Stumped by one of my filters

pagoda

OK...the situation I have that has stumped me is as follows...

Last week one of my aquariums, a 60 litre rectangle, needed to be replaced. The filter is a 6 month old Tetratec EX600 Plus (I have 5 of these in total, one per aquarium).

I left the filter sealed insofar as the media since it would be used in the replacement aquarium immediately (I did give it a boosting of TSS+ for good measure) and all was absolutely fine, good flow, no issues whatsoever.......for 4 days. Then it started slowing the flow, not alot at first but gradually went from a gentle waterfall (normal) to barely a trickle.

Now the issue I have is that despite replacing both the inlet and outlet hoses, both valve/taps, inlet elbow and strainer/pipework instead of rogering with a brush, the flow from the outlet spraybar is still absolutely abysmal compared to the other four identical filters on the other 4 aquariums (3 of the other aquariums are identical to the new one...60 litre hex).

I ended up opening the case, checked the media for any blockages...nothing amiss. I removed the impeller and cleaned/flushed it and the housing...nothing amiss there either. I checked the valves, again nothing amiss.

The media is exactly as it was in the original aquarium, which had the same good flow as the other filters on the other aquariums.

Please can someone suggest something that I have maybe overlooked cos it is driving me to distraction trying to fathom why the flow has become so miserable

Thank you in advance.
 

carsonsgjs

OK...the situation I have that has stumped me is as follows...

Last week one of my aquariums, a 60 litre rectangle, needed to be replaced. The filter is a 6 month old Tetratec EX600 Plus (I have 5 of these in total, one per aquarium).

I left the filter sealed insofar as the media since it would be used in the replacement aquarium immediately (I did give it a boosting of TSS+ for good measure) and all was absolutely fine, good flow, no issues whatsoever.......for 4 days. Then it started slowing the flow, not alot at first but gradually went from a gentle waterfall (normal) to barely a trickle.

Now the issue I have is that despite replacing both the inlet and outlet hoses, both valve/taps, inlet elbow and strainer/pipework instead of rogering with a brush, the flow from the outlet spraybar is still absolutely abysmal compared to the other four identical filters on the other 4 aquariums (3 of the other aquariums are identical to the new one...60 litre hex).

I ended up opening the case, checked the media for any blockages...nothing amiss. I removed the impeller and cleaned/flushed it and the housing...nothing amiss there either. I checked the valves, again nothing amiss.

The media is exactly as it was in the original aquarium, which had the same good flow as the other filters on the other aquariums.

Please can someone suggest something that I have maybe overlooked cos it is driving me to distraction trying to fathom why the flow has become so miserable

Thank you in advance.
Have you altered the head height pagoda? Thinking if the tank is too far away from the canister it may be struggling to pump the water?
 
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pagoda

Have you altered the head height pagoda? Thinking if the tank is too far away from the canister it may be struggling to pump the water?

Thought of that....all 5 filters are sat in identical buckets on the floor just over 4ft below the rim level of the aquariums.

The bucket is right beside the bottom of the stand, so directly below the aquarium..exactly the same positioning on all 5 aquariums
 
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richiep

I know this may be a bit of a potch bet can you try swapping the tops of two to see if the fault is passed onto the other filter
 
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carsonsgjs

Thought of that....all 5 filters are sat in identical buckets on the floor just over 4ft below the rim level of the aquariums.

The bucket is right beside the bottom of the stand, so directly below the aquarium..exactly the same positioning on all 5 aquariums
Ok, that rules that out!

i can only think of a mechanical failure of the pump, or a blockage there. No idea how the tetras are designed but richies idea above sounds like a great one if you havent already tried it.
 
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pagoda

I shall go give the head swap a go and see what happens...thank you carsonsgjs and richiep
 
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richiep

If the problem is still there before you swap them back change the inlet outlet over this will then eliminate The head and hoses
 
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pagoda

Well I did a swap over and the slower flow head behaved normally on the other aquarium, as did the head that I swapped it with.

So the head is not an issue.

Swapped them back, moved the spraybar very very slightly (about an eighth of an inch if that) to the same angle as the others...and its working beautifully

So I am still totally stumped as to why the flow had been so miserable

I don't think the head swap unblocked anything and the spray bar adjustment was so negligible I honestly cannot see that as being the cause.

But for now, at least, all seems to be back to normal waterfall mode.

Thank you again both of you, cos you both helped to cure the problem.
 
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richiep

Gremlins in the works, I'm glad you got it sorted
The only other thing I can think of it it may have been sucking in air and the lid swap allowed it to reseat
Whatever at least its working
 
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pagoda

Gremlins in the works, I'm glad you got it sorted
The only other thing I can think of it it may have been sucking in air and the lid swap allowed it to reseat
Whatever at least its working

Maybe there was a slight air issue...I have no idea....but its been frustrating me for the last couple days and after replacing all the "usual suspects" and it still not working right....there was some very unladylike language flying around.....

