On this page I'll describe the filter of my aquarium. In succession I'll describe the brand, type and the properties of the filter. Then I'll describe the filter media which I use in the filter, along with the reasons why I've chosen these filter media and my personal experience with them. Then the accessories I use with the filter are described end final I'll describe the maintenance of the filter.

Brand, type and properties of the filter

The filter I use for my aquarium is a external filter of the brand Eheim, type 2213. A picture along with the properties is shown below this text. It is said by the Eheim that this filter can be used with aquariums up to 250 liters. Although my aquarium is only has a capacity of only 86 liters, I'll think this filter matches my demands better than the smaller 2211 filter which can be used with aquariums up to 150 liters. The reasons why I've chosen for the 2213 filter are the large pump output and the large filter volume of this filter type. The large pump output is needed among other things to get enough water through the branch to the CO2-reaktor of the CO2 system.

2213 Buitenfilter

for tank size up to


Pump output


Filter circulation


Delivery head

 1,50 m Ws

Filter volume


Power consumption

 8 W

Dimentiones approx. mm

 160 x 355

Below I've made a little sum up of all the reasons why I've chosen for a external filter in stead of a internal filter::

The advantages of a internal filter that they are simple to install and they don't need a extra room under need the aquarium I personally find to small if you compare them with the advantages of a external filter. This is why I have chosen a external filter.

Used filter media

In my filter I've used the following filter media (see also the picture on the right) in the direction of the water circulation:

The function of the layer ceramic tubes is to catch the large dirt. Through the open structure the material can contain a lot of dirt. The ceramic tubes in my aquarium are "brand less". These tubes can be compared with efimech of Eheim and biopur keramik of Sera. My "brand less" tubes have the same effect but are much cheaper than the "branded" tubes.

The layer of filtration wads medium has the function to keep the dirt between the ceramic tubes so the dirt doesn't mix with the minicascades.

The layer of minicascades (see picture on the left) is for the biological action in the filter. This filter medium has a very large surface which can contain lots of nitrifying bacteria. In stead of minicascades I'll also have had efisubstrate of Eheim for the above mentioned. These are some kind of porous gravel which are also mend to contain nitrifying bacteria. The reason why I've replaced this "gravel" for minicascades is that the "gravel" crumbled with the time which obstructed the water circulation in the filter. Also it was difficult to take the efisubstate out of the filter when it has to be cleaned (it mixed with the ceramic tubes), because the minicascades float on the water they are much easier to remove out of the filter. Another benefit of the minicascades is the smooth surface of the cascades which makes the cascades self-cleaning. Sera also has a product like the Dupla minicascades in his assortment which are called bioboxes. A disadvantage of this product is that it's cubic which makes it hard spread equally through the filter, unless you have a square filter and don't mind to take some time to pile them in a neat way.

The layer of active filtering carbon in my filter is mend to prevent the water to fade. I my aquarium is namely a piece of rood-wood, which can give the water a yellow/brown color. The active filtering carbon prevents this. Also the filtering carbon removes possible poisonous substances in the water. Although the rood-wood probably doesn't give the water a color anymore I still use the filtering carbon. This because I can't describe any possible negative effects to the filtration carbon. An often said disadvantage of filtering carbon is that it should remove the iron of the water, I self think this is exaggerated because the number of (iron) fertilizer I have to use in my aquarium is very low. For more information about iron in the water you could check out the pages on which I describe the plants. A disadvantage of the filtration carbon I use in my aquarium is that it's very dusty, so it has to be cleaned properly before putting it in the filter. Probably filtration carbon of more expensive brands like Dupla, Sera or Eheim is less dusty, but because besides the dust in HS filtration carbon I never had problems with it I keep using it. Finally I'd like to mention that filtration carbon has to be put in a net before you put it in the filter. Otherwise it gives a big mesh in the filter, which is very hard to remove from the filter.

The final layer in my filter is a layer of filtration wads fine. This layers has the function to keep the last fine dirt into the filter and to catch the dust of the active filtration carbon.

Accessories I use with my filter

For my filter I use the following accessories of the brand Eheim, which I will further describe below this sum up.

The double-tap-connectors  (see picture on the right) I use for the suction and discharge hoses of the filter. Through these tap-connectors I can easily disconnect the filter to clean it, because these tap-connectors can be split. In this way you don't have to disconnect the hoses every time you have to clean the filter. However because I couldn't place the double-tap-connector of the discharge hose into the cabinet under my aquarium the above mentioned advantage doesn't count for the discharge hose, so a normal tap-connector would have been sufficient on this hose.

The normal tap-connector I use after the branch in the discharge hose to the CO2-reactor. Through this tap-connector I can control the flow rate of the water to the CO2-reactor, so that the reactor always get enough water even if the filter capacity is lower then normal.

The surface suction extractor I've bought because on the water surface of my aquarium rapidly forms a layer of protein. Through the surface suction extractor I can clean the surface of my aquarium easily, which is better to look at and also with a clean water surface the plants get more light. I myself was not satisfied with the normal way the suction cleaner worked as I bought it, because it could only suck the water from the surface or the bottom but not both at one time. Therefore I removed the float that caused this and decreased the new opening on that place a bit so I got a balance between the upper and lower side of the extractor that satisfies me better. Also I've made a floater of foam on the arm of the upper opening, so I can adjust the arm of the upper opening. This because without this the extractor mainly sucks in the water under the surface in stead of cleaning the surface.

Maintenance of the filter

Generally I clean my filter ones in a month. With cleaning the filter I mean the following things:

I'll also clean the rotor and pump head on the inside about 3 to 4 times a year. This because after a while the efficiency of the filter will decrease through algae's. The lower site of the surface suction extractor I clean about ones in 14 days. This I do so often because when this site of the extractor is a bit clogged the upper site of the surface suction extractor will suck down air into the filter. Also the hoses of the filter can get dirty, but up till now I only had to clean them ones. 

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