[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Fluval 404 Adventures

I just thought I would share my experience with Hagen and their Fluval
404 filters for anyone who was contemplating purchasing one. My personal
advice is don't.

I bought a Fluval 404 for use in my 80G plant tank. I wanted to go the
Eheim route, but all of the Eheims with removable media baskets were way
too expensive for me. Anyway, the Fluval comes with this god-forsaken
ribbed hose that is supposed to make your life easier because it bends.
Well, it bends somewhat, but has a propensity for resisting that bend
and has a strong enough resistance that it will pop itself out of the
clips designed to hold it. Trying to route this stuff is a pain. Not to
mention how much gunk a ribbed hose acquires during the course of normal

The filter comes with a regular intake and an output nozzle. I wanted to
run a surface skimmer, and luckily Fluval made one. I got the surface
skimmer and that attached to the ribbed hose just fine. The output
nozzle concentrates all of the output into one stream that blows my
plants around the tank. That wasn't a worry as I had made my own spray
bar out of 1/2" PVC. I finally got tired of the ribbed hose popping
itself out of its clips and contacted Hagen about converting to regular
vinyl tubing. For $21.95 they would send me a kit. 
I thought my troubles were over. When the kit came it consisted of two
length of 14 mm vinyl hose and a "tank rim adapter." The rim adapter is
basically a double elbow that hangs on the tank rim. The hoses connect
by locking clamps (identical to the clamps for the hoses on the filter
end) on the outside of the tank, and the other end has no way of
connecting hose or the surface skimmer to it. I contacted Hagen again to
ask how I could attach anything to the rim adapter besides the stock
intake and output nozzle, but their reply left much to be desired.
Basically they told me that the Fluval surface skimmer will only work
with the ribbed hose, and that their output nozzle is all that you can
attach to the output of the rim adapter. I thought I would just get rid
of the rim adapter and use plain old elbows to get the line over the
rim, but I cannot find 14 mm elbows anywhere. 1/2" elbows are too small
and the hose just falls right off, and 5/8" elbows are too large to get
the hose over.

So, in conclusion, unless you want to set your filter up exactly the way
Hagen wishes you to, the Fluval is a royal PITA.

Jerry Baker