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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read that part of the goal with canister filtration is to have powerhead currents push fish waste toward the filter intake. However, won't the waste break down in the canister filter an spike ammonia unless you clean it out every week or two? It sounds like people typically go months before cleaning them. Why is it not a better strategy to let the fish waste settle on the gravel and remove it when siphoning the gravel? I understand that people who push fish waste toward the canister filter intake also siphon their gravel, but I don't see why fish waste trapped in a canister is better than fish waste trapped in the tank. It seems that siphoning out the waste is the only way to actually remove it from the system.

My idea seems to be in opposition to almost everything I have read, so please let me know what I'm missing. Thanks!
 

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gschultz0 said:
I've read that part of the goal with canister filtration is to have powerhead currents push fish waste toward the filter intake. However, won't the waste break down in the canister filter an spike ammonia unless you clean it out every week or two? It sounds like people typically go months before cleaning them. Why is it not a better strategy to let the fish waste settle on the gravel and remove it when siphoning the gravel? I understand that people who push fish waste toward the canister filter intake also siphon their gravel, but I don't see why fish waste trapped in a canister is better than fish waste trapped in the tank. It seems that siphoning out the waste is the only way to actually remove it from the system.

My idea seems to be in opposition to almost everything I have read, so please let me know what I'm missing. Thanks!
You're not missing anything. A lot of people would agree with everything you said, including me. ; )
 

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The people that want the debris in the canister rather than 3 months of debris on the substrate. That would be a good experiment to see if it is illusion or reality.

With a HOB you clean them weekly and you vacuum substrate weekly so that makes more sense for having the debris in one place that get's emptied and rinsed as opposed to spread over the substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
noddy said:
You're not missing anything. A lot of people would agree with everything you said, including me. ; )
Interesting, I expected to get a lot of push back on this idea. Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DJRansome said:
The people that want the debris in the canister rather than 3 months of debris on the substrate. That would be a good experiment to see if it is illusion or reality.

With a HOB you clean them weekly and you vacuum substrate weekly so that makes more sense for having the debris in one place that get's emptied and rinsed as opposed to spread over the substrate.
Agreed, if the choice is 3 months of debris in the filter or on the substrate, I can see why one would prefer having it in the filter. I see your point on the advantage of collecting debris in a HOB. Thanks for the feedback!
 

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gschultz0 said:
noddy said:
You're not missing anything. A lot of people would agree with everything you said, including me. ; )
Interesting, I expected to get a lot of push back on this idea. Thanks for the feedback!
I ran a 5' 120g tank with a doz Tropheus and a doz Petrochromis for well over a year using nothing but sponge filters.
I syphoned the tank floor every weekend with a water change.
 

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I missed a sentence in the post above. It does seem nitrates raise more slowly when the debris is in the canister for 3 months than it does when the debris is left on the substrate for three months. No idea why, and may be an illusion rather than reality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DJRansome said:
I missed a sentence in the post above. It does seem nitrates raise more slowly when the debris is in the canister for 3 months than it does when the debris is left on the substrate for three months. No idea why, and may be an illusion rather than reality.
Interesting, it would be interesting to see a test as you said to see if it is illusion rather than reality. Thanks again.
 

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I would try it but I don't want 3 months of debris on the substrate, LOL.
 

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Why would anyone want fish waste sitting around rotting on the substrate and looking unsightly.
That's the beauty of having a prefilter on my canister - this can be quickly cleaned every few weeks preventing the main muck going into the chambers and preventing bio media becoming clogged ect.
 

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shiftyfox said:
Why would anyone want fish waste sitting around rotting on the substrate and looking unsightly. That's the beauty of having a prefilter on my canister - this can be quickly cleaned every few weeks preventing the main muck going into the chambers and preventing bio media becoming clogged ect.
Good point. I have a canister setup in the last chamber of my sump, used solely for chemical filtration. But the filter pads in my sump get changed weekly when I do my water changes. Tank remains clean/clear of fish waste.
 

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I recently rigged up an internal sock filter attached to a powerhead with a pickup tube. I put it right where everything settles, and it does a fantastic job keeping things clean. My canister doesn't get much buildup at all now.

The only downside is that the sock filter is inside a pipe and it doesn't look that great.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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