I hate it when things like this happen...its so annoying when no matter what you try, it doesn't seem to make any difference

The only thing I hadn't thought of was swapping the heads....good job all 5 filters are identical :)
 
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carsonsgjs

Well I did a swap over and the slower flow head behaved normally on the other aquarium, as did the head that I swapped it with.

So the head is not an issue.

Swapped them back, moved the spraybar very very slightly (about an eighth of an inch if that) to the same angle as the others...and its working beautifully

So I am still totally stumped as to why the flow had been so miserable

I don't think the head swap unblocked anything and the spray bar adjustment was so negligible I honestly cannot see that as being the cause.

But for now, at least, all seems to be back to normal waterfall mode.

Thank you again both of you, cos you both helped to cure the problem.
You’re welcome, glad its working again.

If it hadnt it would have done my head in for the rest of the day!
 
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pagoda

You’re welcome, glad its working again.

If it hadnt it would have done my head in for the rest of the day!

It's been doing my head in for the last couple days....I do hate technological misbehaviour, drives me up the wall and around the bend
 
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richiep

It's the Yorkshire weather
 
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pagoda

Oh well...back to the drawing board.

Filter flow slowed again overnight so going to get stroppy with it, decapitate it and swap the heads across with another filter. Then leave them swapped for 24 hours and see what happens.

Technologically misbehaviourisms drive me nuts
 
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richiep

Water and gremlins don't mix lol
Put your hand ontop of the slow filter and one on another and see if there's a difference, I'm just wondering if the electrical part that spines the impeller is breaking down
Certainly swap the heads ,it's going to be a process of elimination
Keep us in touch
 
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pagoda

Water and gremlins don't mix lol
Put your hand ontop of the slow filter and one on another and see if there's a difference, I'm just wondering if the electrical part that spines the impeller is breaking down
Certainly swap the heads ,it's going to be a process of elimination
Keep us in touch

Its driving me crazy cos after swapping heads, the head that works perfectly on its original aquarium has now slowed down on the new one.

I even took it one step further and swapped the entire filter over rather than just the head...no change, slow flow despite on its original aquarium the filter gave consistently strong flow rate

So after a frothy coffee I am going to strip down the hoses, taps, valves and pipework and redo the lot, checking for any issues there.

I admit to being at a complete loss as to why in the first 2 or 3 seconds I get full flow then immediately next to no flow at all on it...and its the same with three filters tried on that aquarium .... the original plus two from other identical hex aquariums

Its bound to be something really stupid...but for the life of me, I am well and truly stumped....
 
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richiep

Well you have the weekend, if you don't resolve it I'd drop the manufacturer a line ,cut and paste everything from this forum will save you typing it out again and you won't miss anything,
Any rubber seals you come across remove them where possible, clean, put a very thin layer of vaseline and replace, if its difficult to remove just clean and vaseline
If the old head is slowing down on the new one then the problem is in the bottom half,
 
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pagoda

That's just it......slow head on another filter and its flowing perfectly. Put that head back onto its original body and it flows miserably. Swap entire filter over from one aquarium to the troublesome one and it goes from brilliant to abysmal in seconds

Its becoming annoying now.....
 
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richiep

It's Only 6months old take it back
 
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pagoda

How old is the faulty one

The filter is about 6 months old.

Bearing in mind that 4 of the 5 aquariums are of identical manufacturer and design, the ONLY difference I can see is that the newest aquarium is on a stand that should be with a FRF777 and is a whole inch taller than the stand normally paired up with the Aquael aquarium.

Out of sheer frustration I dropped the water level by a whole inch and now the flamin' filter is powering away like there is no tomorrow

The FRF777 stand was sent due to no stock of the Aquael stand...the FRF is actually 90 quid against the Aquael at 60 quid. The only differences tween them are the 1" height and a 0.5" width difference (the FRF777 stand effectively larger due to the FRF777 aquarium being a larger hex than the Aquael)

I honestly cannot believe that an inch of height difference would cause a filter to do this nonsense....but dropping an inch off the water level seems to have cured it...for now at least
 
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richiep

Thats stupid ( not you) it should still run the same The hose is no different and the longer the hose the slower the head hight becomes
Can you raise the filter a few inches put it on a block or something
 
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pagoda

Thats stupid ( not you) it should still run the same The hose is no different and the longer the hose the slower the head hight becomes
Can you raise the filter a few inches put it on a block or something

I never trim hoses, they are exactly how they come out of the box/packet.

There are no twists or loops in the hoses and they are held in place in exactly the same way, the intake/outlet are spaced exactly the same way on all 4 hex aquariums and they are all sat in identical buckets (precaution against possible leaks) that are on the floor beside the bottom of the stands.

I tried raising the filter but it made no difference, yet dropping the water level has done...........I cannot get my head around it quite frankly.

Currently all 5 filters have identical flow...the troublesome one is one side of the bed and I have another hex at the other side. The troublesome one has one inch less water and is now flowing with the same strength as the 3 other standard Aquaels pairing with exact same filter/setup.

It is just so irritating when something like this happens for no obvious reason. Having an inch less water is not a problem, but its irritating if that is why the filters will not flow properly on the non standard aquarium stand setup.
 
