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Discussion Starter #1
i've decided to replace a hob filter in my planted tank in hopes of improving water quality. i don't think the hob filter is doing a great job. i will be going with a canister filter in hopes of adding a diy co2 diffuser/reactor (i found some great designs) in either the intake or outflow tubes. i'm on a limited budget, so i've been looking at the fluval x04 series of filters and the xp filstar series. personally, i'd love to get one of the eheim pro series filters, but it's way too rich for my blood. i'd like to know your tho'ts of the efficiency of these filters.

your input is highly valued. TIA.

rich
 

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Filstar XP series are the best filters IMO. But i would not put one in a living room. They make a humming noise. Eheims are weak filters as far as flow rate but they are quite. That is really what makes them good. Fluvals are just a pain IMO.
 

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Fluval is the best compromise between price and quality. I have 3 of them and only one makes a noise that is due to the CO2 build up (but the filter keeps running).

Cleaning the Fluvals is very easy and with virtually no spilled water. Also - I don't know if the Filstar has a flow regulator lever, the new Fluvals have it.

--Nikolay
 

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Fluvals are a great filter that gets the job done for a good price. I have two and plan on getting another. The only drawback is they are hard to prime at times. I think Big Als have them on sale now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
does it matter which fluval i get? i have a 30G that i have set up, and a 60G that isn't (will reserve this for when i have more space). i believe the 204 flowrate is good enuff for the 30G. but i'm thinking of actually getting the 304 for use with the 60G when it's set up in the future. is there any harm in using the 304 on a 30G? i can adjust the flowrates if needed right?

-r
 

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Should do fine, just keep the water flow turned down.
 

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I use a 204 on a 20 long. Flow is a little strong so I replaced the retarded output nozzle with a T shaped deal. Sends the flow both directions and makes a little less harsh. I would think it would be great on a 30g.

One thing, don't buy into the BS that one brand is superior that some like to spew. I don't buy it at all. My tank is crysal clear with a Fluval and quiet. Pay a decent price for one of the large brands like a Fluval, Eheim or a Filstar and you will be fine.
 

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Richy,

Since you are on a tight budget, I would suggest you keep the HOB filter and invest in an Eheim 2213. You can get one for $50-$60 on eBay. If the tank is located in an area where noise is not of a concern, then invest in a Rena Filstar XP1/XP2 while still keeping the HOB filter. The Fluvals cost about as much as the Eheim 2213 and Rena Filstar, but seem to have a disproportionately larger number of complaints than the other two filters. Whether or not that is representative, I cannot say; but if it were me, then I would err on the side of caution and get a Filstar or Eheim.

It is in my humblest of opinion that for a large tank, two small filters are better than a single large one. If you ever set up that 60G tank, don't pool your money into one big filter. Get several smaller ones instead. Such a configuration provides for greater flexibility as well as efficient and thorough circulation.

---

Lastly, a canister filter is an expensive investment so give yourself at least 2-3 weeks to research, read more reviews, and shop around for the best prices. A little patience will save you A LOT of headaches later.

Speaking from experience, :oops:
 

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Hey, Richy I saw you post about Hydor In line heaters too. If you really want to use this kind of heater, I don't suggest you to use Fluval because Fluval have a special water hose that (not kink.) It will make you sick, when you want to connect with a special equipment (such as in-line heater, Co2 reractor)
 

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You can replace the Fluval hose with same size vinyl hose. I have both Fluval (304) and Eheims (2224). The Fluval has served its purprose. But the Eheim is dependable, silent, has a metal impeller, and does not lock up if you bubble CO2 into it. The simple Eheim's are dependable and last a long time.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter #11
hey, jaxal:

thanks for the heads up. i'm just researching my options at this point. i'm trying to come up with the best possible setup. pineapple does make a valid point.

i think my idea right now is to go with the fluval 304 (with flowrate turned down), add an in-line diy co2 reactor on the outflow valves (replacing the non-kink with a regular hose) using diy co2, and keep my regular setup with the heater inside the tank. i'm also retrofitting the lighting from two 2x18w mini aqualights to a 2x36w retrofit kit from AHS, using one 10,000K bulb and one 5500K bulb. i believe this will yield the 8000K lighting level that i want.

how does that sound?

-r
 

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I would say a cheaper eheim model ( classic models) or a filstar xp2 or xp3.

I have had a filstar xp3 for two years and have heard no humming. I drilled more holes in the spraybar, which I had submerged, to get rid of a whistle but that's the only complaint I've ever really experienced or heard about them.

To me, it seems like when someone has a problem with a broken piece on their canister filter, or a seal busted and now the floor is flooded, or retaining clip or something broke off, or my canister filter just died, or "what is this noise from?" questions, it turns out to be a fluval so much of the time that I personally could not dismiss it so could never bring myself to buy one. It could be due to fluval being more common / higher number of people owning them / people new to canister filters or the hobby in general buying those first ? Whatever the case is, it's the cause of most of the canister filter complaints I hear and read about, at least in my perception.
 

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I've run a Fluval 303 for years on a 90 gallon tank. At times it was reasonably quiet. A great filter until recently it has begun to make noise from a vibrating impeller. Can't seem to fix it so it's going away :(
I've probably had this filter for over 10 years with replacement of minor things like o-rings.

I'm thinking of investing in an Eheim because this tank is in a bedroom, and because I have never owned one :)
 
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