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Old 11-16-2010, 11:27 AM   #1
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Hotrodding an AquaClear?

I redid my wife's aquarium this weekend and added sand and plants. I didn't bother to wash the sand since a previous bag I'd gotten was really clean. This bag wasn't.

I didn't want to leave the fish in the bucket any longer than necessary, so I was looking for a quicker way to clear up the water. The tank is a 20H with an AC30. The filter doesn't move enough water for my tastes and I'd like to improve its performance. I happen to have a spare motor and impeller from an AC70 lying around. I fished it out of the box and, what do you know, it's the same size as the AC30 motor!

The only information I got from reading the sides of the motors was the AC30 motor is rated at 7W and the AC70 motor is rated at 6W. Interesting, but not really enough to make a difference. I guess it's the impeller and intake tubes that make up the flowrate difference. I put the AC70 impeller in the AC30 and it made a big difference in water flow, but it also made a little clicking sound. I left the filter overnight and changed the impeller back the next day. The clicking is annoying and I don't want to damage the filter.

I'd like to put the AC70 impeller in an AC50 on another tank and move the AC50 impeller into the AC30. Has anyone tried this longterm? I'm wondering if there's any damage potential I'm overlooking.

If I get some time this week, I'll try the AC70 impeller in the AC50 and see if it clicks in there.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:48 AM   #2
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I swapped some impellers last night. I put the AC70 impeller in the AC50 and the AC50 impeller in the AC30. Everything appears to be working well. I had to clean the AC50 because the extra water flow was pushing the dirty sponge out of the water. No extra noise from either filter.

Here's the impeller breakdown:

AC30 - 4 blades

AC50 - 4 blades, but the blades are taller than the AC30 impeller blades

AC70 - 6 blades, similar height to the AC50 blades

I should have taken pictures, but I didn't. Sorry.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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You have stumbled onto the fact that all ACs but the 110 use the same motor, with different impellers. It can be done the other way also, to reduce flow.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:49 AM   #4
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It's the same sized motor, but I question whether it's actually the same motor. The AC30 motor has a 7W rating, the AC50 has a 5W rating, and the AC70 has a 6W rating.

It is convenient that I can modify a filter cheaply. Just another reason for me never to use any HOB except AquaClear.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:55 AM   #5
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Probably is the same motor, but supplied with a different amount of power. Standard practice in model ranges that they are priced differently but the product is essentially the same!
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