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Upgrade advice

Muso1981

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Nottingham
Hi everyone,

I've got a Fluval Roma 200l tank which is quite heavily planted and also quite a lot of shrimp and fish in there. The current filter is the U4 which it came with and I've been looking at getting an external filter as I'm not a fan of the black box in the tank and I'm thinking I will get better filtration from an external filter. So far I've had a look at the Fluval 7 series and also the oase biomaster 350 which really appeals as it has a heater in it too.

My main concerns are noise and having too much flow blasting all the plants and fish around. The U4 is practically silent but I think it's not enough as my tank is fairly heavily stocked. I notice with external filters they can have spray bars which look quite nice.

Any recommendations and advice would be great, thanks in advance.
 

PARAGUAY

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Like you say its the filter in the tank problem. I like the U series so two U4s would do it. I have a fluval 307 and its very good and l like the fact it has flow control and a prefilter . Flow can be increased by not cramming the baskets with media.l think ?it can be adapted for spraybar diy. You would need extra l/hr if using preesurised CO2 . Maybe a powerhead or wavemaker
 

erwin123

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4 Mar 2021
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Singapore
Hi everyone,

I've got a Fluval Roma 200l tank which is quite heavily planted and also quite a lot of shrimp and fish in there. The current filter is the U4 which it came with and I've been looking at getting an external filter as I'm not a fan of the black box in the tank and I'm thinking I will get better filtration from an external filter. So far I've had a look at the Fluval 7 series and also the oase biomaster 350 which really appeals as it has a heater in it too.

My main concerns are noise and having too much flow blasting all the plants and fish around. The U4 is practically silent but I think it's not enough as my tank is fairly heavily stocked. I notice with external filters they can have spray bars which look quite nice.

Any recommendations and advice would be great, thanks in advance.

I'm running a 307 and 407 in my 100l tank (60/45/40), though the 307 has a chiller attached which reduces flow. Its a healthy flow but can hardly be described as blasting the plants and fish around.

Both filters + chiller + 3 litre CO2 fit inside the 60cm cabinet which the tank sits on and it has a door. The filters are very quiet inside the cabinet, especially with the door closed.
 

Muso1981

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Like you say its the filter in the tank problem. I like the U series so two U4s would do it. I have a fluval 307 and its very good and l like the fact it has flow control and a prefilter . Flow can be increased by not cramming the baskets with media.l think ?it can be adapted for spraybar diy. You would need extra l/hr if using preesurised CO2 . Maybe a powerhead or wavemaker
Hi, the Fluval ones do look good,
Like you say its the filter in the tank problem. I like the U series so two U4s would do it. I have a fluval 307 and its very good and l like the fact it has flow control and a prefilter . Flow can be increased by not cramming the baskets with media.l think ?it can be adapted for spraybar diy. You would need extra l/hr if using preesurised CO2 . Maybe a powerhead or wavemaker
Hi, what size tank are you using the 307 for? No ideas what you mean by powerhead or wavemaker?
 

Muso1981

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I'm running a 307 and 407 in my 100l tank (60/45/40), though the 307 has a chiller attached which reduces flow. Its a healthy flow but can hardly be described as blasting the plants and fish around.

Both filters + chiller + 3 litre CO2 fit inside the 60cm cabinet which the tank sits on and it has a door. The filters are very quiet inside the cabinet, especially with the door closed.
Hi what's a chiller? So you have two external filters for a 100l tank, that sounds crazy why do you need so much for such a small tank?
 

erwin123

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4 Mar 2021
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Hi what's a chiller? So you have two external filters for a 100l tank, that sounds crazy why do you need so much for such a small tank?
DSC00464 web.jpg


I wanted to improve the flow throughout the tank especially at the substrate level. As I'm using Lily Pipes, I depend on the water hitting the opposite side of the tank with some force which pushes the water down and along the substrate.
One Lily Pipe handles the substrate at the front of the tank while the other Lily pipe handles the rear substrate, or so my thinking goes......
 

John q

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6 Jan 2021
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Lancashire
So what do you think buy a 7 series fluval?
They're good filters, parts are easy to come by (not that I've had to get any yet) and they are near silent, I have 2 in the living room and can't hear them running.
I'd pay the extra £30 or so and get the 407 rather than a 307, the 407 should give you ample flow in a 200L tank and the flow can be reduced if you find its to powerful for your tank.
 

Muso1981

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Thanks @John q I do have some concerns about the fish and plants being blasted about which happens with the current u4 filter. I was thinking of maybe getting a spray bar, what do you think?
 

John q

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I have the 407 in a 1200mm roma 240L tank and it needs an additional small circulation pump to give me the desired flow, I would imagine in a slightly smaller tank it would be fine. The blasting of plants would be dependant on what type of plants you have and where abouts they were placed in the tank, ie stems in the direct line of early flow would indeed get blasted.

If and when I re do my tank I'd probably go down the spraybar route.
 

Muso1981

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Hi @John q I was also looking at the oase biomaster thermo 350 as I really like the idea about it also heating the water but I've read it can be noisey and doesn't get the best reviews, did you consider that? I'm suprosed that the 407 doesn't as standard have enough flow for your tank, I've had to turn the U4 down as it blasts and creates a vortex. I think this is party due to the fact it has a small hole which is fires out from, if it was wider the flow wouldn't be so intense.

