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Old 09-29-2013, 04:10 PM   #1
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Aquaclear or Fluval

I am going to upgrade my current aqueon quietflow 30. It is on a 36 gallon bowfront. Aquaclear 70 or Fluval C4 and why?

Thanks in advance. Your experience and opinions matter!!!!
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:32 AM   #2
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AquaClear 70. I have one and I love it. Fluval C4 to me is kind of like a gimmick. But the AquaClear is also better because you dont have to buy any media for a long time and you can choose what kind of media you want too.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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Lots of tradeoffs - either will do the job fine.

I have a C3 on my 29 gallon and am also debating C series versus Aqua Clear on my 38 gallon which is currently running an aqua-tech.

First, it helps to understand how each works. Despite the fact they are owned by Hagen/Fluval ... the only parts they seem to share based on the parts list are the motors.

Instruction manuals for both can be downloaded at the Hagen Website ..... which show diagrams and part numbers for both:

http://usa.hagen.com/File/ad1fd135-d...3-bf1a7eeeebcb

http://ca-en.hagen.com/File/ede567c9...e-f032a71517e6

Note that the C series uses separate "chambers" for the various stages of filtration while the AC's just stack the media on top of each other.

They both claim to be good for 70 gallons but their filter rates differ. 300gph for AC70 ..... 264 for the C4. I believe both are equally effective. I have heard two explanations for this including that one is measured based on outflow after the media while the other is based on inflow without media.

The other and more likely explanation (based on my experience) is that the difference is the 3 stage vs 5 stage filtration. The first "media" in the the AC series is a sponge pad that can be re-used. The first media in the C series is a poly/foam pad that provides two stage filtration with a more "coarse" layer to capture large debries and then a polishing pad (100 microns or less) to capture very fine debris, It captures such fine debris ... it cannot be re-used effectively because that debris is so "packed in," Thus the media needs to be replaced, not re-used. See my post with pictures about this here:

Fluval C series Poly/Foam Pad not reusable-sharing my experience

Nest, the C series uses a drip tray which provides additional filtration. I have read (don't know if it's correct) that the water that flows through the drip tray is not counted as part of the flow rate.

Just google youtube videos of both and you'll see what I mean. There are a ton of them.

No matter what filter you buy, you run about a 25% risk of this:

Two days of FluvalC3 are enough .. Best quiet filter?

Which turns out to be a small setback because mine now runs silent .... except for the annooying sound of water splashing unless you really fill the aquarium to the brim. Not sure if the aqua-clear has this "waterfall" problem or not.

Next ....... you want to use a sponge pre-filter. Fluval makes one for the C series which, according to reviews on amazon, also fits the AC.

I hope someone can verify this.

Next, the Fluval C3 intake tube does not go the anywhere near the bottom of the tank. Not sure about the C4 or the aquaclears. As you can see from the instuctions, the spare parts list shows a tube extension for the C series ... but not for the aquaclear. Yet I read somewhere that the instructions to the Aqua-Clear are obsolete and the extension now comes standard on the AC 30, 50, & 70 series.

Can someone chime in here?

You can achieve crystal clear polished water with either one. The C series does it right out of the box. (Although I recommend purigen & floss in lieu of carbon) and in the AC, the "polishing" is best accomplised by stuffing the space for carbon with floss and/or 100 micron polishing pad and/or Purigen. My understanding is that the AC series has more extra room for extra biomedia
that the C series does.

I'd would be nice to hear other observations from people with either or both series of filters.

