A cheap buy = Real life filter reviews


150 gal setup-Main display Tank

- Fluval FX6
-Eheim 2078 pro series3e

33 gallon Gaffer tank/grow-out tank
-Fluval 206

75 gal - 2ndary Display tank/grow-out tank
- sun sun HW 302

Everyone of these except the sun sun were bought 2nd hand. Some were working/non-working But all work now after identifying weak points.

FX6 - advantages , self priming , monster water flow.auto air burping
Disadvantage - required a new motor, as old motor was loud and heavily contaminated with muck and sand. A plastic design motor made to wear out. A weakness of design. The drain Was also leaking from the back of valve. Blocked it off completely. Serves as my 150 mechanical filtration.

Eheim 2078

Advantages - monster media capacity, electronic flow control. Programmable options. Sturdy construction.Auto air burping

Disadvantages- the hose connection is sticky, will lube orings once its apart again. This filter required no repair just cleaning, re-setup media and hooking up to my stainless inflow and outflow pipes. It serves as my dedicated biological filtration.

Fluval 206

Advantages good beginner can, simple media setup, simplicity.

Disadvantages - out of all of these filters. This one required the most repair. Inside cover falling off due to plastic press fit clips. Leaking from the main seal . Leaking valve seals. Leaking priming pump. I repaired everything with silicon sealing tape however. Despite this I had to replace specialty part, the shut off valve assembly(aquastop), as it was sucking air and refused to prime Plastic made to wear out . No lubrications used internally to the aquastop and wore out over time. Once I sealed it all back up . I managed to bring it back to life..


Advantages . Cost, simplicity, more generic contruction.

Disadvantages - the plastic is fragile. Some pieces have broke on it however, despite this , its not critical l . I have done nothing to this lfilter but run it 24/7 for 2 years solid.. its currently been repurposed and reconfigured for the 75 gallon.

Take what you can from this when spending your money on can filters. IMO Fluvals design, failure into their products, I personally would never buy one new.. they are however cheap to pickup used as people give up on them as they seem to have multiple weak areas mixed in with some ingenious designs.


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Thanks for the honest review.

At least Fluval parts are readily available. I am not even sure if Sun Sun parts are available, except maybe replacement gaskets? Kens Fish website has an extensive offering of Fluval parts for good prices. The 206 motorhead service kit and primer kit is probably around $30 total from Ken's.

So far, my Hydor 600 has been bullet proof. They are expensive, unless you can find them on sale like I did.


I have a FX4, 406, 306 and 206 bought new and a 306 I got used. I've had no issues with the new ones that have been running for over a year (2yrs for the 206) and the 306 was used on a turtle tank. I bought a few orings and used silicone grease on all the orings and haven't had an issue in over 2 yrs.

Almost every PetCo, PetSmart and LFS carries spares for Fluval canisters as well as online vendors.

Pros and cons on used equipment with questionable care? Like reviewing a used car with 100k miles and complaining how bad it is.


Not complaining. I just have come across some weaknesses in these particular filters.

Not like they can't be fixed! Mine all work again! Some of the fluval assembles is inherently going to fail by design. Their Plastic valves seems to be a major weakness with Intergrated specialty o-rings. Leaving you no coice but to replace parts. the 206 was manufacturers in 2016. So only 4 years old..

Far as maintenance . Outside of gaskets and cleaning. Can filters should run for a very long time without replacement parts ever being needed.

I have upgraded the weak areas in mine. Likely will run a long time. Most people will throw out the can and buy a new one. Fluval knows this

Black Thumb

Yeah, I ran a Fluval 305 for 4 years without issue - still have it stored as a backup. I never had any problems and generally thought the design worked well and was functional. I just prefer Eheim Classics.


I'm sure it would be ok if you are very careful and lube things when you put it together. The “aquastop” valve as they call it Design is poor.. I should have taken pictures of it disassembled. You can see how it wears into the plastic housing over time. Fortunately new one only cost $20.

The filter will not prime if its leakingIn this case sucking air.. I can almost guarantee many of these have been turfed because of that one piece. It took me awhile to figure out why it wouldn't work.


So the 206 is leaking again.. this canister is super frustrating. Took it apart to try and modify the main seal again. After having no luck really, I tried the other side.

The inside face of the canister did have some light scratches so I figured maybe giving it a new face to seal against would help. I used electrical tape along this area to repair and push out the tolerances. The problem I had with doing that on the oring is the shoulder is to short, which allows the oring to push up in the corners and not seal. Even heavy lubercation wouldn't let it slip in properly.

It still Leaked slightly after doing this, but has now stopped completely a day later. There is a upgraded non factory oring(fatter)I have bought I will eventually replace with. For now though it appears I have won. So many things I hate about the main seal design. But the filter itself is perfect for my 33.

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FoxxCAN you got this 206 used, right?


That is correct. Its been painful experience getting it working again. Seems to be good now.. Based on aftermarket part being developed to , I’d buy another sun sun, over a fluval.

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