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shell696
09-14-2007, 06:37 AM
I am thinking about getting a canister filter for my 90 and there is a place online that I can get either the Penn Plax Cascade 1500 or the RENA X3 for under $100.

Which one would you suggest? Pros or Cons for them??

Any help will be appreciated.

vmayers
09-14-2007, 06:46 AM
I can't speak for the Rena other then the fact that everyone that I have talked to says that they are the best! I do however have a cascade, and the thing that I don't like with it over my fluval is every time I open the canister to squeeze out the sponges or change media water will spill out when I put the lid back on, and I don't experience this with the fluval. Other than that I haven't had any problems with the Cascade.

Seedy
09-14-2007, 07:41 AM
Rena XP's are functional, however lack a lot efficiency of a high end cannister like an Eheim Pro 2 or 3.

I have recently helped a friend set up one of the larger Rena models and I have to admit that pouring water down a funnel to prime the pump was much more effort than pressing the "primer" button on my Eheim Pro2...

shell696
09-14-2007, 07:53 AM
So you don't think they are worth the money?

Seedy
09-14-2007, 08:49 AM
...Depends...you can catch "pro 2"s on clearance sale right now because the "pro 3" Eheims have come out.

What are the best prices you have found available to you for each cannister?

shell696
09-14-2007, 09:35 AM
The cascade is $99.99
The X3 is $89.99

The pro 2 are you talking about Eheim 2028 Professionel II Canister Filter With Media Value Pack. that is $219.99.

Let me know what you think. Thank you Seedy

RobSplatF4
09-14-2007, 10:53 AM
Rena XP's are functional, however lack a lot efficiency of a high end cannister like an Eheim Pro 2 or 3.

I have recently helped a friend set up one of the larger Rena models and I have to admit that pouring water down a funnel to prime the pump was much more effort than pressing the "primer" button on my Eheim Pro2...

It is a lot of work to pour water down that stupid little funnel, but should only have to do that when setting it up. For water changes you can pop two of the clips on the same side until the cannister fills (while running).

tahw
09-14-2007, 08:22 PM
I will say that I don't like canisters in general. They are overpriced and there are HOBs that out perform them for a fraction of the cost. HOBs are also WAY easier to maintain.

That being said, I do own a cascade 1200 and haven't had a problem/complaint about it yet. It is mostly used for bio filtration and water turnover.

Can't say anything about the other canister.

cich1
09-15-2007, 12:36 AM
i love my xp2. so much that i stopped using my fluval 304. i found the xp2 to be much easier to restart after cleaning with no need to reprime. just pop the assembly back into the top of the filter and open the valve and i'm off and running. the rena also collects alot more waste than the fluval ever did. sorry i don't have experience with the cascades so i can't comment on their performance.

Glaive
09-15-2007, 12:53 AM
They are overpriced and there are HOBs that out perform them for a fraction of the cost.

Have a cost to biological efficiency study to back that up?
My way of disagreeing with you, each filter type has it's specialty and purpose.

Heyguy74
09-15-2007, 01:16 AM
Go Eheim. I still like the classic models as well. The 2217 will be more than enough.

Seedy
09-15-2007, 02:29 PM
HOB's are wonderful if you don't plan on doing any serious planting.

I have my cannisters on my planted tanks so:
1)I can run "in line" accessories.
2)I can keep all my CO2 IN my water because I can position my spraybar underwater so as not to disturb the surface...


HOB's are wonderful and economical (I am a huge fan of the Emperor 400) if you are doing a fish only tank.

Another place where HOB's are not well suited are on especially deep tanks and especially large tanks...

tahw
09-15-2007, 03:07 PM
Have a cost to biological efficiency study to back that up?
My way of disagreeing with you, each filter type has it's specialty and purpose.

If that is your way of saying that canisters' main purpose is biological filtration, I couldn't agree more.

