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Old 02-06-2012, 11:48 AM   #1
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Fluval FX5 (writeup Review) Great filter

Well I decided that I was sick of the magnum 350 and other stuff I was doing for filtering, so I decided to get the credit card out and buy a big filter. I really wanted something that would be rated for at least 200 gallons; I want overkill at this point. The magnum I had was an alright filter but clogged super super fast, I mean really if would work for a day after cleaning it and then no more water flow through it. I would use this filter for maybe a 30 gallon tank or 55 SERIOUSLY!!

I ordered the filter off Amazon, also at the same time got 12 extra side filters and 21 polish pads and fine filter pads which are probably not made by fluval but might be, they are cheaper but look really nice and the same as the stuff that came with the filter. I am sure I will buy them again any day and I recommend them.

They fx5 they say is rated for up to 400 gallons, I really donít think it would go that great with that large of a tank but maybe sometime I will test that. I figure if I have the money for that large of a tank I will be able to buy another one. I am thinking that this filter would do great at filtering about 200 gallons and not much more but I will really be able to determine this at my next cleaning.

My tank is about 125 gallons, about a 40 gallon sump also, has a bunch of all sorts of Cichlids in it, allot of them breed, size from new born to 11 inches more are about 3-6 inches

This time around as I said the tank was a bit dirty and I figured I would install the filter and then stir up the sand and everything possible and have it work at sucking it all up, so I spent a few hours during the day doing this about 3 times.

After 2 weeks I figured I would clean it and see what it looked like.

Used the filter to pump the water out of it, and then pulled it from the tank over to my sink to start the cleaning, all this took an hour to do totally.

The filter was setup with some carbon and ammonia/carbon mix in a couple bags and also a polish pad and med filter pad in the middle areas of the filter.

Med filter on very top then carbon/ammonia below that, 2nd tray empty and last tray polish pad

All were very dirty but I had not seen any loss of suction. I figured they would be dirty. The blue pad was not blue at all looking at it; the polish pad was super super dirty.

Well I was able to clean the blue med filter pad easily with just running water and it looked almost as new, then started on the other filter pads around the sides of the filter, the 6 total inside the filter, They took a good while to clean them, they are thick and really hold allot of stuff, and as I said I tried to over load them. LOL, have to test it you know.

The polishing pad at the bottom was very very dirty, it is super thick also, meaning that you canít even see through them they are so dense. Great filter pad. Actually they are amazing build quality. Amazon I know that these are really not meant to be used all the time but they are amazing, I honestly could not get it fully clean like the other pads because itís so dense. I tried and tried and tried and ran water through it forever. Probably spent 5 times as much time on this as the other pads just to see if I could clean it. I am thinking that I will probably just replace one every time I clean the unit, probably donít need to use one all the time though, even every 2 weeks means that a package of 21 will last the whole year. at 16.95 not bad.

Cleaning total took an hour, while doing some laundry and playing with the dog a little, Not bad for cleaning that large of a filter totally

Looking at the side filters on the fx5 they were not able to getting 100% clean but almost, they just had some larger stuff, not sure what it is still stuck in them, but over all they cleaned well.

When putting it back together I had before places the fine filter pad and polish pad on top of the media bags this time I decided I wanted to put them on the bottom. I donít know if it will be better or worse, I added allot more media also, I filled the top with the pre media I got with the filter and put an old ammonia bag on top, its probably not good any more since I have had it for years, but why not, then middle tray I put the fine polish pad on bottom and carbon and ammonia mix and the bottom polish pad down first then the carbon on top of that. I will run it for another 2 weeks and clean again to see what is going on with it, I do check water flow every couple days just to check on it.

My tank looks amazing, I never noticed how dirty the water was, before my lighting seemed almost insufficient but really it was just all the little stuff in the water making it so it was not crystal clean. Now itís amazing. Honestly. I am so happy I got this filter.

If you have any questions about this filter or anything let me know I am more than willing to help anyone out.

I plan to include pictures later of everything so if you want something specific let me know and I will talk about it or snap a few pictures for you.



Tips for this filter-

Its large make sure you have room for this filter where ever you plan to keep it.

