Canister Filters: Canister filters are a viable, inexpensive way to filter a reef tank. True or False?

BRS

Canister filters are a viable, inexpensive way to filter a reef tank.

  • Agree

    Votes: 374 50.1%
  • Disagree

    Votes: 194 26.0%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 156 20.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 22 2.9%

  • Total voters
    746

sfin52

So many pedestrians so little time
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
Messages
19,386
Reaction score
88,155
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Usa
1. Do you agree or disagree?
Agree.

2. Do you run a canister filter on your reef now or have you in the past?

I've been running canister for 7 years.
20210711_221054.jpg
 

Sleeping Giant

Proud Canadian Reefer
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
2,764
Reaction score
6,225
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I must have worded it wrongly. Let me clarify.
Carbon is different from nitrifying media. Very different.
Nobody would buy a canister just to run carbon, that would be an overkill. Canister filters are primarily designed to contain nitrifying bacteria and provide some limited mechanical filtration (the canisters sponges are way less effective that filter socks. Although if you're only using the canister to polish the water occasionally you could put filter sock material in it). Any carbon that is placed in the canister would be depleted within a couple of weeks.
Now, the primary purpose of the canister is to contain nitrifying bacteria, and in my experience live rock in the DT is usually sufficient. Therefor I don't believe that the canister filter is at all cost effective (or convenient).

The advantage of using a BRS reactor (or any brand really) is that it's much easier to change out the carbon or media. You can probably even run several reactors on a single pump, and keep carbon in one, ceramic media in another and so on.

As for 'tons of people who use media for water clarity and other reasons'. Is the media you're referring to carbon, if so it makes sense to me. But if you're referring to nitrifying media, I would love to know how that helps with water clarity and what those other reasons are.
You can use a canister filter for everything you mentioned you use reactors for. And changing any of the Media is as simple as changing a light bulb. Your idea of a canister filter being primarily for nitrifying bacteria is completely wrong and you know it, if not stop speaking about canisters. If you used one, you would know how they actually work and how easy they are to take care of. Just like a sump these things will get dirty, if you don't like cleaning your equipment then that's your issue not the canister or sumps problem. Stop hating on something you obviously have no idea whatsoever about.
 

bReefedBaker

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
135
Reaction score
343
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Syracuse
Today let's talk about canister filters and if you would agree or disagree with the following statement:

"Canister filters are a viable, inexpensive way to filter a reef tank."

1. Do you agree or disagree?

2. Do you run a canister filter on your reef now or have you in the past?



Thanks @adittam for the QOTD idea!
Screenshot 2021-09-03 at 10-52-11 FX6 Canister Filter - Fluval.png

*I just want to follow this thread.
 

StPatrick89

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
738
Reaction score
290
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Perry Hall
You can use a canister filter for everything you mentioned you use reactors for. And changing any of the Media is as simple as changing a light bulb. Your idea of a canister filter being primarily for nitrifying bacteria is completely wrong and you know it, if not stop speaking about canisters. If you used one, you would know how they actually work and how easy they are to take care of. Just like a sump these things will get dirty, if you don't like cleaning your equipment then that's your issue not the canister or sumps problem. Stop hating on something you obviously have no idea whatsoever about.
Seems to me like a lot of people are lazy. Let’s just call it what it is. You don’t maintenance a canister filter every week. Either twice a month or once a month seems to be people’s preference. It literally takes 10-20mins to do what you have to do. For those who can’t pick up their filters obviously you need to not be worried about an aquarium but you need to be hitting the gym. Grab some dumbbells and do some curls. There’s people on YouTube and people on here that say they have no issues with Canister on their reef tanks.
 

sfin52

So many pedestrians so little time
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
Messages
19,386
Reaction score
88,155
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Usa
Seems to me like a lot of people are lazy. Let’s just call it what it is. You don’t maintenance a canister filter every week. Either twice a month or once a month seems to be people’s preference. It literally takes 10-20mins to do what you have to do. For those who can’t pick up their filters obviously you need to not be worried about an aquarium but you need to be hitting the gym. Grab some dumbbells and do some curls. There’s people on YouTube and people on here that say they have no issues with Canister on their reef tanks.
I clean mine once a month and don't have issues.
 

