Nathan Hill has a quick look at, and gives his first impressions of, the Odyssea CFS 1000 filter straight out of the box...
When a big box comes into the office we get excited, and the Odyssea CFS 1000 canister filter has us positively trilling. The thing is huge, as canister filters go. Well, just look at the picture, where it’s towering over a CristalProfi e700.
Out of the box you get the clear plastic canister itself, filled with 7 foams of varying grade from coarse to fine. You get taps, plugs and connecting cable, suction cups for piping, two lengths of corrugated 25mm hosing, a duck bill return, and a whopping strainer outlet with foam prefilter. So far so good.
The top of the filter looks very similar to the Fluval FX6 model, with 6 screwing locks, and two jutting hose connectors with seal rings already in place. The difference to the FX6 is that just off centre you have a rubber ‘bung’ with two cables feeding through it for power to the pump and the UV.
Opening the cylinder up, there’s an 'O' ring tightly embedded in the head, which looks to be a swine to get out or replace. I’d want to lube those 'O' rings senseless, but only because I’ve had too many bad experiences with leaking rings on budget goods in the past. And then there’s the media itself, which is where it starts to get a little shakier.
Each foam ring is cut on one side, around a central, large hole for the UV, and has a smaller hole through the other side, so it can fit over the return pipe. This makes getting the foam out to be something of a chore, and I’m working with it whilst dry and unclogged with muck. I’ll be interested to see how Jeremy gets on with it once it’s caked.
The pump and UV aren’t fixed in place, so once you start tugging on foams they start rattling about, and getting everything back together without gaps where water can race through is time consuming.
The pump looks sturdy enough, if a little rough around the edges. It has the feel of a small pond pump, or one of the Red Sea flow pumps, and although I haven’t fired it up, it gives the impression of being gutsy. In gutsy pump style, it’s also guzzling up 55W of power to run it.
What could go wrong? I’ve been suspicious of clear filters for years. There’s good evidence to show that nitrifying bacteria are fans of darkness, and inhibited by natural light. That’s why so many canisters out there are blacker than coal. I guess that it does mean you can see if your filter needs a clean, but that kind of defeats the object if it’s not biologically functioning.
I also note the absence of dedicated bio media. That’s a horses for courses thing, as not everyone wants sintered glass or plastic bits, but for myself, I’d be inclined to pull the foam giblets out of this thing and brim it with Kaldness K1 instead. I’d also wrap some black card around it, or some bin bags to keep those bacteria happy.
As for the price, all I can say is that it’s cheap. I’m struggling to find a UK seller with a price set in stone, but Australian retailers are knocking these out for what equates to £72.10. It’s probably safe to say it’ll be sub-£100 gear here on the mainland, too.
Watch this space for a more thorough review in the near future, including just how Jeremy gets on with cleaning.