Should I buy fluval 404 for 55 gallon planted - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-06-2009, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Should I buy fluval 404 for 55 gallon planted

I have read some complaints on this filter and wonder if anyone could recommend whether to buy it for my 55 gallon planted. I saw one complaint that it gets easily clogged with a planted tank and another that there can be a pain if hooking up a surface skimmer. I found it used for 85 on craigslist. Right now I have a HOB penguin dual sided.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-06-2009, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Wow as much as I think a canister filter would be great there are way too many bad reviews about leaking, bad customer support, and other issues. Think I am passing unless anyone has positive arguements for it.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-06-2009, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Can anyone suggest a good canister filter for a 55 gallon planted? Possibly a little stronger so if I upgrade in the next few years I could use the filter again. So far I see the Fluval 404 85$, Eheim 2234 55$, Fluval 405 100$. Also asked a few people if they would sell their filters without their tanks but no models known yet on those. I saw Byron uses an Eheim pro 2 on his 70 gallon, may be a bit more than I would like to pay.

Last edited by saulat; 08-06-2009 at 03:31 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-06-2009, 03:32 PM
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I am no canister filter expert, but I do love my Eheim 2217. Just bought another used Eheim.

I too have seen great deals on Fluval canister filter, but after reading reviews, decided against it.

The great thing about Eheim, is the simplicity of it and you are not stuck buying any certain type media.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-06-2009, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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What size tank do you have? Maybe I will get the Eheim 2234. One concern I had is that the Eheim has a rating of 145 gallons per hours, the fluval has a gallon per hour rating of 340, and my penguin HOB is around 340 I think. Any idea if I should be worried about this or if the Eheim is good for a 55 planted?
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-06-2009, 05:31 PM
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My Eheim is in a 210 gal along with two emperor 400s.
I just bought a use 2026, that I am hoping will work out in my 36 gal fish tank.
I have no experience with the eheim 2234, but I do now that Eheim makes a great reliable filter.

My 2217 was bought used, and is still running strong. I clean it out every couple months. In the past year and a half that I have owned it, I have only replaced the filter pad once, so it has been very cheap to maintain.

The thing that scared me about Fluval, was all the post I read about bad seals, and the hoses being hard to connect + you have to but there media for fit.

The 2234 is rated for 65 gallons? I think it will work out fine.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-06-2009, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Great thanks. May go pick it up tonite if I can.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-08-2009, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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I liked the way Rena XP sounded and bought a Rena XP 2 from someone. Missing some media that cam with it and forgot to get my clips but pretty happy with it.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-22-2010, 04:22 PM
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I have had a Fluval 304 running on my 55 gallon for about 8 years straight, and just recently the main seal started to leak, slow but it leaks. Ive also just recently had problems getting the motor to start, when I prime it and plug it in it doesnt come on, so I have to continue to prime it rapidly for about 30 seconds and then the motor starts, but this all led me to thinking I would come home soon and find my fish tank emptied on my floor. Fluval has been great, but they seem to be dated, as the rubber seals and motorstart to degrade. One thing I will say about Fluvals is they are easy to use, and have great flow rates in real life, not just on the box. I stuffed my bottom try with poly-fil and it still had the flow to move the water well. As for bypass, there have been some that report covering the top try with plastic and running it and still getting good water flow, this is not because the filter has bypass, its because the plastic lid on the top try has a round area lifted above the try level that the motor goes into to suck water out, when you remove the top try you lose this and the water will do 100% bypass. Its a bad test, and to show they do not have much bypass my poly fill is packed with junk every time I clean it, it catches it all. But they are dated.

My most recent purchase to replace my Fluval 304 was a Eheim Pro 3 2075 600, and the box raved about flow rate, and its rated to work on a 160 gallon tank, well set up side by side with my 7 year old Fluval 304 it was LACKING in flow rate, and thats compared to a Fluval rated for a 70 gallon tank. I was bummed because I paid $279.00 for it and it wasnt doing what an smaller old run down Fluval was. After that I returned to the LFS and asked about the flow rate, the owner went on to say that they dont have very good flow rates but there is a methode to the maddness. The slower flow rate supposedly lowers the wattage that is used to run the filter and also gives the water more "time" mixing with the media and thereby filters more effectivly. Well that sounds good in therory, but it SUCKS that they lie about the flow rate on their packaging. If it doesnt move 300 some odd gallons an hour then they shouldn't say it does on their packaging. It may be a great filter, but its not cool to lie about what it can really do. After seeing my new 300 dollar filter push out as much as a small HOB Im praying it really does filter better because of the time the water has in the filter, but well see. What I can say is the Eheim has flimsy trys compared to the Fluval, the are thin and flex, and they sit inside one another via a TINY lip that does not hold the trays above one another, they trays flex and fallinto eachother. The other thing about the Eheim, it may be a good bio filter, but its not ment for mechanical filtering, it has one small coarse filter pad at the top that particles can still get by, then they provide the first 2 trays with a very cheap plastic tube material, it looks like they cut up black plastic straws and called it great mechanical filter media, it was a cheap filler in reality that I tossed without even thinking about. The only thing that stuff does is disburse water evenly for the last two trays. They provided no carbon, and two more trays with bio media and then a filter floss pad at the exit.

The Eheim is the quitest filter Ive had, but it also uses the least amount of power and has a slower flow rate. I guess time will tell what it can do as far as bio filtering, but for now I have kept my old leaky Fluval going in conjunction with the Eheim as it does a better job getting the visible specks out of the water and adgitates the surface better for more oxygenated water.

I have my 4 Eheim trays as follows for added filtering

Bottom to top

Poly Fill
Eheim provided mechbio that looks like ceramic halls cough drops
Eheim biostrat or whatever

I tested it empty as well, same flow rate.

Anyone else think the Eheims just don't have the power they say they do?

I would like to ditch the leaky Fluval, but this Eheim isn't giving my the confidence to do so.

Last edited by dmbfan028; 02-22-2010 at 04:26 PM.
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