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New filter - which one?

Kayne

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12 Jul 2014
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42
HI All,

First up apologies I know its a topic that comes up all the time. Will give as much info as I can about set up to help any replies to be as relevant as possible.

Had a boyu ef-20 external running for almost 5 years with no issues until we moved house back in october when for some unknown reason it decided to start leaking. Never managed to identify the reason for the leak so binned the filter and stuck with the 2x internals that I'd put in the tank as an emergency measure after a 24 hour spell without a running filter.
Tank is a juwel 180 (I think, it was a freebie we got a couple of years back) which has plants and probably a slightly high stock level but is very stable with the only recent death being after no filter for 24 hours.
Tested water yesterday with API freshwater master kit results showed around 20ppm nitrate no nitrite or ammonia. PH was reading a bit high at around 8 from its normal 7.2ish but have been a bit lax with water changes for probably over a month due to new house/christmas etc. Running a tap water test tonight as although we are in the same water area we do seem to get more of a chlorine smell from tap and I think we are nearer a treatment plant than before so wonder what effect that has on chemistry.

Fast forward to now I have the funds to buy a new external. I've thought about an FX6 for a long time which is a great upgrade from the boyu we got for free 5 years ago.
Should I be considering any other alternatives within a similar price bracket?
Anything to be aware of with the FX6?

Many thanks in advance as I know this topic comes up alot.

Kayne
 

Konsa

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Lostock Hall
Hi
FX6 is a great filter but U will be struggling with any inline heaters and other bits as hose size is a bit big for the average market items.
Regards Konsa
 

ian_m

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JBL e1501. 1400l/hr. Standard 16/22 piping. Fits neatly in Juwel Vision 180 cabinet. Pipes fit neatly in cut out at rear of tank. Any more questions ?
 
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Oase Biomaster series. Easy clean pre-filter and integrated heater.
Or the filtosmart for the lower price bracket. Integrated heater but not the easy clean pre filter.
Eden 500 series for the Skoda knock off version :)
 

ian_m

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The newer JBLe1502 is only 20Watts. This is 20/1000 * 0.17 * 24 * 365 -> £30 a year to run (@17p per unit electricity).

Some considerably cheaper equivalent flow filters take much more power eg APS1400 is only £60 (compared to £160 for e1502) but 35Watts thus costs £53 a year to run, £20 odd more expensive, so in five years the JBL works out cheaper.
 

Millns84

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Aquael Ultramax 1500 which is the equivalent of the JBL e1502 uses 15w in comparison and should be a bit cheaper to purchase.
 

Kayne

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12 Jul 2014
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some interesting choices there. Aquael looks good and Ive got one of their internals which has always been pretty good considering it was also cheap.

Konsa - pretty lucky (maybe unlucky) I dont have any inline stuff to worry about with the FX6.

Didnt expect such an array of differing options tbh. Have to go do some more research i guess.

Ian - is there any major difference with the JBL E1501 or 1502?

Thanks all so far, appreciate it
 

ian_m

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Looks like the e1502 uses different sponges and water path in uppermost filter basket.

With the e1501 I have, the water flows through the inlet pipes, through the coarse filters labelled F1, down the sides of the baskets to the bottom and back up through all the trays. I tend to rinse the coarse sponge weekly.

Looks like the e1502 has a bigger F1 sponge with the filtered water returning via the central column.

Mine is the "olde" e1501 that came with three trays of ceramics (noodles and balls) of which I use only 1/2 (to keep flow up) and only one filter foam layer (F4). Newer e1501 & e1502 have only one ceramic ball layer, two other foam layers as well as final filter foam. If I was getting this now I would not use the two foam layers but fill with ceramic balls/noodle/other filter media.

Below e1501 upper layer.
upload_2019-1-30_10-32-29.png


e1502 upper layer.
upload_2019-1-30_10-32-41.png
 

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Millns84

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The Aqua One Ocellaris range look interesting too - I was considering the 3000lph version for my Rio 450 and I believe they're the largest canisters on the market (perhaps that's a downside for when you've got to lug it into the bathroom!?).

They also do a 1400lph version which should do well on a 180 litre tank.

Sunsun have also launched a new "smart" filter recently, which Finest Filters are selling on Ebay for £110 - Same size/trays as the 704b but with 3000lph, variable flow rates (and power consumption - Max 30w which is impressive for 3000lph) as well as a UV clarifier which can be set to come on for set periods. I've got two 704b's on my Rio 450 at the moment and they do ok so I'd assume this would be good also.

My only really criticism of the Sunsun canisters is the inlet/outlets which are pretty cheaply made.
 

Kayne

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12 Jul 2014
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Looks like the e1502 uses different sponges and water path in uppermost filter basket.

With the e1501 I have, the water flows through the inlet pipes, through the coarse filters labelled F1, down the sides of the baskets to the bottom and back up through all the trays. I tend to rinse the coarse sponge weekly.

