Canister filter question

Moozillion

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Has anyone had experience with a Fluval 407 canister filter?

My razor backed musk turtle is in a 40 gallon breeder tank with a Fluval 207, which just isn't up to the task.
I HAD coupled it with an under gravel filter, using a powerhead (Marine Land Maxi Jet Pro) to pull the water through the under gravel plate, but the powerhead created a tremendous current rushing though the whole tank, and both Nelson and the fish struggled, so I took out the powerhead. Of course,I then lost that extra filtration. I reduced the water volume to about 2/3 to try and help the filter, but my water quality is embarrassing. And the algae is happy, but I'm not.☹️

I'm thinking of trying a Fluval 407, but I don't know if that's too much current for a 40 gallon breeder?
I'm also thinking of adding a couple of HOB filters with plants in them for added biological filtration.
Opinions are welcome. :)
 

wellington

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I have used canisters in the past for fish. They do a good job.
I would never an under gravel filter. It pulls sludge under the plates and after a few months to year it builds a deadly gas just above the plate. Once I stopped using them many years ago, barely any fish loss. Not sure how it woukd affect turtles but wouldnt take the chance.
 

Tom

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Has anyone had experience with a Fluval 407 canister filter?

My razor backed musk turtle is in a 40 gallon breeder tank with a Fluval 207, which just isn't up to the task.
I HAD coupled it with an under gravel filter, using a powerhead (Marine Land Maxi Jet Pro) to pull the water through the under gravel plate, but the powerhead created a tremendous current rushing though the whole tank, and both Nelson and the fish struggled, so I took out the powerhead. Of course,I then lost that extra filtration. I reduced the water volume to about 2/3 to try and help the filter, but my water quality is embarrassing. And the algae is happy, but I'm not.☹️

I'm thinking of trying a Fluval 407, but I don't know if that's too much current for a 40 gallon breeder?
I'm also thinking of adding a couple of HOB filters with plants in them for added biological filtration.
Opinions are welcome. :)
I think the 407 will be too much flow, just like the powerhead, unless you run it as a reverse flow UG. I've never done that but it would dissipate the output. Why not run your current UG filter with an air stone instead of a power head. That will still give you good flow, and nothing beats a UG filter for biological filtration and keeping the water looking clean. Just use a gravel vac for water changes once or twice a month.
 

Tom

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I have used canisters in the past for fish. They do a good job.
I would never an under gravel filter. It pulls sludge under the plates and after a few months to year it builds a deadly gas just above the plate. Once I stopped using them many years ago, barely any fish loss. Not sure how it woukd affect turtles but wouldnt take the chance.
You know how they say that sulcatas are desert torts and get all their water from their food and they need to be housed on rabbit pellets and any humidity will make them sick or kill them? You and I both know how false all of that is. Same thing with all this nonsense about UG filters. Over the years I've noticed that they fell out of favor and I couldn't understand why. Found my explanation on YouTube. They are cheap, easy and they last forever. Once you buy one for a given size tank, you never have to buy another one. They don't break or wear out. The sellers don't make any more money. For this reason, they push all the other filters that require recurring filter pad or media purchases, and they malign the cheap low maintenance filters that work better.

All those things you listed are completely false. I've been using them continuously since 1985. During my years in the pet trade, I tired every thing they made in multiple ways in multiple tanks, for years on end. I set up two entire fish rooms from scratch using UG filters in some tanks, and all the other option in others. Literally a side-by-side comparison with dozens of fishtanks. In every case the UG filter performed better and kept the water clearer. The combo of a back hanger for mechanical filtration and a UG for biological filtration and more mechanical filtration is tops. Whenever I set up a tank without a UG filter, I regret it and go back and re-do it. The water just never looks as clean and I have to run my old Marinland Magnum Hang-On-Tank micron cartridge filter to "polish" the water. I only run the HOT Magnum during water changes with a UG system going. I don't use the UG filters with Malawi cichlids or big South American cichlids because of their digging, and those tanks just never look as clear when viewed lengthwise.

I've run them continuously for 10+ years in fresh and saltwater tanks. I use a gravel vac for each water change, and there has never been sludge build up or "deadly gas" either. Just clean, clear, healthy water. This is another falsehood promoted by people who want to make more money.

