UPDATED 17/01/11 - Please see the bottom of this post Inspired by the "Gear Guide" section of PFK, I am pleased to finally have something which I can contribute to the UKAPS - my review of the Eheim 2075 External Filter. The 2075 is the second largest of the "Pro 3" range of filters, with the 2080 being the largest and it also has two smaller siblings - the 2073 and the 2071. I bought the 2075 shortly after it was launched, and at the time it was not available from any UK suppliers, so mine was imported from Aquaristic in Germany. I have had this filter running for about six months now, so I finally feel in a good position to be able to provide some sensible feedback on its performance. Lets get on with the unboxing! The unit itself As you can see, the box is monsterous. The 500ml bottle of Seachem Prime is provided to give some scale to the box. Everything inside is packed with the normal level of German precision. All of the parts feel well built and exude quality, as I have come to expect from Eheim. This is the full contents of the box, with the normal green Eheim intake and spraybar outlets Here are the contents of the little plastic accessories bag - the intake strainer, "shepherds crook" outlet pipe, figure-of-eight hose clamp, spraybar end cap, intake/outlook hooks, rubber feet for the canister, and a bunch of suckers (heh!) This is the inlet-outlet attachment. It is a cartridge which captures both hoses, and is released by shutting the valve to the "off" position, and then pressing the red button on the front into the casing. The cartridge then just pops up for removal. Also visible at the back is the grey priming button which is great for using whole-palm pressure. The top of the canister and pump housing are held fast by one clip on each side, which lift up and out to disengage the pump housing for removal. Top of the canister removed, the prefilter tray is visible on top. The prefilter tray takes a single blue foam, and is designed to catch the larger bits before the water passes onto the lower media. In practise, this seems to work really well, as it seems to be the only part of the filter media that I have to clean - once a fortnight seems to be ample for my tank. Top tray, containing the floss pad, and Eheim SUBSTRATpro, biological media. the cover slots on over the top and hooks into the handles on either side of the tray, keeping the floss pad from being sucked up into the middle of the prefilter tray. Notice how the cover has an oval demarkation in the centre - this is where the prefilter tray slots into it, and the base of the pump housing then slots into the same shape in the prefilter tray. Tray two, containing Eheim BioMech Trays three and four, both containing Eheim Mechpro Supplied media in more detail From top to bottom, Mechpro, Biomech and Substratpro. The supplied media is definitely the best media I have ever had supplied with a filter, and is in my opinion better than those shipped with the Tetratec EX 700 and Fluval 305, both of which I have previously used on other tanks. The only problem with the Mechpro is its tendancy to float when cleaning the canister.... The Biomech is an interesting shape - they are square and much fatter in the middle than the edges, however have a circular indentation on each side to improve their surface area. It is also very porous, providing lots of room for denitrifying bacteria. The pump housing The underside of the pump housing slots into the centre of the prefilter tray, so water travels into the filter, through the prefilter tray, then goes down to the bottom of the canister via a triangular tube formed along the corners of all of the media trays. It is drawn up through the media, and then through a small trapdoor (around the size of a penny piece) in the middle of the prefilter tray. Above you can see the underside of the pump housing with the impeller cover removed. This is the top of the pump housing with the inlet-outlet cartridge ejected And this is the cartridge itself. You can clearly see the locking mechanism in the middle which rotates with the flow control valve as it is turned on to lock the cartridge into the canister. The Eheim 2075 in use - a six-month view When I initially purchased this external canister filter, I had intended to review it almost immediately, however I am glad that I have taken the time to experience it in use in order to be able to provide a users experience. The good: Overall, the Eheim 2075 has provided exceptional service. The water in the 120L planted tank it is attached to remains crystal clear and completely free of ammonia or nitrite as far as my test kits can tell. I have had no need to change from the media supplied with the unit itself, and I am still using the original floss pad as with careful cleaning it has lasted really well, however is now starting to loose it's shape. I was impressed to find that Eheim supply four floss pads and one blue prefilter pad