Hydor Professional 450 Review
It will be a short review, because I already took it back.
Things I liked:
0 Bypass. Really nicely fitted baskets.
Good flow rate.
Main head latches are like Eheims. Feel pretty good.
Generally good quality feel to internal parts, baskets, canister itself, primer button, connections inside the tank, head.
Very quiet. Most filters say they are, but they just mean that you can't hear them if you live next to a train track, and the train is going by while you're doing laundry, and the dishwasher is running, while your kids are screaming at the TV which is turned up too loud. And even then, if you listen, you can still hear an Aquaclear grind away.
The Hydor is actually quiet. It's about 3 or 4 times louder that an Eheim, which is to say that you can hear it, but there's no grinding, just a moderate hum. If you are replacing an Aquaclear 110, it will seem like you've just gone deaf.
Things I did not like:
Secondary side latches do not look, or feel, that sturdy.
Bad canister connection design. You screw it on, and I screwed mine a little too far. It stretched out the plastic nut, and the intake wouldn't attach any more. It is connected to the hose attachments by some little plastic teeth. A very poor design. Plastic, especially cheap plastic, wears quickly. When stretched, or worn, the nut would just come right off of the connector, which is what it did.
When I first attached it, I went until I felt significant resistance, and then stopped. Then, when I went to unscrew it, I went the wrong way. For some reason, there wasn't significant resistance, and it let me keep going. Just the act of screwing it down the first time, must have stretched it enough to allow me to go further. By the time I realized I was going the wrong way, I could have worn it as a necklace. My fault, but that shouldn't be able to happen.
It wasn't like I was putting a ridiculous amount of effort into it. It could easily happen accidentally to anyone, and that's not good. A simple small knob to stop the nut from turning further, and making it from something stronger would solve that issue.
Also, way too much water spillage when you remove the hoses to clean it. You screw them back off, after shutting the valves off. No quick disconnect. Screwing and unscrewing those cheap nuts will eventually cause the issue, that I accellerated by turning it the wrong way, to happen to everyone.
Also, it took forever to line the head up and get it sitting right. It will look ok, but still be off a little. This cause me to almost strip the side connectors teeth because I thought I had it right, and went to close the latches.
And while the noise was minimal, and not all together that unpleasant, it is not silent. I now have an Eheim G160, and an Eheim G90 running and they are almost absolutely silent. I have to put my ear to them, or touch them, to make sure they are running. I could leave the doors to the stand wide open, and you would have to turn everything in the house off, and have everyone not make a sound, just to hear the whisper of sound they both produce. And there are 2 of them! Love it.
The Hydor, you can always hear. And there was only the one.
I would not recommend these over Eheim, which is the only canister that I would recommend. Eheim's are expensive, but I'd rather spend $300, than waste $100. But I will also say that with a few tweaks, quality quick disconnects, and some more sound deadening, the Hydor Professional line could be very nice.