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Filter Brand Preference - Your opinion counted

jcgoobee

Member
Joined
7 May 2009
Messages
68
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
Hello,

It appears that my Eden 501 (they call it Zoomed 501 in the United States) output rate is not as powerful as it claims on the spec. I notice that the debris on the substrate surface are often left alone and the water outflow doesn't produce adequate flow to deliver the CO2 properly. WIth the help of an external air pump, I have the situation under control but the presence of the air stone is not too appealing. If I can do without an air stone by increasing the filtration forum, I would love to. Hence I'm in the market of replacing my canister filter to a better one soon. My questions are as follow:

1. Among the brands of Fluval, Rena, Eheim and several others, what's your favorite and why? I heard that Fluval and Eheim are equally good, but really not sure as I get mixed messages from the internet so I'd rather to rely more on the expertise of this forum's contributors.

2. Money is relatively not a main concern to me, but spending for more than $600 for a ADA filter is definitely an overkill. I also want to steer away from any filters that are made in China, as their craftsmanship is relatively subpar. Don't get me wrong for being prejudice. I'm a Chinese but I'm simply stating the fact of their overall production quality for aquarium products.

3. My tank is a 32-litre in capacity, is there such a thing of overfiltering? When I talked to one of the owners of ADA USA's San Francisco shop, he said after a month that my tank is establish, I should change the water probably every two weeks instead of weekly. This ensure my filtration is fully cycled for biological fitration. Is this true? I thought, the more water changes, the better?

Thanks folks. Your opion is always appreciated.

Good day.

- James
 

Piemonster

Member
Joined
9 Jun 2008
Messages
148
Location
Aberdeen
I only own tetratecs myself (2 ex1200s and 1 ex700) and cannot fault them at all, they haven't missed a beat. Not sure on the availability of them in your part of the world though. From the opinions I have heard, eheim filters are held in much higher regard than fluvals, though the eheim ecco range are the exception to this (there was talk of them being manufactured by a subcontractor rather than eheim themselves).
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
Staff member
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,076
Location
Chicago, USA
Hi James,
No filter on the planet produces it's claimed output. That's a marketing strategy employed universally and the filters are tested without media and often without any pressure head, so it's basically just the rating of the filter's pump. This deception is regrettable, but as long as we know the truth we can carry on, simply follow the 10X rule of thumb and safely ignore the shortcomings of the filters. Whatever your tank size is simply multiply by 10 and get a filter rated at that multiplication factor.

Opinions will vary as far as filter brands. There are just as many people with horror stories with every brand. Eheim produces high quality components and are known for their quietness so if your tank will be mounted in an area where you will be sensitive to noise then this is a consideration despite their generally higher price. The Eheim filters also have their output rating even more optimistic than other brands. The rival brands such as Rena, Fluval, Tetratec and so forth produce good filters, perhaps with not as much attention to material quality at lower prices so if cost is a concern one can find satisfactory performance with these brands as well. Since you stated that cost is not an issue for you then the Eheim's price tag will not frighten you. If one had a large to very large tank then consider the separate pump and canister units such as Red Sea, Magnum, Iwaki and so forth since you have access to these products living in the USA.

For a 32 litre tank anything rated at 320 LPH or higher will do.

Filter bacterial colonies are not significantly dependent on water column populations, therefore I see no reason to link filter cycling with water changes. I suppose one can use any excuse to avoid performing a water change and that sounds like a pretty nifty excuse, except for the fact that it's an illusion.... I would stick with you initial suspicion. More water changes are always better, for both flora and fauna and the reasons have to do with organic forms of water pollution issues that the filter bacteria, regardless of their population, cannot address.

Cheers,
 

swackett

Member
Joined
29 May 2008
Messages
439
Location
Epsom, Surrey
Hi James,

I've had both fluval and Eheim filters. I bought an Eheim 2324 thermo filter for my 70l Litre tank and its excellent, absolutely quiet (in fact once I forgot to switch it on after a water change and did not realise for a while as I am used to it being so quiet I thought it was on!).

I used to have fluval 305 on the 240 litre tank in lounge but found it a bit noisy, so I bought an Eheim and again Its almost silent, there is a slight humming, but nothing notable, which is not bad for a stated output of 1850lph and much quieter than the fluval.

I also have found the build quility of eheim filters is excellent, however they do cost a bit more than brands such as fluval, I for one will only buy eheims now.

Hope this helps

Steve.
 

AdAndrews

Member
Joined
22 Feb 2009
Messages
1,125
Location
Kidderminster, Worcs
im going for a tetratec ex600 on my 35litre after lots of research to check it was a good filter, just need to save some money up first :mad:
 

amy4342

Member
Joined
22 May 2008
Messages
338
Hi James

I use an Eheim 2128 (thermo version) on my 120l and a Fluval 105 on my 25l tank. I love them both and personally have no preference over either, although I love the thermofilters because there is no need for a heater in the tank, which looks much better.
 

jcgoobee

Member
Thread starter
Joined
7 May 2009
Messages
68
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
Nick16 said:
tetratecs for me again.

eheims are fine, but avoid the thermo and especially ecco filters.

