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FAQs about Canister, Cartridge Filters For Marine Systems, Other Makes Than Eheim, Fluval

Related Articles: Physical FiltrationReview of the ViaAqua Canister Filter

Related FAQs: Canister Filters 1, Canister Filters 2, Canister Filters 3, Outside Power Filters& FAQs on: Rationale/Use, Placement, Media, Plumbing, Maintenance, Troubleshooting/Repair, By Manufacturer: Eheim, Fluval,

Cascade, Magnums, FilStar, Marineland, Ocean Clear, Odyssea, Renaissance, Resun...

Check with fellow hobbyists... ala "Consumer Reports" first-hand accounts re cost of operation, replacement of motors...

Submerged Motor Assembly of Magnum 350 11/18/11
<Hello Stephanie>
While doing our first partial water change on our 90 gallon tank we got a couple of weeks ago I ran into a disaster. When I turned the pumps back on I didn't feel any water coming back in from the return line. So I stupidly thought that I had to re-prime the pump so I unclipped one of the clips and water starting flowing all over the place a couple inches on the floor before I could get it stopped and the hoses out of the tank. In the chaos of putting the filter in a bucket to help with the water I didn't notice till after that the pump assembly had fallen off into the water. I tried drying what I could with hair dryer and tried to use it but it didn't turn on. So I'm air drying it now. Is it shot or do I need to buy another pump assembly or do you think blow drying and air drying eventually get the water out if there is any left. I can't believe how stupid this adventure was but I guess you learn from your mistakes. My first time with canister filters. Sorry for such a long email.
<Ah, panic set in here. Let me first say that the Magnum motor and switch assembly are sealed units so the motor itself should have no water inside. I'm thinking the Magnum canister needed to be burped. You can find this procedure in the troubleshooting guide in your manual. Another item to check is the impeller assembly, make sure the entire assembly is installed correctly as shown in the manual.>
Thanks for any advice you might have.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Submerged Motor Assembly of Magnum 350 11/18/11- 11/19/11

<Hello Stephanie>
Thanks for getting back with me.
<You're welcome.>
I tried again after a let it sit outside for awhile in the sun. It is working. Though what got me to open the lid in the first place was the water flow wasn't coming out. It is coming out now from the return but not very fast.
<I believe you had air trapped in the canister and is why I suggested to burp the filter.>
To be honest I don't how fast it is supposed to coming out or anything about it we bought the tank used a couple of weeks ago with the equipment included.
<The Magnum 350 is rated at 350gph.>
We do have a couple of biological filters hooked up too.
<To the Magnum?>
Thanks for information.
Hopefully I will never have a flood again from doing something so stupid.
It would of been a quick way to drain the aquarium but we just finished putting clean water in.
I do have one more question since you've been so helpful. I have a 125 wet dry filter I'm trying to setup in my smaller 60 gallon we bought used and it didn't have all the parts. We have an overflow box but apparently we need an inner box a (prefilter box) to put the u tube to create the siphon. When I look online and in the local pet shops all I've been able to find are overflow box that come with the inner part. Do you know of any place you can just buy that part without buying the whole assembly again.
<Is there a brand name sticker on the overflow box? If so, contact the company.>
I was thinking if I couldn't find one to use a large specimen container and
cut some holes in it for water to get in. Do you think that would work?
<Do not know, worth trying.>
Thanks again.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Ocean Clear Filter/Use Or Not To Use 3/6/09 Good Morning Crew! <Good morning, Jeff> My question deals with a use of an Ocean Clear canister filter. I am replacing my current 120 gallon reef system that I purchased used, is horribly scratched, and terribly plumbed, for a new Oceanic System. I would like to keep things simple, as I am home often, and stick to routine water changes and maintenance religiously. I have been using an Ocean Clear canister filter on my current system, and would really like to eliminate it from my new system if possible, and advised. <OK> There are a couple of factors involved in my consideration of leaving the Ocean Clear out, as follows: If I use the Ocean Clear and a 30 gallon tank as a sump, the sump will have to sit kitty corner in the tank stand in order to fit the Ocean Clear. This makes it a bit more difficult to get at the father corner of the sump which is where the Refugium is located. I am quadriplegic, and require help in maintaining my system, so I like to keep things as efficient as possible. <Understandably.> What a good amount of sponge/filter media in the sump be sufficient, even though I would have to remove and clean it more often than I would the Ocean Clear? My other option is to use a 20 gallon long tank for a sump with no Refugium, that would leave me room for the Ocean Clear on the end as a 20 gallon long is 30". My feelings are that the larger the sump, the better. <Yes, more water in the system and capacity for unexpected shut downs.> Also, a Refugium built into the sump would be a plus, am I correct on this? <Would be a big plus.> I will greatly appreciate your expert advice. <The micron filter systems are great for sparkling clear water. On the other hand they need to be maintained at least weekly. If not, the trapped waste will soon elevate nitrate levels once decomposition starts. Cleaning isn't much fun as the filter needs to be soaked in a bleach/water mixture for 24 hours and then a rinsing and soaking in freshwater to make it safe for re-use. I would keep the 30 gallon sump and refugium and incorporate an efficient protein skimmer in the system if you are not already using one. You can use the sponge, but again, this will require weekly maintenance and would not be necessary if a protein skimmer is in use along with an ample clean up crew to tidy up. I do not use any mechanical filtering in my tank for the reasons stated above.> Thank you for your help, and the fantastic website. <You're welcome, Jeff, and thank you for your fine errorless writing. Is much appreciated. James (Salty Dog)> Jeff Castaldo

