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Post  uk bulldog Thu 25 Oct 2012, 08:15

Hi i am looking to buy a new external filter to run my new tank when it arrives in the next couple of weeks the size of the tank is 66" long x 18" wide x 30" high,i have been looking at the Fluval FX5 & the Fluval 406 but thought i would ask for your opinions &
thoughts on both or even alternative filters.The volume of the tank is approx 500 ltrs
So if you have any opinions or run a similer size tank what would you recomend?

uk bulldog
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Post  gibbo156 Thu 25 Oct 2012, 15:50

I run a Fluval FX5 as the main filtration on my 600 ltr tank (6ft x 2ft x 2ft).

The Fluval FX5 is almost too clever for it's own good, but OK when you get used to it.

It has an automatic process that reverses the flow a couple of times every 24 hours, this can be a bit disconcerting when it happens and you are not expecting it. It does this to flush out any air that is in the system. The timing isn't exact but now that i am used to it i don't notice it happenning, unless i am in the middle of a water change at the same time. It also does this when you first switch it on, which is a pain in the backside because it means it takes the extra time to decide if you have it all set up and working OK. The DVD that came with the unit is helpful ( even if the bloke in the video is a bit of a gink )

The only problems i have had with it are around cleaning.

When you clean it you have to be CERTAIN that you have cleaned the small pipe that is just under the lid. It is some sort of breather pipe and if it is blocked then the pump just does not work. But it is a big filter and it doesn't need cleaning that often.

I am very pleased with the taps and fittings, they work and they don't leak.

I would advise shopping around for your FX5. I bought mine new from a fish shop, but there was a £50 price difference between the cheapest and dearest that i found on sale, and the sellers on eBay were NOT the cheapest.

I just wish it didn't have the automatic reverse process, a button to make the cycle happen on demand would be better and then it wouldn't take you by surprise and you could not bother if it wasn't necessary.

I discussed the FX5 with another owner at the BCA auction last month, he has stopped using his because he got fed up with it being too clever by half and said that it was expensive to run. I have learned to live with mine and i am happy with it, i can't comment on how expensive it is to run because it is in my fish shed and there is such a big bill anyway, and i don't suppose the FX5 is more of a significant cost than some of the other kit i am running.

It is quite noisey until you get used to it. I am not sure i would like one in my living room, but it is OK in the shed.

Another bonus with a big filter like this, i keep loads of sponges inside it for using on my breeding tanks, this keeps them cycled up ready for use at any time. I just put them in the top section of the filter media in the FX5 and leave them there until i need them.

I don't know where you are located. If you are anywhere handy then you would be welcome to come round and take a look at mine working before you spend any money.

Hope this helps



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Post  uk bulldog Thu 25 Oct 2012, 18:17

Cheers for that Gibbo as i didnt know about the reverse flow cycle & as you said im sure this would be a bit of a pain & you are now the 3rd person to tell me it is noisey, this is one of the reasons i thought it a good thing to ask for peoples opinions.I still have a couple of weeks to make my mind up on what to buy so will take on board every thing you have said.
Many thanks Paul.
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Post  Pterophyllum Thu 25 Oct 2012, 21:23

Hi Paul,
Personally I use the eheim "classic" range of filters, a very old, very basic design, essentially the same filter they started making over 30 years ago, with a few minor tweeks.
The one on my 100 gallon tank is well over 20 years old and still going strong!

No fancy gadgets, nothing to go wrong!

I'm not what you call an early adopter, I work on the basis that if it works, don't fix it, but in general I find with filters, the more complex the design, the more there is to go wrong, the greater the chance it will.

The 2217 now known as the classic 600 is what I'd be using on a tank of that size.

Blessed are the cheesemakers!

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Post  uk bulldog Fri 26 Oct 2012, 07:23

Hi Rob i have also been useing the old classic range as i have the 2215 on my 4ft & like you i have never had any trouble with it in the few years i have had it & it was second hand when i got it.Haveing spoke to few fishkeeping friends now about the FX5 the feeling is i should leave well aloan & just like you many are saying to stick with the ehiem classic range of filters,so i think i will & if you are saying use the 2217 then that will be the the choice i go for,its now just a matter of finding the best price i can get.
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