My Review: SunSun "Outside Filter" HW-302
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:43 AM   #1
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My Review: SunSun "Outside Filter" HW-302


Many of us have seen these filters popping up on Ebay and other aquatic sites, but few people have taken the plunge(and admitted it) on this and other forums. When searching for reviews of the SunSun filter/product line, usually all you find is other forum members asking for reviews and a little speculation about the quality of said products. The thought is simple--you get what you pay for....

Or do you? Having looked around for a good canister filter to replace my obnoxiously loud AC300, I pondered many options. I tossed around the idea about Eheims, Fluvals, and the like. I have used Eheims and the Magnum series in the past, and while happy with both, I was never impressed, especially when it came to cost.

About the subject tank:

This tank is only sorta planted/sorta riparium/most about the fish(a midas and pictus cat). It is a standard 75g, 4 foot with inert white sand, a boatload of snails, driftwood, small rock pile, a koralia 1 for circulation, and a pretty rambunctious Midas Cichlid.

This tank was initially filtered by an Marineland biowheel and an AC300. They became so noisy you could hear them inside my bedroom with noisemaker running... Being in the livingroom, next to our 10 month old sons wall, this just wasn't acceptable to us(my wife informed me that it was to be fixed... or it would find itself fixed in a pile next to the dumpster...).

I set out exploring my options. I know Eheims are great filters. The trouble is the sticker shock involved. They are great, but they are not THAT great. Fluvals are good too, but I just wasn't impressed with the price point. The Marineland C Series is nice, but again, the price is still not all that impressive. I'm sure all of you think I'm crazy at this point. You are all willing to spend this money on these filters, but I just wasnt--not after seeing that there ARE other options out there.

This brought me to the Ebay Special SunSun filters. I looked through every auction, over, and over. I read feedback, checked out the few reviews out there, and was uneasy at first. Not because of poor reviews, cause there really aren't any--but because there just aren't many reviews at all. I decided it was worth the risk and you can all thank me for it!

I went with buying from someone domestic on Ebay. The item shipped from N. Cali and arrived in 4 business days via UPS Ground. It was packed well, in a nice think shipping box, inside was a standard package with really, really piss poor English. The grammar makes zero sense. It is essentially a big box of Engrish Fail. Bad grammar aside, the box is also the closest thing to directions you get with it... SO look close! This brings me to the negative things first:
  1. Directions are non-existent
  2. The intake and spray bar are a little flimsy, but solid enough. I have no intention of using them as a hammer.
  3. One of the filter baskets is a little too snug, but with some manipulation it came out fine.
  4. Did I mention no directions!
  5. The surface extractor seems to be useless if you run water up to the top. If you used this with a rimless tank it would be fine. It is too short for my water level.

It took me a bit to figure out how to hook up hoses, but once I did it was a no brainer. The Quick disconnect for the hoses works as a shut off just like on the JBJ Reaction series and the Marineland C Series. Flip it and you can pull the hoses off, take the lid off, and head to the sink to do maintenance. The three baskets plus prefilter tray are more than spacious. I have a prefilter, carbon, ac 110 bio media bag, another filter floss, a basket of beads as bio media, then a basket with filter wool.



Now lets go over the positive sides:
  1. Primer works great and quick.
  2. Baskets have plenty of room
  3. On/Off quick release is super handy. One lever shuts off and disconnects both inlet and outlet.
  4. This filter is silent. Dead silent. I even leaned it up to my stand, put it on blocks, did everything I could to make it make noise. It doesn't make a sound. My wife thought something was broken when she came back from work because it was so silent.
  5. The Filter housing itself is strong--feels identical to that of the marineland or jbj.
  6. The latching system is idiot proof
  7. The flow is great
  8. THE PRICE!!!!


