Congratulations, if you have just purchased one of the best filters around.
At least this help sheet assumes that you did or will. You can put any
filter media into the Eheim that suits your needs, but few will
surpass the quality of the Eheim media. This sheet will help you
get your new canister up and running in no time. This help sheet covers
the Classic Canister (the cylindrical one). So, if you're ready...
The Classic Canister (2211,2213, 2215,
2217, 2250, 2260)
Okay, you've opened the box and scrutinized the filter,
now it's time to put it together. Grab the instruction
sheet (it looks kind of like a folded roadmap) and check the
parts list to make sure that everything is there. You may
have to thumb through it a bit to find the English instructions
but they're in there. The instructions are very clear
on assembling the filter so I won't repeat it here. There
are a couple of tips I can share with you that are not included
in the instructions.
||% of Filter Volume
- You first want to cut about three inches off of each size
of tubing (if you have only one size of tubing, cut off
two pieces the same size). These are the pieces that you'll
connect to stem on the top of the filter and the stem protruding
from the lower side.
- Next, connect your double tap connectors to the hose pieces
you just attached so that the valve handles point in different
directions (one pointing up and one down). In the future,
this will allow you easily reconnect the right hose to the
right valve after you have disconnected it.
- With the double tap valves connected, attach the hoses
to the other end of the valves (Don't cut the hoses
just yet. If you have one long hose don't cut it in
half to make two hoses, just attach both ends to the connectors
- Assemble the intake tube and strainer as the instructions
say and place it where you want it on the aquarium. Do the
same with the spray bar assembly. (Most European aquariums
are 15 inches from front to back, so the spray bar will
be too long if your aquarium is 12". No problem. Use
a hacksaw or sharp bread knife to cut the spray bar to the
size you need. Don't cut the end with the cap in it.
The spray bar can run along the left or right side (pointing
to the front of the tank). You can run the spray bar along
the back wall of the tank but this will make the return
pipe visible from the front.
- Once the spray bar assembly and the intake assembly are
in place, you can cut the hoses to the right length. The
tubing should be just short enough not to sag, and just
long enough to allow you to be able to pull the filter out
a little ways or move it from side to side a bit in the
cabinet. When you connect the hoses to the intake and spray
bar assemblies make sure to give yourself an extra inch
or two to allow for the connection.
Now you're ready for the filter media.
Eheim recommends running the filter with floss and
carbon for the first two weeks of a new aquarium to purify
the water. This is a good idea, but optional. I'll leave
that decision up to you.
Your media kit should include EhfiMech,
EhfiFix, EhfiSubstrat, and EhfiSynth.
Now you need to know how much of each filter media to use.
If you don't like math there is a sticker inside the
filter's box that you can affix to the side of the canister
that shows you how far to fill with each filter media. If
you do like math, keep reading. You calculate the media's
proportion based on the filter's volume. It's not
as hard as it sounds, just look at the charts below. *Remember
to rinse out the EhfiMech and EhfiSubstrat before
adding it to the filter. A spaghetti strainer or colander
works nicely. Just rinse enough to get the dust off.
For example, let's say that you have
the Eheim 2213 Filter. It's filter volume is 3
liters. EhfiMech goes in first and it should occupy
15% of the filter. 0.15 x 3 = 0.45 liter. The EhfiMech
box holds 0.7 liter, therefore you need to use a little more
than half of the box. EhfiFix should occupy the next
20%. 0.20 x 3 = 0.60 liter. But, wait a minute, the box of
EhfiFix says 35 grams. You don't have to convert
grams to liters or any thing like that. The box is the same
size as the 0.7-liter box so it's safe to assume that
it fills the same volume. Therefore, 0.6 liter is all but
a little bit of it. So, tear a chunk off and save it - the
rest goes in the filter. The amounts do not have to be that
exact. Next is EhfiSubstrat at 55%. 0.55 x 3 = 1.65
liters. The box of EhfiSubstrat is 0.7 liter too. (Unless,
you got the big 2.0 liter box.) Two boxes is 1.4 liters and
that's good enough. Add two boxes. Lastly, EhfiSynth
is 10% of filter volume. 0.10 x 3 = 0.30 liter. Just like
EhfiFix, the box is the same size as a 0.7 liter box. So,
tear off less than half and put it on top of the other media
inside the filter. Save the rest.
Now, follow the instructions on starting
the siphon. When the filter is full of water, plug it in.
For previous Fluval users, notice that the Eheim
is a "no-burping-required" filter.
Meanwhile, three months later...
This may be a good point to take a look at your Eheim
filter and see if everything's okay. If the water flow
is still strong, you may want to wait and check it next month.
If you would feel better knowing that you'd done something
to help with the maintenance, maybe now would be a good time
to give the filter a rinse. You don't have to take the
filter apart and empty its contents. Here's the quick
and easy way to give it a rinse.
Call this the First Half Maintenance.
- Unplug the filter and shut off all of the valves.
