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Modern External filter design

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17 Mar 2012
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I’ve read quite a bit about folks with leaking external filters, noisy filters etc and wondered what most folks experience of them are? Do they work as well as expected, are they easy to clean?
As an example, I bought a sera 130UV a while back and it seemed pretty good. Not as quiet as my Tetra but that’s exceptionally quiet. One day though I left the cleaning cycle a bit too long and found the whole inside of the filter was really messy. As the muck built up it obviously started to bypass the way the water normally flows and made a right mess of my biological media. This hadn’t happened before but I obviously left it too long. The way the trays are arranged with their “water pipes” can only be a guide as they aren’t sealed, just slotted together. I’ve managed to reduce the noise of my Eheim Classic so I’ve started using that instead. It’s not impossible for the water to bypass the media in this more simple design but it should be a bit better. I could improve it by removing the media container but it’s a convenient feature.
Have manufacturers tried to be too clever with their external filter designs? Surely the most efficient system is the simplest?
 

Zeus.

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I’ve read quite a bit about folks with leaking external filters, noisy filters etc and wondered what most folks experience of them are? Do they work as well as expected, are they easy to clean?
As an example, I bought a sera 130UV a while back and it seemed pretty good. Not as quiet as my Tetra but that’s exceptionally quiet. One day though I left the cleaning cycle a bit too long and found the whole inside of the filter was really messy. As the muck built up it obviously started to bypass the way the water normally flows and made a right mess of my biological media. This hadn’t happened before but I obviously left it too long. The way the trays are arranged with their “water pipes” can only be a guide as they aren’t sealed, just slotted together. I’ve managed to reduce the noise of my Eheim Classic so I’ve started using that instead. It’s not impossible for the water to bypass the media in this more simple design but it should be a bit better. I could improve it by removing the media container but it’s a convenient feature.
Have manufacturers tried to be too clever with their external filter designs? Surely the most efficient system is the simplest?

IDD, Coarse and medium filter media and let the plants roots take care of the Biological filtration bio media for fluval 305
 

Aqua sobriquet

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I’ve just given my Eheim Classic 250 a clean and was surprised by the amount of bypass. When I had one of these years ago they didn’t come with a media basket and I don't think I ever had this problem. I’ve just ordered a couple of lattice screens so next time it needs a clean I’ll try it without the basket and see how that works. I’m not over bothered by any of this, just interested to see if there’s any difference. I’ll also probably try out some “Bio Cube” at the same time. :)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
When I had one of these years ago they didn’t come with a media basket
I don't use the media baskets. I use the <"bottom plastic lattice">, but I just tip the <"floating cell media">, <"coco-pops etc"> in. If I have a <"PPI10 sponge disc"> I put it on the lattice, but if I don't have a sponge, I'm not too bothered.

I have a <"big sponge block on the filter intake">, which means that even after 6 months the <"filter media is pretty clean">.

cheers Darrel
 

Aqua sobriquet

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Those Eheim coarse filters are very easy to clean, I just shook them under a stream of running tap water a couple of times and all the muck flew out.
 

Mark Nicholls

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My opinion is that most newer models are gimmicks and are recipes for disaster! Every connector is a potential leak and every compartment or attachment reduces flow. Most "features" are gimmicks, designed to sell new products.
I find that the more basic a filter is, the more reliable it is. My filter of choice for a smaller tank is the APS EF150 which is as basic as it can get being a bucket with hose attached! All I use is the 3 stock sponges, the biomedia and a handful of Alder cones. There is NO WAY I would be tempted to buy an allsinging-alldancing model such as the latest Fluval as their internals are to complicated and there's too many leak points.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
My opinion is that most newer models are gimmicks and are recipes for disaster! Every connector is a potential leak and every compartment or attachment reduces flow. Most "features" are gimmicks, designed to sell new products.
I find that the more basic a filter is, the more reliable it is.
I think quite a few of us are <"of that opinion">.
which is as basic as it can get being a bucket with hose attached!
Have you been <"listening to Clive">?
There is NO WAY I would be tempted to buy an allsinging-alldancing model such as the latest Fluval as their internals are to complicated and there's too many leak points.
<"Same for me">, less is definitely more.

cheers Darrel
 

Ivan Stoyanov

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I'm waiting for my oase biomaster 850 and more I read more I starting to think to left him as he is with so much mechanical filtration in him. I though to remove all and put in pumice with purigen on top and left mechanical only for pre-filter, but why?
 

Zeus.

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There is NO WAY I would be tempted to buy an allsinging-alldancing model such as the latest Fluval as their internals are to complicated and there's too many leak points.

