The 1000EF Plus is an external filter system for your aquarium complete with a UV sterilizer.
This filter sits purely in the budget range of external filters claiming a stunning 1000L/h for less than £50 a bargain in anyone’s eyes.
For such a budget filter going up against the £100-£200 Fluvals etc of the same capacity and flowrate I wasn’t expecting much to be honest.
So I was pleasantly surprised when a lovely big box turned up a couple of days after ordering. Opening the box revealed the main tub containing the baskets and the media and a separate pull out box containing all the fittings and connectors and pipework.
Being already familiar with setting up external filters I actually skipped reading the instructions but went back a couple of days later and read them just to check. Everything was just about right with a couple of minor spelling mistakes and a tiny amount of lacking detail it wasn’t much for setup instructions but then external filters aren’t really rocket science anyway.
In the box there were plenty of fittings and clips although 2 of the clips were lacking rubber suction cups it wasn’t a problem as they appeared to be excess / spare clips anyway.
The feed pipe comes with plenty of extenders so it will reach down into even very deep tanks. However for shallow tanks even a single piece of pipework is too long I had to cut down one of the pieces of pipe to make it fit inside the tank. It would have been nice to have a couple of 1-2 inch pieces of pipe instead of just the 4x3inch pieces that were in there.
The supplied tubing is quite large bore and nice and thick even my cats haven’t managed to chew through it yet so its tough stuff. Connections to the feeder, spray bar and filter connections are nice and tight with no sign of drips or leaks it feels very very safe.
The connection heads for the filter are again nice and sturdy and feed well built unlike some of the more premium brands that feel flimsy despite their price tag. This was a nice surprise for me as it is a common failing area for many other external filters. Getting parts should you need them is also not a problem as All Pond Solutions do sell a full range of spares.
Inside the tub the trays all fit together nicely and the lid fits in securely and tight. The media comes in little little bags which is quite important for the coal to stop it from breaking up and getting into the water however the bag for the ceramic is unnecessary. There are 3 pieces of floss style foam cut specifically for each tray which while nice I would have preferred to have had a more coarse foam layer at the top and none in the lower trays but that’s personal preference over everything else.
The trays and media have nice cut outs in them for the UV light tube to fit down in and through the filter and in general its all well thought out and designed.
The spray bar as you would expect takes the return pipe from the filter and back into the tank. Unfortunately – and this could be specific to my tank – the weight of the pipework pulls down heavily on the spray bar so its almost impossible to get the spray bar level and feeling sturdy. When first piping it up I also had a few issues with it disassembling its self with the weight of the pipe pulling it apart as I was attempting to get it level.
If you can live with the spray bar not being level or have some way to take the weight of the return pipe off the spray bar connector then you won’t have any problems though.
Priming and start up is simply a case of pre-filling the filter with your aquarium water pushing on the primer button 3-4 times to fill the feed pipe from the tank and then turning it on. The only point to note here is that if its not priming for you then take the skimmer off the input pipe and put your finger over the skimmer feed hole to block it this will make it prime up in 1 or 2 pushes no problems.
Operation is near enough completely silent and the filter could quite happily sit in your living room or bedroom and you’d never even know it was on which is a big step up over some other externals which can usually be heard.
My only real issue with the whole setup is its flow rate. No way is it ever 1000L/h the water comes out of the spray bar in a 2 inch trickle while it does create quite a nice current/flow in the tank its certainly no where near the rated / labeled flow rate.
To test this I filled and timed a 2 litre pop bottle filling from the return pipe. Filling it took roughly 20 seconds. Which with a bit of maths is 6 Litre per minute 360 per hour. Now this is a very inaccurate method of measuring and I do really like the filter despite this so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and say that its more likely in the region of 400L/h turn over.
While this is far from the advertised 1000L/h its still a fairly decent flow rate and more than good enough for most home tanks under 4 foot.
All in a very nice external filter, well designed, sturdy and very quiet in operation. Its let down by a couple of small points notably the flow rate and the spray bar however these shouldn’t cause any issues for the usual types of tanks encountered in the home.
Factoring in its very low price point and its shortcomings suddenly become quite insignificant. For the price of 1 of the better known external filters you could in fact have 2 of these!
If you’re in the market for an external filter or would like to free up some space in your tank by removing the internal filter going for a All Pond Solutions 1000EF plus Aquarium External Filter is far from a bad choice.
All Pond Solutions 1000EF plus Aquarium External Filter
UPDATE At the request of All Pond Solutions all links to their website have been removed from this post they claim it is under “backlinking” to improve their site SEO rating which we all know is rubbish. Its more likely they don’t wish to have anything but 100%, 5* reviews pointing to their site/products.