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Aquarium filter guide

Why we made this aquarium filter guide?

The aquarium filter shopping guide has been created to help the customer with useful advice based on our own experience and take into account the opinions of international aquarists. The information listed below is for guidance only. The recommended aquarium sizes are only approximate, based on our own - subjective - experience and apply specifically to planted aquariums. We do not think that ours is the only way to go, and we do not believe that everyone should choose a filter based strictly on the proposed criteria.

 
 
We hope that with this information, we can contribute to the maintenance of algae-free aquariums.

Do not compromise on the choice of the aquarium filter. The filter is our number one defensive front line in the fight against algae. Incorrect filter selection can preclude success. A common source of trade-offs is that we devote a low budget to technical equipment. We want to create a nice aquarium - understandably - with as little money as possible. This results in the number one and most common mistake an aquarist makes: choosing the wrong filter.

In the hobby, beginners' most product choice mistakes can be corrected later with a relatively small investment. However, improper filter selection can be a heavier financial burden in the event of a replacement.

 

Recommended
size(liter)

FILTER NAME
Turnover
(LPH)
Volume
(liter)
Max bio filter
volume (liter)
Power
(W, 50Hz)
Factory recom.
size (liter)
Min. cabinet
height (mm, kb.)
Hose size
(mm)
20 Eheim 2211 Classic 150 300 1,3 1,0 5 150 340 9/12
30 ADA Super Jet ES-150 210 1,5 1,5 10 36 350 12/16-9/12
30 Eheim 2032 Ecco Pro 130 500 3,0 1,0 5 100 348 12/16
40 JBL CristalProfi E401 greenline 450 4,6 2,3 4 120 334 12/16
40 ADA Super Jet ES-300 432 3,0 3,0 10 64 460 12/16-9/12
50 Eheim 2422 Experience 150 500 2,3 2,0 8 150 340 12/16
50 Eheim 2034 Ecco Pro 200 600 4,0 2,0 5 200 395 12/16
50 Eheim 2213 Classic 250 440 3,0 3,0 8 250 405 12/16
50 Tetra EX 600 Plus 600 5,7 3,0 10 120 430 12/16
60 Eheim 2036 Ecco Pro 300 750 5,0 3,0 8 300 466 12/16
60 JBL CristalProfi E701 greenline 700 6,1 3,5 9 200 400 12/16
60 Eheim 2124 Experience 250T (fűtős) 700 3,0 3,0 8 250 390 12/16
60 Eheim 2424 Experience 250 700 3,0 3,0 8 250 390 12/16
60 Eheim 2215 Classic 350 620 4,0 4,0 15 350 420 12/16
60 Tetra EX 800 Plus 790 6,6 4,5 13 300 470 12/16
70 JBL CristalProfi e901 greenline 900 7,6 4,7 11 300 455 12/16
70 Eheim 2426 Experience 350 950 4,9 4,0 20 350 435 16/22
70 Eheim 2271 Professionel 4 250 950 7,1 3,5 12 250 408 16/22
70 Eheim 2371 Prof. 4 250T (fűtős) 950 7,1 3,5 12 250 408 16/22
70 OASE BioMaster 250 900 4,8 4,4 15 250 370 16/22
70 OASE BioMaster Thermo 250 (fűtős) 900 4,8 4,4 15 250 370 16/22
70 ADA Super Jet ES-600 360 6,0 6,0 16 81 520 12/16
90 Eheim 2217 Classic 600 1 000 6,0 5,0 20 600 450 16/22-12/16
90 Eheim 2373 Professionel 4 350T (fűtős) 1 050 8,9 5,0 16 350 448 16/22
90 Eheim 2273 Professionel 4 350 1 050 8,9 5,0 16 350 448 16/22
90 OASE BioMaster 350 1 100 6,1 5,6 18 350 425 16/22
90 OASE BioMaster Thermo 350 (fűtős) 1 100 6,1 5,6 18 350 425 16/22
120 ADA Super Jet ES-600EX 360 9,0 8,0 16 81 680 12/16
180 ADA Super Jet ES-600EX2 360 12,0 12,0 16 180 850 12/16
200 Tetra EX 1200 Plus 1 300 12,0 6,0 21 500 530 16/22
200 Eheim 2275 Professionel 4 600 1 250 9,2 6,5 16 600 503 16/22
200 OASE BioMaster 600 1 250 7,4 6,8 22 600 480 16/22
200 OASE BioMaster Thermo 600 (fűtős) 1 250 7,4 6,8 22 600 480 16/22
200 JBL CristalProfi e1501 greenline 1 400 12,0 8,0 15 600 510 16/22
220 Eheim 2274 Professionel 4e 350 1 500 7,4 4,5 35 350 448 16/22
250 Eheim 2076 Professionel 3e 450 1 700 12,5 7,0 35 450 524 16/22
260 ADA Super Jet ES-1200 960 12,0 8,0 31 243 610 15/20-12/16
260 Eheim 2078 Professionel 3e 700 1 850 14,5 9,0 35 700 584 16/22
300 JBL CristalProfi e1901 greenline 1 900 15,0 10,0 27 800 614 19/25
300 Eheim 2080 Professionel 3 1200 XL 1 700 25,0 12,0 30 1200 617 16/22
300 Eheim 2180 Prof. 3 1200 XLT (fűtős) 1 700 25,0 12,0 30 1200 617 16/22
300 ADA Super Jet ES-1200EX 960 18,0 13,0 31 324 805 15/20-12/16
340 ADA Super Jet ES-1200EX2 960 24,0 18,0 31 324 995 15/20-12/16
650 Eheim 2260 Classic 1500XL 2 400 23,0 18,0 65 1500 680 25/34-16/22
652 ADA Super Jet ES-2400 1 620 24,0 16,0 45 648 655 19/25-15/20
1000 ADA Super Jet ES-2400EX 1 620 36,0 28,0 45 648- 870 19/25-15/20
1500 ADA Super Jet ES-2400EX2 1 620 48,0 37,0 45 648- 1090 19/25-15/20
 
