For over ten years now, I have been successfully keeping fish tanks including freshwater and saltwater, and yet for some reason my current venture into the hobby has been elusively troublesome.
I’ve had fish dying off at a rather quick rate despite regular water changes, planted tank, excessive filtration (175 gallon capacity on 55 gallon tank), lower feeding, and so on, which has also correlated with significant growth of brown algae.
The brown algae overtook the plants so much that the plants just mostly died off, creating more food for the brown algae.
Somewhat frustrated with my results, but knowing that sometimes some livestock has to die off in order to ultimately achieve good balance, I decided to make a power play and invest in the most important factor in my past successes – the emperor 400 power filter – and not just one, but two of them, for my 55 gallon tank. I also ordered zeolite with them to help remove ammonia, to eventually choke the algae’s food off at the source.
When my emperor 400 power filters arrived, I was very excited, and I wanted to get one set up right away, wait a while for it to cycle – maybe 2 weeks – while the original filters were running on the other side of the tank, and then setup the other one on the other side.
However, when I set up the first emperor and turned it on, it was outrageously noisy, like a loud chainsaw running or something. So I pulled it off, cleaned it all out, turned it back on, and still it was really noisy. It was primed, water was running through it, water level was not too low, and everything *looked* okay, it just did not sound good at all.
So I started conducting some research online, and it appears to be a common problem with newer emporer 400 power filters which have a hinged top and no water flow adjustment on them. I tried all the tips and suggestions different people offered and had some success getting it to run at least quietly enough that it was tolerable, but it was still annoying. I tried different parts from both of my brand new filters and ultimately settled on the least-noisy combination.
The noise was coming from the impeller or intake tube housing (intake manifold). The people who did seem to have success getting it to run quiet ultimately did so with replacement parts from Marineland.
The following Monday, I called Marineland, and they said they could send me new intake manifolds and impellers for both filters if I faxed them a letter explaining my situation along with copies of proof of purchase. I did so. Four days later, replacement parts arrived no charge.
Now I still have the one filter running, and it still makes some noise at the impeller and intake manifold. However, it’s nowhere near as bad as it was, definitely livable now.
The water quality has improved to the point that some new plant growth is now accelerating and growing quicker than algae covers it, and I expect this to continue to improve.
Lost another fish yesterday, but it was an old diseased molly that was doomed anyhow.
If your new emperor 400 is noisy, Marineland will quickly send you replacement parts. Don’t ever expect that it will be completely quiet like other power filters are, but know that the trade-off for the excellent water quality is worth it, in my opinion.
Now after having run two Emperor 400 power filters on my 55 gallon fish tank for over a year, I can tell you that they definitely get quieter, but it takes a little while. Once they get settled in, get that slime coverage, I’m not sure, but they do quiet down to a very tolerable level. I also had to play with the positioning of the impeller and intake column a bit to get it to be less noisy, since there is some wiggle room on it. Once I find a quiet spot for that column, I can just leave it there, and it stays put, nice and quiet. In addition, I now have some nice plant growth and clean water, and therefore lower overall tank maintenance.