Fluval 303 any good?
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:00 PM   #1
hubbahubbahehe
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Hi guys, I have the opportunity to get a fluval 303 for a good deal. I'm wondering if it is a good canister filter? does it leak? does it have any issues?
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:40 PM   #2
lbsfarms
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Ive got a 303, had it forever. Still runs fine. Nice and quiet. The only issue I have with it is it's a pain to clean. Really I should say it's easy to clean, it's the "putting it back together and getting it running again without getting water all over the place" that's the problem. Whenever I say something about it's time to clean the fluval, the whole family runs and hides.
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Old 03-05-2004, 07:52 PM   #3
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Hi Laura, thanks for replying, could you elaborate on how it's hard to put back together?
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Old 03-05-2004, 08:45 PM   #4
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I've got two -03 series Fluvals. Very quiet and very reliable, but like lbs said - the hard part is during cleaning. It's a pain to get a prime started. If you can pick it up for a really, really good deal, like $30, go for it.
If it comes with the lines with the valves/disconnects in them, then priming/siphoning isn't so bad. Just close off the lines, remove the filter, clean it, then reconnect the lines, open the valves and water will siphon out of the tank into the filter. Once it stop siphoning, there is still some air at the top so it wont' start yet. Tilt the unit on it's side to submerge the impeller and suck out the air and then you're set.
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Old 03-06-2004, 04:32 PM   #5
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I have a 403 and it is great super quiet.. I had no problem priming mine, the O-ring on the top cover in a pain to install, I suggest buying a few extras to have around.
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Old 03-06-2004, 05:56 PM   #6
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Hubba, when Mini and Gulf said it's hard to clean or prime, it's really hard. Good canister to me is the one that easy to start, less mess, and durable. Fluval ranks last of all canisters I've ever used. I have Eheims those have been running 24/7 for 5 years, Magnum for 8 years (change gaskets once only), and Filstar for more than a year. I have 2 Fluvals sitting in the garage. One of them failed after less than a year (O-ring and messy), and the second one I slammed it to my backyard wall after flooding my living room. I can clean Magnums and Eheims without a single drop on the floor which it impossible for Fluval.
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Old 03-06-2004, 06:25 PM   #7
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ninoboy thanks for your info, i'll never buy a fluval as long as i live

how about the filstars? are they easy to clean and put back?
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Old 03-07-2004, 12:16 AM   #8
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Filstar is not bad at all. I think it's most worthy filter for the price and comes with everything you need. It's quite easy to set up (maybe not in the beginning). I'm not sure about the durability though since I just bought it last year.
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:36 AM   #9
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You can't even get the -03 series anymore, the are out of production now. Are the -04 series any eaiser to maintain? I haven't seen one apart yet. I know I have seen the 404's on sale as low as $80.
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:27 PM   #10
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There are two versions of the 303, I have one of each (used) the French made one is black and seems better made than the Italian one whic is brown. the brown one has broken two of the 5 clips at the canister, so to repair will require a $30+shipping replacement canister bucket.

[edit] got that reversed, the Italian one is the one that is working and is black.

And, I second the complaint about cleaning it and restarting. There is always a bubble that keeps it from starting up.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:30 AM   #11
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I've got the Fluval 304. It's my first canister filter, been using UG and Bio-Wheel forever. Switched to the fluval when I decided to go with a live tank. So far, no problems. Maintenance is pretty easy, priming was a choir at initial set-up compared to priming it after maintenance. I like it so far, 3 or 4 months now. Like I said, it's my first canister, not that old. So far, so good.
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