Is a proper canister filter really more work?

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You just argued your own argument

If I don't put the canister return on the tank and instead have it emptying on my couch, of course the couch will get wet. A sump, set up right, has no possibility of flooding albeit for some disaster like the sump exploding or a tornado ripping through the house (I felt I had to mention tornados will cause a sump to flood since you are making me state the obvious). If I get a 1 gallon sump for a 100 gallon tank, no sheep its going to flood. Give me the benefit of the doubt before making snarky replies.
 
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Sink_or_Swim

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I love that, too. The mood setting abilities are endless... imagine someone seeing it for the first time - quite impressive.

Of course, there's a fine line between wow and tacky. I don't want las vegas in my house lol.
Exactly, haha. That's why I really got it just to keep on the blue setting. Though the sunset colors might look interesting sometimes.
 
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So if you have a return pump failure in a sump, there's no possibility of overflow in a sump??? Ever?? Everything has failure points, even your aquarium.
No, there is not. The siphon breaks and the water stops. My power goes off a couple times a month. No issues. That's Sump 101. I agree that everything has risks. Some have much more than others though. Our job is to select things that have the lowest risk and highest reward. A sump does that as compared to a canister.
 

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Because if you aren't willing to look or take care of your tank for longer than a couple of seconds, what's the point??
For us canister heads, 10 minutes of our lives is nothing to worry about
I'm not sure why the canister vs sump debate riles everyone up so much... they are all just different approaches to reaching the same desired result, lol. I feel I constantly have to defend my choice to try my 2nd reef tank with a canister. I know sumps work. I know how HOB work (from 30 years' freshwater experience - I hate them). I have never ran a canister filter but I'm excited to try something different. :) (I've also decided after almost a year with an AIO, I don't like those either. So fingers crossed for the canister!)
 

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No, there is not. The siphon breaks and the water stops. My power goes off a couple times a month. No issues. That's Sump 101. I agree that everything has risks. Some have much more than others though. Our job is to select things that have the lowest risk and highest reward. A sump does that as compared to a canister.
That's your setup but not everyones
 
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I'm not sure why the canister vs sump debate riles everyone up so much... they are all just different approaches to reaching the same desired result, lol. I feel I constantly have to defend my choice to try my 2nd reef tank with a canister. I know sumps work. I know how HOB work (from 30 years' freshwater experience - I hate them). I have never ran a canister filter but I'm excited to try something different. :) (I've also decided after almost a year with an AIO, I don't like those either. So fingers crossed for the canister!)

I think this is more about the OP than current people running canisters.

He has not set his tank up yet so he has a clear choice still and the canister he is looking at is $400 which is absurd for how limited it is.

Plus he said he wants a clean display but leaves the house for 2-3 weeks at a time.
 

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I'm not sure why the canister vs sump debate riles everyone up so much... they are all just different approaches to reaching the same desired result, lol. I feel I constantly have to defend my choice to try my 2nd reef tank with a canister. I know sumps work. I know how HOB work (from 30 years' freshwater experience - I hate them). I have never ran a canister filter but I'm excited to try something different. :) (I've also decided after almost a year with an AIO, I don't like those either. So fingers crossed for the canister!)
It bugs me that people can be so quick to disregard a canister, if that's what someone chooses to use.
People need to get over themselves and their high horse they rode in on.
There's obvious and not so obvious reasons to use a canister, and like @simplicity stated they don't want to drill out the aquarium. Therefore the canister is a good idea to solve that solution.
 

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I think this is more about the OP than current people running canisters.

He has not set his tank up yet so he has a clear choice still and the canister he is looking at is $400 which is absurd for how limited it is.

Plus he said he wants a clean display but leaves the house for 2-3 weeks at a time.
I get what you're saying. The Oase canisters ARE expensive, but after doing a ton of research on different canister options out there, I opted to spend the extra and buy one myself. I like the design and I love that the heater is integrated but you also have the choice to remove it. The version I got is the 350 for a smaller tank and I got it on sale from Petco online, so it wasn't nearly as much. I have learned I hate messing with replacing filter floss all the time in my AIO baskets, so I'm up for a change, lol.

