Removing Canister ?

dbbga

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#1
I have a cascade canister on my big tank, I have always had a problems with nitrates and doing some research have found that canisters are one of the reasons why... Is there a safe way to remove it without having a major effect on my tank???????
 

joefish84

Sepia elegans
Registered
#4
no just dont do it all at once do 1 part every couple of days and when empty just put rubble in and put a carbon pack on top so you can change that out every now and then
 

Munkybutt

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#5
Canisters have the same drawbacks as bio-balls, they're nitrate factories !
Sponges, while great for your water clarity, accumulate nitrates like crazy. If you really want to keep your can as is, the best thing to do is trash the sponge filters and use throw-away filter pad. But, here's the rub, if you want to eliminate nitrates, you need to change it out at least every 3 days. Who wants to deal with that beating?
Joefish has nailed your second option. Slow and steady removal of the sponges. If you have a nice supply of cycled live rock that's been in the tank for a while, this will speed up the removal. Live sand too? Even better. In fact, if you've got a good supply of both of these, I wouldn't even bother with the rubble in the can. I'd just use it to run carbon and circulate water.( Just make sure you test the water thoroughly right before every phase of the removal. If there's any hiccup in the results, wait a few days and test again. )
 

Feelers

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#6
I have looked around a fair bit about cannister filters, and I would say that there seems to be a lot of dislike about them among the reef community, that may not be entirely fair.
A cannister filter will begin to accumulate nitrates as it can become blocked very easily,- in order for it to work for, not against you it must be appropiately mechanicially filtered to prevent any particles reaching the media.
I know of many successful reef keepers who use cannisters - and do so without nitrates. I am not sure how often they replace the prefilter, I do believe that many just wash it out. A sponge is not recommended as a prefilter, as munkeybutt said, but I'm not really sure what people use otherwise.
 

Munkybutt

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#7
A sponge is not recommended as a prefilter, but I'm not really sure what people use otherwise.
Bingo! That's the problem. These things (Eheim's, Rena's, Fluval's, ect.)come with foam sponge filters as standard equipment. These filters need to be properly cleaned or it can snowball into big problem-o's, i.e. increases in nitrate. I've seen people with 2 sets so they can dry one in the sunshine to sterilize while running the other. Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to them. They're great for mechanical filtration but they leave alot to be desired when it comes to biological filtration. I just wouldn't use one on a tank bigger than 55g, but that's a personal opinion.
One more bad rap against. (man, it does sound like I hate these things) I have seen Fluvals on 2 seperate occasions heat up in the impellor housing and try to cook an aquarium like a runaway heater.
 

dbbga

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#9
Ok here is the run down on my tank, Nancy you have seen it, I have a 150, when my LFS closed down i took all the teenagers i could find to help them move out and they gave me the whole show tank full of LR, I was giving it away i had so much. Anyway, I have so much LR now, that i have a 30 gal below the tank i use as part of the sump full of LR and it drains into another 30gal which holds my PS and return. Also in the main tank I have ALOT of LR. Before all this took place i used the canister as a mechanical fitler but now its just a pain in the Butt. Thus why I want to remove the nitrate producing pain it is. OKOK im rambling, to much coffee this morning:bonk: Thus my question on removal....:razz:
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Supporter
#10
If you've got all that live rock its probably already sustaining your tank. Assuming you have a skimmer, I think you shouldn't have to worry about any more mechanical filtration than what it and the prefilter on your overflow are providing.

Dan
 

Colin

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#13
Hi everyone,

I hear that cannister filters and bioballs are getting a beating :lol:

Well, for me to be devil's advocate means that I will stick up for good old fashion filtration on our cephalopod tanks and stick my neck out and say they do a fine job. But let me explain their place in all this...

We are not keeping reef tanks here. A cephalopod which is fed a healthy and varied diet is not a reef friendly animal for the average aquarium and is more than certainly classified as an ammonia machine.

They, by their very nature, produce a lot of ammonia, they eat a lot of meaty foods and they make a big mess while doing so. They also produce sucker disks by the bucketload! This is all anathema for a reef tank!

Many reef keepers these days, subscribe to such methods as Berlin, Sheng and others which rely on live rock being the only filtration in a tank with some skimmer action or sometimes without a skimmer altogether for the totally 'natural' tank. The tanks i set up last year are running on live rock only. No skimming, just live rock and hefty circulation and the odd water change. But then again, there is about 200 gallons, 150kg of rock and only about 15 fish.

The average lifespan of a reef tank is measured in years and in the long run, something which is producing a stack of nitrate is not welcome, so i wouldnt use a cannister or bioballs in a reef tank again. However, i certainly would in a large fish tank with messy predators.

The average cepahlopod tank has a lifespan measured in months and having such a large messy predator in a tank is far too much for liverock alone. In fact, I would suggest that after an octopus for example, has lived out its life in a tank, that it may even be best if the tank is stripped down and re setup before another cepahlopod is added???

If you are using bioballs the prefilter should ideally be washed on a weekly basis or at least while doing monthly water changes.

