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Eheim Professional 5e 600t vs Eheim Professional 3 1200XLT vs Oase biomaster thermo 850

Essex Peter

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30 Jun 2021
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Essex
Hi Everyone,

New member here. I have often referred to ukaps for advice, but have finally joined. I apologise if my question has already been answered, and moderators can move my post to another thread if necessary.

I am soon to order a Oase Highline 400 aquarium (140cm x 50cm x 63 cm - 413 litres) for my mbuna cichlids. I have had some success with plants with these fish, but very much restricted to one or two species of plant.

I need a filter to go with the new tank, and want your opinions between the Eheim Professional 5e 600t, the Eheim Professional 3 1200XLT and the Oase biomaster thermo 850. (I am open to the idea of something else, as long as it is easy to combine with an inline heater)

I had previously leaned towards the Oase, but have seen a few comments on here and elsewhere about the noise. Perhaps it's a very small number of people, but it makes me hesitant nonetheless. The 5e 600t is considerably more expensive, which i have to consider. Seems like the 1200XLT might be the way to go.

So to help, here are my list of priorities, in order:

1) be very quiet - this is actually the biggest factor by far. The tank will be in our quiet living room away from the noise of the rest of the house. I can't afford to ruin this mini sanctuary in an otherwise crazy household.
2) filtration performance (mbuna cichlids are messy). Can it support a 413 litre tank on its own (flow rate? internal heater adequate? media capacity adequate?)? Or will I need a second filter, which will add more noise?
3) ease of maintenance/cleaning
4) reliability/longevity
5) future proofing - I will likely get back to a more traditional planted tank at some point
6) extra features
7) cost

Many thanks in advance

Peter
 
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Ian61

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26 Mar 2021
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Keswick
You may have come across my earlier comments on the Oase thermofilter. In short, I had an 850 which was unacceptably noisy for a living room and it purged air. I ‘downgraded’ to a 600 head which, unfortunately, is similarly noisy although has no air purge issues. At times we turn it off during periods of quiet in the living room as the noise is intrusive.
The filter is otherwise very efficient and user-friendly and Oase do seem to be helpful post-sales.In summary, I wouldn’t buy another if quiet operation is a priority.
 

Essex Peter

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30 Jun 2021
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Essex
You may have come across my earlier comments on the Oase thermofilter. In short, I had an 850 which was unacceptably noisy for a living room and it purged air. I ‘downgraded’ to a 600 head which, unfortunately, is similarly noisy although has no air purge issues. At times we turn it off during periods of quiet in the living room as the noise is intrusive.
The filter is otherwise very efficient and user-friendly and Oase do seem to be helpful post-sales.In summary, I wouldn’t buy another if quiet operation is a priority.
Thanks Ian. Yes I did come across your earlier comments. Thanks for posting them.
Does anyone happen to know if you have to use both intakes into the Eheim Professional 3 1200XLT? If I only connected one of the two intakes, would I experience any issues? I like the idea of two intakes - presumably it helps to remove water from two different areas of the tank, which must be good for dealing with dead spots. However, one of the benefits of the Highline 400 aquarium is that the intake into the filter comes directly from the base of the aquarium and through the cabinet, which reduces the amount of pipework on display.
 

arcturus

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6 May 2021
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Germany
Thanks Ian. Yes I did come across your earlier comments. Thanks for posting them.
Does anyone happen to know if you have to use both intakes into the Eheim Professional 3 1200XLT? If I only connected one of the two intakes, would I experience any issues? I like the idea of two intakes - presumably it helps to remove water from two different areas of the tank, which must be good for dealing with dead spots. However, one of the benefits of the Highline 400 aquarium is that the intake into the filter comes directly from the base of the aquarium and through the cabinet, which reduces the amount of pipework on display.
You can plug one of the intakes or use a T or Y junction to connect the two filter intakes to the built-in aquarium pipe. You will also need double tap connectors on the intake pipes.

You need to be particularly careful with this type of plumbing since the intake/bulkhead sits near bottom of the tank. This means that if there is a leak, you will end up with an empty tank in a short time. This is a reason why drilled tanks often use overflow boxes or intake pipes near the water line. Moreover, this design generates high water pressure in the intake line. But canister filters are designed to handle the pressure of water that is syphoned into the filter, which is significantly lower than the pressure of a bottom intake. So, you need to pay attention to the whole plumbing setup and to the filter seals due to the water pressure.
 

Essex Peter

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You can plug one of the intakes or use a T or Y junction to connect the two filter intakes to the built-in aquarium pipe. You will also need double tap connectors on the intake pipes.

