Need advice on my setup with the Fluval 406 Canister Filter

Cueball703

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Jun 20, 2013
153
2
33
NY
DSCF0224.JPGDSCF0223.JPG

Above are 2 pics of my fish tank. It is a 72 gallon Bow Front tank. I have had this for almost 2 years now. Last week, when I was cleaning my tank and changing stuff in my filter, I had a problem with the filter. After everything was hooked up, it started to make a loud clicking noise, and it looked like it was functioning sporadically (stop and go). It is a Fluval 406 Canister Filter.

I replaced the impeller within the unit. It was still making a lot of noise, and I was afraid that it might stop working, so I went out and bought a new one. The new one is working perfectly.

I contacted Fluval (since my unit has a 3 year warranty), and the representative asked me a slew of questions to ascertain what the problem might be. When I described my setup, he told me that I have the hosing for the intake and output tubes spaced too far apart, and that they should be no more than 12 inches apart from each other.

Here is my question.... If you can see it in the pics, I have my intake tube set up on the Left-hand side of the tank (in the rear), and my Output tube is almost all the way to the Right side of the tank (in the rear). They are spaced 32 inches apart, with my output tube aiming the flow of water to the Left (towards the direction of my intake tube). Is that really too far apart? Should I cut some of the air hose, and move the output tube closer to the intake tube? If so, should I really space them only 12 inches apart... especially in such a large tank? I have seen some set-up videos (on YouTube) for the Fluval 406, and the one I remember viewing (when I first got my fish tank and set everything up 2 years ago) showed the hoses and tubing set up at opposite ends of the tank (which looked like a helleva lot more than 12 inches apart).

Another question (based on moving my output tube closer to the intake tube)... Which direction should I aim the flow of water coming out of the output tube... towards the direction of the intake tube, towards the direction of the top center of tank, or towards the Right side of the tank (away from everything)?

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mudbuttjones

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Jul 29, 2014
1,375
58
56
Wisconsin
I've found the only "spacing" that matters with the hoses, is making sure theres no loops. I have no issues with mine, as long as the return hose is shorter than the drain hose -anything goes basically.

I had issues with my motor head sealing properly, I don't like the latches too much, air would make its way into the top of the canister and cause intermittent impeller issues. A good bit of advice is to unplug the canister after setting it up to make sure it doesn't leak once the motor stops creating a vaccum in the canister. This is a good indication of that problem.

I'd aim the return away from the intake tube to help with circulation. If you have them too close youll get some dead spots in the tank

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Cueball703

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Jun 20, 2013
153
2
33
NY
Stop and go. Seems that the filter isnt primes enough. Make sure canister is filled with enough water before turning on
The canister was filled to the absolute top before plugging it it. It was to the point that I couldn't even pull the priming lever up and down. It was tight.
 

Cueball703

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Jun 20, 2013
153
2
33
NY
I've found the only "spacing" that matters with the hoses, is making sure there's no loops. I have no issues with mine, as long as the return hose is shorter than the drain hose -anything goes basically.
I have no loops in the hose extensions. they are slightly angled as versus straight up/down (to allow for the fact that they are spaced so far apart. For that matter, even if they were spaced 12 inches apart (as suggested by the Fluval Customer Service Rep), the hoses wouldn't be completely vertical.

When you say "Return Hose," is that the output tube that is flowing the water back into the tank, and the "Drain Hose" the intake tube (that is sucking all the water into the filter canister)? If so, my Drain Hose is shorter than my Return Hose (reverse of what you just said).

I had issues with my motor head sealing properly, I don't like the latches too much, air would make its way into the top of the canister and cause intermittent impeller issues. A good bit of advice is to unplug the canister after setting it up to make sure it doesn't leak once the motor stops creating a vacuum in the canister. This is a good indication of that problem.
I don't believe I had any issue with the canister being air-tight and sealed properly. I had checked several times, making sure that the canister was completely filled with water as well, before deciding to run out and buy a new 406 for the tank.

I'd aim the return away from the intake tube to help with circulation. If you have them too close youll get some dead spots in the tank.
I know that your stated opinion is that "Spacing" doesn't really matter, but if I were to move the Output tube closer to the Intake tube than where it currently is (probably more to the center of my tank, which would still be further than the Fluval Rep suggested), do you think I should have the Output Nozzle Assembly (where the water flows back into my tank) aimed in the opposite direction of the Intake tube, or aimed more-so that the water flows directly into the center of the tank?
 

mudbuttjones

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Jul 29, 2014
1,375
58
56
Wisconsin
The deal is that the siphon (dirty water, input etc) is gravity assisted "free" energy. The returning water which is being pushed by the pump is not free energy and is effected by head pressure. This is why they advise you not to spread them out so far, the longer the spread, the longer the hoses. It's my opinion that the intake hose for siphoning water can be as long as you want it as long as you have a short return hose if that makes sense.

Its also my opinion that tech lines make outrageous stipulations to put the blame on the consumer. It's like that in every indistry. "Did you follow this tight set of specific variables?" If not then we can't help you lol.

You'll have to play with the return nozzle to find what works for dead spots. Look for mechanical waste gathering in spots. I usually have the return shooting water away from the intake if possible.

Heres a bad picture of what I mean about hose lengths and how I set upnall my canisters.uploadfromtaptalk1423265844028.jpg


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mudbuttjones

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Jul 29, 2014
1,375
58
56
Wisconsin
The only issue with a super long intake or siphon hose is that it can be more difficult to prime, but with the aqua stop valve, you should only have to really prime the hose once

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