Tetra - Whisper Power Filters
I got a second hand 30 gallon tank with accessories. There was a Whisper water filter included. The former owner said he had very good luck with that brand. From the first, I didn't think it was performing as well as it should, but recognized the pump was used. Approximately 4 or 5 months later the pump motor failed. Next I purchased a Whisper which was rated for 20 to 40 gallons. I was very impressed with the volume of water it moved compared to the old one. The filter was having to be replaced about every week. Just 7 months later, that pump motor went out also. The whole outfit cost less than $30.00, but the replacement motor alone is listed for $15.00.
I've been very happy with my Whispers 1, 2, and 3. The Whisper 3 is a great filter! I use one of the bio-foams from my 55 gallon to set up a Whisper 2 for my 29 gallon tank. I like being able to change the filter media and not disrupt the bacteria colony. I've found my Whispers will trap a lot of material compared to AquaClears. This tells me that the filter is working. Also the Whispers WILL start after a power outage. You do have to clean the impeller once in a great while, but otherwise these pumps draw plenty to restart. The Whisper 3 is really powerful. I have it turned down most of the time on my 55 and 30 gallon tanks. I have 5 Whispers and I am about to buy another one to replace my AquaClear 200.
I personally think Whisper isn't all that great, and I am thinking of changing to AquaClear after reading all this. I have a Whisper 5-15 for my 10 gallon goldfish aquarium, and it seems to me that more water pours out (unfiltered) down the intake tube section, rather than through the filter and down the waterfall. I also don't think it has very much suction power. But we will see, I'm going to stick with this for a little longer (I just bought a box set of 4 biobags so I have to use those), and if I don't see improvement or can't make an adjusment with it to make it work better, I'm probably going to change.
I have two Model 3's in my 200 L aquarium and I have spent more time trying to unjam the impeller than anything else. Although they filter fairly well, (when they work) they are nothing but a source of aggravation. This morning when I got up one had smoked the motor overnight, the other one was just humming and pumping nothing (as usual). That's it! Today I will go purchase 2 AquaClears and file these where they belong, in the garbage.
Regarding the whisper filters, they seem to work okay for my small 10 gallon tank with seven small fish in it (danios and tetras). However, the filter packets have a disadvantage: they barely hold the carbon and when you change them all your good bacteria get thrown out as well, plus they need to be replaced realitively often. My advise is to go with the new Millenium series filters.
I just rinse my filter pads in the sink with Luke warm water and put it back in. I usually get a year or better out of one pad. Mine also have the foam pad in front of the floss pad, I don't have to clean the foam but maybe once a year and that is what holds your bacteria. If you are relying on this filter to hold your carbon you need to use something else in conjunction with it. I like mine just for, let's say, "coarse" cleanup. They remove the coarse stuff very well and are easy to service, I do have a gripe about the relatively short impeller life I get, I am using Whisper 2's and have considered force feeding them with a power head and scrapping the impellers. At least when they overflow they dump into the tank unlike my Aqua-Clear that dumps to the floor.