>> The Ocean Clear filter is currently installed inline in a FOWLR 300 Gal system and seems to do an ok job.  The worry that I have is the more I read about canister filters the more concerned I get about this unit. <<No need to be "concerned".  The filters can be quite effective/utilitarian...with proper/regular maintenance>> I do not want this to turn into a Nitrate incubator.. <<Then service/clean weekly...>> The filter in question is fed by 2 bottom drilled intakes and is attached to an Iwaki WMD040RTL.  So my question is what are my options for replacement? <<Mmm, don't know that it is necessary>> Can I just take the filter media out and use it for circulation, or what do you think? <<If you're not now, I would use this unit for chemical filtration.  Poly-Filters work great here...can be cleaned/reinstalled weekly until exhausted.  You could even add a small amount of carbon in conjunction with the Poly-Filter to rinsed or changed out weekly.  You can leave the micron filter in place if you wish...but definitely rinse it off on a weekly basis>> Thanks in advance for all your help and I look forward to your recommendations. <<Happy to share>> Rick <<Regards, EricR>> What's This Spewing From My Canister Filter?...Bacterial Film - 07/25/06 Good evening WWM crew, <<Hello Lorri>> I have spent the better part of today researching my most recent quandary about my new (3 month old) 40 gallon marine aquarium.  My husband is starting to growl about not getting dinner, so I felt it was time to ask my question directly to you...the experts. <<Mmm, yes...must maintain the peace at home <grin> >> Today's question is basically this:  Why does the output tube from my Fluval 204 spew copious amounts of opaque junk (looks like small pieces of uneaten raw shrimp) back into the tank after I have turned off the canister to clean the filter and then restart the filter according to manufacturer's instructions?  I am obviously doing something wrong.  Just not sure what.  As always any input would be appreciated. <<You're not doing anything wrong, nor is this anything to be worried about.  Your filter's output tube (indeed ALL your tank's plumbing lines) gets coated with a filmy mat of bacteria.  This is a natural occurrence and one reason we recommend over sizing plumbing lines a bit to allow for the decreased flow that occurs as the material builds on the inside surfaces of the plumbing.  These mats grow in relation to the pressure/flow direction of the water in the filter/plumbing lines.  When you stop the flow, the bacterial mats "relax" a bit and when the flow starts up again bits are torn away and these are what you see exit in to your tank.  In my experience these "bundles" of bacteria/bio-film are harmless and quickly dissipate in the tank>> By the way please share my good news with Mr. Fenner regarding the Purple Long Tentacle Anemone whose tentacles were slightly burned when they came in contact with some diluted marine buffer I had added to the aquarium "she" has made a most spectacular recovery and appears beautiful and healthy again.  I now add the buffer during water changes per his advice. Thank him for his reassurance. <<You just did...am sure he will see this>> Lorri Thanos <<Regards, EricR>>

DSB Canister Filter? - 07/24/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I just started the fish keeping hobby and I established a 90 gallon reef tank in my living room. <<neat!>> While doing research I came across the process of denitrification. <<Okay>> I came to understand that Nitrate filters are not reliable. <<Mmm, probably not so much "not reliable" as "fiddly"...requiring constant attention/adjustment to optimize their usage>> Instead, I read that a DSB could be very effective at reducing Nitrates. <<Indeed>> Well the thing is, I don't want to add a deep layer of sand in my display tank, and since I can't get a sump (there's no space under the tank) I came up with an idea that might seem weird: Could I apply a thick layer of sand in an empty canister filter to act as a DSB filter? <<Mmm, no...aside from not being a large enough volume to be of benefit, pressurizing/running the filter will cause the water to be "forced" through the entire volume of sand. This will defeat the denitrification process as there will be no "stratification" of the sand bed with the varying levels of oxygen allowing the different classes of bacteria to form/populate...all of which are part of/necessary to the process of denitrification>> I imagine it will fulfill the role of a sump. <<Not in my opinion>> Please correct me if I'm wrong. <<Since a sump is out of the question, you might wish to look in to the addition of a "hang-on" style refugium in which to place the sand bed.  Another option would be if you have room "over" the tank to place a large (salt) bucket half-full of sand with water pumped up to the bucket and allowed to gravity drain back to the tank from a bulkhead fitting placed just below the lip of the bucket>> Also, I live next to the sea, where the sand in the coastal areas is extra-fine (which I read is preferable for DBS).  Could I use this sand? or is it a bad idea? <<Best not to use it due to the possibility of introducing pollutants/pests>> One last question.  Concerning macroalgae, how effective are they at denitrification? <<Not so much "denitrification...is a different type of host/environment, performs a different function from the deep sand bed...yet still useful through regular harvesting for removal of organic compounds (including nitrate) as part of their nutrient uptake>> Also is there a problem to add those in my display tank (I'm particularly interested in red macroalgae)? <<Can be done, though some species can be very invasive (e.g. - Caulerpa sp.) while others might be quickly consumed (e.g. - Gracilaria) by some fish species (e.g. - Tangs/Rabbitfish) Sorry for the long read. <<No worries mate>> Any help will be greatly appreciated. <<I hope I have>> Thank you. Mohammad <<Regards, EricR>>

Ammonia Spike After Power Outage.. canister filter danger   7/2/06 Hi, <Hello there> Thank you for your excellent site.  I'm a former fresh water hobbyist turned salt water since Oct. of last year.  Your site has been a huge help in the last year.  I have always found ample information without having to write but have experienced my first major problem.  I was hoping for a second opinion on my plan of action to deal with this.  My livestock include one sailfin tang (I know he'll need a bigger tank and will provide for him), 2 clarkii clowns (mated pair), one blue damsel, one red knobbed starfish, one banded serpent star (a brown w/ darker brown striped brittle star not sure if that's the correct name as I've never found his exact pic on your site), <There are many such species> 3 blue legged hermits, a cleaner shrimp, and live rock with various little hitchhikers. I have a 72 gallon, hex tank, that has been running for almost 9 months.  It cycled well last year and I thought that I had made it through the flooding in the area that had shut the power off several times without trouble.  I discovered this morning I was wrong.  My ammonia level was slightly elevated (normally it is 0, nitrite, and nitrate zero, pH 8.2, temp around 72) this morning it was 0.25 ppm for ammonia.  I found out my magnum 350 was the problem. <For other readers this is a canister filter... would "go anaerobic" with cessation of power/flow> Although it had come back on after the power returned it wasn't primed and therefore never was really working.  Like I said I'm a beginner since my fresh water always had hang on whisper filters. <And these are hang-on power filters... open to the air> So now I know that I've got to check that when the power goes off.  I got the 350 running, but stupid me over looked that the little water left in the intake and return ubing had gone bad.  It caused my ammonia to spike to 1.0 ppm. I was horrified. So I added the recommended dose of ammo-lock 2 as an emergency stop gap after doing a 25% water change.  I plan to do another 25%water change in two days.   <Any ammonia will hopefully be gone before this> I will also stop by the LFS to pick up some stress zyme to add after the next water change.  I thought that that may offer some help to replace any bacteria harmed from this large a disturbance in the cycle (I had vacuumed the sand, changed out some of the decor, and changed out the filter media before I turned on the filter and sent that horrible water into the tank). <Yes, best to vent initially...> I will continue to test and do changes as needed to keep the ammonia, etc in control.  Does this seem a good plan? <Yes... though, as stated, likely all will be rectified in short order on its own>   I had been planning to add some more live rock, would now be a good time to do so? <Not for a few weeks> I feel like an idiot for not realizing the filter wasn't moving water and then letting that water into the tank. <Happens... a common mistake.> Soon after I set the tank up my father was diagnosed with cancer and ten days later my father in law had a heart attack.  Things are only starting to get back to normal so I'm not as observant as I should be with the tank. <Good that you recognize these influences, events... Even better that you are able to keep all in perspective. In a/the grand course of things, the aquarium is "small potatoes"... Put emphasis where emphasis lies> Sorry for the long email, I was trying to give all the needed info.  Thanks for all the help and hard work. -Ali <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner> Equipment/Filters...Bursts of bubbles from a Magnum 350   5/25/06 Bob,  <James today, Bob exploring the mysteries of the deep in HI> <<Heeee! RMF>>   I noticed the question from Donna regarding air-bursts from her HOT Magnum. I have been using three 350's and two HOT's for several years and the only time I observed air building up in the canister (and causing bursts of bubbles) was when I had an airstone near the intake and it would suck in the occasional bubble until a larger bubble was built up inside the canister. and then it would periodically spew a mist of air droplets in the exhaust several times a minute. This sounds like it would have been obvious to the most casual observer, but it took me several days of messing with everything I could think of on the Magnum until finally I was glaring at the snorkels in frustration and saw a bubble spiral around into the intake side. (D'oh!!) Using 5 Magnums for the last three years and that's the only way I've seen air get entrained - through the intake. <Thank you for this, Mark, will post.  James (Salty Dog)>   Mark Hein

