Reviews Water quality

Review: Eheim Classic 250 canister filter (Eheim 2213)

January 10, 2016

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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  • ReplyIvan HrubaAugust 19, 2017 at 11:18 am

    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?

    • ReplyMariAugust 30, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      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.

  • ReplyIvoFebruary 20, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    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

    • ReplyMariFebruary 20, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      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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