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6x2x2 sump vs canisters filter????

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Hey guys im looking at buying a 6x2x2 tank.

Im in 2 minds weather to use a larger canister filter or get a sump setup.

 pros vs cons of either canister or sump.


Thanks inadvanced

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A sump is more versatile in a setup this size, but eliminating noise completely can never really be achieved.  Noise is fine for almost all people during the day, but if your setup is close to a bedroom or separated by a gyprock wall, then the use of an AC pump can be a problem.  The low frequency hum of a larger AC pump motor will travel straight through a gyprock wall, this problem can be solved by the use of a DC pump but they cost a little, to a lot more.

Sump designs can be very simple, which is the type I prefer as a simple design can help with maintenance, complex setups are not really needed and just add to maintenance headaches.  

The pros of a sump are:- 

  • Increased water volume
  • Increased filter capacity
  • Increased filtration medium diversity
  • Ease of visual inspection maintenance
  • Ease of filter maintenance

The negatives of a sump are:-

  • Increased noise
  • Require a weir or holes to be drilled in the tank

I have only used Fluval and Eheim canisters, the Eheim was easily the best when I used them (in my opinion) but this was in the days of before “chinese junk” flooded the market.  In the good old days Eheim were a brilliant filter with Fluval a close second, purely my opinion after using both.  Fast forward 12yrs and I cannot really help much with canister choice, in recent years I did own a Fluval 404 and it did a great job in my 4’ x 2’ x 18”.  

Canisters still suffer the same problems and that is reduced filter capacity, expense and virtually no visual inspection, they also slow down as they fill with detritus and mulm.  Canisters can be removed and cleaned easily, you can install two canisters and have a redundant setup.  They are also much quieter, do not need a weir or holes drilled, and are a good choice for a filtration unit.

Be thankful modern canisters are self priming, have easy to use auto valves and have filter baskets, this was not always the case :-).


Edited by PlecoSam

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I used to be a sump man for years until i got into cannisters a year or so ago. Now i have a very quiet tank in my living room that doesn't smell.

I like to overfilter and i would put 2 large cannisters on that setup. I have 1 fluval fx6 and 2 aqua one nautilus 2700, but you could use 2 big cannisters and just clean them every few months. I would space out the cleaning of the 2 so that you are sure you have plenty of active bacteria e.g. dont clean them both at same time.


Edited by malawi sand diver
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On 14/10/2017 at 1:33 PM, Ageofaquariums said:

Bean animal is what I use but even they make some noise, my noise tolerance is extremely high but not everyone has a high tolerance.   One place noise comes from is water trickling into the weir, the higher the level the lower the noise, canisters do not have this problem.

My vote is for sump filtration and if used in conjunction with a bean animal or full siphon setup noise is very manageable.  My 7x2x2 is right outside my bedroom next to the door entrance, noise is not a problem for me.

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