Proquatics 1600 canister filter lid removal 1/15/09 Hi, and thank you for this service. I've tried every other source for help...none available w/o expensive house visit costs. I recently rescued a 30 gal tank of fish from an abandonment situation. Can you say filth? The setup includes the above-mentioned Proquatics 1600 Canister Filter, which I need to clean. I cannot get the top/lid off. <If all else fails, read the instruction manual. If you don't have the manual, then find the web site of the manufacturer, and see if they have them online. A lot of manufacturers do this now, thankfully.> Not sure whether it turns clockwise, counter-clockwise, or WHAT! <Not familiar with this filter. Isn't sold in the UK. But generally, canister filters are opened in three stages. First you disconnect the hoses, which will require turning some taps first to stop all the water flowing out the tank. This part of the operation breaks the seal, and if you don't do this, air pressure will stop the filter opening easily. Secondly, you click open whatever catches are present around the seal between the motor unit and the canister underneath. Looking at a photo of the Proquatics 1600 Canister, there appear to be four blue plastic catches. Open ALL the catches. Finally, you pull the motor unit up. Usually you don't twist the motor, but pull it up. While the details may vary from model to model, all the canisters I've ever seen work in this basic way.> I don't want to break the thing by using the wrong method. PetSmart, from whence it came, no longer sells them, and I couldn't find anyone there whom I trusted to give me their version of how to proceed. I have no vehicle, otherwise I'd merely run from shop to shop until I found the answer to my dilemma. Can you help me? Thanks a BUNCH!! Doris <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Proquatics 1600 canister filter lid removal  1/18/09 Thank you SO much. I followed your advice, and with a little elbow grease off it came. Really...God BLESS you for caring!! caw..Caw...CAW!! <Glad we could help. Enjoy your nice clean filter! Cheers, Neale.>

Rena filter question, can. rep.    11/27/08 I've read through your excellent FAQ on canister filters but have a problem which doesn't come up there. A Rena XP2 filter which has been running happily for three or so years has started to pump intermittently. It will pump as normal for five minutes or so then go off for a few minutes. You can hear the motor just start and stop running - it doesn't sound like air is being expelled at any time. I've checked all the connections, cleaned the impeller, and reprimed thoroughly clearing air bubbles, but none of this seemed to help. Might it be the unit's fault? Cheers Al <Mmm... could be a few things... the more likely is that the impeller magnet is losing its magnetism... Does happen. I would first replace this before junking the entire unit. The next most likely source of cause here is some sort of intake blockage... that is, a "vacuum" on the non-discharge side of the unit... I would remove, possibly bleach/rinse the intake line tubing, thoroughly clean the fittings leading to... and the media in the filter canister... Sometimes this sort of "vacuum" leads the impeller to "fall out of synch" with the motors matching magnetic field. Bob Fenner>  

