Hagen has announced the launch of its new Fluval G range of high-end external filters at its trade event in Warwickshire.
The Fluval G range includes two models, the G3 and the G6, which pack in several features which that are unique in the aquarium filtration market.
Both Fluval G filters monitor the performance of the filter and some water parameters and show the results on a digital display.
They also include a unique cartridge system which allows the pre-filter, chemical or mechanical filter media cartridges to be cleaned or replaced very quickly without the need to turn the filter off or open the entire canister.
The shiny, cube-shaped filters, look rather like marine aquarium chiller units, have a stylish black lacquered finish and silver trim and chromed locking handles, and are small enough to fit inside most cabinets.
Hydrotech Performance Monitor
The Fluval G includes an integrated Hydrotech Performance Monitor which allows the system to monitor temperature, flow rate, conductivity, and displays current results and historical data via an LCD graphical display.
Particular emphasis has been placed on the conductivity monitoring aspects, which are handed by a titanium probe within the filter - a unique feature in the aquarium market.
Hagen says that as conductivity levels rise with time due to evaporational losses concentrating the levels of dissolved minerals, that it is possible to use the technology to predict when a water change is due.
It said: "Minimum and maximum values can be set which, when exceeded, will trigger a visual alarm on the filter screen to alert you to problems.
"The Hydrotech Monitor also includes a maintenance schedule you can customise to your own requirements, so you'll never forget when that media change is due again."
The Fluval Gs have a three-stage filtration system which combines mechanical filter cartridges and chemical media cartridges with capacious baskets of Fluval G Bio-nodes biological filter media.
The quick release cartridge system allows direct access to top pre-filter and chemical cartridges via a shut-off valve based system.
Each cartridge can be removed via a twist-lock system and either replaced with a fresh one or rinsed and reinstalled. Hagen claims the whole process takes just a couple of minutes.
The digital display warns the user when the flow rate has dropped and shows the loss of performance from trapped debris, providing warnings to the user that the media needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Hagen technical expert Klaus Reimuller, told Practical Fishkeeping: "One of the most important things to understand about this filter is the research and development that goes into something like this.
"We had a clear objective that we wanted to develop an advanced filtration system that was different from anything else on the market, and that also gave us the opportunity or possibility to monitor or observe water values and at the same time make maintenance quick and fuss-free. The goal was really to simplify fishkeeping.
"We put a lot of money - about three million dollars - on the research and development of this particular filter and spent over 100,000 Euros on market research with fishkeepers in four countries, and listened to what these people had to say.
"In order to clean the filter, you do not have to open the whole filter any more. Theoretically, you can change the chemical and mechanical filter cartridge while the unit is running.
"We recommend turning it off first, but theoretically you can do it. If you want to clean the filter you can do it under two minutes, and if you want to replace the cartridge you can do it in under 20 seconds."
Facts and figures
The Fluval G3 is designed for aquariums up to 300 litres and has a flow rate of 700 lph and uses 17w. The Fluval G6 is for aquariums of up to 600 litres and has a flow rate of 1000 lph for 28w.
Both can be used for fresh and saltwater and both will monitor flow rates, temperature and conductivity, but do not include built-in heating elements.
When asked about the comparatively low flow rates for the units, a Hagen spokesman explained that the Hydrotech Monitor allowed the units to be run at optimum efficiency by warning the user when flow rates had dropped, and that cartridges could be cleaned or replaced so quickly and easily that they may run as efficiently as competitors models with faster initial flow rates.
The filters are supplied with all required hoses and media and will be retailing for 299.99 for the G3 and 349.99 for the G6.
For a detailed look at the Fluval G, and to find out what we think of the filters, check out Practical Fishkeeping magazine's full review of the range.