Help with fluval 106? This is my first canister filter.. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Charleston, SC
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Help with fluval 106? This is my first canister filter..

I might be stupid, I'm probably missing something... Maybe there's something wrong with my tubing. Whatever it is, I'm scared to touch my canister filter right now and the instructions that came with it are confusing me. Hopefully someone here will be kind enough to help me.

I picked up the Fluval 106 from Petsmart today.. I got in the car and opened it to make sure everything was there - it wasn't. The hose was missing and this was the only 106 in stock so I was unable to exchange it. They had a spare hose for a 306/406 and gave it to me to try and said to come back to exchange it if I need to next week when they get them in stock again. I'm seeing online that a lot of people just go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy replacement tubing anyways, so if the problem is my tubing, I'll just do that.

At any rate.. I put the whole thing together as per the instructions. I am having an extremely hard time getting the output and input pieces to connect to the tubing..

I filled the canister halfway with water cause that's what I'd read a few places online.. Started pumping the primer thing.. I can hear water coming into the filter but there are no bubbles coming out the intake. There are occasional, tiny tiny bubbles coming out of the intake where the hose connects.. But nothing out of the output. Stupid me got up to inspect the tubes while water was filling the filter, and it started pouring out water from the canister itself - is this normal? I freaked out.. Got everything disconnected and stopped the water. I emptied the whole canister, hooked everything back up and started manually priming again - this time starting with an empty canister. I pumped it probably 5-7 times.. I can hear water flowing in but still no bubbles. I'm scared to keep pumping so I stopped.. The water stopped flowing into the canister and I have been looking online to try to figure out what it is that I am missing.

Can anyone help me? Is it me, the filter, the tubing.. All of the above?

Sorry for being a total newb at this! I usually just use sponge filters
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 12:10 AM
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I find Fluvals are a HUGE PITA to prime. You have to pump that little knob like crazy to generate a constant flow of water into the filter, but then you risk breaking the damn thing!

Get your hoses hooked up the way you want them then take it to the sink or the tub to try it out. When you are priming there should be no bubbles coming from the aquastop valve where the hoses connect to the filter, you're going to have water spraying everywhere.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 12:27 AM
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The 306/406 hose is too wide for the 106. You should look up the diameters of the 106 hose and find it at Home Depot. If your hoses do not seal to the filter then of course you will have leaks
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 12:51 AM
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Water came out of the canister? Was the gasket included?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 01:24 AM
Algae Grower
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Re: Help with fluval 106? This is my first canister filter..

There is an instructional video on YouTube for installing the fluval canister that makes it very easy to install. That is what I used.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Yepp, I watched the video..

And yes, water came out the canister where the lid and the base meet. It was completely closed.. I don't know if it's because the water couldn't get out so the pressure pushed it out? The lid was definitely fastened tight. It didn't leak after I stopped the water fall, even if I tipped it over.

I'll have to try it again. I'll stick it in a bucket next time. It's such a PITA to work with the filter when it's behind the immovable tank/stand lol.

I got conflicting info in what size the tubing is so I just got all the sizes people suggested and I'll just return whatever doesn't work! I love having a Lowes across the street. I'll have to try this again in the morning.. Hopefully the correct tubing helps..
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 02:01 AM
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Make sure there is a rubber ring around the canister to seal it. If that's not there I would simply get a new canister with all the parts... Heck you bought it new, right? Check another petsmart.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 02:05 AM
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How much was was coming out? If it was a lot, I'd take it back. If it was a small drip I'd check the seals. I own a 205 and a 405 (previous generations) and have none of those problems. My 205 had a small leak cause it sat in storage and the seal went bad. But they're both running great, so maybe you got a defective model? Possibly an opened box someone returned and is missing a part!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 02:42 AM
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I just recently bought a 106 to power an inline heater and UV sterilizer. It should not be leaking if you installed the gasket between the head and the canister. If you did that and it is still leaking I would recommend returning it.

I also think that you need to confirm that you have the right size tubing. The tubing that came with mine measures about 2.25" in circumference on the outside. It seems to be pretty close to standard 12/16mm ID/OD tubing.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Well, yeah.. I guess I didn't notice it before because I was in a hurry, but the lid is not snapping all the way shut & flush with the base. There's at least a good 8th of an inch between the edge of the lid and the base, and I'm assuming those are supposed to be flush like it.. Well, all the pictures of the , haha. I tried everything I could think to do to get it to shut tightly, but it won't. There's nothing I can see that's preventing it from closing tightly... I even took everything put of it.

The gasket was included and was installed. I took it off and the lid still doesn't close right so it doesn't seem to be anything I did. Guess I will be exchanging it! What a shame..
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 05:54 AM
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You might also try greasing that gasket. You can use vaseline. I got a used 206 and that's all it took to stop a leak I had.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 12:17 PM
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The one thing I don't like about my Fluval 206 is the way they designed the tubing... specifically the end where it fits into the filter. That rubber tip looks pretty necessary to make a dependable seal... effectively making you buy their tubing if you want to sleep at night. Maybe you can get away with detaching the rubber tip and cementing a different type of tubing onto it, but probably only once or twice will the tip survive that.

I'm also not crazy about the ribbed hosing. Sure, it makes for easier routing and less kinking, but I'm just about to put a co2 reactor inline and I'm wondering how well this is going to go with trying to get a clamp on the ribbed tubing.

+1 on double-checking the oring seal around the edge of the lid. there is another groove that you may have put it in, that is the wrong groove.

oh, and so far as priming, I didn't think it could be ANY easier. I put everything in place, did not prefill the cannister at all, and hit the prime button a couple of times. I could hear siphoning action pulling the water down into the canniser, so I stopped priming until it filled up. I primed a little bit more to get any more air bubbles and turned the thing on. It sputtered a bit and was golden from then on.
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