Multistage aquarium canister filters at a great hobby-friendly value
Provides quiet, efficient filtration for fresh and saltwater aquariums
Single valve disconnect & priming pump ease routine maintenance
Smartly priced canister filter keeps outstanding multistage filtration affordable. AquaTop CF Series Canister Filter is a popular choice for saltwater and freshwater aquarists thanks to its hobby-friendly features and attractive price point. Single valve disconnect and priming pump allows for convenient routine maintenance and straight forward priming and start up of canister filter.
AquaTop CF Series Canister Filter boasts very quiet, efficient performance and features two models with integrated UV sterilization to eradicate unwanted algae and harmful disease causing pathogens (CF-400UV & CF-500UV). Each CF Canister Filter includes 3 Fine Filter Pads and 1 Coarse Filter Sponge for mechanical filtration.* CE Listed. For freshwater or saltwater aquarium use. Replacement media sold separately.
How the CF Canister Filter Works
Unfiltered aquarium water comes into the CF Canister Filter via the Inlet/Intake Line and passes by the UV sterilizing bulb first (the CF-300 does NOT come with a UV sterilizer but assembles and filters in the exact same manner as the CF-400UV and CF-500UV). The water moves down the stack of vertical cylinder cutouts and to the bottom of the CF unit. The water is then pushed up through the media filter compartments, the bottom compartment first, the middle compartment second, and the top compartment third. The filtered aquarium water then returns from the CF canister and back into the aquarium via the outlet/return line.
Remove CF Canister Filter from the AquaTop Box and set the extras aside. Face the canister unit toward yourself with the power cord running out the back.
To remove the Barrelhead, you must first unhinge carefully the clips that are in front and back of the unit. Next, unhinge the clips that are to the left and right of the unit. These two clips are attached to the Barrelhead. Remove the Barrelhead by pulling it up vertically (be careful of the UV sterilizing bulb when removing or securing the Barrelhead on the CF-400UV & CF-500UV).
Remove all filter compartments. Note how the filter compartments are stacked to support the UV sterilizing bulb. The vertical cylinder cutouts of the filter compartments are to be stacked one on top of another and act as a sheath for the UV sterilizing bulb.
Rinse all filtration compartments and all filtrations media: Poly-Fiber Filter Pad(s), Sponge Filter, and Bio-Media. Important: Rinse the Carbon until the run-off water is clear. The carbon may take a few minutes to rinse clear.
Rinse out the bottom portion of the CF unit.
Stack the filtration compartments from the bottom up. The bottom/first compartment should receive the Sponge Filter on the bottom with a Poly-Fiber Filter on the top. The middle/second compartment should receive a Poly-Fiber Filter on the bottom with the carbon on top. The top/third compartment should receive a Poly-Fiber Filter on the bottom with bio-balls or ceramic rings on top. The top/third compartment receives the Filter Compartment Cover.
The Barrelhead goes back on top (be careful of the UV sterilizing Bulb). The clips attached to the Barrelhead must be hinged into place first (give a light downward push on the Barrelhead to engage the bottom half of the unit). Next the clips attached to the bottom portion of the unit must be hinged into place.
To secure the Input and Output Valve, you must pull up on the lever located between the Input and Output Nozzles. Next, insert the valve into the designated area on top of the Barrelhead. Push into place firmly and press lever down. The Inlet and Outlet Valve is not open and secured to the canister filter.
Slip the Tubing over the Nozzles located on top of the Inlet and Outlet Valve. Slip the tubing on until it can go down no further. Next, turn the Fasteners located at the base of the nozzles, until they have covered the tubing. The two Fasteners secure the tubing by crimping them down onto the Nozzles for a watertight effect. Finally, give a slight tug on the tubing to see if they are attached well.
Next, assemble the Intake and Return Lines and hang on the aquarium walls where desired. Secure the two items with the provided suction cups and clips. These items are disassembled in the white box that comes with the CF Canister Filter.
Place the CF Canister Filter (with attached/secured tubing) where desired. Cut vinyl tubing to appropriate lengths and attach to the appropriate assembled Input and Output Fittings. The Outlet line running from the canister filter will attach to the horizontally mounted Spray Bar. The Inlet line running from the canister filter will attach to the vertically mounted Inlet Bar that has the Inlet Cover.
Before plugging in your CF Canister Filter, you must fill it with water using the Prime Pump. The Prime Pump fills the canister filter and tubing by creating a gravity-fed siphon. The Prime Pump is a round button located on the top of the Barrelhead. Your aquarium must be filled with water to do this. With a filled aquarium, compress and depress the Prime Pump to remove air from the canister filter and to draw in water into the canister filter. Make sure all Inlet Fitting Connections are completely sealed and airtight in order to start the siphon. Once water is present in the filter and in the tubing, you are ready to go.
Check for leaks. If there are none, plug in the CF Canister Filter.
Check for leaks again. If there are none, enjoy the use of your CF Canister Filter.
AquaTop recommends regular maintenance to keep the CF Series Canister Filter running at maximum efficiency.
Mechanical Filtration - When Filter Pads and/or Poly-Fiber contain debris, clean or replace.
Chemical Filtration - When activated carbon is exhausted, replace. This usually happens within 30-45 days depending on the bio-load of your aquarium.
Biological Filtration - When ceramic spheres and clusters become laden with debris, rinse with clean aquarium water. This can be done in a medium size container with water from the aquarium. AquaTop does not recommend exposing cultured biological media to air for prolonged periods of time. This can kill off a great percentage of the existing bacterial colonies.
Cleaning the Quartz Sleeve - This should be done at a minimum every time the UV Bulb is replaced. Please reference "Bulb Replacement" below for uninstalling the UV Quartz Sleeve. AquaTop recommends soaking the Quartz Sleeve in a water and vinegar solution to help remove the deposits that may be impeding the ability of the UV light penetrating into the water column.
NOTE: Never replace the UV Bulb when the unit is plugged in or has power. After 6-9 months of use, AquaTop strongly recommends replacing the UV Bulb for maximum efficiency.
Loosen Bolt securing Quartz Tube that covers UV Lamp.
Turn Quartz Tube until it is free.
Lift Quartz Tube to expose UV Lamp.
Lift UV Lamp and replace.
Turn Quartz Tube that covers UV Lamp until the ridges line up with the gap in Barrelhead.
Aquarium canister filters boost exceptional filtering capacity. However, did you know they are also extremely customizable? Learn how to customize your filter to remedy specific water quality concerns.
Whether you're setting up a larger aquarium or simply want to upgrade your existing filter, the versatile and reliable nature of a canister filter makes it a great choice. Use the following chart to determine which canister filter is right for you.
A canister filter is a sealed container filled with various filter media. The principle advantage of canister filters over power filters is their roomy media baskets which can be filled with a variety of filter media to create custom filtration.
Quiet, convenient canister filters are inconspicuously located under your aquarium. All the canister filters we offer are customizable, and can hold a large amount of media (mechanical, chemical, and biological) in varying combinations.
Please note: Return of electrical equipment to Drs. Foster & Smith for exchange or refund is limited to 60 days from the date of purchase. Beyond 60 days, please contact the manufacturer for repair or replacement as covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
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