Yet I have a Fluval FX6 and for all its faults in complexity and ribbed 25mm tubing, its still does pack a decent filter/output for the price IMO
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
remove all and put in pumice with purigen on top and left mechanical only for pre-filter, but why?
It is just a flow and <"dissolved oxygen issue"> really. Filter maintenance is a lot easier with a pre-filter.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with having mechanical filtration inside the filter body, as long as you are <"meticulous in removing it before it becomes clogged">. As flow slows you potentially run into issues with <"low oxygen levels">.

A lot of forum discussion of, and <"advertising blurb about, filter media"> looks upon anaerobic denitrification of nitrate (NO3-) in the filter as a good idea. I can tell you unequivocally <"it isn't a good idea"> and that in <"a planted aquarium"> you have the advantages of <"plant/microbe nitrification">, which is a lot more effective and <"reduces levels of all forms of fixed nitrogen">, including NO3-.

cheers Darrel
 

Wookii

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I’ll put my neck on the line and be the lone voice in support for the ‘bells and whistles’ filters.

To me a filter with a easily removable external prefilter is a godsend for filter maintenance.

Likewise the inclusion of a heater so that I don’t have to include one in the tank, or rely on a flaky in-line one (adding even more potential leak points) is a real asset too.

I agree fundamentally that an external filter is a pump in a bucket, but I don’t think that additional features are always gimmicks if they actually work well to make life easier for the owner.
 
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Zeus.

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So you think better to remove all mechanical inside the filter and left only on pre-filter, the flow for sure will be better:)
or just clean the filter weekly, which is what I do with FX6 on hightech 500Litre. If the sponges are clean when you clean it just extended the cleaning period.
 

zozo

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Have manufacturers tried to be too clever with their external filter designs?

Not with the filter design, it's fake development and clever marketing to make people buy it. And to have a healthy competition with other manufacturers.. And this concerns whatever product you can think of, Cars, cellphones, laptops, all could simply be looking the same it would not differ in functionality or purpose.

But, we are living in an era with a consumption society. And if you want a larger crowd and most of them to consume the most as possible you also have to address the people that are always looking for something different. I guess this is driven by people's competitive nature to want something better looking or allegedly better functioning than what the other has.
It's a form of Mass Psychology... :nailbiting:

Therefore never read beauty magazines, they only make you feel ugly. ;) I'm too sexy for your filter.
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
So you think better to remove all mechanical inside the filter and left only on pre-filter, the flow for sure will be better
That is what I do. I can't always maintain the tanks and I use <"really substantial foam blocks"> as a pre-filter.
To me a filter with a easily removable external prefilter is a godsend for filter maintenance.....Likewise the inclusion of a heater
Yes I'd agree with that, for most people that is well worth trading for an extra set of gaskets. I just want people to use a pre-filter, for me I can hide it (and the heater) in the tank.
or just clean the filter weekly,
Same applies, if you are happy doing that then it is a good option.

cheers Darrel
 

Paulus

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Looking for a new/upgrade filter here for the new tank.
Now still using the eheim classic 2217.
But looking for an upgrade makes you wonder, why all these weird options on filters these days?
Flow bypasses, wifi connections etc.....

I just want a filter that has a good flow, room for filtermedia, easy maintenance, maybe an inline heater and quiet. Not all the other gimmick stuff :p
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
But looking for an upgrade makes you wonder, why all these weird options on filters these days?
Flow bypasses, wifi connections etc.....
Yes, <"WiFi (or BlueTooth)"> connectivity is something else I don't want with filters or lights.
I just want a filter that has a good flow, room for filtermedia, easy maintenance, maybe an inline heater and quiet. Not all the other gimmick stuff
Hopefully enough people will think that and a manufacturer <"will actually produce that sort of filter">.

cheers Darrel
 

john dory

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I’ll put my neck on the line and be the lone voice in support for the ‘bells and whistles’ filters.

To me a filter with a easily removable external prefilter is a godsend for filter maintenance.

Likewise the inclusion of a heater so that I don’t have to include one in the tank, or rely on a flaky in-line one (adding even more potential leak points) is a real asset too.

I agree fundamentally that an external filter is a pump in a bucket, but I don’t think that additional features are always gimmicks if they actually work well to make life easier for the owner.
Whole heartedly agree.
Never had any problems with filters,in the 35 years I've been keeping fish..but the biomaster 600t,trumps anything I've had,in the past.
The ease of maintenance,plus the inbuilt heater are 2 features I could no longer be without.
 

Zeus.

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Inline heaters and prefilters are great, however its another two joints and pipe fittings and getting them all in the cabinet is a PITA. So filter thats does ticks many boxes.
Yes, <"WiFi (or BlueTooth)"> connectivity is something else I don't want with filters or lights.

But nice to have IMO- RJ45 socket would be my preference giving rpm of motor and amps being drawn would be nice 🤣, OTT but has its uses 😉
 

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