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Eheim pickup – an internal with a difference

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A review of the Eheim pickup series of internal filters.

Eheim Pickup filter

The Eheim pickup is a popular internal filter.  It is reasonably priced and as always with Eheim, high quality.  I’ve always been a fan of Eheim products so I thought it was time to give their internals a try.

As I mentioned, it is reasonably priced, the pickup 200 can be found for as little as £30 in many shops and is rated for aquariums up to 200 litres, which isn’t bad for such a big name brand.  The range is designed for smaller aquariums with the largest being the 200 and starting at the 45, which is for aquariums up to 45 litres.

Recommended aquarium sizes for the full range are below,

Pick up 45 – For aquariums up to approx 45L

Pick up 60 – For aquariums up to approx 60L

Pick up 160 – For aquariums up to approx 160L

Pick up 200 – For aquariums up to approx 200L

eheim pickup contents




Eheim pickup design

The design of the Eheim pickup is quite different to most internal filters.  The main difference being that the impeller is situated at the bottom of the unit.  This means that water enters the filter at the bottom and is pushed upwards through the filter sponge.  At the top of the filter it is forced out through a rotatable nozzle, which has the option to add a venturi air pipe.

The canister detaches from the motor housing and suction cups, this makes maintenance extremely easy, simply turn the power off, detach the main canister and you will have instant access to de-gunk the impeller and then remove the sponges if necessary.

eheim pickup 200



eheim pickup design



Eheim pickup operation

Operating the Eheim pickup is very simple.  The filter is provided with a fitted filter sponge so it is ready to use straight out of the box.  I purchased the Eheim pickup 200 which came with one large sponge, there are two available, one fine filter sponge and one that contains activated carbon.

The filter itself is relatively powerful for a small internal, the 200 turns over up to 570 lph through the small outlet nozzle which creates a nice flow in the tank.  It is possible to use the filter with the outlet above the water to create a mini waterfall to aid in airation, or to attach the air pipe to create a stream of bubbles from the outlet.

Maintenance is incredibly easy, as mentioned, the main canister which contains the sponges and impeller detaches from the bracket.  This means that there is no faffing around refitting the bracket when you need to clean the filter.  The canister simply slides away from the bracket allowing you quick access to the impeller and sponges.

eheim pickup



Eheim pickup performance

The Eheim pickup is a high quality little filter.  I tested the pickup 200 on a 200-litre aquarium which also had a small external fitted.  The Eheim pickup impressed me, the flow rate was good and it improved water clarity noticeably.  The sponges in the filter provide fantastic mechanical filtration whilst providing lots of space for bacteria to grow.

The filter runs almost silently and is very energy efficient.  The largest model, the Eheim pickup 200 only uses 6 Watts of power.  This makes it cost efficient to run too as well as being cheap to buy in the first place and it won’t cause irritation making a racket.

The carbon sponge which is available for the Eheim pickup 200 is handy, but I think this is best reserved for when you have added medication to the aquarium and need to remove it from the water.  In regular use a carbon sponge is not necessary.

It is possible to ‘squash’ the sponge a little, meaning that there is room to add a little more bio media.  Squashing the sponge will make it more dense though and will reduce the flow.  My personal preference with this has been to cut the sponge a little in order to add around 1 inch + of bio media to the filter.  This was mainly to speed up the bacteria growth in the filter sponge but i found it worked quite well.

I would say that as with most aquarium filters, the capacity is slightly over rated, if i were to use these as the only filters on my little 200-litre tank, I think I would want at least 2 of them on there.


Eheim pickup

Overall I was really impressed with the Eheim pickup.  As someone who has been using external filters for the last few years this was a nice surprise to find the internals have become so effective.

As with most aquarium filters, the capacity is slightly overrated, whilst I have no doubt it would be sufficient to deal with the ammonia in a light to moderately stocked aquarium, I personally would like a little more turn over to keep the aquarium crystal clear, so I would recommend getting the model up from your aquarium size, or doubling up on filters.

The Eheim pickup is great value for money and runs very efficiently.  It is very easy to maintain and very simple to operate making it perfect for any small aquarium.

So, if you’re looking for a new internal, you can find the Eheim Pickup here:

Pick up 45 – For aquariums up to approx 45L

Pick up 60 – For aquariums up to approx 60L

Pick up 160 – For aquariums up to approx 160L

Pick up 200 – For aquariums up to approx 200L


(As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying sales).


About the author

James @Seriously Fishy

I am a fish keeping enthusiast with over 20 years experience. I currently keep American Cichlids (CA) which are my favourite fish to keep so far. I started Seriously Fishy as I noticed a large volume of people on various web pages looking for help with Aquarium basics. I created the first Seriously Fishy book to solve the issue in 28 pages, that led to the Seriously Fishy UK fish forum and blog.

Leave a Comment


  • A very clear and brilliant review
    I wondered what made this filter so appealing and the answer came to mind ..its uncomplicated build
    It’s the simplicity which drew my eye to explore it more.
    Do you know the exact year the Pickup was released into the market?

  • Where do you put the biomedia exactly – on top of the sponge? I’ve heard of a few hacks of people putting it in the centre sponge cavity so the water hits it after it goes through the sponge.

      • Hey again James – one last question. I’ve just put in the PickUp 200 into a 250 litre – replacing a Fluval U4 internal filter which I found dumped too much waste back into the tank when cleaning. I’m using the Pickup as a supplementary filter for my canister filter.

        The PickUp seems a louder than the U4 not heaps but enough for me to notice- Ive checked there is no air trapped etc – do you find the impellers on these internal filters settle in after a few weeks of use in terms of noise?

        • Hi Ed! I’ve always found them to be very quiet but it is a while since I’ve used a Fluval internal so it would be hard for me to make the same comparison.

          It may be worth double checking that the impeller is seated correctly and is not damaged. If not then yes it may just be that it is brand new and it may ‘bed in’ over a couple of weeks.