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Discussion Starter #1
I recently upgraded the canister on my 50g from an Eheim classic 2217 to an Oase Biomaster 600 Thermo. I was looking for a filter that has more flow, more space for biomedia, and an integrated heater. On paper this filter looks perfect, and so many sources have recommended it for use in planted tanks (2hr aquarist, GreenLeaf Aquariums, several LFS, etc.). In person the filter is great too... solid build quality, snazzy prefilter chamber, solid heater, good flow (after some mods). But I've run into the most frustrating issue pertaining to air buildup and, after doing a ton of research, it seems this is a somewhat common problem for Biomaster users, and especially those using the 600.

Around 2pm every day the filter starts to purge little bits of air every 10-15 minutes. If you rock the filter whatsoever there is so much air escaping that the impeller almost stalls. It continues like this until well into the evening until, presumably, the air has dissolved enough to cease the air purging. I assume the filter is sucking air from off-gassing plants, but its seriously a TON OF AIR! And why was my eheim not afflicted with the same issue? The intake is in the exact same place.

Here is everything I've tried... triple checked all hose connections, checked and lubed the head unit, swapped out the head unit with a brand new one from Oase customer service (very nice people btw, but they don't know much about their product), played with the placement of the intake and outflow, experimented with the flow restrictors on the intake and outflow, increased the holes in the prefilter tube to 1/4" while also tripling the number of holes (to increase flow), played with the arrangement of filter media, and shortened the tube lengths as much as possible.

So you have the complete picture... I'm concurrently running the Eheim at the moment, the Oase is not powering a CO2 reactor or diffuser, there is no skimmer on the intake, I'm not running anything in the hosing (i.e. UV sterilizer, heater), and there is no leaking anywhere. Inside the filter, in the direction of water flow, I have 20ppi prefilter pads, then a 45ppi filter pad, then some eheim biomedia (seeds from other filter), then a filter floss pad, then 4.5 chambers of seachem matrix (1 gallon in total).

So, has anyone had any experience with what I am describing? Are there any bulletproof solutions out there you are aware of? Is there a better canister filter around the same price point ($350) that I should consider?
 

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Just peeked at amazon reviews and lots of folks seem to be having this issue. Must be sucking air in somehow. Not sure why it wouldn't do it consistently day and night though...
 

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I've owned various sizes of the Oase Biomaster Thermo and unfortunately it a problem that the 600 biomaster thermo is consistently having. I've heard of others who swapped the head unit out with success, but as you have already experienced by getting an entire new unit its really hit or miss. I've read on other forums that Oase has a new head design that fixes the issue, but I haven't seen anyone actually confirm it.

The Eheim Pro series are similar in price and flow, but doesn't not include a heater like the Oase. They do have Pro series filters with built in heaters that cost a lot more though. Depending on your setup, I would probably go with the regular Eheim Pro series and hide a heater behind plants, wood, etc.

Also no personal experience using, but I've heard good things about the Fluval 7 series. The 407 is equivalent in GPH at 383, I think the 600 is 350 or so.
 

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Run a bit of petroleum jelly around all the gaskets and o-rings and see if that helps your issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've owned various sizes of the Oase Biomaster Thermo and unfortunately it a problem that the 600 biomaster thermo is consistently having. I've heard of others who swapped the head unit out with success, but as you have already experienced by getting an entire new unit its really hit or miss. I've read on other forums that Oase has a new head design that fixes the issue, but I haven't seen anyone actually confirm it.

The Eheim Pro series are similar in price and flow, but doesn't not include a heater like the Oase. They do have Pro series filters with built in heaters that cost a lot more though. Depending on your setup, I would probably go with the regular Eheim Pro series and hide a heater behind plants, wood, etc.

Also no personal experience using, but I've heard good things about the Fluval 7 series. The 407 is equivalent in GPH at 383, I think the 600 is 350 or so.
I've owned various sizes of the Oase Biomaster Thermo and unfortunately it a problem that the 600 biomaster thermo is consistently having. I've heard of others who swapped the head unit out with success, but as you have already experienced by getting an entire new unit its really hit or miss. I've read on other forums that Oase has a new head design that fixes the issue, but I haven't seen anyone actually confirm it.

The Eheim Pro series are similar in price and flow, but doesn't not include a heater like the Oase. They do have Pro series filters with built in heaters that cost a lot more though. Depending on your setup, I would probably go with the regular Eheim Pro series and hide a heater behind plants, wood, etc.

Also no personal experience using, but I've heard good things about the Fluval 7 series. The 407 is equivalent in GPH at 383, I think the 600 is 350 or so.
Thanks for the input. Both the original and replacement head unit have the new design, so I guess it’s just not going to happen with this brand. Too bad.

I already bought an eheim pro 4 600 as a potential replacement (I saw it on sale and figure I could return if I got the oase working). I’m really unimpressed with the build quality. I’ve never tried a fluval filter, but maybe I should give it a try. What is going on with canister filters these days?!
 

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for what it's worth, i've owned the fluval 107, 206, 307, and fx4 and they're all very good. the xx7 series especially is way quiet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another recommendation for the Fluval 407.
The flow rate of the 407 is pretty low (245) and I’m looking to upgrade from the eheim 2217 (263). The jump to the fx4 is mind boggling (450). Something in the 325-350 range is ideal but I don’t think fluval makes such a filter.
 

