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Discussion Starter #1
I recently posted on the introductions board that I am returning to aquariums after a good number of years away from the hobby. I have a large (around 80 gallons) tank that I am trying to get going as a freshwater tank. Many of you helped me identify the tank as an older Dutch Aquarium Systems Deluxe model with an H29 in tank filter, which I have removed. It was recommmended that I should use a canister filter. Can someone give me an idea of what is available, what to look for and what to avoid?

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There are a wide range of canister filters and choosing one is very hard considering the many different makes and models: Hagen, Fluval, Marineland, EHIEM, just to name a few, and it depends on what fits in your budget and tank requirements. Some canister filters can start as little as $20.00 for a mini 2-40gph Marineland and go up in price as the gph and attachments(uv steralizers etc) increase. EHEIM canister filters are great IMHO. They have a wide variety of sizes and can be customized to fit most any tank requirements, they also make a wet/dry filter. Bottom line is you have to decide what fits your budget and tank requirements and then go from there.

DION
 

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how about 1 dollar...cash

lol
 

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lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't want a hang on back/side filter - partly because of the wooden rim around the top and partly just the looks. I have been looking at maybe building a wet/dry... I know those are more common on saltwater, but it seems they work for freshwater as well.
 

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Well my 125 frontosa tank. I have 2 Emperor 400 HOB filters. I have 1 Magnum 350 Canister filter. It gives me about 1150 GPH. My other 125 I have a Marineland 530 Canister and 2 Whisper 330 HOB filters. That gives me about 1190 GPH. I try to Have as close to 10 x the GPH per size of the tank. On my 55 Gal tanks. I run 2 Whisper 330 HOB filters. It gives me 660 GPH. My rule of thumb. I also use large sponge filters that help with the Bio load.
 

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A nice filter for 80 gallons would be the size of the Rena XP3. Mine is dead quiet and goes a good long time between cleanings on my 125. I have one of the Marineland C series canisters with the stainless case and I am not nearly as happy with it. The Marineland shutoff valves do not work properly so I need to tie the hoses up above the tank's water level to avoid draining the tank while I clean the filter. When the filter is clean, it works as well as my Renas but doesn't have the nice spray bar to work with on the water return. I also have the cheap Marineland HOT magnum but do not consider it a true canister. There is no place in it to place the media of your choice, it is used with or without a coating of diatomaceous earth on its spongy filter sleeve. It is more like an enclosed HOB filter. When I first started out I looked at some of the Fluval canisters but I read so much about people's troubles with them that I never tried one. The Eheim filters have a very good reputation but I suspect that comes from the day when they were the only ones worth buying. They still carry a price tag that has kept me from trying one, especially given my experience with the Rena XP series. If you were in Europe there is also a series of filter made by TetraTec that has a very good reputation for a reasonable cost but I have never seen one here. They do look a lot like the Marineland stainless steel ones so maybe they just have a better hose valve setup, which would make the Marineland filters quite nice.
I usually go with the size filter the manufacturer recommends or the next size larger if I am getting close to maximum. If a filter was only rated for 85 gallons, in your case, I would upgrade to the next bigger filter in that product line. If it was rated for 100 gallons or more I would just get the one recommended. Look for removable filter baskets with a minimum of rubber seals and such that need constant attention. You really don't care what media the filter comes with because one of the first things you do is go out and buy the media that you want for your filter. The only part of the original media in my Rena filters is the sponges. They fit nicely and are a decent sponge so I kept them. The rest of the media is custom for each filter and is chosen based on my current biases and the needs of the tank I am setting up. The miscellaneous bioballs, ceramic media, etc. can be poured into any manufacturer's basket so get a filter with nice big baskets rather than worry about what they give you to put into them.
 
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