“ Brand: Hagen / Animals Equipment Type: Fish Tanks / Aquariums „
I have this model in my 2' tank, except rather than the 3, it is the 4. The only difference is in size and basically a Fluval 4 is meant to be adequate for a 4' tank but it really is not in my experience. The 2' tank is rather understocked. We have a corydoras catfish, an ancistrus, a beta, two coolie loaches, and a couple of neons. With a low stocking level and a small tank, this does manage to keep the water very clean. It is also on a lower setting because it is such a small tank. That said it is no where near as efficient as my old fluval 2 with the circular pads.
This is your basic run of the mill starter filter. It isn't really bad. It isn't really good either. It will do the job, as long as your tank is not heavily stocked, but I would definately go for a size larger than required for the average aquarium. This filter was woefully inadequate for our 4' tank. It does last well though. This has been going strong for about 7 years now.
My old fluval 2 is still in use and has been running for 10 years.
My other major problem with this filter is the difficulty of opening it. As this requires very frequent rinsing it it should be a bit easier to get open. I just do not have the strength in my hands to open it, but even my husband has difficulties. You must squeeze the bottom bits together with great force while pulling the cover off. It often slips and ended up whacking against the sink so hard it is now cracked. It also takes up a lot of tank room and the suction cup mounts for these never work for me.
The filter pads must be rinsed often as they do clog up quickly in a larger tank. You have to be careful to wash in lukewarm water though, or better yet tank water (in a bowl out of the tank ) to preserve the bacterial balance. You should also remove the flywheel and clean all inside parts regularly including the out take pipe which I clean with a cotton swab. When changing pads, change one side, wait one week and change the other, this allows biological filtration to continue. Never change filter pads and gravel at the same time or your tank will lose too many of the good bacteria and will not be able to maintain proper water filtration. Yes everything will be shiny clean and look great for 2 -6 weeks and then it will crash and fish will start dying.
Would I recommend this? As a starter , for a tank with small fish, yes, as long as you have strong hands. Would I buy one again? Not on a bet.
My hands are too bad as it is, and it is too much work. It is suitable for most beginner setups, and does last well, but you are far better off with an external filter if possible. They look better and are so much less work. My current one needs cleaned every 6 months.
The basic guidelines for these are
Fluval mini - tank under 1' length - also works just for extra aeration with another water filter.
Fluval 1 tank under 18" length
Fluval 2 up to 2'
Fluval 3 up to 3'
Fluval 4 up to 4'
This pump was not designed by anyone with any knowledge of how water moves. Due to poor design water will only flow through a tiny amount of the sponge. The waste collection ability of this pump is terrible. To give an example of how poorly the water flow is designed, you could probably shorten this pumps sponge container by two thirds and get the same filtering ability. It has been 3 weeks and the bottom four fifths of the sponge in my pump is pristine white as no waste has touched it.
I am very disappointed as I paid a premium for this pump thinking it would be better quality. It is outperformed by a 5 year old pump half the size that I had previously.
It is easy to remove the sponges for cleaning and the pump itself is relatively quiet for its size. The water volume is good. However as its primary function is supposed to be removal of fish waste I give this rip off pump one star.
I have been keeping tropical fish now for a number of years, and have used many different types of filter including several Fluvals which I still use.
Filtration is essential for keeping tropical fish - It constantly cycles the water removing impurities and fish waste, without which the water would soon become toxic
Hagen Fluval(not Fluvial as spelt above) internal filters are one of the most commonly seen in your local fish shop, and are often bundled in with an aquarium of small to medium size.
They come in several different sizes, as follows:
(*note* LPH denotes Litres Per Hour, the maximum volume of water that the filter can turn over each hour)
Fluval 1 Plus
Suitable for <45 Litres aquarium
Fluval 2 Plus
Suitable for <90 Litres aquarium
Fluval 3 Plus
Suitable for <130 Litres aquarium
Fluval 4 Plus
Suitable for <215 Litres aquarium
These are internal filters and sit inside your aquarium fully submerged with only the power lead trailing out, I have seen them laid flat along the bottom although their correct position should be against one of the side walls with the water outlet just breaking the waters surface (for increased surface agitation, which helps to oxygenate the water)
The filters come with a small bracket that attaches to your inner aquarium wall with several suction cups, ensuring that it stays where its supposed to, the actual filter unit then slots into the bracket from above enable easy removal for cleaning without unsticking the bracket.
The main filter unit itself is comprised of the top pump section, which has a directional outlet (that you can move from side to side within about a 90 degree angle), and a flow regulator where you can adjust the strength of flow. There is also a small yellow flow indicator that lets you know when the flow is reduced and the filter needs a clean.
The top pump section clips easily atop the media compartment, which is an outer sleeve that slides off to expose the inner trays that hold your foam pads. Additional media can be sandwiched between the two pads such as active carbon or fine filter media.
