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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Great Filter!!!

I picked up a UniMax Pro 500 Plus the other day at my LFS. The price was $249.99, which seemed like a deal since Drs. F&S sells it for $370. What caught my eye was the fact that a UV sterilizer is built into the canister. I have had great experience with the Turbo-Twist UV sterilizer I recently purchased, so this feature in a canister seemed like a great idea. The only reviews I could find on the product were on drsfostersmith.com, and they were quite positive, but being something of a conspiracy theorist, I seldom trust the reviews I see on retailers web sites. I wanted another good sized canister for my 90 gallon, and this seemed like a perfect fit, so I took a chance went for it.

I got the thing home quickly and unpacked the box like a 6 year old on Christmas morning. There’s nothing like that “new plasticâ€
 

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I have three UniMax 250's and a 500. They are great filters. Very quiet. I can't hear anything. The quality of materials and design seems to be very good - with a solid and well built feel. They filter well and are as easy to maintain as anything else out there. As with any UV lamp, be very careful with the quartz sleeve around the bulb if you remove it to clean it or if you need to change the bulb. I was clumbsy and broke one. I'm happy with mine. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Follow up - 07/19/07:
So far, so good, for the most part. I continue to be impressed with the pumping power and silence of the UniMax. The filtration seems to be great too, as I no longer see any floaties in the water. My only concern at this point is the performance of the UV sterilizer. The water cloudiness only seems to be partially cleared up. I have a feeling that the flow rate is too fast for the internal UV light to do much good. I tried running the filter at about 50% flow, which is done very easily by rotating the “control unitâ€
 

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I know about their products since I am living in Poland which is where these products are manufactured. I haven't used Aquael's external filters, but I have had loads of success with their "turbofilters" which are basically a powerhead attached to a media chamber (for both bio or chemical media) with a prefilter. They are good supplementary filters in addition to providing much needed circulation. I am not surprised to hear that you are having success with it Aquael seems to produce quality reliable goods and I would recommend their products. For anyone who is interested here is their homepage:

http://sklep.aquael.pl/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello anyone who cares! :lol:
I should have updated this thread weeks ago, but the reason the UV sterilizer didn't seem to work is because it was plugged into a non-functioning outlet on my old power strip. Works great now!
 

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Cich of it All - I am seriously considering a 500 or 700. Are you still happy with your aquael 500? Anything break, not fit as well anymore, etc? Also have you noticed excessive buildup in the UV area? How often do you expect to have to change the bulb?

Also I cant find the media volumes for these filters listed anywhere. Maybe I am not looking in the right place.

http://bowheads.org/forums/showthread.php?t=1479
This person seems to have had some troubles. Have you had any troubles like this?

Thanks in advance for your time. I guess I am looking for more reassurance before I drop $300 on an "unproven" but intriguing product.

BTW, little background on my current cannister filter ownership:

Eheim Pro II - Love it
Rena XP4 - Dislike it and don't trust it.
Fluval 304 - Hate it. Nothing but trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lugnut:
Still love it! No problems whatsoever. The poster in that thread probably sucked something large into the filter. The UV area stays pretty clean since the water is filtered by the time it gets there. I don't expect to have to change the bulb any more frequently than a stand-alone UV sterilizer. As far as media volume goes, I’d estimate about 8 liters (2.1 gallons). I can evenly divide a 4 liter bucket of seachem matrix into 2 of its 4 baskets.
You can find the Unimax 500 for $250, which is a good value considering you get what would be a $100 UV out of the deal. The closest comparisonof a Unimax 500 to an Eheim would be the 2128 pro II. The Unimax costs about $50 more, but you get more media capacity, the UV sterilizer, and a more powerful pump. It’s a tough call I guess. I like my Eheim pro a lot too. I’d say quality-wise they are about equal, but if you’re nervous about dropping $250 on one and you’re more comfortable buying another Eheim, I wouldn’t talk you out of an Eheim. For only $40-50 more you could get the Unimax 700, which IMO can’t be touched by a pro II. The Pro III on the other hand (the 2080) probably outperforms the 700, but then you’re talking about spending close to $400.

My current canister filters:
(2) Marineland c-360's - Absolutley awesome. The best value out there. A little noisy though.
(2) Eheim 2217's - There great, but a pain to maintain compared to the newer style canisters. Loud too.
(1) Eheim Pro 2224 - Very nice, very quiet. No complaints, but I only paid $100 for mine. Full price would be too expensive IMO.
(1) Unimax 500 - well, duh! MY favorite, but the C-360's are a close second.
(1) MArineland H.O.T. Mag pro - Absolute garbage!
 

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CoiA - Thanks for the detailed reply, it really helps. I thought of a couple more questions. :D

1 - Does it start back up on its own after the power comes back on after an outage?
2 - The cheapest I have fount the 700 is for 299.99 at that Fish place. Are you aware of a better deal anywhere?
3 - In regards to the UV, it seems like with the high flow rate through there that it should do fine on algae, but that the flow might be a little quick to take care of parasites. Any thoughts?

Thanks again for your time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
1 - Yes
2 - That Fish Place has the prices I've found on them.
3 - That does seem possible, although I believe only a portion of the water that is flowing through the filter at a given time is passing by the UV light since it looks like there are two paths the water can take on the way out. I may be wrong, and if I am, the flow rate probably is too fast for parasites to be zapped. I run a 2nd UV sterilizer on that tank just for extra piece of mind, so I may not know it if it was letting parasites by.
 

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I suppose one could also slow down the filter flow for a while if a parasite outbreak was suspected.

Well, I think I will probably take the plunge on the 700. Thanks again for the feedback. If I take the plunge, I will add my impressions to your thread if you don't mind. That way the "reviews" will be easy for people to find.
 
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