Where I do disagree with you is that we DON'T need additional bio filtration. Most of us take real good care of our tanks and do regular wc that unless you plan on not maintaining the tank for 1-2 months at a time (no wc no syphoning), a canister full of bio media is useless.

And Seedy, I love my emp400s.

RustyNut
09-16-2007, 04:47 AM
Water changes remove the end product of the biological cycle in your filter.... so the frequency of performing waterchanges has NOTHING to do with your filtration capacity....

Stock levels and feeding regimen are what determines needed filtration capacity, so a canister filter is far superior to a power filter when you are overstocking or you lose a fish and the corpse is stuck in a cave somewhere in the tank. You cannot have too-much bio-capacity!

Power filters are excellent filters, although I prefer the AC's over the emperor's both are great filters and have good bio-logical filtration, but they cannot compare to most cannister filters for bio-capacity and will not allow the error margins a cannister will. Cannister filters are also more efficient that a power filter, because of their superior dwell time. There is not a single HOB that out-performs an equivalent sized cannister filter.

Also to consider, is that once you move to a 90g tank or larger, it is cheaper to use a cannister than two HOBs.... after all the normal reccommedation for a 75g tank is two Emperor 400's (for cichlids) and that is going to cost you about the same coin as an XP3 that will handle tanks up to 175g! (About 90g for cichlids)

spifff2003
09-16-2007, 06:34 AM
ok my turn back to the debate between the two filters i own 2 xp 3's and cascade 1000 i like em both they both do their jobs well i have one xp on 55 and on a on a 125 i have the cascade on my 75. can't say that i'm a big fan of the funnel thing either but thats only for initial start up the renas push a lot of water the cascade does too but i don't think as much as the rena the thing i like about th cascade is that you can control the water flow i have mine set at about have way so IMO it's six of one half a dozen of the other but a canister is the way to go for a 90:wink:

tahw
09-17-2007, 01:14 AM
Water changes remove the end product of the biological cycle in your filter.... so the frequency of performing waterchanges has NOTHING to do with your filtration capacity....

Stock levels and feeding regimen are what determines needed filtration capacity, so a canister filter is far superior to a power filter when you are overstocking or you lose a fish and the corpse is stuck in a cave somewhere in the tank. You cannot have too-much bio-capacity!


I agree with what you've said. I also agree that I have maybe misstated some of my points.

What i was getting at is that everything that comes in contact with water is a potential home for bacteria (rocks, gravel, filter media, everything) and that is enough. There is virtually more space then food for bacteria to grow, so additional bio media is obsolete.

As far as water changes and syphoning of gravel only removing nitrates, I don't agree with that. The poop and debris that you syphon and remove while changing water is wasting in your tank and producing ammonia non stop. You said it yourself, a dead fish in the tank left to rot will contribute to the bio load. Uneaten food and fish poo among other things, do the same. So unless you plan on not maintaining your tank than the extra bio media is obsolete.

Glaive
09-17-2007, 02:52 AM
The excess provides a fail safe, coupled with a bacterial colony's ability to double rapidly one can avoid disasters that would destroy a tank with just enough. I believe in engineering to excess, similar to bridge capacity, the posted limit is understated for good reason. Anything done correctly is done with fail safes.So I respectfully disagree with you.

I find cannisters to be rather adequate filters with a nice range of additive and water chemistry related uses. HOBs on the other hand do well enough in the biological department, promote better gas exchange and make excellent water polishers.

This would be why my messages will oft suggest one of each, provided the OP is not willing to go with a sump which trumps both.

tahw
09-17-2007, 01:28 PM
I agree that more than adequate is better as fail safe. I just feel that as is there is enough space for bacteria to populate if need be.

I wish there was a study on this. Maybe there is but I couldn't find one.

RustyNut
09-17-2007, 01:59 PM
Your correct about interior tank surface area being more than adequate, but you must remember that the bacteria has to have its food (amonia, nitrite) passed over it for it to be effective.... this is why water flow OVER the media is so important. This is also why the majority of your bacterial colony is concentrated in your filter and not on the glass, substrate, etc....

