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High-flow filter options for >200l tanks (2021)

Paul Kettless

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Joined
17 Aug 2015
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329
Location
Lowestoft
For my input on an EA 900 I’d go with either of the Biomaster 600 (course prefilter sponges) or the 850. With no inbuilt heater the eheim Pro 4 600.
Interested to know why you said without the heater, was that purely on cost. If I'm gonna spend that much money another 25 quid to get the heater out of the tank seems sensible to me 🤔
 

castle

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19 Dec 2015
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637
Location
norfolk
Interested to know why you said without the heater, was that purely on cost. If I'm gonna spend that much money another 25 quid to get the heater out of the tank seems sensible to me 🤔

600 doesn't come with a built in heater as far as I know; the 5e 600t is like 500£?!
 
Last edited:

Paul Kettless

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17 Aug 2015
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Lowestoft
Was there anything specific that swayed you, Paul? I'm still in between AquaEl and Biomaster. The T version is basically twice the price, so basically could get two of the Ultramax 1500s for the price of an 850T. That's nothing to sneeze at.
As you said its a huge price difference, the positive points swaying me to the biomaster are the integrated heater, the simplicity of the pre-filter and how easy it is to help maintain it well. The warranty of 3+1 years and the overall reviews and comments that people are raving about it. Its been in the market place for quite a while now, and the product is solid and reliable in general. It seems like there are more happy customers than not. The AquaEl on the other hand being Polish Im worrying about parts, warranty and how simple it is to remedy problems as and when they arrive. I think the fact that I can hide a heater that wont effect flow, and have something thats easier to maintain in the long run is a huge bonus. I just dont know if if worth paying double the price. Yet I read a review today on the AquaEl in PFK that gave it a glowing report, runs near silent (very important for the other half) top marks and highly recommended. Likewise, the pond guru guy ( though I hate his sales patter for Biohome blah blah, the less said the better) he had nothing but praise for the solid build quality and said that the filter is very good value for money and like the pre-filter idea.

To be honest though, even though I disliked them in the past, Jbl filters are extremely affordable and work wonders, there's no bypass at all and the pumps are very powerful. I'd just get an E1502 and an external Hydor heater, spend the rest on plants, hardscape or whatever else you might need.
I have had JBLs before. Infact I have a 701 that is brand new and never been used. They are as you said pretty good all-rounders, and the price is very attractive. I especially like the fact that it onlys draws 20 watts power, and again are well known for running super silent, where the 850T is 32w. Thats a big difference in power consumption per year.

I spoke with @wookie over PM, and he gave me some sound advice and honest info on his 2 Biomasters he is running. I thought after that chat I had made my decision, then a few more comments on here and I doubt myself again. You guys dont make it easy for a fella lol. I could quite easily buy something like an AquaEl Ultramax 1500 or a JBL e1502 for example that would easily deal with the biological aspect of the aquarium in combination with being heavily planted and then add something like the AI Nero 3 (again @wookie planting the seed) which would give ridiculous amounts of extra flow if need, and is fully controllable . Both combined would be around the cost of an 850T, and I wonder if the combination of a decent flow canister and the AI would just take the flow to another level.

For now Im well and truly sitting on the fence still.
 
Last edited:

Paul Kettless

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Well guys I think I that I have made my decision and rightly or wrongly, I am going to go for the AquaEl Ultramax 1500, paired with an AI Nero 3. I will add an inline heater at a later date. My deciding factor was that the combined cost is just over the price of an 850T, but is going to give me so many more options when it comes to flow. If there is one thing that I know from my reef keeping days and what I have read over and over again on this forum, Light and flow are crucial factors to success, and Im hoping with a fully adjustable ONF flat one and the filter/powerhead combo this will see me well for the future. A decision had to be made otherwise I would be going over the same thing for an eternity:rolleyes::banghead: I think just reading another post and response from @dw1305 just a pump in a bucket has made me think further, and helped me come to this decision.
 

Wookii

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Well guys I think I that I have made my decision and rightly or wrongly, I am going to go for the AquaEl Ultramax 1500, paired with an AI Nero 3. I will add an inline heater at a later date. My deciding factor was that the combined cost is just over the price of an 850T, but is going to give me so many more options when it comes to flow. If there is one thing that I know from my reef keeping days and what I have read over and over again on this forum, Light and flow are crucial factors to success, and Im hoping with a fully adjustable ONF flat one and the filter/powerhead combo this will see me well for the future. A decision had to be made otherwise I would be going over the same thing for an eternity:rolleyes::banghead: I think just reading another post and response from @dw1305 just a pump in a bucket has made me think further, and helped me come to this decision.

