How to Use a Canister Filter

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by Wrassman, Mar 10, 2003.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2003
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Stockbridge, GA,Georgia
    Hey everyone,

    As you can see from my signature, I run an Eheim 2213 along with my 85lbs of live rock, 4"DSB, a skimmer on steroids, and a 20g sump with a refugium.  I suppose a lot of you are wondering WHY?

    Well, I keep a big bio-load.  Right now I have around 20 corals and 10 fish in a 58 gallon tank.  I've had many of these critters close to 2 years, so they aren't little either.  I have to empty my skimmer's collection cup every day because about 1 cup to 1.5 cup of really nasty skimmate collects in there every day.  Which is where my Eheim comes in.

    My Eheim is not packed like a normal canister filter.  It has no pads, or sponges, or paper, or floss, or anything like that.  That stuff just collect detritus and become a nitrate supplier, rather than a nitrate eliminator.

    I pack my Eheim with ceramic media on the bottom, sintered glass in the middle, and coarse (6mm) aragonite on the top, so that it acts more as a mechanically driven biological filter, than a mechanical filter. Here's a schematic to help you visualize what I'm talking about:
    [​IMG]
    It is true that the microscopic pores in the sintered glass and the coarse aragonite get full of detritus over a period of 2 to 3 months, and then the law of diminishing returns begins to take effect.  So, what I do at that point is take the media out, and carefully wash it in tank water (during a water change), so that I lose as little bacteia as possible.  Yes, I lose some, but over the course of a week or so, it is back up to full filtration again.

    I just thought I'd share this technique with you.  Some of you may have problems with nitrates.  This will help reduce your nitrates significantly, but you do have to keep the filter clean.  It is not just plug and play --- you have to monitor you nitrate levels frequently, and when you see them beginning to rise, it is probably time to wash the filter media (and do a partial water change).

    I hope this has helped someone.  Peace to all of you.  ;D

    Edit:  I just thought of something that I should have mentioned.  The 2213 has a spray bar for tank return.  This helps facilitate gas exchange tremendously.  If you are considering getting a filter withouth a spray bar return, be sure and order one for it.  You won't see as good results without the spray bar gas exchange.
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Great tip Wrassman! I don't think people realize how helpful canisters can be. Nice nitrate reducer!

    I gotta tip too - don't give away your extra fish filters!! Down the road you WILL want them again.

    I had two Eheim 2213s and gave them away for a song when I was moving a lot. Along with skimmers and pumps, heaters, everything. I thought it was an excuse to buy something better when I needed it. Of course now I want them back! lol. ::)
     
  4. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,327
    Location:
    berwick, PA,Pennsylvania
    i dont have a canister filter either. i sort of have a big bioload but i think the weekly water changes help with that
     
  5. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    417
    Location:
    Springfield,Vermont
    Hey wrassman do you wash the "rings" as well? Also My canister is mainly mechanical would an abrupt change to this method be harmful to my tank?
    THANKS
     
  6. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2003
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Stockbridge, GA,Georgia
    [glow=Brown, 2, 80%]How fast or slow you change over your canister filter would largely depend on how established your tank is.  If your tank has been up for a while, and could take the downtime of one of its components 'in stride' then I would just go for an abrupt change.

    However, if your tank is young, and you don't think that it could handle being without the canister filter for long (especially as long as it takes to build up a biological filter in one) then going with a slow approach is better.

    In fact, in a case like that, you might see if a friend has some equipment you could borrow for a few weeks, while you get your biological filter set up in your canister filter.  Otherwise, you might not ever get around to it...

    Let me know if I can help you in any way...[/glow]

    Edit: Yes, you wash the "rings" too... [smiley=lol.gif]
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I've been getting some mixed info on Carbon... You see, I'm from the Old School, back in the day of Chemipure, if you recall... Anyway, It's been about ten years since my last tank, and I decided to set one up again... Here is the setup... 46 gal tank, Eheim 2215, Seaclone 100, 30lbs of Live Rock. From previous experiences, I would like to use carbon to filter some of the crap and create a crystal clear tank but alot of people are trying to discourage this for various reasons... what are your thoughts about carbon...

    Thanks,
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    I like carbon. Still use it. I don't see the harm really. What have you been hearing?
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The argument is the delpletion of trace elements...
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    They basically say if I want to use it to break down organic compounds, use it for 3 of 4 days max then take it out...
     
  12. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    5,538
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC,Canada
    I agree with Andy. That is what I have done in the past and will continue to do. But I haven't had a need for about 3 months.

    J