On the last entry, we discussed the function of a canister filter and then went into detail about one of the brands found on the market, the Eheim series of canisters. This Part 2 will detail the information about other styles of canister filters.
Marineland Canister Filters
Marineland is another of the “old school” manufacturers who still offers a model very similar to their first generation of Marineland canister filters, the Magnum series. The Magnum Deluxe canisters are somewhat unique in that the motor/rotor is located at the bottom of the canister system. The Magnum 350 used one of two filters. The first, and most commonly used, is the Carbon Container that acts as a combination chemical media chamber on the inside, and as a mechanical filter with a floss sleeve on the outside. The second style filter cartridge is the Micron Cartridge, which can be used to filter out really fine debris in the water and “polish” the water to transparency. The drawback to this cartridge is that it clogs up in just a matter of hours and requires an over-night soaking to get it clean. Most hobbyists might use this cartridge once every month after a water change and then go back to the long term Carbon Container. The one feature lacking in the Magnum Deluxe is any type of biological media. Marineland answered this problem with the development of the additional BioWheels to the outlet and call that system the Magnum 350 PRO canister. Given the relatively high flow rate of 350 GPH, the Magnum series are great mechanical filters for aquariums with a heavy load. One drawback is it is less than totally user friendly when it comes time to clean the Magnum. The O-Ring has to be carefully fitted to the top and then the top pushed down in place to be held by several small metal clips. With the motor at the bottom, the Magnum is easy to prime, simply fill up the canister and then plug it in.
Marineland also offers their newer multi-stage C Series canisters. This series offers all the bells and whistles needed to be a complete filtration system and user friendly. Depending on the model, the C Series comes with 3 or 4 easily stackable media trays with Filter Foam in the bottom tray for mechanical filtration, Carbon Bags in the next chamber for chemical filtration, and, in the third tray, Bio-Filter Balls for biological media with Ceramic Filter Rings in the top tray of the larger, 4 tray units. On the very top of the canister is a Polishing Pad to act as a final stage mechanical filter and to protect the impeller from any debris. The hose shut-offs and disconnect are integrated into one piece, and the lock down clamps give a solid seal with rugged construction for a long useful lifetime. The unit also includes a self-priming button and one other feature missing from most other canisters, a handle to pick the unit up. The rugged construction and large media volume make this one of the heavier canister to move, so the handle will come in handy. Please be aware that the seal on the motor head is so tight that it is sometimes very difficult to pull it from the canister body, but that helps keep a tight seal on the canister to avoid leaks.