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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a TetraFin Whisper 70 HOB filter. I bought the wrong media at WalMart, and went to Petsmart to get the right media. $13.00 for 4 filters (ouch!). This filter takes 2 filters at a time, so I predict this filter will be pretty expensive in the long run.

I know nothing about canister filters or their media. Is the media cheaper? Does it get replaced every single month or so? I have a 55 gallon with 10 2-3 inch Cichlids. What gallon capacity should I look for (I was thinking about 90 gallon). And are Fluvals and Eheims both good brands, or is there another favorite here on cichlid-forum.com?

Thank you in advance for your responses!
 

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Regarding the media, most can be rinsed in tank water and last a very long time. I use mine until they're practically falling apart. But, some of this depends on the filter and media. Some folks use cheap stuff like pillow batting, so makes more sense to toss it and replace it. Many canisters use sponges or similar that can be rinsed, and I don't know of anything besides chemical media that needs to be tossed and replaced to be effective. But, you'll find most people don't use chemical media (carbon, etc) at all because it's not really needed and because of the cost involved.

Many filter options. Check the reviews section. Beware of manufacturer's ratings. Some are notorious for over-rating their filters. Some give gph figures, but they're for empty filters. You have to be really careful.

You might consider going with both a canister and a HOB filter. It'll give you some experience with both. Ehiem, fluval, and marineland seem to be popular canisters while Hagen and Marineland tend to be popular HOB's or sometimes called 'power filters'.

See this article as it may be helpful.
 

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I have one of the smaller whisper filters that came with my 10 gallon.
When the carbon filter was done, I removed the filter and replaced it with filter floss cut to fit inside the plastic 'trap' that snaps together. I use this along with the sponge bio foam insert.
 

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For both types, rinse & repeat.

I'm lucky - I have a house filtration system, no additives to kill bacteria, I can rinse my filter media under the sink, makes it really easy to get them clean.

I love the flow/quietness/reduced maintenance intervals on canisters and highly recommend them. I have no experience with eheim but they come highly recommended. Personally, I like the Fluval's of all sizes.
 

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To the OP - rather than getting your media at a local Brick n Mortar store, check out some of the on-line suppliers, where you might be able to do better on price, by purchasing a larger lot.
 

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But that's the point - there's no benefit (that anyone here can find) to replacing media (other than limited use stuff like purigen, carbon for specific times).

Rinse & repeat saves a LOT of money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys.

I decided to get an Eheim canister filter. I really love my cichlids, so I figured they deserved it. I've never really be happy with the HOB filter.
 

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I don't think you'll regret it :thumb:

The "problem" with some internal and HOB filters is that, as you have found, the cartridges are specific to that filter so they have you hooked. A canister filter, or any filter that uses baskets for media, can be filled with what you want. I always rinse my media (except the biological stuff obviously) and only ever replace the white fine filter pad when it needs it (ie when it falls to bits!)

Remember, you can use other manufacturers media in other filters - I have some old Fluval pre-filter rings in an Eheim that didn't come with any for example.
 

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I have been using the same media in my XP2 for 3 years or more. As long as its intact, it's good to use. I can't recommend a canister enough. They are quiet, easy to clean, and don't require cleaning very often. I only clean mine when the return flow reduces.

I don't think I'll ever buy anything other than a canister unless I have a specific need to fulfill. However, I do run a small HOB on all my tanks with canisters to prevent protein buildup on the surface of the water.
Also, FYI, there are some cheaper canisters on ebay that work great. I read great things and own one myself. Don't get caught up on brand name, $400 for a filter is ludicrous.
 

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RRasco said:
Also, FYI, there are some cheaper canisters on ebay that work great. I read great things and own one myself. Don't get caught up on brand name, $400 for a filter is ludicrous.
Can you please provide some example links?
 
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