After one week of using this filter I am sold. At a mere 55 dollars shipped, this filter blows the competition out of the water. There are also several models with higher flow than the one I list here, but this does the job for me. In combination with my Koralia 1 in my 75 G tank, it more than does the job. Some might say I need more flow, but it IS doing the job. Please ask if you have questions, and I will continue to post my experiences.


For the money, I really don't think there is any competition. This filter seriously rocks my socks off. I have used the "great" filters out there and can't find a logical reason yet to spend the extra money. The quality seems solid enough that I am not concerned about product life, despite having owned it for a short while.
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:49 AM   #2
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I've never heard of these before now, but thanks for being a guinea pig for the rest of us! They sound promising.
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:49 AM   #3
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ive been thinkin bout these for a while now.

might just have to get one now to test it with ya.
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HungrySpleen View Post
ive been thinkin bout these for a while now.

might just have to get one now to test it with ya.
I have looked at them so many times. I just couldn't hold out any longer when the AC started to go to crap, so this was an easy choice just based on price. The fact that it turned out so great is even better. My tank is crystal clear. i will post (crappy) pics tomorrow from my Droid.
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:02 AM   #5
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Solid review, thank you for putting in the time and capital for us. It's nice to hear someone with actual experience, not someone with 12,000 posts and about as many useless opinions. I may be ordering a couple of these filters soon!
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyebeatbadgers View Post
Solid review, thank you for putting in the time and capital for us. It's nice to hear someone with actual experience, not someone with 12,000 posts and about as many useless opinions. I may be ordering a couple of these filters soon!
Thanks! Like I said, the cost is just right. The intake and spray bar aren't the best, but with the money you save, you have loads of options. I will try to both make a pic of tank/filter and maybe a video of the filter.
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:06 AM   #7
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lookin forward to pics but i have to ask where did you get a droid(r2d2 perhaps?)
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:44 AM   #8
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SunSun's a good company, they're the ones behind some of JBJ's products. This canister is the same line as the JBJ Reaction canisters, except JBJ only rebranded the UV models. I've heard they make Marineland's canisters as well, though I don't know that for a fact.
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
It is essentially a big box of Engrish Fail.
Hahaha. I thought I was the only one who knew of Failblog and other Cheezburger Factory sites. Win!
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:17 AM   #10
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good review thanks! i to am not sold on the high price high quality thought. i purchased a odysea 2x24w ho t5 fixture for a measly $50 when everyone said not to and its been working great now for about 7 months sometimes you need to take a risk to get a reward
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:44 PM   #11
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Thank you very much for the review. I think a lot of the lower price items out there are great for some and not others because of quality control issues. Each item manufactured may or may not be the same as the next. One might work great, the other be a big piece of junk. All of that said, just having options for not spending 175 dollars on a canister is worth the price alone.

One question, anyone ever have to order replacement parts? That is the one thing about Eheim, they have a whole site dedicated to it. This is like buying and off brand car and then needed to get parts for it. All is great until you need a new seal or something. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intermediate_noob View Post
Thank you very much for the review. I think a lot of the lower price items out there are great for some and not others because of quality control issues. Each item manufactured may or may not be the same as the next. One might work great, the other be a big piece of junk. All of that said, just having options for not spending 175 dollars on a canister is worth the price alone.

One question, anyone ever have to order replacement parts? That is the one thing about Eheim, they have a whole site dedicated to it. This is like buying and off brand car and then needed to get parts for it. All is great until you need a new seal or something. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
It looks like the JBJ and Marineland parts are interchangeable to some extent, so I would assume SunSUn are too. They are likely made int he same factory.

Further, I can't find a negative review of these items, only speculation of quality issues.
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Old 12-26-2009, 05:33 AM   #13
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Thanks for the great review. I too, was looking at SunSun awhile back for a larger model, but came across a great deal on a eheim filter on CL. But I think I will be buying one of these soon as a second filter on my 100g tank.
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:18 PM   #14
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I just bought one of these as well and love it!
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:48 PM   #15
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over stocked is SUNSUN#1 PIMP
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