Originally Posted by luvincichlids515
My dad has a 125 gallon in which he had 2 eheims on it and his water was never as crystal clear as ours was.
Thank you, that's the kind of input I was looking for.
I finally got my hands on a Cascade and Eheim Ecco series at Petco today. I noticed that the Eheims had a much lower GPH
rate, and was surprised when I opened one up to see that the inlet seemed to be even more
restrictive than the Rena inlet! It lets out into a section less than 1 square inch, then it flows through an outlet toward the outside of the tub again less than 1 sq in. I however did like the trays, they lock together on top of each other, and the bio media was hundreds of little balls about 1/2 cm in diameter, each tray was packed with them, and there was an additional package of them (lord knows why). Interestingly, the hose clamps were exactly the same as the Cascade clamps. I was expecting to see something different, I guess.
The Cascade was interesting, it also has a design similar to the Marineland where the inlet is via a tube through each tray down to the bottom, and the trays are very large, probably the largest out of all the canister filters I looked at. The drawback I saw was that the trays did seem kind of flimsy, cheap plastic. Maybe that's why they are 1/2 as much as everything else on Big Al's Online.
The german made Eheim with it's restrictive flow design made me think that maybe there is a reason behind the Rena design, and maybe it's not that bad after all. I guess since the flow rate on the XP2 is 300/hr that's 5/min and maybe at that rate the resistance doesn't affect the efficiency. Eheim flow rate was much lower for a comparable tank size recommendation, the 2236 (largest) said 80 gallons tank size @ 185 GPH
, whereas Rena's XP2 was 75 gallon @ 300 GPH
. Perhaps this explains your dad's problem and the difference Rena made.
As far as bio media goes, that stars seem like a poor choice, the ceramic rings seem better, but I really dig the balls that come with the Eheim, they seem like the best, tons of surface area.
So at this point, I'm definitely leaning towards Rena XP2, though the XP3 has the flow control I'm looking for 300 GPH
max with the planted tank, and if that reduces by 25% over time to 240 GPH
, I'm still turning the tank almost 5 times an hour.
I'm guessing that if I use the Eheim substrat bio-balls in the Rena filter, that would probably slow the flow rate down since they're so tiny, and that seems like the best of both worlds. In that case, I might go with the XP3 so I have enough room in the trays for the coarse and fine prefilter pads, the bio-chem zorb (see more below on that), and 2 half trays of Eheim bio-balls, then the fine floss at the top. I guess I might go with the XP2 and ceramic rings if it really doesn't make a difference, I just think the more bio-media the better.
I don't need carbon filtration because I'm running a planted tank, but I just watched the API video on Bio-chem zorb and it says it's supposedly good for a planted aquarium, even though it says it's a blend of materials that include carbon. Any input from the planted tank experts on this?