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Old 08-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #41
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I got the 24 pack with 1 clamshell and foam insert. I also bought 4 more clamshells to put in my other filters. I'm looking for more foam pads to custom cut to them. Is the water supposed to go through blue pad then through the white cartridge? It would make sense for the pad to catch food, etc in it before going through cartridge. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:12 PM   #42
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Is the water supposed to go through blue pad then through the white cartridge? It would make sense for the pad to catch food, etc in it before going through cartridge. Any thoughts?
The water should first pass through the white carbon filter, then the blue bio sponge.

You do not want the bio sponge clogged with debris all the time.

You can find foam like this at a lot of aquarium shops:

Aquarium Mechanical Filtration Media: Blue Bonded Filter Pads

One $4.49 sheet is very big. Enough to make quite a few biofilter cartridges. It's about 3/4 on an inch thick.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:07 PM   #43
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I don't think that's a sponge on that site. But I may try it.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #44
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I don't think that's a sponge on that site. But I may try it.
It's the same type of blue filter pad the BIO3 comes with, just thicker. It makes great bio-media and is durable.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:02 PM   #45
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After using the Aqueon 30 for a bit now, I can say it's definitely not being replaced with another Aqueon if it breaks.

One thing, when doing PWCs, you can't let it run. The intake tube is so sloppy and loose on this model that the instant the water goes below the in-tank pump itself it starts to suck air and lose it's flow. Every other HOB I have you can drain a tank down to the strainer without ever losing flow, worrying about backflow or having to restart the pump.
Here's my take on the Aqueons (and I'll address what you say below as well): I have been using them for a few years now, ever since we put a QuietFlow 55 (now discontinued and replaced by the 55/75 model) on our 60 gallon goldfish setup (now cracked and destroyed) some two and a half years ago. We also have a QuietFlow 20 on a 10 gallon, and I do know what you mean about their intake stems seeming weak and cheap. On the 55 model in particular, the intake pipe moves and leans out of place in the attachment hole like mad, as if it's going to totally fall out.

Now, with regard to the pump stopping during a water change -- I have not experienced that yet with my Aqueons. In fact, when I had both the 55 and an AquaClear 110 running on the 60 gallon together, the AquaClear would quit pumping and sucking water way before the water line got anywhere near its intake strainer...the Aqueon continued to pump water back into the tank with an aggressive water return.

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Second, I left the stock filter in it, and wow, what a piece of garbage. It made the water stink. STINK. Something in the floss or the carbon. PEEEEUUUUUU. And cloudy too. The water wasn't milky, but it wasn't crystal clear like I want in my tanks. There were no fish in the tank at this time. I took it out and 80% of the carbon is bunched at the bottom of the filter. That's no good. It needs to stay spread out to work right.
Not sure what you mean by "stock filter," but if you're referring to those carbon cartridges that are designed for the Aqueons, have you ever tried rinsing them out in used tank water? It's actually funny that you mentioned this, because just yesterday, my wife was saying that the water when you walk past our 10 gallon to go either up or down the stairs STUNK to the high heavens...I have noticed that our tank does have a strong chemical-yet-earthy smell to it when you go right up to the water, and I understand that you WANT an "earthy" smell to the water...it means it's somewhat healthy and clean. The "chemical" part I chalked up to all the Prime we use in this tank because I am doing DAILY water changes on it due to the horrendous goldfish overstocking.

Still, the smell bothered her, so today I changed out the QuietFlow 20's cartridge for a new one, even though the same cartridge has been running on the tank since we set it up and I have only been doing rinse offs in used tank water...no replacements until today. I fear we will experience a mini cycle now because of the bacteria being lost, but I am also hoping the beneficial bacteria that is supposed to grow on the Aqueons' blue plastic bio grid pieces throughout the filters will make up for this.

The loading of debris on the cartridge of the 10 gallon -- even with four over-eating goldies -- wasn't that blackened or browned all that much, believe it or not...sure, it was packed with sucked-up debris and solid particles in the floss pad, but it wasn't as bad as you'd think given the circumstances of four goldfish in a 10 gallon eating twice or so a day. Still, I changed out the cartridge due to the wife's analysis of the horrendous stink...

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I swapped in the BIO3 generic replacement and within hours it didn't stink as much and the water became crystal clear, as evidenced by my tank pics on here. No it's totally odor free, aside from normal mild aquarium scent. The BIO3 also allows you to toss the carbon packet and keep the blue foam filter intact when cleaning.

The filter will stay on the tank as it seems to be doing it's job, but I won't be using another one, and I'll never buy those Aqueon cartridges again. I'm glad I found out that my other cartridges fit.

All the above of course is just my personal experience with this model. I'm sure others differs.
Indeed; I would buy another Aqueon filter in the future. I like them. It's just the routine of the cartridges that takes some getting used to (whether they need to be thrown away after awhile or simply re-used with dunks in used tank water, etc.)...as for the cloudyness, well, this QuietFlow 20 seems to be doing a great job keeping the 10 gallon goldfish setup crystal clear...of course, I'm doing daily and sometimes bi-daily water changes on it, but still, the filter is doing something to aid in keeping that water pretty pristine looking...
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:50 PM   #46
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A "stinking" of the water is not normal. A slight odor of normal aquarium water is very normal. My 55 smells like that. It's a somewhat pleasant or "sweet" smell since I'm used to keeping numerous tanks in the past. I recalled that smell right away.
The 29 gallon tank with Aqueon 30 stock cartridge reeked. It was very unpleasant. And the stink went away when I swapped cartridges. Either Aqueon uses very poor quality carbon or something else in that cartridge causes a bad chemical smell or I got a bad cartridge. I won't be buying another one to experiment.

