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Size: Up to 10-GallonsChange
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on July 11, 2009
I own 7 pet turtles. I have two red-eared sliders, four mud turtles and one map turtle. I use the Whisper 40i filters in all my turtle tanks. After trying several different types of filters (ie Zoo Med 501 and Reptofilter) for my turtle tanks, I have found that these work the best and are the easiest to use.

First of all, they do keep the water clean as long as you change the filter media regularly. How often it needs to be changed depends on the type of animal, or in my case turtle, that you own. It also depends on the amount of water in your habitat and other factors. The replacement media is fast to change and more inexpensive than the replacements for other turtle filters I've used.

The filter can be either hung on the side of the tank or completely suction cupped to the side. For functionality, I have found that tanks with shallow water do better with the filter sitting on the bottom of the tank and attached to the wall. Also, pets that are more likely to knock the filter down should have it attached to the wall instead of hung. When it falls in the water, the tank can become very dirty within a matter of hours. My sliders kept knocking one in the water and now the motor does not seem to work as well as it once did.

Make sure that your tank will have at least 4 inches of water in it or this filter will not work for you.

Overall, a solid product!
22 comments69 of 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 7, 2011
I first bought this filter for my 1.5 gallon tank that has a betta fish in it. It was the perfect size for the tank. It did a really good job at keeping the water in the tank clear. At about 8 months after I bought it, the water would only trickle out of the filter. I tried taking it apart, cleaning the filter out, putting it back together (as sometimes gunk builds up in my other filter that slows the amount of workload it can handle). No change. I originally planned to buy a different brand of filter, but I couldn't beat this price and still had some filter cartridges left over. I saw that other people have said that they have bought more than one with better luck. So, I decided to take the risk. I was curious to see what the problem was, so i tried substituting certain parts of the filter with the old one. The problem was definitely the little motor. For some reason it didn't push air through the filter as much as it did in the beginning.

Either way, I do like the filter and I hope this one holds out. Its perfect for a betta fish's tank- and I like the price.


Wrote that review on January 7, 2011 and it is now February 10, 2011 and the filter is no longer working the way it should. The water only trickles out of the filter, making it unable to do its job. I'm sick of having to deal with this.. I would just like my filter to work like it said it would!!! Don't buy this filter unless you want to replace it a month later....(This is the second one I have purchased with the same result.)
1313 comments86 of 93 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 13, 2011
Had to buy 2 of these within 2 years, they don't hold up long enough for the price you have to pay, motor quit, it should last longer than what it does.
0Comment26 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 10, 2013
If you have a small fish, like a Beta, it is nicer to keep them in an actual tank than a bowl or cup. It will keep the fish alive longer too. This filter is easy to use & changing out the charcoal pouches is simple. My small child is able to do this on her own. The filter is relatively quiet and easy to install.
0Comment25 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 22, 2008
I have two African dwarf frogs and was missing a frog one night.
I could not find her. I finally found her in the filter.
I have now learned through reading other web sites; it's best to put pantyhose or cheesecloth over a part of the filter, (use common sense on watching how it does filter so the filter will still do it's job) to protect your frog from becoming stuck.
My girl was saved.
The filter does work, just be careful and aware if missing an aquarium baby.
44 comments67 of 80 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 15, 2009
It's very quiet and easy to setup,runs on low water and my turtles like to be under the cascade. Very easy to clean also.
review image review image
0Comment15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 14, 2011
I bought this from a local supermarket (meijers) about 2 and a 1/2 years ago, when i first got my aquarium. it is lasted sense then with absolute zero problems. well, actually it does have the tendency to get small, weak, and/ or sick fish stock to the intake grill, but that can be expected from any good filter. It has kept the water crystle clear. When i first turned it on, it was so silent that i thought it was broken. If your a begining fish keeper, i strongly recomend this product.
0Comment23 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 28, 2011
i had this filter for a grand total of a week before installing a new one, i would have taken it back to the store the same day if i had another option for a filter, however i went ahead and purchased the TOM Aquarium Mini Internal Filter 45gph adjustable flow online (which is working perfectly by the way) and waited for delivery. so why is this filter so horrible?
1) the noise is unbearable, this tiny filter for a 3 gallon tank is louder than another filter i have for a 75 gallon tank! unbelievable
2) its made of cheap plastic parts, ( the "lid" broke off during assembly)
the ONLY good thing about this filter is the fact that it is gentle the current is very weak, suitable for my delicate finned male betta.
as for as how it does with actual filtration, for the week i had it, it kept the water clear and well circulated; as far as any long term use i wouldn't know about but honestly in my opinion i wouldn't be surprised if this thing didn't last more than a month, its that flimsy.
88 comments38 of 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 19, 2015
Works very well for my two baby red ear sliders. Does the job to filter out the bad and keep the good stuff in the water. The turtles love to hang around the waterfall area too!
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11 comment8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 5, 2013
Ok, so for starters,I'm reading a ton of reviews claiming the air pump that comes with it doesn't work. well, I've have the air pump running nonstop for nearly a year now without any problems. If you need to buy a new air pump I think its worth it for reasons I will explain below. One thing, I put the air pump on a folded up washcloth on my desk, and I the noise is there, but I never immediately notice it from the whole setup. Btw it is best to use a check valve with any air pumps for aquariums to avoid the possibility of an electrical fire from water siphoning out of the tank during a power outage or something like that. Next, this thing is so simple to use but easily has numerous uses apart from filtration. One thing is, for small tanks, if the water level remains under the spillout but water is still flowing, you can actually use this thing as a gravel vacuum. Using it as a gravel vacuum only works if the bottom of the siphon can be pushed around into the gravel while the water level in the tank allows it to still flow out of the filter. If the water level is too high above the spillout you'll get debris spitting out of top. If the water level is too low under the spillout you'll get no flow. So if your tank is small enough where you can drain out enough water to let the bottom of the siphon be pushed through the gravel, using it as a gravel vac worked in all my tanks. Apologies for the complicated explanation. But it really is the same principal as those battery operated gravel vacs for bigger tanks, only its not designed specifically for that so you need to have the water level in the right place for it to work.

