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I size my eheims to double their supposed tank size. So for a 20 gallon tank, I'd get the one rated for a 40 gallon tank. They tend to be lower on the flow rate for the same gallon tank rating than some other filters. But they are great canister filters.
 

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2215 would be my choice...

you can turn it down a bit if you
think it's too much flow (which I doubt)

I have a 2217 on a 36 and it's on the
weak side (thinking of adding another 17)
 

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Maybe you guys have to much tubing or dirty tubes? I have a 2213 (2 weeks old) on my 20 and if I go full blast my fish are swimming like there in a marathon and my plants look like there in a hurricane. So I had to kick it back about 1/4 a turn on the outlet. So I would say a 2213 is plenty fine. My outlet tube is about 20 inches long counting the quick disconnects(could be shorter but I'm to lazy to fine tune it). My canister sits about 6 inches lower than the tank does. So my tank bottom is about halfway up the canister. I was thinking of making a custom spray bar so it goes the full length of the tank for a more even current. Maybe then I could kick it up to full blast. Right now I have it as centered as possible.

Although I will mention that after adding the better filter/stronger current than a typical HOB, my plants have all of the sudden starting growing crazy fast. I'm assuming from the better current, thus better co2/nutrient distribution.
 

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I had a 20 gallon long with a 2213. Once the plants grew in (i dont mean they were out of control) it was not enough flow.
 

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if you get a 2213 you will regret it. it will not work well for long. go with a 2217; you can control the flow with the valve on the hose. i have a 2217 on a 25 gallon and find it ideal. the 2213 on my 20 barely trickles with new hoses and a thorough cleaning...
 

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My .02 ............... I had a 2213 on a 15g.

Well, the 2213 is now in the closet as a spare for emergencies and the 2215 is doing well on the 15G.

One thing about the 2213, there is a difference on whether it was modified for no bypass. Meaning whether the media basket is being used or has it been configured like the other classics. I also always use a sponge pre-filter on the intake tube. These two mods would effect the flow but I still stand by the 2215, minimum.

I have an Filstar Xp1 on my 20g and that works well. Only problem with long tanks is dead spots. Trying to work that one out at the moment with a Hydor nano. I find the Filstars have a stronger output than the E. Classics but I still love the Classics for their total NO BY PASS config.
 

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I have 2 x 2217's on my 90. Barley enough flow, but I also have a reactor and an inline heater on each leg. Added a couple powerheads to mix things up. Great filters, though.
 

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My .02 ............... I had a 2213 on a 15g.

Well, the 2213 is now in the closet as a spare for emergencies and the 2215 is doing well on the 15G.

One thing about the 2213, there is a difference on whether it was modified for no bypass. Meaning whether the media basket is being used or has it been configured like the other classics. I also always use a sponge pre-filter on the intake tube. These two mods would effect the flow but I still stand by the 2215, minimum.

I have an Filstar Xp1 on my 20g and that works well. Only problem with long tanks is dead spots. Trying to work that one out at the moment with a Hydor nano. I find the Filstars have a stronger output than the E. Classics but I still love the Classics for their total NO BY PASS config.
Yea my 2213 has the basket, I have no experience with the older basketless models. So that could be a factor in the flow. I actually messed around with it today to see what I could get out of it. I have to say, if you guys think they don't have enough flow for a 20.....you guys must be keeping trout? Or have way to much tubing as the pump might not be strong enough to push water very far for a turbulent current. So if the canister is under the tank in a stand and pushing water straight up 3-4 ft, I could see the flow problems. Thus needing a stronger model even though your well underneath the recommended gallon's for the filter. So it really boils down to pump strength rather than the recommended gallon size for the filter.

My cardinals were being pushed around like mad. They could not swim straight lol. I'm talking barrel roll crooked.
 

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There seems to be a general thought that "Too Much Is Not Enough", as part of the overall culture, which is why we have Hummers being driven by housewives to buy groceries.

Eheim claims the 2213 is good up to 66 gallons, and some people say it isn't powerful enough for a tank 1/3 that size?

I've got a 55 gallon tank with a single, air-pump driven HydroSponge, and a 75 gallon tank with two of them. I wonder what my flow rate is?

I would venture to guess that a 2213 is at least comparable to the 55.
 

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There seems to be a general thought that "Too Much Is Not Enough", as part of the overall culture, which is why we have Hummers being driven by housewives to buy groceries.

Eheim claims the 2213 is good up to 66 gallons, and some people say it isn't powerful enough for a tank 1/3 that size?

I've got a 55 gallon tank with a single, air-pump driven HydroSponge, and a 75 gallon tank with two of them. I wonder what my flow rate is?

I would venture to guess that a 2213 is at least comparable to the 55.
You "would venture"? You haven't used these filters before on different tanks sizes?

There is a difference between a regular fish tank, and the planted tanks we keep. If you keep plants, you know that you need more filter power per gallon.

I used an Eheim 2215 with no filter baskets on a 10 gallon tank, and even when clean ( and I know how to trim hoses nismo) it was barely adequate to keep detrius off the bottom. The fish weren't fighting the current, but all the water in the tank was moving.

@OP: If you want to deal with low flow from a filter that isn't big enough once your tank grows in, have fun with that. Otherwise I would buy a filter that will give you enough power, and if you deem that it is too much when first set up, then just regulate it with the quick disconnects. I promise that once the filter ages and the tank grows in you'll be happy with a 2217.
 

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You "would venture"? You haven't used these filters before on different tanks sizes?

There is a difference between a regular fish tank, and the planted tanks we keep. If you keep plants, you know that you need more filter power per gallon.

I used an Eheim 2215 with no filter baskets on a 10 gallon tank, and even when clean ( and I know how to trim hoses nismo) it was barely adequate to keep detrius off the bottom. The fish weren't fighting the current, but all the water in the tank was moving.

@OP: If you want to deal with low flow from a filter that isn't big enough once your tank grows in, have fun with that. Otherwise I would buy a filter that will give you enough power, and if you deem that it is too much when first set up, then just regulate it with the quick disconnects. I promise that once the filter ages and the tank grows in you'll be happy with a 2217.
x 2

2215 on my 15 and it struggles.
x 2 - just about adequate and if you have floating plants - forget it!
 
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