Help with picking the right canister filter
Hello TFK Community,
I know this is something that probably been discussed previously and if a forum has been built please feel free to direct me to it. Or if you have advice more specific to my question please leave comments.
So here is the deal. I have a 55gal community tank with the load listed in my signature. I know this is by no means a light load so I am looking for a solid canister filter. My wife will be getting this for me for Christmas (so much for a Christmas surprise huh?) so I still have a little time to make my decision but would like to get suggestions on the choice I should make as I would like to make sure this decision is the right one as I would like something that will last me for several years before I need to upgrade.
Right now I have my eye on the Fluval 305 or 405. I understand the 405 is probably a little large for my aquarium but there is probably a good chance that I will upgrade my tank size before I upgrade my filter again. Considering I am looking in the price range of $150 to $200. Are there any other suggested canisters I should consider within this price range or any reason I should stay away from Fluval brands?
I am not trying to start a debate on which one is better but just get the facts of what is the best for my tank with my community.
Thanks so much in advance for all your advice!
With filters, you'll get 12 opinions from ten people; there's several excellent canister filters. The Fluval is one, also the Eheim 2213. Penn Plax Cascade 700 get high ratings also. I use HOB filters but if I was buying a canister I would buy one from the Cascade series. I'm sure other people will chime in with their fav's.
Be prepared for some strong opinions! Folks love "their" brand of canister. Don't know enough about the Fluvals to give an opinion on those. I have an Eheim classic (2215) on a 55 and it's great, although in hindsight I'd go for the 2217. I do like the Eheim because it's both low-power (in terms of electricity use), easy to find parts for, and really, really quiet!
I have used both Fluvals and PennPlax Cascades, both work well. I liked the cascade for its versatility, I had a few things break, but they were replaced for free by PennPlax. I didn't like cleaning the fluval. At this point i don't think I would buy anything other than ehiems, whenever I have a problem with a canister someone is always telling me about the 12yo ehiem they have and how well it works.
Thanks so much for all the advice. I have done a little research and it seems as if most people lean more toward eheim. So I think that is the route I will be going. The 2217 seems like a good buy for the price.
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On my 50g I had a Fluval 304 (replaced by 305) and liked it up until I couldn't get it to seal anymore where the top meets the bottom. I tried everything I could; replaced 0-ring, lubed with vaseline, put rags under the latches to make it tighten more...nothing worked. Stupid thing leaked on the carpet a couple times. I replaced it with an Rena XP2 and love it. It filters well, plenty of media space, the hose disconnect works very well and the way it is assembled makes it, I think, unlikely it will leak in the future how the Fluval leaked. I actually just cleaned it today, piece of cake.
I'm a cascade fan. it's cheap but it works. ive had mine for a year and nothing has broken.
Suggest you consider the constant GPH flow you'll be subjecting your fish to by using a 2217 on a 55 gallon tank:
I use a double-length spray bar with an Eheim 2215 in my 55 gallon (bought an extra spraybar and suction cups/mounting brackets). I also drilled out 2x the number of original holes. Very low flow for my planted tank. Admittedly, the spray bar reaches 1/2 way across the back now! Don't spend money on the prefilter. I have one and liked it, but have now removed the prefilter from my tank and I can't tell a bit of difference with maintenance frequency on the canister.
My only issue with the 2215 on my 55g was/is the clogging due to plant material (heavily planted tank). I think a 2217 would go longer between clean-outs and give some reserve capacity I wish I had sometimes.
Having said that, the 2215 works well if you want something a little less costly than the 2217....
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