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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All of a sudden my Eheim 2217 has started making A LOT of air bubbles out of the spray bar. So many bubbles that my tank looks like a snow globe. At first I thought maybe my CO2 regulator went haywire and was putting out too much CO2. But my CO2 has been off for several hours now and the air bubbles are still coming out of the spray bar. Plus, I hear bubbling sounds and occasional "burps" inside the canister. I guess this means it's sucking air somewhere, right? How do I locate and fix the leak?
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Have you opened it recently?

I'd open and reclose the lid to make sure it's seated properly, double check all the valves and connections, and tilt the filter to try and "burp" the air out of the top.

If none of that works, you may need to replace one of your O-rings somewhere- not a terribly expensive or difficult fix.
 

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Until you can replace the O-ring, you could try cleaning and lubricating it. Use tank water to clean the ring and the groove where it sits, and use a dab of petroleum jelly (Vasoline) to lubricate the ring before putting it back on the canister.
 

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If its not leaking water onto the floor its not an o ring. I would check the connection between the intake J tube and the flex tubing. That's the only connection that could leak air and not have water in the floor.
 

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If its not leaking water onto the floor its not an o ring. I would check the connection between the intake J tube and the flex tubing. That's the only connection that could leak air and not have water in the floor.
I tend to disagree on this. I have had airleaks on the O-ring without water coming out.
Since the canister can't purge itself, I would look at the intake first as that side has suction. The outgoing line has pressure and will likely let water out rather than pulling air in.
I would look at the O-rings and any other points along the intake line. Also be aware that cracks in the handles of the cutoffs can be hard to spot if they are down in the little pockets of the cutoff.
 

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Another possibility is that your filter media is clogged. I've had this problem before and when I opened the canister, the fine media was clogged. After replacing the white fine media pad and a quick rinse of the other filter media, the problem was resolved.
 

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But my CO2 has been off for several hours now and the air bubbles are still coming out of the spray bar. Plus, I hear bubbling sounds and occasional "burps" inside the canister.
Define off.. Main tank valve off.. solenoid off.. Reason I ask is being "off" doesn't mean you could not have a CO2 leak i.e defective solenoid.. or whatver..

That said.. First I'd just disassemble and clean the Eheim.. I've had mine have "burping" issues before.. Mostly it was just dirty media.. Now the last time (when I stated toying w/ CO2) this was really bad I THINK the CO2 crashed by bacteria which died off en mass and made a mess of the tank.. Cloudy and bubbly..

Still cleaning the Eheim and shutting the CO2 main valve off is the first place I'd start..Most of the time leaks don't just happen..
Once both of those are ruled out I'd go leak hunting..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Define off.. Main tank valve off.. solenoid off.. Reason I ask is being "off" doesn't mean you could not have a CO2 leak i.e defective solenoid.. or whatver..
But if the solenoid went bad and was letting CO2 through, I'd see bubbles going through my bubble counter, wouldn't I? There are no bubbles going trough my bubble counter. I don't see how CO2 bubbles could get to my spray-bar without passing through my bubble counter.

Anyways.... I was away from home all day and couldn't do anything to the filter. Now tonight it's the doing same thing. The CO2 stopped running an hour ago, and there are millions of air bubbles coming out of the spray-bar. I don't hear any burping from the canister like I did last night. But the bubbles in the tank are just as bad as last night.

I guess tomorrow I will disassemble and clean the filter like several people have recommended. Though why this should be necessary when the filter is less than 2 months old is beyond me. I ran AquaClear filters 24/7/365 for 6 years with absolutely ZERO maintenance. Zero. Never touched them. Two months with a canister and it's already a PIA. I knew I should've went with HOBs.

By the way, how exactly does one "double check all the valves and connections" ???? How do I know if a connection is leaking? Will I hear it, see it, smell it? Will there be a flashing red arrow that says "Leak here"???
 

