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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I started the hobby last year in October. My expertise is still lacking in comparison to many others at this forum. However, I'm going to try my best and give a review on this new toy.:p
I decided to purchase the new Fluval 106 canister filter from King Eds, and I can't help but notice the lack of reviews on the 106,206, or the '6 models. I have no other canister filters to compare it with, and other than the fact that this is my first canister filter. I will only be offering my own opinions, hence the title of this review.
Topics to be covered:
Overview of the "improved" claims
Aesthetics
Conclusion

From their site:
Fluval 106 Canister Filter delivers many practical benefits - including better filtration, less maintenance frequency, faster setup, and quieter operation - all designed to make fish keeping more enjoyable. Building on the success of Fluval 05 Series filters, this filter provides enhanced functionality and filtration performance that creates the cleanest, healthiest aquariums ever.

Key features include:

- Improved motor hydraulic performance that reduces maintenance frequency, increases flow rates and head pressure
The water flow and pressure appears to be constant, I base this on the observation of the flow of my CO2 bubbles, and the overall movement of my plants. The 106 model is supposed to be for 25 US gallons, and having it on full in my 20 gal is uprooting my background stem plants (rotundus rotundifolia). I have turned it down to medium as my cardinals don't particularly like the strong current. I imagine it can go up to 30 gal longs and 35-40 standard.

- Enhanced water filtration performance for cleaner, healthier water
The overall clarity of my water has not changed, it is still a bit hazy from before with an aquaclear 50 HOB (with an rena microfiltration pad add-on). Furthermore, the medias offered by the stock portion of the (biological phase, and carbon part) is only a bit bigger than the stock ones from aquaclear 50. It indicates better mechanical filtration but I'm not entirely sure about the chemical and biological portion of it. The space within each compartment leaves room for a second media content which I might consider adding 25% more of activated carbon and those white things for beneficial bacterial growth.
- Better biological filtration, with the addition of Bio-Foam media
Mentioned already
- Sound-dampening impeller design for 8 to 15% quieter operation
It is really quiet, it is almost as quiet as the aquaclear 50, where the sound of your breath can drown it out - well not quite. Haha
- Redesigned impeller cover that's less prone to breakage
I took a look at the impeller cover, it is patented with a rubber like material (might be rubber actually). I hope the cover will be effective if the ball that came with the in-take pipe is not enough to block out bigger debris.Though it mainly serves as a check valve to prevent backflow during cleaning/maintenance.

- Re-engineered efficient priming system for easier starting
This is true, it was really really easy. As easy as pouring water into the aquaclear to prime. I just pumped it a few times and it started to prime.
- Stronger lift-lock clamps for more secure closure
Pretty strong, my friend had a fluval 204, and his was very simple, the new clamps are pretty decent.

- Hose lock nuts improves security
The hose lock nuts fits snuggly onto the pipes during assembly, I am able to just hold onto the pipes in midair without any spills.


Aesthetics
Overall the Fluval 106 looks pretty sexy. I really like the black and red scheme; it goes well with a framed tank. The intake and outtake heads are opaque, I personally feel that a transparent look would suit it better, might think about getting some glass ones. :cool:

Conclusion
I really liked assembling this canister filter. A lot of people have said the water flow and the overall maintenance of this filter falls below eheim's and Rena's. The claim from one website (I forgot where) says it is a combination of the two brands. I find that the 106 series can generate water flow more than it's proclaimed (for 25 Gals), the water flow was more than enough for my 20 gal. I chose the 106 over the other two brands for its performance. The Eheim and Xp3s were also on sale and were actually cheaper than this guy, but I really wanted to see if the 106 series have improved. What ultimately led me to finally purchase this product are the mechanical filtration part (compact and effective), the ease of changing the medias, and the aquastop feature (which allows "one to stop water flow without disconnecting hose, which eliminates leaks and messes"). The mechanical filtration allows water to flow on the dorsal (not sure if this is the right word to use here) side of the sponge, I think it forces the water through more fibers than the other ones. If anything I have the rena microfiltration sponge in there as well, I kind of liked the part of microfiltration - just sounds good. Finally, a really great product, I just hope it won't die on me anytime soon.

I'll keep updates when I get more filtermedia, and will post if any problems occur. Might do some videos when I clean my tank some more, kind of messy.:eek:
 

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AdobeOtocat,

Great review,thanks for taking the time to do one.Did a few back in the day for a lighting unit and something else i cant recall.These should become a sticky in the equipment section, lots of people can use the information,pictures to make a decision easier.This could also apply to the other sections on the forum as well.It obvious the moderators and administrative guys here will have the last say.Its been done on other sites,and used frequently.
 

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Nice review and nice toes :) 4 series was a nice colour change from the dull grey colour. This new series indeed looks great. I always like the Fluval. One exception is the rim of their canister could be easily damaged. Not sure if they have improved it.

