The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at replacing my api fillstar for my 29 gal i am considering an ahem or aquatop\sunsun they all got about the same reviews on amazon its just the aquatop is at a lfs and the ahem is online witch one to get or are there better ones to consider I don't want something cheap thats gonna fall apart a week later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,011 Posts
A SunSun 302 will do fine and there are several members reporting them lasting several years. I read a thread a couple days ago and a member mentioned having one for nearly 7 years. Is it the best quality? No, probably not. But it isn't like a canister filter is particularly complicated. I don't think you can go wrong with a SunSun. I've owned 3 on 3 different tanks and had no issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Eheim or sunsun which ever way you go will be a great upgrade..Ive seen this before and people go back and forth on the two different canister filters and honestly the amount of people that have either brand you wont get a straight answer of which is better lol.. i have a eheim 2215 and i bought it used. the person before said they had it for some time with no problem and so far with me having it is has ran like a champ!! the quietness its crazy too but again its your choice and use your budget hands..and remember you can never have to much over filtration on a tank!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,546 Posts
Not sure if you have already made up your mind but I'll share my experiences
I currently own a Rena Filstar 1 (small I believe) been running 15 years or so.
Owned a SunSun 304-b broke down after 9 months, it would over heat then kick off/ reset after 10 mins then kick back off.
Eheim 2217 owned for about a month

First flow, my xp1 runs my cerges reactor, I also used the 304-b to run same reactor. As far as flow, 304-b said it would do 525gph, I would say its more around 200-250gph. The filstar says its 250gph and would say its more like 175-200. Almost couldn't tell the difference between the sunsun and the filstar just more turbulence in the cerges so I'm estimating it more.

The eheim I believe is said to be 265gph and I would say from what I've read its about 250. I have the filstar and eheim running side by side with same size DIY spray bar and the eheim is stonger flow. Although, it is not running through a reactor either.

I actually have the 2217 flow reduced a bit, its in my 40B. For a 29g I think a 2215 would work great but if you want more flow go with the 2217. Last I checked it was 139 on amazon and comes with all the filter media, the sunsun and aquatop don't.

Many people love the sunsun but maybe I just had a lemon, I also had problems with it leaking water from where the motor connected to the base, but was able to fix it by removing the big o ring and lubing it. Would think right out of the box it would be good to go but, not mine.

I do believe my 40B has never looked as clear as it does with the new 2217 on it. Its really nice filter and I would definitely buy another. Since its only a month old or so, time will tell if it will stand the test of time. The filstar is still chuggen along though.

ps. that UV in aquatop/sunsun is useless it just heats the water IMO
 

·
Premium Member
75g, 40g, 20g
Joined
·
3,848 Posts
Not sure which AquaTop you are considering, but i do have experience with the CF400 and CF500 models.
Both have flaws that I would consider fixable but for what you pay, you should not "have" to fix manufacturer flaws.
My biggest issue with the filters was bypass. I actuall was getting bits of plant material sticking out of the spray bar along with a lot of fine particles floating in both tanks.
With the right mods, I no longer have bypass on either filter.
If you do end up getting one, let me know which one and i will let you know what specific fixes are needed
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,942 Posts
Generally speaking all the filters work, some are going to be more reliable than others. For the difference in price I would still go with an Eheim. There is 30 years of use on them and they are dead quiet if that's important to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
A SunSun 302 will do fine and there are several members reporting them lasting several years. I read a thread a couple days ago and a member mentioned having one for nearly 7 years. Is it the best quality? No, probably not. But it isn't like a canister filter is particularly complicated. I don't think you can go wrong with a SunSun. I've owned 3 on 3 different tanks and had no issue.
That was me:nerd:
I have 3 Sunsun 302's.
1 is still going strong at 7+ years of continuous use (the prime pump doesn't work too well on him otherwise still soldiering on silently).
I have 2 more Sunsuns running @ 6 and 4 years respectively all on 55G tanks and all going about their business quietly and effectively.
I will say the basket handles like to come off perhaps due to warping over time but they aren't broken and do work if you are careful and don't manhandle them.
These to me are a small price to pay for a filter that performs as the Sunsuns do and for the price point they are at.
I think I paid 46-55 bucks each for those over the intervening years.
And I am sorry to all the big brand guys but NOTHING will touch the cost vs benefit ratio of a Sunsun/Aquatop/Perfect/Grech/Super/Pingkay/ZenBlue for those on a budget.
Money no object I am sure we would all have Eheims but I have more urgent uses for my funds lol (Called a wife and kids - shhhh I didn't say that) :surprise:
 
