Is Fluval Still Any Good?

LYNND1

Hello all,

It's been a long time since I've posted here (my bad!). Recently I purchased a second tank because my 16-year-old common pleco no longer wants to co-exist peacefully with other fish (four fish is a crowd in my current 55 gallon tank).

I have been using nothing but Fluval since the mid 1990s and thought I couldn't go wrong with another Fluval. I went out and bought a 307 for the bargain price of $140 (sale) only to have the canister leak. After watching a manufacturer troubleshooting video on YouTube, I realized that I needed to re-seat the O-ring (for some reason I have never had to deal with the equivalent O-ring on the 304 motor housing so I had seated it improperly on the new 307). I fired up the 307 and it leaked again. Took it apart and found a long crack in the rim/lip around the motor housing. Only then did I go online and search for the problem where I found reports of this "brittle plastic problem" within 3-6 months of purchase. (One reviewer on Amazon purchased three 307s and two of them broke in the same way around the mounts for the screws causing the same result all in under six months.)

I have been very lucky in that all my years using Fluval I have never had flood due to a canister malfunction. (I keep spare parts on hand just in case I need to swap anything out.) My old 304 has been going strong for 10 years with only wear-and-tear parts replaced — but now that the 304 is discontinued the only place I can find another one is Ebay (no warranty even if I purchase new).

My overall question is, are there any canister filters that do not have the brittle plastic problem? The reason I ask is because I immediately thought "What the heck, maybe it's time to try one from Marineland or Elheim." Problem is, I can find similar reports about the plastic housing cracking — and not after 5 years but in as little as weeks or months. I know from using these canisters since the 1990s that I should be able to get my money's worth out of them for years of reliable service so it really blows my mind that the plastic is of such poor quality that basic things like the integrity of the housing are a potential source of failure. (One expects to have to replace parts but the canister itself should be problem free in my experience.) So the next question is, how many of you have had issues with the plastic housing beginning to crack or split on Fluval vs. other brands? And lastly, has anyone here ever sought out warranty replacement from Fluval? They claim to warranty these filters for five years but when stuff like this happens, might they simply claim that it was subject to being dropped since the cracks and damage can look a lot like being dropped vs. defective plastic?

In summary, I am trying to get this tank set up this weekend so I can cycle it and save the lives of my other fish (two bala sharks and an angel fish) that are under nightly attack by a grumpy old pleco. Locally I can do an exchange for another 307 but anything else I'd have to order online.

Apologies for the long post. Thanks for reading!


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ChrissFishes01

Fluval is still a very quality brand, IMO - you may have just gotten a lemon.

That said, maybe it's time to get away from canisters in general. The risk of flooding is there, and something will fail eventually - hopefully it's a pump, and not something that causes it to leak everywhere. But everything fails eventually.

A HOB will have far less opportunity to cause trouble - the Aquaclear line is pretty great.

Sponge filters are the best form of filtration available, IMO. They're cheap, reliable, quiet, and do the job just as well as anything else does.
 
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LYNND1

Fluval is still a very quality brand, IMO - you may have just gotten a lemon.

That said, maybe it's time to get away from canisters in general. The risk of flooding is there, and something will fail eventually - hopefully it's a pump, and not something that causes it to leak everywhere. But everything fails eventually.

A HOB will have far less opportunity to cause trouble - the Aquaclear line is pretty great.

Sponge filters are the best form of filtration available, IMO. They're cheap, reliable, quiet, and do the job just as well as anything else does.

Thanks. I haven't had experience for a long time with HOBs. Plecos can clog up filters very fast due to the amount of waste. I haven't tried any sponge filters in recent years either. When you get into a particular way of setting up a tank it's almost like being new to the hobby again to learn about the options.
 
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ChrissFishes01

Thanks. I haven't had experience for a long time with HOBs. Plecos can clog up filters very fast due to the amount of waste. I haven't tried any sponge filters in recent years either. When you get into a particular way of setting up a tank it's almost like being new to the hobby again to learn about the options.
For sure!

Sponges are my favorite - they might not pick the larger pieces of waste up from the bottom, but I usually have snails to help break that down into pieces that the filter can pick up. It's whatever you like, really.
 
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Islandvic

LYNND1 , is the crack where I circled the pic?


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I ask because I have been running a 307 since January this year.

Did you call Fluval or get a replacement?

I've never had to do a warranty claim with Fluval, but I needed replacement intake/discharge valves under warranty for a Hydor canister. Hydor had excellent customer service and after sending them pics and copy of receipt they overnighted the parts to me.

Fluval is a larger company than Hydor, so I can only imagine their customer service for warranty claims is just as good.
 
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