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FishChannel Product Reviews: Aquarium Filters and Protein Skimmers

Every product in FishChannel’s product review section is tested by freshwater and marine/reef enthusiasts.

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KollerCraft Rapids Pro RP90 Aquarium Filter Review

KollerCraft Rapids Pro RP90 Aquarium Filter Review

The KollerCraft Rapids Pro RP90 Filter with UV Sterilizer is an all-in-one solution for those who want chemical, biological and mechanical filtration combined with UV sterilization capabilities but don't have the space or don't want several different components hanging off the back of your aquarium. More>> 

Rolf C. Hagen, Inc. Fluval 206 Canister Filter Review

Fluval 206 Canister Filter

The Fluval 206 Canister filter offers three modes of filtration: biological, chemical and mechanical. It also features Fluval's Aqua-Stop anti-leak system as well as ribbed hosing for no kink hose issues. More>>

Rolf C. Hagen, Inc. Fluval Pond Filter with UV Review

Fluval Pond Filter

The Claims
Hagen claims that the Fluval Pond Filter will do an excellent filtering job and that with the built-in UV, algae and other pollutants in the water column will be eliminated.

The Tests
I tested the Fluval Pond Filter in three different situations.

  1. A 120-gallon aquarium with four large koi fish that was completely green from algae
  2. My 300-gallon indoor pond that has koi and goldfish
  3. My 2,500- to 3,000-gallon outside pond that also has koi and goldfish

All three of these situations were excellent tests of a typical less-than-perfect situation. More>>


Hagen Fluval G Filters Review

Fluval G Filter

The Claims
The claims that Hagen makes for the Fluval G Filters are best summed up in some of the advertising blurbs from Hagen and from dealers. These include "the future of filtration," "where design meets innovation" and "so revolutionary it is destined to change the way filters are designed."

The Tests
To test the Hagen Fluval G Filters, I used the G3 (the smaller of the two) on a 29-gallon planted aquarium, and the G6 on a 50-gallon marine FOWLR (fish only with live rock) aquarium. More>>


 Aquatic Life, LLC Internal Mini Protein Skimmer 115  

Aquatic Life Protein Skimmer

The Claims
AquaticLife claims that their Internal Mini Protein Skimmer will effectively remove organics from marine aquariums up to 30 gallons, and that it will do so quietly and without taking up much aquarium space.

The Tests
I tested the AquaticLife Mini Skimmer on a 29-gallon aquarium that had my seasoned veteran group of aquarium-raised common clownfish, gobies and an orchid dottyback that have been the test subjects in a number of reviews I have done for this column. More>> 


Lifereef Sump and Filter Review


The Lifereef Sump and Filter is a well-designed and custom-crafted combination of a sump and filter and protein skimmer within the sump. This compact package provides excellent filtration and skimming, as well as options for chemical filtration.

The Claims
Lifereef claims that its Lifereef Sump and Filter is simple, complete and efficient filtration for a marine aquarium.

The Test
Lifereef specifically designed the sump and filter that I tested for my application (they will do the same for you). I had three 40-gallon breeder tanks overflowing to the Lifereef Sump and Filter. More>> 


Aquatic Life, LLC 100 GPD Deluxe RO Filter  

Aquatic Life Reverse Osmosis filter

Aquatic Life claims that this RO filter will remove harmful substances, such as heavy metal ions and total dissolved solids, from tap water.

The Aquatic Life RO unit was easy to install, and I had it up and running in a few minutes. I took readings for total alkalinity and total hard-ness using test strips on the tap water and then on the reverse osmosis product water. More>>


 Aquatop CF-500UV Canister Filter with UV

Canister filter

The Claims
Aquatop claims that the CF-500UV Canister Filter filters 525 gallons per hour and that it can be used for aquariums ranging from 70 to 100 gallons.

The Test
I tested the CF-500UV on a 300-gallon planted tank that hadn't really been cleaned in a while. It had a great deal of mulm on the substrate, and in the sump, and the filter bags on the return were also dirty. More>>


EverCleanAqua EverClean Filter

 EverClean Filter

The Claims
EverCleanAqua claims that its EverClean Filter is different from typical undergravel filters, in that it does not allow for any buildup of detritus either in the substrate or under the filter plate since water is pumped in and drawn out of that space. Using the EverClean Filter will result in a clean aquarium that is biologically balanced.

The Test
I installed the EverClean Filter on a new 50-gallon marine aquarium. In addition to marine substrate, I added live rock, and ran a protein skimmer and LED lighting. More>>


Hydor Slim Skim Nano Internal Protein Skimmer

hydor slim skim nano

The Hydor Slim Skim Nano Internal Protein Skimmer is an excellent, efficient compact protein skimmer for use in small marine tanks. It takes up very little tank space, as it is only 12 inches tall with a 3-inch-by-3.5-inch footprint; there is also a slightly bigger model, which is 17.5 inches tall.

The Claims
Hydor claims that the Slim Skim Nano is compact, easy to install and position, and that it will efficiently provide protein skimming for small marine tanks. Hydor also claims that it is easy to adjust and consumes little power.

The Test
I set up a 20-gallon high with water from an existing tank, live rock from that same tank and the Hydor Slim Skim Nano as the only filtration. More>>


AquaMaxx AquaMaxx Hang on Back (HOB) Protein Skimmer


The AquaMaxx Hang On Back (HOB) Protein Skimmer is a well-thought-out and well-designed addition to established protein skimmer technology. The improvements that AquaMaxx has made to the existing skimmer design result in an excellent new product.

The Claims
AquaMaxx claims that the new HOB Protein Skimmer is easy to install, silent in operation and will improve water quality, removing protein and other waste products from the tank better than other skimmers.

The Test
I installed the AquaMaxx HOB Protein Skimmer on an existing 50-gallon marine tank that has a new undergravel filter that I am testing. The tank has mainly soft corals and large polyp stony corals, three clownfish, a neon dottyback, snails and hermit crabs. More>>

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