Venturing into the world of fish keeping can be overwhelming just because of the options available for every aquarist. One of the most important parts of every aquarium is a filter. To make your life easier, I have made a comparison review between 2 of the best aquarium filters on the market. Respectively, we are going to review Fluval 406 Canister Filter vs Eheim 2215 Classic 350 Filter. Do note that there is no “perfect filter for everyone”. I have read many reviews on aquarium equipment, mostly on Amazon and, in most cases, they mean nothing because something came already broken due to delivery or the buyer just messed something up blamed it on the product.
Best canister filters for large aquariums
This article is perfect for you if you are looking to buy a new canister filter for your aquarium up to 100 gallons. These 2 filters are the best ones up for the task. The 100 gallon mark is the upper limit and these filters can be used with ease for smaller aquariums as well. Although, if you are looking to buy a filter for a very small starter aquarium, you can find cheaper options that will do the job just fine as well.
It is really important to invest into a high quality filter, as it is the main building block for a healthy aquarium. With a low quality filter or a filter that cannot handle the size of an aquarium, amonia will start to grow and other toxins will spread throughout your aquarium. Things can go bad pretty fast with lethal consequences. And that is the reason you are here, to find the best possible solution for keeping your aquarium crystal clear.
What are canister filters
Before making a either fluval ar eheim canister filter purchase, we need to understand, what are canister filters. Canister filters are great for large aquariums, because they have the biggest main body of all filter categories, thus, they can filter larger amounts of water very efficiently. These are external filters that you hang outside of the aquarium and the set-up is quite simple. They are popular amongst both enthusiasts and novices.
Fluval 406 Canister Filter Review
Fluval filters have been one of the leaders in the aquarium filter market for a long time, because they have been producing quality products that customers enjoy. They have been constantly evolving their technologies to offer the best solutions possible. Let’s take a look at what do they offer with Fluval 406.
Fluval 406 uses 3 stage filtration, like all the top-quality filters do nowadays. The 3 stages are as follows:
- Mechanical - removes freely floating particles from water
- Biological - removes the poisonous nitrogenous waste from water (Ammonia, nitrites) and converts them to Nitrates
- Chemical - removes impurities from the water and makes the water clearer.
The filter is designed with a bottom-to-top filtration design. The water will go through the inlet, past the filtration media and then come out on the other side of the filter. A hydraulic motor is used to increase the rate of the filtration, which is one of the reasons why this filter performs so well. Fluval 406 has a flow rate of 383 US GPH (1450L/H), which is a very efficient benchmark.
Another admirable achievement of this filter is the noise it produces. It close to non-existent and it may seem surprising, because of the amounts of water that it is capable of filtering. So you won’t need to worry about it being loud. You can have your aquarium in any room and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere it creates.
This is a 6th generation canister filter from Fluval. Which means, they have worked very hard to improve the efficiency of their 6th generation filters not only in it’s amazing flow rate, but they have made it less power consuming at the same time as well.
It’s design is very user friendly and slick as well. As you can tell from the picture, it is not just a simple box that holds water. I personally think they have nailed the design of this filter. But the improvements have come not only in the form of looks, but the filter has become very maintenance-friendly, which is an important metric for long term upkeep. The parts are made in such a way that you can take care of them separately, without breaking apart the whole filter.
The overall quality of the filter is very good and everything fits together very well. You should expect everything to work for a long time, if you take care of the filter correctly.
On the downside, it has been reported by multiple people that the filter is constantly leaking after couple of months, although I have never had such a problem. Maybe that is because of how the filter was delivered or set-up. Also, you can only use Fluval Sponges for this filter, which may be costlier as there are cheaper alternatives out there.
Fluval 406 Pros
Great water flow due to hydraulic motor
3 stage filtration
Aquastop system prevents water leakage, if the filter hoses detach or it gets clogged, it turns the filter off.
Easily replaceable filler
Easy to maintain and install
3 year warranty
Slick design and very compact
Very quiet, compared to other filters
Low power consumption even at high work rates
Fluval 406 Cons
Only branded sponges can be used
Can start to leak after couple of months if not set-up properly
The filter rotor has a very thin ceramic pin, which makes it very delicate
Will look bulky for smaller aquariums
Eheim 2215 Classic 350 filter review
Eheim filters are one of the leaders of the filter market as well. They outshine their competition by being as simple as possible and doing the task they are made to do quite well. If you are not looking for anything fancy and just want to buy a filter and turn it on, Eheim 350 may be just what you are looking for. This filter is suitable for fish tanks up to 92 gallons.
