I agree with alot of your points Rich, but I would like to provide a contrasting opinion.After many years as a fan of the Classic 2217, I now have to move on to some of the other filters which sell for less and have many new features. The Sunsun 303B does a good job for me on a 75. Much of what we each want is a personal decision and that means what I like doesn't have to suit everybody. But these are the points I find better.
1. I find trays are now a requirement after using both the 2217 and the newer design 303B. I have now gone back and "invented trays for my 2217 but they don't work as well.
2. The valves on the newer design are easy and seem like they have less chance of breaking. The cutoffs on 2217 are somewhat easy to break if turned the wrong way. It would seem dumb to turn them the wrong way but experience shows me it is easy when you stick your head under and stand and are looking at things backwards, etc. at times. The newer flip lever is much more certain to be thrown the correct way. Either left or right and there is little confusion available.
3. Disconnect is also part of this design. Push a button to release rather than unscrew the valves.
4. I like the intake/output plastic as it is grey. Suits me better than green! The intake also comes with a ready made surface skimmer which I like. I had bought add-ons for the other filters but they are less than desired and why not if they are there already?
5. Cost? Parts do actually wear out on all filters and they do need things like impellers and seals. There is a great deal of difference in the cost of filters and replacement parts. The price varies a lot but , in general, I find the Sunsun much cheaper. Current pricing, Big al's 2217 $115ish, E-bay Sunsun $65 ish.
But there are also obvious downsides that we all need to recognize. The Sunsun is somewhat thinner material. The flip lever I mentioned is one point which appears to be weak. So how do we each operate? If we are somebody who tends to break things, not good. But I find I do not " tear up the anvil" so thinner is fine for me. Sunsun media is a somewhat weak point but I have things to add to it to bulk it up if needed. But that is not needed at this point as it is doing what I need.
Im new to Co2, all I know so far is I ordered a GLA Co2 kit thing for three hundred, I know I could save some money but I am half donkeying the ordering of the pressurized Co2. Thank you for the information btw.Think I will have to agree with Doc7. You just can't go wrong with this filter. Cleaning it is not as easy as the new Pro 4+ which I have so that might be a down side. Given your low stocking level you should not have to clean it very often (3-4 month interval?). With my heavily stocked tank I clean mine out monthly (sometimes every 3 weeks) but it is not a big deal for me.
I guess a better question is how are you going to be dosing cO2? I have found adding a cerges reactor to my setup makes priming a bit more of a challenge.
Sorry if my knowledge of canisters isn't good, because it isn't. Im new to them and this'll be my first one, I was actually first and initially planning to get that aquatop because of everything it had, and because it had four out of five stars which is pretty good in my opinion. Now when you were mentioning the hydor, could I attach lily pipes to it? im sure I could, I haven't done research on it yet but I will look into kinds of that brand.I'd go with a SunSun 304b or Aquatop CF500. They are the same filter.
The SunSun is less expensive because it uses cheaper internal parts (not sure which ones exactly) It's like the difference between a name brand television from an electronic supplier and the same model from Wal-mart. The Wal-mart version is cheaper because the internal parts are different.
I have both. The SunSun started leaking around the main gasket after about 2 years. A new gasket kit was like 25 bucks.
When I switched over to a bigger tank I opted for the Aquatop version. The main draw for me is the built in surface skimmer and UV sterilizer. Cant imagine being without either one now.
Also have a Hydor Pro 600 thats a damn good filter. Unlike other canisters, they are rated wth media inside. So the gph listed is what you actually get. Most canisters you can count on about half the listed flow rate. The Hydor flow rate is also adjustable
What I dont like about it is the intake/outflow pipes. They arent as adjustable as the SunSun, are clear brown instead of black, and have a very wide "throat" (the bend that sits over the rim of the tank) Im running the old SunSun pipes on it now, including the skimmer.
Both models use 3/4" ID tubing, so the lily pipes would need to be the appropriate size, obviously. Probably not as common as the smaller sizes but Im sure they're out there.Sorry if my knowledge of canisters isn't good, because it isn't. Im new to them and this'll be my first one, I was actually first and initially planning to get that aquatop because of everything it had, and because it had four out of five stars which is pretty good in my opinion. Now when you were mentioning the hydor, could I attach lily pipes to it? im sure I could, I haven't done research on it yet but I will look into kinds of that brand.
To me, this Is the way a forum should work. Contrasting opinions should be welcome. There Should be room for all the differing opinions. If not we will not get the full range of thoughts and some of the smaller points are certain to be missed.I agree with alot of your points Rich, but I would like to provide a contrasting opinion.
I started out with a sunsun as my first canister filter. A few months later I got an Eheim 2217 off of Craigslist. The eheim I purchased came with no media and a few broken components. After rebuilding the thing and buying all new media, I can honestly say I much prefer the eheim. Here is why, And like I said I agree with your points so I will only express my contrasting ones.
Eheim filters come with top notch media (in my opinion) while the sunsun filters (if it's included) have junk. Non-porous ceramic rings and plastic bioballs.. so if you use comparably high quality media you are darn near the eheim price already.
In my opinion the plastic on the Sunsun filter feels very cheap. That being said I have not broken any parts on my sunsun and it's been around over 2 years. To be fair I also do not like the intake/outlet of the eheim.. quality is good but it is very green. I use black or clear PVC for spray bars. Also I have broken one plastic part on an Eheim, but it had been modified and I was being rough. It had broken previously and I made an adapter on the lathe, so it was already weak.
My sunsun seems that always get air trapped in it.. not a big deal I just shake it once a day for a week or so and then it's minimal. If I shake the eheim it will always spit out some air to, but it never seems to churn in the pump or make any noise.
So I can't really complain able it my sunsun, I just prefer the eheim. It also seems to have more torque, meaning it gets dirty and just keeps pumping. My new project is going to be running dual filters... An Eheim 2217 right next to a sunsun lol! Those are the spares I have currently.
If I was to buy another filter today, currently the Fluval FX series interests me. My local petshop had an FX6 used for $150.. I didn't jump cause I had already spent $225 that day, but one of these days I'll probably try an FX4.
Sorry for any typos, using a smartphone.
I guess I could always do stainless steel inflow outflow, with surface skimmer on the inflow, was also looking at this hydro https://www.amazon.com/Hydor-Professional-Canister-Filter-60-100/dp/B00D5WHC8S would get an inline heater toBoth models use 3/4" ID tubing, so the lily pipes would need to be the appropriate size, obviously. Probably not as common as the smaller sizes but Im sure they're out there.
If you go with the SunSun/Aquatop, I would strongly suggest using the factory intake so you can keep the skimmer. Its a huge benefit. Can still do a lily pipe on the outflow if you want.
The skimmer is built into the intake pipe, so you'll need to use the factory intake if you want the skimmer.I guess I could always do stainless steel inflow outflow, with surface skimmer on the inflow
This is what I meant, sorry if that was a bit confusingThe skimmer is built into the intake pipe, so you'll need to use the factory intake if you want the skimmer.
Ah, gotchaThis is what I meant, sorry if that was a bit confusing
when you start working it tell me how it goesI just got the glass inflow skimmer, looks like a quality piece for the price. Can't wait for my dry start to be done with so I can run it.