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Hi guys,

I tried to do a little googling before posting here...

So my eheim is only about 1.5 months old. Everything was working fine all of that time. Last week I removed the normal intake plastic ribbed piece and replaced it with a sponge attachment because I bought some shrimp. Everything was working fine until yesterday I noticed there was almost no force coming from the spray bar. I figured that the sponge got clogged up and I cleaned it and did a 30% weekly water change. When the tank was 2/3 full the spray bar was shooting out water like normal. When i filled it back up the spray continued to be strong for about 2 minutes and then slowed back down.
Now im concerned. I took apart the filter today and cleaned it out. It was barely dirty. Put it back in, primed it, and filled the tank. I turned it on and the spray bar is shooting full blast again while I fill it. After the tank is filled the spray bar goes back to it's low flow again.

I have no idea what this is. Help?
 

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Some guessing at the cause? Not knowing what media is used in the filter may make this guess totally wrong. I suspect the timing of the drop off in flow may kind of be confusing the issue. If the sponge gets sucked down too tight on the pipe or if some of the media inside the canister gets to the wrong spot, flow can drop. One that is hard to see is when one of the hard media (barrels?) gets down in the outlet tube at the bottom of the filter where it is out of sight. It can roll out and all is well until it get sucked back into the narrow spot. This one nearly drove me silly!
A check of the tubing may be worth the time. Any place where it may get kinked and then cleared for a bit before it kinks and folds up again. Using light weight tubing other than the Eheim tubing may cause this. Anything like a hunk of algae that floats around to get in a spot to cut flow?
A couple things that are often mentioned but very unlikely concern the motor. Low voltage or power glitches are highly unlikely to let the motor slow so I don't even consider that question. Mag drive motors run in time with the 60 hertz frequency and that is just not one to vary.
I'm betting on something really simple but that does NOT make it easy to find.
 

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Depending on how fine the pre-filter sponge is, those can clog pretty quick, they also cut down of the surface area of the inlet. It would be better if you could put the plastic inlet piece and put the sponge over the whole thing maybe.
 

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I used to have a problem very similar with my Fluval 305 filter. The prefilter(sponge) that I was using at the time was just slipped over the intake, but i lacked any sort of "screen". This would cause the intake to suck up a section of the filter, which in turn would reduce the volume of water coming in(sponge compresses=smaller pores for water flow).

In the end, being a cheap mofo, I stuck a zip tie on the hoes itself at certain heights to "force" the hose from actually pulling upward. I also have one placed where i want the filter to not move past. The filter can't go further up due to the point where i cut the remaining tie off at. Its not elegant at all, but it works and is hidden by plants.

I have a Eheim 2215 on my other tank, but i dont have a prefilter on it. I tend to have low flow when the water level is too low or if something gets caught in the ball valve of the quick disconnect sections.

This is just based on my experience, i am by no means a master aquarist, but I am an avid "experimenter". Take what I say and use it as you see fit, but this is some ideas for you to help you figure out whats causing the low flow.

1. disconnect in/out hoses - stick the ends in a bucket and check water flow(opposite ends must be submerged). Run through 2 gallons of water or so to validate waterflow is correct(test with prefilter ON and OFF).

2. Take the head of the pump off the canister, hook up the intake hose to the OUT of the head and open valve and validate water flow. Repeat the process with the intake of the canister itself as well.

IF your water flow for all sections in the system is normal WITH the prefilter then I would:

1. Remove prefilter sponge and revert to the cage style screen to see if this helps.

Lastly if your filter is NEW and under warranty, reach out to Eheim regarding the issue. It could be a bad impeller or a bad head unfortunately. I doubt it would be a bad head but you never know.

Hope this helps!
 

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I like the way Chowdown is thinking and going about sorting things through in a logical way but the last I might not agree.
I would not expect the impeller or head, etc. to be bad as it does work and then not work at times. Possible but I would lean away from intermit. mechanical defects with those.
The fun part of troubleshooting is that we never can fully know the problem until we find it.
 

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If I may off another suggestion. If you can go to a coarser pre-filter sponge. For example ATI makes 2 sizes of pre-filter and the larger filter there are 2 sponges to choose from with one of them being rated for high flow. I have shrimp and I dont think I would have an issue going that route if it was me.
 
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