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richiep

Thats strange cos lifting the filter should give it less head hight so works better
Dose it give you maximum drop or head hight in the manual
 
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pagoda

Thats strange cos lifting the filter should give it less head hight so works better
Dose it give you maximum drop or head hight in the manual

Max is 1.2m
 
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richiep

Thats about average that should be a problem
 
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pagoda

Thats about average that should be a problem

Given that everything is a whole flippin' inch taller than the other setups....I found a use for 2 of my encylopaedia collection at last. The bucket holding the filter is now a whopping 4" off the floor. Several very appropriate swear words spoken, riot act given in the strongest possible, though not exactly ladylike fashion. I dare it to squirt instead of flow.....
 
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carsonsgjs

My first thoughts were a head height issue but an inch is neither here nor there, and probably still well within what the filter is capable of. Plus, surely the filter wouldnt function correctly from the start then drop off like it has been if it was the head height - it would struggle from the off.

really sounds like your pump is getting power initially then dropping off for whatever reason.
 
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richiep

O my we are having fun lol
 
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carsonsgjs

O my we are having fun lol
Currently sat on new brighton beach trying to diagnose filter issues online - the life of a fish keeper!
 
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pagoda

Below you can see the setup on all 5 filters.....as you can see, all are absolutely identical....spot the one who is being unco-operative....

Lounge pair, hallway solo, bedroom left and pain in the bucket bedroom right....


IMG_20210605_122203_resized_20210605_122353922.jpg
IMG_20210605_122226_resized_20210605_122353648.jpg
IMG_20210605_122241_resized_20210605_122353425.jpg
IMG_20210605_122302_resized_20210605_122353122.jpg
 
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richiep

Atm they are all running ok
 
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pagoda

Atm they are all running ok

The pain in the bucket aquarium flow has lowered a little but still running albeit under duress/threat of sledgehammer. The filter in the hallway bucket is the one originally fitted to the pain in the bucket aquarium and is flowing better than Niagara Falls in the hallway aquarium.....put it back onto the pain in the bucket aquarium and it dribbles by comparison.

Tomorrow, I am going to drop the water level in the pain in the bucket aquarium by 75%, dismantle the entire hose and pipework installation, check it, swear at it, rebuild it, re-install it and see if that works. Bearing in mind the entire setup from filter to aquarium is actually brand new, well 8 days old, it might get launched from the window if it fails to produce the flow properly.

Thankfully there are only a handful of residents in there who have not been affected by the filtration issues thusfar....but are probably getting a tad peeved at the bad language from me.
 
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richiep

Why not send it back?
Or i take it you like the stress of it all lol
 
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BigManAquatics

I know in this situation i wouldn't be able to send it back. Manufacturers frown on taking returns that are in pieces after the sawz-all/hammer/explosives treatment.
 
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pagoda

I shall be dismantling the entire setup today. The filter does not appear to be the issue since it works perfectly on the other 4 aquariums when switched and swapped out. By the same token, the other 4 identical filters all slow down when on this one aquarium.

Whatever the issue is it has to be from the tap/valve end to the aquarium pipework end. The good bacteria is safe in the filter whilst I take the system down and inspect it for anything like rogue plastic from the manufacturing processes causing partial blockages inside the tap/valve sections and pipes.

So the pooter will be shut down for the best part of today whilst I take evertything apart and start from scratch. But the issue is definitely not the actual filter.....its something after the filter.

I am stubborn, I refuse to let anything get the better of me....it will be sorted one way or another. Thankfully I have alot of spares in my fish cupboard (I tend to stockpile spares on a "just incase of trouble" basis.)

It will not defeat me cos I will not let it defeat me.
 
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richiep

I'm still watching with interest
 
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pagoda

It is sorted.

Took several hours on blood, sweat, tears, swearing...but it is sorted.

Took the entire aquarium down to start from scratch, checked every single piece of plumbing on the filter hosing (there was nothing wrong with the filter itself).

The intake valve tap was not fully opening due to a moulded plastic issue...small piece of excess that had not been seen and cut off inside after it has been manufactured. Used a scalpel to cut the excess off, valve works perfectly, fully opens and we have fully flow without drop off.

Basically is was that teeny weeny piece of excess from the moulding process, stopped the valve opening fully and then catching any low flying debris and blocking the flow further still with occasionally dislodging the debris meaning that the squirting was changing to full flow during priming and initial powering up then going back to squirting as soon as the first little debris got stuck.

Alot of swearing, two cut fingers, sweat, tears when cut fingers cos it stung alot....but I got there in the end.

So moral to this is to always check for moulding errors that force issues with flow rate....
 
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richiep

Now that one is working 100% it makes the others look slow so you'd better strip the other 4 lol
 
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pagoda

Now that one is working 100% it makes the others look slow so you'd better strip the other 4 lol

Do not even go there matey.......one of the others had gone on the go-squirt overnight, checked it and the delinquent BN, Bristles, was sat on top of the strainer....said strainer was 1.5 inches off the sand yesterday and buried in the sand this morning. Just sorted that out...and read Bristles the riot act :eek:
 
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