Ashish Patel

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
2,159
Reaction score
1,748
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Marlboro NJ
No No, Unless you have one for free not a viable option

My first saltwater tank was setup in 1997. Since the LFS told me I need a canister filter I got a fluval. This thing was impossible to get going and when starting it or turning it off I flooded the kitchen in my parents house many times. The real inexpensive way to filter a reef tank is a HOB filter/protein skimmer. Canister filters should be left for freshwater tanks!

first tank.jpeg
 

StPatrick89

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
738
Reaction score
290
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Perry Hall
No No, Unless you have one for free not a viable option

My first saltwater tank was setup in 1997. Since the LFS told me I need a canister filter I got a fluval. This thing was impossible to get going and when starting it or turning it off I flooded the kitchen in my parents house many times. The real inexpensive way to filter a reef tank is a HOB filter/protein skimmer. Canister filters should be left for freshwater tanks!

first tank.jpeg
Funny, I see people with Sumps who’s pipes leak. There will be a story on both sides.
funny I don’t have problems starting mine and I don’t even use Fluval
 

NowGlazeIT

Happy to help, Ask away.
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
3,982
Reaction score
5,122
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Coachella Valley
I wasn’t sure if this was viable till I was able to read all your experiences. It sound as expensive as a diy sump, also far less complicated. Set it and forget it each week, from what I’m gathering.

I really like the tinkering options when it comes to my sump. The ability to build something so useful with my own hands is a big bonus. I know the canister would not work for my needs because I like to use
my Ato float valve, spyglass reactor and oversized protein skimmer for my tank. Maybe if I had a smaller tank (running on weekly water changes) but the lack of potential upgrades, like a refugium, ats, roller mat, would steer me away. Concealing my doser’s output lines would get tricky too.
 

Stoney

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
180
Reaction score
311
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Hard to argue that canister filters arent viable. Theres too many successful tanks running them. I think the more relevant question is why would someone run a canister filter over something like a HOB aquaclear. Canisters can look a lot nicer with glass intake/returns but I cant think of any other reason to use one if your tank is compatible with a HOB. And yes I used a canister for around 15 years on a freshwater tank. HOB filters are cheaper, easier to clean, less prone to leaking, provide better aeration, easier to install (no plumbing), can be used to hide heaters and probes, dosing/ato away from livestock, etc.
 

StPatrick89

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
738
Reaction score
290
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Perry Hall
Hard to argue that canister filters arent viable. Theres too many successful tanks running them. I think the more relevant question is why would someone run a canister filter over something like a HOB aquaclear. Canisters can look a lot nicer with glass intake/returns but I cant think of any other reason to use one if your tank is compatible with a HOB. And yes I used a canister for around 15 years on a freshwater tank. HOB filters are cheaper, easier to clean, less prone to leaking, provide better aeration, easier to install (no plumbing), can be used to hide heaters and probes, dosing/ato away from livestock, etc.
I took my aqua clear 110 off because I wanted less in my tank and also not hearing water crash is a plus. I won’t say the water crashing from the HOB isn’t tolerable but the silence is awesome lol. BUT I do have my AC110 on my 40G so…. Lol
 

Sleeping Giant

Proud Canadian Reefer
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
2,764
Reaction score
6,225
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Hard to argue that canister filters arent viable. Theres too many successful tanks running them. I think the more relevant question is why would someone run a canister filter over something like a HOB aquaclear. Canisters can look a lot nicer with glass intake/returns but I cant think of any other reason to use one if your tank is compatible with a HOB. And yes I used a canister for around 15 years on a freshwater tank. HOB filters are cheaper, easier to clean, less prone to leaking, provide better aeration, easier to install (no plumbing), can be used to hide heaters and probes, dosing/ato away from livestock, etc.
Using a canister filter gives you more water volume. It's just as easy to clean, Removing and replacing media , if not easier. I had a HOB filter and can see absolute differences. The flow is directional.
 

Sleeping Giant

Proud Canadian Reefer
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 22, 2020
Messages
2,764
Reaction score
6,225
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I took my aqua clear 110 off because I wanted less in my tank and also not hearing water crash is a plus. I won’t say the water crashing from the HOB isn’t tolerable but the silence is awesome lol. BUT I do have my AC110 on my 40G so…. Lol
1000 times quieter
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
Top