Tetra - Whisper Power Filters
I have a whisper 200. While durable the motors are faulty. My first, the impeller cracked, jammed, stopped the motor which overheated and compromised the gasket which then started dripping. After replacing all of these parts it was, as before, loud, violently vibrating, and sloshy. It is a great mechanical filter. I have it and a penguin on my 25Tall. It is a great combination, and unlike the penguin it fullfills its flow rate. Penguins lose flow quickly, because their impeller wells are very narrow and snug. Overall I give it a 5 for its ease of filter cartridge change, slim size, and powerful flow.
I have had two Whisper filters, and neither one has worked properly. One died after 3 months and the other would not run for more than 15 minutes without shaking the tube. I went and bought an Aquaclear and have not had a problem since.
In my 15 years of aquarium keeping, I have not ever had a problem with the whispers except one...I got a tank that was second hand, and the impeller continuously stopped pumping water...The filter itself looked very bad and calcified, and I think that had something to do with it. Otherwise if you stick to the lower end of the suggested tank size, I think the whispers are great filters for all levels of experience. As far as having to change the filter often. I clean the filter bag probably 20-30 times before I replace them...they get clogged more quickly as they get older (go figure, they look like they'd get clogged less). Anyway I suggest this filter to anyone beginning the hobby as they make cleaning a breeze. I also suggest the filter to anyone who wants a quiet tank, or doesn't want to pay 1-2-300 dollars for a filter.
I had 4 Whisper 3's. Two each on two 75 gallon tanks for about three or four years. They were ultra quiet and very efficient. I liked that you could cut the flow to a trickle when feeding. The biobag will last a while and when they get dirty just rinse them out and reuse them. Someone said they might not start right back up after a power failure. This is true but not a major problem. Someone else stated that if the filters clogged that the water would flow unfiltered over the intake tube back into the tank. Yes...this is of course better than flowing unto the floor. They are good filters. I highly recommend them.
I've had a Whisper 1 for a few months now and have not had one single problem with it. If anything, it pumps *too* strongly, but I keep Bettas, so I suppose they are not the most active of fish :)
I have used Whispers in all of my tanks. I currently have two Whispers on my 55 G that is filled with Cichlids and my water is crystal. I swear by these filters for an inexpensive, low-maintenance filter. If you slow the flow during feeding, feed with pellets and monitor the amount of flake food, the bags won't become clogged as much.