I think a small eheim 22xx series canister would be the best. If you are strapped for cash an Aquaclear 300 is a good size hang on filter. I have about 5 Aquaclear filters right now. Just don't get a Fluval.
Just kiddin', seriously, my lfs has received several returns of the Ecco filters due to people breaking the handle/priming mechanism. I'm not too delicate when it comes to opening and closing things and I know the classic and pro models can take everything I can throw at them. I have stayed away from the Ecco (22xx) series for this reason, I have no experience with them myself but others have told me they are not quite up to the same high standards as the other Eheim canisters. Plus the classic series can be had cheaper in most cases, doesn't have all the bells and whistles but it'll last a long time.
Anyone experienced the same issue with the supposedly delicate handle or hinges? Or is it just a matter of a few heavy-handed people that tore their handle off?
I have a 30 gallon tank and I run an Eheim Classic 2213. The filter has been running since 1992, and has only recently developed an annoying noise. I think it's time to replace the impellter shaft. Not too bad for 12 years of service
I've used Eheim Classics, Eheim Professionals, and Rena Filstars.
I would suggest a Rena Filstar XP1 or XP2. The relative high costs of the Eheim Classics are unjustified IMHO. If you are bent on Eheims, then the Professional series is what you should be aiming for.
As far as I am concerned, the only drawback to the Rena Filstars is the noise, which is loud only compared to the Eheims. My refrigerator makes more noise. And remember that the filter would be housed inside a cabinet, so the noise would be lessened. If you're Superman, then well, maybe you should go for the Eheims. :lol:
How does the noise of the Eheim and Renas compare to that of an Aquaclear. How noisy is the Rena really? I have been contemplating what filter to get for a 30 gal also. The olny thing I think of with the Eheims is the flow flow rate. I know this means that they are a more efficient filter but I think I would rather have the ability to run an inline CO2 difuser and have enough water flow to help wiht algae growth and to get from one side of the 30 gal to the other. My thinking has been that regardless of how efficient a filter is (ie, amount of water bypass throught the filter media) you still need the flow rate that will bring the waste to the filter.
So, I guess my question to add ot this topic is " how much flow is needed for a 30 gallon?"
Oh, and what is the problem with the Fluvals?
Sorry if I seem to be taking over this topic keef
I have used an aquaclear 300 for a 30. If you don't use the top cover they are normally pretty quiet, but I think they tend to vibrate after a few years and make a little extra noise. The impeller shaft design on these is low budget. This is probably the cheapest way to go.
I bought a Fluval 204 for the 30 but it is noisy, keeps getting air bubbles in it, tends to clog since it has such a convoluted filter path that it actually has little cross section, the hoses kink easily, it is hard to prime with the little plunger, and it was expensive. Its not as heavy duty as an Eheim.
I have 2 Eheim 2217s on my 125 gallon tank. They came with quik disconnect valves. Since there are no baskets in the thing, there is no bypass inside the filter (all the water gets filtered.) It never clogs up (9 months between cleanings). Its very quiet. Lasts 20 years at least. And was relatively cheap even with the disconnect valves and the filter media.
I would think the 2213 would be the way to go. Big Als has it for $73. (Its the plus kit- I think it has the valves and the media included).
I use a Fluval 204 on my 20 gallon. Quiet as can be. I have no problems priming it, never have air problems or anything else. Would I buy one again? Yes. I have never used another brand of canister so I cannot compare them. Whatever you end up buying you should be happy. You can do a search of any of these forums and find good and bad experiences with Eheim, Rena and Fluval filters.