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Thread: Proper cleaning of Eheim Canister? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-23-2015 02:02 AM
kman GREAT info in this thread. Tagged for future reference!
10-13-2014 07:28 PM
Vancat2 fyi, if you find yourself in the position to upgrade to the Pro Series, they are MUCH EASIER to clean!!
11-17-2013 05:33 AM
francois.e This is a very useful thread I have a Eheim 2217 canister for a 50 gallon aquarium. Presently, I have 35 fishes in there (this is the current staff): one Discus, Gymnocorymbus ternetzi (black tetras) (4), Paracheirodon innesi (neon tetra) (8), Hyphessobrycon megalopterus (phantom tetra) (6), kryptopterus (8), Rasbora heteromorpha (3), Rasbora espei (1), Pangio kuhlii (2), Botia kubotai (3) and Xiphophorus maculatus (2). I also have a few species of shrimps: Atyopsis moluccensis (3) and Neocaridina heteropoda (yellow shrimp) (4). I have to do two 40% water change every two weeks.

Post 5 from momotaro is very complete, but the other commentaries from the members are also useful. I read this post about eight months after the implementation of my aquarium. At that time there were signs of eutrophisation.

As my 2217 is superior to the volume of my aquarium, I am only at my second cleanup of the media, which means once every 8 or 9 months. Contrarily to what is proposed in this thread, I never got rid of the small balls and did not boiled them, I just rinse three times and agitate 2/3 of them with the aquarium water, whereas I treat all of the cylindric media. I do not want to disturb the bacteria equilibrium too often. This is why I take care of the small balls.

Although I imagine that cleaning regularly the filter is good to remove nitrogen in organic form of bacteria and various debris (and probably other chemical elements are also removed)

At some point I had some difficulty in restarting the filter. Pulling down the smaller or exit tube of the canister so that it flowed into a bowl on the floor, instead of having to fight for gravity to push the water two feet higher gave a really good pressure. Once primed this way the propeller would easyly push the water in the aquarium once the exit tubulure was replugged.
01-09-2013 08:50 PM
dreamchick thank you for asking. this answers a question that i had recently been asked by my mother. now i will know what to tell her.
08-25-2012 07:16 PM
petroman1185 I use 2-eheim 2217s in my 75 gallon tanks. I clean them every two months. The key is one month i clean one then the next month i clean the other one. This helps keep the good bacteria alive. Its always worked for me. Hope that helps. joe h
07-14-2012 02:17 AM
Blah4Life Great thread! I've been looking for this info. I have a 2213, and love it.
03-18-2012 10:56 PM
Eheim 2180 not flowing

The flow of my 2180 is non existing. However when I hit the large prun button down it flows . Yet when I release the button no flow. Obviously it is working and pumping when the button is down . So what can it be?
09-06-2011 09:11 PM
150EH I think that's all good information with one exception, I have found it a pain if you turn inlet and outlet quick connects in different directions, later on you will want to rearrange your plumbing and that will somehow stand in your way and with only just a moment of thought you will never hook them up backwards, Jinks.
09-02-2011 02:56 AM
Uptown193 Posting as a personal future reference
09-21-2005 02:17 AM

When you disconnect the hoses from the canister, they are left hanging down, full of water, shut off by the valves. You can manually open the valves, in the 2026 that is done by pushing that little lever on the bracket that holds the two hoses and fits them into the canister. If you open that valve, you will drain water from the tank, flushing a lot of the crud out of the lines since the flow is so fast.

If you do not flush the line, the crud builds up and when you restart the canister a cloud of crud blows out of the output line, messing up your fresh clean water.

I try to clean my canisters every 2 months, the planted tanks and discus absolutely need it that often, the fish only tanks are not so critical.
09-21-2005 12:55 AM
Dood Lee I clean my canister every 2-3 months. To clean the hoses (I only clean them once a year) I use a flexi-brush. It's a brush that is attached to a long piece of rigid string with a weight on the end. I got mine from Dr. Foster and Smith, but you can probably find it locally or at other online vendors.
09-21-2005 12:18 AM
pizza snob Ok,

First off a big THANK YOU for so many informative responses! Also thabk you to jimmydrsv for telling me about this forum. I am very impressed and will be making thi smy new home.

Now, my responses:

MoMoTaro: Yes, you can use this Q&A for your FAQ.

Hypancistrus: Will I increase the DO in my tank by underfilling my tank by several inches so that there is a physical drop from my output water hose to the tank water? My output hose runs to the top of my tank and sits vertically across so that the water falls with a waterfall effect to the tank. I notice many more air bubbles when I run it this way instead of running it vertically or covered with water so that there is no drop. Good idea, bad idea? Forgive me but I can't imagine using tap water to clean the cannister, mech, or filters is a good idea. What about the effects of chlorine? Isn't that why it is important to de-chlor a tank BEFORE adding tap water after a change? I have just recently learned to shut OFF my filter while I am doing a water change. Previously I would leave it on but someone said even though I drop in dechlor before the tap water, there is a chance that the new tap might get into the filter before the dechlor has a chance to work. I have always used clean tank water to clean the filter and mech so far.

Anona: Not sure I understand your backflush suggestion? Are you suggesting I remove the output hose from the tank, place in a 5 gallon bucket and turn filter back on to force water into the bucket instead of the tank? I am not sure I understand? I do this already to fill up two 5 gallon buckets and then use that water to clean my cannister, filters, and media.

Thank you all for the tip on the white crud on the o-rings. I will clean them with a q-tip.

