What canister filter is the best for a 29 gallon saltwater tank?

Leon Gorani

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So I have built a new stand and have a 29 gallon tank waiting to be set up with rocks and cycled. I do not have the room or funds for a sump build and I wanted to try to not use a hand on the back filter for this tank. I have used one in the past for this size tank and it was fine, but I wanted to try to use a canister filter just so I wouldn't have to see the filter.
I hear that they are not meant for saltwater tanks, as they are nitrate factories, but not if you clean them well every other week or more.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a particular brand of canister filter for a 29 gallon tank? I want to get a nice one that will last a while.
Also, what kind of filter media should I put inside to try to not have so much nitrates built up? ceramic rings? bio balls? what are the recommended media for canister filters for saltwater tanks?
Thank you!, I am really looking forward to setting this up and I am trying to buy everything asap so I can start this project.
 

Billldg

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Welcome to R2R!!! Sorry, don't know much about canister filters, someone at R2R will help, plenty of great reefers here that love to help.
 

Cherub

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most reefs dont use canister filters. just water changes on something that small should be fine with enough rock. 10% a week.
 

WVNed

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A canister filter has little use on a reef tank. If you run sponges or other filters you have to clean it every week. You can run ceramic media for an additional biofilter. That is about it. They only flow 200-300 GPH so it really isn't good for that either.
 

Salty Lemon

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I bought a SunSun canister filter when I had a smaller tank without a sump. It isn't the brand name, but it worked great. It even had a mini UV sterilzer in it. Mine pumped 525 gph. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it was clear the assembly instructions were translated by someone who wasn't proficient in English. If it wasn't for the pictures, I would have had a hard time. (I'm assuming they haven't done any updating.) I still have it in case I ever need it.

Oh! And welcome to R2R! :)
 
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flchamp89

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I bought a SunSun canister filter when I had a smaller tank without a sump. It isn't the brand name, but it worked great. It even had a mini UV sterilzer in it. Mine pumped 525 gph. The only thing I didn't like about it was that it was clear the assembly instructions were translated by someone who wasn't proficient in English. If is wasn't for the pictures, I would have had a hard time. (I'm assuming they haven't done any updating.) I still have it in case I ever need it.
Sounds like same one I had it was solid. I think like 90 bucks at time.
 

sfin52

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welcome r2r. I personally like fluval. You can absolutely run a reef with a canister. I run a 75 with a fx4. I clean mine once a month.
 

Peace River

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So I have built a new stand and have a 29 gallon tank waiting to be set up with rocks and cycled. I do not have the room or funds for a sump build and I wanted to try to not use a hand on the back filter for this tank. I have used one in the past for this size tank and it was fine, but I wanted to try to use a canister filter just so I wouldn't have to see the filter.
I hear that they are not meant for saltwater tanks, as they are nitrate factories, but not if you clean them well every other week or more.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a particular brand of canister filter for a 29 gallon tank? I want to get a nice one that will last a while.
...
Eheim and Fluval have worked well for me. For a more budget friendly canister I have used Penn Plax Cascade canisters. One thing to keep in mind - because the canister filter media is in a sealed space if there is a loss of power for an extended period of time (e.g., 2+ hours) then the system may become anoxic (e.g., no oxygen) and the bacteria in the canister may die. After that, when the power comes back on then the resulting harmful chemicals, pollutants, etc. would potentially be flooded back into the tank causing bad things to happen. If you are using a canister and you lose power, then in my opinion, the best action is to open the filter and either add an air stone from a battery powered pump (to maintain any bacteria) or drain the canister (and lose the bacteria).

As others have stated a canister is not the optimal solution for a saltwater tank, but it can be useful if carefully managed and you recognize the risks. Personally, when I have used canisters on small aquariums, my desired purpose is mechanical filtration and not biological so I would tend toward filling the chambers with filter floss and sponges (and occasionally activated carbon for chemical filtration). The live rock and substrate in the tank will provide some biological filtration, but this is where the water changes are important. In my opinion, consistent water changes and consistent filter cleaning are a must or you are asking for a system crash. Good luck!
 

Tiger Brown

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I also do not have the space for a sump and use a canister. I use the spongy disks for polishing and also use carbon. I change the carbon monthly and rinse the disks in saltwater and pop them back in. Eheim is a great brand, but I've also had a Filstar (cheaper!) that wasn't quite as quiet as the Eheim, but wasn't loud and worked great.
 

Salty Lemon

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Eheim and Fluval have worked well for me. For a more budget friendly canister I have used Penn Plax Cascade canisters. One thing to keep in mind - because the canister filter media is in a sealed space if there is a loss of power for an extended period of time (e.g., 2+ hours) then the system may become anoxic (e.g., no oxygen) and the bacteria in the canister may die. After that, when the power comes back on then the resulting harmful chemicals, pollutants, etc. would potentially be flooded back into the tank causing bad things to happen. If you are using a canister and you lose power, then in my opinion, the best action is to open the filter and either add an air stone from a battery powered pump (to maintain any bacteria) or drain the canister (and lose the bacteria).

As others have stated a canister is not the optimal solution for a saltwater tank, but it can be useful if carefully managed and you recognize the risks. Personally, when I have used canisters on small aquariums, my desired purpose is mechanical filtration and not biological so I would tend toward filling the chambers with filter floss and sponges (and occasionally activated carbon for chemical filtration). The live rock and substrate in the tank will provide some biological filtration, but this is where the water changes are important. In my opinion, consistent water changes and consistent filter cleaning are a must or you are asking for a system crash. Good luck!
@Peace River is right. When I was using my canister filter, I was also using live rock with powerheads.
 

spyder813

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!!! Welcome to R2R !!! I use a SunSun 304B on my 55g Discus tank for over 2 years before get in into saltwater and it has a great flow and keep the water clean but I never use on saltwater.
 

NorCal Reefer

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I also run a fluval fx4 on my 75 and clean it monthly. Works awesome. Anymore I only run one set of sponges and have the rest of the baskets filled with marinepure bio balls.
 

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