By Tom Sarac

The canister filter generally represents an ideal choice for the home aquarist who demands convenience and ease of installation & maintenance. The fact that this type of filtration allows for a greater volume and variety of filter media, it ensures better water quality, allows for less frequent maintenance as well as the capacity to stock a greater fish population.

When setting up your canister filter there are some important points to consider and implement. Let us list and explain, as follows:

1 – Less hosing is better. Excess hosing that is left lying about adds restriction to water flow which reduces filtration efficiency. It is recommended to position the canister, then cut filter hosing to length such that there is a gentle upward slope with no sharp bends or loops. There should be enough slack in the hosing to allow for easy removal and installation of input stems and output nozzles. Fluval ribbed filter hosing also benefits from a good cleaning and power flush twice a year, there are specific hose cleaning brushes for this purpose.

2 When priming a canister filter always make sure to position the output nozzle above the waters’ surface. This is the single best thing one can do to ensure all the air is evacuated from the canister as the filter fills with water. It also insures the filter is primed properly from the input side. Should you leave the output nozzle in the water the canister can fill from both sides which usually results in excess air getting trapped.

3 When positioning the output nozzle after priming, always submerge it just enough to ensure it is quiet enough but not so deep as to prevent surface water movement. When it comes to ensuring a healthy dissolved oxygen level for your fish one of the best things you can do is to position the filter output nozzle so it effectively moves the waters’ surface.

4 – Always make sure all O rings, not only at the motor head and canister interface but also those associated with any valves, impeller covers, etc. are lubricated with Fluval silicone lubricant for filters (A325). During installation, proper lubrication will ensure proper seating of the components allowing O-rings to remain in position preventing potential leaks. It also improves lifespan and durability of the O ring. Never use petroleum-based lubricants for aquarium filter rubber o rings as it will shorten their life span.

5 Never surpass a distance of 1.4 meters (4.5 ft) from the top of your Fluval canister filter to the surface of aquarium water. This is important to respect, as that distance dictates the internal safe pressure level within the filter.

6 Always ensure the impeller and its’ cover are properly installed, failure to position these components as instructed can lead to noise and failure. For Fluval 07 series this potential issue has been resolved during set-up thanks to factory pre-installation, however, do take note of this point for future maintenance requirements.

7 Pre-rinse all filter media well, especially when it is new. This will also help reduce the amount of trapped air within.

8- Some cabinets may exude a more audible resonant frequency versus others. While Fluval canister filters are quiet some individuals are more sensitive to even the slightest background noise, some cabinets may accentuate this (room acoustics can be a factor as well). To help alleviate any irritating resonant frequencies due to the cabinet, closed cell foam can be attached to inner cabinet surfaces with spray on adhesive, dampening any noise.

9 Don’t forget a drip loop for the electrical cord. Make sure to review the instruction manual and follow the advice within, creating a drip loop should be done for any electrical device, especially for those in close proximity to water.

10 – Do not install any custom in line plumbing configurations with Fluval canister filters. The hosing is ribbed and it does not securely lend itself to insert fittings and hose clamps.

These 10 tips should help you when installing your Fluval canister filter. Rest assured Fluval is only a call or email away should you have any questions or require assistance when setting up your filter.