Re: Rena filter question   11/27/08 as a follow-up to this: I've timed the cycle and it seems to fairly reliably go 9 minutes on and 3 minutes off. Bizarre! cheers al <Interesting... one other possibility is some sort of malfunction in/with the motor, the electronics regulating it... BobF>

Re: Rena filter question   11/28/08 Many thanks for your generous advice. I discovered the cause - a buildup of limescale on a heater had caused it to crack, fill with water, and then earth itself through the filter motor, frying it (this morning it was down to 2mins on / 7 min.s off - hopefully that will still have been enough to keep the bacteria in there alive.) <Likely so... and yikes! Glad you weren't electrocuted... I would GFI all circuits that have to do with any/all aquariums... Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gfcimarines.htm> I replaced both the filter (just the power head) and the heater and everything's running nicely again. Fish don't seem too bothered about it and temp didn't drop below 22' so I think I've had a lucky escape. Best wishes, Al <Thank you for this follow-up Al. It's posting/sharing may help many others profoundly. Bob Fenner>

MARINELAND C series filters 10/21/08 Hello, I wanted to see if you were familiar with the Marineland Cseries canister filters. I read a review of canister filters on your website, but although it did mention some of the Marineland products, it did not mention the C-series. I guess maybe they are fairly new. <They have been out a few months, not long.> Obviously I want something dependable, easy to assemble and clean. <I have actually used one of these, they are a good filter. I have heard a few second hand accounts of leaking issues, but everyone I have come across actually using these is satisfied.> Thanks, Skip <Welcome, Scott V.>

