Why are AquaClear Filters not very good. Important

  1. MrFishybob Member Member

    I love the design of the AquaClear Filters for a few reasons. It drops water into the Aquarium. The which creates a wonderful waterfall like action while Oxygenating the Aquarium water. Many other filters seem as copy cats. These "Copy Cats" brands often have cartridges in which you do not have the cool option of putt different media in the filter. On top of that you can easily customize your own DIY made media to put into the AquaClear. (I love the most)

    But second time, since I've had it, I've decided to clean it out. For the first time I noticed there is a little algae growing. I know and understand this is caused by the the balance of my water nutrients along with my plants. As it is a very thin later of the Algae I decided to clean it off with a toothbrush.
    Alright here is the important part.
    I noticed for the first time that the first media, on the bottom, is placed in the area deeper then the propeller spills out water. The flow of the water that is propelled flows upwards as well as outwards towards the media tray display at about the level of the activated carbon. I figured out there is no contraption that pushes the water to each of the filter medias. Water gets pushed closer to where the activated carbon is placed. The media tray which is nicely designed for easy replacements and removal of the media does not help the direction of the flow by directing it. Although it does have mesh parts which allow water to go towards the filter media. Once again this flow only goes flows relatively towards where the middle filter media is placed. From there it does also go in a general direction of up. The issue being that water does not get directed to flow to each one of the medias securely and safely. So It doesn't matter so much that the AquaClear (HOB) Power Filters have such flow rates good flow rates when the media isn't being directed to pass through each one. In conclusion, AquaClear (HOB) Power Filters do not reliably direct water flow though all the medias inside and thus all the Gallons Per Hour flow rate is not a reliable measure of how well the these AquaClear Filters your Aquarium water.

    I've read on the boards that people want a GPH flow rate of 8x to 10x the amount of gallons you have in your tank. While this works very well in my tank from my personal experience with AC HOB filter. I would think the GPH wouldn't need to by so many times if flow of the water was hitting each filter media.

    I sorry this post may mostly be a considered more of a rant but I felt it needed to be shared to the many Aquarists whom rely on AquaClears to not be fooled by how it actually filters the water. Although before I edited and rewrote I claimed them not to be reliable but I retract what I said because I do find mine to be reliable. Although my understanding has deepened about the AC HOB filters, I got mad because I thought it was the best thing on the market and to some degree I feel duped because it obviously may be a good filter but not by far the best filter on the market.

    I guess whenever I get my 20 gallon tank set up I'll try a canister filter.
  2. Aquarist avtoservis-protektor Legend Member

    Good morning,

    :animal0068:I have moved your thread to the Reviews - Equipment, Products, etc. section of the forum.

    I respectfully disagree with your statement that Aqua Clears are not reliable filters.

    I'm currently running 8 Aqua Clears and all of my tanks are cycled. My water is crystal clear in all of my tanks. I think they do a wonderful job and will continue to recommend them. I personally feel they are the best hang on back (HOB) type of filtration on the market.


  3. Jaysee avtoservis-protektor Legend Member

    I'm not sure I understand your complaint.....are you placing the media vertically or horizontally?
  4. Aquarist avtoservis-protektor Legend Member


    I see what JaySee Means. This statement I believe is or has a typo:

    "I noticed for the first time that the media is placed in the area right next to the media."

  5. proudtobeafarmgirl Member Member

    I love my aquaclears, I put whatever media I want in there, bio max and several sponges and sometimes a carbon insert. The water is clean and fish are doing very well. A bit of algae is no big deal to clean out of there. I also have a pre sponge filter on the intake and it keeps the filter even cleaner, I do not have to clean the sponges on the bottom near as often so the water must be getting pushed through there. I am in the market to buy a few more Aqua Clears. Please don't give up on them they are a great filter.
  6. MrFishybob Member Member

    Not giving up on them but I am disappointed with them to a degree.

    Yep a little Algae is no problem. I cleaned it out. I will also be putting some liquid iron in my tank it will prevent algae from forming from little to practically unnoticeable.

    I'm interested to hear how you placed a pre sponge filter on your intake of the AC filter.

    I do find sometimes all sorts of plant bits every time I clean my filter. I know stuff moves around in there but It isn't like the sponge filter is cleaning the aquarium of small bits. It is just the a certain percentage of the bits that gets collected. I haven't done any extensive testing or anything but I did have preconceived notions which were ultimately and utterly dead wrong.
  7. Aquarist avtoservis-protektor Legend Member

    Hello Mr.FishyBob,

    I simply use an Aqua Clear 20 sponge to go over my intake tubes. Just slice an X in the top and slide it on. You can see it in the photo below:


    Attached Files:

  8. Borisbbadd Guest

    I understand what he means about the water flow, I have wondered about that also. That being said, I have one on my 29 gallon tank, and really like it, and I would definately buy it again. I also use a pre-filter sponge, it helps alot.
  9. Jaysee avtoservis-protektor Legend Member

    ah, I picked something up reading the original post. The water from the impeller is forced down below the sponge, at which point it flows up and out. If the media compartment is packed full, then some water gets diverted up.
  10. MrFishybob Member Member

    Whose original post did you read this?

    I place the media the way the instructions suggest to place them.
  11. used2bN2horsesLOL Well Known Member Member

    I have the AquaClear 30 and I do understand what the OP is talking about. The chamber that houses the impeller allows the water to exit midway of the media housing. Since it's hitting solid plastic some gets directed all directions, being forced to the open area at the bottom of the media basket and some to the top which has a mesh opening in the top half where the carbon and biomax inserts are recommended to be placed.

    That being said, I love the AquaClear filter and am very happy with it. It's quiet, allows me to customize media, and it's pretty easy to clean (except for the top of the intake tubes). I would definitely buy and recommend them.

    To combat the issue the OP has (if you really want canister concept), I would recommend the Rena Smartfilter. I have the Rena Smartfilter 55 and really love it's concept. The intake tube extends throughout the lower media "box" and has three openings along the line which correspond to three removable chambers with completely enclosed filter cartridges. It's like having three little canister filters. And when I can afford it I'm getting the heater that doubles as the intake tube to streamline the look of my tank.

  12. MrFishybob Member Member

    Just bought a sponge for the AC 20 and gunna place it on my filters intake thing. It is SUCH a great idea. Thanks for sharing it. Any other really smart DIY ideas I'd love to hear em. (I'm planning on doing a DIY Yeast CO2 thing soon)

    The following tank seems very nice.
    I'd read the reviews on that petsmart.com page.
    All three reviewers claim that whatever legs/leveler on the RENA HOB Filter brake easily or aren't stable and company needs to seriouesly redesign them. Because when they don't work the water sucked from the tank will spill out the filter.

    Although Just make a stand or something for the HoB filter to help level it off and the problem is fixed. If this is the only HOB filter that has such great quality filtering the water and has different compartments for whatever media you choose to place then I suggest this product overall is worth it.
  13. used2bN2horsesLOL Well Known Member Member

    It's true, the legs are terrible and I've spilled water everywhere too.
    I fixed it by just sticking black neoprene foam between the filter box and the back glass. I do like it a lot but I still prefer the AquaClear.