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View Full Version : Do you turn off Canister filter during WC?



DiscusBR
04-02-2011, 10:28 PM
The main reason I ask is concern for the benefficial bacteria that live in the canister media (in my case, an Eheim 2217). Will the bacteria be fine be without water flow for, say, 20 minutes?

Thanks,

Mauro

Elite Aquaria
04-02-2011, 10:37 PM
Yes

DiscusBR
04-02-2011, 10:48 PM
Thanks, Dan.

Does anyone know for how long can one switch off the canister without worring that the bacteria will be affencted?

Elite Aquaria
04-02-2011, 10:51 PM
I have shipped sponge filters to my customers overnight and they have been fine.

ericatdallas
04-02-2011, 10:54 PM
Thanks, Dan.

Does anyone know for how long can one switch off the canister without worring that the bacteria will be affencted?

It depends on how much oxygen is in there... once oxygen is depleted, anaerobic bacteria start to take over. I've left it off overnight with no "apparent" problems before though.

aalbina
04-02-2011, 10:54 PM
Yes for the 20 minutes it takes to do 75 to 80%. I have to turn it off because I drop the water lower than the intake. Never had a problem with any impact on the canister bio filter.

Adam

DiscusBR
04-02-2011, 11:00 PM
Thank you everybody. I am going to do my first major WC, with water going below the filter's intake, and was wondering how to proceed. This site has, again, clarified my beginner's doubts.

DiscusBR
04-02-2011, 11:41 PM
WAIT! I have another question. When I turn off the filter I need to close all valves in the intake and outake tubes, to prevent air from getting in, right?

laborelch
04-03-2011, 12:52 AM
I have 2 Eheims 2026 on my 95g and usually close the valves right before unplugging the filters. After the water change, I plug the filters back in, then open the valves within seconds - filters kick on instantly and I don't have to deal with priming/siphoning.
The warranty might say to unplug first and then to close the valves in order to ensure the motor doesn't burn out :-) but that always left me priming and siphoning....

ericatdallas
04-03-2011, 07:19 AM
I have fluvals and I close the valves (pull the tab up) before unplugging (I have it on a surge protector, so I switch it off). Then the opposite steps --- switch on, open valves. So same as laborelch.

Don in Virginia
04-03-2011, 07:33 AM
During a power outage, my canister filters were turned off for about 18 hours. When I got them going again, everything was fine. No spike in ammonia or nitrites. If I turn them off during a WC, I never bother closing valves. As long as the return hose to the tank is full of water, it usually starts up without any priming. You'll just have to experiment. Good luck!

3dees
04-03-2011, 10:10 AM
I need to turn off my xp3 as it will stop after the water goes down 6" and I'll have to prime it which is a pita. the Ehiem I leave running. when I change the floss I just un plug them. never had a problem.

Darrell Ward
04-03-2011, 10:59 AM
The main reason I ask is concern for the benefficial bacteria that live in the canister media (in my case, an Eheim 2217). Will the bacteria be fine be without water flow for, say, 20 minutes?

Thanks,

Mauro

No, I don't turn it off not unless I'm cleaning it. Bacteria could live in your canister a couple of days, maybe longer, before they run out of oxygen. 20 minutes is nothing. The only canister I run these days, is an Ocean Clear 354 bead filter, which I take apart and rinse out about twice a year. This is all that's needed, since it only contains plastic beads. Priming these filters is no big deal. They have a purge "valve", really a thumbscrew that you can open to release the trapped air. Works every time. Like Don said, if your return lines are full and under water, it should start right back up anyway.

Jhhnn
04-03-2011, 03:41 PM
I don't close the valves on my Cascade canisters when changing water, but I do shut off the pumps. The canisters are on the floor, well below tank level. Water is trapped in the hoses as tank level goes down below the intake during water changes When re-started, they just burp some air out the discharge. Sometimes I can hear air bubbles being whipped around in the pumps after a water change, so I kinda burp the filters- off for a few seconds to allow the air to escape into the discharge hoses, then back on to push the air out. A couple of cycles of that & they're back to normal.

If I forget to shut off the pumps, then I have to re-prime, which is just some mad pumping of the big primer buttons on top of the filters, but I'd rather not...

DiscusBR
04-03-2011, 10:24 PM
Thank you all. Amazing forum. I never stop learning...

flyman767
04-05-2011, 04:24 PM
I'm confused why anyone would shut off there canister if the intake is below the w/c line? When I'm doing a 90% w/c then yes..but I never shut off my Eheim 2227 unless I'm do a total breakdown! If you don't have to turn valves, restart a siphon..why would you? Also, start and stopping the motor can cause it to burn-out significantly faster! JHMO..

DiscusBR
04-05-2011, 08:28 PM
I'm confused why anyone would shut off there canister if the intake is below the w/c line? When I'm doing a 90% w/c then yes..but I never shut off my Eheim 2227 unless I'm do a total breakdown! If you don't have to turn valves, restart a siphon..why would you? Also, start and stopping the motor can cause it to burn-out significantly faster! JHMO..

In my case, the flow of the outake splashes and wets the wall and the stand. It also makes syphoning very dificult for the same reason (water splashes against my arm). In my view, switching off the filter would make WCs much easier and clean.

flyman767
04-05-2011, 11:33 PM
In my case, the flow of the outake splashes and wets the wall and the stand. It also makes syphoning very dificult for the same reason (water splashes against my arm). In my view, switching off the filter would make WCs much easier and clean.

