I have always used the Marineland Penguin HOB Bio Wheel filters on all my tanks, but as always I am planning for the future. I always heard good things particularly towards the EHEIM brand. I would like to get the best of the best since this is a long turn hobby that I have and will continue to pursue. Specifically, I was looking at the EHEIM Professionel 3e because you can adjust the flow rate on it. I currently have a 27gal cube tank but would like to expand into the 60's and 70's when I get the room.
My concerns are:
How loud are they since I currently have the tank in my bedroom?
Is it expensive to maintain (filter media)?
How often do you have to clean them, and what are the chances of spilling/leaking water?
How long does the system last (I am looking for years)?
All input is accepted as I know nothing about canister filters.
Most of the planted tank guys I know do not use anything but ehiems. I do not yet own any but I have a buddy who has 3 or 4, all of which are 5-10 years old and completely silent. I have also hear most of the filter media is reusable after a rinsing.
Just giving you a huge thumbs up for the canister. I have a Rena XP3 running on my 75 gallon for about a year now.
They are virtually silent and I've never replaced any of the filter pads, stars, bio-balls - just give them a rinse in tank water and put them back in the baskets after you empty the gunky water out of the filter. The only thing I ever replace is the filter floss pad in the top basket and you can get a boatload of it really cheap online.
I usually clean out the filter once every month or month-1/2. I know there are folks who go a lot longer without any problems.
Good luck - you won't be sorry.
My rena XP3 has been running for about 6 years with the original coarse sponges on my 55 gallon planted. Some of the original media are chemical filtration which I suggest removing. The fine sponges I would suggest replacing with just cheap filter floss once they are done in. You can rinse them until they start clumping up. Its really quiet if you make sure all the air is out of it. I am debating replacing the gaskets on it since they are still original. It took me awhile to get the main gasket to seal last time I opened it.
I'm glad to hear that the coarse sponges have lasted all that time for you because that means I've got a lot of years of life left in mine. Thx.
I have Eheim and Rena XP filters. Product reviews consistently rate Eheim #1, Rena #2 and Fluval #3, of those three brands. And Eheim always comes out #1 with any canister.
I have had my Eheim on the 90g running constantly now for 14 years non-stop and never a problem, never failed, always good. It also has a built-in heating unit which I really like. My other Eheim is the same model minus the heating unit, and I've had it for 15 years but it was not running for a couple years when I had one less tank.
The Rena XP I really like as a filter. The question though is how long it will last? Rena does not have the proven track record because it has not been around very long. Some I have talked to feel they will not last like Eheim filters.
For media, you will need the pads for the filter which usually come with it, though Eheim didn't used to but I believe they do now. The other media, I use Fluval because it is less than half the cost and just as good. Ceramic disks for the bottom, then some sort of biological rock, but this can be removed and replaced with pea gravel, lava rock, etc. I rinse mine and use it forever because I have planted tanks and biological filtration is secondary.
You asked about noise. My Rena I can hear running in the fish room, but I cannot hear the Eheims at all, unless I literally put my ear right on it. They are super quiet.
You answered nearly all ny questions (as usual). I was looking at the EHEIM Professionel 3E canister filter, my only concern is the possibility of over filtration. Im planning on getting some fancy goldfish in the future and don't want the suction to be too strong. I know this specific model has flow control, would that be ok. Is this a legitamate concern?
Rena recently outported their factory from Germany to another country (leaving blank to prevent offense) and the quality decreased. My Aunt has the one from Germany and it is also VERY quiet mine is just quiet, from no-name country
I bought an Eheim 2213 based on a recommendation from Byron awhile back, and I am very happy with it. It is so quiet that I often have to sit and stare and see that the plants near the spray bar are moving around just to be sure that it's actually running. I don't have much to add since Byron covered it all already, but I just wanted to confirm his speculation of whether the media comes included now... it does. :)
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