Marko
09-20-2007, 09:09 AM
Has anyone had any experience with the new Marineland Multi-Stage canister filters, esp the 360?

shell696
09-24-2007, 07:04 AM
I am still torn between which canister to buy. I wish there was only one brand that you can buy.

I want to know if money were no object what is the best you guys have ever used. I don't want to go out and buy one and completly hate it. I used to have a Marineland one and I hated it with a passion. There was no enough room for media and you didn't have the different trays like most of these do right now that is why I am so torn between which one I will want.

Popeye
09-24-2007, 05:49 PM
I run two xp3 on my 180 and I wouldnt use anything else. The best bang for the buck, excellent media compartments, easy cleaning etc etc etc.

thegrayham
09-27-2007, 12:28 AM
Has anyone had any experience with the new Marineland Multi-Stage canister filters, esp the 360? So I just bought a Marineland C-360 and it works great, has plenty of media capcity (especially bio), and is super quiet. The best part of the Marineland compared to the XPs is the priming, you only need to push the priming button to pump in water. Having used both I would never choose the Renas over the new Marineland. Although if money were no issue Eheim Pro 3s would be on all my tanks.

Glaive
09-27-2007, 02:32 AM
I was playing with a diy quick filter earlier and the idea of making my own cannister with a 5 gallon bucket crossed my mind. So long as it was a closed system it would be rather easy to get in the neighborhood of 1000+ gph. Then think about the potential for filtration both biological and mechanical.

RustyNut
09-27-2007, 05:34 AM
I was playing with a diy quick filter earlier and the idea of making my own cannister with a 5 gallon bucket crossed my mind. So long as it was a closed system it would be rather easy to get in the neighborhood of 1000+ gph. Then think about the potential for filtration both biological and mechanical.

Wouldn't you be losing a lot of dwell time in a cannister with that much flow?

shell696
09-27-2007, 08:55 AM
I think I finally decided which one I am going to go with. I think I am going to get the Eheim Pro II 2028.

What do you guys think.

Glaive
09-27-2007, 12:56 PM
An excellent filter, nothing more to add.

Rusty, would depend on the path it took and how well one thinned out the stream.

Popeye
09-29-2007, 03:46 PM
Until you need parts

DogWalker
09-29-2007, 05:00 PM
The best part of the Marineland compared to the XPs is the priming, you only need to push the priming button to pump in water.
I really don't follow you on that point. Not knocking any other brand, but Rena's are self-priming, except for when you first set it up. After that there is never any water to pour. After cleaning you just place the hose connection assembly back in it's spot and lower the flow lever, wait until the unit fills up then plug it in. ??? If you've used both brands (properly) you should know this.

If you ARE referring to that first one-time set-up activity then I take it back, but who cares - I wouldn't let a 30 second job that needs to be done once only affect my choice...

Edit: PS - sorry for disagreeing with you on a minor point on your first post here - welcome to the forums (sincerely)!

shell696
09-30-2007, 11:08 AM
Thank you for all your help guys

shell696
10-01-2007, 12:43 PM
my canister is on its way. Ordered it last night and it has already been shipped I am excited. :)

Marko
10-29-2007, 08:44 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly comes with a new Eheim Pro II 2028? Are they like the Magnum 350 with an intake screen (hopefully that goes deep in the tank) and then obviously some way to disperse the water back into the tank? Do you need to buy media, replacement filters or other accessories at initial purchase?

I''ve only had up to 75 gallon aquariums so far and have relied exclusively on HOBs and one Magnum 350. But now I'm thinking to moving to a 125 gallon and after reading this thread the 2028 sounds like the way to go.

That move from 75 to 125 is a big one, so many options and this seems like a good choice, it it's up for the job which it sounds like it is. Someone alluded earler that replacement media may be difficult to purchase in the future?

The Pro 2's are indeed on sale right now, essentially the same price I was going to pay for 1 Emperor 400, 1 Aquaclear 500 (or whatever thery are called now) and then two HOT Magnums on each end.

