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Osage_Winter 10-15-2010 10:02 PM

Which HOB Would You Pick?
 
Between an AquaClear, Marineland and possibly a Tetra Whisper, which HOB filter would be the best pick? I'm still debating getting rid of my two Aqueon QuietFlows because I just cannot seem to establish clear water in my 60-gallon, and I'm beginning to get fed up with these filters' operation -- I mean, I'm running TWO filters in my tank, and the water still isn't clear (unless my fluorescent lights are creating the smoky, whispy look in the water below...).

The Marineland PRO line seems interesting (what is it...an Emperor or Penguin?) because it has dual waterfalls, but I keep hearing about the AquaClears. Is there one that is going to yield cleaner/clearer water over the other? What would be recommended for a 60-gallon with fancy goldfish that need a lot of filtration?

FishEggs 10-15-2010 10:37 PM

if you're going HOB i always liked the aquaclears. they hold a lot of media and last a long time. for a gold fish tank i would get 2 AC70's or an AC110.

Osage_Winter 10-15-2010 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FishEggs (Post 1166739)
if you're going HOB i always liked the aquaclears. they hold a lot of media and last a long time. for a gold fish tank i would get 2 AC70's or an AC110.

Thanks Matt.

I am hearing great things about the AquaClears as well, but also heard the BIOWheel system on the Marinelands are great too...would the AquaClear outperform my current Aqueon, do you think? Further, is a 110 model good enough for a 60-gallon goldfish tank?

Fishguy2727 10-15-2010 11:39 PM

Go with the AquaClears. If you want a Biowheel make a DIY add-on to the AquaClear.

FishEggs 10-15-2010 11:59 PM

depends on how many gold fish you have in the tank. the 2 AC70's would probably be better. you can even go with 2 AC110's too but i don't know what funds you have either. i dont have experience with goldfish myself just going on what i've read over the years here so hopefully some goldy will chime in for more experienced advice.

i can't really comment on whether the aqeon is better or the aquaclear. i started with the aquaclear 50 for my 40g tall tank almost 3 years ago and they were so easy to use and worked so well that i never felt the urge to try any other hob. actually i do have a little penn-plax and whisper hob that i got free with some tanks and i used them for a short while just to transfer the bacteria and now i dont use them. i'd say they were only good for a 10g so not much comparison there.

Osage_Winter 10-16-2010 12:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishguy2727 (Post 1166759)
Go with the AquaClears. If you want a Biowheel make a DIY add-on to the AquaClear.

Thanks Fish.

Indeed, the AquaClear seems to be the concensus here; I wouldn't trust myself to do anything DIY, but I appreciate the tip.

What is so bad about the Marinelands that you wouldn't recommend it over an AquaClear? What intrigues me about the big Marineland is that it has dual waterfalls and it seems like it could hang towards the middle of the back of my tank, with the waterfalls on either side of the glass partition I have at the top of the tank (don't know why that's there really) and it would make for a good setup...

What do you think?

Osage_Winter 10-16-2010 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FishEggs (Post 1166763)
depends on how many gold fish you have in the tank. the 2 AC70's would probably be better. you can even go with 2 AC110's too but i don't know what funds you have either. i dont have experience with goldfish myself just going on what i've read over the years here so hopefully some goldy will chime in for more experienced advice.

I have three small-to-very-medium-sized fancytails in there now, with no intentions of getting any more until my water situation stabilizes (a never-ending saga so it seems). Do you think two 110s would be overkill for a 60 gallon?

Everyone keeps mentioning the budget for these filters -- are they really that expensive? They have them at my local PetSmart...

Fishguy2727 10-16-2010 10:06 AM

I would do the two AC110s.

I have yet to see a HOB that can stadle a centerbrace.

Biowheel filters are just like most filters in that their media is just thin little cartridges that slide in. Even on the largest one you get a max of four. Lay those out next to the media from one AC110 and you will see why people like the AC better.

I think the AC110 is priced very well, even in stores. Shop online and you can get an even better deal.

The only bad thing at all about the ACs is the intake strainer, it is very small and can grab small fish and snails. This is just something to be aware of before you learn the hard way.

