Fluval 406 with awful flow...
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
sundragon
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Fluval 406 with awful flow...


I've had an issue with constantly having debris on my plants and in my moss - even though I do a 50% water change weekly.

I usually agitate the plants to get the debris into the water column hoping the filter will suck them up... Well, not with my Fluval 406.

Background info:
My 406 was cleaned last week, impeller, media, and all - I've even removed the Seachem Purigen packs because I'm using medication this week. I have it set up with the "bio" sponge at the bottom, 2 trays to the brim with Seachem Matrix, finally 2 Purigen packs in the top tray. I had 3 trays of Seachem Matrix and switched the "bio" sponge in order to help flow, but it hasn't helped.

I've read that manufacturers rate filter GPH with no media, 1mm of head and a lot of praying, but this is ridiculous!

How does your Rena or 2217 measure up to the following video?

http://youtu.be/VpqQGSRannI
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Last edited by sundragon; 12-19-2012 at 11:56 PM.. Reason: Additional info
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:05 AM   #2
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That does seem awfully low. My 306 has much more flow than than and it has two outputs run through hydor heaters and one of the outputs exits through and fb300 sand filter. And all of this with a a sponge on the intake to act as a prefilter so that I don't have to break down and clean the 306 as often.

Has it always been this low or did it deteriorate over time?
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
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Yeah that looks weak, and I too have a 306 fully packed with media and it's stronger than what you have. Do you have any kinks with your hoses? Aquastop valve fully open? Any obstruction in your hoses?
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:22 AM   #4
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Dang! That sorta looks like the flow coming from the little HOB filter I have lol.


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Old 12-20-2012, 12:45 AM   #5
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Looks like the flow of my 405 lol. After neglecting my filter with maintance... I figured the impeller and motor took a hit. Waiting for boxing day sales to buy a new filter!

Maybe yours has the same problem but premature detoriation.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:51 AM   #6
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video isnt playing for me just says unavalible;/, so first thing first. i would put my $ that the seal that goes around the impeller isnt seated all the way its kinda hard to push and you will hear a click to know its in for sure if not its quite possible that your filter is pushing the water out an back into the filter housing.

ill look back if i can get the video to play an give you better info of what i think.
ok well after watching it few ?s not answered. are u using filter floss or any small micron filter? and how much debris are in the filter after 1week? if you did a rescape or made a mess in the water colum it would cause this, so first take it apart an inspect it! if there is debris then its the filter doing its job if not your likely running into a clog or improper seat on the intake or impeller issue unless your using alot of fine micron polishing that can really slow the unit down. after that report back with all info fixed or unfixed issues an advice can go from there.

Last edited by HypnoticAquatic; 12-20-2012 at 01:25 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fermentedhiker View Post
Has it always been this low or did it deteriorate over time?
I clean the filter every two months. The flow seemed less recently so I switched to the "bio" sponge Fluval packs with these - Could it be the "bio" sponge? It should cause less restriction.

The Aquastop is fully open and the filter's output goes through a Hydor heater and a inline Atomic CO2 diffuser - both of which are ceramic tubes, it's a straight shot with no change in tube diameter. I recently swapped out the CO2 diffuser with a duplicate (I clean one and swap when they get dirty).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggity View Post
Do you have any kinks with your hoses? Aquastop valve fully open? Any obstruction in your hoses?
Nope, not a kink - there is about 3' of head between the top of the filter and the tank edge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeLove View Post
Dang! That sorta looks like the flow coming from the little HOB filter I have lol.
My Aquaclear 50 passed more water than this... I know the turn over is not as important with canister filters but this isn't sufficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialEffect View Post
Looks like the flow of my 405 lol. After neglecting my filter with maintance... I figured the impeller and motor took a hit. Waiting for boxing day sales to buy a new filter!