Cheap to buy - These filters (and the additional media) are inexpensive and readily available from most good fish shops or online.
Simplicity - Very easy to set up and get running, and just as easy to disassemble and clean.
Effective - For most people with a small to medium fish tank this will provide all the filtration that you should ever need.
Longevity - I have several fluval filters, and they are all working as well now as when I first bought them several years ago - there's very little that can go wrong with them.
Issues - The only issue that I have with these filters is that they tend to get blocked fairly often, and you end up with slow water flow but this is easily rectified with a quick clean
You could do a lot worse than a hagen fluval internal filter, they work well and are cheap and very effective.
If you are thinking of buying a new filter for your fish tank my advice would actually be to try to get an eheim aquaball which does everything the fluval does but a bit better.
One tip I will offer, is always overfilter - Most people have more fish in an aquarium than they really should and by overfiltering you ensure that the water is kept fresh even with the additional bioload. eg if you have a 90l fish tank, I'd recommend the 3 plus
The fluval 3 filter ideal for those larger sized fish tanks and aquariums. Why buy several pumps to place in your tank when this unit will work alone with tender loving care this unit will last you years and will always stay good if regually checked and cleaned and making sure that the cable is not frayed in anyway shape or form. They come with there own suction unit that enables them to turn round and stay on the side of the tank and not take up much room or space. There is no sharpe bits on this uni all corners are specially rounded off and the unit is toxin free when placed in the water. The running off the foam filters enables the unit to be easily cleaned and done quickly so hat no alarm or distress is caused within your fish community. Remember if you want a pump that is extremely reliable, easy to use, nice to your fih and something that is good investment then why not purchase yourself a fluval fish tank pump
So having this week moved the old school tank in to my house there is now plenty of scope for another round of aquarium equipment reviews, the first of the new items under the spotlight is the Fluvial 3 (plus) internal filter - this replaced the Fluvial 3 several years ago.
Being as it is a plain black cubiod shape there is little about it that will spoil the look of your aquascape, mine is hidden behind a few plastic aquagarden plants, which being as they are in the flow of the water sway gently constantly.
It has a blue water flow adjuster, which will cause the flow to vary between the 540 ltr/hr stated above and 700 ltr/hr which in a tank which has a volume of just under 140 litres means that the water is flitered 4.5 times every hour! But importantly this doesnt seem to create too strong a current within the aquarium so the fish arent constantly swimming against a current.
The outlet can be moved through around 80degrees so that it can be 'aimed' to reduce deadwater within the aquarium. A feature unique to the new range of Fluvial filters is that they now all have a clogging indicator, this is a small button which pops up when the filter pads are in need of cleaning.
The filter contains 3 pads, two foam pads and then either a polyester or carbon active filter pad. They are positioned with the two foam pads outside and one ofthe two other sandwiched in between. Held in place by slotting the three pads in to the bottom of the filter and replacing the base. The carbon active pad should never be used at the same time as medications are in the water as it will clean them out, so isnt the best to use constantly they are also only recommened for use over a 7 day period before they need to be discarded and replaced, thus the more practical of the pads for every day use is the polyester pad. This needs to be rinsed out roughly weekly, it is better to rinse the pads in rotation so you don't remove all the good bacteria stored on the pads. Replacing them should also be done in rotation and buying replacement pads would cost around £3 per pack of pads, sold in separate packs of foam, polyester and carbon pads. So around £6 a month to keep it running effectively.
When plugged in it is runs very quietly, you can use it to help aerate the aquarium but I have not used this option due to the aeration system already in place. There is though a block to close the hole used to draw in air if you choose not to utilise this option. It attatches to the tank wall with a trio of suckers on a flat piece of plastic, which the unit slots over holding it in place but allowing it to simply lift out when you need to clean it. The power cable is approx 4ft long plenty to reach most power sockets if a multi plug adaptor is used (and usually it will be since an aquarium is so power socket hungry).
MIne cost me £37.99 from B.A.S near Bolton (affectionatly known as Daves Aquarium to locals). And was roughly the same price at Pets At Home when I looked there. The small independant aquarium store I got advice from could have ordered one in for me for £40, but I was in a rush otherwise I would have paid the extra and bought it from the independant shop as it is my preferred supplier of the livestock and the man who owns and runs it has been great for advising me when I have had questions recently (for anyone in Bolton it is Little Marina on Tonge Moor Road dont be put off by the scruffy exterior they are the best place Ive found for buying fish).
Overall so far I like this unit very much, it cleared the water after I moved the aquarium home in just under 4 hours (from so dirty you couldnt see anything further than 1inch from the glass). It seems that when needed cleaning is a simple task - though smelly as all filter changes are and I have seen no potential problems with it as far as my fish are concerned, other than the angelfish hiding behind it!
Internal aquarium filter / flow rate of 185 gph and uses 120v/6.5watts.