Canister poss. addn. to a F and anemone WLR   5/9/06 Hi Crew - I have a couple of questions for you today.  First, some useful info: I have a mixed reef 74gal reef ready oceanic tank with a 30gal sump. I have converted both holes in the overflow box to drains and have return via hard PVC from the opposite corner of the tank.  I am using a LARGE Iwaki MD70RLT for the return (I know this may be "too much flow") operating at about 6 feet head pressure.  The return pump also runs a skimmer and a chiller.  I have over 100lbs of LR.  My tank is about 2-3 years old and has been relatively trouble free until recently.  NO3 levels are below 10ppm, NO2 and ammonia are ~0.  My phosphate test kit reads zero. Problem/Question 1: I recently upgraded to this larger pump and because the flow through the sump is so high, it is hard to keep filter floss in place (as you might expect).  I am stuck with this pump however and rather like the flow in the tank.  However, I have recently had my first algae explosion which I think is due to inadequate particulate filtration. <And likely the "natural" aging of your hard substrates, loss of "bio-diversity"... Please search, read on WWM re... I would switch out a bit of the substrate and LR> I use RO/DI water always, feed very little (a small cube every 3 days or so), replace light bulbs fairly frequently (pc), and do frequent (enough) water changes. So now, I am considering adding a canister filter inline between the return pump and tank (after protein skimmer) to help remove some of the particulate matter.  I plan to clean the filter weekly/biweekly with water changes.  Can you recommend a quality canister that can accommodate this type of flow and pressure? <There are a few... a fave is the "Nu-Clear" line... for their size, decent engineering, flexibility... though still a pain to open, keep clean...> Also, do you see any major problems with this thinking, so long as filter is cleaned frequently - other recommendations?   <... a few... diverting some part of the water flow into a "closed-loop", getting a larger sump, re-orienting/baffling the present flow/doing away with the floss and making the sump more into a refugium... with concomitant modifications there> Problem 2 which may/may not be associated with above problem:  I have recently been noticing that I am losing Turbo snails like crazy.  I have a number of Turbos and Astraea.  The astrea seem to be doing ok, but I keep finding dead Turbos.  The only thing that I can think of is that I have recently begun using a pH buffer as my pH is always hovering around 7.9 due to DI/RO use.   <Mix these adjuncts in with the new water, well in advance of its use> I have never been a fan of additives but thought my tank may appreciate the higher pH (although, I have never noticed any problems over the last 3 years with the lower pH).  I don't keep hard corals, so I have never worried about Ca levels.  Could reduced Ca levels due to increasing alkalinity be causing this? <Yes> Since raising the pH, I have a bubble tip anemone that I have had for years that is now much smaller and not expanding its tentacles nor eating.  Hence, I have stopped using the additive and noticed that the tentacles seem to be much longer and it is eating again. All other inverts and fish seem to be fine - minus the snails.  I know I'm probably missing something. Sorry for the length, and always - thank you for your great help! Peter <Thank you for writing so clearly, thoroughly. As mentioned, do change out part of the hard substrates, mix supplements in with the change water in advance. I do suspect that a good deal of your issues here are resultant from a loss of both ready biomineral reserve (from the substrates becoming less soluble based in their exposure, make-up), and the reactionary use of the buffer. I would read through the sections on WWM re Refugiums, make modifications to the present or additional sump, and not likely add a canister filter mechanism here. Too much flow restriction, maintenance/induced troubles likely. Bob Fenner> Equipment/Pumps/Plumbing    5/2/06 Hello Crew, <Hello John> I've Google'd this topic and haven't found any hints or answers, so it is time I ask you...I'm setting up a 90g AGA with the Megaflow overflow kit.  I have an Eheim 1262 for the return from my sump/refugium.  My problem is plumbing the Eheim, with metric connections, to the 3/4" Megaflow bulkhead. If I use Eheim/metric tubing, it won't fit on the bulkhead, but if I use 3/4" tubing it won't connect to the Eheim.  Any hints or ideas? BTW, the Eheim is rated for higher flow than the Megaflow, but I plan to bleed off some of the return via a T into the refugium. <You might want to dip the tubing in boiling water to soften it, then try to slip it onto the barbed fitting.  I have done that a few times with good results.> Thank You  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> John H.

Re: Canister filter   3/18/06 Thank you James for responding so quick. I understand what you are saying, but lets just say that I would clean the filter every week. I only have three fish so far and there not very big. Do you think it would be a lot better of a filter system then? Plus I didn't mention that it came from a FW tank. The bio wheels are still wet with RO water. Would it hurt my salt fish if I would just throw the system on and run with it. Or do I need to do something different? Thanks for your help! <Cody, please reply with original query.  I answer many queries weekly and I cannot remember what was said in your original query.  I need to familiarize myself with such to answer.  James (Salty Dog)> Cody

Canister Filter vs. Wet-Dry Filter   3/20/06 Hello, <Hi Joe - Tim answering your question today!> I have racked my brain researching what filter I should get for my 75 gallon tank. I plan to have a fish only saltwater tank with no invertebrates. Despite the internet research, the 4 books I've read and the local fish stores - I can't decide. The wet-dry seems to be the best, but at double the price. The canister seems to be the economical choice but will it be enough? The research I have done leads me to believe that a fish only tank will be ok with a canister filter but if I add invertebrates then I'll need a wet-dry filter. Please let me know how far off I am. <Joe - please read this and the links on this page for all the information that you seek http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/filtration/marineFiltr.htm > Should I get a protein skimmer too? <You should definitely get a protein skimmer, irrespective of whether you opt for a fish only or full reef system. Do research skimmers before making your purchase as there are considerable differences in quality with correspondingly minor differences only in price!> Thank you in advance for you time. < Always a pleasure - I do hope that I have been of some help!> Respectfully, - Joe Canister vs. Refugium...And Winna' by TKO in the First round is - 03/09/2006 Hi Bob, <Josh actually, but hello just the same.> I was reading some FAQ yesterday and noticed that in a particular question you recommended the removal of a canister filter to assist denitrification. I was wondering if you could give me your opinion of whether I should swap my canister filter for a refugium containing Chaetomorpha algae. <I'd say absolutely.> My specifications are: 850 Litre tank; Wet/dry mini reef with Skimmer, Eheim 2218 Canister filter. <Did you just say wet/dry? Hmm...may be the answer to your question.> My nitrates are too high. About 40-50ppm, and this is what I am aiming to reduce. <And rightly so. I'd look into removing both the wet/dry and canister here (eventually). Are you using LR? How much? You can plan this system to take care of itself, with diligence on your part.> So what will I lose/gain by doing this? <All posted...repeatedly.> Thanks Joe. <I know it's not definitive, but so it goes. Your help lies in understanding/embracing a filtration methodology. It becomes easier as you read about each. Remember...don't buy the cup holder if you don't need it. - Josh>