  • Like
Reactions: GrampsGrunge

·
Premium Member
75g, 40g, 20g
Joined
·
3,848 Posts
Just curious for the OP's sake, are SunSun & AquaTop exactly the same filter? Or could there be some manufacturing differences?
I have no complaints about the pump head capacity/flow volume/or pump noise. I just have never seen a SunSun in person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
Just curious for the OP's sake, are SunSun & AquaTop exactly the same filter? Or could there be some manufacturing differences?
I have no complaints about the pump head capacity/flow volume/or pump noise. I just have never seen a SunSun in person.
They are yes. Same manufacturer, everything.
The differences are as follows:

1. A more attractive made for the western world BOX.
(This likely extends to an actually readable direction set as well - example Sunsuns Chinglish "dirtiness entrance" which had me in stitches).
2. A red plastic insert on some models vs blue.
3. Actual customer service should you need them and a warranty. (Other boards members and YouTube report excellent customer service)
4. Some models of Aquatop come prefilled with media. (Some Sunsun sellers now provide this option as well)
5. A on canister brand sticker.
6. Higher price due to the above features.:wink2:

For some this may be a safety net they need or that may be enough value added to offset the additional cost.

*note one of the 2 is fudging dimensions I will know which when I get my HW-304B but I would bet on Aquatop fudging to try to differentiate a clone product.

Example:

My recently ordered Sunsun 304B: Amazon.com : SunSun-China HW-304B 5-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt UV Sterilizer, 525 GPH : Aquarium Filters : Pet Supplies

is an Aquatop CF-500: Amazon.com : Aquatop CF500UV 5-Stage Canister Filter with UV 9W, 525 gph : Aquarium Filters : Pet Supplies
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
Big Al's had the best price on Eheim 2217 this month. It was under 100 dollars if my memory serves. But....I am known to have bad memory.:surprise:
Memory might have betrayed you. 169.99 but @ 100 price point I'd have snapped one up!
I've got nothing at all against the Mercedes Benz of filters except price lol.
Eheim Classic Canister Filter with Media - 2217 | Big Als

*Sidenote love your signature lol aint it the truth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts

·
Premium Member
75g, 40g, 20g
Joined
·
3,848 Posts
They are yes. Same manufacturer, everything.
The differences are as follows:

1. A more attractive made for the western world BOX.
(This likely extends to an actually readable direction set as well - example Sunsuns Chinglish "dirtiness entrance" which had me in stitches).
2. A red plastic insert on some models vs blue.
3. Actual customer service should you need them and a warranty. (Other boards members and YouTube report excellent customer service)
4. Some models of Aquatop come prefilled with media. (Some Sunsun sellers now provide this option as well)
5. A on canister brand sticker.
6. Higher price due to the above features.:wink2:

For some this may be a safety net they need or that may be enough value added to offset the additional cost.

*note one of the 2 is fudging dimensions I will know which when I get my HW-304B but I would bet on Aquatop fudging to try to differentiate a clone product.