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I've seen someone mention a.) making sure the hoses are cut at right angles, and b.) adding hose clamps to the connections. Both of those are super simple to try, so I would give it a shot. Worst case, you're out $2 for hose clamps.
 

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That’s the pump rating, not the flow rate of the canister filter. For example the fx4 pump is capable of over 700, but the rating of the entire filter is 450 (without media).
Gotcha. Does fluval report out that spec or are you getting it from a rating site or something like that?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Gotcha. Does fluval report out that spec or are you getting it from a rating site or something like that?
In this case I just researched, but I know eheim and oase post their flow rates (without media) right on the box. Fluval seems to boast about their pump rate from what I can tell, which means nothing.
 

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Are you having water quality issues? If it's a planted aquarium you probably don't need more biological filtration. I could understand if it is a FO tank or maybe an overstocked tank with a lots of messy fish like goldfish or cichlids.

In reality, you probably just need the canister for mechanical or chemical filtration. If you are concerned about flow in the tank a power head might be more useful in that you can target specific areas.

A lot of people like to over compensate thinking they will be better off. I do it all the time, it gives us that sense of added comfort or fulfills a want... But you got to ask yourself if it is truly necessary.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Are you having water quality issues? If it's a planted aquarium you probably don't need more biological filtration. I could understand if it is a FO tank or maybe an overstocked tank with a lots of messy fish like goldfish or cichlids.

In reality, you probably just need the canister for mechanical or chemical filtration. If you are concerned about flow in the tank a power head might be more useful in that you can target specific areas.

A lot of people like to over compensate thinking they will be better off. I do it all the time, it gives us that sense of added comfort or fulfills a want... But you got to ask yourself if it is truly necessary.

No water quality issues, but there are several reasons I need a bigger filter:
  • Wanted to get the heater out of the tank, and an inline wasn’t an option since I only have one filter and it’s already powering a reactor.
  • I’ve read from several sources, including 2hr and Tom Barr, that a planted tank should be turned over at least five times per hour. My eheim is probably only doing three. Now I do have a gentle power head that helps with circulation, but I’m aware the tank is under filtered.
  • I also plan to semi heavily stock this tank, which puts more strain on the filter.
  • However, the immediate reason I bought the oase filter was to optimize my CO2 reactor. I have the GLA reactor which needs an abundance of pressure/flow to work correctly. When underpowered the chamber fills with CO2 faster than the water can absorb, and it starts sloshing around.
 

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I have owned two Biomaster Thermo filters, a 250 and currently the 600. My 600 has plenty of flow for my 75 gallon with scape adjusted for good circular flow. It does not pull in air. After opening it up I do need to burp it but then it works great. Have you called Oase? They do have tech support and are very responsive.

The other idea is that your seals may not be in place properly. You may need to check them and possibly use a bit of petroleum jelly to help with the seal. I had to do that when I first got mine. Also if you have a lily pipe surface skimmer it may need adjusting to avoid pulling in air.

Let us know how it goes. I love my Biomaster. Having the removable prefilter will make any initial setup well worth it.
 

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I do own 2 OASE Biomaster Thermo 600 with no issues, they've been running for 4-5 months. At the beginning they were pulling air but after tilting them to the sides it stopped. I do have a reactor connected to one of them and no issues, before I had a diffuser and no issues either. I did the same as you, increased holes in the prefilter tubes. I remember I took one of the blue big sponges out. Amazing filters!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have owned two Biomaster Thermo filters, a 250 and currently the 600. My 600 has plenty of flow for my 75 gallon with scape adjusted for good circular flow. It does not pull in air. After opening it up I do need to burp it but then it works great. Have you called Oase? They do have tech support and are very responsive.

The other idea is that your seals may not be in place properly. You may need to check them and possibly use a bit of petroleum jelly to help with the seal. I had to do that when I first got mine. Also if you have a lily pipe surface skimmer it may need adjusting to avoid pulling in air.

Let us know how it goes. I love my Biomaster. Having the removable prefilter will make any initial setup well worth it.
No surface skimmer lily pipe and I have spoken with oase customer service extensively. They are super nice but also not super helpful. They have admitted this is a very common problem.

i will try the petroleum jelly on the seals to see if that helps. Seems almost too simple but I’ll try anything at this point.

I do own 2 OASE Biomaster Thermo 600 with no issues, they've been running for 4-5 months. At the beginning they were pulling air but after tilting them to the sides it stopped. I do have a reactor connected to one of them and no issues, before I had a diffuser and no issues either. I did the same as you, increased holes in the prefilter tubes. I remember I took one of the blue big sponges out. Amazing filters!!
You leave them permanently tilted? Or you just did that to initially purge air?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No surface skimmer lily pipe and I have spoken with oase customer service extensively. They are super nice but also not super helpful. They have admitted this is a very common problem.

i will try the petroleum jelly on the seals to see if that helps. Seems almost too simple but I’ll try anything at this point.
Tried petroleum jelly this morning. Filter is the same.
 
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