Proper cleaning of Eheim Canister?
Hey folks -
I have an Eheim 2215 that I am going to clean for the first time. Can someone help me out with instructions on the proper way to do this?
Should I clean out the sponge layers?
Should I scrub the rocks/tubes?
Do I need to keep any parts submersed?
I basically do not want to destroy the "good" bacteria that has grown to eat the Ammonia - but I do want to clean the filter.
just rince out or biological media with tank water and keep it submerged in tank water while u clean the mechanical ones. the mechanical u can use tank water too but i usually just clean with tap water. hoses i dont clean, only when u notice a significant decrease in flow.
Make sure you use cool water so as not to kill the bacteria. Think rinsing, not scrubbing. Replace the filter floss if you are using it and you're good to go.
Follow the instructions with the filter.
I disconnect the lines and then back wash them by opening the valve and letting some water flow into a large bucket, maybe 5" deep. This pulls some of the crud out that might be growing there, giving you a bit longer before you have to do a big cleaning of the lines themselves -- that is needed every 6 or 12 months.
Then, I put the canister on a large tray or kitchen counter and open it, remove the media and rinse in the bucket. Open it to clean the impellor well and remember to pull out that little triangle shaped thing in that narrow slot and clean under that with a tiny brush or pipe cleaner. Use a brush to clean the impellor itself and then reassemble. Use the lubricant provided, or silicone lube on o-ring and close it up. Hook up tubes and open all valves. Should fill with water and be ready to go when you are done with the water change that was going on while you tended the filter.
Phyllis Ringstad was the owner and operator of True Aquarium Plants. Sadly, Phyl has now passed away. Her website was full of useful information, and one of the articles everyone remembers and misses is this one, the instructions for assembling and cleaning an Eheim Classic Canister. I have a copy, and think Phyl, and Vicki Costley ( the women who distributed this article for a couple of years before her own very untimely death) would want to be sure this information continued to be shared within the planted aquarium communty. I am posting it without anyone's permission, as there is no one to ask for permission from that I know of.
NOTE: One update: the Ehfifix and Ehfisynth layers are now supplied by Eheim as filter pads (the Ehfifix pad is blue, the Ehfisynth white), and should be placed in the filter in the same manner as shown in the diagram at the end of this article.
Eheim Classic Canister
Congratulations, if you have just purchased one of the best filters around. At least this help sheet assumes that you did or will. You can put any filter media into the Eheim that suits your needs, but few will surpass the quality of the Eheim media. This sheet will help you get your new canister up and running in no time. This help sheet covers the Classic Canister (the cylindrical one). So, if youíre readyÖ
The Classic Canister (2211,2213, 2215, 2217, 2250, 2260)
Okay, youíve opened the box and scrutinized the filter, now itís time to put it together. Grab the instruction sheet (it looks kind of like a folded roadmap) and check the parts list to make sure that everything is there. You may have to thumb through it a bit to find the English instructions but theyíre in there. The instructions are very clear on assembling the filter so I wonít repeat it here. There are a couple of tips I can share with you that are not included in the instructions.
Filter Media % of Filter Volume Eheim Filter Filter Volume
EhfiSynth 10% 2211 1 liter
EhfiSubstrat 55% 2213 3 liters
EhfiFix 20% 2215 4 liters
EhfiMech 15% 2217 6 liters
2250 12 liters
2260 18 liters
1. You first want to cut about three inches off of each size of tubing (if you have only one size of tubing, cut off two pieces the same size). These are the pieces that youíll connect to stem on the top of the filter and the stem protruding from the lower side.
2. Next, connect your double tap connectors to the hose pieces you just attached so that the valve handles point in different directions (one pointing up and one down). In the future, this will allow you easily reconnect the right hose to the right valve after you have disconnected it.
3. With the double tap valves connected, attach the hoses to the other end of the valves (Donít cut the hoses just yet. If you have one long hose donít cut it in half to make two hoses, just attach both ends to the connectors for now.)
4. Assemble the intake tube and strainer as the instructions say and place it where you want it on the aquarium. Do the same with the spray bar assembly. (Most European aquariums are 15 inches from front to back, so the spray bar will be too long if your aquarium is 12". No problem. Use a hacksaw or sharp bread knife to cut the spray bar to the size you need. Donít cut the end with the cap in it. The spray bar can run along the left or right side (pointing to the front of the tank). You can run the spray bar along the back wall of the tank but this will make the return pipe visible from the front.