I'lll keep searching the archives for 125 gallon aquarium filtration advice, but any suggestions are most welcome here too. This thread has already been very helpful!

Thanks for reading - Mark

DogWalker
10-29-2007, 08:58 PM
I just picked up a Pro II recently. If you can get one with the 'media pack' included (says it on the box) you're all set. (Yes, intake & spraybar are included, but then I've yet to see a cannister where they aren't...)

You generally don't replace most media on cannisters, just rinse it in tank water, so I'm not sure replacement media is an issue. There are always other substitute media that would do if need be.

So far I'm very impressed with the Pro II. I don't think it is enough filtration for a 125 by itself though; particularly if you're going to stock it with cichlids you may need a second filter. But it will still probably provide better bio-filtration than the 4 other filters you were considering combined. And you will LOVE how quiet it is compared to the hobs.

Marko
10-29-2007, 10:16 PM
At 280 GPH it seems impossible that they can rate it for 160 gallons, depends on the fish of course. In this case it's Tropheus Moori, so two Pro III's are probably closer to the order ;).

shell696
10-30-2007, 07:18 AM
I ordered mine from BigAlsonline.com and got a great deal on it. It came with the filter pack and the upgraded intake & spray bar. It is great. Since you can get them for such a good price If you are looking for pick up two pro III you might just want to pick up two PRO II and you will still be happy with what you have.

chc
10-30-2007, 08:53 AM
At 280 GPH it seems impossible that they can rate it for 160 gallons, depends on the fish of course. In this case it's Tropheus Moori, so two Pro III's are probably closer to the order ;).

That is a good question, one I wish more people wopuld ask!

While it seems the GPH rating would be a relevant fact when deciding on a filter's ability to handle a given tank load it honestly isn't the key factor. Biological filtration doesn't need high flow rates to work properly. That is, increasing the flow rate through a given amount of filter media (generalizing to a degree here) doesn't improve nitrifying capacity (i.e. the biological breakdown of waste products).

The most important factor is the amount of media available for colonization. A large canister filter, for instance, has a great deal of media available on which beneficial bacteria can live. Several small HOB filters may have quite a bit more water flow than a canister but less overall biologically active media.

There are benefits to high water flow (good suspension of particulates is one of them), but high flow is not needed to create high filtering capacity.

Regarding your particular situation, you will probably find a Pro II adequate for your needs. The Pro II plus one or two of your existing HOB filters would be great too. A lot of people double up like that. Ultimately, though, I predict, if you purchase one, you will love the silent operation of the Pro II and begin transitioning from HOB's to Eheim canisters!

shell696
10-30-2007, 09:18 AM
I have an Eheim now I have not set it up on my 55 because I have two existing emp 400's running and I bought it for when I switch over to my 90 gal I will have the Pro II and one hob. I am wondering to help seed the Pro II if I should set it up now and start it running on my 55 to seed it and keep the 2 emp 400 running as well. I don't want to go through a CYCLE at ALL. :) Please let me know what you think.

chc
10-30-2007, 10:53 AM
Yes... that would help establish the new tank faster.

ercnan
10-30-2007, 04:26 PM
I have an Eheim now I have not set it up on my 55 because I have two existing emp 400's running and I bought it for when I switch over to my 90 gal I will have the Pro II and one hob. I am wondering to help seed the Pro II if I should set it up now and start it running on my 55 to seed it and keep the 2 emp 400 running as well. I don't want to go through a CYCLE at ALL. :) Please let me know what you think.

Yes, the more established bio you can get for a new tank, the better.
That by no means says you can get crazy with the new stock.
All the filters, decor, substrate, etc. that you take from an existing setup are really only established to the stocking level of the tank they came from.
So many folks think that they can move from a 55 to something bigger, add the 55 stuff to the bigger tank and add 30 more fish right then.
Sadly, not the case most times.
Existing stuff just makes a new tank with more water ready to accept the stock from the old tank faster.

