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Old 05-21-2019, 07:19 PM   #1
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Is my Aquaclear supposed to be this loud?

I canít sleep at night because my tankís next to my bed and everything is silent except for the filter.
My tank is in a cabinet next to my bed, on the lowest shelf since my area experiences earthquakes once in a while. Iíve had it for three days, but the motor hasnít gotten quieter. It sounds like an idling engine, actually- Iíve pinned the source of the humming to the motor (or impeller, if theyíre different).
When I stand next to the cabinet, I feel the motor vibrating under my feet. Likewise, I can feel my tank vibrating when I touch it, although my betta seems unaffected. I canít even take a video that conveys the intensity of this humming that I can hear from the next room because the sound of the water currents cover it up (Iím not as bothered by them as I am by the filter motor).
https://imgur.com/gallery/yXWUUae
^ Thereís a link to a video of my filter with audio.
One question I do have is if Aquaclear filters should be silent. I mean, actually silent (like an inanimate object), not just ďacceptablyĒ quiet, because I know people like hyperboles. I canít tell whether or not fellow aquarists are exaggerating when they call their Aquaclears silent, because my own Aquaclearís humming keeps me up at night.
It might be noted that Iím a light sleeper.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:42 AM   #2
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They are supposed t be pretty quiet.

I would take it apart, including the impeller, maybe run a q-tip around the interior area of the impeller space, rinse it out, and put it back together and see if it gets more quiet. There is the possibility of using some petroleum jelly. I haven't needed this to do it but some people have, there is also food grade stuff which would be okay.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:32 PM   #3
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I use ACs pretty much exclusively in all sizes from Sm to Xl and find that they are usually pretty quiet but the odd one does run a little loud. I have taken them apart and cleaned the impeller housing which haa helped in a few cases but not all. If my LFS was closer I would have considered exchanging the noisiest ones but with an hour drive none were enough to warrant for me
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:14 PM   #4
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Sometimes if you accidentally bend the impeller shaft while cleaning or messing with it, it gets quite noisy. Maybe slightly off center shaft from the factory??
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Old 05-23-2019, 02:20 AM   #5
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If that doesn't work just exchange it. I have owned (and do presently use) over 20 HOB's in all sizes. It is not normal to have noise, I would say the water noise bothers me more than the filter ever has.

Maybe a chunk of styrofoam between the filter container and the glass. I sometimes use a chunk of foam board from insulation for a basement wall. Had a left over chunk from a box store. In case it makes any vibrating from touching the glass.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
If that doesn't work just exchange it. I have owned (and do presently use) over 20 HOB's in all sizes. It is not normal to have noise, I would say the water noise bothers me more than the filter ever has.

Maybe a chunk of styrofoam between the filter container and the glass. I sometimes use a chunk of foam board from insulation for a basement wall. Had a left over chunk from a box store. In case it makes any vibrating from touching the glass.
You're absolutely right about the vibration noise from the HOB against the tank making it sound like it's the HOB mechanically making noise. I just dealt with this problem a few days ago on a 40g breeder I'm cycling. I thought it was the impeller as well.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:06 PM   #7
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To silence AC filters; make sure the flow lever is positioned to the extreme left, open flow position. Make sure the back lip of the lid is hanging over the backside. A foam board background does stifle the vibration a little. It takes a few weeks for the impellar to gunk up.
Once that occurs the filter noise dimminishes a lot.
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Old 05-29-2019, 12:02 AM   #8
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:51 AM   #9
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I typed up a long reply, but it was lost to background refreshing on my device :,)
Darn.

The next day, I exchanged my filter for a new one which was somewhat quieter. The new filter still has a chugging motor/impeller, but the aquarium glass doesnít vibrate as violently. Iíve checked to see if the glass vibrations were the culprit, but I still hear the motor while lifting the filter off the glass. Not only that, the motorís warm, and I can definitely hear it or the impeller working by itself. It doesnít hurt that the deep hum which I despise most is mostly eliminated by moving the filter away from the tank wall, but still the motor sound itself is a drawback.
The u-intakeís already all the way to the left for the sake of my betta and Anacharis.

I recorded ten seconds of filter-off-glass and ten seconds of filter-on-glass, all bundled up into a twenty second video. I mistakenly tapped the intake tube (where the tank water flows up into the filter) against the glass, so there may be a few grinding sort of noises in the first ten seconds.
https://imgur.com/gallery/KaXYlvG
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:50 PM   #10
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For some reason, I couldn't hear any sound on the video from the link...

Try leaving the top cover off of the media compartment - if you haven't tried that yet. I did have one filter which was 2x noisier with it on, didn't bother me at all when the top plastic lid was off but made a extra bit of noise with it on.

If you can not get a quiet one, a white noise filter machine or moving the aquarium to a different spot (or higher or lower) as maybe the way the wall acoustics causes it to be louder.

You might want to imagine that the noise is the reason you get to see the aqua creatures in the tank and try associating it to the good and happiness of fish keeping part of the tank.... maybe???? (small attempt to get a smile out of the situation, lol)

I have only kept 2 kinds of aquariums next to the bed, a 5G Aqueon minibow has a different type of filter built in to the top of the side area.

And a 6.6G Edge which both use the AquaClear 20. The only thing that bothered me was splashing water sound which I kept a liter water bottle (of prepared water) next to the tank to top off at bed time.

As was mentioned previously, it might take a the couple weeks to get it broken into it's groove and quiet a bit more.
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