Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Canister, Cartridge Filters For Marine Systems, Placement 

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, Media, Plumbing, Maintenance, Troubleshooting/Repair, By Manufacturer: Eheim, Fluval, Other Brands,

Intake and return water level should be about equal... The canister filter itself oriented upright

UV sterilizer plumbing and placement       2/4/13
Hello WWM
I am in need of some help/advice.
Wanting to mount a UV unit and wondering what will be the best way to do it properly.
Attaching three draws (solutions ?) trying to make more clear my set up and what I intend to do about connecting the UV…
<I only see two>
The “solution 3” is the more difficult to me because of the space available near the sump…but, if it is the best one, I will try to find a way.
The system has about 900 liters of water.
Thanks in advance for your help
Best regards
<I would definitely go with "solution 1"... Just in case there's trouble with the sump level, and/or means (overflows, siphons) getting water to/from the individual tanks... I would NOT add to the likelihood of more water on the floor, draining/pumping water into one tank to the other... Go w/ number 1. Bob Fenner>

UV plumbing and placement       2/4/13
to The WWM Crew
Sorry….I forgot to attach the “solution 3” in my previous email
>Oh! I would still go w/ #1... and for browsers, I would NOT place a canister filter (or any centrifugal driven device) higher than the water level it's supplying/moving... These pumps are made to PUSH, not to pull. BobF>
Thank you

Canister filter position 2/3/11
Hi Wet Web,
Lovely site, all information all the time. Thank you extremely.
I had about fifty questions but after two weeks of evening reading I'm down to one : after burping it, have you ever laid a canister filter on its side ? It seems like that would be fine but the unknown unknowns are the ones I'm nervous about. As to why, it's simply a matter of space. Canisters seem to be fairly tall while my available space is wide rather than tall.
thanks very much,
<As in laid it down permanently? I have not and would not do this. The seal on top, the bearings on the motors, are designed, engineered to have these units upright. I have wiggled, shaken, inverted Eheims to "get them to clear", purge air as you speak, but not left them any other orientation but upright.
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

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>

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>

Eheim Canister Filter Hey WWMCrew! I recently purchased an Eheim 2217 canister filter.  My plan was to place the intake and return tubes in my sump.  In the manual it states to place the unit below the water level.  The sumps' water level would be below the top of the canister filter.  I don't want the intake and return tubes in my display tank.  Is there anyway around this? Thanks, Jeremy <Mmm, yes... you can/could place both the intake and discharge lines deep in the sump (to prevent loss of prime should the power fail, or the water level drop too low) and "suck" up water into the Eheim via the discharge side to fill the unit and intake line with water... and do this every time you find yourself servicing the canister. Bob Fenner>

Anemone lost to a canister filter! Hi Blundell, Disaster struck last night in my tank.  One of my anemones got sucked into my canister filter and died.  It's too bad because it had been thriving.  My question is can I still use my filter? << Yes, but I'd clean that thing out well. >> I'm afraid that it might pollute my whole tank. << Bigger concern is will it happen again.  I'd make sure to improve the screening method on that filter before using again. >> Thanks again! Martin <<  Blundell  >>

Canister filter question Dear Bob, <You got Steven pro today.> I love your website, it has been a great help in learning how to set up my saltwater tank. My tank has been going for about six months. It is a 12 gallon tank (one of the ones from Eclipse) that I have taken the hood off of and put a power compact light and a glass top for better lighting on. I have about 18-20lbs of live rock and about an inch of live sand as a substrate. I wanted to add a protein skimmer so I bought the Prizm skimmer as I read on your site that it was a good one for a small tank. I have a few polyps and one medium mushroom. I also have two clown fish that are fairly small. My levels are pretty good pH 8.1, nitrite 0, nitrate 10, ammonia 0, alkalinity 4meq/l, KH 12 and I add the standard trace elements Kalkwasser, strontium, coral vital, iodine. My question is that now that I have the protein skimmer I have to get rid of my filter that was hanging off the back of the tank because I have run out of room. A friend of mine said he would give me his Eheim professional II 2026 and all I would need to do is buy the substrate for the inside. This is a good canister filter that would solve my space problem, but is it too much for my small tank? In the next year I would like to move my small tank into a larger tank (probably a 30 or 50 gallon) so I thought this would be a good filter to grow with. Next question, should I use all of the recommended substrates (Ehfisubstrat, Ehfimech, 3pads) so that it becomes a biological filter in addition to my live rock? I asked at a store and they said that usually in a small tank you would change the pads every 2 months and every 6 months you should rinse the substrates in salt water. He said that it was okay to let most of your bacteria go to the filter and that in the end this would be beneficial for the tank. Does this all sound correct to you? <I have a suggestion for you that is going to sound weird, but it is what I would do. I would get the Eheim and not put any media in it. Your 12 gallon tank is pretty small to start with. Once you added the rock and sand, it probably only has about 8 gallons of water in it. You are not thinking of adding any more fish than your two clowns, are you? I would use the Eheim for additional circulation (~250 gph) and water holding capacity (maybe a gallon). Your rock and sand will provide you with enough bacterial surface area for your two fish.> Thanks for your help. -Pete <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: