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External Filter

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Offline Andy64

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External Filter
« on: March 27, 2019, 05:43:22 PM »
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Hi, i'm thinking about getting an external filter for my 200 ltr tank. Any suggestions would be very welcome , i'm thinking about the Fluval Fx4 or fx6 but not sure if these filters will be too powerful for my 200 ltr ??

Offline Sue

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 06:57:28 PM »
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Even the FX4 might be overkill on a 200 litre tank. That one is rated for tanks up to 1000 litres with a maximum flow of 2650 litres/hour - over 10 times the volume of a 200 litre tank per hour.
If you can turn the flow rate down, it might be OK. For 200 litres you need a maximum of 1000 litres per hour; less if you have fish from slow moving water.

I would look at something a bit smaller/less turnover.

Offline daveyng

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2019, 10:24:29 PM »
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JBL external filters are good they are quiet and low energy. The Cristalprofi e902 Greenline would be my choice for that tank size.

Offline Matt

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 06:29:31 AM »
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I also think the fx6 is a hit much for a 200 litre tank, though regarding the fx4...

Many would suggest you need to shoot for at least x10 turnover in a planted tank to get nutrients co2  moving around efficiently.to aid plant growth. I have roughly x5 turnover as Sue has suggested as a maximum however would not consider this too much. This is because the filter is unlikely to ever produce this much flow in reality... unclean hoses, media, height difference between the filter and tank and other factors, bring the theoretical flow rate down significantly. My problem is normally the intake getting blocked with debris, something I have to keep on top of each week. Many filter manufacturers test flow rates with no media in the filter!

Sue is right that it depends on the type of fish being kept which is not something an aquascaper would necessarily place as much emphasis on. My five times theoretical turnover would not cause any issue even for fancy finned fish I do not personally believe as real life flow rate is likely to be far less.

Other factors to consider that Dave has highlighted are noise and power consumption. Noise certainly is a big factor for me as the tank is in our sitting room... it's not something that's easy to find out though and normally forums are the only way to compare noise from different filters, it's not something manufacturers necessarily report.

Further considerations include whether you would like an integrated heater. This is something I always want in a filter to hide this extra equipment from the tank for aesthetic reasons. Ease of maintenance... I believe the fx series have a drain port. The Oase Biomaster series have a quick release pre filter so regular filter maintenance is a doddle. Hoses... many Fluval filter can only use Fluval specific hoses and therefore inlets and outlets. I have glass lilly pipe inlets and outlets again for aesthetics and these would not be compatible with these filters.

Sorry... lots to think about there!! Not sure if I've helped as all... If you wanted a suggestion, the filter I'd recommend is the Oase BioMaster Thermo 350.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 09:10:53 AM »
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I am a massive fan of the Fuval FX4 and FX6 filters, mainly due to the drain port making water changes so much easier.
However, I strongly suggest that you do not use an FX6 on a 200L tank, that is a lot of filtration for that size of tank. You are more likely to end up blowing your fish out of the water, or pinning them against the far end.
I am currently using an FX4 on a 220L tank, but have changed the output nozzles to much wider ones, to try to decrease the impact of the flow, because that tank has marbled hatchets that are not overly keen on very fast water.
I also have an FX4 on my axolotl tank, which is just over 400L. I've changed the nozzles for the ones from the FX6 (which are much wider) because axolotls really don't like a lot of water movement.
I will say that the FX4 is not a noisy filter, both tanks I've mentioned are in my living room, and I can't hear the filters in the cabinets. However, the hoses for the intake & output are quite wide, so you'd need to make sure that they would actually fit your tank.
I have FX6 filters on my large river tank, and have used the narrower output nozzles from the FX4s to increase the water movement, as the fish are all from fast flowing water.
The only other external filters I have any experience with are the Aquamanta EFX400, which I use on a 200L tank. The filter is ok. The prime button is a bit stiff, and the lever for removing the hoses from the filter cartridge feels a bit flimsy (but hasn't broken).

Offline Andy64

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 02:13:56 PM »
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Thanks for the replies, i did think the flow might be to much for my community set and i know people are having problems using such filters on medium size set ups. I like the look of the Oase BioMaster Thermo 350 filter and the combined heater is a great idea but it seems a little expensive at 200. I'm now looking at the Fluval 306 which seems a bargain at just over 100 with free next day delivery, and with an increased flow of 1150. Is anyone using such a filter or has any experience of the Fluval 306 ?. I shall do a little more research on the Fluval before I buy but It's ticking all the boxes for me at the moment :-)

Offline Matt

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 03:29:01 PM »
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Fluval are generally known to be a good brand ;)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 05:04:22 PM »
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I bought a Roma 240 tank/cabinet, and that comes with the 306 filter.
Unfortunately I haven't unpacked that one yet, so can't really comment from personal experience. Sorry.

Offline Andy64

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 07:05:57 PM »
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Thanks for all your help and info , I have gone with the Fluval 307 which is the updated version of the 306. Bought it from the same company that i had my set up from last year and didn't realise that i had accumulated loyalty points so had 4. 00 off  :cheers: . Looking forward to getting it up and running :-) I will run the internal alongside it for a couple of weeks or so before removing it completely :-)

Offline Littlefish

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2019, 07:20:37 PM »
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Best of luck with your new external filter, I hope that it's exactly what you need.  :)

Offline Matt

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2019, 07:24:26 PM »
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You could move the media from the internal filter into the external. That way you would be able to seed the new filter far quicker and also could remove the internal one straight away :)

Offline Sue

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2019, 07:27:39 PM »
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Matt replied while I was typing, so just to expand on what he said -


A couple of weeks isn't long enough. If you still have the same fish load, the bacteria will stay where they are, there is nothing to make them migrate to the new filter.

The best way is to take all the media out of the current filter and put it in the new one. Then add new media to fill up the spaces. Wait a month, then remove part of the old media and replace with new; repeat after another month, and so on till all the media is the new media that comes with the filter.

Hagen doesn't give the 307 manual on its website but other sites give the media as biofoam max, biofoam, biofoam+, carbon and 'quick & clear'. You don't actually need the last two. Keep them in the cupboard and put the old media where they are supposed to go.

You could always leave the old media there permanently; or when you remove a bit, replace it with sponge, any make cut to fit.

Offline Andy64

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2019, 08:05:34 PM »
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Thanks for the great advice, that's what i will do then , and it means I can get rid of the U4 straight away :-)

Offline Sue

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Re: External Filter
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2019, 08:17:52 PM »
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The U4 has sponges and biomax (and carbon pads). The simplest would be to lay the sponges flat in a basket and fill round them with biomax. You can cut the sponges to make them fit.

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