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By the way, how exactly does one "double check all the valves and connections" ???? How do I know if a connection is leaking? Will I hear it, see it, smell it? Will there be a flashing red arrow that says "Leak here"???
LOL

I start at bottom of the canister, visually check and wiggle and pull on every attachement, fitting, and tube to see if any are loose or I can see any air bubbles. On the outflow fittings, you can use soapy water and watch for bubbles.

Did you check your tank this morning? Was it bubbly then? If the bubbles aren't constant, then to me that sounds more like the CO2 equipment/attachments than the Eheim.
 

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You will have to begin by providing more exact information if you do want to solve the situation.
If you've already decided you don't like canisters, I would suggest you put an ad on the swap column and trade it even up for a HOB. I'm sure there will be many takers and then both of you will be happy.
How to check a connection? You might start by looking at it to see if you tightened something too tight and broke the plastic. Anybody who is able to run any filter for six years without cleaning will have no trouble finding a leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anybody who is able to run any filter for six years without cleaning will have no trouble finding a leak.
No, that's the whole point. I have no experience or practice looking for leaks because it simply never happened with my AC's. All those years with maintenance-free AC filters have spoiled me and made me incompetent when it comes to troubleshooting filter problems.

Well, I was able to determine that the problem had to be originating in the canister unit itself. How did I figure that out? I held a flashlight up to the intake tubing just a few inches in front of where it enters the canister. There were no bubbles visible going into the canister. So then I put the flashlight on the outflow tubing right where it comes out of the canister, and guess what I saw.... Bubbles zipping through the outflow tubing! In addition, I could hear a gurgling sound inside the canister.

I read in another thread that it's possible to have too much media packed in the canister, which can cause something called "cavitating." So, I took the canister apart, and I removed one of the white "fine" filter pads. I had originally put in two white pads, thinking that two are better than one. As of this moment, removing the additional white pad seems to have fixed the problem. I no longer have the millions of air bubbles coming out of my spray-bar like I did the previous two nights and the gurgling sound is gone. Hopefully the problem doesn't come back, and in a week or two my confidence in the Eheim will be restored.
 

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The problem w/ DIY media.. I have to "readjust" my Eheim occasionally based on media placement, amount and bioload..
Ironically enough, today I noticed about exactly what you had.. Oddly noisy filter though it had been flawlessly quiet for the past month..

The "white" filter (though mine is a hand cut micron felt pad) had mulmed up...
Removed it and exchanged and bam.. good as new..
I don't consider them ZERO maintenance..when you start going outside the box so to speak.. and it takes a bit of experimenting to find a happy place..
You can either find this fun, annoying or just par for the course.. ;)
Glad there was no leak (I didn't think there was.. )...........
 

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Running it other than the way it was designed or specified in the direction is on you. If you want to get rid of it and go back to being "maintenance free" let me know. I will take it.

I also would suggest that when you ran your HOBs that long with zero work on them, that after a month or two it was just moving water and acting as a bio filter. At that point your mechanical filtration was useless. Great thing about that canister, blow by doesn't occur. A well known problem with HOBs.

Sent with my Samsung S4 via Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Running it other than the way it was designed or specified in the direction is on you.
This point of view seems at odds with the much-touted versatility of canister media. A couple months ago when I asked for pros & cons regarding canister vs. HOBs, the overwhelming response I heard was that canisters offer almost limitless customizability.

If you want to get rid of it and go back to being "maintenance free" let me know. I will take it.
I was tired and grouchy, and that's probably the main reason behind my rant. The truth is really like the Eheim, and I have no intention of getting rid of it at this time. Sorry for freaking out temporarily.

I also would suggest that when you ran your HOBs that long with zero work on them, that after a month or two it was just moving water and acting as a bio filter.
Okay, in my rage I exaggerated. The truth is, I probably do rinse the media in my AC's about twice a year. Maybe at that point mechanical filtration is nil, but I never have any water problems on account of it.
 

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As in most things we have to adjust, changing the media does have unlimited variety but all of it has to be done with thought. If we make a change and find it doesn't work, I never feel it is right to blame the equipment. I just have to go back and redo things and admit I screwed it up and look for other ways to get the job done. On 2217's, I've never found that I can improve them for what I do.
 
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