Eheim Flow (2215 & 2217 Tested) - Terrible So Far!
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:07 PM   #1
jerry1
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Eheim Flow (2215 & 2217 Tested) - Terrible So Far!


I had all of this in another thread but it was sort of buried and I thought it might be good to create my own. I’ve read some others that have similar issues w/ Eheim filters and I’m wondering how many actually measure their flow rate. It’s important when you consider that most are looking for some amount of minimum flow through your filter. I knew published flow numbers would be overrated, but what I am finding is crazy.

My history to date:

My 3 month old 2215 has 57.6 gph of flow! (164 gph advertised) That is horrible and is with an almost stock setup. The media was cleaned less than a month prior. I say “almost stock” because I was using a clean sponge pre-filter and 2 layers of Marineland bonded filter pad instead of Eheim’s white pad. Tank lip is 4’ off of the floor and the filter sits under the tank. Hoses have no kinks, etc… Throughout all this testing I will detail below, I checked all hoses, quick release valves and removed/cleaned the impeller too.


Test method: I used a 2 gallon bucket, left the spray bar on because that will affect flow and held the bucket at the same height as the top of tank. My initial test took 2min 5sec to fill 2 gallons. That calculates to the 57.6 gph I mentioned earlier.

Then Installed my RG style DIY reactor:

Initial test (describe above and before installing Reactor) - 57.6 gph
With Reactor and same setup - 64.3 gph
(Yes, HIGHER flow BUT the filter output tube was replaced with 1/2" ID, which is slightly bigger than Eheim's stock metric tubing. Increased flow must be due to tubing but the important thing is that the reactor obviously does not restrict flow. I didn't think it would.)
Removed Pre-filter - 65.16 gph (slight increase in flow)
Flushed canister into sink and refilled (didn't disassemble) - 65.45 gph (within testing tolerance so no change)
Removed 1 of 2 layers of Marineland bonded filter pad - 67.29 gph (slight increase in flow)
Remove 2 of 2 layers of Marineland bonded filter pad - 67.29 gph (same)

So with MECH media, blue sponge and bio ball media (whatever they are called) only, I am only getting a maximum of 67.29 gph at the height of the top of my tank while using the spray bar. Crappy to say the least.

Next day, I removed and cleaned all media even though I knew it was not dirty. I tested the following starting with the same filter system setup I had for my last test above:

Put bucket onto the floor and simply siphoned water from the tank w/o the pump running – 52.17 gph
Same setup but turned on the filter – 83.72 gph (about +30 gph is all the pump contributed)
Same setup but spray bar removed – 91.74 gph
Same setup but raised bucket 4’ again to tank level – 69.9 gph
Same setup but added spray bar again – 67.92 gph (same setup that I got 67.29 gph the day before) (Also interesting that at this height, the spray bar did not have as much affect on flow as it did at floor level)

Eheim sent me a replacement 2215 that I am picking up today. More on upcoming tests below.

Tested my brand new 2217 (Another filter...not a typo) the day after I installed it:
All stock as recommended by Eheim. All media was rinsed thoroughly prior to install.

Results were Horrible compared to the 264 gph they spec. I measured:

134.5 gph
Mech media, Blue sponge, Bio balls, White pad (no carbon pad)
Bucket at 4' height (same as tank lip)
Spray bar in line
RG style reactor in line (did not affect flow in my initial 2215 test above)
Full length of intake tube that came with filter (until I know what I want I want to do)
The input hose bends and turns down into the bucket (like it would to bend into the tank anyway)
No kinks or pinched hose, etc…

Filled 2 gallon bucket in 53.5 seconds
53.5/2= 26.75 seconds/gal
3600 seconds/hr
3600/26.75=134.5 gph
Please tell me I'm calculating wrong!



This weekend, I will have (2) 2215’s and (1) 2217 so I plan on running more tests. For those I will:

Have a larger tub for my intake supply and a 2 gallon bucket for my outlet dump. Filter will sit in between at the same level. There will be short hoses on intake and outlet and there will be no spray bar… just a short hose in and a short hose out. I will remove all media. This will minimize head pressure. Eheim spec is at zero head pressure, which basically means no hoses attached and the motor assembly is not even installed on their canister. It would just be lowered into a body of water and turned on. This is per Ernesto at Eheim’s customer support.

However, his numbers showing a filter with media, spray bar, etc… installed and a tank height of 4’ only drop 20-50 gph off of their published max flow specs. Both of my tests above were MUCH worse than that. With this new test setup I’m going to try, I should get close to the rated flow for each…unless their numbers are BS. Depending on time, I might then try more tests w/ media added …then w/ spray bar added, etc… to see what chokes the system the most.

The last piece of my Co2 system is supposed to arrive tonight so I have a lot to do the next few days!
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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It's nice to see someone taking the time to do actual flow measurements of specific model filters but there is a lot of misconceptions regarding flow ratings of canister filters.

Manufacturers rate the flow of the filter without media and with zero head. This is the number that is usually written on the box or in the specs. No one usually operates there canister filter this way, as it wouldn't make sense.

I can't give you the specific flow rate for the Eheim 2215 with media , as I don't have that spec.

The Eheim 2217 has a pump output of 264 GPH at Zero head. When filled with Eheim's recommended media (brand new), equal length input & output hoses, minimum & maximum canister installation height requirements and no additional equipment inline, the filter is rated at 112 GPH.

So for your experiment with the 2217 and getting 134 GPH, I would suggest the filter is performing as per Eheims' expectations.

