I prefer the Aquaclear for a very simple reason; it is cheaper to run, in the long run. You can run 2 sponges in the AC
, leave out the carbon. When you need to clean, just squeeze out the sponges and reuse. They will last for many years before they start to disintegrate. Another feature I like about the AC
is that all but the 110 use the same motor, so you can get different flow rates by changing the impeller. If you want to polish the water you can add a bit of floss or polyester batting between the 2 sponges. In my view, the AC
is the best value in a HOB
. I wouldn't buy anything else. Just ignore the instructions about discarding the sponges. There is no need to, until they fall apart. I have some that are over ten years old.