Maybe yours has the same problem but premature detoriation.
Yeah, maybe the motor is dying but after 9 months? I clean it every 2 months. The trays are filled fully with Matrix, more than the stingy amount of bio rings that Fluval sends with the unit - but It seemed stronger when I first got the filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HypnoticAquatic View Post
video isnt playing for me just says unavalible;/, so first thing first. i would put my $ that the seal that goes around the impeller isnt seated all the way its kinda hard to push and you will hear a click to know its in for sure if not its quite possible that your filter is pushing the water out an back into the filter housing.

ill look back if i can get the video to play an give you better info of what i think.
ok well after watching it few ?s not answered. are u using filter floss or any small micron filter? and how much debris are in the filter after 1week? if you did a rescape or made a mess in the water colum it would cause this, so first take it apart an inspect it! if there is debris then its the filter doing its job if not your likely running into a clog or improper seat on the intake or impeller issue unless your using alot of fine micron polishing that can really slow the unit down. after that report back with all info fixed or unfixed issues an advice can go from there.
I wonder why the video wasn't available - i checked and it looks like it played - Thanks for the insite on the impeller seal - I'll check that tomorrow. I remember how hard you have to press it to seal.

there are two filter floss pads that do fine polishing at the top of the filter column - Fluval provides these and I replace them every 2 months with service http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Filter-.../dp/B001D070N6
I'll check to see if there is detritus in the filter when I check the seal - It had some when I removed the Purigen packs to start medicating the water last weekend.

One more thing - I used the awful Fluval corrugated tube for my intake - could it have gotten gummed up? Do you guys ever have to clean the tubes on the canister filter?
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:37 AM   #8
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no i havent had to clean the tube ever not your issue. sounds like you got alot of things slowing the flow, but its hard to say if everything is seated then sounds like u got to much crap heater co2 floss slowing it down, if its clean and everything. i dont even buy more floss its really not needed unless you got horrible water getting though
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:32 PM   #9
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Id say test it "scientifically" if you can... Basically disconnect the filter from everything else, heater, co2, etc... and run it, see if that has dramatic improvement. if not, then take media out, and just run it empty, no attachments, and see if it looks right. If not then it's likely your pump, if it does improve dramatically, start hooking stuff up and filling it back up piece by piece with tests in between, it will diagnose what causes the issue.

Just my $.02

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Old 12-20-2012, 10:49 PM   #10
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Hey guys, I appreciate the tips!

Well, I tore it apart, there were almost no particles - no leaves, etc in the filter - the sponges were spotless. There was quite a bit of sludge at the bottom of the canister - though, I think that's part of the nitrogen cycle.

The impeller cover was on tight, they were both spotless.

The inline heater and diffuser are clean ceramic tubes, both the same size as the filter tubes, I checked - it would be like adding a few inches of additional tubing.

The tubing is clear with a few spots - the filter was bought and setup in March.

Possible issues: The media? Am I putting too much Matrix - Fluval is stingy with the Bio ring it provides - I have way more Matrix and it's a lot more tightly packed?

I am considering buying new 2217 or CFS-500 or an Aquatop if this is the case with Fluval filters after 9 months

Here's the flow after cleaning:

http://youtu.be/2YtFLlGpCFM


Here are a few pics:









Additional pictures in the album
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:10 PM   #11
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Another thing to try is running it without the intake strainer.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:18 PM   #12
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How does it look with the original spraybar?
Lilly's are designed with a wide spout, could be deceiving. Get a gallon jug and time it to fill, then you can figure out actual working gph.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:30 PM   #13
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Check the white internal prefilter sponges, when my 206 slowed down they were the culprit. Crap seems to really build up in them and I found them hard to effectively clean.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:36 PM   #14
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ok if your not getting much diff in flow now then it sounds like to much packed into the filter. test it by removing the polishing pad and possibly some media, but if you have sludge sitting in the bottom that isnt good an makes me belive your sponges are not cleaned enough. from my experiance the coarser ones *tall ones* might need a bit of waterpressure to really get some of the gunk out then the sponges in the tray are fine and mostly catch silt. ill see if i can get a vid for a reference of my 406 for ya to see the water flow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orb95EY9Fjs
alright i did a video of my fully cleaned 406 with full media but no polishing pad. as others have said id do the test with a 3g or 5g bucket and time it then multiply to an hour and see what your gph is, it will vary with each tank with polishingpads,heaters,head height, etc. but i bet your right in line with where mine is. i took of the nossle to show u in the video as your lilys do basicly the same as it without the nossle*no build up of pressure to force water* just nice gentle flow. do the test with a bucket first an let us know where ur at.

hope it hleps ya

Last edited by HypnoticAquatic; 12-20-2012 at 11:49 PM.. Reason: video
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:53 PM   #15
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Are you using after market pads on the top tray? If so some after market pads doesn't fit right and a tad bit smaller And it gets sucked up on the hole on the tray cover ,,,try putting the bio max on the top tray.
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