Here are some comments about the Via Aqua VitaLife Aquarium Power Filter:
(From Everything Aquatic Forum)
Kagome; My previous filter was a Regent, purchased with the tank as a kit from Walmart. Frankly I've never been truly happy with it and if this one is conking out with this little time and as much cleaning and maintenance as I've put into it I'm really not interested in getting another of the same. I know that I will be very happy with the new Via Aqua Vitalife since I already have one and have been running it now for over a year with absolutely no problems. I love that filter, easy to clean/maintain, easy to get it started and a great size compartment for biofilter media.
Fishfever; Although the Aqueon works fine, the new Vitalife blew it away in terms of flow (I estimate 2:1 advantage), cartridge durability (surface material very tough and easily survives multiple hard cleanings yet still allows excellent flow), flexibility (adjustable flow rate, 2 slots and plenty of room in the box to put volcanic rock, Purigen bag, almond leaf packet, etc.) and much lower flow-by even with the Vitalife set for max flow. It is also made to break down easily (impeller and tubes snap out) for cleaning and I really like that you can see through the tubes to gauge build-up to help schedule cleanings. When you add the prefilter sponge it's a very hard to beat combination for price and performance IMHO.
Just wanted to send you a note of thanks.
I bought a Top fin 10 gallon kit from Petsmart.
After looking at your sight I was unhappy with my filtration.
On your recommendation I purchased a #2 sponge installed it and waited a week & exchanged the Top fin HOB with a VitaLife 100.
My water had been incredibly cloudy and in a matter of 2-3 minutes of turning on the 100 my tank is now almost clear.
Filter Max Aquarium Pre-Filters
For improved bio filtration, improved aquarium filter efficiency. These Sponge pre-filters prevent fry, debris, and other material from being trapped in an aquarium filter intake and increase filter intake depth
SunSun Premium Economy Aquarium HOB Filter & ReSun Internal Wet-Dry
*The SunSun HBL-501 & 701 combines Dual (701) cartridges AND Dual (701) Bio Sponges for reliability and a price that beats many filters of half the capacity and double the price
*ReSun BF Filters are a Unique Wet/Dry filter for aquarists looking for an inexpensive bio filter and with no space on the back of an aquarium for a Power filter
Rena Smart Premium Aquarium HOB Filter
The Rena Smart Filter is revolutionary aquarium power filter (HOB), bringing the superior filtration of a canister filter to the back of the aquarium for simplicity of maintenance
ATI Hydro Sponge Filters
ATI Hydro Sponge Aquarium Filters for bio and mechanical aquarium filtration as well as filter redundancy when combined with a HOB filter such as the VitaLife.
FILTER MAX WITH FILTER Diagram with M-200 attached to Filter Max Pre-Filter
This picture shows the filter with the surface skimmer attached to a FM #3 (or #2) as well as the sub-picture to the lower right showing the parts used.
The sub-picture in the upper right shows the Filter Max attached without the Skimmer attachment.
Removes Surface impurities with the exclusive Vita Life skimmer (Model 200 only)
Nitrifying bacterial grid, no need to change. Vastly superior to filters with cartridges alone, easier to maintain healthy bio bacterial colonies than with bio wheels.
Includes easy to change quick replacement filter cartridges.
Can be used in fresh or saltwater aquariums, although with Marine Aquarium use (or even freshwater), I recommend switching out the bio grid or similar with Live Rock Crumbles, SeaChem Matrix (best) or volcanic rock for de-nitrification (nitrate removal)
*Please click on the picture to the left (& other pictures as well) to enlarge the view of a VitaLife filter with volcanic rock in place of the bio grid for marine aquarium use (adding the rock to a nylon filter bag is recommended to prevent debris from entering the impeller well inside the filter; this is a must with the use of Matrix).
Adjustable flow control
Quiet and efficient, proven Via Aqua reliability. Superior in performance and price than most competitors including Aqua Clear and Whisper.
Durable high quality filter cartridges are easily power rinsed and do not fall apart after rinsing, unlike most HOB cartridges such as the Whisper, making these cartridges actually a better buy than the bio bag since I have reused them over many times before disposing of them
Although not as well known as brands such as Aqua Clear, the Vitalife is clearly one of the best if not the best in terms of reliability, performance, and low cost of purchase and operation. This is based on our aquarium maintenance sister company and customer feedback
Compares favorably with the excellent Whisper EX45 Power Filter, except a much lower price, a surface skimmer that the Whisper does NOT have, and not all the Hype. Superior to comparable sized Penguin Filters! Quite bluntly, there is no better HOB filter for the price when compared feature to feature, reliability, cost of operation (as the VitaLife has THE superior, reusable cartridge) and gph capacity! Click on the picture to the left for a better view of the VitaLife M200<
Even though the VitaLife is only available in a size to fit up to a 45 gallon aquarium, when combined with a Hydro Sponge filter or the unfortunately not too well known ReSun BF200 Bio Wet/Dry Internal Filter, this is a combination that literally blows filters such as the Emperor 400 out of the water (especially as to bio filtration).
*See a diagram at the bottom of the page with Pre-Filter attached for additional filtration or to protect fry
*Up to 15 gallon aquarium
*Up to 20 gallon with an additional filter such as Hydro Sponge #2 Filter
*Does not have surface skimmer (only the M200 has this feature), however it still has the bio grid
I recommend rinsing to extend the life of the cartridge (these are long lasting when this is done) or even adding a pre filter such as a Filter Max
Please Note that Via Aqua is having severe production issues with many of their products (not due to poor sales, rather the relocation of their factory due to dishonest business practices by a competitor.
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