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Old 01-23-2014, 10:18 AM   #1
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Fluval C4 vs bio wheel HOBs

Howdy! I recently acquired a used 55g setup and I'm in the process of gathering supplies and equipment. It came with a Whisper 30-60, but I want to add another unit for additional filtration and circulation.
I've looked at both the fluval and the penguin/emperor bio wheel units and heard good things about both. Which, in y'all's opinions, would be the better choice with the Whisper?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:36 AM   #2
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I run a penguin 200 on my 29g, while it does not offer the customized media options zit does have plenty of room to pack foam,floss, or bio balls in the housing. I like it! Very quiet too! And it was only $29! The only downfall is the filters kind of fall apart after a couple months, you can buy cut to size packs which are great if you want to ditch the carbon.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:26 PM   #3
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Fluval C series is the best HOB on the market

I've got three of them. Two C3's on my 38 gallon and a C4 on my 29 gallon. One of the C3's is replacing my aquaclear 50 because the sponge is inadequate, the single "basket" is way too much trouble to "load" and 100 micron polishing pad cannot be used since water flows from bottom to top at high velocity [Water in the C series flows back to front]

The big advantage in the C4 over other HOBs is that it is very easy to use "cut to fit" & other custom media. It has three separate and distinct compartments for mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration. You never have to buy any cartridges. There is zero bypass of the mechanical filtration process. The 5 stage filtering process they advertise is not a gimmick. The polishing pad and the extra drip/trickle chamber for biological filtration are what sets this filter apart from other HOB's and make it perform like a canister.

I have crystal clear "canister quality" water using the following:

Acurel waste & debris reducing pad + 100 Micron AquaticLife Non-Woven Polishing pads cut to fit in the mechanical frame --> Seachem Purigen + Seachem Matrix in the chemical filtration basket --> factory C-Nodes in the trickle chamber.

Doing custom media was a real pain in my now retired Aqua-Tech 30-60. I have never examined the Penguin but imagine it would be difficult to do custom media as well.

Edit: here is a link to a picture of my C3 "before and after" factory pads before I started doing custom media. Even though the factory poly/foam pad is in one piece it is easy to see that the portion that takes out the fine debris or "polishing pad" gets caked with dirt as is explained in the caption.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ture62190.html
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:02 PM   #4
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Awesome! Thanks for the info looks like it's time to shop for a fluval. I'll probably get a second on to eventually replace the whisper. Thanks!!
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:52 PM   #5
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The fluval HOBs are good, but I still prefer classic Aquaclears. They're by Hagen, the parent company of Fluval. Aquaclears, in my opinion, offer the greatest versatility of any HOB filter because there are no seperate trays or compartments or cartridges. It's just one basket, and you fill that basket with whatever you want. I would go with an Aquaclear and run a coarse foam prefilter on the intake. Then inside the filter use the block of foam that comes with the filter, then some filter floss for catching finer debris, then ceramic biomedia, or sintered glass biomedia. The Aquaclear filters come with a media bag you can use for this. Or you can buy a higher quality bag or make one yourself out of loose mesh cheesecloth.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:04 AM   #6
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Paul is spot on. I couldn't have explained it better my self. I have owned several HOB's and the Fluval C series has been my favorite so far. I really like how innovative and efficient it is. It's like a hybrid of a canister in an HOB body. I customized my media baskets with extra biomax and purigen.

One thing I'd like to add, it may sound a bit noisy at first, but after an initial break-in period where it develops a lubricating slime coat over the impeller shaft, it will quiet down significantly.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_Nano12g View Post
Paul is spot on. I couldn't have explained it better my self. I have owned several HOB's and the Fluval C series has been my favorite so far. I really like how innovative and efficient it is. It's like a hybrid of a canister in an HOB body. I customized my media baskets with extra biomax and purigen.

One thing I'd like to add, it may sound a bit noisy at first, but after an initial break-in period where it develops a lubricating slime coat over the impeller shaft, it will quiet down significantly.
*************
Thanks Brian. And, you sure are are correct about the noise issue. There are so many youtube videos on this for both AquaClear and Fluval C that say that Vaseline does the trick. Shame on Hagen (who owns both brands) for bizarre manufacturing tolerances. Apparently, most are silent out of the box ....... but for many, it's a gradual process that can take two or three weeks. Out of all 4 of 'em (all of which eventually became silent as of yesterday) no two sounded the same out of the box.

Apparently this is an industry wide problem with impellers/magnets on HOB's. Just look at the inconsistent reviews on Amazon for all different brands. I've got to say, my walmart aqua-tech 30-60 was loud ....... but it was not annoying and had a great design ........ except for the fact it was just way to much trouble to do custom media. For filtration, Fluval C is best HOB ........ for guaranteed silence right out of the box ..... maybe only canister does that.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:10 PM   #8
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Yeah I have two walmart aquatechs on my 29. They will probably get replaced with the whisper once I get a pair of new ones for the 55, since the whisper will more than do the job of the 20-40 and 5-15 on it now... At least until I buy another C
Thanks for all the info guys y'all rock!
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:14 PM   #9
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Since I got back into the hobby a few weeks ago I've tried Whisper, Cascade, Aqueon, and now the C3. All were loud out of the box except the Aqueon. The Whisper was defective (motor quit running several times), so I'm not sure how much it would've quieted down. The Cascade took about a week to settle in and is now dead silent. The Aqueon was silent for a couple weeks, but then started making a deep hum. I replaced the Aqueon with a C3 today, and it's making a racket! The loudest out of the box out of the 4 brands I've tried. I expected this after reading reviews/researching, and I'm sure it'll quiet down. If not I'll break out the Vaseline.

I think the inconsistent reviews are more due to people writing them shortly after getting the filter. I'm not sure why HOB's are taking awhile to quiet down these days, I don't recall ever having this problem in the 90s. Maybe they just aren't made as precise as they once were. Precision = higher manufacturing cost.

I haven't run the C3 for long, so I don't have much to say about it other than loving the design. It got excellent reviews, and I'm sure they will hold true in the end.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
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Brian_ Nano12g is too modest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_Nano12g View Post
Paul is spot on. I couldn't have explained it better my self. I have owned several HOB's and the Fluval C series has been my favorite so far. I really like how innovative and efficient it is. It's like a hybrid of a canister in an HOB body. I customized my media baskets with extra biomax and purigen.

One thing I'd like to add, it may sound a bit noisy at first, but after an initial break-in period where it develops a lubricating slime coat over the impeller shaft, it will quiet down significantly.
***************
To the bolded statement above, he should have added and look how crystal clear my water is:

ADA 60P (rescape) with Ohko + Africana - YouTube

or go here and see post #113

:Brian's ADA 60P (17g) Rimless - Journal
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