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sump easier than Canister filter?

Discussion in 'Filters' started by animalisterra, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. animalisterra

    animalisterra New Member

    Dec 4, 2017
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    Im am trying to find the right filter for the 75 tank I will be getting. I read that canister filters can be harder to maintain. What are the pros and cons of both?

  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Jan 26, 2008
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    Perth, WA
    a bit late but maybe the info can be used by someone in the future.

    A sump/ trickle filter generally holds a lot more filter material and has a much larger filter surface area for beneficial bacteria to live on, compared to a canister filter.

    Sump/ trickle filters increase oxygen levels in the water, whereas a canister filter uses the oxygen in the water and compensates for that by having the outlet spray across or near the surface to help increase oxygen levels in the water. Sumps/ trickle filters can also have their return outlet on or near the surface to increase surface turbulence and maximise oxygen levels.

    Sump/ trickle filters hold a lot more water than a canister and sumps can be made to any size so you can literally double the tank's water volume with a big sump. In a marine tank with lots of rock, the water volume is decreased by the rock. Having a large sump connected to the main tank can provide the extra water needed to have more fish and lots of rock in the tank. Canister filters are limited to the amount of water they hold.

    Sumps can be used to grow plants, algae and even hold fish that are being bullied or picked on in the main tank. For all intents and purposes they are a second tank, which is connected directly to the main tank. They can also house heaters, which gets them out of the main tank and makes for a better display.

    Sumps/ trickle filters can be very simple in design but can also be made difficult and overly complicated if you want them to. Most canister filters can be a pita to work on.

    Sumps can be noisier than some of the better canister filters. Noise can be reduced with coverglass.

    Sumps have much more evaporation than a canister filter that has 0 evaporation because it is a sealed unit. You can limit the amount of evaporation in a sump by having coverglass on it.

    Sumps create a lot of humidity under the main tank and can encourage wood stands to rot and metal stands to rust. Coverglass reduces humidity and wood stands can be painted/ varnished to reduce rotting, and metal stands can be painted to reduce rusting.

    Sumps weigh more so a stronger stand is required and it needs a decent floor to support the weight. If you have wood floors then get a structural engineer/ builder in to make sure the floor can take the weight of any big aquarium, especially if it has a sump/ trickle filter.

    Sumps/ trickle filters can cost more than a canister filter but it depends on how extravagant you want to make it. In addition to buying the sump and filter materials, you need a pump, auto syphoning drain pipe and a return pipe and associated hoses. This is all included in a canister filter but has to be purchased separately for the sump.

    Summing up, sumps/ trickle filters are very good filters that can increase the total water volume for your fish. This can mean more fish in the tank :) They are very good at increasing oxygen levels in the water and generally easy to clean and maintain. And if you get a sump and tank built to suit each other, you can have a nice looking display tank and really good filtration.
    The main drawbacks to all this is price and ease of transporting it home. Canister filters are smaller, more compact and can be carried home on a bus. You will need a car and a bit more money for a trickle filter :)
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