Marko
10-30-2007, 05:28 PM
This thread has again been super helpful! I like the idea of combining HoBs with a Pro II. Understand waterflow versus media/size of canister, otherwise you'd think the Magnum 350s would have put Eheim out of business long ago.

But my t. irsacae would beg to differ. They spend all day long riding a little river made by a good ol' HoB Magnum 250 with a micron filter (balanced out with other filtration of course). It's like a little waterpark for them, tropheus love it too. So as always the answer is a combination of options, and using a Pro II plus a couple HoBs (ok, probably more like four, I'm a filter fanatic) should cover it.

Ok, one last question if anyone has time - what do you use for a heater(s) on a 125 gallon aquarium? The Pro II can be purchased with an optional heater/thermostat but it's close to a $100 extra. Sounds like a great idea, but to compare it to say two 300 watt submersible heaters it's double the price. Opinions are again most appreciated.

Mark

shell696
10-30-2007, 08:10 PM
Yes, the more established bio you can get for a new tank, the better.
That by no means says you can get crazy with the new stock.
All the filters, decor, substrate, etc. that you take from an existing setup are really only established to the stocking level of the tank they came from.
So many folks think that they can move from a 55 to something bigger, add the 55 stuff to the bigger tank and add 30 more fish right then.
Sadly, not the case most times.
Existing stuff just makes a new tank with more water ready to accept the stock from the old tank faster.

Oh no i would never do that. I unfortunately have a tank packed full of fish right now and they just need more room. Down the line I might add a few more but i am sticking with what I have. I was going to sick the 2 emp's on the 90 and then add the canister and let all three of those good for 2 weeks and then take off one of the emp's leaving me with what is going to stay on the tank. along with 2 powerheads with sponge filters.

But since you guys think I should put on the canister now I will this weekend.

ercnan
10-31-2007, 04:39 AM
This thread has again been super helpful! I like the idea of combining HoBs with a Pro II. Understand waterflow versus media/size of canister, otherwise you'd think the Magnum 350s would have put Eheim out of business long ago.

But my t. irsacae would beg to differ. They spend all day long riding a little river made by a good ol' HoB Magnum 250 with a micron filter (balanced out with other filtration of course). It's like a little waterpark for them, tropheus love it too. So as always the answer is a combination of options, and using a Pro II plus a couple HoBs (ok, probably more like four, I'm a filter fanatic) should cover it.

Ok, one last question if anyone has time - what do you use for a heater(s) on a 125 gallon aquarium? The Pro II can be purchased with an optional heater/thermostat but it's close to a $100 extra. Sounds like a great idea, but to compare it to say two 300 watt submersible heaters it's double the price. Opinions are again most appreciated.

Mark
200W Stealth.

chc
10-31-2007, 06:54 PM
This thread has again been super helpful! I like the idea of combining HoBs with a Pro II. Understand waterflow versus media/size of canister, otherwise you'd think the Magnum 350s would have put Eheim out of business long ago.

But my t. irsacae would beg to differ. They spend all day long riding a little river made by a good ol' HoB Magnum 250 with a micron filter (balanced out with other filtration of course). It's like a little waterpark for them, tropheus love it too. So as always the answer is a combination of options, and using a Pro II plus a couple HoBs (ok, probably more like four, I'm a filter fanatic) should cover it.

Ok, one last question if anyone has time - what do you use for a heater(s) on a 125 gallon aquarium? The Pro II can be purchased with an optional heater/thermostat but it's close to a $100 extra. Sounds like a great idea, but to compare it to say two 300 watt submersible heaters it's double the price. Opinions are again most appreciated.

Mark

I use the Eheim Thermo versions in some cases. Good results.

On wet/dry tanks I always use a titanium heater with a separate controller as it can be hidden in the sump.

You could also get an inline heater to plumb in the return line of your canister.