I've never used one for turtles, and I don't know the digging habits of Moozillion's species of turtle, but I do know that if she vacuums the gravel during regular maintenance, there won't be any problems like what you described.
 

Moozillion

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I think the 407 will be too much flow, just like the powerhead, unless you run it as a reverse flow UG. I've never done that but it would dissipate the output. Why not run your current UG filter with an air stone instead of a power head. That will still give you good flow, and nothing beats a UG filter for biological filtration and keeping the water looking clean. Just use a gravel vac for water changes once or twice a month.
Thanks, Tom! 😃👍
 

wellington

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You know how they say that sulcatas are desert torts and get all their water from their food and they need to be housed on rabbit pellets and any humidity will make them sick or kill them? You and I both know how false all of that is. Same thing with all this nonsense about UG filters. Over the years I've noticed that they fell out of favor and I couldn't understand why. Found my explanation on YouTube. They are cheap, easy and they last forever. Once you buy one for a given size tank, you never have to buy another one. They don't break or wear out. The sellers don't make any more money. For this reason, they push all the other filters that require recurring filter pad or media purchases, and they malign the cheap low maintenance filters that work better.

All those things you listed are completely false. I've been using them continuously since 1985. During my years in the pet trade, I tired every thing they made in multiple ways in multiple tanks, for years on end. I set up two entire fish rooms from scratch using UG filters in some tanks, and all the other option in others. Literally a side-by-side comparison with dozens of fishtanks. In every case the UG filter performed better and kept the water clearer. The combo of a back hanger for mechanical filtration and a UG for biological filtration and more mechanical filtration is tops. Whenever I set up a tank without a UG filter, I regret it and go back and re-do it. The water just never looks as clean and I have to run my old Marinland Magnum Hang-On-Tank micron cartridge filter to "polish" the water. I only run the HOT Magnum during water changes with a UG system going. I don't use the UG filters with Malawi cichlids or big South American cichlids because of their digging, and those tanks just never look as clear when viewed lengthwise.

I've run them continuously for 10+ years in fresh and saltwater tanks. I use a gravel vac for each water change, and there has never been sludge build up or "deadly gas" either. Just clean, clear, healthy water. This is another falsehood promoted by people who want to make more money.

I've never used one for turtles, and I don't know the digging habits of Moozillion's species of turtle, but I do know that if she vacuums the gravel during regular maintenance, there won't be any problems like what you described.
No it's not false! Been there done that along with many fish people. Sorry but I have lots of experience with fish. Hell been working the last 17 years and still going in an aquarium store, not to mention the many years before owning fish. You might have a different experience, but if you ever looked under those plates after about a year or more, depending, its easy to see all the funk pulled under. Now a planted tank will help a lot on cleaning/using the Funk.
Not everyone is always wrong, specially when they stated their own experience with item in question!
 

Markw84

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Has anyone had experience with a Fluval 407 canister filter?

My razor backed musk turtle is in a 40 gallon breeder tank with a Fluval 207, which just isn't up to the task.
I HAD coupled it with an under gravel filter, using a powerhead (Marine Land Maxi Jet Pro) to pull the water through the under gravel plate, but the powerhead created a tremendous current rushing though the whole tank, and both Nelson and the fish struggled, so I took out the powerhead. Of course,I then lost that extra filtration. I reduced the water volume to about 2/3 to try and help the filter, but my water quality is embarrassing. And the algae is happy, but I'm not.☹️

I'm thinking of trying a Fluval 407, but I don't know if that's too much current for a 40 gallon breeder?
I'm also thinking of adding a couple of HOB filters with plants in them for added biological filtration.
Opinions are welcome. :)
With the fluval filters, you can adjust the water flow with the valve at the hose disconnect at the canister. It is meant to be adjustable flow. With the 407 you will get more filter media and you can reduce the flow. Should work well.
 

Markw84

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I will add that I agree with much of what @Tom said about UG filters. However, all turtles do like to dig and root around in the substrate finding bits of food and worms, etc. They will totally expose the filter pads and destroy the even flow through the gravel by having exposed areas.
 

