View Full Version : Filter maintenance demo wanted

Gobies et al
07-01-2009, 11:14 PM
Hi all,

In the next month or two, I will need to purchase a new canister filter for my 90 gal. tank. I have read the reviews but would like to see the maintenance actually being done and hear the pros and cons about that particular filter. I have been happy with my Fluval 404's but am willing to look at others. Please PM me if you are willing to show me how good/bad your canister filter is (Red Deer and area).


07-02-2009, 12:57 AM
I've had the fluval 404, the rena xp3 and xp2 and a fluval fx5. Currently I'm running the fx5 and the xp2. The fluval 404s (I've gone through 2) were my least favorite. They were picky, I had trouble re-priming and both developed leaks over time despite replacing the rubber gaskets and such. They also went through several impellers. I couldn't recommend them to anyone.

The xp2 Rena has been great & rarely needs re-priming. My xp3 needs a new gasket or something and leaks and I never got around to repairing it so it's sitting in a cupboard. (That being said, it is about 6 years old so is due for a new gasket.) I never needed a new impeller with the renas, they were light and easy to take care of. Despite my experience with the leaky one, I would still buy another. Parts are pretty cheap. Also, they are extremely easy to take apart.

The fx5 is great. Really the only thing I don't like about it is how blasted heavy it is full of water and the screw deals on the top to open it are a pain. Because of this I don't do as much maintenance as I probably should on it. (Or maybe I'm just lazy.) However, it does have an extra valve on the bottom so you can use it to pump the water right out of the filter (not a feature I use because I like to vacuum the bottoms of my tank, but great idea) to a hose (not included with it) to wherever. You can close the valve to the input to make it empty itself into the tank. It will also stop for 3 minutes to dislodge air locks and restart itself. It's a great filter and so much room for whatever media you want in there. I use it for both fresh and saltwater applications. Another thing I like is the dual output on it, you can direct the flow wherever you want and might not even need a powerhead for extra flow. The input has a great big basket on it, which makes it practically impossible to clog up.

I've heard good things about the Eheim, but never had the opportunity to own one. (Doug on AA has one, maybe ask him). If I was to buy another canister though, I would go with Eheim or Rena (Rena is less costly I think) on a small tank (just from what I have heard about them) or an fx5 on a medium to large tank (40g or more).

For maintenance, I do the same thing as with a normal Aquaclear HOB; usually rinse the filter floss out with tap water weekly or bi-monthly (unless it looks like it needs replacing), change the carbon out every month (if I remember-changing it this often is not needed for a FW tank) and the sponges get rinsed with old tank water (if there are any).

With the fx5 the sponges can get pretty disgusting after a while (say 4 months running a heavily stocked 72 gallon full of cichlids) and I might rinse them all out in tap water, leaving the bio media in the middle alone. I prefer to take the whole canister and give it a rinse as well, which is why it bugs me that the fx5 is big. Really though, you could put a hose on it, open the valve, run the hose to a drain and pour water in instead of lifting it, I just never bothered because I don't clean it very often. The fx5 doesn't have to be cleaned every month either. I left it for about 3-4 months while running a FW planted. If you are going to leave it that long with no maintenance at all, don't put in the floss because it will clog up and cause the filter to barely run (not good for it).

Feel free to come on over and mess with the filters :)

07-02-2009, 01:12 AM
2x on ehime, I use them all on my FW. Converted a few professional models and work perfectly. Easy to clean, easy to prime.

Ken - BWA

Gobies et al
07-02-2009, 03:49 AM
I've had the fluval 404, the rena xp3 and xp2 and a fluval fx5. Currently I'm running the fx5 and the xp2. ....

Feel free to come on over and mess with the filters :)

Are you planning to do maintenance in the next month? If so, let me know so I can watch, please. :biggrin:

I haven't had problems with my Fluval 404's but I can see a small crack starting on my 8 yr old canister. :sad:

Thanks Ken, I'll keep that in mind!

07-02-2009, 06:57 AM
Yeah, you can come on over. Let me know when it's good for you. It's not much of a sight though, hehe.

I think I might have my old fluval 404 lying around somewhere in my mess... er...garage. If I can find it would you like the old canister? I always meant to try to fix it (the thing leaks out of the top and the motor housing) but it might just work if all you need is the bottom. Could save you a few bux.

Gobies et al
07-02-2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks Kelly! :bounce:

My schedule is open so just let me know what works for you! I'll take you up on the offer for the old housing. :biggrin:

07-02-2009, 04:28 PM
I'll pm you as soon soon as I find it (I hope I still have it, lol).

09-10-2009, 12:47 AM
I know this is an old thread but I run a Fluval 305 on my 20gal reef. No problems yet after a year and a half of use. I totally gutted mine except for the bottom trays where I run carbon bags. The rest is filled with live rock rubble.

Gobies et al
09-13-2009, 10:19 PM
I finally broke down and picked up my new filter. :biggrin: I picked up an Eheim Professional II 2028 from Golds yesterday for a reasonable price.

Thanks Kelly for holding my hand through this and all your help!

Thanks to everyone else for your assistance, it was appreciated!


09-23-2009, 07:33 PM
Heck of a nice filter you picked up. Makes my FX5 look like a a trash can :lol: I had a super great time with you in cowtown despite my (lack of) driving skills. Glad you had a good time too.