The filters I am referring to are for larger, non-fry, tanks (that's why you don't see sponge filters on the list). If you like a filter that is not on the above list, please list it and tell us more about it.
My tanks are the smaller size, not power filter models. The Eclipse Bio-Wheel filters are good. I like the Duetto filters by Marineland somehow better anymore. These are for 15 gallons and below so they may not qualify here, but they are GREAT filters for smaller tanks.
I only have experience with AquaClearpower filter (in my 30G tank) and with a WhisperTetra power filter (in my 10G tank). AquaClear is definitely better because of the way it's designed: you never have to change all media at once in it (such as you have to do in a WhisperTetra filter) and thereby you keep the beneficial bacteria without any mini-cycles with one medium change (since there are 3 medium parts). I am willing to experiment with other filter types. Perhaps I will get a different filter for my next tank. I am thinking about a canister since my next tank will be 75G. Or is a canister a bit too much for a 75G and a power filter is better? I never had a canister but I hear it's very powerful? Can you adjust water flow in a canister? I can't have a terribly powerful filter, even in a 75G, because angelfish will be in there.
P.S. J-Man, I did some quick reading on Eheim EccoCanister Filter (one of the many canister filter models that Eheim has). Sounds like it is excellent technology and not that much work with it at all. Here is the article I found about it: http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_filters_eheim_ecco_canister_external.asp?CartId=
It costs about $100-120 and it looks like this is a cheap one for a 75G tank, compared to the prices of many other models of Eheim canister filters. But in itself I think it's very expensive, compared for example to $50-70 AquaClear power filter for a 75G tank. J-Man, which model of Eheim do you think would be best for a 75G tank, and why?
But if it's this expensive, it also must be "this good", right? Otherwise, why would it be so expensive? Well, unless ... Eheim uses a marketing strategy which uses "high price" as an indicator of best quality. In fact there are companies whose products are not very different or better from their standard counterparts but because they sell their products at high prices, people tend to think that they're better ("because they're more expensive"). I hope Eheim isn't doing that!
Eheim does have higher price because you know when you buy it, it will work... theres never any doubt with eheim. I would argue to choose a filter from any of these brands that will best suit the type of aquarium and fish you want. Some can almost make your tank spin like a whirlpool if set up that way.... good for river fish I guess, but a betta is going to have a hard time, as would an angel.
So you wouldn't recommend an Eheim canister filter, or any canister filter for that matter, in a 75G tank with some angelfish? I've never had a canister filter and don't know how powerful they are. Is it possible to adjust the water flow on them?
I do not know exactly what the model of EHEIM filter you are looking for but they are now available at in canister models for less than the amount of money you are talking about for the 75 gallon size.
There are also models that cost more than you mentioned, but I thought you may not be aware of the ones above.
Whatever you pick I would definately pick one that is powerful to handle the junk the angels make since they are big crappers. Personally I would go with a canister or bio-wheel. I like the bio-wheel's myself since I make my own filter cartridges for it and it costs pratically nothing and i can change as much as i want when i want and it keeps my tank very clean and I have a penguin bio-wheel200 on my tank and my angels are fine, they mate regularly too. Whatever you decide I would just get a one that can accomadate your fish's needs. Have you considered making a sump?
I have never used an Eheim, but they have been around a long time and that's part of the selling point for their filters. Some hobbyists have used the same filter for 30 years! I do have 2 of the Rena Filstar canister filters and think they are excellent. Of course I can't tell you if they will still be working in 30 years, but so far, I'd say the performance I've had with them (2 years) would be very comparable to the Eheim performance at a much smaller price tag.
The prices in America are very very cheap compared to hear even when I change American $ to Australian $. I spent $250 on my Ehiem Professional which is suited to my size tank, but for a 75g you'd be looking at probably Professional II/classic /ecco. Ecco are kinda the cheaper version of an ehiem, they're good and efficient, a tiny bit of noise compared to the zero noise of others, but a little less on quality. the classics are supposed to be good as they're been around for ages and are still one of the best around, but the professionals have newer technology etc. You could get a thermofilter if you want but thats big bucks
The Ecco 2236 around 80g - $95-$110 (ok you might need more output- 160gph)
The Classic 2217 around 160g - $120-140 (better more output - 264gph)
The Professional II 2026 92g - $200-220 (better quality 251gph)
The Professional II 2028 158g - $270 (more power again 277gph)
The Pro III 2028 - $350-400 (mental 450gph)
For you I'd say go classic, cheap price, reliability, fair amount of power. Unless you got more money.
Most definitely J-Man! And not only that; I'll post pictures too as the process unfolds Right now I am just in a planning stage. Doing lots of research, et cetera. I don't want any problems, so I want to do my homework beforehand. Anyway, I'll get the tank probably in July or August. And like I said, it won't be anything fancy, just a simple average-looking tank. I am getting it because my fishies deserve better than a 30G; and now a 30G seems like a tiny tank to me. Not to mention my 10G! LOL! And most likely in the future, when I've had the 75G for a while, it will seem too small too, lol, and I'll be opting for a 125G (which I want already! just can't have it now).