I, too, used to get all caught up in the 'numbers' game. It really all comes down to what is sufficient for the stocking levels of your tank. Experimenting is also fun to try and gives you knowledge you didn't have before. It's what we do with that information that furthers our understanding of how to properly care for our fish.

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Old 11-18-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
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You're going to find similar characteristics with a canister from any major brand. I always assume realistic flow rates to be somewhere around half of manufacturing claims.

It's no secret that eheims generally have lower flow rates than similar sized canisters from other manufacturers. Some claim this leads to better biological filtration although I'm not sure I buy into the logic. IMO reduced water flow will probably lead to less filter "blow by", but with the lower flow rates, its often a good idea supplement with powerheads or more filters.

I've used an eheim canister in the past and found it to be just as capable of a filter as any other.

I'm running all Fluvals these days, but I still use eheim substrat as my primary biomedia. In my mind it's the best media out there, though I definately have not tried every type available. The small round size and porous nature lets you pack alot into a small area and gives enourmous surface area even when the pores get plugged. Now I'm starting to get off topic again.
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:39 AM   #4
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Per Eheim Tech Service:

2215 with full media, spray bar and tank at 4' height = 135-140 gph
2217 with full media, spray bar and tank at 4' height = 210-215 gph

They actually have a chart with different numbers relating to the height of the top of your tank. I'm not saying they are right, I'm just stating the specs that they will give you when you ask. Ernesto is going to try to get some more detailed info for me from Germany on Monday.

I never expected to get full rating, but I would expect to get more than half and my 2215 is well below that. After 1 month, the media barely looked like it had been used at all and when testing flow, when the spray bar was standing on it's end and in the bucket, the top hole was barely spitting flow out. I think that is horrible.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:51 AM   #5
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That's the main reason I use the Fluvals, is for the increased flow. Supposedly XP canisters move water well also, but to date I've never tried one. I've been trying to avoid using powerheads just to have less equipment in the tank, so I like the greater water flow. I've been toying around with the idea of getting an xp or an Eheim to replace my craptastic noise maker (aka magnum 250) running in parallel to my Fluval 405. I'd like to get at least 200gph out of whatever I buy though so with an Eheim, it looks like I'd need a 2217 or else go on to one of the hyper expensive canisters they make.

I wish I had the time and money to snag a couple Eheims to test, just to see if my flow measurements would be the same, or if maybe the canisters you have are weaker than normal (bad production run or something).
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:28 PM   #6
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Strange, my 2217 is a monster, only time it slows is if my prefilter songe on the intake is dirty.
I clean my proII maybe once a year with hardly any flow loss.
Looking forward to hear what Ernesto has to say.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:38 PM   #7
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Is there a ProII 2217? Maybe I should clarify that mine is a classic. I'm not familiar with the other lines.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry1 View Post
Is there a ProII 2217? Maybe I should clarify that mine is a classic. I'm not familiar with the other lines.
No The ProII is a different line than the Classic's BUT I do have a 2217 that seems plenty strong, never actually tested GPH but it seems fine...
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:44 PM   #9
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The pros are Eheim's cadillac line. I expect they're likely some of the best, if not the best all around filters on the market, but they cost alot more than the more common canister filters. Classics and ecco are the Eheims you usually see in chain stores. Ecco is their low end, and classics are their mid range, simple but reliable, models.

Unless they have a built in bypass, flow reduction has more to do with what media you use and how densely you pack it than which model you are running. A plugged filter always flows less water, no matter how many fancy words are used to describe the impeller or magnetic drive system. Classics have a single chamber, straight through design which won't allow any water to use use a less resistant channel when they plug up, but the chamber is also large with much surface area, which means it probably takes a long time to gunk up vs canisters with convoluted flow routing.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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Hi jerry1,

I recently bought a 2215 and am disappoint about the flow rate. Mine is around 30gph. I noticed you got a replacement from Eheim. May I ask how did you get it? My 2215 is horrible and I am thinking about to get a replacement. Thank you for your help.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:03 AM   #11
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I was under the impression that the lower flow rate means you can run more filtration media without blowing your fish out of the water.

I assume that's the logic behind the relatively low flow rate.

I run both a 2215 and a 2217 on my 90 gallon, and can't imagine wanting the flow rate any higher.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:39 PM   #12
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Has there been any update regarding flow measurements and solutions?
I am seeing the same issues with Eheim 2213. With no media and very short hoses I measure about 90 gph flow (out of an advertised 116gph). Hooked up to the tank the flow is so weak that algae develop inside of the hoses. Pathetic.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry1 View Post
Per Eheim Tech Service:

2215 with full media, spray bar and tank at 4' height = 135-140 gph
2217 with full media, spray bar and tank at 4' height = 210-215 gph
.
This is more in line with the results that I got.Somebody is doing their math wrong because I spent countless hours testing the flow rates.In short,I'm absolutely positive that the op's figures are wrong.The 2217 figures shown are less than the 2213,or even the 2211.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:18 AM   #14
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I think eheims flow rate is low on purpose on the classic series of canisters. the design combined with lower flow rates increases exposure time to the biomedia.

Or not i dont know.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:51 PM   #15
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A canister filter isn't meant to be used as a significant source of flow in your tank. For that, you want to use power heads.

Ehiem filters have been around forever, and they've always been unanimously considered one of the best filters you can buy. There's a method to their madness; it's been tried and true and proven year after year after year. I don't know why folks feel the need to do these tests and fire up these discussions. It's irrelevant information.
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