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Old 01-11-2014, 01:07 PM   #11
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Fluval C series

I have both a Fluval C series and AquaClear. Both are made by Hagen and the FluvalC is its newest HOB product and is touted as the next step up giving results closest or equal to a canister.

I can say the AquaClear with three state filtration is just fine but the hands down winner is the Fluval C series with five stage filtration is the best. The extra two stages of filtration .... the polishing pad and the trickle chamber in addition to regular biological filtration are not gimmicks.

The AquaClear can be configured with custom media to give results closer to the Fluval C series by using floss as a polishing pad ..... but it's just easier with the Fluval C series. Both filters perform better with Seachem Purigen than carbon.

Before deciding between the two, I suggest you read this entire thread carefully simply to have more information from which to base your decision:

AquaClear Bypass Issues

Here is a 36" side view of the "polished" water in my 38 gallon thank:

Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community - Paul1792's Album: Paul1792's 38 gallon - Picture

The configuration for my media in both my Fluval C3 & C4 is:

Fluval Edge Pre-Filter Sponge -> Acurel Debris Reducing Pad (cut to fit) -> AquaticLife 100 micron non-woven filter (polishing) pad (cut to fit) -> Seachem Purigen 100ml (2) -> Factory CNodes.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:27 AM   #12
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Aqua clear for the easily maintainable filter basket.

The only downside is that they are quite noisy the first few weeks.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan_calif View Post
Aqua clear for the easily maintainable filter basket.

The only downside is that they are quite noisy the first few weeks.
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You might take the time to read my post above yours. I have both on my 38 gallon tank running side by side. The Fluval C makes the aquaclear obsolete. All I have to do is squeeze out the sponge pre-filter and change the (non-factory) 100 micron polishing pad every couple of weeks. It's a snap.

The Aquaclear does such a poor job polishing the water for the optimal (not just adequate) "fish swimming in air" look that I am going to order a second Fluval C3 for my 38 gallon tank and just use the AquaClear 50 as a spare. The C4 on my 29 gallon tank makes the water there look almost "diamond studded." And as for that "easy" basket in the Aquaclear 50, doing the custom media with floss and all that is a much bigger "pain" than just slipping a new 5" x 5" x 1/12" 100 micron cut to fit polishing pad into the C3.

[My old setup on the 38 gallon tank was a custom media aqua-tech 30-60 (walmart) including two 100 micron polishing pads - one at each outlet. It worked much better than the current set up with one aqua clear and one C3. I replaced it because it was so much trouble to do custom media on it]

As for noise, it's random. My C3 came from the factory with horrible rattling sound. In one month, it was dead silent. My Aquaclear came dead silent out of the box on Dec 26, 2013. The noise in the new C4 for the 29 gallon is "moderate" but not annoying and seems to be quieting down as time goes on since its installation date of 1-6-14.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:21 AM   #14
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From the looks of it, Fluval C series is a newer AC. Might just have to give it a go in my next tank
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