in a media set (Eheim part #2616710) which has cost me less than Â£7 from an online retailer. Assuming that the floss pads continue to last as long as the first one, Â£7 for two years worth of floss pads is exceptional value for money. Flow rates remain high even when the prefilter filter needs cleaning. The bad: Where Eheim haven't done quite so well is the design of the primer button location - it sits right behind/under the hoses, which being 16/22mm are quite stiff. Also, priming can prove a bit difficult at times, but I found that it makes a real difference to have the pump outlet above the water line when attempting to prime. With the outlet above water level, priming can often be done with two or three pushes of the primer. The downright ugly: The Eheim standard inlets and outlet are a bit like Marmite, in that either you love them or you hate them. I for one hate them, and have subsequently replaced them with Installation Sets 1 and 2 (Eheim parts #4005300 and #4005310). These have resulted in a much more flexible placement of components, and due to the relatively shallow depth of my tank at 12" and my desire to have my Rhinox diffuser under the intake, I only needed to use one of the three modular sections of the intake tube, allowing me to extend set two by an additional 10cm by utilising a spraybar, intake, spraybar, intake, spraybar layout. Also note that you can purchase additional modules to lengthen the intakes and spraybar with the installation sets - a 20cm extension (two 10cm lenths) costs about Â£5. Conclusion I will never, ever purchase another brand of external canister. The initial up-front cost was a little steep (about Â£180 inc. delivery) and having used Fluval and Tetratec canisters in the past I was skeptical about the benefits of an Eheim, however I am now a total Eheim convert. If you have any questions I will be happy to field them, and I would also be grateful of any constructive criticism you may have of my review as this is the first product review I have ever written! UPDATE - 17/01/11 I have decided to update this review after having now owned my two 2075's are both around 18 months old. Unfortunately, this update takes a much more downbeat tone than six months ago. Late June last year, the first unit I purchased shortly after product launch started leaking. The leak is internal to the pump head, and water either ran out of the square hole on the left hand side of the pump head, or down the electrical flex. The leak started off slowly, but quickly increased to leaking around a litre and a half to two litres a day. I contacted Eheim technical support by email on the 7th of July, and after numerous emails backward and forward with them, it took until the 27th September for them to dispatch a replacement pump head to me, along with a request that I send the faulty unit back at my own cost! When I approached them about the €80 that UPS quoted me for shipping to Germany, they said that they would "get back to me", and I am yet to hear anything since. Fortunately the replacement pump head solved the problem. Unforunately, the second unit I purchased from the nice folks at AquaEssentials has also since started leaking in exactly the same manner - slowly at first, however I got home from work today to find that it had emptied about 10 litres of water onto my lounge floor in the 10 hours I have been out. To be honest, with a two and a half month warranty turn-around from Eheim and the constant mopping up of water from my carpet in the meantime, I just don't have the energy required to organise replacement of this unit, especially considering its the second unit to have done this to me in the space of six months. I also feel that unless Eheim have made any product design changes to these filters since launch, I can expect further leaks to start occurring once the pump heads reach about 18 months old. For now, I have gone back to using a three year old Fluval 205 which I have had no issues with at all, and £400's worth of Eheim 2075's are shortly headed for the bin. Take away from this review two things: 1. In my experience, the 2075 pump head is prone to leaking. Bearing in mind that this same pump head is used all on the "Pro 3" series pumps, this is likely to affect all models 2. Eheim technical support is sorely lacking, especially when their products can be considered "premium" products. You can be quite sure that I won't be buying Eheim again, but also that anything I buy to replace them will be reviewed right here on UKAPS! Disclaimer This review is all my own hard work and copyright, and has been provided exclusively for the benefit of ukaps.org forum members, so please do not plagerise it or my photos by posting it, or portions thereov elsewhere on the internet without my express permission. I will happily provide un-watermarked and original size photographs if asked, however the decision to provide these will remain entirely mine.