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Which canister for my new build?

FISHnLAB

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4 Aug 2022
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340
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hi guys, I am currently planning my first planted community tank build and am trying to decide on filtration. It will have a medium to heavy plant load with a high fish load as well.

My tank decision isn't made yet but, the top of the list is a Waterbox Clear 3620(49.1 US Gallon 900mmL x 500W x 450H) so let's use that for the plan.

I am going for the naked look so nothing will be going in the tank except 2 glass lily pipes. Even the lighting will be suspended from the ceiling. The lid will likely be a custom made one piece polycarbonate/mesh from Top Lid's.

So, I have decided to go with a canister over a sump. My top choices are the Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 or 600 and the Fluval 307 or 407. I was leaning towards the Oase but, after doing a bunch of research they seam very problematic. I read constant posts about bad air leakage issues, water leaks, weak flow, high noise and vibration, etc. I don't see these issues very often if ever with the Fluval 07's so now I am leaning that way again. I really liked the built in heater in the Oase but, I can get an inline or build my own inline for a Eheim Jager or the like if necessary. I would rather reliability over convenience.

So, what do you guys think? Should I just get an 07? Are there other options I should consider from Eheim, Aqueon, Sicce, etc? Any other suggestions are welcome too as I am new to the hobby. I'm basically looking for a very quiet, bulletproof canister with zero issues and great reliability/longevity. I choose more maintenance over any issues.

Thanks for your help👍.
 

GraemeVW

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27 Jun 2022
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151
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Chesterfield
I can only add, don't buy JBL.
I went through the same process as you a couple of weeks back, bought a jbl e1502 and its very noisy. Wish I'd bought eheim or fluval.
 

Hufsa

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22 Aug 2019
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Norway
I think you'll find a negative side or people that dont like x for every filter out there on the market.
Every brand has a percentage of problems. Nobody goes online to rant about their perfectly working filter.
Right now many of the canister filters are pretty equal when it comes to quality and price, so its a really difficult choice.
Also every aquarist including me has their favorite brand that will always be looked upon a little more favorably (Mine is old models of Eheim)

My top choices are the Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 or 600 and the Fluval 307 or 407. I was leaning towards the Oase but, after doing a bunch of research they seam very problematic. I read constant posts about bad air leakage issues, water leaks, weak flow, high noise and vibration, etc. I don't see these issues very often if ever with the Fluval 07's so now I am leaning that way again. I really liked the built in heater in the Oase but, I can get an inline or build my own inline for a Eheim Jager or the like if necessary. I would rather reliability over convenience.
Im not familiar with Fluval canisters but a Biomaster 600 doesnt sound like a lot for a 90cm long tank. The rule of thumb is to get a filter that puts out 10x your aquarium volume per hour for a high tech tank.
Keep this in mind.

Im not sure if those Fluval canisters you mention have those weird ribbed hoses or not? Are you planning to replace the hoses with smooth ones, and have you considered how you are going to add an inline heater to a Fluval canister as ive heard this can be a bit of a challenge. Make sure the hose isnt larger than "16/22 mm" as you will struggle to find nice sleek glassware bigger size than that.

So, what do you guys think? Should I just get an 07? Are there other options I should consider from Eheim, Aqueon, Sicce, etc? Any other suggestions are welcome too as I am new to the hobby. I'm basically looking for a very quiet, bulletproof canister with zero issues and great reliability/longevity.
Very quiet: Aquael Ultramax, but a lot of us had issues with the first generation of this model. Right after I threatened to throw it out the third story window it has behaved very well.
Bulletproof: Probably Eheim, although Sicce makes good quality pumps too. Eheim has proven itself over the years both in lasting a long time and also being able to get spare parts, which is something that should not be overlooked.

I choose more maintenance over any issues.
Consider maybe an older Eheim model, no prefilter which means more maintenance, but less moving parts and seals means less things that can break and leak.
After the bad experience I had with the early generation Aquael Ultramax, I bought an Eheim Experience thinking it would be just like the 15 year old Eheim canister I had from before.
However it was quite loud right out of the box and the place I purchased it from basically told me to pound dirt. Eheim customer support sent out a new rotor that didnt help, so now im just stuck with a fairly loud filter.
If this "review of the state of things" sounds jaded its because I am and I wish there was that perfect filter out there that 100% had all the features you listed.

Thanks for your help👍.
I dont expect ive made your choice any easier but eh, what can you do ;)
 

Yugang

Member
Joined
13 Mar 2021
Messages
585
Location
Hong Kong
Im not sure if those Fluval canisters you mention have those weird ribbed hoses or not?
Fluval do themselves a disservice with their ribbed hoses. I consider that a very foolish marketing mistake, as everyone is talking about it and on fora it seems one of the main distractors for a great product.

