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Main Index > Products of merit > Filters > The Emperor 400
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Manufacturer's write up



Two 2-oz. Emperor Filter Cartridges, Two 4-oz. Refillable Media Containers, and Two Spray Driven BIO-Wheels. Certified Flow: 400 GPH


  • Heavy Duty Emperor Filter Cartridge Delivers two ounces of activated carbon filtration and 45% more mechanical filter area. Traps more dirt and debris as it removes harmful contaminants.

  • Refillable Media Container holds an additional four ounces of activated carbon or other chemical filtration media to maximize pollution removal capacity.

  • Extra Large Spray Bar-Driven BIO-Wheel delivers classic wet/dry biological filtration capacity to any new or existing system... large or small.

  • Worry-Free, Epoxy-Sealed Motor is U/L listed, CSA available. Moisture proof to ensure safe operation.

  • Indicator Windows and Two-Way Hinged Cover provide easy system access and servicing convenience.



Your comments:

From: Joe
Date: 03/19/2010
I have experience excessive impeller noise with a new emperor 400, purchased on line January 2010. I contacted Marineland for assistance. Over a period of a month they sent me 2 replacement impellers and manifolds. Nothing would eliminate the noise. I checked two more new emperor 400's locally and they were also noisy. I finally solved the problem by sanding the impeller magnet about 1/16". This was very difficult to do. I rigged up a make shift lathe with a variable drill and sanded the magnet for several hours. This worked as I suspected it would. Apparently something has changed in the manufacturing process of certain emperor 400's. I've read that some people have had no problems with their older and newer version filters but many have had problems with the newer version. Marineland has been accommodating, however I cannot be without a filter for a few weeks while they send me a replacement.
From: James
Date: 02/05/2010
This is 02/05/2010 and I have now had this filter for a year. It does do a very good job on keeping the water clean and the chemistry where I want it. However it produces a lot of noise from the impeller. Everything is clean and properly installed. It started out with an acceptable amount of noise but over the past year it has gotten worse and worse. Thought about buying a new impeller, but unsure if that 15 bucks would be well spent or if I should just find a different brand of filter.
From: Dan
Date: 09/28/2009
I got this filter on the advice of a great fish shop owner. I took the first one back due to noise and got a new one also very loud. The issue isn't water noise which can be controlled by spray bars, it is the fact that the impeller rattles in its housing. No amount of pushing, adjusting, cleaning is making a difference. After reading multiple reviews from other sites I've gathered that the 400 had a good rep before 07 but models after that were put together with cheaper parts and there is no water volume control. I would advise against this filter and am currently looking for a better brand to replace it (now that I'm out $80 bucks for the purchase of the emperor filter.)
From: John
Date: 02/03/2009
Great filter, I have a 55 gallon Discus tank and the water is like glass. Noiseless as well. However, using the extra 2 media slots can only be used for extra filtering, you cannot put media of another kind, (diamond blend) because even using a micro bag, the media container will not snap into place. I hear people saying there are settings on this filter, there are no settings...... Not sure what there talking about ?? Its still the best filter on the market.
From: Michael Daniels
Date: 07/07/2008
I have several of these up and running and for over a year haven't had any operating issues with them. They do a great job.
From: Laura
Date: 06/28/2005
We have 2 of these filters on our 125 gallon tank. (We used to have 25 aquariums, but have cut back) One of the filters is absolutely perfect! The other one I want to smash against the wall. Every time there is a "power blip" (which happens a bit in hot weather) the bad Emperor gets VERY noisy. No obstructions, impeller is clear,.... and the other identical filter on the same tank is just fine! Leads me to believe that there may be some lemon filters out there?
From: Steve
Date: 02/04/2005
I have 2 of these filters and the jury is not in yet. So far I am impressed with their performance. They are quiet and versatile. There was a previous post about the filter making a buzzing sound neither of my 2 don’t buzz, poster “fish” you may want to check that the intake manifold is fully seated buy pushing down on it. If it is water noises you want then adjust the spray bars to direct water downwards. I did get a temporary fishy smell from 1 filter on a 50-gallon tank but I am willing to concede that it was from biological activity becoming established. After only a month and a half it is to early for me to claim this as a good product but so far so good.
From: Fish
Date: 8/20/2004
Great filter, but very noisy. Even after you prime the impeller by running it under warm water, it still makes a buzzing sound. Also, this noise does not include the water sounds, which I think is quite pleasant. But the constant buzzing/motor running can be annoying. I have a 10 year old whisper that makes less noise. So I hope that this helps someone pick a filter out. You will give your fish healthy water if you can put up with the noise.
From: Vaughn
Date: 12/01/2003
This filter has so far been absolutely fantastic. I'm a new marine hobbyist and this filter was recommended by several shops and they were right. The water is very clear and never has had any odor. The fish and plants stay very healthy. Very pleased with the 400. Also, because of its efficiency, you can really populate the aquarium to the fullest.

From: Anonymous
Date: NA
I find these filters to be very reliable and the water in my 55 gal is crystal clear with 2 of these filters. When the pads need to be replaced, I just go buy filter floss and stuff a roll of it in front of the media containers, this is nice because each filter can use two different kinds of media and the spray bar driven biowheels work well.

From: Anonymous
Date: NA
This filter is the best hang on the back I have seen or used. I have one on my 55 gallon and the water is sparkling clear. It is very efficient and reliable. The only drawback is you have to keep it clean or else grime build up will greatly reduce efficiency and might even warrant having to get a new filter. If you want a reliable filter that will keep your tank clean, not make noise, and easy to maintain this is the one. The two biowheels once cultured work very well in the depletion of ammonia and nitrites

From: Randy Carmoney
Date: 4/16/2001
I use this along with two Penguin 660 Powerheads with sponges(no undergravel) in my 55 gallon tank for two 12" Albino Tiger Oscars and it stays crystal clear and is easy to maintain. I went to the Emperor after my 300(about ten years old) quit. It's a great filter and outperforms more expensive canister filters in my opinion.

From: Dave
Date: 1/19/2002
This is a great product. The biowheels grow a thick, efficient bacteria mat for your nitrogen cycle, and you can stuff your choice of mechanical/chemical media in the back. The 400 is essentially TWO 280 filters side by side, which besides the higher capacity, has another advantage: FOUR media bays allow a combination of media, or allow you to change one side at a time to preserve the biofiltration capability of the other side.
Finally, a small touch: a lever on the top allows you to slow or virtually stop the filter's action during feeding, so you don't suck all your brine shrimp into the filter. But it keeps the biowheels turning. Nicely done.





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