As I seem to have been "silently mentioned" in this thread [in relation to the 12 year Eheim
], I'll chime in.
I have had Eheim Pro II canisters on the 70g and 90g for about 15 years now, and they have operated non-stop with never a problem. And they are silent
. Unbelievably so. Sitting in front of the tank I have to look for the slight wave of the plants immediately under the spray bar to confirm the filter is actually on. I don't use Eheim media though, not any longer. Fluval's ceramic disks and BioMax is 1/3 the cost and just as good. The pads have to be Eheim of course, to fit.
Two years ago I was setting up my 115g and looking for a canister. At that time, no store carried Eheim here, and I prefer dealing with a store when it comes to equipment that might need replacing, etc; I just don't want to be shipping filters all over the globe. I'm also not flush with money, so the cost was a consideration. I read every review and comment online that I could find on Fluval, Rena and Eheim. Without question, the overwhelming majority rated Eheim #1, Rena #2 and Fluval #3. I went with the Rena XP3. As for quiet, I can hear the Rena; it is not noisy but compared to Eheim, it is certainly not "quiet."After two years, i am happy with the filter; it performs as well as my Eheims. But the big question is, will it last? Rena do not have the track record of Eheim, and more than one person I discussed this with were of the opinion that Rena will not match Eheim long-term. So that means you can spend the money for Eheim reliability, or spend less and maybe have to repair/replace it after a few years. Time will tell.
In my humble opinion, based on personal experience and countless comments from other aquarists the world over, no comparable filter can match Eheim.