Sicce Whale 500 canister filter review


Photo of two canister filters in the Sicce Whale line – model 120 (left) and 500 (right). Courtesy of Sicce USA.

As I was planning out the set-up of the new 55g tank, one of the first items I thought about was filtration. While there are numerous ways to effectively filter a 55g, I knew I was going to use a canister or two. I have used sumps, HOBs, internal and external canisters, but for this tank I wanted to use a large external canister.

Quite serendipitously, I was offered a Sicce Whale 500 canister filter by the Aquarium in exchange for a review of it. Manufactured in Italy, the Sicce Whale line of canister filters comes in four models – 120, 200, 350, and 500. The 500 has a maximum flow rating of 390 gph and a recommended tank capacity of 80-135 gallons, which is more than enough for the 55g I’m setting up. You can see my review of the Whale 500 here.

I must say that this filter does a really nice job. In the past, the Whale canisters had problems with leaks around the pump head seal (where the pump head connects to the canister body) due to users incorrectly aligning the media trays or overpacking them. However, Sicce quickly responded to this problem and resolved it by redesigning the trays and the underside of the pump head. Ribs were added to both the trays and the bottom of the pump head assembly to prevent incorrect alignment. See the video showing the improvements. The filter does supply a significant output flow. Also, it is really quiet.

Update 5/16/18: Sicce has changed the model names of the Whale line. There are still four models, but they are now just simply numbered (in order of size) beginning with 1 (e.g., Whale 1, Whale 2).

2 thoughts on “Sicce Whale 500 canister filter review”

  1. Hello! Dear friend!
    I bought Whale 200 canister filter. There is no outflow of water when switched on. However if I manually pump then water flows through it.
    It seems motor does not work because shaft rotates inside.
    Am I missing something?

    • Hi Prasad. Thanks for the note and thanks for reading the blog post.

      Let me ask a couple of questions. Is the canister brand new? In other words, did you just set it up? Or has the canister been set up, running, and it just stopped?

      Regardless if there is water in the canister or not, the impeller should start when plugged in. If you don’t hear anything when the canister is plugged in, it means the impeller has stopped turning. You’ll need to figure out why, which means you’ll need to remove the pump head from the canister body and access the impeller.

      If the canister is hooked up to a tank, disconnect the filter hoses from the body using the quick disconnect on top. Make sure you pull the disconnect handle out so that the valves close on the hoses. Once unhooked, take the canister somewhere that you can take it apart. Remove the pump head (i.e., open the side latches that connect the pump head to the canister body) into a sink or something so you don’t get water everywhere. Once separated from the canister body, turn the pump head upside down so that you can see the impeller housing. Plug the power cord into a power outlet for just a second. Did the impeller turn when you plugged it in? If so, the impeller is turning? You should be able to see it turning.


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