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Old 03-13-2006, 08:25 AM   #1
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Taring down ASAP

Well this morning I awake to yet another equipment failure. Submersible Pump on skimmer simply will not work. I cleaned it down in the sink and got it to initiate a few times but as soon as I put it back int the sump and plug it in.....nothing

Considerinbg it is somewhere around 5 months old, was bought to replace another faulty pump that came with the skimmer and the almost daily battles with equipment issues there is no other conclusion I am able to come to other than there is just no way to get reliable equipment on the hobbyist level.

At this point I refuse to play the "sucker" for these grossly overpriced LFS and equipment manufactures who it is obvious have no intention of making quality products but simply seek to keep people buying one piece of crap after another.

My final advice to any new hobbyist will most definatly be......Dont bother.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:02 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your troubles but telling people not to bother might be a bit harsh. I have used GenX pumps that have been running over a year and I have Mag pumps that are going on 3 years. I also have some PH's and a Whisper power filter that are probably close to 10 years old that still work. I know Mag pumps have a decent warranty as well.

Again, Sorry to hear about your troubles.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:12 AM   #3
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Your luck with equipment is indeed the execption to the norm. I have pumps, heaters, and filters that are several years old and running like they did on day one. Its possible you have other enviormental factors affecting the equipments performance. Quality of electricty being supplied, poor batch sold to the LFS. Bad LFS whom is somehow selling factory seconds. I would suggest online ordering of equipment if your local shops are high priced and expecially if they stock only select brands/models.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:24 AM   #4
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Definately the exception to the rule. I've got some Mag pumps that have been running 8+ years. Now I have had my share or RIO pumps crap out on me, but consider the manufacturer on that one b/c I never use them anymore for that reason.

I recently tried out the Quiet One Pumps and had the same issue. Less than a month old and they wouldn't work after I cut power to them. I would have to tap the bottom with a rubber hammer to get the pump to work -- UGH! So those are going back to Foster & Smith today!

But overall, I find Mag pumps are very reliable and although you pay more up front, the satisfaction of knowing the pump will run for a long time is well worth it.

Don't give up just yet. Try a quality mag pump or another brand that someone recommends and see. Don't buy from your LFS, like you said, they'll just rip you off. Instead, goto Foster & Smith or Marine Depot and buy one, they are alot cheaper.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:38 AM   #5
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Well I find it hard to believe that no matter what I buy there is always issues. Here is the short list.

coralife aqua lites at 250 dollars. The LED moonlighting is unshielded. Despite mounting on legs and making quite certain no micro bubble spray was reaching the fixture all four LEDs failed in first month.

hydor flow deflectors. I have purchased six of these. To date only two are still functioning properly. I did not exceed recommended pump out put on any of them but the cheap plastic gearing just dos not hold up to 24/7 use. Despite cleanings in vinegar solutions and hours of attempts to make these things last.

Quite one pump is the only submersible that has functioned and is being use in sump for return pump.

Rio pump has failed outright which is the one I have been using on the skimmer.

Surge brand pump that also fails to initiate half the time. It has been relegated to my change water container due to this problem. This is the pump that my fourth skimmer came with but constantly having to pull skimmer out of sump to get pump to initiate led me to the purchase of the Rio which has now failed.

Protein skimmer that the manufactures know full well are junk. Prism, sea clone and Berlin returned when found to perform woefully inadequate if at all.

Hydor heater. Works fine if room temperature is kept constant which pretty much defeats the entire purpose of the component. I have to guess what the room temp might drop to that night and set the thermostat accordingly in attempts to keep tank at consistent temperature.

Emporer 400 HOB filter. Despite constant maintenance now only directs water to one half of filter media.

Pretty much everything I have purchased equipment wise has needed modification by end user, fails outright or does not perform as claimed. Simply put I can not continue with these purchases in the vain attempt I may stumble on something that functions as claimed.

I am by no means a newbie to aquarium keeping. I had freshwater tanks since the late seventies. Worked as maintenance for SW show tanks in early and mid eighty's. These equipment problems only started to occur when I returned to the hobby six months ago. If your an old timer it is quite obvious by look and feel of equipment that it is just not made like it was in the past and as I have found out, fails to perform due to these cost cutting measures by the manufactures.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:39 AM   #6
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On that quiet one and rios. Unless the shaft acutally gets damaged you can usually take them apart and clean up the imeller chamber and impeller magnet and this gets them to working again relyabliy at least for a period of time.

But yes I dont buy RIOs either.
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:18 PM   #7
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natman2,
Yes it does sound like you've run into some bad luck, but fair not, there's hope out there. I had similar issues with heaters, sumps, lights, etc. and I found the more research I did (and calling Foster & Smith Customer Service daily lol), and reading, the more informed I was of the product I needed. Once you find a good set of products that the majority of the people recommend, then you'll be ok.

I agree, I would rather stick a gun barrell in my mouth than to keep buying equipment that fails. Try something inexpensive at first, like a MAG pump for your skimmer and see if that holds, then continue to purchase items that are on the 'upper' level of the manufacturer lists.

I'd be willing to bet if you threw a poll on what equipment people used and what their failure rate is, you'd see alot of similarities in the make, models, and manufacturer.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:33 PM   #8
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You get what you pay for. Hate to say it, but it's true. And face it, salt water isn't a cheap hobby. Sounds like you might be shopping at Petco from that list of brands... a lot of people here are recommending you check out liveaquaria.com/drs foster and smith... you can also check out www.captivereefs.com and any of the vendors that support this forum or others. Sea Clones, Prisms, Berlin Red Sea, all those are well known junk brands. It helps to research your equipment first, as a experienced aquarium guy, you know that as well as any other salty on here. It's true, they don't make things like they used to, but some of the things they make now are actually better. The advances in aquarium technology are pretty astounding... but expensive. If you're not willing to buy top shelf, you can compromise. Instead of a Euroreef skimmer, you can get ASM. Instead of sinking hamiltons on rio after rio, you can buy one mag drive and a big bottle of vinegar. I've got a brand new mag drive 9.5, and it's just as good as my old ones. Quieter actually. Newer doesn't necessarily mean better. There were no golden years in aquarium keeping, any more than there were in any other age. If one heater doesn't do the job, try running two. I keep backups on everything. Maxi Jet powerheads are worth five times their weight in Penguins. Visi-therm heaters are very nice. Jager heaters aren't bad, but they don't have the auto shut off Visi-Therm does. HOB filters generally tend to suck for salt water. They grow too much gunk. Trickle filters aren't much better but they don't bog down on you.
And if you're still going to tear it all down... got any frags to donate?
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