Marko
11-17-2007, 12:48 PM
Ok, we made the splurge and purchased a new Pro II. My son wanted to put it together and after glancing at the instructions in nine different languages I happily agreed. He got the whole thing together actually pretty quickly, mostly by following the pages of diagrams and reverting to the actual written instructions as needed. I mean how hard can it be? It takes water in, passes it through three amazingly huge filter baskets (media included), then a couple layer of spongy stuff and back in the tank.

So after assembling this beast we found ourselves with three extra O-ring washers, a plastic elbow and straight piece (that we know what it is, for extending further into the tank). Undeterred we set forth with attempting to get it running. I remembered reading something in the ad for it about it being self-priming, and being in no mood to read the instructions I asked my son who had read most of the manual (but likely nowhere near enough) what to do next. We've rinsed all the media, all the baskets and filers are in place, should we fill the canister before taking it over to the tank? The instructions apparently said to leave it empty, but this was again according to my son who thinks instructions are for wussies anyway.

So we take it over, position it under the tank, attach the tubes, clamp em' down and began what seemed like a very silly and long process. At the top of the intake tube a knob unscrews (there's one for the outtake too) and again I am instructed by the instruction reader to pour water down the tube opening until the line was full. But since the canister has no water in it, and we had no funnel the whole thing took a stupid amount of time to fill with a small pitcher. Eventually he saw water filled in the tube and we screwed the cap back on, plugged it in and holy sh*t it just started blasting water through the wand. I was really surprised for 280 GPH how strong it was.

And all was well through the rest of the night. I had the tank an inch shy of being full so there was lots of water movement (1680 GPH total between all filters if I'm not mistaken). All was running fine when I went to bed but periodically the Eheim would spit massive amounts of air, I figured this was due to the spray bar being right at the surface.

Got up this morning and the Eheim is not running. I unplug, seems a little warm but not burning up hot. So then I go through the long process again of refilling the tube/canister from the screwcap opening on the intake side on the top. Plug it in and sure enough all is well, sort of. Now the tank is full but it's still spitting loud volumes of air every three-five minutes or so.

Obviously I need to stop being lazy and read the instructions myself, but really, they look awful. The three extra/left-over O-rings/washers (small/thin/round, about the size of a penny) has me concerned that it's not quite put together right and it somehow is gulping air (it's quite noisy when it belches!). No leaks though thankfully. The extra elbow piece has us puzzled as well.

So if you have the time I'd like to hear how most maintain their Pro II's. Do you fill the canister/tube from the top unscrew valve on the intake side? If so I need to buy a funnel, weird it doesn't come with one. Any ideas on why it just stopped working in the night, like I said it's running fine now. The tank is super-oxygenated right now (big air wand 8" away from the intake, another on other side of tank) so maybe that explains the occasional belch/blast of air? And then when it comes time to clean it, what's the best way you've found?

So far it seems like an amazing machine, the wand attachment for the outake is amazingly cool and the filter media is insane. Two trays of what looks like Cocoa Puffs, then the noodles, it's clearly a brilliant design. Trouble is not all of their customers are quite as sharp, lol, so any input is very much welcome.

Thanks,

Mark

ercnan
11-17-2007, 02:14 PM
Sounds like the thing is just more expensive than an XP. You still pour water down the tube. Also sounds like there is a miising o-ring on the intake side somewhere.
Intake side is less likely to leak water out, but more inclined to suck air in.

chc
11-17-2007, 04:13 PM
The Pro II primes itself. Just push down on the top (the grey circular portion) until a siphon starts and let it fill up before turning it on.

I'd definitely read through the instruction manual. It's not as bad as it looks. The same information is repeated in about 50 different languages, so there only about three pages of information to be troubled with.

Marko
11-17-2007, 11:14 PM
Yup, the Pro II is not one you can just wing through say like a Magnum 350. I have it completely taken apart and will start from the beginning (my son meant well). Pushing down on the grey circular portion doesn't work on mine, doesn't really budge but I can see how it might but don't want to force it. Then there's a funny little red button, must read instruction manuals (3 of em!).

