A canister filter allows you to conceal your aquarium filter, exposing only your intake and outflow tubes. A variety of filter media contained in separate baskets allows you to customize your filtration for your tank. Prior to purchasing a canister filter for your aquarium, choose a model that will provide adequate filtration. If this is your only source of filtration, look for one that will turn your water four times per hour. This means, if you have a 50-gallon aquarium, you will want a filter that pumps 200 gallons per hour.
Remove your filter from the box and spread out all parts to ensure everything you need is included. Begin with canister. Open the lock clips and lift clips, and lift the motor off of the canister.
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Remove filter baskets. Lift the filter basket handles to insert filter media. Since your aquarium water will be filtered from bottom to top, place the coarse filter pad and carbon in the bottom basket. Depending upon the filter media you have chosen, stack them in the filter baskets accordingly, from coarsest on the bottom to the finest material on top. Rinse thoroughly.
Replace filter baskets in canister. Install the seal ring, connector and cover grid on top of the baskets. Replace motor unit and secure clips.
Attach the valve with the blue ring to the "in" port and the valve with the black ring to the "out" port.
Place filter canister in its permanent location.
Attach strainer to the long end of the intake tube, and attach flexible tubing to the short end of the intake tube. If you choose to use a spray bar, attach it to the exhaust hose.
Affix both the intake and exhaust hoses to the inside of your aquarium, using the suction cups included with the filter to secure them in place.
Cut two pieces of flexible tubing, long enough to reach from your intake and exhaust tubes to the filter canister, but not so long as to have excess length. Attach the flexible tubing to the intake and exhaust hoses, and to the corresponding valves on the canister.
Prime the filter using the primer button. Water will flow from the aquarium into the filter. After about 30 seconds, plug in the filter and turn it on. Ensure the flow control levers are open fully.