Aquarium Owners: The best canister filter?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by cheezy321, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. cheezy321

    cheezy321 Diamond Member

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    Hi all,
    I have a 55 gallon freshwater aquarium. My two filters are about to crap out and I think its a perfect time to move to a canister filter. I have been looking online and my budget is ~100-150.

    I have read about the cascade 1000 filter and it looks like its a good fit. Link here: http://www.amazon.com/Cascade%C2%AE-.../dp/B0002DJ9NY

    It has everything I need and looks like it has great reviews. I couldn't find anything in this price range, so was curious if this is a quality product. I have also looked into some fluval filters, but this one seems a lot cheaper.

    So ATOT, what say you? Can anyone recommend a good canister filter for a 55 gallon freshwater tank.
     
  2. BoomerD

    BoomerD Lifer

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    Cascade is not one of the better brands. It'll probably do the job, but I wouldn't ever have one on my tanks when I was in the hobby.

    Fluval isn't bad, but Eheim is the cream of the crop for canister filters.
     
  3. ProfJohn

    ProfJohn Lifer

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    I have 2 power heads with an under gravel filter and a cheap over the back filter and my tank is beautiful, the fish are colorful and healthy and the water is clear as can be.

    And I don't do anything other than add water when it is lower.
     
  4. baoytl

    baoytl Senior member

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    Pretty much this.

    I have never heard of Cascade, but I've been out of the hobby for the past 10 years or so. Thinking of starting up again. If I do, I'll be using a Eheim.
     
  5. BoomerD

    BoomerD Lifer

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    Cascade is a "lower end" product made by Penn-Plax. It's NOT their better product line.
     
  6. MichaelD

    MichaelD Lifer

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    The Grab-a-Lot 4000-series is probably your best bet. I'd go for the ShitKeeper 243k filter, as long as you insulate it with AlgaeBuster2ke2 foam. It's sure to catch all the fish shit in your tank. You know, like if you did normal maintenance on it, like vacuuming it regularly like any labor-intensive pet requires you to do.

    Just poking at you. Fish are beautiful but you've got to be on top of the tank cleaning every day. Which is why I don't have fish. I'm never home.
     
  7. novasatori

    novasatori Diamond Member

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    you don't really have to clean it every day

    I have Rena xP 3 filters, but I got em a couple years ago when they were $79 each, now a days they run like $140.
    Second to my xP 3 I like the Marineland C series, but Eheim are good as well.
     
  8. BoomerD

    BoomerD Lifer

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    Sounds like you've never dabbled in the hobby at all.
    A properly set up tank rarely needs "cleaning."
    Water changes, definitely, I always aimed for a minimum of 25% monthly, but preferred to do at least 15-20% weekly instead. (less shock to the tank system.)
    Glass may need to be cleaned every few days if the tank water is out of balance and has too high of a nutrient level...(water changes, water changes, water changes) Filters need maintenance, but the frequency will depend on the filter, the filter media, and the tank load. (more fish = more filth to clean)

    Undergravel filters were "the cat's meow" for many years...but not so much lately. The controversy has been going on for years...IMO, they're OK for a lightly loaded
    freshwater system as long as they're maintained properly, but even a well maintained UG setup will accumulate a LOT of detritus under the plate...and that can lead to problems down the road...especially if you have a power outage for more than a couple of hours.
    Of course, canister filters can also go anaerobic and wipe out your tank following an extended power outage...the small "Hang on Back" power filters are about the only filters that don't seem to become H2S factories after a power outage.

    http://www.firsttankguide.net/ugfcontroversy.php
     
  9. Wyndru

    Wyndru Diamond Member

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    I'm another Eheim fan, I had one that was a workhorse for many years. I think I accidentally broke it while moving it, and downgraded to a smaller tank/whisper hanging filter.

    The largest tank I had was only 50 gallon though. I always had a pleco and a crawfish to clean the glass and just did 20-25% monthly water changes, and occasionally vacuumed if I overfed or there was shit stuck under rocks. Other than that there wasn't much maintenance involved. I had an Oscar and an Ivory Cichlid that got HUGE in that tank. I used to love watching them chase goldfish around when I fed them.

    I wish I had a decent place to set up another tank, a buddy of mine has some coral in his he said he would give me to set up a salt water tank, but I don't really have a good spot, and I'm afraid once my daughter starts walking it could be a hazard for her. I know she would want to climb onto the tank.
     
  10. Meghan54

    Meghan54 Diamond Member

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    Eheim and Fluval are the only two canister brands I've ever used with good success and the only brands I'd consider using again.
     
  11. rasczak

    rasczak Lifer

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    I used a fluval for my 55 gallon. It's a decent filter imo.
     
