Since we are so deep into creating content for the reef aquarium hobby in terms of articles, videos and podcasts it’s always refreshing for us to see and hear what other aquarium veterans have to say about aquarium gear. One notable figure in this space is Ralph Cabage aka Aquaman Knox who has worked in the aquarium industry longer than we have and helmed the introduction of Sicce USA for ten years.
Mr. Cabage has a particular affinity for canister filters so he put together a very detailed in depth review of many different makes and models into a series he calls Canister Filter Wars. Now the everyday reef keeper has already tuned out after the first two syllables of ‘canister’ but these devices are the most popular form of filtration for large freshwater tanks and we don’t see why they should be so maligned in the saltwater aquarium hobby.
If you consider that a basic media reactor can easily cost up to one hundred dollars or more and doesn’t include the pump, a small or entry level canister filter is essentially the same thing without the see through reaction chamber but it can be very price competitive and come with a pump and a whole heap of tubing, fittings and accessories. Certainly there were a lot of saltwater hobbyists who ran their tanks with canister filters before the ubiquity of centralized filtration in a sump and the only real reason canisters aren’t more used is because of a lack of information about their role in saltwater aquariums.
We’re certainly not advocating that everyone rush out and transform their reef and saltwater gear to using canister filters but you’d be surprised how much mileage you can get on small to medium sized tank using a well put together canister filter setup. Whether you’re curious about salty canisters or want to learn more about potential models for your freshwater aquarium this series from Aquaman Knox is a great look at how different brands and models compare and the nuance in how the affect the user experience of using and cleaning them.