Flow and filtration efficiencies unmatched by other filters in their class. As much as twice the filter cartridge capacity, additional chemical filtration capability, and an extra effective spray bar, driven by BIO-Wheel wet/dry biological filtration...The Emperor filtration systems truly are the future of advanced aquarium technology.The Emperors feature not only one pump (as ordinary power filters do), but have two separate water pumps. The Flow Pump directs water through the entire multi-stage filtration system. The BIO-Pump pressurizes and sends streams of prefiltered, oxygen-rich water through the adjustable spray bars to power each BIO-Wheel. And...the unique, patent pending Emperor design allows the BIO-Pump to continue powering the BIO-Wheels even when Flow Pump output is reduced by the convenient One-Touch Flow Control.
Emperor 400 for aquariums up to 80 gallons. Flow is 400 GPH.
Emperor 280 for aquariums up to 50 gallons. Flow is 280 GPH.
I run two E400's on a 75G. My tank is stocked with 15 Mbuna and Victorians which average about 4". To keep costs down I don't buy the refill cartriges. Sure there are better filters on the market but for me they have been very effective, very easy to maintain and very easy to afford. One downside is the noise. If you want a silent filter this isn't the one for you. The waterfall isn't loud but you can hear it. No doubt it will bother some people.
I had several of these filters when they first came out. I was never more disapointed in a filter since i started keeping fish. They are noisy, hard to clean, and the cleaning is a never ending thing, the filter media fills up way to quick, and is the most expensive on the market today, making it a costly filter to maintain. They move water only so so, i doubt if they really do live up to their specifications.
I have 2 Emp. 400's on my 125 gal. tank along with one AC500. The bio wheels are unmatched for bio filtration and the mechanical filtration capabilities are bettered only by the AC500. Can be a little load but well worth it.
I put foam in one of the extra media trays for more mechanical filtration. I also put crushed coral in the other for buffering.
On large aquariums I recommend using Emp. 400's with a AC500 for that one two punch.
I've had three of the 400's and also three of the 280's. I have a couple of gripes but overall I think these are excellent products.
The filters are easy to maintain. I put four cartridge's in my 400 and just change/clean two at a time to save bacteria on the other two. The bio-wheels also greatly increase the bio-capability of these filters.
My only complaints are they can get noisy. I had one stubborn 400 that the only way I could get it to quiet down was replacing the impeller assembly. Lots of times you have to fiddle with the flow-gate to find just the right spot to get it to quiet down.
My other complaint is because the intake stem is so wide it lose's it's suction when ever doing water changes and the water level goes down some. I've had Aqua-clears that could suck no matter how low the water level but not these. Then when you do unplug them all the water in them drains back into the tank requiring you to have to fill them up to get them started again.
Even with these minor complaints I'd still say these are hands down the best power filters one can buy.
I have (2) Emperor 400's in my 55 gal tank, and love them. They were easy to set up - took about 10 minutes. They run quietly - just make sure you fill the chambers with water before you start them up. . . if it does get a little noisy (humming and sputtering a bit) - try unplugging them, then powering them up again. Worked 4 me.
I got mine from Big Al's - lowest price around for 'em.
I love that I have (2) cartridges and (2) media containers in each 400. Gives me the ability to add whatever medias I want. The biowheels run good too - just set 'em to run slow and you're good 2 go.
They're very effective.
Maintenance isn't 2 bad - they recommend u take 'em apart every month or 2 to clean them thoroughly - it doesn't look 2 hard - everything accessible and easy to get apart and put back together again. The impeller is easy 2 get 2 if u ever need to replace it.
The 400 mixes up the water really well on top. There's alot of aeration going on.
As far as flaws, I can't really see any yet - although I've only been running mine for about a month now.
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