Tom

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No it's not false! Been there done that along with many fish people. Sorry but I have lots of experience with fish. Hell been working the last 17 years and still going in an aquarium store, not to mention the many years before owning fish. You might have a different experience, but if you ever looked under those plates after about a year or more, depending, its easy to see all the funk pulled under. Now a planted tank will help a lot on cleaning/using the Funk.
Not everyone is always wrong, specially when they stated their own experience with item in question!
How is it that in 35 years of using them and helping customers, friends and family with them, we are talking about hundreds or thousands of UG filters, along with my own personal dozens of them, along with the dozens of others in my stores that I personally installed and serviced long term, that I never once saw any hint of the problems you described, and only saw the opposite? I made it a regular habit to look with a flashlight up through the bottoms of all my tanks. There was always a light layer of silt and stuff under there, but it never caused any problems even when running for 10+ years continuously. It was simply a working part of the system, and the gravel vacuuming kept it to a minimum. Have you done side-by-side tests with Identical tanks, fish and set up, the only variable being the types of filters used? I have. Lots of times with lots of tanks.

I can't understand why people say the things you are saying, but you are not alone. Seems to be a popular opinion now, but when pressed, I've found no one the can back up those claims. I can back up mine, and I now know of a lot of long time fish keepers that are saying the same thing I'm saying.
 

wellington

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How is it that in 35 years of using them and helping customers, friends and family with them, we are talking about hundreds or thousands of UG filters, along with my own personal dozens of them, along with the dozens of others in my stores that I personally installed and serviced long term, that I never once saw any hint of the problems you described, and only saw the opposite? I made it a regular habit to look with a flashlight up through the bottoms of all my tanks. There was always a light layer of silt and stuff under there, but it never caused any problems even when running for 10+ years continuously. It was simply a working part of the system, and the gravel vacuuming kept it to a minimum. Have you done side-by-side tests with Identical tanks, fish and set up, the only variable being the types of filters used? I have. Lots of times with lots of tanks.

I can't understand why people say the things you are saying, but you are not alone. Seems to be a popular opinion now, but when pressed, I've found no one the can back up those claims. I can back up mine, and I now know of a lot of long time fish keepers that are saying the same thing I'm saying.
I say what I say because that was my experience along with many others i know of. I had a whole freaking tank wiped out because if it. Kept losing fish constantly before the wipe out. Asked an old friend, long time fish keeper, this was many, over 35 years ago, what I was doing wrong. He asked if I had and UG filter. Yes, I did. He said get rid of it and never use it again.
I did and had fantastic luck with fish living very long. Not going to match you friend for friend, your users of them against mine not using them. I just know what I know and we have never sold them in my fish store.
I would never use one again and would never suggest to anyone too use them
I'm sure there are other differences that made it work for you that we will never know about.
No never did a side by side, didn't need to. Got rid of the UG filter and my problems went away.
Glad it worked for you. Didn't for me. Doesn't make one more right or wrong then the other!
 

Tom

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I say what I say because that was my experience along with many others i know of. I had a whole freaking tank wiped out because if it. Kept losing fish constantly before the wipe out. Asked an old friend, long time fish keeper, this was many, over 35 years ago, what I was doing wrong. He asked if I had and UG filter. Yes, I did. He said get rid of it and never use it again.
I did and had fantastic luck with fish living very long. Not going to match you friend for friend, your users of them against mine not using them. I just know what I know and we have never sold them in my fish store.
I would never use one again and would never suggest to anyone too use them
I'm sure there are other differences that made it work for you that we will never know about.
No never did a side by side, didn't need to. Got rid of the UG filter and my problems went away.
Glad it worked for you. Didn't for me. Doesn't make one more right or wrong then the other!
But this is the type of discussion where we get to the heart of the matter and everyone learns.

You had a problem in a tank and blamed in on the UG filter then never used them again. I would like to offer the suggestion that the problem might not have been the UG filter and could have been caused by a multitude of other common factors. I could think of many other plausible explanations for what you saw. The UG filter being the problem is not plausible to me based on what I've seen and my extensive use of them in many ways over several decades. You'll have to explain why I've used 100's of them in everything from a bowl to a 125, salt and fresh, with powerheads, air stones, and canister hook ups, and never once experienced the problems you speak of. Its not that it usually worked trouble free for me. It ALWAYS worked trouble free for me, and worked better than any alternative in side-by-side comparison experiments. I've seen people have all sorts of tank problems while using a UG filter, or any other filter strategy, but the problem was always discovered and corrected and the problem was never the UG filter. The UG filters helped most beginners over come mistakes when a similar set up with a canister, back hanger, or other filters would fail them.

