Originally Posted by ole scratch
Get the aqueon quite flow 55/75. You will be happier in the long run. They seem to be much more efficient than the A/c's with a lot less water bypass. In fact, if the filter floss is changed when it begins to get nastified, there is no water bypass. There 55/75 is much more quite than the A/c's are. And is just as easily to mod as the a/c's are if u care to think outside the box. I've used both fluval and a/c's and was disappointed to say the least.
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WOW ........ that is for sure about the AquaClear bypass problem. I could not believe how much bypass there was on my AquaClear 50. It bypassed in two ways:
1) Water in the intake chamber flew directly to the outflow because the "divide" between inflow and outflow has a ridiculous "dip" to it. Note: this does not apply if you use carbon ....... but I used Purigen which has a more restrictive flow.
2) The lower openings (a bunch of holes in the plastic "basket") that are designed to let the water re-filter itself when you put to flow control on a lower speed ... also cause water to bypass the filter sponge.
So how did I solve this dilemma ??????
Duct tape. I put duct tape over the lower holes AND duct tape so water could not flow direct from the intake chamber to the outflow. After doing this, about 20% of the flow started going directly back into the tank so I just reduced the flow with the control until none did.
The inherent design problem with the AquaClear is the water flows from bottom to top (rather than back to front like most HOB
filters) which means higher velocity water is trying to pass through way less surface area. The "brick" sponge thing at the bottom of the filter housing is nice ....... but the water just cannot get through it as it becomes filled with debris. Try to put on a polishing pad and the problem gets worse.
filter in my opinion is Fluval C series. Much better design. On the C series (comparable to AC
50), water flows from back to front which allows about triple the square inches of surface area. Thus, the water flow is slower and all
water is forced through the debris filter and polishing pad before moving on to chemical and bio filtration.
Note: I just switched out my aqua-tech 30-60 on my 38 gallon. I now have a Fluval C4 running on the 29 gallon tank (set at the slowest speed) and side by side AquaClear50 and Fluval C3 on the 38 gallon. To sum it up, the terrific Fluval C series HOB
is "The Bomb
." I don't use the "factory" media except for the "bio-max." To get crystal clear polished water, I use Fluval Edge Pre-Filter sponge->Acurel Debris Reducing Pad (cut to fit)->AquaticLife 100 Micron Non-Woven Filter Pad (cut to fit)->Seachem Purigen (two bags) -> BioMax (C-Nodes).
Edit: Also note for those with older model AquaClears who don't have the bypass issue, it appears there was a design change. Previously, if the sponge became clogged and not properly cleaned ..... it would force the sponge up ...... (and leaks?).