One note though regarding the intake ball blocking derbis. The fastest way to kill a pump is to suffocate it; i.e block its intake. As you mentioned, I think its real function is a check valve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I still need to shoot a video because i actually put in more filter media and the output is still going strong in my pretty heavily planted 20 gal long. A forum member mentioned the weak flow for the fluval series but the 06' series might be different.

Did not notice my toes in the picture :(. Haha.

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Tapatalk
 

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I have a Fluval 205 on my 36 bowfront (with an Aquaclear 70) and I love it. Based on my experience with that canister and your review, I would definitely try another Fluval.
What size tanks are the 106 canisters for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The 106 are for 25 gallon tanks, and mine is a 20 gal long tank. I finally had the time to upload the video I took of the filter in action. I have removed the extra bio and carbon filter things, because it obstructed the water flow to an unlikeable extent. I also found it to be unnecessary. It does however, have 2 pieces of rena's super microfiltratrion pads in two of the compartments and a huge piece of filter floss. My water quality is now crystal clear, had to use the AP product + filter floss to get rid of the murk. I also have the 106 attached to the fluval surface skimmer. Settings are on full in the video, I have it on medium right now with complete surface agitation. Downfall is the attachment of the skimmer, since air gets into the skimmer in small amounts, the filter will prime for a second to get rid of the bubbles (I think once every 1 or 2 hours? sometimes there is none, I still have to figure this out and decide if I should remove the skimmer..)

MVI_0142.MOV - YouTube
 

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When you disconnect the filter for cleaning, that's the test. I hate my 204 (as I told you) for that reason. The suction on the taps are impossible to break and I always end up frustrated by the time I get it off, and it's not like I'm exactly gentle with it. Other than that, the filter has not been bad. But I can get my Eheims clean (even the 2078) in about 10 minutes, whereas even the 204 (thanks to the taps) takes me 15 - 20 minutes. And the FX5, over a half hour. Please do an update as you use it to see if the changes have address the tap issue. If so, then it's actually a good little canister (except the rib hoses, still hate those, but they're easily changed).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok so its been almost a whole year since I got this unit. I replaced the o ring just yesterday. I used vaseline every two - three months. The 105 o ring is compatible with the 106. Very snug. The threaded tubes kink and collects a lot of mulm a lot faster than clear tubings. Plus side is that there will be no algae growth in the tubes since its dark. Im planning to use clear tubings. The flow reduces noticeably in two months but still strong for a 30" length foot print. I max the flow during the second month and clean it when it reaches the third.
Overall.
The pros:
-Quiet, silent.
-strong flow for a 30" length tank. Cleaned once every two boths with heavy bioload (18 fish & 30+ shrimps)
-the intake can be attatched to a fluval surface skimmer by using the tubes and cutting some stuff.
Cons:
-not sleek. The intake and outake parts are still chunky and ugly.
- no spray bar. It will be nice to have a spray bar so wider surface agitation.

Last words, though the body and design can clean the tank extremely well with such a compact body. It is still harder to clean than other canister filters. I like the unit because it uses o rings over gaskets. So i dont have to replace the gasket when sh*t happens. Would like to try some eheim filters for sure. But this is by far a very good canister filter for smaller tanks.

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Tapatalk 2
 

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A new O-ring after one years seems very short life. Good thing it is cheap and easy to get - not like the Eheim which is expensive and nowhere to be found in town.

I stopped using vaseline as it is a petroleum byproduct. I am not sure if that mixes with rubber too well. For it worth I use plumbers silicon from HomeDepot. $5 for a tiny container but it seems to last forever. It is good for fixing plumbing fixture as well.

I used to run all Fluval (now all Eheims and always have an old one around for spare parts). The Fluval is not a bad filter as all especially for the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think I might have accidently torn the o ring when I was applying the vaseline this time. You are right, ron was extremely surprised at me asking for an o ring for the 106 especially when theyre suppose to last for more than a couple of years. I will try using plumbers silicon now. Thank you. Yes it is a pretty good filter for its price for sure. Also suitable for my small tank :). Im wondering if the flow rate can be toned down for any eheim canisters so it wont up root my plants in my 20 gal long?

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Flow rates on the classics can be reduced by the double tap valves. But I suspect you want the same flow rate, but lower velocity. I got an Eheim 2213 on my 20 gallon and I find the flow rate fiind. When I had it in the 15 gallon breeder I just drilled out the holes in the spray bar so they were bigger. Same flow, less velocity. Both tanks are/were planted.
 

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Eheim seems to produce less flow for a similar sized canister - hence quieter ;)
You can pretty well adjust the flow down any canister filter I think.
If they don't come with an adjustment, just add a valve at the output side. Never restrict the intake side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
So I got a little tired of cleaning the ribbed hoses. So I switched it! It turns out the 106 is compatible with 3/4" hosing and a little chipping off the edges so itll fit into the brace, we've got a whole new hybrid!

Heck, I even attached a 9W UV from my reef tank (the reef didn't need it) :p
 

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ORIGINAL FORUM GANGSTER
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1/2 hrs to clean fx5 why i disconect empty clean sponges and done probley 5-10 min
 
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