I will have to

Additional Questions:

How often does everyone clean their cannisters?

How do you properly clean the hoses? Do they make a brush THAT long? My hoses are like 4 feet long! Doe sit pay to buy a second set of hoses so one set is always clean?

I am having a difficult time judging the tempature of the water comign out of my bathroom faucet as it travels into my 50 foot python and then into my tank. I have an electronic themometer on my tank but I constantly have to run from the tank to the bathroom to adjust the water temp as it goes up or down. Do they make a special fitting that goes between the faucet and python connector to show temp of water? Anyone else have this problem?

Should Bio-Media be disturbed/cleaned in filter tank water?

Thank You all again for your responses. I will now go read the FAQ on EHEIM cannisters which I did not know existed until now.

Pizza Snob
09-20-2005 09:42 PM
Hypancistrus Eheim Pro 2128 here. I also have your exact same tank.

Originally Posted by pizza snob
1) Between the trays there are two black o-ring that help seal the first tray to the second. After 9 months of use, my O-Rings have white crud on the o-ring to the point that is is no longer black. Was this white stuff the lubricant that initally came on the o-rings or is it not meant to be there? Should I strip it clean until o-ring is black and apply the small tube of lubricant that came with cannister? Can I use vasoline? Should the O-ring be black or white?
No, it wasn't a lubricant. It's bio mass / bio slime. You can just scrub it off. Here are the brushes I use: (The three nylon models.)

No need to apply any lubricant. What I did was I purchased two additional input connectors (part number 7342200 - you can get them here.) I then insert an input connector in every black o-ring on each tray, so there is one in between each tray, and one in between the top tray and cannister cover.

Originally Posted by pizza snob
2) How long can the media survive "outside" of water? I have cleaned my cannister 3x in 9 months. I am afraid that when I remove the layers of media and place them outside the cannister for extended periods of time (1 hr to 2 hrs) the good bacteria may die. Is this true? Should I remove them and keep them in cleaned tank water in a 5 gallon bucket until ready for replacement in my cannister again?
I also leave the media trays outside of the cannister for several hours. In fact, in recent months, I actually pour the media into a strainer and rinse it with tap water! I still don't get any ammonia and nitrite spikes. I believe this is because the majority of nitrogen bacteria actually live inside the tank. My tank is even overstocked.

Originally Posted by pizza snob
3) After I replace all the layers of media and filters, I am having a problem aligning the top most tray tube with the hole in top lid of the cannister. The holes line up so I can see clear to the bottom but it looks as if the top most tube is not long enough to seat properly in the lid. It isn't a problem of alignment so much as a problem of the tube not looking like it is long enough to extend into the hole in the top lid. Pads and trays are placed in the correct order.
Be sure to use an input connector at the top too. In fact, the single input connector that comes with the filter is intended to go between the top tray and the top of the cannister filter. This will solve your alignment problem. You didn't lose the input connector did you? I use three in all... one in between each tray, and one between the top most tray and the cannister lid.

Originally Posted by pizza snob
4) How do I "prep" a new (white) fine filter pad before replacing the one I have. I know enough NOT to simply replace it with a new pad as there will be a nitrite spike. Can I leave the new pad in a bucket of tank water for 2 weeks before I place in the cannister? How can I prep the pad to be ready for replacing?
Wait, what??? A nitrite spike if you just replace the white pad with a new one? That's a new one to me. I simply take the new white pad out and put it in. It's totally clean and inert. There is no nitrite or organic material that would break down into nitrite in the new pad.

What I think might be happening in your tank is a lack of DO (dissolved oxygen). The Oceanic 42 hex tanks are tall and they have the least surface area of just about any other tank on the market. These tanks need airstones if you put the glass cover on. You may not know it, but the fish inside your tank are stressed from a low DO level. They may be getting just enough to get by since your stocking level is light. When you take the filter off for cleaning, you stop the water flow completely. As I said, the majority of the bacteria live inside the tank, near the tank bottom in the substrate. When you disconnect the filter for several hours for cleaning, the nitrite consuming bacteria (nitrospira) will be the first to die off due to lack of oxygen. When you restart the filter and test the water, I would expect to see a nitrite spike. That's what I think you are seeing.

If you inject CO2, you will only need to turn it up slightly to offset the "outgassing" effect from the airstone.

I use and recommend Rena Micro Bubblers and Tetratec Deep Water Air Pumps. Remember, airstones are not intended to be used just for "effect." They turn the water, create additional flow, create surface turbulance, and increase dissolved oxygen. Large bodies of water have massive ammounts of surface area, a closed covered tank (especially hex's like ours) have hardly any in comparison. The airstone(s) will compensate.
09-20-2005 12:17 PM
jgc Think my gf called the white stuff chair padding. lwm only had 2", but my eheim was missing so much media it fit nicely.
09-20-2005 07:22 AM
Dood Lee The coarse blue pads, the ehfimech, and the ehfisubstrat you can use indefinitely (or until the wear out). The white pads you can replace - there is no prepping needed as the white pads are there mainly for mech filtration. I think it would be best to keep the tray with the ehfisubstrat (the bio media) in a bucket of tank water so the bacteria doesn't die off.

Here is my cleaning routine for my 2026:

1) Remove trays - place top tray in bucket of tank water.
2) Bottom tray (with ehfimech and coarse pads) are rinsed.
3) Replace trays, and put on new fine white pad (if needed).

BTW, the black rings that are on the tubes in the trays aren't lubricated. That white build up happens to me too. I just wipe it off with a napkin or a cotton swab.
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