Looks like the e1502 has a bigger F1 sponge with the filtered water returning via the central column.

Mine is the "olde" e1501 that came with three trays of ceramics (noodles and balls) of which I use only 1/2 (to keep flow up) and only one filter foam layer (F4). Newer e1501 & e1502 have only one ceramic ball layer, two other foam layers as well as final filter foam. If I was getting this now I would not use the two foam layers but fill with ceramic balls/noodle/other filter media.

Below e1501 upper layer.
View attachment 121317

e1502 upper layer.
View attachment 121319

Thanks Ian. Having a look at the e1502 as the 1501 is now discontinued anyway. It looks like the water flows in over f1 and then goes down the side of the baskets before being pulled through that central column via the lower baskets first.
Have attached the image so hopefully it shows properly. Although I find it odd it goes pre-filter then bio then back through sponges so would do as you suggest there and put more ceramic stuff in those areas.
filter.jpg
Lots of reading to do before I commit to one of these.

oase biomaster diagram makes no sense how it flows.
1505820c68.png
 

ian_m

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I would choose the biggest filter you can get in your cabinet. I spent ages measuring, finding dimensions etc and eventually went for e1501 as it was biggest that would fit into Juwel Vision 180 cabinet without having to modify the stand. I could have got a larger filter in, but then would have had to remove the door hinges each time I wanted to open the filter.

It looks like the water flows in over f1 and then
This looks better on the e1502, a bigger first foam, than the e1501. After leaving mine for say 5 weeks (holiday time) the first foam filters (the ones at the edge) are almost solid and collapsed with the water now passing around the sponges. They do spring back once cleaned. I have replaced my e1501 pre-filter F1 edge sponges recently at that was after 6 years. Hopefully a bigger F1 sponge in e1502 will be better.
 
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My only really criticism of the Sunsun canisters is the inlet/outlets which are pretty cheaply made.

Some considerably cheaper equivalent flow filters take much more power eg APS1400 is only £60 (compared to £160 for e1502) but 35Watts thus costs £53 a year to run, £20 odd more expensive, so in five years the JBL works out cheaper.

I have the JBL e1901, JBL e1502 and two APS2000 filters. The APSs have been running without a single part changed for 8 and 7 years respectively. The JBLs are way younger but doing well so far.

The negatives on the APS are the inlets/outlets, but I have the very old versions. Besides that, they're solid and just keep working relentlessly. The negatives on the JBL, they are very difficult to prime,, if for some reason you have to place the filter close enough to the water surface but I suppose it won't happen to most people. The issue with mine is that they're servicing a pond and another pond like container which are placed right down on the floor. The APSs have no such issues.

I have a prefilter sponge on all inlets so I haven't experienced the F1 "sponge collapse" Ian mentions above.
 

Kayne

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I would choose the biggest filter you can get in your cabinet. I spent ages measuring, finding dimensions etc and eventually went for e1501 as it was biggest that would fit into Juwel Vision 180 cabinet without having to modify the stand. I could have got a larger filter in, but then would have had to remove the door hinges each time I wanted to open the filter.

This looks better on the e1502, a bigger first foam, than the e1501. After leaving mine for say 5 weeks (holiday time) the first foam filters (the ones at the edge) are almost solid and collapsed with the water now passing around the sponges. They do spring back once cleaned. I have replaced my e1501 pre-filter F1 edge sponges recently at that was after 6 years. Hopefully a bigger F1 sponge in e1502 will be better.

Thanks again Ian. Yeah i'm currently finding all the specs of the filters and reading reviews and comments on forums to cover as much info as I can and of course price hunting too. I know the FX6 wont fit in the cabinet properly but the other half is happy for it to sit on the floor next to it if need be. However if I can fit one in the cabinet even better.

Looking at everyone comments on this post so far the JBL seems to be the runaway winner.

Also does anyone know is the heater built into the oase or is it an add-on. Website seems to suggest its an optional extra but wouldnt make sense when its the thermo version?
 

ian_m

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Below JBL e1501 in left hand cupboard of Juwel Vision 180 stand.
upload_2019-1-31_10-31-30.png
 

Kayne

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Your cupboard looks slimmer than the one on my cabinet. Will have to see if i can work out what tank i actually have and have a measure up tonight so I know what im working with.

Just seen a JBL e1902 which is a heftier model...

also surprised not to see a single mention of eheims - have they fallen out of favour now?
 
Last edited:

Millns84

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Hmm so lots of comments on the Oase here on ukaps making me think this one is off my list https://ukaps.org/forum/threads/oase-biomaster-thermo-external-filter.41568/

Not seeing much in the way of reviews for the Aquael Ultramax so if anyone can find some that would be helpful

The Aquael Ultramax has just been released so there's not a lot of info.

If you search for Pondguru on YouTube, he does a series called "pimp my filter" which looks at a variety of canisters including the JBL's and the Ultramax. It also covers his thoughts on the modern Eheims which aren't so great!
 

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