FishEggs 10-16-2010 06:54 PM

Expensive is a very relative term. to some an AC 110 would be expensive. to others it's cheap. it depends on the budget and income.

that center brace is there to keep the front and back glass from bowing out and breaking. it allows the manufacturer to use thinner glass thus cutting weight and costs.

RaptorBro 10-16-2010 07:43 PM

I like my AC50 on my 20g but i reall wish the strainer could be like my whisper on my 10g i also like the AC type filters because u can turn down flow if you really need to ( for sensitive fish) i never messed with BIO wheels so i dont know the diffrence but AC filters u can add a variety of media to that filter

Osage_Winter 10-18-2010 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishguy2727 (Post 1166859)
I would do the two AC110s.

Do you really think this is necessary for a 60-gallon fancy goldie tank? Could I get away with one?

And let me ask this -- it seems like there is some bacterial growth on my Aqueon biogrids within the bigger filter now, so is it wise to swap these filters out now and get brand new ones? Is it okay to do this now?

Quote:

I have yet to see a HOB that can stadle a centerbrace.
That's what I meant, a filter and its waterfalls which "straddle" a centerbrace -- but I think you're right; the Marineland wouldn't straddle it, it just seemed like it could...

I am intrigued by the dual waterfalls on the Marinelands though and some of the Tetra Whispers...

Quote:

Biowheel filters are just like most filters in that their media is just thin little cartridges that slide in. Even on the largest one you get a max of four. Lay those out next to the media from one AC110 and you will see why people like the AC better.
Okay...

I looked at the AquaClear 110 up close at a PetSmart yesterday, and it seems to come with the three layers of media...is this correct? Can all three be used at once?

Quote:

I think the AC110 is priced very well, even in stores. Shop online and you can get an even better deal.
It seemed like PetSmart wanted 100 and some odd dollars for the 110...is this cheaper online?

Quote:

The only bad thing at all about the ACs is the intake strainer, it is very small and can grab small fish and snails. This is just something to be aware of before you learn the hard way.
I noticed the intake strainer on the AquaClears -- I didn't like the way it looked, either, but I didn't realize they actually suck small fish and snails up. At any rate, I don't have either in my tank, so I may be able to get away with it -- but I'm wondering if I'd be better running something with dual return falls like the Marineland...

Osage_Winter 10-18-2010 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FishEggs (Post 1166948)
Expensive is a very relative term. to some an AC 110 would be expensive. to others it's cheap. it depends on the budget and income.

Yes, I understand that; I was just saying that everyone kept mentioning "budget" when talking about the AquaClears as if they were seriously out of reach or something as compared to the other brands mentioned.

Quote:

that center brace is there to keep the front and back glass from bowing out and breaking. it allows the manufacturer to use thinner glass thus cutting weight and costs.
Thank you -- I never understood why that was there! Makes sense if they're using cheap materials and glass; wish I would have gone with another tank manufacturer knowing this now...:roll:

Osage_Winter 10-18-2010 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RaptorBro (Post 1166963)
I like my AC50 on my 20g but i reall wish the strainer could be like my whisper on my 10g i also like the AC type filters because u can turn down flow if you really need to ( for sensitive fish) i never messed with BIO wheels so i dont know the diffrence but AC filters u can add a variety of media to that filter

Thanks Raptor.

Yeah, I am hearing some things about the strainers on the AquaClears, and I didn't really like the way they looked when I saw them up close on the box covers in the store...

Fishguy2727 10-18-2010 11:53 PM

You could always start with one AC110 and then add a second if/when necessary.

You can take the media from the current filter and put it in the new one or run both simultaneously for a few weeks.

There is nothing special about dual vs single waterfell returns.

You should be able to get it under $100, most likely online as low as $60 or so.

You can arrange the media in the AC110 however you want. The standard is foam on the bottom, then carbon, then Biomax on top. I don't use carbon so I would double up on biomedia (I would use Seachem Matrix instead of Biomax) or use a special media if needed (like peat pellets or crushed coral).

Osage_Winter 10-18-2010 11:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishguy2727 (Post 1167597)
You could always start with one AC110 and then add a second if/when necessary.

