Eheim Classic 1500XL vs Pro 3 (2080/1200XL)


MFK Member
Sep 7, 2008
Hey guys,

(I'm looking to change out my FX6 filter. I've got two of these filters and one just gives me no end of problems. I've had one for 5 years or so and have had very little problems, but the other, which I've had for just under 3 years has just been a disaster from start to finish...leaking, motor, plus pretty much everything else. I've had so much trouble with it, I'm totally put off buying another. Thankfully, the local shop I bought it from have been amazing - they took it in for testing and agreed, it need replacing (under the 3 year warranty)...but I'm no annoyed with it that I won't buy another Fluval again. So I've gone with a credit note.)

Before my FX6s, I had Eheims...I had them for 20+ years without issues. I never should have changed.

QUESTION; I want to go for the Classic 1500XL or the Pro 3 (2080/1200XL)? Which one should I go for. I like the Classic XL as it seems more powerful but am worried about priming it after water changes and so on? I can't suck on the pipe with my set up, so I'd need another option for priming.

Any advice appreciated. Thank you so much.


MFK Member
Sep 15, 2008
clayfield, qld australia
i have both and both are good.

For classic get the set with the bigger motor and stop valves so you can just disconnect the bucket for cleaning. I run a modified 2x classic in series (only one has motor) and gives me more space for media. classic consumes more watts than the Pro3s.

For the Pro3, i suggest you get the one with the heater, even if you won't run the heater, you can use the display for reading the water temp. The two input hoses give you the flexibility of placing each on the corners to cover a wider area of water circulation.

as to priming, fill the bucket with water first, lock the bucket, open the valves and then connect your garden hose to the input and it primes itself. doing this will releases remaining air and the motor will do the rest. The Pro3 has as primer pump, but it always fails on me and i prefer the garden hose approach.
  • Like
Reactions: Abyss


MFK Member
Jan 22, 2013
Mid-Atlantic, US
I have a couple of Eheim classics, never found priming an issue. To prime any filter I never suck on a tube. All I do is submerge the intake hose to fill it with water, like you would with a water change siphon hose. Then close the valve on the filter end, leave the top end in the water, attach the intake to the filter, open the valve(s), let the filter fill up most of the way, close the valve(s) to attach the pump/top of the filter, then open again. You can either leave a couple of clips open or take the outlet hose off, let the canister fill the rest of the way, then close it all up.

I just let gravity fill the filter itself. It's trying to prime or re-prime with everything closed up tight that can be a problem, as long as the filter is below water level I've never had a problem by just relieving the pressure on the top or outlet of the filter. I keep a towel around to catch any little bit of water that escapes.

Same for filter cleaning, I close the valve(s) on the intake), open them up after connecting the filter back up, then the same final steps as above. (I have the two valves connected to each other at the bottom, close to the filter, so I just separate them to take the filter away for cleaning, then reattach.) It's rare that I ever lose prime, but if so I simply start by submerging the intake tube as above.
  • Like
Reactions: Abyss and deeda