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Hello Fishionados - I have done some testing on flow rates on 2 of my canister filters and I am interested to see what results others get - I tested my new Sunsun (ProAqua, AquaPro, Gretch and some other names have been used) HW304b (rated at 2000 lph) and my used Aquaone Aquis 1250 Series II (rated at 1400 lph) - both units were tested empty (no baskets or media) and then with baskets and media loaded - the flow rates full or empty were pretty much the same - I also tried both options with different head heights (1.5 m and 0m which made minimal difference also) - the results I got were pretty much half of the rated LPH - to test I primed the filters and then timed how long it took to pump 5 litres into a bucket then divided 60 by the time it took to fill then multiplied that number by 5 then multiplied that by 60 to get the LPH - so on the Sunsun unit it took 17 seconds to fill to 5 litres: 60/17= 3.53 X 5 =17.6 (this is litres per minute) X 60 = 1058 LPH - I ran the test a few times on each filter to verify the results which kept coming back the same - the aquaone came in around 650 LPH - if anyone out there has some time and can test their canister filters and post back the results I am interested to see what comes up - I don't know how the manufacturers come up with these figures but I am wondering if they are calculated by adding water in and water out rates - if this is the case that rated LPH is about right - does anyone know if this is how it is measured? I have searched the internet for any info on how it is measured and could not find anything but I assumed that a filter running with nothing in it and zero head height should be pumping what it says on the box but I could be wrong

Thanks in advance ; )

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I am positive that the flow rates stated by manufacturers are the actual flow rate at 0 head height, without hose and without media. it may well be the tested flow rate on the pump mechanism itself prior to manufacturing the canister.

things that lower flow rate

- roughness of piping

- head height

- elbows, turns, bends, fittings, corrugations

- media

- algae, bacteria, sediment, fungus

- canister housing

Edited by Wild Aulonocara
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I have sent an email to the manufacturers and contacted the distributor - he suggested that it maybe tested empty without hoses also - the sunsun I tested was brand new with new hoses and no elbows or anything else to restrict flow however the hoses were the full length (about 1.8m) - I have another new unit I will try and test with very short hoses just to see (bit hard to do with no hoses) - I don't think it will make that much difference but will give it a shot - there is a big distributor in the US I will try and contact and see what they say - I did run the head height level with the top of the unit and it made little difference - still would like to see what others get in their tests on different units - I am more than happy with the sunsun but just curious about the flow rate - would definitely recommend the unit - thanks for the responses

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Nah its all good plecosam - I am just curious how they come up with the figure for it - I have a 200L tank and bought the Sunsun thinking it will turn over the tank 10 times and hour (alot I know) but then after testing find out that it is only turning over 5 times and hour which is still acceptable and the tank looks fine but if people are out there buying a filter based on X amount of turnover / hour and get a unit based on the minimum they may be actually underfiltering - I have read a few posts lately where people are adding an additional filter to their setups (on larger tanks) and maybe this could be part of the reason for that ; )

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Its just the pumps lph stat usually. If a canister uses a 2000lph pump, then its marketed as a 2000lph canister.

Imho the biggest breaker of flowrate is water height in aquarium. Turtle tanks for example that are only half full. This is true head height, as water height creates the syphon effect, the pump only having to kick water over tank.

That said many pump stats are.... optimistic to say the least.

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It's like anything Donny, take two amplifier's for example, both rated for 100 watts, the first brand rate their equipment with a total harmonic distortion of .1%, the other brand rating their equipment with a thd of .0001%. Both output 100 watts but only one of them will output that 100 watts with true clarity.

Thats the difference between shopping at Hervey Norman or shopping at a true audio centre.

Edited by plecosam
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It's like anything Donny, take two amplifier's for example, both rated for 100 watts, the first brand rate their equipment with a total harmonic distortion of .1%, the other brand rating their equipment with a thd of .0001%. Both output 100 watts but only one of them will output that 100 watts with true clarity.

Thats the difference between shopping at Hervey Norman or shopping at a true audio centre.

And the price ;)

Sent from my D6653 using Tapatalk

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Of course, you want to feed them Paradigm speakers some nice clean true 100 watt power you best open your wallet. But they and the amp will reward you for many years to come.

You are missing the point though, some brands under rate and others over rate, the person buying the over rated brand is going home thinking he has a nice 100 watt amp, he is in perfect ignorant bliss. The other guy is happy as well, only this time his neighbour, and his neighbours neighbour are not so happy.

Edited by plecosam
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I do actually run some nice paradigm speakers hooked up to a very nice denon amp all purchased through a quality audio store but when it comes to spending 3 -4 times the amount to buy a German brand canister filter over the cheaper Chinese unit that is made by one of the biggest aquarium manufacturers in the world and the only thing it does is pump water through some filter media its a pretty simple answer - amps and even danfishy84 above has stated that his FX6 does not pump out what it says on the box and that thing cost 6 times more than my unit - I read in another forum that pretty much all filters are now made in China - this unit is well reviewed by plenty of people online everywhere - it may not have the name but it does the job - I am still interested to see what others get on their units - maybe someone out there can test an eheim and see what they get - as stated before - if you are buying a unit based on your tank size and X amount of turn over to get home and find out that is not the case is a bit deceiving - I think every canister out their does over quote the LPH but by how much is the question - thanks again for the replies

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All good Simon, the standard for canister flow rates is rather ridiculous, I prefer to purchase properly engineered equipment not copies but that is just me. I would not be worried to much about flow rate, as long as the filter is doing its job, people obsess over flow rates but to me capacity is as important if not more.

The copies seem to be much better these days, they were garbage 10 years ago, having said that I am unfamiliar of the filter you are talking about.

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Thanks Plecosam - here is a link to the unit:

- as you can see in the video it has heaps of capacity (one of the other reasons I went for this unit) - it also has UV but I doubt it is really doing very much but nice to have all the same - the unit is well engineered and in many aspects better than the competition - the only downside is the feel of some of the components is a bit lacking but really who cares if the spraybar is not made out of rigid plastic - its a spraybar ; )

what filter do you run?

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A little OT but when reading up on bio filtration during my matten filter exercise, I read (from memory) that you only actually need maybe 2-3 turns per hour for effective bio filtration (even that could be generous).

The only reason people go the 7x or 10x routes is to clean the substrate, and help eliminate dead spots. I actually prefer to use a wave maker for this so I maintain optimum bio filtration and get the perks.

So long as your getting at least 2-3 turns I would be more concerned with how many cm2 of filtration your filter gives you.

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I have used 1-2 turnover per hour on a large system and found it was very effective, the only issue with lots of tanks, fry and effective bio is huge nitrates.

Going from 20-80+ in a week is easily done but by have high nitrates at least you know the system is working.

Cheers mick

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