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Fluval 304 Breaking Down?


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Starting around maybe 2 weeks ago, I noticed the output for my filter wasn't as high as it normally is. I assumed the impeller was possibly clogged so I cleaned it along with the filter media. This didn't fix the issue and now when I leave the filter unplugged for long amounts of time, like when I do water changes, it takes the filter a few seconds to actually turn on after plugging it in. I got this filter used so I don't know how old it actually is, but nothing seems broken from what I can see. I'm not too worried because I just bought an aquaclear 110, but I can't set it up until I can get a hole put in my canopy for it to sit in which might take awhile. I started to think maybe it's an electrical issue?? I use a power bar that includes 7 outlets and all are being used. Theres no other outlet I could try plugging the filter in to test this though because it wont reach anywhere else. Other than doing more frequent water changes I don't know if theres really anything I can to fix the filter.

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To test whether or not it's an electrical issue I would unplug your lights or other filter you have plugged into the power strip and plug in your canister by itself into a different socket on the power strip. If the filter still doesn't work, that would rule out the electrical problem if one is present. Additionally, you could try to check for any clogging in the hoses/inlet strainer/outlet strainer.

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I know it sounds obvious!! but have you checked the plug?

if it is stretched it may have a loose wire!!:-\

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The wire is relaxed and looks fine, no sign of anything wrong there. I unplugged everything and tried different plugs in the power bar. Nothing changed. The tubes as well as the inlet and outlet strainer are clean. Thanks for all the suggestions, I will keep playing with it and if nothing changes I guess I will have to accept that it's lived its life lol. If I do get rid of it, what would be a good replacement? I like the price of Aquaclears, but I like to have a lot of filter media. Any good budget friendly canisters?

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Are you looking for a canister or an HOB? (Gosh darn it, I never know whether to say "an HOB" or "a HOB"!)



Also, has there been any new media added? Doing so can decrease flow through the filter....

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I added new media in December and I noticed the slowing in flow 2 weeks ago, so I don't think that's it. I had also not messed with the filter for a good while before either. I'd probably want to look for a canister. I like the idea of having a canister with a good HOB. My setup is a 75 gallon with 2 single tails. In a few days I will have an aquaclear 110 running on the tank along with the Fluval 304

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Is the ceramic rod inside the impeller broken, by chance? I've had to replace my impeller on my eheim canister in the past. You can get a replacement impeller and/or shaft. There are two types for your model as it was redesigned at some point. Also, as a first step, try soaking the impeller and inside of the impeller chamber with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water for about 20 minutes and then wipe to get off any additional gunk. (And then rinse well before starting everything up again/connection back to the tank.) I had issues with a pump that stopped. After getting a new impeller and wiping it out, it ran again, but not smoothly--and the vinegar/water solution solved the problem.

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It almost sounds like the pumphead is getting tired... The 04 series is 2 updates old at this point. If the problem turns out to the the pump/motor itself, then it probably wouldn't be cost effective to fix. If I were you I'd start researching and looking at new filters :-)

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I know that one member, Mikey, has had a lot of success with the infamous eBay Sunsun canister filter. I don't think you can utilize the PM system yet... Do you want me to give him a link to this thread so he can tell you about it? I know that he likes it a lot. His does 525GPH, has a UV sterilizer, and only costs $100. It's a very good value.

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Wow, yea Justin that would be great! The impeller and everything is fine. I'm thinking maybe it is the pumphead. I think that makes the most sense, since everything I can see appears fine. I would defiantly like to check out the Sunsun canister filter.

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I was looking on Big Al's site at canister filters and I found this http://www.bigalspets.com/external-canister-filter-cf-300.html

It looks exactly like the Sunsun, at the same price, but with a different name. If I don't want to order off Ebay, what do you think of this? I think the only thing is that it doesn't come with an UV sterilizer.

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Yup, that's it. It's actually 94.99 on eBay, and for 104.99 it comes with media. Free, fast shipping, too. You also get the sterilizer. It's exactly the same brand. Sunsun and Aquatop are the same manufacturer, actually. I've asked Mikey if he could come over here to tell us about it.

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Hello :hi it does sound like the pump is going bad if the impeller is good, all the blades there, and clean and the motor is clean. But another possibility could be, are your intake/outtake tubes clogged?

Like Justin said, I do have the SunSun 525gph. After I got the canister head replaced, I absolutely love it. It holds TONS of media. I like the uv, but I think the water goes past it too quickly to do much of anything except clear the water a tiny bit. :idont

Edited by Mikey
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Wow sounds great, thanks Mikey. What seller should I buy from??

I ordered from cl_petsupplie? It's something like that. But like I said, check the tubes, they can be clogged. And that would definitely reduce your flow. Also clean the sponges in tank water. My canister flow has reduced because I need to clean them.
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Put the cleaning wand in and swirl around where the impeller goes :)

Also, did you clean all of the elbows too? Mine wasn't flowing right and I did that and bam! It worked like new.

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Do what you think is best :) I have the SunSun as you know. And I still love it. But don't forget to clean the elbows and tubing and all it else you will get flow reduction.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

What did you decide to do Balaylee? I know they cost a bit more, but I vote for an eheim cannister. I have 3 eheim canister filters, different sizes. They are extremely well built, efficient, super quiet, long lasting, and have tons of space for media. Well, maybe not 'TONS' (lol) Well worth the extra $. good luck.

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