Each filter has three roles in a planted aquarium. In order of importance:
 
NITRIFICATION

It is the most important! Toxic and algae-causing ammonia in the aquarium must be decomposed. As fast as possible. Billions of bacteria growing in the filter convert ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate.

WATER CIRCULATION

Nutrients (plant food and CO2) must reach the plants. Solid decomposition products should be kept afloat. Good performance is essential.

WATER TREATMENT

Solid decomposition products must be physically removed from the aquarium and decomposed in a filter or removed during cleaning.

 

For a filter to fully perform all three roles, it must meet several criteria. Ideally suitable to have a bucket of the right size to store the right amount of filter media. The filter material contained in it must be of adequate quality and variety. The pump in the filter must have sufficient capacity. The filter should be easy to clean so that the cumbersome process does not deter the aquarist from regular maintenance. Plus, the filter needs to be reliable; no one wants to flood a living room or office due to a cracked tap or joint.

Manufacturers' information is often misleading, regardless of whether it is a quality product or a cheaper (lower quality) product. The aquarist usually needs to be familiar with the plethora of factory data and tables, so it's easy to be fooled by turnover specs and bucket sizes. Later, however, it may quickly turn out that the filter fits half as much biological filter cartridge as more expensive filters in its category. The build quality is not that good etc. The list is quite long.

There is little chance that e.g., with low-tech methods, we make beautiful and algae-free aquariums such as e.g. Diana Walstad method.

When choosing a filter, you don't have to look at whether the selected filter is enough for your aquarium. But it is essential how much room for error you want to make for later times.

The wider these boundaries are, the less chance there are of a series of failures. It is essential to be aware of the theoretical aspects of filter selection.

The second most common mistake an aquarist makes is choosing the wrong size filter. This error is supported even by the manufacturers by keeping the aquarium sizes recommended for the filter unrealistically high. It might even be understandable; more expensive filters could be harder to sell for smaller aquariums.

Many people think at first that if, for example, you use a 500 lph Eheim 2422 filter for a 20-liter aquarium (25x rotation), the fish will spin. They will not.

 
 
Based on the above, follow the essential rules of filter selection:
  • Try to buy a filter that turns the water in our aquarium at least 5-10x per hour. The base is five times the factory numbers. The smaller the aquarium, the higher this number should be. For a nano (e.g. 20 liter) aquarium, the multiplier can be up to 25x. Don't deal with net and gross numbers.
  • Buy a filter that has a useful filter material of at least 4-5% of our aquarium volume. The smaller the aquarium, the higher this number should be. For a nano (e.g. 20 liter) aquarium, a filter volume of up to 10% is accepted (two liters of biological filter media, e.g. Eheim Substrat Pro). The type and type of filter media determine the performance of the filter! You can find our filter material write up here.
  • Try to go for quality brands - according to the financial possibilities. Let us consider the above figures, which are certainly shocking to many, as guidelines and not binding. If someone e.g., If you buy a 7-8x rotation filter for your aquarium and work with a bucket size of 4-5%, you can - we think - get good results. If you select 5x rotation, and e.g., With a 3% bucket size, you already need to know that you can't afford a lot of mistakes, and in a fragile-balanced aquarium, every mistake can lead to algae - but it might work.

As shown from the table, the maximum (!) Aquarium sizes recommended by Green Aqua for the filters differ significantly from the factory for each filter. When determining the dimensions, we used the 7x rule for larger aquariums and filters, and the 10x rule for smaller filters. We tried to set the numbers conservative. For example, for the Eheim 2422 filter, the maximum recommended 50-liter aquarium size does not mean, for example, that it is recommended for 50-liter aquariums. We recommend it for that, but in reality, 2422 also does a perfect job in a 20-liter aquarium. If you want to afford a substantial margin of maneuver when considering algae filtration aspects, choose the 2422 filter for a 20-liter one.

Finally, there is one last important consideration when choosing a filter: maintenance. Usually recommended cleaning the filters at least every month or two. The cleaning process can be too cumbersome with a cheaper filter. Problems can start with removing the filter tube. Without proper built-in taps, it is difficult to disconnect the filter bucket from the water-filled system. The next issue is removing and cleaning the filter cartridge. The filter must contain baskets with which the filling can be removed easily from the bucket. The Eheim Classic, Ecco, Ecco Pro, Experience, Thermo, and Professionel 4 and OASE series may prove to be the right choice. The first three types can be attractive in addition to good material quality and price. However, these filters have design and operational features that make them meet our high expectations only in conditions.

We highly recommend the Eheim Experience, Eheim Professionel, OASE BioMaster, and ADA Super Jet filters among the filters we sell.

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