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Old 05-05-2004, 02:01 PM   #1
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Emperor too noisy, what should I get?

I'm moving my 2 GF from an Eclipse 12 into a new 75G tank, and I have put on an Emperor 400. It seems to be working OK, but the filter is way too noisy. I don't mind the splashy water sounds, but the motor sounds like a little garbage disposal, and the lid rattles. I took it back to the lfs, and they replaced the impeller, but no help, and they said no to exchanging it. At this point, I may or may not try to send it back to Marineland for exchange, but in the meantime I'm gonna buy something quieter.

Based on my research, here is my list of potentials:

1) AC500 - probably not a whole lot quieter, but pretty inexpensive
2) ViaAqua 750 - haven't found much info, but well reviewed at cichlid-forum.com, and still fairly cheap
3) Rena XP3 - better than the ViaAqua? but a little more $$$
4) Eheim ? - not sure which one, but also not sure I'm ready for the investment.

I eventually plan to have 3-4 GF in the tank, so I don't want to skimp on filtering, but where the tank is placed, quiet is an important factor. Any comments on my short list, or other options I haven't thought of?

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Old 05-05-2004, 02:22 PM   #2
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Is it possible you are getting air bubbles into the intake on your Emporer 400? I've had one for over 10 years and I can never hear it. Air bubbles make a grinding sound.

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Old 05-05-2004, 02:30 PM   #3
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I agree with Bearfan...although I have never owned an Emporer, I do own penguin biowheel filters from Marineland, and the only time I heard noise from the motor/impeller was when there was a problem.

I am not so sure your lfs should have replaced the impeller without knowing what the problem was. Marineland's customer service is extremely helpful and responsive. I would try and e-mail them or call them:

If you have specific questions about our products, we suggest you respond to Customer Service. The e-mail address is techhelp@marineland.com. Our customer service number is 800.322.1266 and our phone hours are 8am-5pm (Pacific Time) Monday-Friday.
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Old 05-05-2004, 02:52 PM   #4
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I have a Penguin 330 which I also thought was very noisy when I first set it up. It turned out that I had my water level too low. The splashing water created bubbles which then sucked back into the filter and made the grating sound. Now that I have the water at the proper level, it's pretty much silent.
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Old 05-05-2004, 03:06 PM   #5
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I did call Marineland a couple times, and they were very friendly and responsive. First they had me aim the spray bars back into the filter and run it for a while, but that didn't help. The second time I talked to them they told me to return it to the lfs for exchange, which after two trips back to the shop still hasn't happened. I'll probably call Marineland one more time to try and get an exchange directly, but they gave me the impression that would take more than a week. At this point I'm just fed up with it all and am ready to buy something else. At least I know where not to buy my next filter.

I've had the eclipse 12 for 6 months, and it does get pretty noisy if it gets air in it, so I know what you are talking about. With the Emperor, there is no aeration in the tank, the waterline is about 1/2" above the bottom of the water outlets, and the intake is about 15" below the surface, so if there is air in there its just not clearing from the startup. I've restarted the thing 20+ times, disassembled and reassembled it at least 10, and every time it goes through a very noisy startup (which I expect), and then settles into a steady grind with an intermittent rattling. Moving the flow control around changes the sound a bit, but doesn't really make it better. Same with fiddling with the intake tube - the noise changes a little bit, but never really gets any better. If there is a trick to clearing it that I haven't tried, I'd love to learn it

It is interesting because I've found that the reviews of the Emperors either say they are totally silent, or very noisy. I wonder why there is such a divergence of opinions on them.
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Old 05-05-2004, 03:33 PM   #6
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Mine makes that sound once in a while when I have the flow rate turned down for feeding too long (the grey button on the top) But when the flow button is pulled all the way out it doesn't do it. ??
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:05 PM   #7
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I agree with webmoose...pull it out.
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:20 AM   #8
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The noise is there whether the flow control is in, out, or anywhere inbetween. Other than feeding time (and when I'm fiddling to try and make the noise go away), I have had the flow control full out (max flow).

I really do appreciate the help with the Emperor, but really I am looking on advice as to what to buy to replace it. My frustration has pretty much maxed out and I am just ready to put it aside and try something else. I have heard canisters in general are quieter than HOB, and at this point I just want the quietest system I can get. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:17 PM   #9
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I think you'll be happy with any canister...they are very silent. I have an old Fluval 203 and a HOT magnum...you can not hear either one running at all. I think you must just have a lemon on the Emp 400. I've had several of these and I have a couple of them running on tanks that I service...they are very quiet and, IMO, the best HOB filter available. You might call Marineland, explain the problem to them, and see if they would exchange for a canister model. My HOT Magnum with a Pro 30 biowheel has performed flawlessly for years...I can't even remember when I got it.

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