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External Cannister Filters


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Okay, so we have a four foot tank that holds about 180 litres. I'd posted a photo and was advised the filter it came with is a bit pants (as suspected) and it was said an external cannister filter would do the job correctly.

So... I'm now a little confused as to which brand to get? I've been looking on eBay for something and there price and product range is just all over the shop. I'm really confused as to which brands to look out for and which ones to avoid - though, obviously, would like to grab a deal if possible.

Can anyone help me out with what I should be looking for?

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Aquaone aquis is a great budget option, I got my 1200 for $80 at my lfs, don't expect to find that price often though. Becareful buying on ebay, make sure it comes with hoses, taps, media and isn't a grey import.

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Ok guess I'll re-write it. :blink:

Eheim is your top of the range canister filter. It has all the best media and is jam packed full of it. The pipes that come with it are resistant towards algae growth and all that awesome stuff. They also stay pretty soft and supple as opposed to cheaper pipes that turn rock hard after a while.

Aqua One is your good budget option. They ( think all of them?) come with bioballs which just need to be thrown out as they are entirely useless when completely submerged. You get a small amount of so-so media, better off replacing it with eheim media. The sponges are ok though.

I wouldn't even look at any other brands at all.

The exact filter you need does depend on what you intend to stock in the tank and how heavily you will be stocking it. If you plan on keeping a long finned male Betta in this tank then ignore the following information because it will blow the fins right off the fish.

You want a minimum of 4x turnover rate of your total volume for tropical fish. So 180 x 4 = 770l p/h is a minimum of what you want. To achieve that I would be looking at

Eheim Professional 2226

Aqua One Nautilus 1100

Hope that helps.

Edited by Yan
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I use an ehiem 2213 on a 3ft tank. I've used fulval and ehiem and found ehiem so much better. If you buy online or at a shop that sells them for good prices (they're considerable difference between the different shops so literally pays to shop around.

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Fluval and Eheim for quality ....

Aqua one is pretty reliable - can get parts easily - up to 3 years warranty.....

Cheap Chinese filters - some have a reputation for leaking, poor seals, impellers wearing out easily /quickly, no spare parts in most cases....

You get what you pay for - if you want cheap for a short time and then throw away - go ebay cheap

If you want reliable for a long time go for the brand names....

Remember; the flow rate quoted for most canister filters is for when the filter is empty of media - not when it's pumping water up to the top of the tank through a canister full of media.... if you want a turn over of 770 litres / hr then look at buying at least a 1500 l/hr filter.... over filtering is not a sin.....

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  • 4 weeks later...

So we ended up getting an Eheim Classic.

It's been a few weeks... and it is now leaking. :(

Any ideas on how to fix it? The water is coming out from where the lid sits on and latches (it's all sealed up as it always has been and we've looked it over several times but can't see what the problem is).

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Before taking it back - check that you have the rubber sealing ring in the right place and that it hasn't been pinched or displaced slightly when you put the head on the canister.... usually the major cause for leaks with canister filters..... if there is no rubber ring look in the box or around the place - if not there ask for a replacement.....

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I use a ehiem 2217 on my 4' x 18" x 18" and it does the job perfectly. So unless there is a manufacturing defect you may have pincheched the seal (not hard to do) inspect the o'ring and go from there. Your LFS should have replacement parts in stock. HTH

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