Canisters are very easy to set up and maintain, but there is a certain degree of intimidation with them. Once you do one, you've done them all. Though, I don't know a thing about eheims - not one of the brands I've used.
The ceramic rings (biomax) are biomedia. The ceramic prefilters I mentioned are designed to catch large particles while not obstructing the water flow. While that is their purpose, just like anything else in the filter, they will house bacteria as well. They are two different products, with two different purposes.
In post 35 I outlined how I set up all of my canisters. Obviously I feel that that is the best way, or I wouldn't do it like that ;)
In the 302 I have one box of prefilters and at least one, maybe 1.5 boxes of biomax, with the filter pads in the middle. In the 304, I have 2 boxes of prefilters and 4-6 boxes of biomax (2 trays), with the filter pads in between. I don't remember exactly how many boxes of biomax it took to fill them. It's a big filter. Not that the trays have to be filled - that's just my preference.
That's the thing with cannisters, the flexibility.
On another forum we compared eheim classic loads once. That ranges from all sponge to almost all floss (weird tank that was) to just about any possible variation of anything that can be bought in pellet form.
Just two things to consider when designing a load for a cannister.
1. know the flow. Know which direction the water enters and leaves
2. you are not going to get a 1st time right (but you will get a first time pretty good if you look into things). IT takes a few attempts and tinkering to get it exactly to your liking.
Thanks Jaysee -- I'm going to assume a box is around 500g? I'm having trouble working out how much media I'm going to need.
Do the ceramic prefilters do a better job and catching large particals than sponges do? I was just planning on having lots of nice big thick sponges. Now that I actually look, I have about half a box of Eheim Mech prefilter ceramic rings in my fish cupboard. I've had them for ages and always assumed they were just a weird version of bio-media because the box is all in German. Now I actually look, they're not porous at all so clearly wouldn't be great for biomedia. Good thing I haven't used them.
Thanks Dutchie -- I have heard of people having filters filled completely with sponge. It actually seemed like a pretty good idea to me. My Juwel internal filter is just filled to the brim with big thick blue sponges of varying coarseness and it's done me really well.
Dutchie, if you don't mind me asking, what's your canister filled with?
Last edited by ameliaaahx; 03-11-2013 at 06:26 AM.
120g 5ft CA/SA Cichlids ♦ 65g 4ft Planted Community ♦ 5g Betta
from bottom to top, about 70% jbl micromec, 2 blue sponges, some floss. In the micromec there's a small bit of peat in a piece of old pantyhose. I do most of the particle prefiltering with a coarse sponge on the intake in the tank.
Thought of getting the sunsun myself. One of our senior members has used them for quite some time and she highly recommends them, too. I don't believe in paying for the name but for the job that it does.
If they were for sale here I'd give them a go. From what I read the quality control has shaped up and spares are available now.
Let's face it, a canister is basically a very simple device. I see no reason to spend too much on one.
It's not that the prefilters do a better job at catching the large particles than sponges - it's that you don't want the sponges catching large particles because it will clog and restrict the flow of water.
Yes, a biomax box is 500 grams, while a prefilter box is 750 grams. I told you how much of each will fit, so you can work from there as far as what you need. I mean, my 304's have close to $100 of media in each of them - as much as I spent on the filter. Like I said, it doesn't need to be filled like that, and I did not start out with them filled. I'm sure you'd be fine with 1 box of prefilters and 3 boxes of biomax, and 1 and 1 for the 302. As the bioload increases you can always add more media, and NOT filling them like that gives you flexibility to do other kinds of medias, if that's something you wanted to do. For me, the 3 is enough - prefilter, pads and biomax. Though, I don't like the pads and want to swap them out for sponges - I just forget to buy them.
Thought I'd update this thread. :)
My 4x new Sunsun canisters arrived on Saturday, while my partner and I were midway through moving my new 120g into the lounge. Perfect timing. I then spent the rest of the day playing with them.
Opening the box, I was unable to find much documentation of any kind -- just a small pamphlet of Engrish Fail. I may take a photo of it later and show you guys. The bit that made me friend and I LOL the most was the diagram where they labeled all the bits and pieces that came with it -- the intake strainer they referred to as "dirtiness entry". Beyond that, the thing was partially assembled in the box, but assembled wrong! Which caused A LOT of confusion. "Why isn't that bit fitting on there?" "That bit there's wrong!" "It can't be wrong, it was on there when I took it out of the box!" Yep. It was wrong.
Anyway, once I got the first one figured out I got better at it and soon I had all 4 filters running a charm. The review -- I'll start with the 304Bs (also sold as the Aquatop CF-500 UV to the americans out there).
Absolutely outstanding. I have now had them running for several days and while usually I would have big cichlid poop starting to build up on the sand by this stage, the sand is absolutely pristine and immaculate -- from the looks of it I will never have to vac my sand again! Just mix it up with a big spoon every few weeks to stop it settling too much. They are very well priced with fantastic bang-for-your-buck, absolutely quiet, efficient, look wonderful and are very easy to prime (unlike my annoying Eheim classic filter). I could not be more thrilled with the results. About the only thing which could be better are the handles in the media maskets. Took about 5 minutes for me to break one. That and I kept having to move the media baskets around because I'd go to put the lid on and realise I didn't have the hole in the right place -- there should be a marker on the bottom or something. I do wish the plastic bits were made a little sturdier as I managed to break the intake strainer / "dirtiness entry" thing while I was shoving it on. And some bits fitted a little loosely, although it was no problem once they were in the tank.
Overall: 4/5 stars!
Ease of use: 4/5
And the 302s / CF-300s -- Frankly I have not been so impressed with these. I am running 2 of these on my lightly stocked 65g tank, and they should be able to handle the job easily as they are rated to a 70g tank each. However, looking in the tank you can barely tell they're going. There is very little movement in the tank and even after running a few days I'm finding particles floating in the tank which they should easily be able to suck up. My bristlenosed ancistrus poop a lot and I'm finding piles and piles of it around the tank, even RIGHT under the filter intake -- it is literally half an inch away from the poop and cant suck it up. Also, the media baskets are in pain in the ***. They have to "click" together before you put the lid on and they are juuust too tight to easily click into place and I find myself having to wrestle with them. And again, crappy handles. So 2 out of 5 stars.
Overall: 2/5 stars. :(
Ease of use: 4/5
So, given't my disappointment with the 302s / CF-300s I've sold them to someone at my local aquatics club for $10 less than what I paid and ordered 2 303Bs / CF-400 UVs. I end up loosing only $10 so I'm not bothered. My new canisters should arrive tomorrow and I will update again with their review.
Last edited by ameliaaahx; 03-20-2013 at 12:48 AM.
120g 5ft CA/SA Cichlids ♦ 65g 4ft Planted Community ♦ 5g Betta