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Discussion Starter #1
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!

- Mike
 

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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.
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.

- Mike
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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.
 

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I'm a cascade fan. it's cheap but it works. ive had mine for a year and nothing has broken.
 

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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.

- Mike
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Will work well for 55 gallon in my opinion.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #11
Do you know if the spray bar for the 2215 will fit the 2217? If so, could you tell me the brand so I make sure I get the right one. I am new to the canister filter world and want to make sure I buy the right items.

Thanks!

- Mike
 

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As I seem to have been "silently mentioned" in this thread [in relation to the 12 year Eheim:lol:], 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.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Always good to hear from you Byron. As far as the media that you use which Biomax do you feel is the best? Fluval Biomax Bio Rings or is there something else you suggest? Let me know when you get a chance.

Thanks,

- Mike
 

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Do you know if the spray bar for the 2215 will fit the 2217? If so, could you tell me the brand so I make sure I get the right one. I am new to the canister filter world and want to make sure I buy the right items.

Thanks!

- Mike
I'm not positive about the tubing diameter differences between the 2217 and 2215, but according to Aquarium Home Care : Aquatic Articles - Canister Filter - An overview of Eheim Classic canister filters, the outflow tubing for the 2215 and 2217 is the same (1/2"). You can find the spraybar at Eheim Outlet Pipe-Filter 2215/2222/28-(Spray Bar) and other places on-line. Honestly, the pieces are over-priced, but I love the filter!
 

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Always good to hear from you Byron. As far as the media that you use which Biomax do you feel is the best? Fluval Biomax Bio Rings or is there something else you suggest? Let me know when you get a chance.

Thanks,

- Mike
The first basket of media (first that the water flows through) should contain the ceramic disks; Fluval calls this the "Pre-Filter" and this is it:
Fluval Pre-Filter Media 750g.

The second stage they call BioMax:
Fluval Bio Max

Eheim calls the first Ehfimech, and the latter Ehfisubstrat. I originally bought these for my Eheims, but more recently the Fluval have appeared and I see no difference except being a third the cost. The above links are only for illustration, I know nothing about, nor am I recommending, the site.:)
 
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again Byron I think they sale both of these on Amazon at a very reasonable price so I will definitely pick some up through them.

To everyone who has commented I really appreciate the comments and help. I am still open to having others comment but I think this really helped to find the right filter to me.

Best to all and until next time!

- Mike
 

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Thanks again Byron I think they sale both of these on Amazon at a very reasonable price so I will definitely pick some up through them.

To everyone who has commented I really appreciate the comments and help. I am still open to having others comment but I think this really helped to find the right filter to me.

Best to all and until next time!

- Mike
I would only mention that with the Eheim 2217,, Biological,mechanical,fine filtering material, media comes Pre-packed with the filter and ready for use after rinsing.
Im running one on 55 gallon with five pleco's and some whitecloud minnow's/Emperor Tetra's and it performs well with monthly backflushing/cleaning.
If the number's of fishes listed under OP'S aquarium's are going into this tank,,I would like the 2217 or larger.
 
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