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Canister filter Or Protein skimmer?

Discussion in 'New Hobbyists' started by gfinch, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. gfinch

    gfinch New Member

    I am a bit confused. Do I need both a protein skimmer and a canister filter for a FOWLR or is it either one or the other with the protein skimmer being the preferable choice. I do know that I will need power heads with either one but I was wondering if I need to outlay for both on my initial setup?
    Thanks.
  2. fishfreak1242

    fishfreak1242 New Member

    Originally Posted by gfinch

    I am a bit confused. Do I need both a protein skimmer and a canister filter for a FOWLR or is it either one or the other with the protein skimmer being the preferable choice. I do know that I will need power heads with either one but I was wondering if I need to outlay for both on my initial setup?
    Thanks.
    It really depends on what you mean by "initial" setup. If by that you mean that you just started up the tank and it is cycling there isnt really much reason you should have either but you could use the canister filter. If by that you mean that you have one or two fish then you should probably be able to get away without having a protein skimmer depending on their size and how much you feed. If you have like five or six fish then I would definatley consider having both. A canister filter will NEVER replace a protein skimmer. Hope this helps!
  3. dennis210

    dennis210 Guest

    In most FOWLR systems I have seen, your focus is on the fish. Usually bigger and more bio load than in a reef system. You will want some way to filter out larger waste and also run carbon so a cannister is great for you.
    As your tank matures and you want to run a little more time between water changes a protien skimmer will definately help.
    Your question was "Do I need" and in this hobby it's tricky as what works for one may not work for another. LR and LS do break down waste, but your aquarium is a closed system, so the canister is a prudent way to help remove waste before it is acted upon by the system itself. Running carbon has added bonuses too so the canister is good for that too. Yet a "GOOD" protien skimmer will pull trash out of the water like nothing I have ever seen.
    So if possible run both!
  4. gfinch

    gfinch New Member

    Hey, thanks for the help and the advice everyone. My largest concern is a overflow/flooding problem with the skimmer, so I am thinking I will wait on the skimmer until I can put a sump on the system. Will have to DIY it so it will be a bit later. Still doing research on what all I will need and how much it is going to cost me for a 55 Gal FOWLR. One goal is to reduce the maintenance as much as possible for my sisters sake while I am on the road.
    Thanks
  5. cjworkman

    cjworkman New Member

    You need both.
    A canister will not do a good enough job removing fish waste and uneaten food and you will have a nitrate problem.
    If you did try to use a canister only for this purpose you'd have to clean it every 3 days. They are not fun to clean.
  6. earlybird

    earlybird New Member

    A protein skimmer and a sump.
  7. tarball

    tarball New Member

    I run a canister filter & a sump/refugium on my 55g tank.
    If i had to toss 1 of them, it would definitely be the canister filter.
  8. nordy

    nordy New Member

    I had a protein skimmer, bioball sump, and 2 canister on my 55gal FOWLR. Each one did something useful for the tank with the canister filters being versatile but needing frequent cleaning/maintenance, the skimmer constantly pulling doc's out of the water and the sump providing a place for bacteria to work. With fish and a large bioload in a fowlr tank, I think you should have all three.
  9. vt4lifecuf

    vt4lifecuf New Member

    i have the sump and protien skimmer..i think protein doing a better job to keep teh water clean and clear.


    i only did the venturi mod to it and i haven't try the mesh mod yet

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