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1 or 2 filters


28 Mar 2009
im currently looking into filteration for my 48"x30"x21" tank that i'll be converting from marines.

ive been offered a eihem professional 3 2080 with in-built heater and all media for £200.

so my question is should i go for it or get 2 smaller filters and an in-line heater,ive got 2x vortech MP40's that i could add to the tank for additional flow if needed although i'd rather sell at least one of them to release some funds for plants when im ready for them.

any advice

cheers dave
The thermofilters aren't that highly thought of from what I've read, they seem to have far more problems than the rest of the Eheim range.

2 vs 1 filter is a fairly personal choice, but I'll explain why I sit in the "I prefer 2" camp.

- It's often cheaper to get two lower spec filters than one higher one once you pass a certain lph point, because you have to look at very high end kit
- 2 gives you redundancy if one filter dies - your tank might suffer, but it will live on (and importantly, so will your livestock)
- Less worries with filter maintenance with 2, since you alternate between the two, therefore any issues can be resolved by the other filter
- Having a second filter around if you need to suddenly set up an emergency tank for any reason is useful.
- 2 inlets, 2 outlets, more flow config options

The only drawback I do see with having two is that it means twice as many tubes, which either requires good camouflage skills, or acceptance that they will be seen.

The only tank I run a single filter on is my nano, and that's simply because with the small external I could get I still have to run it at half throttle to avoid turning it into a whirlpool!
makes alot of sense,

been away from canisters for a while so unsure of whats around now,any advice on what to go for,got a budget of about £200 for filteration.

i take it sumps are a no no in planted tanks due to the co2 loss

cheers dave
Over the years I've owned several thermofilters and have to say I have not had a problem with any of them. The most recent one was the big boy 2180, but I have had other sizes and other models. Always found them to be reliable and they maintained the temperature as accurately as necessary (within 2/10ths of a degree usually). The one thing I would say about the 2180 is that it is a big machine. Looks the bees knees but by God its a heavy thing to move when it comes to filter maintenance (even with the wheels). I think the 2178 is a good option as it has great flow (figures pretty much the same as the 2180) but with the advantage of being smaller. Also there is only so much requirement for filter media so you have to ask if you really need the biggest filter. I had it and got rid of it (although I am downsizing from a 5 footer to a 3 footer). On the upside, for that price WITH media you are getting a great bargain. And no one says you have to fill each tray with media, you can even bulk it out with coarse foam which wont affect flow much.

I do agree with LancsRick above though regarding having two filters, although there is another school of thought that says jus keep a cheap external like an EX1200 or whatever, in the cupboard as backup. I have run two filters and found it was a drag doing double maintenance, but then Im lazy.
Ive considered 2 before now, but always ended up buying one that gives at least 10 times tank turnover.

And boring me only ever has Eheims. Frightening how much ive spent on them over 30 odd years.
Including several Thermofilters, and so far all have been fine, (touch wood). Apart from a leaking 2075, which eheim replaced instantly.

Im happier with the least equiptment on show, and the less filters/ pipe work etc to service.