PDA

View Full Version : If canister filters are so bad why do nanos with integrated ones look so good?


Biologist
07/17/2013, 08:40 PM
I was at my local well run reef store and noticed that the best tank in the place is a 28 gallon nano (I think this one- http://www.jbjlighting.com/prod-28g-nano-led.html). The tank has tons of corals and anemones and a big clownfish and they all look amazing. But from reading on here something that uses the old sponge, carbon, ceramic rings combo should be a "nitrate factory". How do these get by with filters like this and no skimmer or refugium or anything and still look great? I don't think it can be that the bioload is low, this thing is packed more dense than you would ever pack a big tank.

The reason I'm asking is that I have a big canister from my old planted tank that I was gonna use for water circulation but leave it empty instead of packed with filter media so I was just wondering.

joshman1204
07/17/2013, 08:52 PM
That tank doesnt use a canister filter it has a sort of "stack" that allows you to add any kind of media or macro you want and the water is forced to flow through it.

Canister filters are not necessarily a bad thing and there are some amazing tanks still using them. Most people dont like them because they require a lot of maintenance and changing of filters and media to keep them from becoming a nitrate producer like you mentioned.

kriv4o
07/17/2013, 08:52 PM
The combo becomes a nitrate factory if you don't maintain it. As in with canister filters: they require much more cleaning and rinsing to prevent junk build up.
It's never said you can't have a beautiful set up with those, just have to be really anal about maintenance.

Biologist
07/17/2013, 09:45 PM
That tank doesnt use a canister filter it has a sort of "stack" that allows you to add any kind of media or macro you want and the water is forced to flow through it.


That is what a canister filter is. It has different baskets for media and water flows through it.

Painted skin
07/18/2013, 03:00 AM
I have used canister for many years with no issue, people fear it because it may become nitrate factory if you don't maintain. However my trick is to turn your canister off when feeding until the fish consume all the food, this will reduce the maintenance greatly and reduce the chance of it becoming nitrate factory. Most people just leave it on while feeding.

ynot65
07/18/2013, 04:26 AM
I do that with my skimmer also

dkeller_nc
07/18/2013, 07:58 AM
There are a couple of reasons that folks don't tend to use canister filters on reef tanks. One has already been mentioned (maintenance). But in my opinion, there are 3 other major reasons not use them:

Additional bio filtration isn't needed in a reef tank beyond live rock.

Mechanical filtration isn't required in a reef tank.

and (the biggest reason, IMO):

Having the power go out for a couple of hours means your canister filter goes completely anoxic, the bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide, and when the power comes back, all of that gets pumped back into the tank, wiping it out.

KafudaFish
07/18/2013, 08:18 AM
There are a couple of reasons that folks don't tend to use canister filters on reef tanks. One has already been mentioned (maintenance). But in my opinion, there are 3 other major reasons not use them:

Additional bio filtration isn't needed in a reef tank beyond live rock.

Mechanical filtration isn't required in a reef tank.

and (the biggest reason, IMO):

Having the power go out for a couple of hours means your canister filter goes completely anoxic, the bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide, and when the power comes back, all of that gets pumped back into the tank, wiping it out.



With MF, the larger the tank the more capacity the system has to overlook this but with a smaller system the more important MF becomes for long term success. If you are getting into the pico range then it is even more important to have good MF.

This is one of the differences between a 20 gallon and a 200 gallon system.

There is a timeline regarding issues with smaller systems but with MF, this can either be avoided or the level of impact decreased.

HUNTER1
07/18/2013, 08:38 AM
I've used canister with no sump and skimmer on my 40g with no problem at all with my corals and I only cleaned it once every two weeks. I put my carbon gfo and purigen. I turned it off for an hour during feeding. Restarting the tank coz of aiptasia but will use the canister again. For larger system, definitely a sump set up.

dkeller_nc
07/18/2013, 11:16 AM
With MF, the larger the tank the more capacity the system has to overlook this but with a smaller system the more important MF becomes for long term success. If you are getting into the pico range then it is even more important to have good MF.

I can only relate my own experience - a 20 gallon nano operating since 2004 with no mechanical filtration whatsoever other than a skimmer (if you count a skimmer as MF). Most of the tank is SPS.

KafudaFish
07/18/2013, 12:01 PM
I can only relate my own experience - a 20 gallon nano operating since 2004 with no mechanical filtration whatsoever other than a skimmer (if you count a skimmer as MF). Most of the tank is SPS.

Congrats on the longevity of your system. You should be proud of that level of success.

I have thought about MF before and have always thought that it was "the least important" of the three until I did a small 5.5 gallon zoa tank with no fish and feeding maybe once a month for the worms.

I built a DIY rock floor that I could remove to clean and I would do a 100% water change once per month.

I still had this much build up after a year's time:

http://i1007.photobucket.com/albums/af197/KafudaFish/nano%20build/June12012048.jpg (http://s1007.photobucket.com/user/KafudaFish/media/nano%20build/June12012048.jpg.html)

Again multiple ways to achieve the same goal and would think that the skimmer did act as MF over time.

Again congrats on your tank.

dkeller_nc
07/18/2013, 12:33 PM
Well, I don't want to give you the impression that I make no effort at detritus cleanup - Once every month or two I will completely drain the 10 gallon aquarium that serves as a sump, and completely clean it down to the glass. There's not a huge amount of detritus, but it's enough to make the task worth doing.

KafudaFish
07/18/2013, 12:35 PM
Well if it isn't broken don't fix it.