New Filter for 240L Aquarium

Discussion in 'Filters, Filtration and Pumps' started by swackett, 16 Jun 2008.

  1. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    Hi,

    I have a 240l Roma Aquarium and still have the fluval 305 external filter that came with it. I am looking to upgrade to Eheim pro 3e 2076 or equivalent to boost the flow rate as I believe the low flow rate is causing dead spots as so encouraging algae growth.

    Does anyone have any experience with this filter? Or can anyone recommend another filter with a high enough flow rate.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  2. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    I have a 305 on a 235litre.. had one for years and years, amazing bits of kit.

    Id stick with it. Its plenty big enough.

    If you have dead spots due to scaping, then put in a powerhead.. no matter how big the filter is, youre always going to have deadspots somewhere.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    I have the regular 3 but not the newer 3e. The original 3, such as the 2080 works fine and is quiet. Like all filters it only delivers half of it's rated throughput when filled with biomedia and attached to CO2 diffusers etc, but this is normal and is taken into account by the 10X rule.

    What irritates me about the new 3e is the feature set which is introduced by the fact that it's a "smart" filter. This is marketed as if this filter were some sort of cruise missile. Take a look at the marketing hype below and see if there is anything even remotely useful for your tank, fish or for plants:

    1 Output Control - maintains constant set output automatically, adjusting for filter media blocking
    2 Boost Function - by simply pressing a button the filter switches to maximum turbo filtration
    3 Flow Regulator - finger tip control of the flow rate.
    4 Service Check - at the touch of a button the filter calculates the time remaining till the next cleaning interval. (whoop-ti-doo)
    5 Pulse - electronically controlled alternating flow rate creating a wave like effect.
    6 Self Test - automatic testing and removal of trapped air

    Now, do we really need a "smart" filter? Have a look at the filter specifications which have a direct impact on the health of your tank and compare this 3e to the less sexy 3:

    Parameter_________________3e (2076)________________3 (2080)
    Pump Output:.......................1650 ltr.......................1700 ltr
    Delivery Head:......................2.4m..........................2.8m
    Filter Volume:.........................6,6l (6 + 0,6) Prefilter ...12 ltr + 1.5 (pre-filter)
    Power Consumption:................10-35 w......................45 w
    Dimensions:...........................474 x 264 x 264. ..........567 x 330 x 330
    Price....................................£170..........................£190

    Look at the fact that the 2080 has almost twice the filtration capacity at a stronger delivery head for only £20 more. Yes, it costs you more to fill it with biomedia, and yes the power consumption is 30% higher but you would expect that. This extra capacity is what removes ammonia. Unless the dimensions don't fit your cabinet, I can think of no reason whatsoever to choose the 3e over the 3. Instead of meeting the challenge of the FX5 (with it's superior flow rate) Eheim has chosen to wow us with high tech features like "wave pulse". It would have been better if they had just put a stronger pump in the head, wouldn't it? I note that the 2078 does have a higher throughput but not enough that you will see much of a difference, and it still has less capacity than the 2080.

    The FX5 has all of these beat on throughput at about 2300 LPH, however there may be some reliability issues. I don't own a FX5 so I can't comment on the reliability or the ergonomics, but if you are looking at raw throughput you might want to consider it.


    Cheers,
     
  4. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    West Midlands UK
    I have to agree with Matt, in my experience flow pumps and power heads do a much better job of preventing dead spots than overpowered filtration can, so long as you can stand the aesthetics of all the pumps. The FX5, and other filters with double outlets, I should think do a slightly better job of this than ones with only a single outlet though, as you can position the 2nd outlet to continue the 'circuit'.

    Myself though I am using a filter rated for a slightly larger tank than mine (250litres, on a 180 litre tank) that has a very large filter volume (7 litres), and then a Fluval 2 (I want to swap this for a powerhead and prefilter (need prefiltering as I keep cherry shrimp in there) at some point) at the opposite end continuing the 'circuit'. I get very little algae growth, and have NEVER had BGA.

    Ade
     
  5. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    Thanks for the quick replies,

    I assume by the posts that it just as important to go for a filter with a large capacity as well as flow output to help reduce ammonia which causes Algae.