The burping air thing was annoying me enough before I took it down that I found a passage in the manual about it:

"If the water supply on the inlet side is interrupted by trapped air, disconnect the filter from the mains and leave both shut-off taps on the suction and pressure side of the filter open. Unscrew the cap on the connector and fill in aquarium water until the hose is visibly filled. Then close the opening and put the filter into operation."

Right, that's perfectly clear! Something tells me something was lost in the translation there, I'm lost at the first sentence. I'm beginning to understand the love/hate reaction to these filters.

Ok, off to read, and interpret. Maybe it is defective if the big gray button won't move.

Marko
11-18-2007, 03:40 AM
Ok, it's 3am and I think I got it working right, sorta. Took it apart, drained the canister, all connections checked good against the diagram. This was after it again just shutting down and refusing to work. Read instructions, again three different books that when you get down to it say nothing. Learned more here, press the big grey button (which it actually does say in the manual, but that's about it)! So the canister auto-fills or primes as they say, I even added water into the intake tube side from the screwtop opening.

So it's running great for 15 minutes or so and then the air bursts start coming again, really annoying. As in if I can't get it fixed it's going back. I quoted above from the manual on how to get rid of trapped air, but for the life of me I have no idea what they're talking about.

Enlightenment again is greatly appreciated! I need to burp this baby or she's getting replaced with an AC110, or something that doesn't sputter.

Marko
11-18-2007, 01:24 PM
Problem fixed! Woke up this morning to a stll belching Eheim. Turned it off, unscrewed both top caps, added lots of water, screwed them back on and it's been whisper quiet for over an hour now.

Still the worst instructions I've ran across, just simply in the way it's put together and translated. I'm still not sure on disassembly for cleaning, but I have three months to read up on that.

Thanks for reading this novice's adventure into one of the "pro" filters. As long as it stays quiet and keeps running I'm calling this a success, just have to see how it performs in the long haul.

For the money and ease of use I still say you can't beat the AC110's and Mag250's, which I could have gotten by with in this set-up. Interesting to try something new after relying on the same approach for so long, who knows, the Pro II may end up being my new favorite.

chc
11-18-2007, 06:25 PM
To be honest, I don't think they are any tougher to deal with than any canister. Actually, they are much easier than most. Certainly, they are not as simple as a HOB filter like an Aquaclear, but they are asked to do so much more.

You really cannot get around reading the directions and asking for advice with this or any issue in the hobby. More fish have been killed by unprepared people than by any other cause (it's scary to listen to people in a fish store sometimes!). I'm not saying that you are unprepared, but this circumstance just made me think of the manner in which many people rush in to fishkeeping only to rush out soon after blaming the hobby for their shortcomings in it. It sounds like you've "been around" a while though!

Specifically regarding your case, I wonder if you filled the canister properly with media. Here's a quick check list:
1. Bottom tray: pour in the ceramic rings, and place the blue sponge on top but under the handle. Lock handle down into place.
2. Middle and top trays: fill with the "cocoa puffs.' If you are using the carbon pad, put in on the top tray but under the handle.
3. Make sure the trays all line up so the flow lines interconnect.
4. White floss pad goes on top of the top tray. The green grid goes on top of that.
5. Make sure the canister headfits into the flow line of the trays (there is a tube that should connect the head with the hole in the top tray).

There are a few things you have to make sure you do with Pro II's when starting them. One, you need to fill the canister with water before you hook up the tubes. Two, press down on the grey button (it won't be easy, you have to lean in to it) a couple of times to get a siphon started. Three turn on the filter and watch the intake tube to see that water is entering the filter. As soon as you see that, turn it off and let the water and air bubbles stabilize for a few moments. Then, you should be able to turn it on and it will clear any (or most) remaining air.