Indeed, that's true. Would you suggest continuing to run one of the Aqueons with the AquaClear or just start over completely?

Quote:

You can take the media from the current filter and put it in the new one or run both simultaneously for a few weeks.
That may have answered my question above...

Quote:

There is nothing special about dual vs single waterfell returns.
Do you mean the dual return structure doesn't "filter better" than the single lipped versions?

Quote:

You should be able to get it under $100, most likely online as low as $60 or so.
Okay...

Quote:

You can arrange the media in the AC110 however you want. The standard is foam on the bottom, then carbon, then Biomax on top. I don't use carbon so I would double up on biomedia (I would use Seachem Matrix instead of Biomax) or use a special media if needed (like peat pellets or crushed coral).
If I wanted to go with what they provide in the box, is that okay? How are the AquaClears initially set up and prepared -- does it require water be put into the filter in order to get it flowing? My Aqueons have a submersible pump, so there is no water priming necessary upon start up...

Fishguy2727 10-19-2010 07:19 AM

Exactly, a dual return doesn't filter any better than a single return. Filtration is based on flow rate and media capacity.

Every tank has different needs and how you setup the filter media should reflect that. If their setup works then go for it, but depending on your water parameters, water change schedule, etc. it may work better for your tank to alter the media used.

JohnPaul 10-19-2010 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Osage_Winter (Post 1167599)
Indeed, that's true. Would you suggest continuing to run one of the Aqueons with the AquaClear or just start over completely?

If you already have a cycled filter on the tank, then I would run the old filter and the new filter together for ~ 6 weeks in order to give time for the beneficial bacteria to grow on the new filter media. The last thing you want to do is have to deal with re-cycling a tank unnecessarily. You can accelerate this process by periodically taking any gunk that is collecting on the old filter and physically sticking it in the bottom of the aquaclear filter to help seed the bacteria growth on the media there.


Quote:

If I wanted to go with what they provide in the box, is that okay? How are the AquaClears initially set up and prepared -- does it require water be put into the filter in order to get it flowing? My Aqueons have a submersible pump, so there is no water priming necessary upon start up...
Yes, the AC's do need to be primed, which simply involves taking about a cupful of water and pouring it into the filter before turning it on.

Using the media provided is perfectly fine, though I agree with a suggestion mentioned earlier which is to remove the bag of activated carbon and replace it with a second bag of bio media. That gives you more surface area for bacteria (so more biological filtration), and the activated carbon serves no real purpose 99.9% of the time. Just keep it on hand in case a situation arises where you really need it (e.g. to remove extra medications from a tank after medicating for some disease, etc.)

I am another lover of AquaClear's. They are dependable, quiet, and so flexible because you can put bags of whatever media you want. I've used bags of crushed coral before when I wanted to increase my pH/hardness, I've put in a handful of fine filter floss when I was doing a lot of tank maintenance and kicking up all sorts of dust from my substrate, I've used two bags of biomedia and then when setting up a new tank was able to move one of the two bags into the filter in my new tank, thus having an instantly completely cycled tank, etc. So many options. They are great filters.

BillD 10-19-2010 11:49 AM

When using ACs. a second sponge insert can be used instead of the unnecessary carbon. This vastly increases the bio capability as well as the mechanical capability. Sponges last for many years. This is the big advantage of the AC filters; they can hold a lot of media that doesn't need replacing.

Osage_Winter 10-19-2010 06:54 PM

Okay Guys,

Thanks for all the replies and input here; it seems the AquaClears are the clear winner in terms of the initial question I asked in this thread -- but is there another brand I should be considering for a power HOB outside of Tetra, AquaClear or Marineland?

At this point, I'm in a kind of on-the-fence situation because based on the replies in my other thread regarding why my current Aqueons aren't clearing the water up, it seems that perhaps I just haven't been giving the tank a chance to stabilize or equalize, so I may need to just hang onto my current filters and see what happens with some more time...

spoonman 10-19-2010 08:08 PM

I have marineland 350's on all my tanks and love them. It would be a little overkill for a 10g, but I run one on my 29G fry tank and it works great and the water is crystal clear.


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