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Canister filter for a 140L heavily planted tank

Braxximus

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21 Dec 2021
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Sweden
I plan to start up a heavily planted hi-tech aquascape with dimensions 70x50x40cm (140L) and my hardest decision-making is on which canister filter to go with the setup.

The contenders are:

JBL CristalProfi e901 greenline (or the 1501, 10x flowrate of my setup)
Fluval 307/407
Tetra EX1200 plus
Eheim pro 4 350 ( or 600 if need)
Oase Biomaster 350 ( or 600 if need)

They all come with different advantages and disadvantages but some markers of interest are flowrate, volume for filter media, maintainence, quality/sturdiness, noise and of course the price.

I'm familiar with the saying that there is no such thing as too much filtration there should at least be a scenario when a canister is more than enough for the task at hand. I want you guys to take that into consideration if any of my suggestions are not adequate but the next step up in the brands series is then such a suggestion is also highly appreciated.

Lastly I would also appreciate other suggestions that are readily available in Europe as well and my budget is about 200£ but should a filter exceed it but has such good advantages over it's competition that it's still worth considering, be my guest and suggest them too.
 

Braxximus

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For a month, it's a heavily planted 55l tank. I'm running it now at 50% flow, I control the flow by adjusting the Oase intake, one of the great features. Like the priming button, adjustable hose connectors, and the shut valves...it's just a great filter!
Good to hear, would a oase 350 for my tank or would it be on the lower end side?
 

Matti

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12 Aug 2021
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Helsinki, Finland
It depends. Some say that you can never filter too much, Diane Walstad argues that too strong filtration causes algae. What type of fish you have, strong current or slow current? Some say that too strong flow causes BBA, some say that not enough flow causes BBA. Wellcome to the world of aquarium filtration!
What I personally believe is that you can never have too much of filter volume. But you should adjust the flow according the needs of your fish and plants.
For a 140l tank you cannot go wrong with a BM350. It's bit expensive, but save some money using the media it comes with, don't change it to something just because it says "bio" on the label.
 

Braxximus

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I actually snagged a biomaster 350 (600 was out of stock) for 140£ which is the cheapest I could find that also ships to Sweden, is that similar to your prices over the North sea?
 

Paul Willi

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5 Nov 2019
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101
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Maidstone
Hi
i use 2 filters to maintain good flow while having inline attachments fitted. the 1502 has a inline heater and goes to a full length spraybar on the rear just below the surface to cause surface agitation. The second filter has inline co2 and goes to a full length spraybar on the rear directly below the other spraybar, with both pushing the flow to the front and down to the substrate. The tank is fairly heavily planted so both filters provide good flow through the jungle.
Cheers
 

CJM70

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17 Nov 2021
Messages
150
Location
Brighton
The contenders are:

JBL CristalProfi e901 greenline (or the 1501, 10x flowrate of my setup)
Fluval 307/407
Tetra EX1200 plus
Eheim pro 4 350 ( or 600 if need)
Oase Biomaster 350 ( or 600 if need)
In each case that you have mentioned above I would go for the larger filter. The reason for this is that the flow rates that manufacturers state are based on best possible scenario, which can never be achieved in the aquarium.

In my opinion the Fluval would be the last choice on that list for me. I have owned all of those filters although I have not used the Biomaster yet. However there is more than sufficient current evidence that it is indeed a good filter. Specifically the reason that I like it is the pre-filter section. From everything I have read it is easy to clean the pre-filter and means you do not have to open up the main canister for many months. One minor issue is that the high density foam that comes with it for the pre-filter can cause a bit of noise but by changing this to a lighter density foam which is available cheaply, and potentially drilling a few extra holes in the plastic tube (many people buy an extra one for a few pounds so the original one is not altered should the owner choose to sell the filter on), this is easily rectified. Each filter will have its own quirks.

The JBL was very quiet and was very much the filter of choice a few years ago. I didn’t like the priming buttons and found they tended to get stiff to use. Nowadays Oase are in favour. This seems to change as new innovation emerges. Fluval and Eheim seem to have gone backwards in my opinion, whilst their prices have risen. Tetratec was also a great filter.

So in order, my choice would be;-

1. Oase Biomaster (benefit to me, internal heater and pre filter capsule)
2. JBL 1502
3. Eheim pro 600 thermo version
4. Tetra ex1200 +
5. Fluval
 

Braxximus

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21 Dec 2021
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In each case that you have mentioned above I would go for the larger filter. The reason for this is that the flow rates that manufacturers state are based on best possible scenario, which can never be achieved in the aquarium.

In my opinion the Fluval would be the last choice on that list for me. I have owned all of those filters although I have not used the Biomaster yet. However there is more than sufficient current evidence that it is indeed a good filter. Specifically the reason that I like it is the pre-filter section. From everything I have read it is easy to clean the pre-filter and means you do not have to open up the main canister for many months. One minor issue is that the high density foam that comes with it for the pre-filter can cause a bit of noise but by changing this to a lighter density foam which is available cheaply, and potentially drilling a few extra holes in the plastic tube (many people buy an extra one for a few pounds so the original one is not altered should the owner choose to sell the filter on), this is easily rectified. Each filter will have its own quirks.

The JBL was very quiet and was very much the filter of choice a few years ago. I didn’t like the priming buttons and found they tended to get stiff to use. Nowadays Oase are in favour. This seems to change as new innovation emerges. Fluval and Eheim seem to have gone backwards in my opinion, whilst their prices have risen. Tetratec was also a great filter.

So in order, my choice would be;-

1. Oase Biomaster (benefit to me, internal heater and pre filter capsule)
2. JBL 1502
3. Eheim pro 600 thermo version
4. Tetra ex1200 +
5. Fluval
Wow, thanks for the detailed info, really appreciate it. May I ask what your current tanks are running with and resp tank size? Thanks again for the feedback.
 

CJM70

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Joined
17 Nov 2021
Messages
150
Location
Brighton
Wow, thanks for the detailed info, really appreciate it. May I ask what your current tanks are running with and resp tank size? Thanks again for the feedback.
You are welcome.
I am in the process of setting up a new tank (to me) after a while being busy with other thing. It’s a 75
litre Oase style-line. I will be using the Oase biomaster 350, with changes to the pre filter as mentioned in my previous post. That’s all I have at the moment, and will be doing some shrimp 🦐 stuff in the new year.
Do let us know on this thread, which you plump for 👍.
 

Stykk

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19 Oct 2020
Messages
11
Location
New England
I know I'm in the minority here, but I hate the Fluval '07/06/0whatever series. I have the 207 and the 307, and honestly I can't stand them. They're noisy, they always spit tons of debris into the water after servicing them, the ribbed hosing sucks, they don't come with a spray bar, but instead force you to pay $20+ later, then then U shaped reverse bend contraption thingamajig that connects it to the hose takes up a ton of space when trying to install the spraybar. And the vertical pre-filter just doesnt make sense to me at all. It leaves a large gap between it and the wall of the filter in which all the water can just completely bypass the pre-filter on its way to the main filter media trays.

I do, however, really like those trays, and the red bar that's included that allows you to easily pull all of them out of the water. Really nice. And I like the priming pump, and the flow control.

So basically I hate how they actually operate, but I like the added features like the priming pump and the basket trays. The vertical pre-filter is dumb and, in my opinion, just done as a marketing gimmick to make them stand out for doing something different.

I miss my old Eheim classic for quiet it was and the crystal clear water it produced, but wish it had more of the modern features.

End of rant.
 
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