OASE BioMaster Thermo 350 canister review

OASE BioMaster Thermo 350 external canister filter. Image from https://us.oase-livingwater.com/.

Back in October, I posted about having the opportunity to review the new OASE BioMaster Thermo 350 external canister filter. I finally got around to getting that completed.

Let me start by thanking OASE Living Water for donating this canister! What follows is my honest and unbiased review of the filter components and setting it up. If I didn’t like something, I’ll say so. Likewise, if I liked something, I’ll say so.

This is not a review of the canister following extensive usage. In fact, I only ran it about 25 minutes total. If you want a review of this canister after it’s been in use, on a populated tank for an extended period, check out Zenzo’s review at Tazawa Tanks.

Unboxing and Instructions

All components were neatly boxed. Opening the filter box and removing the top cardboard support insert revealed the canister body and a separate box of canister parts (Figure 1). This separate box contains all of the printed material and attachable filter components not already attached to the canister, which consists of the following (see Figure 2):

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Sicce Whale 500 canister filter review

Picture

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).