Just thought I would share a quick note on the Fluval FX5. What was the phrase I was looking for? ......... oh yeah ......... "Holy Crap!". Granted I am not using it for fish. My unit is for an adult female Common Snapping Turtle in a 150 gallon trough. This thing craps like a dog and is a very messy eater. The unit is the size of a shop vac and looks alot like one as well. Aside from the turtle tearing up the output nozzle, it has been an amazing machine. It keeps the tank crystal clear for over a month. By far the best filter I have ever used. If it can handle adult turtles and gators up to 3', it can take care of fish with little effort.
I've heard complaints about the filter, though. Many have said that the flow rate through the filter is very high compared to the amount of media you can actually put in the canister. A lot of people end up modifying their FX5's to hold more media which in turn makes it work a lot better. For example, this filter only holds 1.5 gallons of media with a flow rate of over 900 gph, while the Eheim 2217 holds the same volume of media but has a flow rate of only 260 gph. Slower flow = more contact time with the media. If I was spending $300 on filters for a fish tank, I'd rather buy two Magnum 350's and two Emperor 400's.
The flow rate is pretty intense. I mainly look at physical filtration with the aquatic herps.
I've also heard good things about this filter. I also use Fluvals but have not purchased this one yet. And AC110 for my second filter. I totally hated my Emporer and threw the thing out my back door. I just felt better once I saw it smashed to ribbons on the cement. LOL Got rid of my one year of frustration.
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