Hi Nick,

Is there any particular reasons that you don't like about Eheim's Ecco version? I'm just wondering....

- James
 

jcgoobee

Member
Thread starter
Joined
7 May 2009
Messages
68
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
ceg4048 said:
Hi James,
No filter on the planet produces it's claimed output. That's a marketing strategy employed universally and the filters are tested without media and often without any pressure head, so it's basically just the rating of the filter's pump. This deception is regrettable, but as long as we know the truth we can carry on, simply follow the 10X rule of thumb and safely ignore the shortcomings of the filters. Whatever your tank size is simply multiply by 10 and get a filter rated at that multiplication factor.

Opinions will vary as far as filter brands. There are just as many people with horror stories with every brand. Eheim produces high quality components and are known for their quietness so if your tank will be mounted in an area where you will be sensitive to noise then this is a consideration despite their generally higher price. The Eheim filters also have their output rating even more optimistic than other brands. The rival brands such as Rena, Fluval, Tetratec and so forth produce good filters, perhaps with not as much attention to material quality at lower prices so if cost is a concern one can find satisfactory performance with these brands as well. Since you stated that cost is not an issue for you then the Eheim's price tag will not frighten you. If one had a large to very large tank then consider the separate pump and canister units such as Red Sea, Magnum, Iwaki and so forth since you have access to these products living in the USA.

For a 32 litre tank anything rated at 320 LPH or higher will do.

Filter bacterial colonies are not significantly dependent on water column populations, therefore I see no reason to link filter cycling with water changes. I suppose one can use any excuse to avoid performing a water change and that sounds like a pretty nifty excuse, except for the fact that it's an illusion.... I would stick with you initial suspicion. More water changes are always better, for both flora and fauna and the reasons have to do with organic forms of water pollution issues that the filter bacteria, regardless of their population, cannot address.

Cheers,

Hi ceg4048,

I apologize for not properly addressing you as I only have your alias noted in this forum, but thanks so much for taking the time to lay out the facts and good-to-know items before my initial purchase. I did go to two different pet shops (both chains, Petsmart and Petco) and ask for their opinion. I was unable to get much as far as which one is better than the other as they told me that they're pretty much the same.

After reading your post, among with the rest of the feedback, it appears that Eheim is quite reputable with its performance and build quality. This helps a lot for me, to narrow down my further research. I notice there are several editions available in the Eheim brand, ranging from classic, to Ecco, and to Pro. All of their prices are way below ADA's ES series. So it appears to be a logical choice to me.

At this stage, I will need more feedback from the Gurus here (you included, of course), to provide some opinion of which Eheim model maybe the best choice. I just hate the fact that I have to start all over the filter cycling process if I happen to choose a bad one. I noticed that the ADA's NA Gallery in Niigata, has those Eheim classic filters installed for their smaller tanks. I wonder if they are reliable, or there's something better in that size.

Thanks again for helping me out.

Regards.
 

jcgoobee

Member
Thread starter
Joined
7 May 2009
Messages
68
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
amy4342 said:
Hi James

I use an Eheim 2128 (thermo version) on my 120l and a Fluval 105 on my 25l tank. I love them both and personally have no preference over either, although I love the thermofilters because there is no need for a heater in the tank, which looks much better.

Hello Amy,

Thanks for replying. I would LOVE the idea of not having a heater placed in the tank as my 32-litre is small enough and a filter with built-in heater sounds like a great choice. The situation is, the Eheim 2128 is gigantic. If I place that filter next to (or beneath) my tank, my wife will definitely divorce me. :(

I noticed that the Fluval 205 is the only, lowest end, and smallest of Fluval canister that I can find in the U.S. Also, the folks in this forum don't seem to favor much of the Fluval as opposed to the Eheim, so I suppose Eheim is a better choice for me at this point. I just need to figure out which model will perform well, in relations to its compact size. Thanks again, Amy.
 

jcgoobee

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Thread starter
Joined
7 May 2009
Messages
68
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
swackett said:
Hi James,

I've had both fluval and Eheim filters. I bought an Eheim 2324 thermo filter for my 70l Litre tank and its excellent, absolutely quiet (in fact once I forgot to switch it on after a water change and did not realise for a while as I am used to it being so quiet I thought it was on!).

I used to have fluval 305 on the 240 litre tank in lounge but found it a bit noisy, so I bought an Eheim and again Its almost silent, there is a slight humming, but nothing notable, which is not bad for a stated output of 1850lph and much quieter than the fluval.

I also have found the build quility of eheim filters is excellent, however they do cost a bit more than brands such as fluval, I for one will only buy eheims now.