Example:

My recently ordered Sunsun 304B: Amazon.com : SunSun-China HW-304B 5-Stage External Canister Filter with 9-watt UV Sterilizer, 525 GPH : Aquarium Filters : Pet Supplies

is an Aquatop CF-500: Amazon.com : Aquatop CF500UV 5-Stage Canister Filter with UV 9W, 525 gph : Aquarium Filters : Pet Supplies
Here is what I found out about the CF500. The pump head "should" seal to the top plate of the filter stack, but it was approximately 3/16" from making a complete seal. Incoming water had 1/32" to 1/16" gap to literally bypass the entire filter stack and go straight to the pump head intake. Also, the 2 cut outs in the pump head that allowed the UV glass tube to be removed were never sealed up after the glass tube was installed, further granting incoming water a clear path to the pump intake without passing thru the filter stack. After filling the cutouts with hot glue (this was a test), and raising the filter stack 3/16" using the 3 PVC rings, and sealing the 3rd tray to the canister body I was finally able to get all the incoming water to go thru the filter stack. Hopefully the pic below will help explain what I am talking about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
Here is what I found out about the CF500. The pump head "should" seal to the top plate of the filter stack, but it was approximately 3/16" from making a complete seal. Incoming water had 1/32" to 1/16" gap to literally bypass the entire filter stack and go straight to the pump head intake. Also, the 2 cut outs in the pump head that allowed the UV glass tube to be removed were never sealed up after the glass tube was installed, further granting incoming water a clear path to the pump intake without passing thru the filter stack. After filling the cutouts with hot glue (this was a test), and raising the filter stack 3/16" using the 3 PVC rings, and sealing the 3rd tray to the canister body I was finally able to get all the incoming water to go thru the filter stack. Hopefully the pic below will help explain what I am talking about.
Awesome illustration shot! Thanks for that we so often don't get to visually understand what we are talking about.
I cant tell is your head O-ring missing? Surely not maybe it's black all my Sunsun have orange O rings.
Hopefully yours was a QC fluke but in the event it wasn't I will break out the PVC hot glue gun and saws!
What a nightmare story! Not many like yours on Amazon reviews I hope I also am so lucky lol.
Once you remedied the issue how did you find the flow?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I have a Hydor Professional 600 for my 70 gallon bow and I love their brand.
Simple to set up, run, and clean.

I got mine on eBay with an inline Hydor 350 Watt heater for $209 shipped.

You can get smaller sizes as well cheaper.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
I have a Hydor Professional 600 for my 70 gallon bow and I love their brand.
Simple to set up, run, and clean.

I got mine on eBay with an inline Hydor 350 Watt heater for $209 shipped.

You can get smaller sizes as well cheaper.

You know I just noticed that brand about a month ago but it was a smaller version I saw for sale. I am wondering if they are re-branded Jebo or if its a totally new brand. Very crisp and modern and Euro looking. Like an IKEA filter lol.
Always great to see new equipment in the hobby.
Especially things we can actually afford lol though that is treading dangerously close to Eheim territory in price!
The company itself appears to be Italian with an American branch but I am betting the production is done in China?
 

·
Premium Member
75g, 40g, 20g
Joined
·
3,848 Posts
The 2 pics below better show the gap from the factory and after I added the spacer rings to the bottom of the canister. FYI, my AquaTop CF500 had a black pump head O-ring sealing it to the canister body. I never had a problem with this sealing point. A little Vaseline on the O-ring and it slid right in place and never leaked (better design than the Marineland C-360 that I have).

This is what the relationship of the Pump head to top plate should look like. If you are not sure of your filter, assemble your filter stack and measure the distance from the top of the cover plate to the top of the canister body, then measure how far the pump head sealing point drops into the canister body. You should have around 1/8 to 3/16" overlap. If this works out on your pump, then the next issue is how well atleast one of the trays seal to the canister body.


Bump: Also, near as I can tell, the actual flow of the filter did not change once I did the above modifications to my AquaTOP CF500. Also, the AquaTOP CF400 that I have did not have the same overlap issue - the pump head sealed nicely to the top plate (full 3/16" overlap). Unfortunately all three trays had 1/32" to 1/16" gap on all edges between the tray and the canister body. Once I taped up the indicated tray, I was able to dump a bunch of dirty water into my test setup (10 gallon tank on a stand) and within a few hours the water was clear and the filter floss was dirty (biomedia tray was still clean). In my opinion, this is how a canister filter "should" work.

Again, not bashing the AquaTOP brand too bad. The motors seem solid and quiet. The o-ring design is good. The shut off valves where the hoses connect is far Superior to the Marineland C-360 design. I am now very happy with my CF400's performance.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top