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Old 08-25-2010, 03:49 PM   #1
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External Filters - narrowed down to 3, need some help

So I have done alot of reading into canister filters lately, I have only ever used the HOB filters so this is quite new to me. I just purchased a FLuval Osaka 41 Gallon tank, Mr.Pet's and now need to choose filtration for it. I believe I have it narrowed down to 3, and was hoping to get some input before pulling the trigger.

Fluval 305
CONS
-leak prone more than others, is this accurate? or internet myth? I go away alot so this would be a major concern for me. I have heard its avoidable by replacing the O-Rings every year, and using some vaseline. How big of a problem is this? I hope I don't ignite an argument with this question!
-pain for maintenance and to open up.
PROS
-cheap, LFS has offered it to me for $80 new because I bought my tank there
-Tank is also fluval brand, I don't know if this is any kind of benefit to have the same bran filter/tank.
-nice quality hose attachment to make sure input/outputs stay put no matter what, I tend to be careless, and also have a young and curious 3 year old so this was important to me.

Rena XP3
CONS
-ugly blue/grey input tubes, what the heck were they thinking? this would stick out like a sore thumb on a black fluorite sand substrate and black background, unfortuneatly athetics are important in this setup, so this is a major con for me.
PROS
-can integrate a heater unit with it so one less item in the tank.
-seems to have a good track record for reliability.

Eheim ProII 2126
CONS
-pricier @ $178
-ugly green tubing, can someone confirm they use the green intake in the tank as well or is it black? I was hoping the tubing was only green
-no media comes with
-less flow than others
PROS
-eheim seems to be the leader in reliability from reading reviews
-integrated heater which comes with the unit.
-quality construction

As is, if the intake/outake tubing is black on the Eheim pro2 2126 I would probly lean that way, its unfortunate, the XP3 is also a very nice filter and would save some $$$$, I just cannot get over how much that blue/grey tubing would stick out in my tank, is this replaceable? anything else I should know about these filters?

Value wise Fluval seems like a great deal, especially with the hose attachment system and my household, however if its a common occurance in these to leak more than others, its a deal breaker, I don't mind if the maintenance is a little harder, but don't want 40 gallon on the floor!
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:44 PM   #2
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I haven't used a canister filter before, so I don't really have an opinion. I've heard good things about all three.

Krylon Fusion spray paint could take care of ugly hose colors. It's designed for plastics, so it won't crack or flake when the hoses flex and it's aquarium safe after it's dry and cured.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:14 PM   #3
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thanks for the tip! never thought about spray paint.

As for the rest thats my problem, they are all good filters from my understanding. I don't mind spending the extra $175 to get the Eheim Pro2 with integrated heater, over the course of an aquarium life $175 is not much, but at the same time I want to know I am getting something of value for that $175 more, not just unecessary bells and whistles, the heater is a big plus, but alone is not worth the extra $175, I want to know you get better quality/reliability as well.

As for the Fluval I realize things get a bad name on the internet unfairly, so before writing it off with leaking problems I wanted to get some first hand advice as it is the cheapest option for me and best fit to have fluval all around, but leaking would be a deal breaker, its a tough call, they will all work well for me.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:33 PM   #4
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They're all good filters, you won't go wrong with any of them.

As Jim stated, you can paint the intakes. I've done this on 4 Rena filters with no issues whatsoever.

I'm not a fan of the integrated heater. I prefer my equipment to be easily replaceable. It's cheap and easy to swap out a heater (they do fail), swapping out a whole filter because of a bad heater isn't as easy. Yes, you could just add a heater if that one fails, but then why pay for the integrated one? JMO.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
They're all good filters, you won't go wrong with any of them.

As Jim stated, you can paint the intakes. I've done this on 4 Rena filters with no issues whatsoever.

I'm not a fan of the integrated heater. I prefer my equipment to be easily replaceable. It's cheap and easy to swap out a heater (they do fail), swapping out a whole filter because of a bad heater isn't as easy. Yes, you could just add a heater if that one fails, but then why pay for the integrated one? JMO.

Hmm you make a good point, from what I have read its a pretty reliable heater, but have read a few reports with temp problems, but I would also assume it would be covered under the 3 year warranty? I can get the Eheim 2026 which is the same filter without the inline heater for about $100 cheaper, I just liked the fact I would not have a heater in the tank. Something to think about for sure, what do you think of the inline ETH heaters from hydor? That way it would not be in the tank, but at the same time be easily replaceable as I understand it connects in the middle of the output hose.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:04 PM   #6
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I have two of those filters.. a fluval 305 and an eheim 2224... I have to say that I much prefer the fluval over the eheim. Not only is the eheim much more expensive, but I find it more difficult to set up and clean. I've heard alot of good things about the xp's as well. Personally, I would stick with the fluval or the xp. And as far as leaking, my 305 or 405 has never leaked a drop
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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I have two of the hydor in line heaters. One of them malfunctioned and cooked the tank. I decided to try to rena that attaches to the intake tube that does go in the tank but it is black so it covers up better. I placed mine behind a rock formation so that did a pretty good job of concealing it. I really did like the hydor and I am still running the other one. I just did have one fail but it was after almost 3 years of continuous use and everything electrical is liable to fail someday. I also have 3 of the XP3's and love them very much. Maintenance is quite easy and a lot of room for media. I did have a leak in one but it was the O rings and that was after 3 years as well. I replaced those for $7 and away I went.
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