Remember years ago when the "Bio Wheels" came out? I tried that and every other product that came out, and found over and over again that UG filters offered much more attachment space for beneficial bacteria, and outperformed every other type of filter in direct comparisons of fish health, water clarity, and water testing parameters.

I know that you know your fish stuff and that is why I'm shocked to hear you say what you said about these filters. Its discussions like these with experienced fish keepers that can carry the most value in sorting out differences of opinions and differing experiences with the same product(s). I'd love for you to set up two identical tanks side-by-side, one with a UG and a back hanger, and the other with whatever your preferred method is, and see the difference. The UG filtered tank will look clearer, cycle faster, and absorb tank changes better. They give you a larger margin of error and a much greater capacity to handle ever changing bio loads. This was never more apparent than in the fish rooms at my stores where we had tons of fish coming and going every day. The UG tanks handled it much better and kept the water safe and clear, much better than any other filter systems I tried. I even added UG filters to some tanks in a store that had a central sump filter that ran all the tanks. The UG filters kept even that water clearer and cleaner.

You know me. You know I don't defend assertions like this without a solid base. I think you should give them another chance. Prove me wrong.
 

mark1

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my opinion on undergravel filters , i would never not have one .....i have ug filters up to 6 feet by 4 feet ... i personally want every bit of biological filtration i can get , anywhere i can get it .....my ponds are small , i can waste no space if it's useful.. the "sludge"/mulm under an under gravel filter can be removed through the openings used for the pumps ..... the "sludge"/mulm under the gravel in a properly running setup is completely odorless and clean , if there is a smell it should smell like dirt ....it's actually good for seeding a new tank to get it cycled faster ... if it stinks , you need better filtration ....

i have like 9 outside small ponds , the largest possibly 400 gallons , probably slightly less ....... every one of them has an under gravel filter , i haven't cleaned any of the ponds in two years , other than vaccuum 4 or 5 of them so far this year ..... i plan on getting the rest before winter .....

all the gravel in this pic is on top of an ug filter , those emerald shiners in there reproduce regularly ....... the pond is no more than 300 gallons , the pump under the gravel 4000gpm , dumps into a 55 gallon garbage can filled with filter media and runs over lots of rocks to return to this pool, lots of biological filtration ........ imo , i believe i could possibly not clean this pond for many years , 4 adult NA wood turtles live in it , and hibernate in it ......
Aviary-Photo-132063889137092487.jpg

Aviary-Photo-131815846975603259.jpg

the gravel in this pond is also an ug filter , 6 blandings have lived in it for the last 6 yrs along with emerald shiners , probably around 400 gallons , the pump under the gravel 4000gph dumps into a 30 gallon trash can filled with filter media , under the gravel is also a smaller pump ,1500gph ,that dumps into a diy canister filter , 5 gallon bucket, and then passes through a UV sterilizer and returns to the pond , i also believe i could get away with not cleaning this pond for many years ......
DSCF7560-2.jpg



this is the size of the blandings , 6 , in this pond , no more than 400gallons , this is the one in the middle on the right in the above pic ..
DSCF7415-2.jpg


water for 7 box turtles , i haven't cleaned this setup for 2 years ....... 2 years ago i did have to clean it , it got clogged ,it's only maybe 30 gallons of water .... the sludge was completely odorless .......
DSCF7421.jpg

i've kept fish my whole life , as my father kept fish .......

Aviary-Photo-131560966422295553.jpg

Aviary_Photo_131560968242515860.jpg

i've pulled water through an undergravel filter in aquariums with canister filters and the hang on the side of the tank type filters ......

i'd be , and have been the guy who told someone with fish dying issues to use ,and made for them , an undergravel filter , and to stop cleaning their tanks so much ......
 

wellington

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But this is the type of discussion where we get to the heart of the matter and everyone learns.