With regards to the spray bar, why would you wait until re-doing your tank? It seems fairly easy to fit. I do have a concern that if I attach a spraybar there won't we any current for the fish to swim against, not sure how much of a problem that would be but some of the fish do seem to like it.
 

John q

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Hi musso,
I ended up with fluval because the 307 comes standard with the roma 240 set up, but realised a few months in that the flow was inadequate for a planted tank that size so started researching bigger filters.
I did look at oase but always seemed to read posts on here where folks were complaining about them so decided that other than the flow issues; i'd had no other complaints with the 307, so I decided on the 407. I knew the 1450lph wouldn't be enough to circulate the full length of a 1200mm tank and back again, but also guessed if I went for an fx 4 it would be to harsh on the stems near the out flow.

The way my tank is set up with plants and hardscape its geared around the flow coming from the top back right and then wavemaker sends it from the middle front left towards the bottom. If I switched to a spraybar now (flow going widthways) it wouldn't work with the vallisneria, p gayi and taller stem plants and I can't be bothered rescaping atm.
 
Last edited:

PARAGUAY

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@Muso1981 I missed your query . Basically if you have a co2 injected tank most of us go with the general thinking you need 10 times turnover of tank volume a hour. If your filter has not got that you can add extra turnover with powerheads which are just submersible pumps. Wavemakers also but give a circlar flow much used by reefkeepers to eliminate dead spots. Both are good to use if cabinet room is a issue. Litres per hour is not as critical in a low energy set up but I always think after what UKAPS members say water changes essential in high energy and very benifical in low. Take a look at UKAPS journals to see examples of different approaches.
 

Muso1981

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Hi, so I've just upgraded to the 407 today, got it connected with a spray bar and I'm shocked how noisy it is. I was under the impression these things were silent. Are external filters generally quite noisey? It's not a buzzing noise, more like a hum and a rumbling. I've got this in my front room and don't think I can handle this.

I followed the instructions to the letter, the one thing which threw me a but was the priming as it was explained very well but I'm pretty sure I did it correctly.

Any ideas? I'm going to call the shop tomorrow.
 

Muso1981

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Thanks Kevin, I've not had an external filter before so not sure if they do run silent or if they always make a hum? The U4 is practically silent. I turned it off took it apart looked at the main bits like impeller and there's nothing noticeable so put it back together and pretty much the same again.
One thing though when I opened it brand new out of the box there was some water in it which I find a bit strange. I'm going to speak to the store about it tomorrow.
I've rocked it about and there's definitely air in there still so maybe that takes a while to work through? The sound is definitely more of a humming motor though not a vibration.

Also the flow on this is insane everything was Getty blasted all over the place with the regular attachment so I fitted the spraybar which was also blowing stuff everywhere. I aimed the bar at the closest side of the aquarium to it and it's really stopped the vortex which was going on.
 

shangman

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I've found with every new filter I've ever bought that it's always noisy the first few days, and then after a few days (of me shaking it a lot and maybe redoing it several times cos I'm paranoid I did something wrong), it becomes very silent. So don't panic! Try to see where the noise is coming from and if you can diagnose it
 

Kevin Eades

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Thanks Kevin, I've not had an external filter before so not sure if they do run silent or if they always make a hum? The U4 is practically silent. I turned it off took it apart looked at the main bits like impeller and there's nothing noticeable so put it back together and pretty much the same again.
One thing though when I opened it brand new out of the box there was some water in it which I find a bit strange. I'm going to speak to the store about it tomorrow.
I've rocked it about and there's definitely air in there still so maybe that takes a while to work through? The sound is definitely more of a humming motor though not a vibration.

Also the flow on this is insane everything was Getty blasted all over the place with the regular attachment so I fitted the spraybar which was also blowing stuff everywhere. I aimed the bar at the closest side of the aquarium to it and it's really stopped the vortex which was going on.
Keep turning to off and on a few times more. It will hum yes but shouldn't be loud enough to hear over normal life. Tv etc spray bar should be along the back pointing to front glass and slightly upwards. High flow is what your after with the flow across the top of the tank down the front glass and then back across the substrate. Don't worry about stuff being blown the plants want flow for nutrient exchange
 

Muso1981

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Thanks for the replies @Kevin Eades and @shangman , I'm feeling a bit gutted about it as I was really excited to set it up and then brrrrrrrrrr. I've looked all over the tank and it noise is definitely coming from the unit itself. Also as I mentioned before there was water in when I opened it, is that normal? I'm hoping it will become more silent, will have a play around with the where the flow is, I think my concern is more about the fish not having a nice experience.

Cheers
 

John q

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Also as I mentioned before there was water in when I opened it, is that normal?
No that's definitely not normal.

Regards the noise you will hear a slight hum but it shouldn't be much. I'm currently stood in front of 2 tanks that have 1 307 running and 1 407 running, I can hear a slight hum coming from the cabinets, by comparison the fridge freezer compressor/fan is making a lot more noise than both filters.

Just make sure there's no air trapped in the filter (turn the pump off and give it another few primes and make sure the prime lever is in the down position before restarting) and providing there isn't a fault with said filter I would imagine any noise will improve in a couple of days once the impeller has chance to bed in.
 

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