HOT Magnum ... air entrainment- 2/28/2006 First I have to say that I love your site and refer to it all the time (and usually find the info I am looking for). <Okay> That being said, I could not find any reference to the HOT Magnum releasing bursts of microbubbles. <Yikes... trouble> I spent ½ hr on the phone with Marineland and they didn't seem to be able to help me. <Unusual> Their suggestion was to 'burp' the canister. <Mmm, would help if this situation was temporary... that is, only bubbly for a short while (a day let's say at the most), but then all aire removed that was entrapped by opening...> To leave it running and lift it horizontal while making sure that the intake tube stays in the water.  This is supposed to get the air out. <Will... if the amount of air is finite...> But it didn't seem to work.  I still have bursts of microbubbles every 20 seconds or so. When I first set it up about 2 weeks ago, I don't recall seeing any bubbles.  I have since pulled it apart for cleaning (lots of algae at the moment) and since then I get these bursts of bubbles.  Any ideas? Thanks, Donna <Yes... there is an area where air is "getting in"... and this is dangerous... for a couple of reasons... Emphysematosis ("gas-bubble disease"... you can read re on WWM), and the possibility of leaking... Somewhere about the tubing, connections, the actual closure of the Magnum, there is a way for air to get in (and possibly water to get out...). A few ways can be employed to detect and fix this leak... First, hand-tightening all by twisting the tubing, hard fittings together may "do it"... Turning the unit off, and swiping a bit of toilet paper along the junctures (the intake lines outside the tank, the top/seal of the filter, and the discharge lines) may reveal a bit of water seeping out where the air is getting in... This/these should help... but do write back if you are still unable to find/fix the leak. Oh, and you did lube the o-ring? Bob Fenner>

Equipment/Magnum Hang On  - 03/05/06 Crew, <Donna> I wrote to you about a week ago about a problem I was having with my HOT Magnum filter and constant bursts of microbubbles.  The advice I had gotten from Bob, I think, was to make sure I had lubed the o ring.  I used up the whole little tube that they sent and it did seem to help for a while.  Then it started up all over again.  My tank glistened with bubbles all over everything. I finally solved it.  I brought the Magnum back to the store and got a Rena Filstar XP1 (tank is only 30 gal).  Best investment I ever made!!!  My tank is cleaner and clearer then it ever was.  I would have not given that filter a second thought because I had never heard of it except that I had read in a few places on this board about what  a wonderful filter it is.   Thank you for having such a great board with so much information.  I finally have a tank that I can't take my eyes off of. <Thank you for the info Donna.  I too have a Magnum HOT I no longer use for the same reason as yours.  Marineland did mail me new gaskets, "O" rings etc, but didn't help any.  Did mention that to them but have heard nothing from them.  We are both stuck with them I guess.  Too bad because they are a nice filter, easy to clean, etc, but tank isn't much to look at with microbubbles every five seconds.> Thanks again, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Donna

Ammonia problem, stopped canister filters  02-05-06 Hello to all.  Well  have one big problem and I am in need of some advice on what to do.  Might have happened to you guys before but this is the first time it has happened to me.  I have a 29g TruVu with 40lbs of LR and 3in sandbed of LS.  I currently have pair of true perculas, had citron clown goby, and LPS live coral.   This mourning when i woke up and turned my tank lights on I noticed that my clown goby was nowhere to be found.  I looked and looked for him but he disappeared.  I then thought to myself that he must have died because of lack of oxygen because yesterday my xp1 Rena had got clogged with some macro algae that was in my tank but got sucked up in my filter.  Yesterday the clown goby was breathing very rapidly so that why I had checked the filter.  I thought by cleaning it and unclogging that would fix the problem but it didn't because this morning the goby was nowhere to be found. <Uhh, unclogging the canister filter... you did rinse it out thoroughly before returning it to service I hope/trust> So then I began to look for him.  I couldn't find him so my next step was removing the LR piece by piece...And that got me pissed because once I moved all the rock I still didn't find him.  Has this ever happened to anyone?  If so what did you do?   <...?> I tested for ammonia and it had gone up to .25mg/l.  Now I for sure know he is dead but can't find it.  I do have bristleworms in the tank and also spaghetti worms.  Could they have already ate him up?   <Yes> Could they have buried his body in the sand to eat?  Please help me.  I did a water change and it did seem to help but I still have a feeling the ammonia will continue to go up again?  Any advice in what I can do to fix this problem? <Time going by at this point> ...I have had my tank for over a year now so I know I am past the cycling stage.  Never have had this problem with ammonia ever.  I moved my clown fish to my QT but am scared to lose my corals!  Help me please.  Any advice is better than nothing. <The ammonia anomaly was almost certainly caused by the plugged then unplugged canister filter... causing the demise of the goby... perhaps the worms eating it. Bob Fenner> Filter-less   1/30/06 Hi, After my last water change, I decided to unplug my Fluval and see if the tank can get along without it. I have a 55 gallon tank with a remora C skimmer, 3 power heads that together turn over approximately 700gph. I do 5% water changes weekly. I've recently noticed a lot of  brown particles on the surface of the water. I can't think of any reason for this but the elimination of the Fluval, which by the way only had carbon in it. I would be interested in your thoughts.............. Thank you <Canister filters can be of use in many types of marine set-ups, but the use described here is better served by simply placing the chemical filtrant in a Dacron bag in the water flow path somewhere. I would add some mechanical/particulate filtration however. Bob Fenner>

Filter media No more bio balls ! Fluval 404 added   1/20/06 Hello all ! <Hello Nemo> I recently dumped all my bio-balls knowing that it's a source for nitrate.  It's been 3 days and I am constantly checking water chemistry, so far so good... and I also start using PolyFilter pad. <Good product>  Nitrate has gone down now between 10-20 as I previously (before the bio-balls removal) have 20-40, I hope it continue to drop to 0, I'm doing 15 gal water change every 5 days using RO water.  I have a 72 gal reef bow front ( been running for 9 mo.s now ),150 lb LR & 2 1/2" LS, I would say I started this hobby wrong , but thank God for finding your website and now I'm learning as I go along (wasted a LOTTTT! of money on wrong and useless equipment),  anyway, back to the subject... <Yes, and keep on reading.> I also started dripping Kalkwasser every night using Kent's Aquadoser. One thing I've noticed and this is the 2nd day now, that my skimmer is not skimming at all, I have an Aqua C Urchin Pro which is producing a lot of dark waste,<Now or was?> not until I dump all my bio-balls, use PolyFilter pads and totally clean my sump. How often do you have to clean your sump? <As often as necessary.  Leaving detritus/waste in the sump just adds to the nitrate level.  If you have a place to put a filter pad in the sump, do this and clean/discard weekly.>I have a lot of  detritus  accumulating underneath it and it really bothers me,  this is the 2nd time I cleaned this sump in my 9mos of running this system, Am I creating a problem here? I still don't know why my skimmer is not producing anything at all, I've been adjusting the collection cup back and forth and still nothing, what have I done wrong?! <The Polyfilter acts much like a skimmer removing organic waste, nitrates, phosphates, etc and I believe this is why your skimmer slowed down.> Also another subject/question,  I recently bought a Fluval 404 for I don't really have a spot for placing any maintenance media anywhere in my small sump. My main reason for purchasing this is for me to maximize the use of carbons, Phosphate absorbers or maybe nitrite sponge etc... Now to my questions, Is this a good addition or just a waste of money? and another piece of equipment to clean ?<Its a worthwhile addition, as you say a place to put media especially if you do not have trays in the sump for such.>  I can still return it to my LFS as it is still in the box.  If this is a great addition,  pls let me know on how to maximize its use,  like where to place the carbons, phosphate absorber, sponges... is there a specific order in placing them?  How about PolyFilter pads? <I'd forget the others for now, just use the Polyfilter.> is there anywhere in this unit where I can squeeze them in,  how about replacing the filter pad on the side of this unit with the PolyFilter instead??? or cut them into small pieces and make them fit to the compartment??? <You need to put a filter pad in before the Polyfilter or you will shorten the life of the Poly.  Yes, you can cut the Polyfilter into squares, I do the same now.> I really want to do this the right way before installing it, and also I don't like anything to "clash" as far as mixing this medias in just one container, it kinda reminds me of putting Gasoline, Alcohol, Kerosene in a cars tank and start the engine. Pls help and advise.  Thank you in advance. Nemo1 P.S.  Is there anything that I have to remove or add to this Fluval 404? also where should I place the intake and return ?  should I just follow the   manufacturers instruction book? <Yes> I don't know,  It seems like I got so dependent on you guys that I don't trust the manufacturer that built this unit. <Don't believe I'd buy a component from a manufacturer I didn't trust.  Do believe the manual until you have reason not to.> Have a great day...and may the force be to all of us !!! <Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)> Canister filters 11/24/2005 Hi guys, was wondering if I should remove my Eheim canister filter at this point.  I have a 75 gallon fish only live rock system with a TF 1000 skimmer hob refugium , and was going to remove my canister filter to make my tank more natural, my only concern is that I do not pre filter my tap water but the water seems to be fine, what do you think?   <Canister filters are a good means of removing suspended detritus etc. and a good place to put filtering media such as Chemi-Pure and/or others.  Filter pads will need to be cleaned/replaced weekly to help keep nitrate levels down.  If you have a heavy fish load, I would recommend the use of your Eheim.  I too do not filter my tap water as nitrates/phosphates are undetectable.  I do aerate the tap water 24 hours to expel any Co2  before mixing the salt in.  James (Salty Dog)> thanks Ron