Its better if you have doors that go to the bottom of the shelf or base where you will place the filter, I have about a 5 inch drop to the bottom and you have to lift the filter out and tip it making it more fun.

Cut the filter tubes just to the length needed not any longer.

Watch for the mass of bubbles as the last bit of air dumps out of the filter after the 2 min cycle at start up.

Before starting the filter better to fill it almost all the way up instead of just putting 2 gallons in the filter, (less bubbles)
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:39 PM   #2
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Thanks! Nice write up...Also I was wondering did you seed your new filter? Im concerned you may mini cycle if your cleaning all your stuff at once. Also you said you clean your filters under running water. This is dangerous because the chlorine can kill your good bacteria that eats ammonia. Most only clean filters in aquarium water when doing a water change. Thanks for taking the time to write this up.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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Great review. I think you should post it in the review part of this website: FX5 - Aquarium Advice Product Reviews

This post will be forgotten if it stays in this part of the forum.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:06 PM   #4
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Awesome review. I plan on using a couple of these on my 260g once we get it going. Nice to know that it's a good filter!

Also, not all tap water is equal. The majority of people are surprised to know that, in some parts of the world (like mine) there are zero chloramines or chloranamines (sp?) in the water, particularily with those of us who get water from an old-fashioned well which pumps it straight out of the ground. My well water originates in a nearby lake, but it is sucked through half a mile of sand and soil (as well as dense tree roots) and comes out incredibly clean. It's nice to be able to spray my filters out with the sprayer on my kitchen sink.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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I have never seeded a new filter or bothered with any of that stuff, maybe I am just lucky or something but I have been doing fish for a long while and never had any problems with anything. I dont do water weekly or even monthly water changes, I just fill the tank when it needs water, I do put Prime in my tank though and sometimes I add some aquarium salt. Personally i will never use aquarium water to clean filters I like the pressure of a garden hose or sink. ya maybe someone will call me crazy but none of my fish have ever minded they just want more food, darn hungry hippos, when I clean the tank I want to clean everything really well, I know enough other stuff is in the sump to take care of all the bacteria I need.

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Originally Posted by Jmedic25 View Post
Thanks! Nice write up...Also I was wondering did you seed your new filter? Im concerned you may mini cycle if your cleaning all your stuff at once. Also you said you clean your filters under running water. This is dangerous because the chlorine can kill your good bacteria that eats ammonia. Most only clean filters in aquarium water when doing a water change. Thanks for taking the time to write this up.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #6
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I think these would do great for a tank that size, I am thinking like you I would rather have 2 than 1, Even if it says 400gallons.

Agreed, As I said in another post maybe I am lucky with water, was on a well before and where I live now they say has some of the best water in the state so who knows. True is fish are tough and they can take allot.

Ya I would like to get like a 300 gallon tank setup for my next tank, but I am thinking I have a basement and a window that I need to take out. I could dig a good size tank under my porch where it would get some protection from the elements and I would have to setup a chiller and prob a great heating setup and it would be amazing. My calculations come out to about 600 gallons, that would make a sweet Chiclid tank. Almost big enough to put a full stump in as decoration

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Originally Posted by Freshie In Disguise View Post
Awesome review. I plan on using a couple of these on my 260g once we get it going. Nice to know that it's a good filter!

Also, not all tap water is equal. The majority of people are surprised to know that, in some parts of the world (like mine) there are zero chloramines or chloranamines (sp?) in the water, particularily with those of us who get water from an old-fashioned well which pumps it straight out of the ground. My well water originates in a nearby lake, but it is sucked through half a mile of sand and soil (as well as dense tree roots) and comes out incredibly clean. It's nice to be able to spray my filters out with the sprayer on my kitchen sink.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #7
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Done, I use to live in Snohomish, I miss all the water, but I like the sun here All those fish there.

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Great review. I think you should post it in the review part of this website: FX5 - Aquarium Advice Product Reviews

This post will be forgotten if it stays in this part of the forum.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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I dont do water weekly or even monthly water changes, I just fill the tank when it needs water,
This is not part of his review.

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Originally Posted by didysis View Post
Personally i will never use aquarium water to clean filters I like the pressure of a garden hose or sink.
This is personal preference, so any newbies out there shouldn't think this is the right way to go.
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