Review: Eheim Classic 250 canister filter (Eheim 2213)




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Because my fancy goldfish were recently moved from a tub to an actual aquarium, I switched from a pond filter to regular aquarium filtration in the form of an Eheim Classic 250 canister (also known as the Eheim Classic 2213).

The Eheim Classic is one of the most popular canisters and has a 4.5 star review on Amazon, so I was curious to see whether it would live up to the expectations. Keep reading this Eheim 2213 review to find out what I thought!


  • Good pricing
  • Lots of accessories available
  • Relatively easy to set up
  • Quiet
  • Great for regular community aquariums


  • Not the absolute cheapest on the market, replacement filter media can be expensive
  • Not strong enough to deal with messy fish

General information

The Eheim Classic 250 is rated for aquariums up to 66 US gallons, which translates to 250 L and explains the name. On its website, Eheim describes: “quiet, low energy consumption, versatile accessories, durable and value for money”. The canister costs around $80, filters around 116 gallons (or 440 L) per hour and uses 8 watts. It comes with everything you need to set it up: filter, hoses, valves and a spray bar. Other accessories are also available but not included.


Photo by Eheim
Photo by Eheim
  • Price. At $80, the Eheim Classic 250 is not too expensive.
    In comparison: one of its largest competitors, the Fluval 306 canister, is rated for slightly larger aquariums but also costs almost $100 more. On the other hand, a similar SunSun canister is only $23; however, these filters are notoriously difficult to set up and can be quite noisy. Filter media replacements for the Eheim Classic 250 are unfortunately a bit more expensive, and I would personally opt to just cut round shapes out of a cheap, large sheet of filter sponge! That gives it a plus and a minus.
  • Setting it up. For someone like me, who is not great at setting up any kind of device, having to install a canister filter is a complete nightmare. Luckily, the Eheim Classic 250 comes with instructions that make the process slightly easier.
    When setting up mine I had some help, which is a great idea. I have to admit a lot of water did end up on the floor due to an error on our part, but the filter was not too difficult to install once we figured out where all the parts needed to go! Definitely a plus.
  • Sound. My aquarium is located right next to my bed and I’ve experienced very noisy filters before, so I was really hoping Eheim is right in their claim that the Classic 250 is very quiet. The first night after setting everything up, I suddenly realized I was hearing no sound at all coming out of the tank stand. I got suspicious and went to check whether the filter was still running, and it was; it was just that quiet! Big plus here.
  • Performance. The filter capacity seems good for a regular aquarium, like a normally stocked planted tropical community. The flow looks as strong as it should be, and I especially like the spray bar as it can be used to help oxygenate the water and/or create good circulation. I also love that the Eheim Classic 250 comes with actual biological filter media, as this is often forgotten. This really helps establish a stable cycle. For normal community tanks, a plus!

Note: although it’s rated up to 66 gal (250L), this filter is not strong enough for my 60 gallon goldfish tank on its own. I’m running another (internal) one that filters around 130 gal/500L an hour. If you’ve also got an aquarium with messy inhabitants like turtles or puffer fish, you may run into the same problem and need to install another filter or get the larger Eheim 350 instead.


My simple conclusion is that I would buy an Eheim Classic series again if I ever need another external canister filter for a smaller tank. It’s not too expensive, comes with great accessories (and anything it doesn’t come with is easily found) and setting it up is only a moderate nightmare (I’m just really bad with canisters).

When I started using it, I found out the Eheim Classic 250 is also very quiet and definitely suitable for normally stocked community aquariums. Although I obviously can’t say much about the durability yet, this filter seems sturdy and built to last.

If you have any more questions about this canister filter or want to share your own experiences with it, be sure to leave a comment below. Happy fishkeeping!

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14 thoughts on “Review: Eheim Classic 250 canister filter (Eheim 2213)”

    • Hi Amit,

      If my calculations are correct, that’s about a 40 gallon (151.4 L) tank. If you want to stay with Eheim, you could choose from the Eheim Classic 250 and up.

  1. Hey! So i’m thinking of setting one of these up in my 90 litre tank (roughly 24 gals). I have two stunted rescue goldfish in there and quite a lot of plants. As I can’t currently upgrade the size of the tank, I want to give them better fitration. The internal filtration I currently have doesn’t seem to be enough because of their plant eating habits. Messy bits of decaying plant matter everywhere! Do you think this method of filtration on this small a tank would be enough?

    • Hi Alix,
      The easiest and most inexpensive way to keep the water clean would be to remove the plants. But if you’re going for a natural food source for them, then an upgraded filter is definitely the step you want to be taking. In general, it’s best to get a filter that is rated for double the size of your tank, but with goldfish, it’s better to go even a little bigger than that. That means that the 66 gallon Eheim Classic would probably be great for you and your goldfish.
      The only thing to keep in mind is that you may need to modify the return rates of the water. The return flow could be too powerful for your plants and fish, but I’ve heard of hobbyists being able to make simple modifications if there is no good angle to set it at in the tank.
      I hope this helped!

    • Hi Samantha,

      Yes! We are still answering any questions you might have about anything aquarium related! Feel free to ask and we will get back to you in a couple of days.

    • Awesome! So, I was reading about your review for the canister filter and I was wondering if it would fit a 20 gallon tank? If not, do you have any brand recommendations that would fit that tank size?

      • So in general, the bigger the filter, the better. If you want to stay with a canister filter, then I would definitely recommend the Eheim 2217 for your size tank. The only main complaint people seem to have with them is the high rate of the return flow; however, the direction is very easily adjustable and the actual return can always be modified. If you’re not planning on keeping anything too special, you can always just use a HOB (hang on the back) filter from a reputable brand like Fluval or AquaClear. It is strongly recommended to go with a filter that is rated for double your tank size; so for you, start at 40 gallons and go up from there. I hope this helped!

        • It definitely helps knowing that! I had no idea that you should typically go for a bigger size. Now, is this model compatible with lily pipes? I’m trying to upgrade from my beginner equipment to a slightly more professional look and I’m trying to make sure I do so correctly.

          • There are many ways to go for a professional look that don’t involve upgrading your equipment. For instance, I am running a saltwater reef tank but I have a $20 HOB filter. Nothing fancy. But it’s perfect for my system. Other people choose to run a sump because there is more room for filter media and you can put your heater/protein skimmer in there, freeing up space in the tank. Filtration is more about knowing what your system needs rather than going for a certain look, though canister filters seem to achieve both if you’re willing to make that upgrade. It seems that Eheim actually sells a lily pipe attachment, though it may be worthwhile to contact them through their website to make sure there is one for the model you are looking to buy.

  2. Hi there,
    Just regarding the eheim 2213550 I just wanted to know if it was suitable for marine/salt water aquarium and what is the recommended size tank for this type of filter?

    • I have no experience with marine/salt water whatsoever so I can’t tell you much about that, sorry! The filter is meant for aquariums < 250L, which is why it's also called the 250. It's not THAT strong, though - I wouldn't use it on its own for aquariums larger than 150L, unless they're not heavily stocked at all.

  3. I’ve got eheim cannister filters of pretty much all types running on various tanks. All are easy and durable but none are as straight forward and no nonsense as the classic. Some of them are more than 20 years old and been running 24/7 since the day they were bought…

    ps.: I absolutly love your site

    • Glad you love the site! I actually just bought a used Eheim Professional so I’m very interested to see how it compares. I agree that the Classic is fantastic! The 2213 was unfortunately just not capable of keeping up with the messy goldfish, though, which is not surprising as it’s one of the smaller models. I got it with the tank and the previous owner had a tropical community so I can imagine it was perfect for that.


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