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
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..