Fluval 403 Replacement Parts - 11/27/2005 You have a tremendous website. <Thank you. Tremendous work has gone into it.> I have two Fluval 403 filters. I gave away all my fish last year (they had out-grown the aquarium) and took down my aquarium. I recently set it back up. The o-rings are dried, cracked and leaking. I need new o-rings for the Fluval 403 filters. I have looked everywhere but can't find these o-rings. Do you know where I can get o-rings for the Fluval 403 filter? <I would contact the manufacturer for these; if they can't get them to you, they'll likely be able to tell you who can in your area. Try this site: http://www.hagen.com/usa/aquatic/index.html .> Thank you. -Donald <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> Oops!  Fluval 403 & Great website!  De John - 11/28/05 I have two Fluval 403 filters. I gave away all my fish last year (they had out-grown the aquarium) and took down my aquarium. I recently set it back up.  The o-rings are dried, cracked and leaking. I need new o-rings for the Fluval 403 filters. I have looked everywhere but can't find these o-rings. Do you know where I can get o-rings for the Fluval 403 filter?  Thank you. Donald <Hi Donald. This is a common problem that can be mitigated by keeping the o-rings lubricated, whether in use or not. I use silicone grease. For replacements, I would recommend calling the manufacturer - web searches came up dry for me also. Good luck, John>  <<Try changing your search terms, I found this in about five seconds using "Fluval 403", then on the very first website I hit, I searched on "gasket", got this: http://www.thatpetplace.com/MainPro/shopay00.aspx.  I'd give this place a call, they carry the O-rings for most other Fluvals, they might be able to get a hold of this one (should be able to). Marina>>

Canister Filters/skimmers  11/16/05 Hi Gang! I have a question about canister filters. Again, because I have not been in this hobby long, I am not sure which pieces of equipment are recommended. My tank setup is as follows: 29 Gallon AGA Tank Live reef sand 20 pounds of Live Rock (Fiji) Whisper 30 HOT Power Filter (With Carbon and Purigen) Inverts: Orange Ridge Starfish Peppermint Cleaner Shrimp 3 Red foot crabs. Fish (all in treatment tank for ICH) -2 Percula Clownfish 1 Royal Gramma 1 Pink Damsel <Too much antagonism for this size/volume...> Now, I would like to upgrade my filtration to a canister filter since I do not have enough space or anyway to conceal a wet-dry or Sump filter. Plus I don't plan on keeping corals right now.  So, in your experience, which one of these would you most recommend. -Fluval 205 -Rena Filstar XP1 -Eheim (Don't think I could afford a professional model though.) <The Eheim is the best here... not just initial purchase price to consider, but electrical use, quiet, longest life...> And, since I am still on the look for a protein skimmer, I want to be able to provide the best filtration and nutrient control possible during this time. <I would buy the skimmer first> Since my fish will be in QT until about December 24th, do you have any recommendations on how to "prime" the new filter and grow beneficial bacteria before taking out the Whisper?  Should I run then in tandem? (For a while?) <Yes... a month or more overlap... I'd run both, ongoing> Thanks so very much for your help! PS- Lets just say I purchase the Bak-Pak 2 skimmer. Would It still be  necessary for me to purchase the Canister or could the skimmer provide adequate biological filtration with the "Bio-Bale"? <Mmm, you could likely get by on a CPR unit that incorporated a skimmer itself> would I have to add a sponge to it for mechanical filtration? <Not likely> Thanks again! -Jon <Bob Fenner> 

Canister Cleaning - 11/15/2005 Josh, <Tony> You say to rinse weekly ChemiPure, sponges and BioMax, how should I do this because I was told never to rinse or replace ChemiPure and sponges at the same time because of the beneficial bacteria? <BioMax monthly. The other two will be fine to rinse weekly. They are only for chemical/mechanical filtration.> Thanks, Tony  <Welcome. - Josh>

Chemipure Rinse - 11/15/2005 Josh, <Tony> You say to clean my ChemiPure weekly, do I have to rinse in tank water or does it matter? <Just use fresh. Doesn't matter.> Thanks, Tony <Welcome. - Josh> 

How do I set up a Jebo Odyssea CFS4 - no instructions were included  11/10/05 I recently bought a Jebo Odyssea CFS4 canister filter on EBay. When it arrived, there was no instruction booklet. There was a brief description of how to use it on the outside side panel of the box, which referred to the instruction manual. I found no instruction manual of any kind in the box. There is no contact information (address, website, or phone) on the box. I'd love to contact them as I'd like to find out how to set up, run, and maintain my canister filter. Or, alternately, is there a good source I could turn to for canister filter installation basics? Many thanks, Laura Schofield <Here's Jebo's site: http://www.jebo.com.cn/.  I'd contact them re... if this is taking too long, you can read through WWM's archives on canister filters. Bob Fenner> 

