Product Type: All Pond Solutions fish accessories
Newest Review: ... model which sells for £69.99 and can handle up to 600 litres and the 2,000 l/h model which can filter tanks up to 1,000 litres in vo... more
The difference is clear - a really great filter
All Pond Solutions 1000EF External Filter
Member Name: SpiderDreams
All Pond Solutions 1000EF External Filter
Advantages: Compact, excellent quality, easy maintenance, easy setup
Disadvantages: none that I can think of
As this was our third fish-tank (getting bigger each time) we were sick of seeing the ugly filters submerged within the tank and were always horrible to clean. This new tank had a large base with a space perfect for an external filter.
We chose the EF 1000 which is suitable for tanks up to 400 litres so could easily manage our 180 litre tank and would allow us to go bigger if we ever wanted.
Our tank is fresh water however this filter is also suitable for salt water aquariums.
It is a large white unit with a removable lid. This locks into place with four (one on each side) lever locks that keep the unit watertight (so it doesn't leak if it falls over).
There are two long thick plastic tubes that are attached to the filter head and these tubes then thread through the end of our tank base and into the lid.
The dimensions of this unit are: 232 x 232 x 395 mm / 9.1" x 9.1" x 15.6"
[Inlet and Outlet]
The inlet tube is a long black vertical tube with a grate on the end and draws water in from the tank, down the second plastic tube and into the filter. The outlet tube is connected to a spray bar to return the clean, filtered water and increases aeration to the tank. (Ours is situated just above the water line so we get this lovely trickling/babbling brook water effect)
There is a multi-layer filter system in the unit, three gridded baskets stack on top of each other each filled with a different filter media material lined with cotton. By having this three layer system you get a thorough filtration using chemical, biological and mechanical.
The unit came with four types of filtration material - ceramic rings, bio balls, activated carbon and fine filter foam, allowing you multiple options for arranging the filtration as you want it.
There is also a 9W UV bulb included that sits inside the filter within a sealed quartz glass sleeve. All water pumped into the filter goes passed this bulb and the UV sterilises it. These bulbs can be replaced when their lumen-life ends. There is also an indicator light on the top of the unit to let you know when this bulb needs changing.
Setting this unit up was easy enough, take the three trays, put in the cotton liner and then pile up different filter media in each tray on top of the cotton. Stack each layer on top of each other, clicking them into place (making sure to line up the hole in each one where the UV bulb will sit. Fit the bulb and then click the lid back into place and then fix the two thick plastic tubes onto outlet and inlet fixtures and its all packed ready.
When the unit is filled and attached, it is just a case of priming it. This consists of a large push button on the lid that needs to be pumped in and out. By doing this the air is pushed out of both lines causing a vacuum affect that sucks the water into the filter. Once the circuit of water has been completed the system becomes self-sustaining.
It took a little time getting the filter set up and working and then because we are paranoid we checked it every day, making sure the water was going around and nothing was leaking. However when we finally realised it was doing its job we left it alone.
We needed to clean our Internal filters almost once a week to once a fortnight, this external filter can go for months and it is truly noticeable how clean the water is. It has been over 5 months and the external filter still does not need cleaning. The water is crystal clear.
We have just over 20 fish and lots of live plants, gravel etc so there is waste and bacteria in the tank and yet we have had to do so little cleaning, just the usual water change and even then it has been able to go for longer before the water needed changing.
The ease of maintenance really takes the ache out of this chore. To clean the filter you need to first detach it from the inlet and outlet pipes, however this can be done with the release of a tap. There is a drip-free shut off tap that sits between the two pipes on the filter. This shuts the circulation of water off, and then the section where the two pipes connect is just lifted away.
You can then move the unit to where you want to clean it, remove the filter layers and change/rinse the filter material as required. Upon replacing all the pieces and reattaching the pipes, it just needs to be re-primed again to get the water circulating once more.
This comes from AllPondSolutions.com, which is the same place we got our fish tank. The goods arrived swiftly and well packaged, everything was in perfect working order and I find this company to be very reputable.
They supply all the replacement parts such as hoses, filter media material and UV bulbs.
The unit is also given a 12 month warranty.
Flow Rate: - 1000 Litres per Hour
Hose size: - 20mm / 0.8" Outside, 15mm / 0.6" Inside Diameter
Hose length: - 1.8 Metres
Water Volume: - 8 Litres (Approx)
Height Max: - 2 Metres
Voltage: - 220-240v
Power: - 18w
The price at AllPondSolutions is £59.99 which is actually very good for an external filter, especially one that does such a great job
Our original filters always had carbon as other filter media never seemed to fit within the filters. However the problem we have with activated carbon is that it removes large molecules from the water and since our tank is heavily planted, the plant food we add would be filtered out.
So instead of using the carbon we use Superfish glafoam+ instead of the carbon and with the other filter media provided it keeps our water crystal clean. (another benefit of not having to use carbon, if our fish get sick and need medicating we don't have to faff removing the carbon which you would do if you used it, as it filters out the medicine).
We have had our tank set up for months now and barely need to give the filter a second look at the moment. The water quality is excellent, as we have glass mounted monitors and frequently test the water for pH, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia and they are always at the perfect levels.
All our fish and plants are happy and healthy and I would never go back to an internal filter now this handles our 180 litre tank, with its many fish and live plants excellently.
Summary: An excellent product