I understand why they do it (yes it is easier to bend the ribbed hose around a corner, but more importantly the tubing is a very profitable aftermarket product / service item for them), and actually I like the ribbed hosing. For inline heaters etc, one can just use traditional tubing on a Fluval.

They would score much more points and positive user feedback if they just add (next to ribbed tubing) a cheap 'traditional' tubing to every canniser they sell. Let the user chose whichever is preferred, ribbed or traditional. That will take away the main negative talking point for the brand.
 

erwin123

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4 Mar 2021
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1,069
Location
Singapore
I am using a 307 and 407, they are both very quiet after 1 year in operation. They are in a cabinet with doors closed, they can't be heard.

I am a big fan of their massive pre-filter compartment - it means that I don't have to regularly claim the pre-filter.
 

FISHnLAB

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Thread starter
Joined
4 Aug 2022
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340
Location
Ontario, Canada
Thanks, I will stay away from JBL. I feel like they are pretty hard to get here in Canada anyway.
I can only add, don't buy JBL.
I went through the same process as you a couple of weeks back, bought a jbl e1502 and its very noisy. Wish I'd bought eheim or fluval.
T
 

FISHnLAB

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Thread starter
Joined
4 Aug 2022
Messages
340
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hi, thank yo
I think you'll find a negative side or people that dont like x for every filter out there on the market.
Every brand has a percentage of problems. Nobody goes online to rant about their perfectly working filter.
Right now many of the canister filters are pretty equal when it comes to quality and price, so its a really difficult choice.
Also every aquarist including me has their favorite brand that will always be looked upon a little more favorably (Mine is old models of Eheim)


Im not familiar with Fluval canisters but a Biomaster 600 doesnt sound like a lot for a 90cm long tank. The rule of thumb is to get a filter that puts out 10x your aquarium volume per hour for a high tech tank.
Keep this in mind.

Im not sure if those Fluval canisters you mention have those weird ribbed hoses or not? Are you planning to replace the hoses with smooth ones, and have you considered how you are going to add an inline heater to a Fluval canister as ive heard this can be a bit of a challenge. Make sure the hose isnt larger than "16/22 mm" as you will struggle to find nice sleek glassware bigger size than that.


Very quiet: Aquael Ultramax, but a lot of us had issues with the first generation of this model. Right after I threatened to throw it out the third story window it has behaved very well.
Bulletproof: Probably Eheim, although Sicce makes good quality pumps too. Eheim has proven itself over the years both in lasting a long time and also being able to get spare parts, which is something that should not be overlooked.


Consider maybe an older Eheim model, no prefilter which means more maintenance, but less moving parts and seals means less things that can break and leak.
After the bad experience I had with the early generation Aquael Ultramax, I bought an Eheim Experience thinking it would be just like the 15 year old Eheim canister I had from before.
However it was quite loud right out of the box and the place I purchased it from basically told me to pound dirt. Eheim customer support sent out a new rotor that didnt help, so now im just stuck with a fairly loud filter.
If this "review of the state of things" sounds jaded its because I am and I wish there was that perfect filter out there that 100% had all the features you listed.


I dont expect ive made your choice any easier but eh, what can you do ;)

Hi, thanks for the detailed reply👍.

Yes, I am definitely aware of this but, Oase seams to be on a whole other level. I can't tell you how many post(likely hundreds) I have found about people having air leaking issues alone. Just look at the thread in here alone. I am just not comfortable with their products design anymore and think it is flawed.

Yes, Fluval 07's are supplied with black corigated hose. I plan to ditch immediately and install standard clear vinyl. As for the heater, I will either go with a premade inline heater or build my own inline using an Eheim Jager. It will go on the output of the canister. Thanks for the heads up on the lily pipes👍.

I will have to look into Aqueal. I don't think they are easy to get in Canada though.

Yes, Eheim is under consideration but, I hear there quality has went down a lot over the years. I am not sure they are the same company they used to be.

Yes, Sicce is supposed to make descent pumps. But, after the dismal performance of thier Tidal filters they made for Seachem I am scared to try anything Sicce.

I too wish there was a "perfect" canister, maybe one day😔...

I very much appreciate your help👍.
 

FISHnLAB

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Thread starter
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Fluval do themselves a disservice with their ribbed hoses. I consider that a very foolish marketing mistake, as everyone is talking about it and on fora it seems one of the main distractors for a great product.

I understand why they do it (yes it is easier to bend the ribbed hose around a corner, but more importantly the tubing is a very profitable aftermarket product / service item for them), and actually I like the ribbed hosing. For inline heaters etc, one can just use traditional tubing on a Fluval.