Hope this helps

Steve.

Hello Steve,

I appreciate the feedback, and as many have suggested, that Eheim is a better choice over Fluval. Therefore, my choice is narrowed down to which model of Eheim will work for me. I'm debating between the Classic and Ecco models, as their sizes are quite compact. I place my tank on the countertop, between the kitchen and the living room, and I don't have a aquarium cabinet for storing my gear. Therefore, I try to find a filter which is visually less instrusive so that my wife will not cut my hobby budget. :D

Thanks again, Steve.
 

bazz

Member
Joined
24 Jan 2009
Messages
136
Location
Lincoln
hi steve,
i run a eheim ecco pro 130 on 30 liter tank, it is on the floor whilst the tank is also on the kitchen top. the first one i received leaked and had to send it back but the replacement has been running for 6 months now with no problems at all. it does the job perfectly and is little over 12 inches tall incuding the taps, i'm well chuffed!
cheers,
bazz!
 

swackett

Member
Joined
29 May 2008
Messages
439
Location
Epsom, Surrey
Hi James,

If you like the idea of an eheim thermo filter then I guess you have the choice of the professonal series and professional 2 series for your 32l tank.

With the professional series you have the 2322 (500lph output) or the 2324 (700lph output) thermo filters
http://www.eheim.com/base/eheim/inhalte/index01b8.html?key=liniendetail_27542_ehen

With the professional 2 series you have 2126 (950lph) and 2128 (1050lph)
http://www.eheim.com/base/eheim/inhalte/index8e81.html?key=liniendetail_27555_ehen


I have the 2324 on my 70l Tank which has been running now for over a year with no probs and is silent.

Cheers
 

a1Matt

Member
Joined
10 Mar 2008
Messages
2,497
Location
Bromley
My two pence worth... I would stay away from the eheim ecco range. I owned one once and from the perspective of build quality it was easily the worse filter I have ever used.
 

jcgoobee

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Thread starter
Joined
7 May 2009
Messages
68
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
a1Matt said:
My two pence worth... I would stay away from the eheim ecco range. I owned one once and from the perspective of build quality it was easily the worse filter I have ever used.

Hi Matt,

Thanks for pointing out the flaw for the Ecco series. I noticed that the Eccos are the latest addition to their product line so I thought they would be more robust. Anyway, thanks for the feedback.
 

Garuf

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2007
Messages
5,005
Location
Copenhagen
The ecco's have always been regarded as gutless cousins of the classics. They're not as good as a tetratec in my opinion but I've only ever used the one.
Eheim will treat you well but it's probably best to get a classic as they're tried and tested.
 

jcgoobee

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Thread starter
Joined
7 May 2009
Messages
68
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
Garuf said:
The ecco's have always been regarded as gutless cousins of the classics. They're not as good as a tetratec in my opinion but I've only ever used the one.
Eheim will treat you well but it's probably best to get a classic as they're tried and tested.

I hear you, Garuf. I tend to agree with you at some point that if a particular brand of product line has been in the market for a long while, such as the Eheim classic, and it has earned a good reputation, it makes sense to go with it as we know that it's been working quite well for many aquarists.

So, if I wish to go with the classic model, which one will you folks recommend? I heard about the 2232 is reasonably good in relations to its size and performance ratio. Do you folks have any issues with it? or there's something better, in about the same size that you can recommend?

Thanks!
 

jcgoobee

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Thread starter
Joined
7 May 2009
Messages
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Location
Sunnyvale, CA
a1Matt said:
My two pence worth... I would stay away from the eheim ecco range. I owned one once and from the perspective of build quality it was easily the worse filter I have ever used.

Hi Matt,

You're among the many folks here who haven't got good experience with the Ecco series, so I will definitely steering away from it. Thanks for the feedback. :)
 

swackett

Member
Joined
29 May 2008
Messages
439
Location
Epsom, Surrey
I looked at getting 2322 and ended up with the 2324 the reasons being;

1. The 2324 comes with all the media and is "Ready to run" where as the 2322 did not, so if I had bought the 2322 plus media it would have cost more than the 2324
2. The 2324 has an extra basket in the filter and so slightly more media which helps with water cleanliness/quality
3. 2324 had a better lph rating than the 2322.

Basically for me the 2322 was more money and offered less than the 2324 so opted for the latter. Not sure on how its priced in the US though!

Hope this helps a bit

Steve
 

Toadeh

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Joined
4 May 2009
Messages
44
Location
N.Wales (Buckley)
Thought I would add, I've got an Ecco 300 running. Has been for nearly 2 months now with no problems. Seems solid, is quiet and works for what I want to do with it. As the others have said, a waking great filter next to the tank is good for the fish and plants but bad for the wife/girlfriend :) hence I went for the ecco cause it fitted in my cabinet.
 

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