I recently setup my UNS 30C using a canister filter. Since my BioMaster Thermo 250 has been working great with my UNS 60U, I purchased the OASE FiltoSmart Thermo 100 for my cube. Unfortunately, it is nowhere near as user friendly as the 250. No priming pump makes the 100 exceptionally difficult to start up since it has trouble syphoning the water in a typical setup. I have mine currently behind the aquarium as shown in the picture; however, I tried it lower as well in my previous attempts to get it working.

UNS 30C Startup

I was able to start it up in my initial setup by simply getting as much water into the canister before plugging it in, combined with flooding the intake hose as much as possible. My initial setup didn’t have a proper intake pipe, as shown in another picture, it was just the hose until my intake lily pipe for the nano cube came in. That startup worked fine until I had to stop the filter for a week of algae treatment. This was probably a month into the setup.

Once the treatment was done; however, the filter refused to pull through the water as it had in my prior start and stops. I thought the buildup in the pipes may have prevented a successful siphon, so I cleaned the hoses and my new lily pipes. But still no luck. I tried multiple things with no success, it would almost start and then just stop. I did find some help on YouTube where the answer was to suck on the outlet until the water came through and a siphon was established… but since sucking on aquarium hoses isn’t my thing, I MacGyvered a solution.

Pump Kickstart of Canister Filter

I took a pump used for cleanups, my OASE Indoor Aquatics OptiMax 250, and connected the outlet to my inlet hosing (with the Lily pipe removed) as shown in the picture above. I covered the intake of the pump with a siphon cap to make sure no one got sucked into the kick-starter. I turned on the canister filter, which was still failing to pull in the water, then I turned on my water pump…

Yes, it worked. It ended up pushing a lot of air within the filter which eventually cleared. The pump was enough to kick start the siphon which allowed the Thermo 100’s impeller to maintain it. I was then able to connect up the inlet Lily pipe and the setup is good to go.