Now for filtration, Most people don't realize that features can be added to filters to make them more efficient. There is room in the front and back of the cartridge to some small things that aid in bio filtration. "bio pellets" most aquarium pet stores sell them, the ones I'm referring to are the cylinder shaped ones that are roughly a centimeter in height and width. Some of these can be put in the back or front of the filter provided its not blocking the intake in the back. same principal applies with adding extra small pieces of sponge, cotton, or even small cotton pieces of a filter cartridge. All of them will provide extra places for your benificial bacteria to grow. its the equivelant of adding a tiny sponge filter to your tank. I don't recommend using too much so that you still get plenty of water flow and you don't have all that water just spilling out the top because it has no where to go. But rather small amounts will be a good extra place for your benificial bacteria to grow.

Now for the filter function as far as cleaning up debris in the tank. First of all you need to push the cartridge down a bit hard to make it go all the way, second you have to push it against the front of the filter to seal the sides of the cartridge to prevent debris from getting through. It does pick up debris fine, but once that debris is in the back it has nothing to do but sit there, and buildup of debris in the back both slows the flow down and rapidly deteriorates the quality of your cartridge. Once that debris starts sticking to the sides of the cartridge, it opens gaps in the sides that allows some bigger debris to get through. Unfornatly this thing is not designed to be 100% effecient with the tiniest peices of debris. But if you push the cartridge against the front, it helps seal the sides which does then catch most of the tiny peices in addition to the big ones. Then to preserve your cartridge and the water flow you need to be emptying debris out of the back. All I do is take it out and pour it into a cup, Whether the biopellets or sponge falls out or not doesn't matter, as long as they doesn't dry out or aren't washed with tap water it'll be fine (tap water will kill all the benificial bacteria). Then put the filter back in. That preserves the flow of water and the cartridge itself.

Now for complaints on inconsistent flow. There's 4 factors that effect the flow. The consistent efficiency of the pump, water level in the tank, debris buildup in the back, and a poor quality cartridge.
If the pump isn't working consistently, (I've had no trouble with all 3 of mine) you can try a different type of type of pump, most places have them for 8-12 dollars.
For debris sitting in the back I recommend emptying the back an maybe a 2 week or so basis depending on how dirty your tank is, all i do is take the filter off and pour the water into a cup, filter goes back in, and just discard the cup of water/debris.
For quality of cartridge, if your cartridge is really dirty (will be effected by debris buildup in the back. make sure the back of the filter is empty of debris and put in a new cartridge, flow improves a bit every time for me.

For water level in the tank, if the spillout is too high above the water, it won't flow as much, if the spiilout is to low under the water it just spits water and debris back out. I still have a very minimal amount of water spilling out the top, as long as its very minimal water spilling out the top, the main function of the filter is still working.

For complaints about the lid. Its true, the lid is not well designed to stay on (another con). However with a bit of a guided hand, the lid can rather easily be put back on so that it lifts up and down. Its best if you take it out so you can see what your doing connecting it in the back, but I've been able to put them back on every time.

And last thing is, the replacement cartridges come in packs of 2 for about 4 dollars. Two dollars per cartridge is a pretty decent deal compared to some other filter type replacement cartridges. Notice how everyone loves the tom filter but the replacement cartridges are hard to find. Almost every aquarium store I've been to for this filter(petsmart, petsupplies plus, etc.) has them. So cartridges are rather cheap and easy to find.
I hope this review helps, feel free to comment with any questions. Have a great day!

Update, i have noticed that for the one i have in the heated tank, there are a lot more bubbles in the back. And the flow did slow down a lot after a week, i solved this simply by moving the cartridge back so its not wedged against the front anymore. I'm more worried about bio filtration than i am debris filtration,debris can be easily picked up other ways. I added more bio pellets to both of them, and water parameters in both tanks are testing normal. So, I'm not switching to any others, for now at least.

update, I am now using the hagen elite mini model, the bio pellets made this one work fine, but warning to buyer, I've now had 2 white cloud minnows and 2 cherry shrimp sucked into the back of the tetra 3i model. If you have aquatic pets that are small enough to fit into the siphon, cover the siphon with something (sponge, empty tea bag or something). The hagen model is quite a lot quieter than the tetra 3i too.

Its a few months later now. The hagen model didn't work out. I'm back to this in one of my tanks, not using the cartridge at all, just filled this filter with biomax bio pellets, and its finally keeping the parameters stable without any difficulty.
33 comments18 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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