Why not then redirect the splash bar down and away to prevent any splashing? My Eheim spray head (model 2227) has never splashed at all. I can't imagine an Eheim 2217 can splash anymore than a Eheim 2227..thats of course unless you have the splash bar pointed upwards?

gerrard00
04-06-2011, 08:47 AM
I'm confused why anyone would shut off there canister if the intake is below the w/c line? When I'm doing a 90% w/c then yes..but I never shut off my Eheim 2227 unless I'm do a total breakdown! If you don't have to turn valves, restart a siphon..why would you? Also, start and stopping the motor can cause it to burn-out significantly faster! JHMO..

Doesn't leaving the filter running interfere with your ability to remove floating detritus during the change? I go with the philosophy that the only water movement during my changes should be the actual python suction.

DiscusBR
04-06-2011, 09:35 AM
Why not then redirect the splash bar down and away to prevent any splashing? My Eheim spray head (model 2227) has never splashed at all. I can't imagine an Eheim 2217 can splash anymore than a Eheim 2227..thats of course unless you have the splash bar pointed upwards?

If I redirect the outake bar down, the substrate (in my case sand) will be washed away. My bar is obviously not pointed upwards, but paralell to the water surface. Since I have driftwood in the tank, water splashes against the branches when water level goes down. And I agree with Gerard that running filters interferes with your ability to syphon and clean the substrate and floating detritus.

However, you did give me an idea :idea2:. May be I could just take out the small round cap at the end of eheim outake bar during water changes. Then the flow of the output bar would be directed towards the tank´s front wall. I will try it next time.

flyman767
04-06-2011, 10:07 AM
Doesn't leaving the filter running interfere with your ability to remove floating detritus during the change? I go with the philosophy that the only water movement during my changes should be the actual python suction.
No not all..I actually have sand as my substrate and I use a 'pooper scooper" to remove the detritus. I never had good luck with a syphon collecting the detritus with a sand substrate.

Also, I use a prefilter on my intake which works to collect any detritus that may be floating. I rinse the prefilter with tank water after every w/c. Very simple and effective...

flyman767
04-06-2011, 10:13 AM
If I redirect the outake bar down, the substrate (in my case sand) will be washed away.


I use sand as a substrate as well. There is a small amount of sand movement initially directly under the spray bar; however, it doesn't disturb the substrate to any significant degree. In fact, looks kinda cool..has a look of a motion which simulates a ocean type wave.

flyman767
04-06-2011, 10:20 AM
My bar is obviously not pointed upwards, but paralell to the water surface.

I'm just curious why do you point your spray bar parallel to the water surface? There really is no need to do that. All thats necessary is breaking the water surface. It's perfectly acceptable to point the spray bar downward and away towards the back of the tank. JHMO..

gerrard00
04-07-2011, 10:45 AM
No not all..I actually have sand as my substrate and I use a 'pooper scooper" to remove the detritus. I never had good luck with a syphon collecting the detritus with a sand substrate.

Also, I use a prefilter on my intake which works to collect any detritus that may be floating. I rinse the prefilter with tank water after every w/c. Very simple and effective...

Interesting. I use a prefilter on m Eheim canister filter as well, but my water still has some floaties in it at wc time. Based on your pooper scooper statement it sounds like you don't have any particles floating in your water. I guess your mechanical filtration is just much better than mine.

I use what the LFS calls "natural sand" as my substrate. Not as fine as the pool sand that folks on this board seem to use, but not as big as gravel. My python works like a champ and I can see it happily sucky up floating junk.

DiscusBR
04-07-2011, 11:35 AM
Just an update. I did my first large WC (60%) yesterday and found an easier solution for the splashing issue. I just moved the outake down below the water level. A beginners embarressment :o...

I put the outake paralell to the water surface because I got this advice here in this forum. The argument was that you need water movement in the surface to promote proper water oxigenation.

flyman767
04-07-2011, 12:19 PM
I put the outake paralell to the water surface because I got this advice here in this forum. The argument was that you need water movement in the surface to promote proper water oxigenation.

Yes..I've heard that argument before. Someone posted awhile back that when the oxygenation levels were checked(electronically) there was no significant difference. Also, I set the splashbar both ways and never found any difference among the inhabitants.

Personally..I never rely on a single source to provide any of my air, heat, or filters. That is: 2 means of air, 2 sources of filtration, 3 individual heaters. In addition...an APC 1500 UPC watt back-up battery. This way if any one source would fail my fish would not be in any immediate danger. Some would say it's overkill..but I've got a lot invested. But again...JMHO

Jhhnn
04-07-2011, 11:26 PM
I just shut my cascade 1200's off at the switched power strips, restart after the water change is over. the filters re-prime from water trapped in them & the hoses. Burps some air, then back to normal. Sometimes I can hear bubbles in the pumps, so a few on/off bumps of the power switches clears that... If I forget to shut 'em off, then they lose prime, calling for some mad pumping on the big primer buttons...

wendy9722
04-08-2011, 01:23 AM
I shut off my cascade 1200 and my fluvel 404 and have no problems with them starting up again on there own. The cascade can be a pain when you take it apart to clean it to restart. Thats a lot of priming!!!