The filtration of the Eheim 350 filter is pretty decent at approx 135 GPH (620 LPH) and it also supports 3 stage water filtration. This going to be good enough for most aquariums. The filter is also pretty quiet. As it does not have more fancy features that other modern filters do, it consumes less power than most filters that are capable of filtering such amounts of water. The filter is easy to dismantle and clean. It comes with top quality silicon sealing rings for easy and safe access to the pump.
With Eheim Classic you have great variety of choice how you wish to set it up, if you want to adjust it for a specific type of aquarium. You can choose between filter pads, loose filter media and other accessories you feel the need for.
Quality is where Eheim 2215 Classic filter outshines most, if not all other filters out there. Eheim has been on the market with their classic filters since 80’s and they are called “willing horse” because some of them have been working fine for around 20 years! That is an amazing investment, if you ask me!
So you can be sure that Eheim Classic 350 filters are made to last. The sealing ring in the pump head is made of long-lasting and flexible silicon. The materials that are used making this external aquarium filter are very durable overall, as the positive feedback proves as well. It’s simple design makes it very durable and maintenance is as easy as it gets.
This filter requires a lot less maintenance than most of the high-end filters you will find out there. It is very easy to clean it. Dismantling the filter and putting it back together is very simple. So if you are looking for a very simple filter for your aquarium, this is the thing you want.
Eheim 350 Pros
Very versatile and configurable for all needs
Supports 3 stage water filtration
Requires very little maintenance
Easy to dismantle and put together
Several Eheim filters can be used simultaneously for bigger tanks
Extremely reliable, can go for years if taken care of
Eheim 350 cons
Small internal volume
Very simple design
Expensive for its simplicity
Fluval 406 and Eheim 350 filter comparison
Now you know the features of these filters. But which one would be the best for you? Depends on what exactly are you looking for, as both filters will do great for every aquarium. There is no wrong choice here, as both canister filters are at the very top of filter market. Let’s do a quick recap comparison considering where each filter is better than the other.
Fluval 406 Wins
- More quiet
Fluval 406 is barely noticeable in terms of sound produced. Although Eheim classic filters are considered to be quiet as well, they produce more internal volume than the Fluval 406.
- Better design
This may be very controversial and vary from person to person. But, in my opinion, Fluval filter is gives more premium look than the Eheim classic and has been designed not only to work great, but to look great as well.
- Much better flow rate
This is the main part where Fluval 406 outshines many other canister filters. Its water filtration efficiency is very impressive and you won’t have any problems filtering an aquarium that is at the very limit of this filters recommendations. If you have fish that produce a lot of waste, it won’t be a problem for Fluval 406.
- Aquastop anti leakage system
If something goes wrong with the filters hoses, either they get clogged up or detach, the filter is smart enough to turn it off to prevent further water leakage.
Eheim Classic 350 Wins
- Very Configurable
You have a great variety of choice available to you about the parts used in Eheim Classic filters. If you have a fish tank with specific needs, just buy the necessary sponges or other accessories and you are good to go. But with Fluval, regarding sponges, you have to stick to what they give you.
- Very Durable
This probably a field where no other filter can really beat Eheim 350 filter, whilst providing the same quality and power.
- Easy maintenance
Its simple design allows for easy maintenance as there is no difficult logic about how everything works together. All parts are very straight-forward and the filter itself requires you to clean it less often than most of the other filters.
If you want to go for the slick looks and the very top performance - go for Fluval 406.
If you want to go for simplicity and a filter that does its job very well - go for Eheim Classic 350.
This should be enough to help you make the decision to either go with Fluval 406 Canister Filter or Eheim 2215 Classic 350 filter. They both are great filters, there is no doubt about it. If you have made your choice or wish to examine the specifications closer, click the name of the filter and it will bring you to the Amazon page with further details.
Which one do you prefer more? Let me know in the comments!Tweet