User friendly canister filter and bristleworm control 02/25/2008 Hi Guys: What a wonderful website!!! My question is regarding user friendly canister filters. I'm a bit confused. <<G'Morning, Andrew today>> I have a 55 gallon marine tank with Emperor 400 Bio Wheel, powerhead and CPR Back Pack protein skimmer (your recommendation; thanks so much, love it!!). Have about 70 lbs. of live rock, in addition to crushed coral and base rock. Livestock: (one of each) false percula clown, royal Gramma, striped damsel and a wrasse that eats bristleworms. <<Maybe consider switching out the crushed coral at some point for reef grade sugar sized aragonite sand>> The present equipment keeps aquarium fairly clean between bi-weekly, 20% water changes. Water is clear but never polished. Why is this? Bristleworms? Insufficient filtration? <<Switch water changes to 10% per week, rather than the larger change every two weeks. The bristleworms won't cause dirty water>> Would like to put "water polishing" filter on to really sparkle up the water. Questions: 1. Can I use a canister filter in addition to present equipment? <<Yes, you can do that, and run some carbon in the filter to hopefully clear up the water>> 2. What is you recommendation for a simple user friendly canister filter? What size, brand, model do you recommend for this set up? Keep in mind my mechanical skills are extremely limited. (The CPR BakPak PS is just super!! I need something as efficient and easy to maintain as this). <<The Rena XP2 filter would be a fine choice ( http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewItem~idProduct~AP7313.html ). These are easy to use with tray filtration. You can add a bag of carbon to one of the trays and live rock rubble to the other>> 3. Need bristleworm control tips in addition to the wrasse which does a decent job but does not eliminate them completely. Is this possible? <<If your bristle worms are not at plague levels, then they are fine to leave in there. They will act as part of your cleanup crew in the tank>> Looked at the Marineland Magnum 350 and Eheim models of canister filters but am not sure which would be appropriate. Would the HOT Magnum 250 do the job? Do you recommend HOT, immersible, or undertank models? <<the marine land is not a very adaptable filter besides running the standard sponge filter, which is not really much use to you....same again with the cheaper Eheim filters, they are just sponge filter pads.. The Rena Xp2 or 3 would be a far better choice>> Please advise. Thanks so much!! June Mary <<Thanks for the questions. Hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Rena Filstar xP4 setup problem   9/25/07 Hi there, <Dave> I just set up a brand new Rena Filstar xP4 filter, but something is wrong and water will not flow through the circuit. <Mmm... likely an air pocket... about the pump impeller itself...> When I prime the filter, the canister fills and air comes out of the outlet pile as described in the manual, but when I switch on after 2 minutes, the motor turns, but no water seems to be being sucked into the filter, <Actually... it is NOT sucked in... gravity supplies this, and it is pumped centrifugally out...> and the outlet hose only fills to the level of the waterline. I can hear the motor turning inside the canister and see the water at the top being stirred around a bit, but nothing else is happening. <Not uncommon> The filter is set up as instructed in the manual, and using the filter media provided. It is located between the minimum and max height below the waterline (~50" below the top of a 21" high tank), inlet and outlet clips, filter box clips and disconnect and pipe joints are tight. All components are new out of the box. <Well described> Any idea what the problem could be and how to fix? <Yes... "carefully" tilt the entire unit a few times... while running the pump... on to its side or even slightly inverted/upside down... this should mix enough water about the volute (the area surrounding and including the pump impeller) to vent the remaining air out... Voila!> I have not been able to find any troubleshooting info on xP series on the www, as everyone says how easy they are to prime. <Canister filters can be the Dickens to prime the first time... Only takes a small amount of air around a well-balanced impeller to end up as you presently are here> Hope you can offer advice, Dave <I do hope you have the room, the length of tubing to do the maneuver mentioned... Do write back with applause or further consternation if you would. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Rena Filstar xP4 setup problem   9/27/07 Its consternation I'm afraid Bob. <Rats!> I could hardly wait to go home from work to try your advice. I had already tried gingerly tilting the tank from side to side and squeezing the sides to create some pressure to force air out, but had been wary of manhandling the canister with the motor running. <Yes... is heavy, clumsy to move about... and the worry of hose disconnection...> With added confidence, I followed your advice. Some air did come out, but the filter did not spring into action. I noticed that while tipping the unit, I got minor leakage from the seam of the motor housing compartment, and when I took the top off it had water inside. I don't know if that should be, but I guess if there is a route for water to come out, there is a route for air to get in? <Mmm, shouldn't be, no> After that I got rid of the air in the outlet hose, by removing the quick disconnect, opening the valve with my thumb over the inlet and siphoning down the outlet hose. <Good> I also filled the canister to the brim and carefully put the top back on, to exclude air. That did not work either, but I noticed that when I ran the motor, new air bubbles appeared near the top of the canister and an air pocket forms where the motor unit sits inside canister box. <Mmmm> I'm fairly convinced that it should not be this difficult, and that I have a defective unit with an air leak through the top of the canister that is stopping it from operating. Nothing left to do I think, but to go back to the vendor and ask for a replacement. <Yes... but first...> Will let you know what happens and look forward to posting about a working and stocked community aquarium in the future. Meanwhile I will browse your excellent articles demystifying cycling. Cheers, Dave <I would try taking all the hose sections apart Dave... re-fitting them (pushing all back together hard)... and with the ding-dang thing basically empty... try starting it all again... with the intake line siphoning while you use the disconnected discharge line (as you state above) discharging into a bucket... with the pump running. Am pretty sure this is an "air lock" situation (about the impeller) still... that just needs to be purged... IF there is an air leak on the intake side though... this does need to be remedied... Wish I was there physically to aid you... BobF> Re: Rena Filstar xP4 setup problem solved 10/2/07 Hi Bob, <Dave> To tie off this thread I finally found out what was wrong with the filter. <Ahh~!> The unit I purchased was supplied missing a small black cap that covers off one of the ports in the top motor housing unit (not shown in the manual), hence no pressure. The LFS replaced the unit, so I will soon be up and running. <Great!> Thanks for your tips, which mean that I now know what to do if I have any problem with the filter in future when the tank is stocked. Dave <Thank you for this useful follow-up. Will post for others edification. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Rena Filstar xP4 setup problem solved 10/3/07 No worries Bob, <Dave> Actually this problem was a blessing in disguise, otherwise I would probably not have discovered all the wonderful information at WetWebMedia until I had a more serious problem with a tank full of fish. <Ahh!> Just to add that the Rena Filstar xP4 really is very quiet, and had it not been for the missing part, would have been simplicity itself to set-up and operate, so despite my problem I would happily recommend it to others. <Good> I'll follow up on the QC with the manufacturer (now Mars Fishcare) Dave <Real good. BobF>