You had a problem in a tank and blamed in on the UG filter then never used them again. I would like to offer the suggestion that the problem might not have been the UG filter and could have been caused by a multitude of other common factors. I could think of many other plausible explanations for what you saw. The UG filter being the problem is not plausible to me based on what I've seen and my extensive use of them in many ways over several decades. You'll have to explain why I've used 100's of them in everything from a bowl to a 125, salt and fresh, with powerheads, air stones, and canister hook ups, and never once experienced the problems you speak of. Its not that it usually worked trouble free for me. It ALWAYS worked trouble free for me, and worked better than any alternative in side-by-side comparison experiments. I've seen people have all sorts of tank problems while using a UG filter, or any other filter strategy, but the problem was always discovered and corrected and the problem was never the UG filter. The UG filters helped most beginners over come mistakes when a similar set up with a canister, back hanger, or other filters would fail them.

Remember years ago when the "Bio Wheels" came out? I tried that and every other product that came out, and found over and over again that UG filters offered much more attachment space for beneficial bacteria, and outperformed every other type of filter in direct comparisons of fish health, water clarity, and water testing parameters.

I know that you know your fish stuff and that is why I'm shocked to hear you say what you said about these filters. Its discussions like these with experienced fish keepers that can carry the most value in sorting out differences of opinions and differing experiences with the same product(s). I'd love for you to set up two identical tanks side-by-side, one with a UG and a back hanger, and the other with whatever your preferred method is, and see the difference. The UG filtered tank will look clearer, cycle faster, and absorb tank changes better. They give you a larger margin of error and a much greater capacity to handle ever changing bio loads. This was never more apparent than in the fish rooms at my stores where we had tons of fish coming and going every day. The UG tanks handled it much better and kept the water safe and clear, much better than any other filter systems I tried. I even added UG filters to some tanks in a store that had a central sump filter that ran all the tanks. The UG filters kept even that water clearer and cleaner.

You know me. You know I don't defend assertions like this without a solid base. I think you should give them another chance. Prove me wrong.
This was many years ago. All I know is what I already stated. Lost fish after fish after fish and then the wipe out. A well experience fish guy/friend told me to take it out and never use it again. That's what I did and never had a problem keeping fish alive again. I have used probably every filter out there over the many years of having fish. Fresh, cichlid and Marine, planted. I know zero fish people that use them. Used to be in a fish club, no one used them.
I won't risk my beautiful fish to try one again. I know what works and what doesnt. They don't work, for whatever reason I don't know, except the sludge and gasses that built up was at first a slow death sentence and then instant death sentence wipe out.
I have produced many babies and kept many expensive fish with cheap hang on filters, canisters and wet/dry filters. Raised miniature sea horses, clams and corals.
Maybe find a way to measure the toxicity levels under those plates. I would be shocked if there wasn't a reading of some level.
 

wellington

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Actually I didn't think they even sold them any more. Figured they finally caught on the death trap they were.
Have never seen them in the fish stores in my area that I have visited, not for many years.
 

wellington

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Has anyone had experience with a Fluval 407 canister filter?

My razor backed musk turtle is in a 40 gallon breeder tank with a Fluval 207, which just isn't up to the task.
I HAD coupled it with an under gravel filter, using a powerhead (Marine Land Maxi Jet Pro) to pull the water through the under gravel plate, but the powerhead created a tremendous current rushing though the whole tank, and both Nelson and the fish struggled, so I took out the powerhead. Of course,I then lost that extra filtration. I reduced the water volume to about 2/3 to try and help the filter, but my water quality is embarrassing. And the algae is happy, but I'm not.☹️

I'm thinking of trying a Fluval 407, but I don't know if that's too much current for a 40 gallon breeder?
I'm also thinking of adding a couple of HOB filters with plants in them for added biological filtration.
Opinions are welcome. :)
Sorry your post got side swiped. Bunch of good info though to help you decide if you ever want to use the UG filter again. My vote remains a strong don't.
Canisters make good filters. Easy to control flow and to change/clean.
 

