Fishkeeping on a budget? Nathan Hill checks out a no-nonsense filter for under £20...
My first impressions were that this is flimsy. As I constructed it I wrestled pipes onto impellers and was worried something was going to split at any moment.
That said, I glanced at the price and the volume the filter covers and suddenly felt more at ease.
Yes, it’s a bit brittle, but for this money I’m not that put out. If on a budget or setting up a temporary tank and needing short-term filtration, this would be my first port of call.
Media as standard takes the form of two blocks of foam and two carbon-impregnated inserts. The carbon is pretty thin on the ground but the foams are substantial and there’s space to squeeze some biomedia in there too if you fancy upping capacity.
It comes with a surface skimmer, which is an odd inclusion given how close the inlet is to the return flows from the filter.
Does it do what it’s supposed to? Yes. Water flows through, it traps waste and although it doesn’t provide the powerful surge of outflow of a closed canister it amply oxygenates the tank and keeps everything alive.
The only real restriction is that if you don’t have an open-topped tank, you either cannot use it or need to seriously alter the lid to make it fit.
Bearing in mind it’s more than 20cm/8” wide, it does take up a fair bit of space.
A claimed filter volume of 120 l/27 gal seems not unreasonable for incredibly light stocking.
As it is, I’d be happier using it on tanks up to 90l/20 gal, but not much over that.
Ultimate budget fishkeeping — something completely functional and easy to use for under £20! That’s why these types of filter have been huge in Europe and America for years.
Price: £14.99; more info All Pond Solutions.