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Paul Higashikawa 11-23-2004 11:47 PM

ZOO MED 501 Canister Filter Review
I just got this filter today, so I want to share some experience. So far, everything is going well. The filter is compact, easy to install, and very quiet. I got it from Petsmart today. Wondering if any others have tried it. You can add your comments, too. For me, I think it's pretty good; so far, at least. I think it is a nice canister to have for those who don't feel like shelling out big bucks for brand name ones, or those who don't want to build their own. It says on the box that it is mainly targeted to turtle tanks, but it is also suitable for fish/planted tanks up to 30-gal. Anyhow, just feel like sharing with you guys. I guess I got a lil too excited :D


niko 11-24-2004 03:26 AM

If the motor is quiet, the hoses fit good, the lid seals well, and there is room for enough filter media then for about $40 it is a great buy.

The pump is rated only 80 gph, a bit slow but good for a 10 gal tank.

Thanks for sharing!


Paul Higashikawa 11-24-2004 03:48 AM

niko, you're absolutely right! I think I forgot to add one more comment, however. That is, the reason I think it's a great buy at everything you have said is because since we are mainly focusing on plants in this hobby( or at least for many such as myself) and less attention on the fish in terms of number and size, there really isn't any major need for a super strong filter. In this sense then, it is even adequate for larger tanks up to a certain size; I am thinking maybe somewhere around 30-gal would still be decent. This is just my opinion, of course. I don't like spending major money and I happen to be very lazy in maintenance. I do conduct all the basics; water changes every now and then, nutrient dosing, CO2 injection, etc....Just not too religious about doing it all too often in a well-scheduled manner. Nor am I that handy with DIY projects(read your recent filter article, BTW; awesome!) Also, I think if you have relatively heavily planted tank, then they already do good enough of a job in cleaning/keeping the water clean and clear. Plus, with relatively small number of fish and/or fish size(in aquascaping, in many cases, small fish is desired over large bulky ones), there is less accumulation of wastes. If any, the plants will absorb them coupled with the beneficial bacteria. Anyhow, for me, at least, this makes some sense. Still am kindda excited about this new filter :lol:


plantbrain 12-03-2004 01:29 PM

I got a Via Aqua at 213 gph for 49$, their smaller versoin is 45$ and I think about 128gph or something.

When you get below a 20 gal, then the canisters are not that useful IME.

Tom Barr

aquaverde 12-10-2004 08:29 AM

I've tested my canisters and found the real flow rate to be half the advertised rate. Makes me wonder what these canisters are really doing.

AquaLung 12-23-2004 12:06 PM

Hey, SurWrathful, I just bought the Zoo Med yesterday. Looks like a neat little unit. You still like yours?

Paul Higashikawa 12-24-2004 07:47 PM

Yeah, mine is still doing fine. It really would be great to hear you and others who are using it on the planted tanks. Mine takes TONS of abuse from the turtle tank it's in. So, pretty soon I will have to clean this lil gadget :cry:


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