Stuff In My Tank – Fluval 305 Canister Filter

Stylish and matches the armchairs.

Stylish and matches the armchairs.

Equipment Type – Canister filter designed to remove impurities from aquarium water.

Purpose –To improve water quality and clarity through biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration.

Specs -There are four different size options for the standard Hagen Fluval canister filter.  The 105 can be used on aquariums up to 25 gallons; the 205 can be used on aquariums up to 50 gallons; the 305 can be used on aquariums up to 75 gallons; the 405 can be used on aquariums up to 100 gallons.  A separate line of Fluval canister filters is available for larger tanks: I use a 305 on the 65g.

Background -Canister filters force water through three different types of filtration.  Mechanical filtration removes larger impurities (aka: the chunky stuff); chemical filtration absorbs smaller impurities (aka: fish waste, some pollutants and toxins); biological filtration converts toxic organics (aka: ammonia and nitrites) into nitrates as occurs with live rock filtration.

Environmental Impact – Wattage varies according to model, and all of the filter media will likely end up in the trash.  The body of the filter and the baskets are solid and durable, and there are replacement parts available if internal components break or wear out.

Should I Put It In My Tank? -Depends on personal preference.  Many hobbyists argue that canister filters are unnecessary and provide inferior filtration when compared to that offered by live rock; this is especially true as some of the biological filtration gets discarded each time the media is changed.  Others say that running a little carbon is always a good thing, and that a larger overall amount of livestock can be kept in a tank that has multiple filtration systems.  I’m in this latter group and run a sump, refugium, skimmer, and a 305 Fluval in addition to the primary filtration provided by live rock.  As there are several different media baskets, it is possible to experiment with multiple types of media to find the combination that best meets the filtration needs of your livestock.

What Do I Need To Know? – Hagen has over-engineered this thing so it is ridiculously simple to operate.  The device comes with a primer that can be used to flood water into the canister prior to operation.  When changing the media, there is a water flow locking system that allows the canister to be removed while the hoses remain in place.  Media goes in the chambered baskets; filtration pads go in the filtration slots.  Hagen has a wide variety of filter media designed to fit in both baskets and slots, and media from other companies can be  substituted if you have extra media baggies and the Fluval-sized media is not to your liking. Hagen recommends changing the media once a month, but this is generous as changing filter media doesn’t depend as much on the lifespan of the media as the type of livestock and the bioload of the tank (note: the benefits of carbon are exhausted in days, not weeks, and after that it becomes just a couple extra ounces of super-porous live rock).  When operating properly, these filters are delightfully quiet and the input and output can be used to enhance water circulation.

How Will It Piss Me Off? – READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL.  The filter comes with a booklet and an illustrated poster that shows how each component is assembled according to a step-by-step process.  If, hypothetically speaking, you thought to yourself that you don’t need no stinkin’ booklet and you set up the thing without guidance, you would probably miss the little detail where you needed to tighten the hose gaskets.  Then, hypothetically speaking, you’d be a tad flummoxed the first time you changed the filter media and the hoses shot clean off their moorings and whipped a couple of gallons of water across the walls, the floor, the bookcases, the dogs, in your open mouth…

What Can I Expect To Spend? -These are a decent piece of equipment and can be costly.  Do some comparison shopping for the best deal.  Don’t forget that media will cost between $15 to $45 each month, depending on the size of the filter, the type of media you choose to use, and the frequency of media changes.

Where Can I Buy It? -The Hagen Fluvals are in big-box stores, so even if you buy the filter online you won’t have any problem finding replacement media.

Any Health Hazards? – Uh… keep the media away from small children and pets, watch out for frayed electrical cords, and don’t swallow if a lot of salt water suddenly happens to end up in your mouth.

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~ by KBSpangler on September 25, 2009.

One Response to “Stuff In My Tank – Fluval 305 Canister Filter”

  1. […] rock, a skimmer rated for 125 gallons, a refugium, seven points of current (two oscillating), and a decent canister filter, red slime shouldn’t even be a theoretical problem.   But I added Tank McNamara and *poof*! […]

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