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Filter for 120P (poll)

Which filter would you pick

  • Total voters


20 Sep 2018
Braga, Pt
I have an 120x45x45cm aquarium which will need proper filtration.

It´s going to be an high tech planted tank with CO2 injection.

I am struggling to decide between several options.

I value good mechanical filtration, and low noise levels. Easy of service is a bonus. I know redundancy would be great but i do have concerns about water leakage so would prefer a one filter setup (less tubes, less maintenance, less chance for spills, etc...)

Prices are as follows:
1) Fluval Fx4 (170€) (+ great mechanical filtration; - noise?, not easy to use lily pipes)
2) Aquael ultramax 2000 (140€) (lots of biological filtration, good flow, pre-filter, cheap, lily pipe compatible; low noise - new, parts not easily available, reports of leakage)
3) Oase biomaster thermo 600 (266€)(+ heater included, lily pipe compatible ; - expensive in comparison, only 1250l/h; pre-filter clogs very easily)
4) 2x Eheim 2217 (around 60€ used) + easily available 2nd hand, durable, no bypass, relative low noise, parts easily available ; - only 1000l/h (flow hardly reaches the other side of the tank); no baskets makes maintenance harder, would need 2 filters which means more tubing, more maintenance and more chance for something to go wrong).
5) 2x Fluval 306 (50€ each used).

which option would you pick?
I don't have any experience with any of your direct choices but I have with the fluval fx6. Very good mechanical filter. Produces plenty of flow and good on tanks much larger than yours. Only downside are the pipes and pipe accessories. I own one and wouldn't change.
How about an Eheim Pro 4 600 for mech filtration + an empty 2nd hand Eheim 2217 running inline heater and co2?
Eheim pro is more expensive (191 €) and does not seem to add much in comparison with other cheaper options. The idea of an 2217 for inline heater and CO2 is good but if using it, it won't be empty since you can have it filled without affecting flow too much. If I can add the heater and CO2 without interfering too much with flow on the main filter, I will go for a single setup, otherwise yes, that might work out.

I probably can get an aquael (more biological filtration, higher flow) and an used Eheim 2217 for the price of a new eheim pro 4 600 alone.
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The new Sunsun HW-3000 looks great. I've got two 704b's and whilst I might upgrade, they haven't set a foot wrong in 9 months of use.
I have an FX6 on 500l but also had an ehiem 3000+ on an independent line both with custom spraybars which soon adds up to the total cost. Eheim 3000 line recently taken off when I added Maxspect Gryes which take care of the flow much better IMO and the FX6 does the filtration runs twin CO2 reactors and heats the water with complex piping.

Its a tough call which to go for but the Oase biomaster thermo keeps the heating simple, as for it clogging easy IMO thats only when it isnt clean enough, but have never own one.

One small issue with the FX4/FX6 is it stops every 12hrs to get the air out, which may be a minor issue if planning a reactor, I have mine resetting at midnight Via PLC so it doesn't interfere with flow in reactors during CO2 period.

Been thinking of changing my FX6 for a Oase biomaster thermo to simply plumbing esp since fitting the twin Gryes
Whatever you go for you’ll need 2 filters on a hitech 120p.

Personally with the built in heater bang for buck I’d go 2 X oase 600. No question. (I use Eheim and oase).

Edit of course if you can get 2 x large Eheims second hand cheap go with them and use in line heaters. Beware used filters though, make sure you are happy before buying.
The issue with lily pipes etc with the FX series is quite irritating!

Has anyone ever kept a successful 120p with a single 1400l/hr for example with wave makers? I am tempted to try because of the hassle of running two filters.
thank you all for the responses. I think 1400l/hr is quite low for a 120P. I have tried an eheim 2217, which is rated at 1000l/hr, and the flow hardly hit the other side of the tank. You really need 2 of these if going classic.

I agree with most that the ideal setup is 2 filters, i just wanted to try just one for convenience but that might prove short in the long run.

@rebel indeed i think the problem with fluval and pipes is that you would probably need 2 inflows to provide the necessary volume of water for it to run at maximum speed.

@Zeus. I was really tending towards Oase but after reading all the issues people are having with them, decided to give Aquael a go with an inline heater. Hope i dont regret it. Its 2000l/hr which is a nice setup to start with, cheaper, less noise and plenty of space for biological filtration. Probably will be adding an eheim 2217 or an Oase (if they fix the issues) later on if needed.

i have heard that oase is relatively quiet, but apparently aquael is the quietest of the bunch.
You could buy two Hydor Professional 600 (1300L/h and holds a LOT of media) on Amazon.de. Then you can either buy Lily pipes for 19/27 tubing or adapters to reduce the diameter to 16/22. You can buy everything (two filters + lily pipes) for under 300 euros.
Could someone explain to this newbie, who is also trying to make the same decision as the OP, exactly what the issues are with the Fluvals and Lilly Pipes?
Hi Nuno. Thanks for the reply, somehow i haven´t considered hydor. In the end i have purchased an aquael ultramax 2000 for roughly 140€ shipped following some good recommendations over here, which should arrive today and, probably, i am getting a second hand 2217 very soon.

@d2creative Fluvals like Fx4 and Fx6 use ribbed hoses with very large diameters (1 inch or 25/32 mm if i am not mistaken) to compensate their large flow rates. There are no lily pipes of that caliber that i know off, so what some people did is perform DIY fixtures to fit 2x 16/22mm pipes but that requires plumbing skills and means you have to mess around with it. Most people just want a plug and play system, so they just go for filters that are compatible with 17mm lily pipes.

Fluvals on the X06 range dont have that issue since they use lower diameter hoses, but you would still have to replace the provided ribbed hoses for plain ones in order to fit the pipes.

edit1: (Correction) There are stainless steel pipes of that diameter 25/32 but the ones i found (Lupyled theflow 25.600) cost 250€!!!!
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Update: So the ultramax 2000 arrived today.

Really like how it looks. Seems very well made, the trays attach very easily, and in the box comes pretty much all you need to start.

The provided media is not the best but i guess a standard one provided by most manufacturers, and the filter floss included seems quite cheap. So far no leaks, everything is running smoothly and you can hardly hear it. Much better than the eheim 2217 or fluval 206 i have (not that those are loud, but just that aquael noise is as near silent as it can get).

Let´s see how does it stand when i need to clean the pre-filter. So far, so good....:thumbup:
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