Re: How do I set up a Jebo Odyssea CFS4?  11/12/2005 Thanks Bob - you guys have compiled a goldmine of information. Unfortunately there is so much information. I've been in this hobby for almost 2 years now, and the more I learn, the more I realize that I have to learn!!! <Heeee! Lots of good help> I've been looking through your WWM archives on canister filters in general (don't see much mention of Jebo Odyssea - mainly Fluval or Eheim) and will try your suggestions on priming my filter.  <Real good... should work... they're a newer co., brand... but about the same principles> In addition to writing to you, I also wrote to the EBay store I bought this from. They replied today that as this is a direct import from China, the instructions are in Chinese. They referred me to the brief instructions on the side of the box (which I've already followed - aside from pre-filling the filter with water, would you recommend this as well?). I plan on doing a water change tonight - this might be a good time to start my canister filter. <Yes> I'll let you know a bit about my system. It's a 40 gallon FOWLR, although my live rock is only a 5 lb piece, and its been decimated by my fish - maybe there's some life left inside though. My fish mostly started off as brackish, and now I have them in full salt water and they seem to be doing well - very nice color and no problems after about a year of full salt water conditions. I have: 3 mono sebae; 1 green scat; 1 yellow-tail blue damsel; 1 yellow tang; 2 peppermint shrimp. <<Neat mix!  MH>> My substrate is 40 lbs of CaribSea aragonite, which I seeded with 5 lbs of live aragonite from my LFS. For filtration, I run a Skilter 250 (yes, I know its a dinosaur - but its all I could afford at the time). I currently have to change the filter pads about once every 3 weeks, so I hope the canister filter will help with this. <Should> Also, I do weekly 25% water changes and have a dozen mangroves in the tank for additional denitrification. <Neat!> <<Have you seen the lagoon/brackish display of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific? Rather similar, really interesting display.  MH>> I keep the SG at around 1.022 - and will now start adding calcium, iodine, strontium & molybdenum for the peppermint shrimp (recently moved from my reef nanocube to the big tank due to the disappearance of an ocellaris clown, I now think the ocellaris died of causes other than being hunted by anything, and my peppermint shrimp ate him very quickly - no trace of him whatsoever - gone in less than a day!) <Happens... the shrimp didn't kill the Clown though...> Anyways, I put the peppermints in my big tank as a knee-jerk reaction and don't fancy trying to catch them, so here they'll stay. After I get the canister filter going, I want to add a UV sterilizer that I bought last spring. Needs to go after a canister filter though, as solid particles in the water would break it apparently. I know my current setup leaves a lot to be desired, but it is a work in progress. I did weekly water tests for several months, but am now a bit lazy on this and only test about monthly. The parameters are always excellent though, with ammonia, nitrites and nitrates always at zero. Do you have any criticisms/suggestions for me? Your advice is greatly appreciated. Many thanks. <Mmm, no advice... but to keep on keeping on! Bob Fenner>

Fluval 404 - 101  11/7/05 Hi, <Howdy> I have a Fluval 404 that I got with an entire tank set up and an orphaned turtle that a couple left behind when they skipped town. <Scumbies, or at least an element of scumbaggish behavior> I can get the water flowing only when I use the self primer, the pump doesn't seem to be working. I cleaned everything using the manual for instruction.  <Not an uncommon problem...> Does the impeller spin 360 degrees? <Yep> I seems to be built to turn back and forth versus spinning like a propeller. <...> Do I have to purchase a new unit? <Not likely... just have to "clear" the air in the present one> Will the turtle (Pig Nose turtle - water species) be OK with no filter for a while? <Not a good idea... stinky...> Please Help! Mark <Please read here re getting the air out of the Fluval: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marcanistfltfaqs.htm and the linked files above. There are a few techniques to "starting" (i.e. filling) these canister filters with water... and yours may run better being lowered... below the tank... at least to exclude air initially. Once you do it, you won't forget how. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Re: Fluval 404  11/9/05 Bob, <Mark> I finally got it going by filling the input hose with water, this enable the water to "rush" into the canister. <Ah, good!> Thanks for responding to my questions......... and the turtle is really cool!!! <Great. Life to you. Bob Fenner> 

Filter question  10/6/05 Hello, <Hello Anne.> Great site...I love reading it and getting educated! <As you well know> My question is...........I'm running a Fluval 304 in my 55 gallon tank.  In the tank I have 50lbs of rock,<live rock?> about a 2 to 3 inch sand bed, protein skimmer, and 2 powerheads. Do you think I really need to have the Fluval?  One less piece of plastic in the tank would definitely be a plus.  Right now my parameters are good........amm 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0, pH8.2-8.4, salinity 1.026, alk 8dkh and  calcium 520 (is this a little high?) <I like to see dKH readings of 8-12 and calcium levels 375-425.  Canister filters are nice for removing detritus etc from the tank.  To avoid nitrate problems they need to be cleaned weekly, but they are not absolutely necessary.  During weekly water changes siphoning the sand removes much detritus. I do this weekly and it is hard to believe how brown the water is after only one week. You need to use a gravel cleaner type siphon to keep from sucking the sand/gravel out.  An easy one to maintain is the Marineland Magnum hang on the back power filter...no hoses or anything to bother with. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you, Anne Canfield Re: Beginner Seahorse Tank, on resolving conflicting advice on Canisters  10/5/05 Bob, Leslie, thank you both for your time and advice on my previous email.  I've taken your advice, did more research, and have taken the plunge! <Welcome> I set up a 37G, foregoing the Nanocube.  I have about 1/3 volume in Live Rock, Remora Pro skimmer with Mag3 pump.  I got the live rock from the LFS, "mostly cured" in their words.  I have a small AquaClear 20 powerhead to supplement flow, at about half capacity. According to my research and belief, the Remora should be returning about 100 gph to the tank, and my powerhead approx 60-70 gph, I think.  Was aiming for about 170-180. (37x5=185).  For the seahorses to come.... I hope you can help me with the following. (1)  My guy at the LFS has been pushing me to get a Canister.  I want some mechanical filter to hold carbon, and to filter particles.  But it seems some people on WWM say LR and skimmer is enough and canisters are more negative (nitrate?) than positive.  I'm worried about inconvenience of cleaning.  On the other hand, the added water volume and carbon would be desirable, I think.  Which way should I go?  Canister? Powerfilter? <I would use the latter myself... easier, cheaper to run, acquire... and does all the two can/will do> Is Eheim 2215 too much flow for the seahorses?  I have read bigger is better, here on WWM on canisters.    <Could, would work... has a discharge spray bar....> But I'm worried about too much flow.  The LFS guy says point the water return down and I can limit influence on the flow.  Or should I just ditch the entire idea and leave it with LR and skimmer? <Up to you. Can be added later if you want> (2)  It's been about a week since I set it up, and the water is doing great (ph.8.1, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10mg/l, spg 1.024, Ca 430).  but today, I noticed a lot of the LR is starting to turn/grown rusty/orange/brown on the edges.  It does not look like the pictures of BGalgae or Cyano I see on the FAQ here.  No wispy hairs, just looks like... rusty fuzz.  Is this natural? <Yes> or should I be concerned? <Re? Read on WWM re... cycling, LR curing... Cyano... this latter is what this mainly is>   Even the rock that has great purple coralline when I got it, is starting to turn "rusty" on the edges.  On the other hand, I think there is at least a little pimple of orange sponge growing on another piece of rock that wasn't there a few days ago. (3)  My RemoraPro is foaming, but not enough to reach the container.    Do you think this is because I have nothing in the tank and there is genuinely little to skim, or because I have to tweak and skim more?   <Maybe a bit of both> The skimmer has been running for 3 days now.  I have the prefilter foam on the Mag.  Should I not have this attached? <Time for the requisite "stop obsessing" stmt. here> (4)  So far all I have in my tank is the LR, live sand, and water.  I thought cycling would take longer, but last three days, I have not had any ammonia or nitrite.  Am I missing something?  Did I miss the cycling somehow?  I can't decide what to add first - snails, etc., or some macro algae for seahorses to hitch onto (looking ahead).    Caulerpa seems to be the most available around here, and looks like something seahorses would enjoy hitching onto.  But the advice on them also seem to be both extremes - easy, not easy.  risk or crash.    not in the main tank (I don't have a refugium).  Should I get something else?  or is it ok to get Caulerpa?  Should I stick with fake plants and synthetic corals for hitching posts? <I would for now> I am getting a bit nervous and excited to have it all set up.  Thanks for your help in advance! Hiro <Bob Fenner> Canister filter stops running  10/5/05 Hi, and thank you for taking the time to read this. <Howdy, welcome> I have a Serafil 900 canister filter. Recently it switched itself off an stopped running. It's done this before and normally taking it apart, cleaning it and putting it together again sets it in order. That doesn't seem to be working this time however. When I switch it back on it runs for maybe 3 minutes and then just stops. During that time I can hear the sound of water running inside it, which I gather is air circulating around the impeller. I don't think there's a huge amount of air in there though and this hasn't been a major problem in the past. Other than that everything seems to be fine. All the parts fit together well and are all in good condition. Is there anything you can think of that would cause it to just stop like that? I just wanted to check that it's not something that I'm doing incorrectly. Thank you, Dan <The easiest way to prevent this is to fill the canister filter by siphoning through the in line and out the discharge... in a bucket... Once set-up, air-locks can be released by (carefully) tilting/inverting the running filter, upside down. Bob Fenner> Canister Filter Media - 09/29/05 Hello, <<Howdy>> I have a Fluval 204 canister filter for a marine tank and am wondering what is the best filter media to put in the three baskets.  Also I have a small anemone with one tiny clownfish, would it be alright if I put another clownfish in the tank. <<Hmm... Would help to know a bit more about your tank.  I don't really care for canister filters as most folks tend to plug them in and "forget about 'em."  But that said... If you have live rock in your system and you're not intending the canister for biological filtration, I would say load it up with carbon which you should give a freshwater rinse weekly and change part/all out an a monthly basis.  An alternative would be to use cut-up Poly-Filter...again giving a weekly freshwater rinse and changing out as required.  As for the clown... You could likely add another (again, I don't have enough info on your system), but be aware they don't always "pair up" just because you put two of them together.>> From Sam <<Regards, EricR>> Multiple Canisters on a Reef Tank.  9/28/05 <Hi, Adam J with you.> I have a 44 Gal Pentagon Salt Water reef tank and I am currently running a Fluval 204 canister and I want to add a Fluval 404 canister to the filtration of the tank.  Is it possible to daisy chain the 2 filter in line together? <I would run them independent due to the different flow rates and incase one of them fails to operate. In my opinion 'combining' them would only add more complication.> I would prefer to use the 204 as the mechanical and chemical and the 404 as the mechanical and biological.  Or would it be better just to run the 2 independent of each other? < I would much rather add a larger/more efficient skimmer than your current prism to the system rather than another canister filter which have been known to be, dare I say, nitrate factories. Looking into refugiums would not be a bad idea either.> The inhabitants of the tank are as follows: about 30 lbs. live rock with some hitch hikers crushed coral bed Giant Blue Carpet Anemone <This anemone will eventually outgrow your tank, and possibly eat some of your inhabitants.> Torch Coral Blue Crocea Clam 2 Peppermint shrimp 30 Astrea Snails 30 Blue leg hermits <Far to many snails and hermits for this size set-up, make sure they are all getting adequate food.> 2 Green chromis 2 Yellow Tail damsels 1 Blue Devil 1 Yellow Tang <This fish will very quickly outgrow your current tank.> 1 Black Perc  (I think it's a Black Saddle back) Fluval 204 Filter Prism Protein Skimmer 2 Maxi Jet Power heads 230 Wt Lighting on for 12 hours (150wt MH,  80wt PC) Thanks !! , Joe Piazza <Anytime, Adam J.>