5. Once the spray bar assembly and the intake assembly are in place, you can cut the hoses to the right length. The tubing should be just short enough not to sag, and just long enough to allow you to be able to pull the filter out a little ways or move it from side to side a bit in the cabinet. When you connect the hoses to the intake and spray bar assemblies make sure to give yourself an extra inch or two to allow for the connection.
Now youíre ready for the filter media. Eheim recommends running the filter with floss and carbon for the first two weeks of a new aquarium to purify the water. This is a good idea, but optional. Iíll leave that decision up to you.
Your media kit should include EhfiMech, EhfiFix, EhfiSubstrat, and EhfiSynth. Now you need to know how much of each filter media to use. If you donít like math there is a sticker inside the filterís box that you can affix to the side of the canister that shows you how far to fill with each filter media. If you do like math, keep reading. You calculate the mediaís proportion based on the filterís volume. Itís not as hard as it sounds, just look at the charts below. *Remember to rinse out the EhfiMech and EhfiSubstrat before adding it to the filter. A spaghetti strainer or colander works nicely. Just rinse enough to get the dust off.
For example, letís say that you have the Eheim 2213 Filter. Itís filter volume is 3 liters. EhfiMech goes in first and it should occupy 15% of the filter. 0.15 x 3 = 0.45 liter. The EhfiMech box holds 0.7 liter, therefore you need to use a little more than half of the box. EhfiFix should occupy the next 20%. 0.20 x 3 = 0.60 liter. But, wait a minute, the box of EhfiFix says 35 grams. You donít have to convert grams to liters or any thing like that. The box is the same size as the 0.7-liter box so itís safe to assume that it fills the same volume. Therefore, 0.6 liter is all but a little bit of it. So, tear a chunk off and save it - the rest goes in the filter. The amounts do not have to be that exact. Next is EhfiSubstrat at 55%. 0.55 x 3 = 1.65 liters. The box of EhfiSubstrat is 0.7 liter too. (Unless, you got the big 2.0 liter box.) Two boxes is 1.4 liters and thatís good enough. Add two boxes. Lastly, EhfiSynth is 10% of filter volume. 0.10 x 3 = 0.30 liter. Just like EhfiFix, the box is the same size as a 0.7 liter box. So, tear off less than half and put it on top of the other media inside the filter. Save the rest.
Now, follow the instructions on starting the siphon. When the filter is full of water, plug it in. For previous Fluval users, notice that the Eheim is a "no-burping-required" filter.
Meanwhile, three months laterÖ
This may be a good point to take a look at your Eheim filter and see if everythingís okay. If the water flow is still strong, you may want to wait and check it next month. If you would feel better knowing that youíd done something to help with the maintenance, maybe now would be a good time to give the filter a rinse. You donít have to take the filter apart and empty its contents. Hereís the quick and easy way to give it a rinse.
Call this the First Half Maintenance.
1. Unplug the filter and shut off all of the valves.
2. Now, disconnect the valves and take the filter to the kitchen.
3. Grab a bucket and set it in the sink. Place the filter on the counter so that the lower valve-stem hangs over the bucket at the edge of the sink.
4. Turn the lower valve stem counter-clockwise and point it down into the bucket.
5. Open both valves and empty the filterís water into the bucket.
6. Now, close the bottom valve. Then, undo the clips and lift off the lid and set it aside on a towel for now.
7. Take the bucket of filter water out of the sink, leaving the valve stem pointed into the sink, open the bottom valve again, and slowly pour the water into the top of the canister. The water will come three times dirtier than the first time. This is because you are back-flushing the filter media - sending the water in the opposite direction that it normally flows.
8. When the filter has emptied, close the bottom valve again and turn it clock-wise back up.
9. Now, is a good time to check the top layer of filtering media (itís right there), EhfiSynth, and see if it might need replacing. Also, itís a good time to pull out the instructions and follow the procedure for cleaning the impeller. You kept your instructions, didnít you?
10. Wet the O-Ring, and slide it over the bottom of the lid and press down.
When youíre done, take the filter back, hook up the double taps, open the bottom valves first and then the top valves. The filter should fill up again on its own (no need to start the siphon manually). When itís full, plug it in. Youíre done.
Meanwhile, three more months laterÖ
By now itís time to change out about one-half to two-thirds of the EhfiSubstrat biological filter media. EhfiSubstrat is made of sintered glass beads which makes it very porous, providing excellent surface area (18,335 sq. ft. / U.S. gallon) for nitrifying bacteria to thrive. The bacteria adhere to the glass better than any plastic or ceramic media. All this is why EhfiSubstrat is just about the best biological filter media on the market. However, even this will clog-up over time and need to be replaced. You only change out part of it so that the old media will seed the new media with bacteria without subjecting the fish to another cycle. The easiest way to do the change-out is as follows:
Call this The Second Half Maintenance.