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>

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

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>

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

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>

Worth the money (marine aquarium filtration) I have a 70gal saltwater tank fish only with live rock <Okay>.  The filters are red sea protein skimmer, wet dry trickle system and a UV sterilizer. My water is pretty clear, but I always think there is room for improvement, so do you think that the Ocean Clear Canister Filters (model 325) is really worth the money and would you really get a get improvement in your tank? <If memory serves me correct, Ocean clear filters do not have an automatic siphon. Jeez...these things are a real pain to maintenance...and very messy! If I were going for an inexpensive filter, I would get the Fluval 404 or spend the real bucks for an Eheim. If your water tests are almost perfect every time you test (never even a trace of ammonia or nitrite), your fish are living for years (not months or weeks), and you're not having any identifiable water quality problems including cloudy or discolored water, you may not need a new filter. But redundancy in equipment is sometimes a good thing to have...>                              MIKE WHITE <David D.>

Marineland Magnum Filter Please comment on Marineland's reply to my original message.  The Magnum 350 pumps 350 gallons per hour which is more than most canisters.  How come other brands of canisters pump the same or less and are rated for 150+ gallon tanks? <I generally don't like any of the Marineland filtration products. IMO none of them perform efficiently, all are expensive to run, they offer little or no flexibility in use/setup, and because Marineland has proprietary equipment, you can only replace media/parts with other Marineland items. Why do they do this? Because it creates a permanent customer base! Pretty smart...Huh? The discrepancy in ratings that you sight is due to the fact that the filtration you will get with the micron filter is less than the filtration you would get with other types of media or combinations of media. Remember that flexibility issue? The only thing that you can do with this filter is run the micron sleeve. Other filters you can use various media types or combinations; an important thing to consider. Before purchasing this item, please look closely at the cost of replacing the micron filter (about $8.00) and how often this will need to be done (probably weekly depending on bioload). I had an Eclipse system for about 3 years and it got expensive buying those filter cartridges...and the y didn't really provide much quality filtration> It seems the Magnum 350 with the fluidized bed should be plenty of filtration without needing to supplement with another filter. What do you think?   <If you use a good filter the fluidized bed will actually be overkill IMO. However, there would be no harm in using both methods (other than nitrate production) and redundancy is good in aquaria. Do yourself a favor...Check out either a Fluval 404 (about the same price as the Marineland item), or Eheim (more expensive). DrsFostersSmith.com have really good prices on these items. As always, all of the above is my opinion but...I am speaking from experience! David Dowless> Please email reply.  Drew

- Magnum Canister Question - <Greetings, JasonC here...> I have a 90 gal tank with 90 lbs Kaelini rock that has been curing for 4 weeks. my numbers seem fine.. sg 1.023..ph-8.5? I do not have any fish yet but should in a bout a week. have been doing weekly 30-40 gal changes...last week my water had a yellow tinge to it. the crew suggested might be high in nutrients that will explode when lighted finally go on. I bought a magnum 350(have a protein skimmer giving at least 2 cups per week) and I am using carbon. how often should I change the carbon? <I like to keep in a batch of carbon no more than two weeks. You don't really need to run it constantly, and should perhaps go two weeks on and two weeks off.> should I leave this running permanently with carbon or should I use it as needed to let skimmer/rock/1.5 inches fine sand do its work? <As needed.> if I use carbon as needed can I use the same carbon after it sits/ also with this filter they give a micron filter for polishing. <No, the 'active' quality of carbon is typically spent in a week or so, sometime less.> how long do you run this? <No more than two weeks.> instructions say to clean cartridge you mix 1 part bleach to 3 parts h20, immerse overnight, rinse until chlorine smell disappears and reuse...is this wise to do? <Unless you like to purchase replacement filters all the time, it's really your only choice. I would also leave it out in the sun for a day or two.> ...thanks for your help! <Cheers, J -- >

