Review: EHEIM classicVARIO+e 250 Smart Filter


Eheim's new filter offering is a mixture of classic, tried and tested hardware with contemporary WiFi controllability. Here's our review

Eheim has given a smart, modern twist to one of its 43-year-old external filter models. The brand new classicVARIO+e 250 takes the design of the eternally popular, classic external filter but fits a smart pump and head unit onto it to enable a whole suite of Wi-Fi connectivity and smart filter functions.

The first thing to change is the pump that powers the filter, switching from the old fixed-speed AC pump to a brushless variable-speed DC pump. This enables manual output control so the user can increase or decrease flow, as well as a pulse mode, an autofeeder mode, and a day/night rhythm.

It also has a maintenance indicator that will calculate when the aquarium filter needs cleaning

EHEIM classicVARIO+e 250 output

Eheim filters have never been noisy but DC power also ensures low noise and vibration, according to Eheim, and the best part is that total power consumption goes from a very respectable 12.5 watts on full power right down to just 1.7 watts on the lowest output setting. You can see this for yourself using this handy fish tank electricity calculator.

That’s incredibly low for a filter with a maximum output of 510lph, and it's just what we need in these times of elevated electricity prices. 

Eheim Wifi control

The filter can be controlled via the Eheim app on a smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac, and there it can be teamed up with Eheim’s other smart products, from heaters to LED lights, UVs, autofeeders, and chillers.

Although widely used on high-end reef tank equipment, app control, and DC pumps are still rare in external canister filters, with Eheim being the only one that we know of to adopt it so far. 
The classicVARIO+e 250 is suitable for fresh or saltwater aquariums up to 250 litres in volume. It comes ready-to-use filter foam pads, a fine polishing pad, a carbon pad, and a filter basket. A spray bar and double shut-off taps are supplied too.

Eheim's classicVARIO+e 250 is priced at £196.99. Larger Wi-Fi-controlled models are available in the Eheim professionel 5e range.

Related article: A guide to carbon in fishkeeping

Do I need an aquarium filter? 

Essentially, yes. The aquarium filter is considered one of the most essential pieces of fishkeeping equipment. If you're unsure what filter is best for you or why they are important, visit our guide to aquarium filters.

For more information on how to choose the right aquarium filter, Matt Clarke answers some of the most common questions.