I also have extensive experience fishkeeping and only gave this Aqueon 30 a try because it came in a very cheap package deal. I only wanted the tank and it was cheaper to buy the boxed deal on sale than just a tank, top and light.

It's still on the tank as I said, but my personal experience with this model is not pleasing. If it breaks I'll buy another Marineland 200 to replace it. It is not flowing the rated 200gph as I stated previously (the Penguins flow closer to 200gph and you can see the huge difference in output), the Aqueon cartridges are grossly overpriced online/locally and I dislike the intake system.

I'm glad yours are working out for you. My experience with this model is very different and it doesn't come from a lack of experience or my doing something wrong.

To avoid worrying about losing your bio filter when you swap cartridges, just soak the new cartridge in the tank on the side or behind a decoration for a few days before swapping them out. You should be good because then the new one will have had time to seed itself in the tank.
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:04 PM   #47
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A "stinking" of the water is not normal. A slight odor of normal aquarium water is very normal. My 55 smells like that. It's a somewhat pleasant or "sweet" smell since I'm used to keeping numerous tanks in the past. I recalled that smell right away.
Well, I never experienced a so-called "sweet" smell on any of my tanks, but when they were healthy and clean, they did exhibit what others have called and what I confirmed a "somewhat earthy" scent...difficult to describe.

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The 29 gallon tank with Aqueon 30 stock cartridge reeked. It was very unpleasant. And the stink went away when I swapped cartridges. Either Aqueon uses very poor quality carbon or something else in that cartridge causes a bad chemical smell or I got a bad cartridge. I won't be buying another one to experiment.
Perhaps the "chemical" element is what I am experiencing with the Aqueon cartridges as well -- we do experience a somewhat "chemical" like odor from the 10 gallon and its filter, but I chalked that up to the "over dosing" of the Prime with each daily water change I do on this tank. Now that you bring this up, it may in fact be something Aqueon is making their cartridges and carbon with that causes this strong, "rubbery/chemical" like odor...

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I also have extensive experience fishkeeping and only gave this Aqueon 30 a try because it came in a very cheap package deal. I only wanted the tank and it was cheaper to buy the boxed deal on sale than just a tank, top and light.
I should have gotten the QuietFlow 30 for over-filtration on the 10 gallon, but all we could really afford at the time was the 20. Still, I do like their filters in general.

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It's still on the tank as I said, but my personal experience with this model is not pleasing. If it breaks I'll buy another Marineland 200 to replace it. It is not flowing the rated 200gph as I stated previously (the Penguins flow closer to 200gph and you can see the huge difference in output), the Aqueon cartridges are grossly overpriced online/locally and I dislike the intake system.
The intake system, no doubt, is flawed on most of the Aqueon HOB's -- as I mentioned, the intake stem on my QuietFlow 55 model is horrendously loose and flimsy when you insert it into the hole in the pump. Very poor design there. However, I do like the output of the QuietFlows and have no problem with their design otherwise; I like the oxygen-rich discharge from the water hitting that bio-bar towards the water return stage, and if you keep your top off levels at a certain range (not completely filled up) the QuietFlows have a nice strong ripple current to their flow returns; one thing I have noticed on these filters is that if you keep the tank topped off all the way to the rim, the return flow doesn't really flow that well...the water just kinds of "sizzles" atop the surface from the filter. When the level is lower, the return fall really ripples strongly through the water.

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I'm glad yours are working out for you. My experience with this model is very different and it doesn't come from a lack of experience or my doing something wrong.
Not saying you have a lack of experience; was just sharing mine with regard to these Aqueons.

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To avoid worrying about losing your bio filter when you swap cartridges, just soak the new cartridge in the tank on the side or behind a decoration for a few days before swapping them out. You should be good because then the new one will have had time to seed itself in the tank.
Interesting theory and one I never heard with regard to the cartridge replacements; in the meantime, I just replaced the cartridge in the 20 which is on the 10 gallon, so we'll see if that helps the smell or if a mini cycle breaks out...I will keep you posted.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:14 PM   #48
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...one thing I have noticed on these filters is that if you keep the tank topped off all the way to the rim, the return flow doesn't really flow that well...the water just kinds of "sizzles" atop the surface from the filter. When the level is lower, the return fall really ripples strongly through the water.
Very true, you make a good point. I'm sure if I dropped the water level another inch they'd create more of a splash. But then my water levels would be a full two inches or more below the tank top and I don't like that underfilled look.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:59 PM   #49
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Very true, you make a good point. I'm sure if I dropped the water level another inch they'd create more of a splash. But then my water levels would be a full two inches or more below the tank top and I don't like that underfilled look.
I know exactly what you mean about that "underfilled look;" I don't like it either, but sometimes it gives the filters nice water flows...
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