Habitat - Indoor :: Filtration - internal vs canister

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:39 pm   Filtration - internal vs canister

I am thinking of replacing my canister filter to simple, "efficient", internal filter.

Now you may think it's crazy, but hear me out. I had my turtle tank for a while now, and I came up with few conclusions.

I think for turtles canister filter is a bit pointless. The main reason behind canister filter is biological filtration, providing a lot of space for bacteria to break down ammonia.

The thing is, even with the most powerful filtration, you gotta have to do water change QUITE frequently, at least once every two weeks. Why is that? Well, I used test kits at different times after water changes to detect both nitrate and ammonia levels, and things that I observed in my turtle tank:

- ammonia is almost NEVER a problem, I usually detect nearly no ammonia in my tank
- nitrate levels are almost ALWAYS a problem and they are the main reason why I have to change the water. In planted tank plants would clean the water out of nitrates to an extent, but in turtle tank plants are impossible to keep (at least in my case since my turtle loves to destroy them) therefore nitrate levels will always be too high, especially if you keep fish along with the turtle (not recommended and I trying that myself).

So changing water frequently is always a most simple and efficient solution, while also doing some general algae cleanup.

But cleaning canister filter is such PAIN in the a**. Algae grows on it and behind the pump and inside the pipes. Dismantling and cleaning everything probably just takes as much time as cleaning the rest of the tank. And if I don't clean it, it will start growing again almost immediately.

So I am just thinking if it's good idea to simply use internal filter for the sake of convenience. Cleaning internal filter probably takes like two minutes and you can do it pretty much any time. So basically I could just stop bothering with biological aspect of filtration and do water changes and general cleanup a bit more frequently.

I am just thinking of some ways to speed up the cleaning process because it usually takes me few hours to clean 40 gallon tank, maybe I just suck at it or I try to be too thorough. Getting rid of canister filter would speed up the entire process by a lot.

So basically to sum it up, I think nitrates are the main reason we change the water, and canister filter or any filter in general won't prevent nitrates buildup.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:15 pm   Re: Filtration - internal vs canister

Which canister do you have? I have 2 canisters to clean and have a routine to make it as quick and efficient as possible. I also don't take apart the tubes and hoses as it is not worth the time. It helps if you have space or room to work with. If you get a larger/more powerful filter, you might argue that you can do fewer cleanings just like having more water means fewer changes.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:38 am   Re: Filtration - internal vs canister

Image

This is my canister. Basically the tubes get overgrown with algae/dirt pretty quickly. Cleaning it is kinda messy and time consuming and I recently moved to a new apartment and now I have so little space to work with.

That's why I am just thinking to replace for internal filter or "hanging" filter (tho this would probably give me anxiety) so it would make my life so much easier. I could clean it often since it's very simple to clean compared to canister filter.

I am not sure if having more powerful filter allows for fewer cleaning, because the main problem (for me) is nitrate buildup. I often siphon bottom of the tank to get rid of waste that is not sucked by the filter, like few times a week at least.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:30 pm   Re: Filtration - internal vs canister

It's pretty important to make things easier, so if you have the room for the internal and can keep up with the water changes, then I think it's fine to do. I'm curious about the algae issue though... an internal filter probably won't help fight it. "Hanging" filters are fine too, at least the one I used (AquaClear) was.
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