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Old 10-15-2014, 02:34 AM   #1
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Customize Aqueon 55/75 or Emperors with Fluval/Aquaclear media?

I started looking at an additional method of water movement for my 55g. I have an AC110, which is great, but it's on the left side of the tank and I'd like to get a bit more water flow on the right side. It was also 85 bucks, so while I'd love to just get another 110, I'd rather go for a cheaper but still effective route.

I seen some powerheads and koralia pumps for up to 30 bucks that would get the job done, but I also found some of the cheaper HOB filters on amazon (like emperors and aqueons) for a similar price. I figured what the hell, if I'm going to spend 30 either way, I might as well get some extra filtration which wont hurt at all.

That brings me to my question. I'm not a fan at all of cartridges in HOB filters, and also not familiar with emperors and aqueons (more specifically the space available in the filter box). Is it possible to just stuff a bunch of biomax or matrix into these filters and still get good flow rates/filtration?

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Old 10-15-2014, 03:09 AM   #2
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I have a 55/75 aqueon and use marineland cartridges(aqueon cartridges are flimsy and really thin) with rubber banded filter floss to the cartridges and it works great. There is a space on the left side that you can put a slender pouch of biomax which I actually meant to do when I first got it.

I don't own an emperor but I do have a marineland 350 which I assume is the same layout but it only really provides space for 2 cartridges on both sides and maybe some filter floss(again, maybe lol). If you only put one cartridge on each side you could probably put some biomax in there as well.

In the end I would probably go with the aqueon as it provides a lot of flow IMO. I could post pics of both interiors but not until tomorrow if you'd like.

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Old 10-15-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm going to go with the Aqueon. I like the advertised 400 gph (probably closer to 250-350 with media inside, which is still great) and after looking at videos on youtube noticed it has quite a bit of room inside. I'm not going to use the cartridges at all, I'll just use a pre-filter on the intake tube and pack the HOB case with as much biomax as I can.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:15 PM   #4
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For HOBs AQ over emperor/marine land any day of the week. The AQs are set up to allow you to customize it for your needs. The emperor (with bio wheels) really only allows for cartridges or filter floss.

I have both filters. My AQ runs a sponge at the bottom, matrix in middle and purigen on the top. My penquin is running floss that I have rubber banded on to an old cartridge that I took floss and carbon off of.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:58 PM   #5
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Just get some cut to Fit poly fiber and fit it into the cartridge tray, stick a fluval sponge behind it and a bag of biomax on front.. boom bootleg ac

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Old 10-15-2014, 07:12 PM   #6
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The emperor 400 comes with a media cage for bio rings. If I had to choose the ac 110 would be 1st and the emperor 400 second.
The aqueon I have no experience with

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Old 10-15-2014, 10:22 PM   #7
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I don't have experience with that particular Aqueon model, but the smaller models I have used left me unimpressed. One of my two conked out after about a year. I do prefer the Aquaclear overall, but I will say I have never once had an Emperor fail, and several of mine are like 10 years old. I also worked in a shop for a couple years that used Emp 400s on every FW tank. No issues at all in 50 tanks. They are loud, bulky, and ugly, but Emperors last forever- at least, the early 2000s models do.

Too bad I can't say the same for Penguins. Don't be tempted by the cheaper price on those.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:51 PM   #8
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I have a 55gal also and had 2 aqueon 50s if you're looking for water flow only yes it'd be great but in my experience for filtration very costly and my tank was always cloudy and changing cartridges every 3 days imo I bought a sunsun hw 303b canister on ebay for 60 after setting it up had my tank clear in 2 days now I have another on its way and use my aqueon with pinky filter very cheap on ebay as well as a large debris filter but this is just my opinion and experience

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Old 10-16-2014, 12:24 AM   #9
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I have quite a few aqueon 55/75's as well as emperors. Skip the standard media and customize away!! Plenty of room in both for multiple media options. My only dislike is in respect to the emperors- they are very noisy and the impellers wear out extremely fast.

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