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Considering Eheim Thermofilter - another approach

Lew Newcomb wrote: 

>I'm considering buying an Eheim canister, probably the Professional II,
>model 2026 or 2126.  I love the idea of having a heater in the filter 
>instead of in the tank, but the increase in price is significant 
>(~$55).  A
>comparable heater by itself would cost about a third of that 
>difference, so
>I'd clearly be paying for the integrality.  Has anyone examined that
>advantage/cost ratio for themselves?  What conclusions have you made 
>why?   Thanks!
>Lew Newcomb

I found a cheaper (and I think better) solution.  And it is simple.  I got a piece of 3" plastic gray conduit (less than $5 for 8 ft. in the electrical dept. at Home Depot) and cut a piece that fits from the very bottom of my tank to just under the top lip (so that you can wedge it in the back corner and fill the substrate around the base).  I then cut 7 slots halfway through the pipe from about 4" from the bottom (i.e. top of gravel) up about seven inches; cleaned it well, and wedged it in the back corner of the tank.  I then placed a standard sized submersible heater inside the tube (top of heater is about a inch below the waterlevel) and then the suction tube for my Eheim 2217 into the top (depending on the size of your slots, you probably will not need the Eheim intake screen - most saw blades are about the right thickness).  I have my suction input only about 3-4 inches down the tube.  So the all water is now drawn through the slots in the bottom half of the tank, pulle!
 d around
 the heater, and up into the Eheim intake.  Both the heater and the inake are hidden and the gray 3" tube is not obtrusive.  I have two Eheim 2217's on a 125g tank with one of these in each rear corner.  The filtration is excellent and circulating the heated water results in very even heating.  I inject my CO2 into the Eheim line so I have no other "hardware" inside the tank.  
BTW, the gray tube is large enough that I can pull the suction line and/or heater out the top without removing the tube.  I also put my PMDD into the top of the tube so it is pulled thru the filter and dispersed evenly.    Works great and cost less than $5. 
Good luck.  
Jim Stimmel

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