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800-833-7000 or visit our website at www.aquariumfish,CDm in the fish rOOm Review and Photo by David Lass

Because I have many large tanks (100 gallons and larger) I'm always interested in high-powered filtration. Luckily, I had an excellent opportunity to test the Hagen Fluval FX5, which is rated by the manufacturer at 563 gallons per hour.

The Test

To give the Fluval FX5 a real acid test, I decided to put it on one of my most crowded tanks. I have a 120-gal-lon aquarium that houses 12 wild adult Geophagus jurupari, 20 or so of my tank-raised Sturisoma aureum, each about 6 inches long now, and a bunch of cory cats and small loaches.

To keep this tank reasonably clean I have two outside hanging canister filters, each rated at 250 gallons per hour, and two inside box filters with floss and carbon. Each of the outside canisters usually have to be changed every two S three days, as the G.juru-pari are continuously sifting the gravel, which makes clouds of dust.

With all of these large fish there is a lot of waste being produced in the tank. I removed the two outside canister filters and replaced them with a single Hagen Fluval FX5, with the only media being some carbon. Each of the Fluval's three media baskets is surrounded by a sponge filter. It was not until the sixth day that I chose to clean the filter, and the flow rate was still very good.

After seeing how well the FX5 worked on the Geophagus tank, I decided to use it on the tank I find most difficult to keep clean. This is a 250-gallon "D" tank (a display tank in the shape of a "D" if you look down on it, where the only glass is the straight front of the "D") that has 12 koi,

¿Sa a 1 tan iste sin ranging in size from 6 inches to more than 12 inches. I've never been able to keep this tank's water clear, even using two outside canister filters, one on the tank itself and another on the 40-gallon sump, and a filter bag where the water returns from the tank into the sump.

I even have gone as far as to put two large box filters with floss and carbon in the sump, and the water was still not clear — koi are just plain ^^^^^^^ messy fish. I took all of the other filters off the tank and put the Fluval FX5 on, adjusting the intake hose so it went close to the bottom of the tank and returned the water on the opposite side of the tank. In two days the tank water became crystal clear. It is going on a week now and the return flow has not diminished at all, so I have yet to feel the need to clean the filter.

Product Lowdown

The Fluval FX5 is one of the best designed outside canister filters I have ever used. There are very few parts, and it is obvious what each one does. The instructions are straightforward, and assembling the filter is simple. What I particularly liked about the FX5 is that it is virtually impossible to put it together incorrectly. The intake and outflow hoses to and from the tank are especially well designed. A single rim connector clips securely to the side of the tank wherever you want the hoses to be. The hoses, which are nice and wide, fit directly over the clip that is already attached, and they are then attached to the clips with three simple clips.

To remove, reposition or otherwise work with the intake and outflow hoses is easy and simple. You can direct the return flow in any direction using the two output nozzles, and the depth of the intake assembly can eas

ily be changed as required. A single Aquastop valve is used to connect each hose to the top of the filter. The Aquastop valve has an integral flow control so you can shut it off for cleaning with one twist, and then remove the top and the hoses with no water spillage. The top of the canister is secured by a number of hand-tightened bolts, which also are simple to use. There is a purge valve and drain assembly at the bottom of the canister, which makes draining it for cleaning very simple. Another good feature of this filter is that it has a cycle every 24 hours where the pump shuts down for an hour to allow the air to purge from the system.

The Fluval FX5 is an excellent canister filter. In addition to doing an absolutely terrific job of filtration, it is simple to clean and impossible to assemble incorrectly. I strongly recommend it for heavy duty filtration on any larger aquarium. U

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