1. Unplug the filter, close all the valves, and disconnect the filter.
2. Drain the filter as you did for the quick maintenance above. (Leave out the bucket this time and let the water go down the drain.)
3. When itís empty, remove the lid and set it aside with the O-Ring. Now, lay out an old bath towel on the kitchen counter.
4. Remove the EhfiSynth media (It will more than likely need to be replaced.) from the filter. Now, you want to pour the media slowly out of the canister into a row on the towel. The row should be in segments of EhfiSubstrat, a wad of EhfiFix, and EhfiMech.
5. While the canister is empty, itís a good time to rinse it out thoroughly in the sink with tap water. Do not use any chemical cleaners! Do not run it in the dishwasher!
6. Set the canister upside down over the towel for a bit while you rinse out the EhfiMech (ceramic rings) just like you did when you first set up the filter. Afterwards, go ahead and put the EhfiMech back into the canister.
7. Thoroughly rinse out the EhfiFix (green stuff or blue pad) in the sink and place it back into the filter.
8. Since youíre rinsing stuff, why not rinse out the new EhfiSubstrat. Remember that this should be enough to replace á to 2/3 of the original EhfiSubstrat.
9. Now remove á to 2/3 of the old EhfiSubstrat pile and throw it away (Ed. note: you can also boil the ehfisubstrat in water, with a splash of bleach if you want it to get nice and white again, dry and save for future use). Mix the remaining media with the new and place it into the filter.
10. Put your EhfiSynth (white, cotton stuff or pad) on top.
11. Now is a good time to clean the impeller.
12. Wet the O-Ring, and slide it over the bottom of the lid and press down. Lock the clips into place, and reconnect the filter as you did before. The siphon should start by itself after you open the bottom valves and then the top valves. When itís full, plug it in.
13. Once itís running again, give it a pat on the pump-head and say "See you in three months."
Three months from this point, repeat "The First Half Maintenance" - the back flush of filter media. And three months after that repeat "The Second Half Maintenance" - EhfiSubstrat replacement. Notice that youíve only replaced EhfiSubstrat and EhfiSynth. You donít have to replace EhfiFix or EhfiMech until they are completely worn out. Just rinse and reuse. You may, at some point during the year, use some carbon for some reason or another. If you need to, place it in a convenient spot in the filter. For example, you could exchange the EhfiSynth on top with it. Just remember that it doesnít take long for the carbon to achieve the desired effect. So donít leave it in too long. A couple of days to a week should suffice. If it doesnít, then you need to have a look at your other maintenance practices. For example, are you overfeeding the fish (very easy to do and the leading cause of fish death!)? Are you doing regular partial water changes. 25% every two weeks (recommended) or 50% every four weeks (that could be pushing it). Upkeep on these two factors alone may eliminate the need for carbon at all.
After the first year, you should check and see just how much it cost you to run your Eheim Filter. Then, compare that with what it would cost to run other types of filters. I think you be surprised at how much you saved in time and money.
Calling EHEIM canister filter users! Questions.
Hi all. I own a Eheim Pro 2026 and have a few questions:
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?
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?
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.
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?
I know not to use tap water to clean anything and I always add start right BEFORE I add tap water for refilling tank. I fill 2 5 gallon buckets with output water from my filter and use this to swish off debris from my filters and also clean the inside of the cannister with.
I appreciate any help from Eheim users and am sure this will benefit many others.
Thank you in advance!!
42 Gallon Oceanic Freshwater Tropical Hex on Oak Stand.
Huge majestic castle ornament in middle of tank.
Eheim Pro 2 2026 Canister
130 Watt Coral Life Lunar light w/ 2 LED's.
6 Zebra Danios
5 Red Eyed Tetras
5 Blue Tetras
3 Aneis Catfish
As far as the white pads...let this be the last time you waste your money on them...save your money for a nice BMW if you're going to go "German" :)
Most of us use polyester fiber fill for pillows, quilts, etc that you can find at Walmart or Kmart. usually $3.99 for a big giant bag that should easily last you a looooooooong time.
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.
Think my gf called the white stuff chair padding. lwm only had 2", but my eheim was missing so much media it fit nicely.
Eheim Pro 2128 here. I also have your exact same tank.
http://www.labdepotinc.com/Product_D...~pid~9419.aspx (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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Posting as a personal future reference
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