I don't have experience with it yet as I'm getting my new tank (HOPEFULLY) set up finally this weekend. (My hubby is flipping out over the empty tank and gear sitting around forever waiting to get installed, lol). But I share some of the same thought process and reasoning for looking into the canister filter route as OP. So just throwing my thoughts out there.
 
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It bugs me that people can be so quick to disregard a canister, if that's what someone chooses to use.
People need to get over themselves and their high horse they rode in on.
There's obvious and not so obvious reasons to use a canister, and like @simplicity stated they don't want to drill out the aquarium. Therefore the canister is a good idea to solve that solution.
Yeah I agree. We have a 90 gallon reef tank in my office, with a sump. It's louder than my AIO. But it does accomplish keeping the gear out of the display. My boss and I go back and forth all the time because he swears by having a sump and says it's the ONLY way worth doing, and has been telling me for months that my AIO is inferior, etc. I mean it's true that I don't love the way the AIO works, even though it accomplished my goal of having nothing in the display. But my tank has been successful. It's like, everyone is entitled to their opinion on what works best for whatever reasons, but no one needs to be pushy about it or judge someone for using something different. I don't want to drill my tank either. Could have bought pre-drilled, BUT, the stand I have has no way to fit a sump. It will however, fit the canister perfectly, with room for my ATO reservoir on the other side. Could I have got a different stand and done a sump? Sure. But I bought the stand on purpose to match my furniture, and I love it. Everyone has different goals, lol. I'm thinking of eventually converting my current tank to freshwater and if all goes well with this canister, will probably get one for that as well.
 

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That's everyone's set-up. It's common knowledge to experienced Reefers.
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It’s different because it has a pre filter with 6 sponges on a skewer that you can remove by just twisting a cap and pulling the skewer out. Check out a cleaning video of it, it’s very easy. Did your canister filters have a decent pre filter?

It’s not that different. All canisters have sponges before biological media. They are indeed easier to access on this canister filter, but it still takes a few minutes, and you will still have water spill from the pre-filter being taken out.

Also, I see no point in using biomedia in a saltwater tank. The rocks in your tank are your biomedia, you don’t need more. The biomedia section will have to be maintained and serviced as well, which takes a lot more time than just the pre-filter. If you never do it, it will become clogged and diminish the overall filtration output.

I still wouldn’t use that in saltwater, but to anyone who is willing to do the maintenance on it, why not ?
 

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I have run Eheim canisters in REEF TANKS for 20 years plus NEVER and issue , EVERYTHING THRIVES ! IF you have em maintain them and YOU are Golden, Peter wilkens one of the first reefers and an invert expert RAN eheims for years on his tanks and did not have sleepless nights afraid of overflowing sumps, well documented.
 

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I've run a canister filter reef and a sump reef. Links to both build threads are in my signature at the bottom of this post. Both are possible...that said, I'd do a sump every single time now that I've tried both. As long as it's designed well, the possibility of flooding is close to zero, the ability to swap out equipment in the sump is extremely useful, ATO's have less possibility of getting fouled up and stuck on in a sump, and my display and sump are both in my living room and they're just as silent as my canister system was. The only thing I can hear running is my gyre wavemaker. I had a VERY easy to clean canister filter, and dumping and wiping out the skimmer cup is still significantly faster to do than cleaning out the canister filter mechanical media.

A few specific problems I see with the OP's plan:

-any UV filter that is designed to run in-line with a canister filter isn't going to do a darn thing in a reef tank - the wattage is too low, and the flow too high, to kill enough of anything to make a difference.
-you NEED heater redundancy and a temp controller (like an inkbird) in a reef tank. heaters fail more than anything else in aquariums, and one failing on or off will completely crash your tank. having redundant heaters protects against it failing off, and having a temp controller protects against it failing on. these aren't all possible with a canister filter, unless you are fine with some of the equipment in your display.

If I were in the position of the OP, knowing what I know now about running sumpless vs running with a sump, I'd figure out a way to drill your tank, or I'd sell the tank and buy a pre-drilled one if you don't want to go that route. Infinitely easier to do either of those now than after it's up and running.
 
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Yes, but he could remove that canister filter and his tank would still do just fine and look good without it.

It's not doing anything amazing for him. So why spend the money on it?

Glass piping in a reef tank is always terrible, you have to clean those pipes often once the tank matures... since you said you don't want it visible. Stuff grows on them incredibly fast. I know because I tried a glass hob overflow, never again. It turns brown so quick and gross and ugly. A HOB overflow would look 100x better.