Note also: The C4 and the AC70 need more space between tank and wall than most filters. About 4 inches.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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Thanks Man!!! it seems like its a real toss up. I have wore google plum out looking for the pro's and cons of each filter. Seems like most lean toward the aquaclear. It is quite a good bit of money but the difference of $5-$6 between the aquaclear or fluvel is really ............. I have actually found c4 a touch cheaper than the AC on a couple sites. I will probably pull the trigger Friday on one still up in the air about which. Honestly I am thinkin' about breaking the "mold" and getting the c4. How ever,as you, I hope more people will respond that have experience with either or both series.........
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:04 PM   #5
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Thanks Man!!! it seems like its a real toss up. I have wore google plum out looking for the pro's and cons of each filter. Seems like most lean toward the aquaclear. It is quite a good bit of money but the difference of $5-$6 between the aquaclear or fluvel is really ............. I have actually found c4 a touch cheaper than the AC on a couple sites. I will probably pull the trigger Friday on one still up in the air about which. Honestly I am thinkin' about breaking the "mold" and getting the c4. How ever,as you, I hope more people will respond that have experience with either or both series.........
It IS a real toss up between the two. I have no personal experience yet with either(aquaclears not available in Europe) but I have read up on the C series, which I intend to buy soon. There has been a few threads about the C series and by all accounts it is a very solid and reliable filter. I personally like the idea of the 5-stage filtration of the C series. With it being a relatively 'new' filter, only time will tell how good it really is. Fluval, as you probably know have a great reputation and make excellent filters. The same can be said for the aquaclears. Most people, from what I have read, think they are better for larger tanks, 50g+. There has been a few issues with the C series being noisy at first but with a bit of Vaseline and time, they run almost silently.
For me, the 5-stage filtration of the C series wins my vote but you won't go wrong with the Aquaclear either. Just my 2c worth!!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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Neither. Hagen won't honor warranty on ac ( my ac 110 went kaput after 4 months and never ran dry) and I can't find a new impellar shaft for my 405 after it broke. I'm qoing back to aqueon. Their stuff lasts for ever. I don't know about the aqueon warranty or parts replacement, but then again I've never had a problem with aqueon products. That's my $0.02. Oh yeah, the ac 110 has a horrendous water bypass and the fluval doesn't come with enough hose. I will never touch another hagen product as long as I live unless they seriously upgrade quality control and actually start honoring their warranty. The aqeuon 55/75 has little, if any, bypass and my water is much clearer in my 75 than with the 110. I'd rather turn over a rated 400 gph that is actually filtered than a rated 500 gph that is visually dirty. The fluval 405 is ok, but if a part breaks good luck getting it changed and the 55/75 outperformed my 405 by a long shot. And just remember, what works for 1 person may not even come close for another person. And hagen most definitely doesn't work for me.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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Neither. Hagen won't honor warranty on ac ( my ac 110 went kaput after 4 months and never ran dry) and I can't find a new impellar shaft for my 405 after it broke. I'm qoing back to aqueon. Their stuff lasts for ever. I don't know about the aqueon warranty or parts replacement, but then again I've never had a problem with aqueon products. That's my $0.02. Oh yeah, the ac 110 has a horrendous water bypass and the fluval doesn't come with enough hose. I will never touch another hagen product as long as I live unless they seriously upgrade quality control and actually start honoring their warranty. The aqeuon 55/75 has little, if any, bypass and my water is much clearer in my 75 than with the 110. I'd rather turn over a rated 400 gph that is actually filtered than a rated 500 gph that is visually dirty. The fluval 405 is ok, but if a part breaks good luck getting it changed and the 55/75 outperformed my 405 by a long shot. And just remember, what works for 1 person may not even come close for another person. And hagen most definitely doesn't work for me.
The ops question is about fluvals C series HOBs, not their canisters....
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
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I am so back and forth on these two!! Inny minny Miny Moe..................
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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I am so back and forth on these two!! Inny minny Miny Moe..................
Flip a coin!!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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Alright, I made my mind up!! After much research, debatin', and thought I think, in my opinion, ...for my purpose.......I should go with the.................. Aquaclear 70 power filter.
Due to
1- fully customizable media basket
2- water comes from the bottom to the top minimizing or eliminating bypass
3- flow rate
4- last but not least.......gut feelin'
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