Now that the stand is complete, it’s time to start adding equipment. The first and most important thing I needed to decide on was the filtration. I went back and forth between a few different canister filters but finally decided on the Oase Biomaster 600 Thermo. Two of them.
The Oase Biomaster 600 is the largest canister filter that Oase offers. They advertise a max flow rate of around 1250 l/ph or 330 gph. Since my tank is 5′ long (143g) I decided it would be best to have two for proper flow throughout the aquarium. This will also allow me to clean on an alternating schedule. One canister will get serviced and the second will continue to run so as not to remove so much of the beneficial bacteria. Next time the second canister will get cleaned and the first will continue to run.
The biggest feature in my opinion, and what makes this filter stand out from the crowd, is the removable pre-filter. Just unlock the filter and pull out the prefilter, straight out of the top of the lid. Rinse the sponges in tank water and then replace in the canister. This should allow you to go much longer periods between full canister cleanings.
No need to buy a separate in-line heater or have one visible in the tank. The Oase Biomaster 600 “Thermo” comes with a 300w heater. This heater has it’s own power cord which has two advantages. One, it’s easy to replace. Two, it can be “controlled” by a tank controller or dedicated heater controller. If for some reason the heater were to malfunction and stick on, it can be automatically disabled by the controller.
Those are the two reasons why I went with this filter. As well as positive reviews both on the filter itself and their customer service.
The best feature of this filter is the pre-filter. The problem is that when it’s in the stand, there is typically not enough room inside to pull the filter straight up without hitting the ceiling of the stand. So I found some heavy-duty drawer slides, cut a piece of 3/4″ birch plywood, and a piece of thin clear acrylic sheet, cut to the same size as the plywood. The edges of the plywood were sanded smooth. Then the plywood was painted with flat black spray paint. The finished wood was then attached to the drawer slides, which were screwed to the stand floor. And finally, the piece of clear acrylic was layed on top. Just to give the wood some protection from moisture/spills, and so the filters wouldn’t stick to the painted wood surface.
As you can see in the photos above, the filters slide out more than enough to gain full access to the top of the filters and most importantly, the pre-filter. And the heavy-duty sliders can handle the weight with no problems. I will just have to make sure there is enough slack in the hoses and power cords.
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