Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Eheim 2213 Review

I recently realized I've never done a formal review for my Eheim 2213. I've had the filter for almost a year now and feel like I've gotten to know all of its quirks. The Eheim 2213 is the smallest of the Classic canister filter line made by Eheim, and although they claim it can handle aquariums up to 66 gallons, it wasn't enough for my 29 gallon aquarium.

First, I'll start out with the facts. The 2213 pumps up t
o 116gph and has complete three stage filtration. It comes with all the filter media including EHFIMECH mechanical filtration media, EHFISUBSTRAT PRO biological media, and coarse, fine, and carbon pads. It also comes with all tubing and, the best feature, double disconnect valves. These valves work great and make up for the fact that the Eheim 2213 has no auto-start feature (more on this later). Everything is high quality and you can tell a lot of thought and design went into each piece, which is typical Eheim style.

Setting up the filter is fairly easy, although the instruction manual is not very helpful. Pictures and intuition are paramount and whatever you do, don't cut the tubing before you're absolutely sure it'll reach where you want it to go! The Eheim 2213 is different from the larger 2217 in that inside the canister it has a media basket. All the media is place
d inside instead of just being dumped into the canister in layers. However, the benefits of this are few and far between and I think the designers should have put some more thought into the way the top of the basket twists on. When you go to clean the filter out, trying to twist on or off a slippery, dirty, slimy piece of plastic with absolutely no leverage besides a flimsy handle to lift the basket out is not easy.
Once you get all the media set up the hardest part is actually starting the filter for the first time. Since there is no auto-start feature, you're forced to find a way to create a siphon (usually by sucking on the end of the tube, which is never pleasant). The good news is, once you fill it up, you never have to do it again. Just remember to shut the double valves before you shut off the filter and the tubes will stay filled. That way, you just plug it in, start it up, and open up the valves and you're ready to go again.

In terms of effectiveness, it is extremely efficient (only 8W, compared to the 2217's 20W or 30W+ for those cheaper canister filters). The flow is very low, but this is apparently why it is so efficient, both in terms of power and removing nitrates and ammonia from the water. Longer contact time with the media means more wastes are absorbed by the bacteria. However, in terms of mechanical effectiveness, the flow rate doesn't really work. I had it on a 29 gallon planted aquarium with a heavy fish load and it couldn't keep up. Debris and mulm started to accumulate on the bottom of my tank. I'm guessing that with a non-planted tank and with a regular fish load, it may be able to handle a 66 gallon tank. But in terms of usage on a planted tank, I'd say the maximum effective capacity is 30 gallons. It works great on my 20 gallon tank now, and an Eheim 2217 does the job perfectly on the 29 gallon aquarium.

Overall, the Eheim 2213 is a great little filter. Aside from being a bit underpowered for medium or larger planted tanks, its design is top notch. And luckily, Eheim offers a full range of (more powerful) classic line canister filters that larger planted aquarium enthusiasts can choose from.
I give the Eheim 2213 four out of five fish:

Buy an Eheim Classic Canister 2213 from Drs. Foster & Smith now.


  1. "Four out of five fish" -- Haha, this was hilarious!

  2. regards of the 2213, would like to ask, i also got a 29 gallons tank, but mostly won't fill it full off water, maybe around 80 or 90%..not really a heavy planted tank, but medium, got around 10++ of rasbora & a loads of cherry... will this 2213 filtration still works well ?

  3. Go with a 2217 for a 29 gallon tank and just drill the holes on the spraybar larger. You'll be happy!

  4. I have just bought this filter but i find at night it makes quite a bit of noise. First it is quiet then it is as if it is syphoning the water hard..then quiet again..then suphoninh noise again..anyone ideas why and what can be done to cut down the noise..??

  5. Is it blowing out bubbles when it makes the noise? If so, it might just be getting rid of the air still. Give it a few days and it should quiet down.

  6. I have both Eheim 2213 (little over a year old) and Fluval 305 canister(2 months old) filters on my 55 gal. Plus Penguin 125 hang on filter. I was just setting up the 2213 yesterday and the plastic on the valve broke (both of them). I had to connect it directly to the canister coz each one is $30 to replace.
    - 2213 looks like its very good as a BIO filter
    - 305 has better construction and good for chemical filtration.
    - 2213 seems to use better quality products
    - 305 is easier to use(Clean, it has a little hand pump so u don't have to suck the tube)

  7. I've had a Rena 4-section canister filter setup for over 2 years and highly recommend. Very easy to clean and use, and it's whisper quiet.

  8. Hi, I know this is an old post, but would just like to ask if you can reduce the outflow of the 2213? I have a 20gal planted tank and thinking if this would create too much of a current. Thanks!

  9. Yes you can reduce the flow. Just use the included valves. I do this on my 10 gallon.

  10. Great post! We need to make sure that we keep our aquarium water as fresh and clean as possible, since anything bad in the water can have a major impact on the health of our pets.

  11. I can't remember swearing so much...and all because of this bloody stupid filtration system. The absolute worst manual ever!!! I don't care how good it is supposedly (I may have fallen for a sales pitch), it is leaking in parts because I can't seem to make the flow part sit smoothly.

    Germans seriously know about IKEA - how are they getting this wrong? There isn't even anything written that suggests cutting the tube...have to figure everything out on my own.

  12. I have two Eheim 2213's on my 37 gallon planted community aquarium and they work well.

    However, I use 96 watts of Hagen GLO T5 lighting and algae has been a serious problem on this aquarium for the past few years, so I decided to invest in an inline uv sterilizer.

    I purchased an AquaTop IL 10UV on sale for $40, which has remedied the algae problem, and made it much easier for the 2213's to do their job effectively.

    The Eheim Classic series of filters have become timeless with the addition of the valve taps, which makes cleaning these filters very easy.

    I also like the fact that they come with a decent quality spray bar; something I wish my Fluval canisters did.

    It's no wonder the Eheim Classic series is so popular, given their durability and ease of use. The fact that they are being discounted doesn't hurt either - I purchased mine at Big Al's online for $69.99 each.



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