- Now, disconnect the valves and take the filter to the
- Grab a bucket and set it in the sink. Place the filter
on the counter so that the lower valve-stem hangs over the
bucket at the edge of the sink.
- Turn the lower valve stem counter-clockwise and point
it down into the bucket.
- Open both valves and empty the filter's water into
- Now, close the bottom valve. Then, undo the clips and
lift off the lid and set it aside on a towel for now.
- Take the bucket of filter water out of the sink, leaving
the valve stem pointed into the sink, open the bottom valve
again, and slowly pour the water into the top of the canister.
The water will come three times dirtier than the first time.
This is because you are back-flushing the filter media -
sending the water in the opposite direction that it normally
- When the filter has emptied, close the bottom valve again
and turn it clock-wise back up.
- Now, is a good time to check the top layer of filtering
media (it's right there), EhfiSynth, and see
if it might need replacing. Also, it's a good time
to pull out the instructions and follow the procedure for
cleaning the impeller. You kept your instructions, didn't
- Wet the O-Ring, and slide it over the bottom of the lid
and press down.
- When you're done, take the filter back, hook up the
double taps, open the bottom valves first and then the top
valves. The filter should fill up again on its own (no need
to start the siphon manually). When it's full, plug
it in. You're done.
Meanwhile, three more months later...
By now it's time to change out about one-half to two-thirds
of the EhfiSubstrat biological filter media. EhfiSubstrat
is made of sintered glass beads which makes it very porous,
providing excellent surface area (18,335 sq. ft. / U.S. gallon)
for nitrifying bacteria to thrive. The bacteria adhere to
the glass better than any plastic or ceramic media. All this
is why EhfiSubstrat is just about the best biological
filter media on the market. However, even this will clog-up
over time and need to be replaced. You only change out part
of it so that the old media will seed the new media with bacteria
without subjecting the fish to another cycle. The easiest
way to do the change-out is as follows:
Call this The Second Half Maintenance.
- Unplug the filter, close all the valves, and disconnect
- Drain the filter as you did for the quick maintenance
above. (Leave out the bucket this time and let the water
go down the drain.)
- When it's empty, remove the lid and set it aside
with the O-Ring. Now, lay out an old bath towel on the kitchen
- Remove the EhfiSynth media (It will more than likely
need to be replaced.) from the filter. Now, you want to
pour the media slowly out of the canister into a row on
the towel. The row should be in segments of EhfiSubstrat,
a wad of EhfiFix, and EhfiMech.
- While the canister is empty, it's a good time to
rinse it out thoroughly in the sink with tap water. Do
not use any chemical cleaners! Do not run it in the dishwasher!
- Set the canister upside down over the towel for a bit
while you rinse out the EhfiMech (ceramic rings)
just like you did when you first set up the filter. Afterwards,
go ahead and put the EhfiMech back into the canister.
- Thoroughly rinse out the EhfiFix (green stuff or blue pad) in the sink and place it back into the filter.
- Since you're rinsing stuff, why not rinse out the
new EhfiSubstrat. Remember that this should be enough
to replace ˝ to 2/3 of the original EhfiSubstrat.
- Now remove ˝ to 2/3 of the old EhfiSubstrat pile and throw it away (Ed. note: you can also boil the ehfisubstrat in water, with a splash of bleach if you want it to get nice and white again, dry and save for future use). Mix the remaining media with the new and place it into the filter.
- Put your EhfiSynth (white, cotton stuff or pad) on top.
- Now is a good time to clean the impeller.
- Wet the O-Ring, and slide it over the bottom of the lid
and press down. Lock the clips into place, and reconnect
the filter as you did before. The siphon should start by
itself after you open the bottom valves and then the top
valves. When it's full, plug it in.
- Once it's running again, give it a pat on the pump-head
and say "See you in three months."
Three months from this point, repeat "The First Half
Maintenance" - the back flush of filter media. And three
months after that repeat "The Second Half Maintenance"
- EhfiSubstrat replacement. Notice that you've
only replaced EhfiSubstrat and EhfiSynth. You
don't have to replace EhfiFix or EhfiMech
until they are completely worn out. Just rinse and reuse.
You may, at some point during the year, use some carbon for
some reason or another. If you need to, place it in a convenient
spot in the filter. For example, you could exchange the EhfiSynth
on top with it. Just remember that it doesn't take long
for the carbon to achieve the desired effect. So don't
leave it in too long. A couple of days to a week should suffice.
If it doesn't, then you need to have a look at your other
maintenance practices. For example, are you overfeeding the
fish (very easy to do and the leading cause of fish death!)?
Are you doing regular partial water changes. 25% every two
weeks (recommended) or 50% every four weeks (that could be
pushing it). Upkeep on these two factors alone may
eliminate the need for carbon at all.
After the first year, you should check and
see just how much it cost you to run your Eheim Filter.
Then, compare that with what it would cost to run other types
of filters. I think you be surprised at how much you saved
in time and money.
Copyright©1998,True Aquarium Plants
Reprinted by permission