Dad's old canister filter... 8/15/05 To Whom it may concern,          I have recently inherited my Dad's old fish tank. He has a magnum 220 canister filter. I have taken it apart and cleaned it several times. The last few days it has been spitting out a lot of air bubbles. It has recently been cleaned and all the connections are secure and air-tight. Could this simply mean that the filter is just getting old and needs replacing? It is probably almost 10 years old. Thank you for your insight.                                                                          Dan <Mmmm, there is an air gap along (most likely) the intake side of this filter somewhere... I would use sprayed water at the fittings, a bit of length of tubing placed next to your ear and at these junctions to see/hear where air is being entrained... I might buy/replace all the flexible tubing (not much money) at the Home Depot, Lowe's... before canning this canister... Bob Fenner>

Resun Cy-280U Canister Filter 8/13/05 Hi <Hello> Just found your site & thought I would ask a stupid question. <... not stupid... but you mis-spelled the name of the manufacturer... it's Resun... as in here: http://www.dagua.com.br/index_arquivos/Page9442.htm> We have recently bought the above canister filter but are having trouble of water leaking all over the place when we try to disconnect to clean. Do you know this model at all & are we doing something fundamentally wrong when we disconnect it. <Mmm, don't know the specific line, though saw it at the InterZoo trade show in 04...> We turn off the power turn the valve on the tube to off. Then this is where I think we go wrong, we unscrew the Tube & attachments from the lid. <Don't need to do this... just take the top off... with the lines in place> and this is when there is water all over the place. Should we just unclip the top of the canister instead??? <Ahh, yes... though, due to poor design, there is still going to be some water (between the valves and the top) that overflows onto... a towel or bucket that you might place under the unit. Cheers, Bob Fenner> regards Kerrie

Fluval 404 bubbles 7/31/05 I recently purchased a NEW Fluval 404 on 6/27/05, I fought with it for 1 month adding new hoses, O rings, etc. even reshaping the hoses, and getting down to shaking the canister on a regular basis to release air.  My problem is that every 30 min to 1 hour My Fluval release a large amount of micro bubbles into the tank.  I have tried everything that HAGEN has asked me to do. I am running the Fluval only no airstones or any thing else in the tank. It is a salt water new set up (2mos old) 40gl with live sand and rock.   I returned the Fluval and the store replaced it with a new one. It has been running for 2 days. and I still get a rush of micro bubbles. Question:  is there a flaw in this design. or am I getting a bad batch? <Likely there is a simple, poor/incomplete connection twixt a hard plumbing fitting and the flexible hose on the intake side...>   Do you know of any other filter similar to the Fluval 404 that I can use that will no create this problem? <... Please read here: http://www.google.com/custom?q=canister+filters&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com> I really do not want to use the Fluval anymore if the bubbles are always going to be there. PLEASE ADVISE Pam <... as you will find, there are techniques for determining the source of entrained air... I would turn off, drain the unit, disassemble the intake side line... re-fit with a bit of silicone grease, making sure the flexible tubing is pushed on entirely over the hard plastic fittings. Bob Fenner>

Rena filter improvements 7/24/05 I just wanted to write to say thank you for suggesting I get rid of my Penguin 170 and upgrade to a larger filter.  I have a 37 gallon salt water system with 2 clowns, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 skunk cleaner shrimp, 3 snails, and 3 crabs.  I decided to upgrade to the Rena xp3.  I really liked how easy the instructions were to follow.  I was able to get it setup in less than an hour.  I however have three minor things to gripe about.  First I wish the holes in the spray bar were drilled to a larger diameter. <You can enlarge them... best with a Dremel tool>   When I went to test the system the spray bar made a constant whining noise.  I went ahead a drilled the holes a little wider and it fixed the problem.  Second I wish the tubes that came with the filter were more flexible or a little bit wider.  I had the hardest time putting them on the pipe assemblies even after warming them up in hot water.  The last thing was the impeller.  After turning on the system the impeller made some rattling noise. <Likely air caught about it... best to turn off, wait a few seconds, turn back on... to clear>   I've read some reviews from people saying these filters are noisy.  I now know why they write this.  The impeller was not fully seated.  I do hope the upgrade I made will help a little with my algae problem.  The only thing I have left to do with my tank is smash my SeaClone 100 with a sledge hammer. <Heeeee!>   Thank you for having such a great site and for writing a great reference book. Chris Swanson <Thank you for writing... and do consider penning a brief note to Rena, their distributor re your concerns... does help. Bob Fenner>