  12. novasatori

    novasatori Diamond Member

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    Also one thing to consider when thinking about a cheap canister, depending on how low the filter intake is in the tank, that could be half the tank of water or more in your house and on the floor.

    do you really feel comfortable skimping on price with an appliance running 24/7 that could leak 25 gallons or more of water in your house?

    that's not to say cascade or any brand mentioned here is bad, but just make sure you research what you are considering buying before you do it.
     
    #12 novasatori, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  13. rasczak

    rasczak Lifer

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    OP lives in Tempe, AZ. The moment the water spills from the canister, it will evaporate. :D
     
  14. rahul

    rahul Senior member

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    Really depends on what sort of tank you have going (size of fish, number, what you're feeding), but an Eheim 2213 fits your budget and is suitable for most tank setups.
     
  15. hellfire88

    hellfire88 Diamond Member

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    Agree with some others, Fluvals are decent but Eheims are best (as far as I know as of about 4yrs ago, haven't been in the scene for awhile). The models I knew was the 2213 or 2215 would both work for you. Only thing is the filter media is kinda expensive (like 4-5 different layers) but some layers you can change like once every 3-4 months versus those hanging filters like Whispers you usually change once per month (the cartridges).
     
  16. evident

    evident Lifer

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    not sure about the best, but i have a marineland C360 canister which is rated for 100 gals i think, on my 45G breeder and it works great. but i'm also over filtering and understocked. very quiet too
     
  17. isekii

    isekii Lifer

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    I used fluval 3xx series when I had a tank setup.

    Nice and quiet,~ the only issue i had was after cleaning, getting the top back on with the o-ring. Huge Pita
     
  18. slag

    slag Lifer

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    Exactly my setup, except I have one power head. When the water starts to get cloudy, I change out the two charcoal filter packs and boom, in an hour its crystal clear again.
     
  19. dud

    dud Diamond Member

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    This is the #1 reason why I went old-school on my 120 gallon FW setup. I removed the Fluval and installed an under gravel with two power heads. The setup was inexpensive AND has lasted about 7 years so far!
     
  20. cheezy321

    cheezy321 Diamond Member

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    Thanks for all the help everyone. I went with the fluval 305. Getting it in the mail tomorrow. Now all I need is a high powered light so I can start making my planted tank look even better!
     
  21. MWink

    MWink Diamond Member

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    I have worked with a few canister filters and I really haven't found a favorite. I know Eheim, Rena, and to a lesser extent Fluval are generally considered good. I have the low end Eheim 2213 (which is well within your price range) and it does work well and is near dead silent but it has had some problems. The shutoff valves started leaking for no reason and the impeller broke and had to be glued back together. Most people consider Eheim to be the most reliable but of my filters it has had the most problems.

    I have also worked with one of those Cascade's you're looking at (the 700 to be exact) and I would say it is my least favorite of the one's I've used. I can't really put a finger on why but it just didn't seem well built and was by far the noisiest. I've also worked with a Fluval which I did like somewhat but I didn't like that you had fewer media options, and it used slightly unusual hoses. I would like to try a Rena Filstar but have not had the opportunity yet.

    Something you may want to consider is to run two (or more) separate filters. It gives some redundancy in case one fails and you can alternate cleaning them to keep the bacteria more in balance. You did not say WHAT you have in the tank which I consider more important than the size of the tank.

    I have a 40G Breeder planted FW tank and it has 3 filters on it. I run an Aquaclear 50, an Aquaclear 110, and the Eheim 2213 canister. It's amazing how dirty they all get. I have a bunch of guppies, ~10 Neon's, ~7 Cory's, 1 Otto, 1 SAE, and a pair of Clown Loaches (my favorite).

    BTW, if you decide to go with a hang on back filter instead, I definitely recommend the AquaClear's. I've used a bunch of those and they are awesome. They are very reliable and I think they are far more effective than other filters because they actually fill most of the room inside with media rather than some almost 2-dimensional pad most HOB filters use. My only complaint is they are not the quietest (though not loud by any means).
     
  22. evident

    evident Lifer

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    on an unrelated but related topic. my tank is infested with ramshorn snails, and the assassin snails i purchased to destroy them seem to be taking a permanent vacation!!!!!
     
  23. Possessed Freak

    Possessed Freak Diamond Member

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    Get a loach?
     
  24. Maximus96

    Maximus96 Diamond Member

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    spend the money and buy a fluval fx5! you can't have too much filtration. these things are pretty expensive online but for some reason my local fish store sells them for around $150
     
  25. evident

    evident Lifer

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    loaches will outgrow my 45G breeder, and they will probably harass my cories.