Canister filter maintenance. Specifically Eheim classic 2217, 2262 +tannins

DonnyB

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Question for the community,

I have been running eheim’s on my 90 gal (3x2217) and 75 gal (2x20217) and my most recent tank the 125 (1x2217; 1x2262). I have them filled as recommended and always have for 10+ years, the 2262 is a newer experience though. Mech (tubes), coarse pad, eheims bioballs and then fine pad. I run purigen in one of the 2217 running both 90 and 125 gal tanks to get rid of tannins from new driftwood. Single fish (mostly) in each tank; Midas, Oscar and jaguar Cichlid. All big messy and big bioloads. Weekly 50-75% water changes. Established tanks outside of the 125 which is 4 months running. All 2217s have been working for years, I can’t recommend them enough although the little metal clasps that keep the filter shut make me a little nervous (I replace any that get bent even a little and recommend you do too). Never had a disaster or issue, never needed a filter to act as backup because I’ve never had a breakdown in over 10 years. Couple questions, should have asked the first one years ago but my fish are always healthy.

1. Is there any reason to clean a canister if flow rate remains high? I only clean these things once the flow rate is noticeably reduced. I’d think once every 8-14 months to be honest. If I clean them before this happens outside of the top layer of fine foam it’s almost like i’m Just taking everything out just to put it back in.
2. how long does it typically take for tannins to stop leaching from Malaysian driftwood?
3. 3 packs of purigen in a 2217 clears the tanks right up, I assume if I keep refresh8ng or replacing them i’ll accelerate the process?

Any advise or feedback would be great. Cheers
 
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TheReefer

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Question for the community,

I have been running eheim’s on my 90 gal (3x2217) and 75 gal (2x20217) and my most recent tank the 125 (1x2217; 1x2262). I have them filled as recommended and always have for 10+ years, the 2262 is a newer experience though. Mech (tubes), coarse pad, eheims bioballs and then fine pad. I run purigen in one of the 2217 running both 90 and 125 gal tanks to get rid of tannins from new driftwood. Single fish (mostly) in each tank; Midas, Oscar and jaguar Cichlid. All big messy and big bioloads. Weekly 50-75% water changes. Established tanks outside of the 125 which is 4 months running. All 2217s have been working for years, I can’t recommend them enough although the little metal clasps that keep the filter shut make me a little nervous (I replace any that get bent even a little and recommend you do too). Never had a disaster or issue, never needed a filter to act as backup because I’ve never had a breakdown in over 10 years. Couple questions, should have asked the first one years ago but my fish are always healthy.

1. Is there any reason to clean a canister if flow rate remains high? I only clean these things once the flow rate is noticeably reduced. I’d think once every 8-14 months to be honest. If I clean them before this happens outside of the top layer of fine foam it’s almost like i’m Just taking everything out just to put it back in.
2. how long does it typically take for tannins to stop leaching from Malaysian driftwood?
3. 3 packs of purigen in a 2217 clears the tanks right up, I assume if I keep refresh8ng or replacing them i’ll accelerate the process?

Any advise or feedback would be great. Cheers
OK
1. Yes there is a reason to clean a canister if the flow rate remains high, you can keep it clean and working well, with fish of that size the canister filter will get very dirty very fast, so I would clean them atleast once a month.
2. For tannins to stop leeching into the water it depends on the size of the driftwood, usually a few months to a year unless you boil it in which case you can greatly reduce the tannins leeched.
3. What do you mean by that? I don't understand what you're asking.
 

DonnyB

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Thanks for the input. The last question was asking if purigen accelerates the removal of tannins.

The filters don’t get that dirty. Even after 6+ months.
 

duanes

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Just curious why you would want to get rid of the tannins (is it just because of the color tint?)
Especially for a fish like an oscar, tannins are a good thing, they are seasonal parts of thes natural habitat so the oscar has evolved to make use them.
Tannins are anti bactcterial, in a way that might help the oscar ward off disease like HLLE, one of the most common chronic afflictions oscars are prone to getting in aquariums, and especially if the tap water is hard, tannins may be more beneficial.

Whenever you don't clean filters you are allowing metabolism by-products to build up and spew invisible compounds back into the tank, nitrates, DOC etc etc. Just because a filter doesn't back up, or the water in the tank is clear, doesn't mean its healthy.
 

DonnyB

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I test my water, low nitrates with my water changes. I am also pretty heavily filtered on all my tanks so that's certainly causing my filters to stay running at full speed for much longer. I am also very dilligent with removing organic matter and waste in between water changes. but you hit on what I was after... are there other nastiness that would accumulate in my filters that my API test kit won't find that accumulates in my filters? That's the really question I guess.

Tannins: I like clear water and have never had a health issue in over 12 years that makes me feel I need to keep them there to minimize infection etc. I find the clear water makes everything look cleaner if that makes sense (see jag/tank pic)
 
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David R

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There's more to water quality than just nitrates. Also a dirty canister filter will go bad (anaerobic) in the event of a power outage too.
 

mattybecks

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I was wondering the same thing. I used to clean my canisters every month, which seemed a little too excessive to me (I worry that the constant taking apart and putting back together wears them out faster.)

I have 4 Sun Sun 304B canister btw, all loaded with only ceramic tubes. I then changed to cleaning them every 3 months. But still the same thing, water inside looked clear and there seemed too be hardly any waste inside. So now I do them every six months. Last time I cleaned them the flow rate was still as high, and the inside media wasn't really that dirty. I don't feel comfortable leaving them longer than 6 months though, ever if they are "clean".
Factors I think that may effect why my canisters stay "clean" for six months.

Water changes. as soon as my nitrates hit 20 ppm I do a 70% water change. Sometimes less in summer, and up to fin level in winter. Water changes usually happen once or twice a week, depending on my feeding regime. I measure water parameters frequently.

Canister filter intake is not near the substrate. They are all in the top quarter of the tank. This limits the amount of detritus and "stuff" that is picked up.

Malaysian trumpet snails. Im not sure if these guys actually help, but they eat the above mentioned detritus and "stuff". About a year ago I experimented putting them in my canister. They seemed to do alright living in there. I noticed that they must have bred a little, (or my filter sucked up additional smaller ones) but there wasn't that many more. They could have eaten what ever bio films had formed in there. However I was concerned about the snails and impeller blades, but when I checked there was no noticeable damage at all. I removed all the snails out the filters anyway. So ill see on my next canister filter clean.

My stocking. 15 Silver dollars and a Jardini in my 180gal. None of these guys ever really disturb or stir up the substrate, so the floor of my aquarium isn't really touched. What I have noticed is that the canister on my geo tank does get a little more sediment in it. The geos are constantly sifting sand and so stirring up the substrate. But otherwise there is not a huge difference between the canisters on the different tanks. The intake is fairly high up as with the other system, and I have a power head with sponge filter that picks up a lot. This sponge is cleaned weekly/bi weekly.

I have a lot of pothos, this helps with water quality too, and the roots something catch things. But snails do a great job keeping them clean too.

I think changing any of my variables mean I would have to clean more often (some more so than others), and there might even be something I discover that allows me to clean less. But I will have to see next time what my canisters look like, and if I do need to change more frequently or not. I am just carrying out my own tests and seeing what works for me. We all have different systems and regimes, and there is more than one way to skin a cat as the say goes.
 
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