Magnum 350 10/5/03 I recently acquired a used Magnum 350 canister filter. How do I set it up? Thanks, Cherie <hmmm... I'm not sure I/we can best serve you by a less than clear and long explanation of this product via e-mail. Let me ask you to help yourself (better) by archiving the manufacturers website... and seeking a local aquarium society (excellent source of such information and advice to see and work hands-on). You might also try out www.wetwebmedia.com forum for fellow users that can share insight. Best regards, Anthony> Magnum 350 Manual 10/5/03 For the person who bought the used Magnum 350, the owner's manual can be downloaded from this link: http://www.marineland.com/products/manuals/magnum_manual.pdf  Steve Allen <outstanding follow-up, Steve. Thanks kindly :) Anthony>

Wanted: Clear, Clean Water! Hey all, thanks for running such a great site. <You're quite welcome! Scott F. here today!> I have a quick question for you. I haven't set this tank up yet, but it is a 60gal, and I have a Seaclone 150 skimmer, and a Penn-Plax Cascade 1000 canister filter for it. I plan on using around 50-60 lbs of live rock in this thing, with only fish in there. And was just curious as to what filter media you would recommend me putting in the canister?? <I'm a big fan of activated carbon. It excels at removing a variety of organics and nutrients from water. If you change it regularly, you can be assured that the media will be at its peak absorptive capacity. Choose a good grade and follow the manufacturer's instructions concerning the amount to use, etc. As an aside, make sure that your skimmer is pulling out a few cups of dark, yucky skimmate every week!> Do you think I will be able to keep the water really clear with this form of setup?? Thanks for your time. Rob <Rob, if you don't overstock, feed carefully, change small amounts of water regularly, and pay attention to filter maintenance, you'll have a system that will have high water quality and be as clear as you envision! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Odd brand canister filter parts I have a Hailea WL-504 canister filter. I am in need of a part I need the intake & output tubes base. Do you have any idea where I can get one? I am desperate I have about a hundred babies in my tank. Thank you Sherleen <Did a quick search for Hailea WL-504 on the Net... as have not heard, seen this line... and no luck (other than e-Bay... Do you have the instructions, packaging for this filter? Do they list an email address? I'd call or email some of the larger etailers here: Marine Depot, Dr.s Foster & Smith, Big Al's... hoping they've got parts for this unit. Good luck. Bob Fenner> Canister Filters Hi Gang! <Hi John> Looking for a little advice here. After reading all of the posts on this subject, I still want to run something by you - thanks for the patience. My setup is as follows:  55 gal FOWLR tank, 5" sand bed, 50lbs rock, AquaC Remora Pro hang-on skimmer, FilStar canister filter, Teclima chiller, 1 clown, 1 goby, 1 Foxface, 1 small puffer, 1 royal Gramma, 1 damsel, 1 medium anemone. Chemical levels are all good except Nitrates which remain at around 35ppm. Water is changed by 10% every week and the canister is cleaned monthly (contains pads, carbon and something called Bio-Chem Zorb... <Yes, it is similar to Chemi-Pure but IMO Chemi-Pure works better>  ... that is supposed to reduce nitrates). I have a feeling that my current canister filter is generating the nitrates but am not sure.  <Don't think so. Do you clean/rinse the coarse filter and replace the micron pad weekly? If not, you should. I use a Filstar on my tank and the micron filter is pretty dirty after a week. We have to export waste/nutrients to keep nitrates low.> My FilStar filter has developed a leak and I feel it is time to replace it. <Do you have the XP series? Contact the manufacturer, I'm sure they would make it right.>  I am looking at the Eheim line of canister filters for this. Due to small space availability, a sump is out of the question. For the Eheim, there are mechanical (2026 or 2028) and wet/dry (2227 or 2229) models. Keeping in mind that I am fighting to get nitrates, do you have any suggestions on which way to go? I have seen many times over that canister filters can produce nitrates... <Canister filters produce nitrates if the pads aren't cleaned replaced weekly. I have a unreadable nitrate level but I'm fussy about excess nutrients and maintenance. You mention a 5" sand bed. Do you have sand stirrers etc? If not, you have a nitrate factory right there.>  ... but do not know what other road to take for filtration given my constraints. If there are any other tips for filtration here, please shout out! Additionally, if the Eheim is a good choice, I was wondering the difficulty in the cleaning process - I would love a filter that is as easy to clean as possible.  <I use the Rena Filstar XP1 and I think it is one of the easiest to clean filters I've used, and I've been through plenty. Getting back to Eheim, they do make a good dependable product. I have one in storage that still works good after 20 years. Your other option would be a hang on mud filter by Ecosystems. They are known for reducing nitrates and a great place for growing pods, etc. If you decide on a Eheim Wet/Dry, go the Wet Web Forum first and post a question there concerning operation, likes, dislikes about this particular Eheim. I haven't heard anyone praising it yet. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks! <You're welcome> 