To Canister or Not to Canister? 7/18/05 That is the question! <"Whether it be nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous water changes..."> Thank you in advance for any guidance you can provide. I've learned so much from your site since locating it several months ago.  I started with a 55 gal. FOWLR last Aug. then purchased a stocked 125 gal. in April of this year with the intent of upgrading and transferring most of my 55 into the 125.  I currently have approx. 150-200lb. of LR, a AquaC Remora Pro (no sump), a Whisper power filter with Chemi-pure, and four Maxi-jet 1200's for water movement.  Livestock includes a mated pair of false Perculas, Yellow Tang, Naso Tang (I know he will eventually outgrow--came with the 125 tank), Royal Gramma, Coral Beauty, Mandarin Dragonet, assorted snails and a few hermit crabs, Button Polyps, Finger Leather Coral, and Green Star polyps. I do not wish to do a full reef and will not be adding anything for a while.  I do not have room for a sump at this time and have been considering an Eheim 2028 or 2250 canister filter to replace the Whisper--mainly for mechanical/chemical filtration and increased circulation.  Would you recommend doing this? <Mmm, am a huge fan of Eheim in general, their canister filters (and pumps) in particular, but I would opt to add another large hang on filter here actually... the canister would be nice in that it's quiet, efficient in biological and mechanical filtration, but they're a pain to service on most marine systems... and can cause troubles if not serviced quite often (like weekly)> My nitrates are 0 and I understand canister filters can raise this--does this still occur if I don't use their biological material? <Mmm, there are other media that can be used to discount overdriven nitrification> Any recommendations you can give are much appreciated! Diana Miller <You have mine here, and all of outs on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Can a canister filter run from a sump? 7/9/05 Hi - I tried to find an answer to this question from the thousands of questions you've answered without any luck. I have just set up a 6x2x2' marine tank with a large wet-dry filter in a sump. I was wondering if a canister filter could sit beside the sump in the cabinet and be set up to draw water out of the sump and return it to the sump? <Yes> Does a canister filter actually have to be below the tank, or can it run when it is beside the tank - <Can, once primed> I'm guessing it probably can't as the water level is the sump will be below the water level in the filter. If it is not possible, what is the next best way to run mechanical and chemical filtration out of the water in my sump? <Another pump, filter/box to contain this media> Thanks for your help! Jeremy <Keep dreaming and scheming... Bob Fenner>

Live Rock in Canister Hello...I Googled my question and I only found one instance when you talked about it, that was a couple of days ago and I forget why I thought this, but  I didn't think it applied to me.  Anyway my canister filter (magnum 350) has been building up nitrates, so I turned it off and this weekend I am going to take out the filtration and possibly just use it as another power head and occasionally pop in some carbon or diatomaceous earth. <Any filter will cause nitrate buildup if the pad/cartridge isn't cleaned or replaced on a weekly basis.> Would putting live rock in there be a good idea? <I'd add more to the tank itself rather than the filter.>just a few small pieces?  And also have you ever seen those mini skimmers that like attach to your canister intake? http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=12703 ...was wondering if that was a good idea too....appreciate any answers.  <The nice thing about skimmers is that they collect from the surface where most of the nasties are found.  Yes, good idea.  James (Salty Dog)> thanks...Adam

SW, placement of ancillary canister filter for chemical media use Greetings guys from sunny South Africa trust you are all well, thanks for the great site and great advice. A quick question please I am currently upgrading my entire set up and adding a 100 Litre sump / refugium  to my 400 Litre tank . I am currently using a small 50 litre sump with a bag of activated carbon, my question is that I have a Fluval filter that I am not using and want to add this directly to my main display tank system but primary just use it for my activated carbon. <Okay> Would you recommend this? <Mmm, not a bad idea, use> Will that not be a bad thing for my refugium as it will suck up all the beneficial creatures? <Likely not suck many up... some will come to live in it> Your advice would be greatly appreciated.   Werner Schoeman <I would rig this canister filter up to run water into and out of your main tank itself. Bob Fenner> Ammonia and Nitrite Emergency 6/6/05 Hi Crew, my name is Justin and I am having a bit of a problem on the action I should take with the screw-up I just made. I have a 55 gallon salt water tank with a moray eel in it. Since I am a beginner I decided it would be a really good idea to clean my filter (you guys probably know where I am going with this). So I rinsed my Eheim 2028, and all of the media of course, in tap water. From reading on this really helpful website (and lack of common since), I realized I just sent all of my beneficial microbes down the drain. <Hmm... this can be a problem.  More because of the chlorine rather than the rinsing itself.> So everything seemed fine for 2 days then BOOM ammonia that was 0 is 1.5 and nitrite that was less than .3 is now .9. I am terrified for my eel, he seems fine, but I'm worried my microbes will not come back fast enough. I have 40 lbs of live sand and 20lbs of live rock I am hoping that they will help. I am sorry if some one has asked a similar question but I could not find it after an hour of searching. Well I hope you can get back to me soon and help me with my problem. Thanks Justin  <Your live rock and sand should easily meet the filtration needs of your tank.  I would consider removing the canister filter for a more thorough cleaning and monitoring the water chemistry closely.   If the ammonia or nitrite get any higher, I would institute a couple of large water changes, but otherwise, let them come down naturally.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Alkalinity Test kits, Canister filter inserts and Nitrate 5/24/05--Part3 - (And No Shills Necessary!) Thank you for the quick response to my questions below (and the free "keeping spouse happy with tank" advice)! <Glad to! As for the spouse... I am glad that others can benefit from my failures! Ha! Actually, my wife is very tolerant.> Per your advice, the lava rock is removed, and I'm planning on adding the remaining live rock in one batch (after confirming it is cured by keeping it in tub in garage). I'll also buy a better alkalinity test. I've been using Jungle Quick Dip strips, but they have always been "off the chart" in the "ideal" range. I've been questioning their accuracy. Any recommendations on best test? <Always choose an alkalinity test that is a titration type. Titration tests require you to add drops of reagent until a change from one color to another is observed. The value is calculated from the amount or number of drops of reagent that are added. Test kits for alkalinity that use dip strips or compare to a color chart are very unreliable. I am fond of Salifert and Tropic Marin alkalinity kits, but many good ones are available.> I'm going to go with selling the Fluval, but keeping the Eheim for the great water movement it gives me. I had heard--LFS--that filling the Eheim completely with the Eheim filters would "polish" the water without creating nitrates. Do you agree? Or would I be better just having the Eheim completely empty? (I'm the guy who knows there is no way I will be doing weekly maintenance on the canister--most likely just every month or two.) Thanks again for your help and great site. Greg  <I disagree with your LFS, but there is no harm in trying. If you observe nitrates after a couple of months, I would either step up the maintenance or remove all media from the canister filter.> P.S. I'm going to shill for you. I made an Amazon Honors Payment to you guys and was surprised that more people don't do the same. I'm always buying stuff from the LFS when I go in and pick their brains because I feel their time is worth something and they're in business to make money. More so for you guys who are doing this site free of charge to the fish-keeping world. Not everyone is made of money--although this isn't the least expensive hobby I can think of--but I'm still surprised people don't throw a bit more change/bills in your electronic glass jar. <Thanks for the contribution! It is refreshing and uplifting to cross paths with someone who is willing to voluntarily support something they find value in. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Canister filter inserts and Nitrate 5/16/05 Greetings WWM Denizens! Thank you for all the advice, info and time spent accumulating it! You have gotten me from freshwater to saltwater, which may explain my configuration and question/problem. (I've searched the forums and can't find my particular query.) My problem is nitrates (surprise, surprise), and I wanted to know if my solution would work . <Thanks for the kind words! Glad you have benefited from the info here.> Tank is converted from freshwater, about 9 months old with salt as follows: 100 gallons, Aqua C Remora Pro, with the larger skimmer, about 50 pounds of live rock--adding more slowly; 40 pounds of lava rock, which I am hoping will slowly become live rock (it has only been in saltwater tank); 3 powerheads knocking water around; my good old Fluval 403 from the previous century; an Eheim 2217; I also have about an inch of crushed coral for cushioning and prettiness.  <Sounds reasonable, although adding live rock slowly is often a problem since each new piece has to cycle. I strongly suggest setting up a small tank (even a plastic tub) to cycle new rock in before adding to the tank. Also, lava rock can be unpredictable in composition and is a risk for introducing contaminants (especially metals). I would personally lean toward removing this in favor of live rock.> The problem is nitrates. No matter how careful I am with feeding and how much goop my skimmer picks up, the nitrates will not drop below 15-20. (Ammonia always 0, pH 7.8 to 8.0, treating with 1 Tsp washing soda each 25 gallon water change.) I use RO water from a nearby ice and water store (about $60/year at 25 gallon change every four weeks), which I test for nitrates every now and then, so that's not the source.  Forgot livestock--one perc, two yellow medium sized tangs, one dwarf coral beauty--that's all!  <Your stocking is reasonable, but your pH is a bit low. I would urge you to check alkalinity (especially if you are adding washing soda). You nitrates are likely a result of two things... since your ammonia and nitrate are being processed in the highly aerobic canister filters, nitrate is being produced away from the live rock.  When the nitrate is produced on/in the live rock, it can be further reduced to nitrogen gas in the anaerobic zones in the rock. You probably have enough rock now to completely take over biological filtration. In any case, such a small amount of nitrate is probably not a problem.> The long term plan/solution is to add a sump/refugium, but until I can figure out how to explain that to my wife, I'm stuck with the canisters.  <The sump/refugium will have many benefits, but in the mean time, keep those canisters squeaky clean! A good rinsing of the media in a small amount of tank water weekly will help a lot. Also, I have found that many expenditures can be (mostly truthfully ;^)) be rationalized to your spouse by explaining that it will save money in lost livestock.> From reading the posts, I think I understand you all agree that weekly--yikes!--changes/cleaning of the foam/pads would help with reducing nitrates. Although I spend time every day with my beloved tank, opening those things once a week (or every other week) isn't going to happen. (See previous comment about wife and add "traipsing water across the living room" and you'll understand why.)  <If you aren't going to maintain them, I would get rid of them or gut the media from them and use them only for water movement. Even when perfectly maintained, they aren't providing you with much benefit and you could sell them for money for more live rock.> So here's my thought: How about just using no foam, poly filters, or pads in the canisters and only leaving the Eheim pre-packaged materials, plastic pot scrubbers, and other "hard" porous materials that I have in there other than foam? Would that reduce the nitrates without losing all the benefits of the filters? (If so, I would like to do half plastic pot scrubbers on top and half the rock-type stuff that is in there now, if that would work.) Then, would 2-3 month cleanings of the rock-stuff/pot scrubbers be adequate? I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Other than the nitrates, everything in the tank seems to be quite happy (including some very full Xenia and a couple of mushrooms). Thank you again for your assistance. Greg  <The nitrates are a result of both the accumulated organic matter and the highly aerobic nature of these filters. The media supplied with these (and plastic "pot scrubbers" make great high surface area, aerobic media. I would maintain them properly or gut them completely of all media.> PS I would like to chime in that Sally Lightfoot crabs, in my opinion, ARE killers. I lost a bunch of damsels and a cardinalfish to one before figuring out what was going on.  PPS Since this is my first question posted, I have to say again, you guys are great!  <I couldn't agree more! In my opinion there are no completely safe crabs (including hermits). Best Regards. AdamC.>