Unless you have a tank in excess of 200 gals and a stack of live rock, efficient skimming and good water movement i wouldnt stop using a cannister filter. Even it is in a mechanical fashion to physically trap and remove lrge dirt particles or in a chemical fashion as a place to house carbon or rowaphos etc.

I have ran out of time as i need to go to work this monring but any arguments or comments are welcome to help clarify all this

cheers
colin
 

Colin

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#14
Hi everyone,

I hear that cannister filters and bioballs are getting a beating :lol:

Well, for me to be devil's advocate means that I will stick up for good old fashion filtration on our cephalopod tanks and stick my neck out and say they do a fine job. But let me explain their place in all this...

We are not keeping reef tanks here. A cephalopod which is fed a healthy and varied diet is not a reef friendly animal for the average aquarium and is more than certainly classified as an ammonia machine.

They, by their very nature, produce a lot of ammonia, they eat a lot of meaty foods and they make a big mess while doing so. They also produce sucker disks by the bucketload! This is all anathema for a reef tank!

Many reef keepers these days, subscribe to such methods as Berlin, Sheng and others which rely on live rock being the only filtration in a tank with some skimmer action or sometimes without a skimmer altogether for the totally 'natural' tank. The tanks i set up last year are running on live rock only. No skimming, just live rock and hefty circulation and the odd water change. But then again, there is about 200 gallons, 150kg of rock and only about 15 fish.

The average lifespan of a reef tank is measured in years and in the long run, something which is producing a stack of nitrate is not welcome, so i wouldnt use a cannister or bioballs in a reef tank again. However, i certainly would in a large fish tank with messy predators.

The average cepahlopod tank has a lifespan measured in months and having such a large messy predator in a tank is far too much for liverock alone. In fact, I would suggest that after an octopus for example, has lived out its life in a tank, that it may even be best if the tank is stripped down and re setup before another cepahlopod is added???

If you are using bioballs the prefilter should ideally be washed on a weekly basis or at least while doing monthly water changes.

Unless you have a tank in excess of 200 gals and a stack of live rock, efficient skimming and good water movement i wouldnt stop using a cannister filter. Even it is in a mechanical fashion to physically trap and remove lrge dirt particles or in a chemical fashion as a place to house carbon or rowaphos etc.

I have ran out of time as i need to go to work this monring but any arguments or comments are welcome to help clarify all this

cheers
colin
 

dbbga

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#15
:bonk: Well I have sat on the fence with this decision for a long time now. The constant changing of the filter media, the nitrate problem, etc......is why I started this thread, to see who does what. I have always had a canister and have spent big $$ on them to be bigger than what i needed, to over filter. Now that I have so much LR, I did some research and found an enormous amount of info leaning on both sides. I don't think I have enough water movement in the tank, but I'm a helpless over doer:razz: Think smarter not harder. But this one is driving me crazy.... I don't want my tank to crash, what a nightmare that is. I don't want to under filter my tank, makes to much work. I get so much pleasure out of my tank, hell its like having another child to take care of, I love it. I guess I just want to do whats right for the tank and its inhabitants....man I'm confused:confused:


by the way ...I love the spell check so early in the morning:razz:
 

Feelers

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#17
Yeah Dan I was thinking the same thing, I have a normal cannister filter, ie its not a w/d.

Its a cheap chineese eheim 2028 knockoff, for about 1/8th the price. Its good for a tank up to 1200 L apparently.



Spot the difference? haha, the left one is my cheapo. US about $97.
Im real happy with it, but I was told not to use it(by reefers). I will be filling it with nylon pot scrubbers - they have more surface area than bioballs I have read, and provide easier flow, meaning they dont block as easily.

dbbga - Why dont you try slowly removing it, take some readings, then chuck it back if you were better off with it?
As long as you do it all slowly I dont think your tank would crash. Maybe you can help people like me come to a decision on whether to use it or not!!!


As a related question, what happens if you put live rock in your cannister?
 

Colin

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#18
well, i'd guess that if you put live rock in the filter it would get clogged very quickly and that would defeat the purpose of having it in there. The reason the rock needs a good flow in a tank is partly to prevent clogging and dead spots. But then, I haven't tried it... possibly these dead spots would be good for anaerobic bacteria converting nitrate to nitrogen?

My cephalopod right now is about 80 UK gals. It has about 25kg of live rock. Mechanical filtration is done by a fluval 1 internal filter. An aquamedic 1000 multi skimmer is witched on for about 2 days a week and a 10 - 15% water change monthly.
Vigorous water movement is provided by air stones.
It only houses 4 sepia bandensis.

I dont think I would try this set up with an octopus which is going to get big like a bimac, briareus or vulgaris etc.... there would be too much waste for the rock to cope with alone
 

cthulhu77

Titanites
Supporter
#20
I have a different opinion of bio balls, but we've been over that one before ! (hate em)
Canisters, though, I am quite fond of...but I don't run them fulltime, either. Using them with the cleaning pads and a lot of carbon a few times a week, for a couple of hours, really removes a lot of stuff from the water, and causes no spike in nitrates.

Personally, I don't really care for Fluval's very much, and tend to gravitate towards the Rainbow/Lifeguard or Magnum can filters...much more aggressive, and meant for intermittent use.

greg
 

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