Canister Filters - II Thank you for the reply and excellent information James. <You're welcome>  You triggered another series of questions though. I'll make it as brief as possible: - I do use an XP2 FilStar filter and will contact the manufacturer for the leak issue - thanks. However, I only clean it once per month so maybe this has something to do with it. <The pads are cheap enough to replace weekly, especially if you get them online. The coarse pad just requires rinsing.>  I will try weekly cleanings. <Good>  It contains 2 coarse pads, 2 fine pads, 1 bag of Bio-Chem, and 1 floss pad. On weekly cleaning, should I clean the whole filter, including all pads, and replace the floss as usual? I have heard that the bottom pads build a bacterial colony that one might want to keep but I always wash it away. <I fill the sink up with a little water and keep squishing the coarse pad and draining/adding water till no color appears to be coming from the pad. I discard the water in the filter, rinse the filter box out, rinse my Chemi-Pure bag, and replace the micron pad. If you are concerned about the bacteria colony, you can rinse in discarded saltwater.> - If I decide to experiment with the mud system, would this be in place of or in addition to the canister filter?  <John, go to ecosystems.com. They have quite a bit of FAQ's on their product.> - Additionally, I will try Chemi-Pure. I am used to packages that are easy to place in the filter. This looks like loose material. Do I purchase a baggy of some type to put it in? <Chemi-Pure comes with its own bag, just requires rinsing. I also has more scavenging resins than the product you're using.> - I think that you got something with the sand bed being an issue. I stir it with my hand, at least in the front, every week at cleaning. Other than that, some fish have taken to scooping it up with their mouths or moving it with their tails in an effort to dig some kind of hole that I keep refilling. The sand in back, however, gets little movement - accounting for about 50+ percent of the bed. Any recommendations for sand stirrers that would be appropriate for the size and stocking of the tank?  <Sand sifting stars are good, but I wouldn't put more than one in per 50 gallons. Some gobies also do this quite well. Do a Google search on the Wet Web for sand sifters.> Again - thanks for the wonderful service. As usual, I've tipped the kitty. <You're welcome, John. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Good Morning. (Marine set-up... choice in canister filters) One last question, I hate to bother so much, but I am really contemplating going with the bigger tank actually this weekend. Hey you only live once! <As far as we know...> Anyways, I have the Red Sea PRIZM protein skimmer which is rated to tanks up to 90 gallons, so that's not a problem. <Hmm, actually... I rate this product at no more than half that maximum> Will a Magnum 350 be enough for filtration or something more like Eheim 2026? <The Eheim is a MUCH better choice... but what else? Live rock? Any room for a sump?> I know you prefer the Eheim brand, whets the difference?  <Initial cost only on the negative side... the Eheim will last you literally a lifetime... uses very little power, very quiet, holds its value as a superior product should... better all the way around> I hate thinking about how much money I am going to have to spend on live rock!  <Shop around... look on the www.WetWebMedia.com Links Page... deals on whole boxes to be had.> Well thanks for your help. Alfredo <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Filter Problems (canister, marine) hey... I don't know if you guys are familiar with filters... but my filter won't suck up water anymore.... can you tell me what the problem is... its a magnum filter... the old ones.. not the new 350... but yeah... it won't suck up any more water... I checked it many times.. the only thing wrong with it is the rubber band which is on the cap... I asked a man about it and he said that the because the band has little breaks on it that it would let in air.. would air affect the filter's ability to suck the water... I mean at first it works... but only for a few seconds.. the water level in the filter starts to lower, then at about halfway emptied it stops sucking in anymore water... can you help me out... I know it's not a fish problem but.. any help is fine... thanks... Sokha <You should replace your gaskets. -Steven Pro>

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