They would score much more points and positive user feedback if they just add (next to ribbed tubing) a cheap 'traditional' tubing to every canniser they sell. Let the user chose whichever is preferred, ribbed or traditional. That will take away the main negative talking point for the brand.
Yes.

Even better yet, just sell the canister by itself and let the customer pick there own lily pipes. It's super annoying I have to pay for an ugly set of black ribbed or bright green hardware with every new canister just to throw it back in the box to never be seen again🙄.
 

FISHnLAB

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I am using a 307 and 407, they are both very quiet after 1 year in operation. They are in a cabinet with doors closed, they can't be heard.

I am a big fan of their massive pre-filter compartment - it means that I don't have to regularly claim the pre-filter.
Good to know and thanks for the reply👍.
 
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I’ve got two Tetratec filters, one is virtually silent, the other has only a very slight hum with the cabinet doors open.
 
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I use 2 x Biomaster Thermo 350s on 350 litre tank and in this first month of use, I am impressed with them being quiet, and giving a strong flow. They have also made the cabinets under the tank look less cluttered. They replaced 2 x SunSun filters along with 2 x small SunSun prefilters and in line heaters.
I was aware of the problems of Biomasters burping air and this occurs for a max of 5 minutes following cleaning/replacing of the pre filter foam.
Maybe, I am not getting the burping because I drilled extra holes in the prefilter tube, and after servicing I gently move the canister from side to side to release internal pockets of air. But as in everything YMMV.
 

FISHnLAB

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Well, haven't checked this thread in a while. Thanks for the reply's guys👍.

So, now I am down to the Fluval 407 vs the Fzone 15L Astra-Stream Stainless Steel Canister Filter. Which would you choose and why?


 
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That stainless one looks good but I don’t like the lip around the top inside. I’d want to use home made baskets with it but that lip would stop you pulling them out. I made baskets for my Eheim Classic and it made cleaning the filter much easier.
 

FISHnLAB

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That stainless one looks good but I don’t like the lip around the top inside. I’d want to use home made baskets with it but that lip would stop you pulling them out. I made baskets for my Eheim Classic and it made cleaning the filter much easier.
Hi, thanks for the reply👍. Yes, it does look nice. It is much harder for me to get and a bit more expensive than the Fluval 407 but, I am considering it none the less as it would be a lifetime purchase, replaceable pump aside, unlike the all plastic and prone to damage Fluval. The fully electronically adjustable flow rate is a huge plus over the Fluval too.

The lip is for the O-ring to sit to seal the lid. It's likely the only way they could do it without driving the price through the roof using a thicker wall and machining the lip in(stainless steel isn't cheap). Zippered nylon mesh media bags work great in place of a basket anyway. A 25 pack of them can be had on Amazon for about $10-15 in whatever mesh you'd like from coarse to fine.
 
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It would I suppose increase the cost but they could seal the lid in the same way as the Eheim Classics. This wouldn’t require the lip.

Edit: I should have said, I’m now running an Oase 350 at the moment and I’m not experiencing any of the problems suggested for the earlier versions. Mines the one with the modified head. The pre-filter in particular is proving very handy and if I upgrade my tank getting a heater for the filter helps keep things out of the tank.
 
Last edited:

FISHnLAB

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It would I suppose increase the cost but they could seal the lid in the same way as the Eheim Classics. This wouldn’t require the lip.

Edit: I should have said, I’m now running an Oase 350 at the moment and I’m not experiencing any of the problems suggested for the earlier versions. Mines the one with the modified head. The pre-filter in particular is proving very handy and if I upgrade my tank getting a heater for the filter helps keep things out of the tank.
Good to know, thank you for the info. Is the modified head a version 2.0 or something from Oase? I'm not real familiar with them as I stopped researching them a while back due to all the reports of issues.
 

Wookii

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Good to know, thank you for the info. Is the modified head a version 2.0 or something from Oase? I'm not real familiar with them as I stopped researching them a while back due to all the reports of issues.

As @Hufsa mentioned above, you get negative reports on pretty much every filter out there. Unfortunately none of them are perfect. The more popular a filter is and the bigger its userbase, the more online reports you're going to see about issues - its a numbers thing.

Personally I would just buy a filter based on what features matter most to you. For me, I'll never own another filter again that doesn't have its own easily removable pre-filter, and I also don't really want to have to plumb in an inline heater (and certainly not have one in the tank), so that kinda narrows the list a bit sadly!
 

palcente

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It depends on your scenario... I think a prefilter is the way to go these days. It's a game changer in terms of convenience and I believe every modern canister should have a prefilter. Like a power steering in a car, or a touchscreen on your phone, I would not buy a new product without it.
 
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