Eheim Classic Canister Shrimp Filter Best Setup


120327050304.jpgTHE STORY OF EHEIM


Let me start by telling you what I know about Eheim, In 2004, Eheim, MP and Jäger, the three largest European brands in Aquarium products, were merged in the Eheim Aquatics Group. Each of them was a leader in their area and quality conscious which is awesome for us.

From 2012, all products and services have been managed under the brand Eheim.

Eheim was founded in 1949 by engineer Günther Eheim who started to make toys after World War Two.

By the2018-04-12 13_23_26-Interview Gunther Eheim - YouTube.png 1960s Eheimwere starting to get into the Aquarium industry developing mechanical filtration methods that revolutionized the way, we could keep Aquarium fauna such as fish.

They by then had become the leading brand in Canister filters and Aquarium Products.

Eheim Classic Canister Filters Have been around for decades and are a firm favorite in the Aquarium community and even back in the day when I was just starting to get interested in shrimp keeping these were the go-to filter at that time for many aquarium enthusiasts and shrimp keepers.

They were cheap enough and offered a build quality second to none which German engineering is renowned for, they are very easy to setup and have a decent amount of storage capacity that allows us to have a lot of surface area for bacteria to grow on.

61qTbP-w8aL._SL1500_.jpgFor us shrimp keepers the optimal setup would be a double sponge filter on the intake, The sponge acts as a mechanical and a biological filter

Check Out the sponge filter here

The reason for a double sponge one the intake and not a single sponge is that you can rinse one of the sponges out after every water change and it won’t affect the bacteria living in the other sponge.

You must also remember to seal the air intake on the sponge filter if you are going to use them on a canister filter or you risk baby shrimp being killed as water will be drawn into it by the canister through that tiny breather hole.

What I do with mine is I heat up the end of the acrylic air intake pipe with a lighter untilP4120004.JPG the plastic is soft and then I squeeze it flat with pliers like so.

Providing you protect the media in the canister by cleaning the sponges every so often you can do away with the sponge media inside the Eheim Classic Cannister filter and fill it with a more suitable filtration media that will offer more biological filtration.


The Filters themselves come with various media so make sure if you buy the larger version as an example that you prewash the bio-media provided by Eheim as it can be pretty dusty.

81OKFLbd95L._SL1500_If you buy one of the smaller filters in the range I would swap out some of the sponges for Seachem Matrix or lave rock or even ceramic rings, what we are looking for is to create an environment that has as much surface area as possible for the bacteria to colonize.

Filtration in these setups should be mechanical filtration up to biological as the water flows in the through the bottom of the canister filter and out through the top.

Optimal setup would be two Eheim canister filters or more in a row daisy-chained to each other with the outlet of one going directly into the input part of the next filter.

Why two canisters though isn’t one enough?

Yes and no, in a nutshell, different bacteria require different living condition, one type of bacteria might160707090733.jpg need oxygen-rich water near the start of the canister setup and other types of bacteria require oxygen-free areas.

These are generally the anaerobic bacteria and this is where having slow flow rates and that extra canister filter extension added on comes in handy.

Because of the nature of self-leveling siphon type filtration pumps, it is necessary that you only have one of the filters plugged in on this setup because what tends to happen is if you don’t switch one off completely, one motor will dominate the other and this can cause unneeded back pressure as they fight each other.

You will also, of course, save a little money on your electricity bill doing it this way. You can even remove the impeller in the dummy canister setup and keep it as a spare part if you wish.


I actually think a longer contact time of water to bacteria ratio is a very good thing in a shrimp aquarium filter in general, shrimp do not produce a lot of solid large waste so there is no need to have super fast flows.

There are 5 models of the Classic range for aquariums from 50 up to 1500 liters that come with various equipment.

It is wise to match you Cannister filter capacity to the size of the tank but remember as always with any aquarium slight overkill is better than not enough.

180117030135Benefits of EHEIM classic external filter

  • Millionfold tried and tested
  • Exceptional value for money
  • very quiet running
  • low energy consumption
  • long-lasting flexible silicon sealing ring in pump head (for easy and safe replacement after cleaning)
  • Can be filled with filter pads and/or loose filter media
  • Comes with spray bar, inlet pipe, hose and installation accessories
  • Versatile accessories
  • 5 models: 50-150, 80-250, 120-350, 180-600, 300-1500 l.

The Classic comes in 5 different sizes which I will link below for you to check out, there are also tank size recommendation next to it in liters for your reference.

2211 50-150L
2213 80-250L
2215 120-350L
2217 180-600L
2260 300-1500L

One other thing I highly recommend is you check and make sure that your canister 41nxrGtk25Lfilters come with the Eheim quick disconnects, you can disconnect and connect the hoses safely, cleanly and without water flowing back and creating a mess everywhere.

I think these are a must because they make canister filter maintenance hassle free and you don’t have to start that siphon again because the water stays in the pipe when you close the tap when you are finished with your maintenance just connect it all back up and open the taps and switch on the pump.

Also, I think it is worth mentioning that if you have problems pushing on the Eheim Hose41H+nW1WUZLYou can put the end of it in boiling water for 30 seconds, this will make the hose soft and pliable and easy to push on, just be careful not to burn yourself!

The Eheim Classic filters are super silent, and in my experience, there are two types of noises made by the Eheim Classic that indicate a potential problem.

1. Gurgling Water Rushing sounds

This indicates the presence of air getting into the system.

You can deal with this short-term by turning the pump upside down which will force all of the air out of the system, you then must find out why it’s doing this, a common cause is having an airstone to close to the intake.

Another cause is if you closed the canister filter and the O ring was dry, this can let air be drawn in, a way around this is to lightly coat the O ring with vaseline or just make sure its wet when its closed so you trap some moisture in there.

2. Rattling 

2a. Same as above, this is caused when the impeller doesn’t get enough water, this can be for a few reasons.

The number 1 reason is airlocks, simple turn the pump upside down let the air drain out and find out why it’s drawing in air.

2b. The impeller has lost a blade or is broken in another way

2c. The impeller shaft is worn or broken.

2d The impeller bushing has worn down.

2018-04-12 14_02_03-eheim classic - Google Search.pngAnother common problem not related to noise is leaking at the 45-degree bend where the water comes in.

This is normally caused by the joint not being tightened up enough after shipping, turn it clockwise until its hand tight and facing up the way if it continues to leak you can try a small amount of vaseline on the thread or something like Teflon tape (plumbers tape) to do the same thing.

You can buy all replacement parts for all Eheim Classic filters pretty easily which is a huge plus for us, this ensures your Eheim filter lasts for many many years.

General Maintenance 
Turn off the power and close all valves, to get into the canister unclip all the clips and pull up the tab located on the front while gripping the canister case with your thighs.

Cleaning Pipes
Use a pipe cleaner brush to clean out the inlets/outlets, I do this every 6 months I know people that never do this but I see a huge difference in flow rates when the pipes are cleaned.

Degunk The Impeller Housing

The best tool I find for doing this is a small child’s toothbrush, Remove the impeller and the shaft and the bushings ,watch that you don’t lose these as they are pretty small, get the toothbrush in there and give it a good clean, this is an every 6 months type deal and you will be surprised how much gunk builds up.

Water Changes 

Rinse out the sponges the same way you would any other filter medium, if your filter is set up properly you should never have to rinse of the biological media that sits in the canister filter at all because the sponge prefilter should be protecting them.
Use only aged water and dechlorinate when you have to if you are using tap water.





















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