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Filters: Compare and Choose the Right Canister Filter for Your Aquarium
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Equipment
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Canister FiltersQuiet, convenient canister filters are inconspicuously located under your aquarium (typically in the stand). Most canister filters are customizable, and can hold a large amount of media (mechanical, chemical, and biological) in varying combinations. Some examples are included in the table below. Because they are customizable, you have maximum flexibility in choosing the predominant type, and amount of media to achieve your desired end result.

  • If your fish produce excessive amounts of waste, incorporate a large amount of mechanical media (filter pads of varying coarseness) to effectively remove waste from the water.

  • If your fish require sparkling water with stable, consistent parameters, use larger amounts of chemical media (carbons and resins).

  • If your fish consistently produce very high levels of ammonia, which require daily control, make biological media (such as ceramic rings and sponges) your predominant media.

Media is basically interchangeable between canister filters. However, when using any fine media, make sure it is in a media bag, or it may enter and destroy the filter's impeller.

Canister filter/aquarium size recommendations are often given in a range. The low end of the range indicates the maximum aquarium size effectively filtered when the aquarium contains large or high numbers of saltwater or freshwater fish. The high end of the range indicates maximum aquarium size effectively filtered when the aquarium has a small population of fish and a low bio load.

Compare Canister Filters

  Media Included with Filter  
  Aquarium Size (gallons) Flow Rate (gph) Mechanical Biological Chemical Frequency
of
Maintenance
Aquarist Expertise Level
H.O.T. Magnum 30-50 250 Very effective None* Effective Monthly Beginner to proficient
Magnum 350, 350 Deluxe 40-100 350 Very effective None* Effective Monthly Proficient to expert
ViaAqua 70-150 315 Very effective Effective None Monthly Proficient to expert
Eheim ECCO 35-80 127-185 Very effective Very effective Effective Monthly Beginner to proficient
Eheim Plus 66-159 116-264 Extremely effective Extremely effective Effective 3-6 months Proficient to expert
Eheim Large Canister <400 500 None None None Depending on media, up to 6 months Proficient to expert
Eheim Pro II** <100 or <160 250 or 275 None None None Depends on which media is used and how it is packed Proficient to expert
Fluval Multi-Stage 25-100 125-340 Very effective Very effective Very effective Monthly Proficient to expert
Rena FilStar <175 350 Extremely effective None Very effective Monthly Proficient to expert
Eheim Wet/Dry*** 90-160 145 None None None Every 6-9 months or when flow decreases Proficient to expert
* = Upgrading to a Pro System provides excellent biological filtration
** = Heater models for freshwater aquariums only
*** = Designed for bio-filtration with Ehfisubstrat filter media, highly porous material for settling bacteria


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Click here for a pdf version of this article.  See related products at DrsFosterSmith.com Pet Supplies  
Print Article | Email Article
 
 
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