So yes, it is a ton of work cleaning those pipes over and over and over. I would just not run anything on it if you are OCD about keeping it clean looking or you could intermittently run a easy internal filter or such during weekly maintenance so you pop it on and stir the sand.. then take it off a few hours later. Reef tanks don't need mechanical filtration. Make sure you can reach the back wall to clean it often.

After enough days of cleaning it over and over and maybe breaking it once or twice... you just realize it is not worth. Now if you don't mind cleaning them often, sure go try it out but you asked about canisters being extra work.. soo? Not sure if this is something you want to do or not?

Youtube is deceptive.. they clean their tanks before taking videos or what not and make sure it looks perfect. lol We dang well know crap is growing all over that glass tube. It has light and flow and snails can't clean it out so it is perfect for microalgae.
You are correct about the Lily being glass and the things that will grow inside. And I think an internal Magnum Polishing filter will clean water just as well as a cannister. Just use the Magnum once every 2 weeks or sooner when cleaning rocks and sand, makes the water near crystal clear. I use one on both fresh and salt tanks.
 

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Well the guy doesn't use the canister for only mechanical filtration. He has a bunch of stuff in there including bio pellets, carbon, and some other stuff I can't remember. I don't think he could run that tank on just an algae reactor.

You do make a point about the glass pipes getting dirty. The guy in the video says he replaces them every week, then cleans the ones that need cleaned. He shows his process in a different video. There's some kind of special tubing he uses that allows him to quickly remove the glass from the tubing.

I am conflicted on the HOB overflow. I've heard some good things and some terrible things about them. You say you had success with yours?
I have been using a basic HOB overflow with sump and been running with no problems with losing siphon for 7 years. They also have a sponge prefilter that you just pull out and replace with a clean one. I have a finer filter pad in my main filter chamber that I change out when water just starts to over flow, so easy. Next to the filter I have my skimmer that drains into the filter compartment because I was having trouble keeping nutrients up, now po4 and no3 are pretty stable at a good number.

I only run the skimmer 12 hours a day, at this moment doing water changes once every 2 months. After the skimmer I have a 5 inch layer of coarse foam to catch to micro bubbles, then my return pump. All this in a 10 gallon tank with no baffles, under my 75 gallon DT, I also have ATO and UV light bulb in the water that I use occasionally.

So in conclusion I think this is the better way to go and easier to change filters, if you want a reef setup you will be better of with a sump. I use the Oase on my fresh water ciclid tank and love it, so easy to clean. With cichlids like my Oscar they produce lots of waste and I change my pre filters once a week with clean ones and wash the dirty ones to get ready for the next service.
 
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Ahh. ok. So the diameter of the U tube should increase with the increased flow on a bigger tank, but you wouldn't want a the big diameter on a medium/small tank since the pump cant ensure adequate flow to keep out the air. That makes sense. I was wondering why the guy at saltwateraquarium.com suggested the PF-800 instead of the 1200 that has 2 U tubes... cause if I were to go this route I would think having that second tube as an emergency exhaust for the water could help in case the first one gets clogged.

I used to have the double U tubes and also the flat wide U tubes. The double never gets air trapped while the wide U tube always slows down because of trapped air.

If you go the double U tube route, make sure you have decent flow rate. Simulate the air bubbles going into the U tube and see if it accumulates or if it passes.

To prevent air trapped and causing your DT to overflow. Lower the skim section of the HOB (thus lowering the water level). This will give you additional space in case the overflow does get air trapped and the sump runs dry. Also, the return section of your sump should only be a few gallons max. You don't want a huge return section. Maintain level using ATO.
 

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You obviously don't have a clue about canister filters that are available today.
You stated you have a FX4. I owned FX5 and FX6 which is basically a larger version of the FX4. No way you can tell me cleaning the FX4 is easy. From the media basket to the sponges on the side. The accumulation of detritus on the bottom of the canister. The hassle of carrying the media basket or the canister filter itself to the sink. Where with the filter sock you just have to take it out and place in a new filter sock. Throw the old one in the washer.

Lets not forget the seals fail and you have your entire aquarium on your living room floor. I know that has happened to many people before.
 
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