This compact, lightweight, alongside tank multi-purpose canister filter is a true workhorse. Suitable for mechanical and chemical filtration, its versatile systems design also allows you to connect the output to a BIO-Wheel PRO for wet/dry biological filtration if desired. Having purchased three Magnum 350's over a 10 year period, we have used ours primarily for mechanical aquarium filtration or cleaning purposes in various ways over the years.
How We Used Our Magnum 350's
- The first Magnum 350 we purchased in 1989 came with a plastic hanger, allowing the unit to be hung on the tank. We used this unit for six years to clean 16-55 gallon aquariums we had for our fish collecting business, until we flat wore it out and bought the second one.
- The second unit was used in the same way for the remaining three years of our fish business, and after closing down in 1999, we installed it as a pre-filter and water pump to run our DIY carbon tube filtration system set up we built for our 55 gallon fish-only tank, which we ran for two years.
- In 2000 our third Magnum 350 was installed on what became, and is to date (11/03) our 55-gallon semi-reef tank, being used in combination with a protein skimmer at the other end of the tank.
Pros, Cons, and Usage Tips
Pro: The easy to clean, reusable micron pleat cartridge collects microscopic sized particles. We keep three cartridges on hand for quick changes; one is in the canister, one is being cleaned, and the other has been cleaned, dried and ready to reuse when needed.
Con: The cartridge gets dirty fairly fast, which diminishes the canister's water flow rate greatly. Therefore, the cartridge needs to be changed frequently. For our system load, we change it every 4 days.
Pro: The handy attachable Power Kleen Gravel Washer fits all Magnums, including the H.O.T. model. This innovative gravel siphon cleaning accessory tool quickly slips right on to the filter's water intake tube inside the aquarium, which you can even do when the canister is running, make sure all the air is out of the hose line. Only the debris in the gravel and the dirty water is sucked up into the tube, cleaned through the micron pleat cartridge (and other media such as carbon if you desire to use it), and is then pumped back into the aquarium. This eliminates what is usually a messy task, as well as avoids the need to replace the aquarium water like you have to do when using a manual type siphon gravel cleaning tool. No extra water is needed, or wasted!
Con: The micron cartridge can get dirty during tank cleanings, which causes the water siphon flow to slow down substantially before the cleaning task is done. If this happens just turn off the canister, change the cartridge (have extras on hand like we do), and away you go again. Just repeat the process until the cleaning is complete, then do your water change.
Pro: The double quick-disconnect valves can be purchased separately, or with the Deluxe package. Installing these valves to the hose lines makes maintenance of the canister a much faster, easier, and drier task. As they say, the easier a job is to do, the more often you will do it. We found this to be true after we installed these values, because now we don't put off changing the cartridges.
Pro: Marineland or Aquaria, Inc. sells every single piece that Magnums are made of, so replacement of parts for repairs is easy.
Pro: All parts, such as the micron cartridge, filter sleeve, carbon/media container, etc., as well as other accessories can be purchased separately.
Con: Sometimes the lid doesn't align exactly right to seal correctly. This allows outside air to get sucked in which causes the water level in the canister to decrease gradually, and noise results from the air pocket that forms inside. To fix this problem just turn off the canister, let it refill with the tank water by gravity, then open and reseat the lid.
Con: If gravel or sand particles get into the bottom of the canister it damages the impeller magnet, which results in the unit to start making noise. If this happens, you'll need to buy a replacement impeller.
The Bottom Line: Aside from an occasional lid alignment problem when sealing the canister, we have been extremely happy with this filter and feel we have gotten our money's worth out of each one we have purchased!