    Ceg, what size tank do you use your 2080 on and is it the only filter on that tank?

    Cheers
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    I use two 2180 thermofilters on a 600L and I still want more flow. :wideyed: Strapping powerheads to the insides of the aquarium like some kind of rocket pack is not my cup of tea so I want to add an FX5 to get better flow and more filtration. Filters with higher flow generally have higher capacity and that is a good thing. The best condition is to have a filter with a strong throughput and that has plenty of room for biofiltration. Since we know that NH4 causes algae our priority should be to remove as much as we can, as quickly as we can. Powerheads can give you more flow but they contribute much less to nitrification.

    Here is a really good thread on the Discus Forum showing the difference between the filtration prowess of the 2080 and teh FX5=> http://www.discusforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7080

    While there is a lot of hype on the net I give a bit more credence to discus types because I know they are ultimate fanatics about water quality and if the data can be trusted then I like the way this comparison was done. I think we need to do similar tests. Ultimately the purpose of a filter is to remove NH4, so filling tanks with ammonia laden water and measuring the NH4 pulldown is a great way to test this. You'll see that although the flow rate of the FX5 is higher, this did not help it to pull down the NH4 concentration as quickly as the 2080, which, if the data is to be trusted, had completely smoked the FX5 simply by virtue of having almost twice as much biomedia.

    Not enough attention is paid to flow and filtration in high tech planted tanks. That's attributed to the origin in low tech tanks where metabolism was much slower and the idea was "the plants do most of the filtration". In high light tanks plants enlist the aid of bacteria to remove the bulk of ammonia and to keep it from algae. Higher capacity attenuates any ammonia spikes with greater ease. As pointed out, the distribution of the flow should be considered carefully. I like the idea of having spraybars mounted on the back wall which provides a much better distribution pattern than a point source exit. With high flow rates the circular currents generated by long spraybars helps tremendously, especially for low carpet plants which are typically inefficient CO2 feeders. Another option is to have the effluent at the bottom near the substrate, but this is difficult to achieve aesthetically.

    Cheers,
     
  7. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    I'll have to check if the 2080 fits under the tank, if not I guess I could go for the 2078 which has 1850lph rate and 8l of media volume as its a bit smaller
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Don't forget that the 2080 has two inlet tubes/ports so that has to be taken into account when plumbing. Not sure about the 2078/2076.

    Cheers,
     
  9. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    The 2076/2078 come with one inlet pipe, the 2080 is the only one with 2 inlets I think.
     
  10. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    Ceg,

    How long is the 2080 spray bar, do you get one or two of them ?

    Cheers
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    The single supplied spraybar measure almost exactly 15.75 inches but I couldn't stand looking at them because of their garish Eheim green so I got some Fluval ones which are smoky gray, are of similar length and as I recall come two in a pack with a rubber joiner and end cap. Much nicer to look at. Slightly larger diameter but with effort the supplied Eheim 16/22 tube fits over it. I believe AE sell glass spraybars which look the cat's meow but they cost something like £60 (gulp).

    Cheers,
     
  12. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,289
    Location:
    London
  13. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    Thanks guys,

    I'm just waiting on a price now from my LFS on an Eheim 2080 and 2078.

    Cheers
     
  14. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    bah... now look what youve all done!! Youve got me thinking of buying a new filter :twisted:
     
  15. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Rambo says: "GO FOR IT!" 8)

    Cheers,
     
  16. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    You know you want one ;)
     
  17. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    well mine is over 3 years old.. so its actually only a 304.. not the 305 that I always say it is.

    Maybe at the end of the month, liking the look of that FX5.. only £125 looks like a bargain.
     
  18. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    I've read about reliability problems with the FX5, in the article Ceg mentioned earlier in this post the guy had 6 and five broke, all the Ehiems just kept on running!

     
  19. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    yeah but at 40 quid cheaper Id be prepared to take that risk.. £125 i can justify, £165 i cant.
     
  20. swackett

    swackett Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Epsom, Surrey
    Matt,

    You found a 2080 or a 2078 for £165 ?? Could you let me know where?

    The cheapest I found a 2078 for is £185.

    Cheers
     

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