wellington

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my opinion on undergravel filters , i would never not have one .....i have ug filters up to 6 feet by 4 feet ... i personally want every bit of biological filtration i can get , anywhere i can get it .....my ponds are small , i can waste no space if it's useful.. the "sludge"/mulm under an under gravel filter can be removed through the openings used for the pumps ..... the "sludge"/mulm under the gravel in a properly running setup is completely odorless and clean , if there is a smell it should smell like dirt ....it's actually good for seeding a new tank to get it cycled faster ... if it stinks , you need better filtration ....

i have like 9 outside small ponds , the largest possibly 400 gallons , probably slightly less ....... every one of them has an under gravel filter , i haven't cleaned any of the ponds in two years , other than vaccuum 4 or 5 of them so far this year ..... i plan on getting the rest before winter .....

all the gravel in this pic is on top of an ug filter , those emerald shiners in there reproduce regularly ....... the pond is no more than 300 gallons , the pump under the gravel 4000gpm , dumps into a 55 gallon garbage can filled with filter media and runs over lots of rocks to return to this pool, lots of biological filtration ........ imo , i believe i could possibly not clean this pond for many years , 4 adult NA wood turtles live in it , and hibernate in it ......
Aviary-Photo-132063889137092487.jpg

Aviary-Photo-131815846975603259.jpg

the gravel in this pond is also an ug filter , 6 blandings have lived in it for the last 6 yrs along with emerald shiners , probably around 400 gallons , the pump under the gravel 4000gph dumps into a 30 gallon trash can filled with filter media , under the gravel is also a smaller pump ,1500gph ,that dumps into a diy canister filter , 5 gallon bucket, and then passes through a UV sterilizer and returns to the pond , i also believe i could get away with not cleaning this pond for many years ......
DSCF7560-2.jpg



this is the size of the blandings , 6 , in this pond , no more than 400gallons , this is the one in the middle on the right in the above pic ..
DSCF7415-2.jpg


water for 7 box turtles , i haven't cleaned this setup for 2 years ....... 2 years ago i did have to clean it , it got clogged ,it's only maybe 30 gallons of water .... the sludge was completely odorless .......
DSCF7421.jpg

i've kept fish my whole life , as my father kept fish .......

Aviary-Photo-131560966422295553.jpg

Aviary_Photo_131560968242515860.jpg

i've pulled water through an undergravel filter in aquariums with canister filters and the hang on the side of the tank type filters ......

i'd be , and have been the guy who told someone with fish dying issues to use ,and made for them , an undergravel filter , and to stop cleaning their tanks so much ......
I bet the pond would be just as clean without the UGF. Its all the other stuff you are doing keeping it clean.
A pond or tank can run filterless with all the correct fish to pond to plant ratio. If you have the time and knowledge to figure it out.
 

Moozillion

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I will add that I agree with much of what @Tom said about UG filters. However, all turtles do like to dig and root around in the substrate finding bits of food and worms, etc. They will totally expose the filter pads and destroy the even flow through the gravel by having exposed areas.
I can see that would be an issue with Nelson for sure: he has dug down through the gravel and exposed the bottom in 2 corners of the tank! o_O
Thats where he likes to sleep! 🤷‍♀️
 

mark1

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I bet the pond would be just as clean without the UGF. Its all the other stuff you are doing keeping it clean.
A pond or tank can run filterless with all the correct fish to pond to plant ratio. If you have the time and knowledge to figure it out.
no doubt my opinion is based on anecdotal evidence .... i use to monitor my water parameters , it's been a decade or two since i've done that ..... i just found what works and assume it will always work ....... a pond where i live , especially a small pond needs a proportionally large efficient nitrification process as the water temperature is under 65 degrees most of the year , the nitrification process is at best 50% , probably more like 30-40% efficient .......... very different in a tropical fish aquarium where at 80 degrees it's probably 80% efficient ........ i have gone along with the assumption if it works in a 250 gallon cold water pond with four 8-9" adult turtles , it must work anywhere ........ we've had 40-50 degree nights this week , i don't monitor the pond temperatures very often anymore either , i bought one of those test kits today , should get it wednesday , be interesting to see what i think but really don't know ....... when i vaccuum the ponds it draws the water down , when i replace the water it stirs the "sludge" from under the ug filter , i'll try to test the water after i do that ...... should be a good indication as the water in the ponds is pretty cool right now , the nitrification process is pretty inefficient right now .....
 
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