Fluval question -Please help James or anyone,  <James, here>  I read that you use a canister with Chemi Pure. I plan on using a canister filter for chemical filtration in addition to my sump (former wet/dry) and skimmer. I am wondering what is the recommended media to be used for chemical filtration apart from ChemiPure e.g. something to manage phosphates etc.  <Your choice, either Sea Chem or Kent Marine phosphate removers would be my choice.> Secondly should I be running the recommended chemical filtration (via my Fluval) during my cycling phase?  <I wouldn't use it during cycling.> Finally I was going to use the canister for mechanical filtration but was told this could be a nitrate trap. I would like to change/clean my canister media monthly.  <Monthly changes will be a nitrate factory. I clean my filter weekly and my nitrates never exceed 5ppm, then again I do 10% water changes weekly. James (Salty Dog)> 

Filter Help, canister with air lock Hi all. I have a Rena XP canister filter(4 yrs old) that will not fill up with water.  Usually after I clean it, all I have to do is push the quick disconnect valve down and the filter begins priming. Today that was not the case. I filled the inlet pipe up with water, thinking that it just needed a little more, but it still would not take water in. What is wrong with it? I don't see any leaks. I need to do something quick! Thanks in advance. <Most likely there is a bit of air trapped in and around the impeller (the volute)... this can be most easily cleared by carefully lifting and tilting the filter canister on to its side a few times while the motor is running... Another technique is to pull the discharge line from the tank and let the water run into a bucket on the floor... this will clear the air out. Bob Fenner> 

Eheim? I have been given an Eheim external filter and have been using it for some while now, but, I think the impeller needs replacing as it makes some very strange noises and doesn't work properly. <Have you checked it physically? Is it chipped? Perhaps a rock stuck in the volute? If not, there may be just some air trapped in and around the impeller...> The problem I'm having is I don't know which one I have as I can't find the number, I think it's either a 2224 or 2226,  both the impellers are different, and I can't seem to find a dealer in my area  of the UK who can help, Can you? <I'd take it into a dealer there... contact Eheim through their website and ask where a larger outlet that carries their complete line is located near you. Bob Fenner> Canister filters and refugiums 5/4/05 Hi all, It's been a while since I've had occasion to e-mail you...I hope this finds you all well. <Very well... with hope for you in kind> Somewhere in the wealth of info on your site I remember reading a comment that canister filters are basically nitrate factories and that a refugium is a better way to go. <On the point of nitrate production, yes... any/all high flow mechanical filters like canisters, power filters... and especially wet/dry or fluidized bed filters, can and will contribute significantly to nitrate accumulation> That being said, I have a 55 gallon FOWLR and a few invert aquarium that's been running well for almost five years now (with your site a big reason why). I have an Eheim canister filter and a protein skimmer, and am considering adding a CPR hang-on refugium. <Very nice construct> If I do, do I ditch the canister filter, and if so, how? <I'd pull its mechanical and biological filter media and use it strictly for extra water flow and a place to put/hide carbon> Do I establish the refugium for a period then remove the Eheim, or remove the canister filter when the refugium is installed? Since the refugium will be stocked with existing tank water and live sand, I didn't know if there was any concern that removing the filter would drop the level of bacteria to an unhealthy level and leave me with a danger period until the refugium was running for some time. <That is a possibility, even if slight, for a short period of time> Thank you again for all your help. All good wishes, Daryl Klopp <With kind regards, Anthony>

Eheim floss alternatives in a canister 7/14/05 Hi.  I've a new Eheim 2026 Profesionel 2.  The fine white Eheim pads, I'd imagine must be changed frequently but they are expensive.  Can I use regular no-name floss instead? <I wouldn't>   Would there be a danger of fibers catching and obstructing the impeller?   <Possibly... but worse, more likely all will "pack down", channel...> Someone suggested that if I do use ordinary no-name floss, I should cease using sintered glass as it sheds fines, potentially damaging to the impeller and its chamber. <No>   What are your ideas and experiences.  (Not living in Western Europe or the States, I cannot get products online, by the way.  So the Eheim pads remain expensive). <Am a huge fan of a one-time purchase of Eheim's Grob and Fein Flocken... a polyester media that you can rinse out and re-use... for decades... this is what I use... the Grob (large) ahead of a handful of the Fein. Bob Fenner>

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