You need to be particularly careful with this type of plumbing since the intake/bulkhead sits near bottom of the tank. This means that if there is a leak, you will end up with an empty tank in a short time. This is a reason why drilled tanks often use overflow boxes or intake pipes near the water line. Moreover, this design generates high water pressure in the intake line. But canister filters are designed to handle the pressure of water that is syphoned into the filter, which is significantly lower than the pressure of a bottom intake. So, you need to pay attention to the whole plumbing setup and to the filter seals due to the water pressure.

Thanks arcturus. Presumably Oase must believe the pressure on the external filter isn't an issue, or they wouldn't recommend using it with their own external filters? But I totally agree with you that I'll need to take extra care when adding my own plumbing to the mix. I've got a friend who is a professional plumber, so I'll probably ask him to look at it for me.
 

arcturus

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Thanks arcturus. Presumably Oase must believe the pressure on the external filter isn't an issue, or they wouldn't recommend using it with their own external filters? But I totally agree with you that I'll need to take extra care when adding my own plumbing to the mix. I've got a friend who is a professional plumber, so I'll probably ask him to look at it for me.
The pump head will need to handle the additional pressure, but this shouldn't be a concern. Your point of concern is the plumbing, because it will be subject to higher pressure than in a system with a syphon intake. At least you will need <double connector taps> so that you can easily detach the filter for maintenance. You should also reinforce the pipe connections with O-rings and plan the pipe routing so that you minimize the risk of an accidental disconnection. To understand the head pressure you will be dealing with, you can open the intake pipe into a bucket when this 400 Litre aquarium is filled up... this will demonstrate why you really want to minimize the risk of a leak ;)
 

Essex Peter

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The pump head will need to handle the additional pressure, but this shouldn't be a concern. Your point of concern is the plumbing, because it will be subject to higher pressure than in a system with a syphon intake. At least you will need <double connector taps> so that you can easily detach the filter for maintenance. You should also reinforce the pipe connections with O-rings and plan the pipe routing so that you minimize the risk of an accidental disconnection. To understand the head pressure you will be dealing with, you can open the intake pipe into a bucket when this 400 Litre aquarium is filled up... this will demonstrate why you really want to minimize the risk of a leak ;)

Thanks for the link arcturus. Where do they attach? Do I have filter>>tube>>double tap connector >> tube >>intake connection/tank ? What additional service do they provide? Do I order the size that is the same as the tubing (in this case 16mm/22mm (which I think is either out of stock or discontinued)
 

arcturus

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Thanks for the link arcturus. Where do they attach? Do I have filter>>tube>>double tap connector >> tube >>intake connection/tank ? What additional service do they provide? Do I order the size that is the same as the tubing (in this case 16mm/22mm (which I think is either out of stock or discontinued)
Yes, the order is correct. These taps have two valves and can be quickly separated in two pieces, similar to a “click-connection” between a garden hose and the nozzle/spray. They allow you to physically separate the hoses going into the filter from the hoses going into the tank. This greatly facilitates maintenance, especially with bulky and heavy filters like this Eheim, since you can separate the double tap and then remove the filter from the cabinet. Even if you decide not to use a double tap, you will need at least a valve placed after the built-in pipe on the bottom of the tank to cut the flow during filter maintenance and in case of a filter leak.

You would need 3x 16/22mm taps, i.e. with the same diameter as the hoses - one for each intake plus one for the outflow. You should find them on your LFS or online. Note that the Eheim 16/22 double taps are quite expensive (~25 EUR around here) but they are widely used and considered to be of good quality. You will find cheaper alternatives but consider that if the tap or valve fails you risk ending with 400 Litres of water outside the tank… Cheers!

ps: have a look at how they are used or
 
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Essex Peter

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Hi All,
I ended up buying the Oase Thermo 800. I knew it was a risk, based on some of the feedback on here (noise level). My own eperience has been good so far. Not as noisy as feared (I guess everyone has a different expectation and tolerance). To put in some context, the noise/hum is less than the powerhead I have added (TMC Reef Tide 16000s Wavemaker) - even when the powerhead is only at 40% (incidentally, the powerhead is excellent). My two previous tanks were (1) Sump and (2) FX6. My Oase Thermo 800 is (so far) less noisy than both, by quite some distance.

I can't compare to the Eheim, as i've never had one, but I thought in the spirit of balance I should feedback that my experience of the OAse has been good.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
These taps have two valves and can be quickly separated in two pieces, similar to a “click-connection” between a garden hose and the nozzle/spray. They allow you to physically separate the hoses going into the filter from the hoses going into the tank. This greatly facilitates maintenance, especially with bulky and heavy filters like this Eheim,
I'm a double tap fan as well.

cheers Darrel
 

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