When it comes time to clean the filter (and the power is off), there is a little red tab to the right of the intake/outflow tubing apparatus. Push that in with your right thumb (it will be tough to do) and pull the grey lever back toward you. That closes the tubes with water in them so you will not have to prime the canister again. The grey lever can also slow the flow of the filter if you find it necessary, but most people just let it go wide open.

As far as cleaning goes, you will have to replace the white floss pad every time. The blue sponge can be rinsed and reused a few times before it needs to be replaced. The rings and "cocoa puffs" should be rinsed in dechlorinated water or approximately the same temperature as is in the tank. Most people just save a few buckets of tanks water to help with this during water changes. No need to get everything "clean" as that would just eliminate much of the beneficial bacteria.

I think you'll find these filters will out perform pretty much anything else on the market with the possible exception of a wet/dry filter. Let me know if you have any questions!

Marko
11-18-2007, 07:41 PM
CHC - your post and instructions are exactly what I was hoping for - thank you! For the most part I followed everything you menionted last night, minus the two-step starting/priming process. But I did turn it off later hoping it would burp itself, like the Magnum 350s, no luck.

It's running pretty well right now, but it still occassionally sputters air. The tank is super-oxygenated right now so I'm just going to let it run for a few days. If it still doesn't quiet down then I'll take it apart one more time and restart per your instructions (which should be the instructions in the box!).

Thank for clearing up the disconnect process, I figured you could pull away the canister and leave the tubes hanging full/closed/not leaking all over the place.

And guilty as charged, I'm pretty much a lazy HoB when it comes to filtration. I can see the brilliance in the Pro II, just not sold it's worth the money. With the other filtration in the tank I could have easily gotten by with an AC110 in place of the Eheim. But I wanted to try something new, something that clearly is better once running properly.

Thanks again for all the advice, I'm printing it out and putting it in the box.

Marko
11-18-2007, 08:54 PM
Final update (hopefully!). I took apart the canister and reassembled/restarted exactly per CHC's instructions and it's running great now, although I still hear a bit of air trapped in there. I did of course manage to bollocks things up despite well-written instructions, experience really is the best teacher. Here are a few things I learned:

1) Understand both little red buttons BEFORE taking hose assembly off (and of course make sure power is off). Yes I managed to disconnect with it wide open, had the bucket right there anticipating such a moment and then pulled tubes out of tank to stop the siphon. Whew. I may have to screw it up again to finally understand, three levers (2 red, one grey) are too many for me, lol.

2) I indeed had the baskets in the wrong order. Lesson learned is I shouldn't work on German filtration devices at three in the morning. But that's all fixed now, all inserted in the right order/alignment, pad and gasket in place, all snapped shut - piece of cake!

3) The double and even triple prime approach is brilliant, one push just doesn't do it.

4) Started it up, let it run, unplugged it (why no on/off switch on this thing?), saw a few bubbles make their way up the tubes and then plugged it back in. It still sputters. I don't think it likes being anywhere near 6" blasting airstones? But...

5) And finally, the dreaded extra parts after assembly. Of particular concern are the three plastic washers/rings and one elbow piece, can't find a home for them. But somehow it runs, doesn't leak.

6) And finally, finally, what is the purpose of the screwcaps on the top that allows you to pour water down the tubes? When does one pour water down these holes? You can pour it into the outake or intake, but without a funnel it's not very functional.

Thanks again! Here a couple of pics, maybe somebody can spot something wrong with how I have it set up.

Mark

Marko
11-19-2007, 03:05 PM
Thanks again to CHC for all the tips but my Pro II is sitting in the bathtub right now. Can't get it to stop drawing air into the canister and spitting it back out. The more it's been running the worse it's gotten, despite taking it apart and starting completely over.

I've got a call into tech support from the place I bought it from, my guess is it's defective. After investing literally hours into this machine with no success I'm not much interested in replacing it.

As an aside, and this isn't a flame, but I posted my pleas for help in the same thread where it seemed a lot of people were pretty vocal on how great the Pro II is. But hardly anyone offers any advice (again, thanks CHC). This strikes me as odd, but I like helping people.