Make sure you give us a mini review of the Aquel when you get chance Paul. Also on the Nero 3, if you have shrimp or very small fish, you might want to consider a guard as mentioned in my journal thread (if you haven't read it already) ;)

 

Paul Kettless

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Make sure you give us a mini review of the Aquel when you get chance Paul. Also on the Nero 3, if you have shrimp or very small fish, you might want to consider a guard as mentioned in my journal thread (if you haven't read it already) ;)

I certainly will do a review , and thanks for the heads up on the guard I will look into that further as I would def like some Shrimp, and fish list is not defined at this time. I just need D&D to sort themselves out now and give stock to retailers to fulfill back orders. My Ea900 has been on back order since 31st December.
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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Hi all,
a pump in a bucket
I wish I'd though of it, but it was <"Clive's comment">. I've referred to it because it is such a good description. Some times you need some clarity, <"to cut to the chase">, or otherwise you get lost in the detail and <"never see the bigger picture">.

Personally I never had <"any intention of using canister filters">, but I found that there were situations where HMFs or <"wet and dry trickle filters"> weren't viable options (for non-fish keeping reasons).

cheers Darrel
 

Paul Kettless

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Joined
17 Aug 2015
Messages
329
Location
Lowestoft
well orders placed, those AI nero's seem to be in very low stock. seems like most retailers are out. Fortunately, I found one on Amazon. Another expensive fish day in this house.
 

CooKieS

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Joined
19 Jan 2016
Messages
1,897
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France
As you said its a huge price difference, the positive points swaying me to the biomaster are the integrated heater, the simplicity of the pre-filter and how easy it is to help maintain it well. The warranty of 3+1 years and the overall reviews and comments that people are raving about it. Its been in the market place for quite a while now, and the product is solid and reliable in general. It seems like there are more happy customers than not. The AquaEl on the other hand being Polish Im worrying about parts, warranty and how simple it is to remedy problems as and when they arrive. I think the fact that I can hide a heater that wont effect flow, and have something thats easier to maintain in the long run is a huge bonus. I just dont know if if worth paying double the price. Yet I read a review today on the AquaEl in PFK that gave it a glowing report, runs near silent (very important for the other half) top marks and highly recommended. Likewise, the pond guru guy ( though I hate his sales patter for Biohome blah blah, the less said the better) he had nothing but praise for the solid build quality and said that the filter is very good value for money and like the pre-filter idea.


I have had JBLs before. Infact I have a 701 that is brand new and never been used. They are as you said pretty good all-rounders, and the price is very attractive. I especially like the fact that it onlys draws 20 watts power, and again are well known for running super silent, where the 850T is 32w. Thats a big difference in power consumption per year.

I spoke with @wookie over PM, and he gave me some sound advice and honest info on his 2 Biomasters he is running. I thought after that chat I had made my decision, then a few more comments on here and I doubt myself again. You guys dont make it easy for a fella lol. I could quite easily buy something like an AquaEl Ultramax 1500 or a JBL e1502 for example that would easily deal with the biological aspect of the aquarium in combination with being heavily planted and then add something like the AI Nero 3 (again @wookie planting the seed) which would give ridiculous amounts of extra flow if need, and is fully controllable . Both combined would be around the cost of an 850T, and I wonder if the combination of a decent flow canister and the AI would just take the flow to another level.

For now Im well and truly sitting on the fence still.

my Aquael ultramax won’t work since 2 months now and still waiting for Aquael response...hope you got the last version with 19/25mm hoses? This one should run without problem
 

Paul Kettless

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Joined
17 Aug 2015
Messages
329
Location
Lowestoft
my Aquael ultramax won’t work since 2 months now and still waiting for Aquael response...hope you got the last version with 19/25mm hoses? This one should run without problem
Sorry to read that, doesn't seem like the customer service is there. I went for the Ultramax 1500 so the pipework is 16/22.

I did see on another post, although not sure where now, that a way to tell if I have the new model is by how many fins are on the impeller. Fortunately mine has 6, and not the 5.

I still have no signs of my ea900 tank, seems that news from D&D to suppliers is also very poor. I've been waiting 6 weeks now, and no further forward at all.

Seems like company's in general are forgetting the important element of sales, and that's customer care.

I hope you get yours sorted soon. Its a real shame, as the build quality appears to be excellent, and has the promise of being a good filter. I guess time will tell for me. Thats if I ever get the chance to set it up lol
 

anda1961

New Member
Joined
16 Dec 2020
Messages
8
Location
North yorkshire
I can say that Aquael while very quiet and solid filters parts are virtually impossible to get. I should know have Ultramax 2000 with 19/25 pipe work sat awaiting spare impeller.
Have 2 Ultramax 1500s again tried to get spares ready for any mishaps impossible.
Have a JBL 1502 green line on my other 80litre tank brilliant spares readily available.
I won’t entertain anymore Aquael external filters because of the spares situation in the UK shame very well built and silent like carnt hear them running.
 

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