Last Updated on April 22, 2023 by Coral Realm
The AquaClear power filter has many great features which make it a great aquarium filter choice. Also known as the AquaClear HOB filter, the name power filter and HOB filter are used interchangeably.
A hang on back or clip on filter are great options for smaller tanks as they don’t take up important space within the tank like sponge filters or submersible filters do. They also don’t have the bulky main canister and need to space that canister filters require. Check out our canister filter vs power filter article for more info. HOB filters draw water from the tank via an intake valve, pass it over the filtration media, and then pump it back into the tank.
The AquaClear HOB filter offers strong triple stage filtration within a compact body. There are multiple sizes available which make it ideal for tanks from 5 – 110 gallons.
IN THIS ARTICLE
AquaClear Power Filter Review
In this AquaClear power filter review we will go through all the features that this filter has and both the pros and cons it brings to the table when you are considering a new HOB filter for your aquarium.
The AquaClear HOB filter boasts a waterfall design which allows for the newly filtered water to be returned to the tank with as little noise as possible by gently breaking the surface tension, but while still providing maximal oxygenation. Not only does this look quite amazing but it is good news for both you and your aquarium fish. You will get the peace of not having the constant noise of a trickling filter, and your fish will have the benefit of a well oxygenated environment. If you have live aquarium plants, circulation is absolutely necessary as otherwise they can have problems with algal growth on their leaves. Plants like java moss need moderate water circulation.
Filtration is maximized through the design of the body of the filter itself. No water is allowed to bypass the filtration media, which prevents dirty water from re-entering the fish tank.
Capacity and Output
There are 5 different size options to choose from; which one you should choose is dependent on the size of your aquarium and the setup that you have. The different models are the AquaClear 20, AquaClear 30, AquaClear 50, AquaClear 70, and AquaClear 110.
AquaClear 20: The smallest in the series, it has a capacity of 5-20 gallons. The maximal output is 100 gallons per hour.
AquaClear 30: Has a capacity of 10-30 gallons with a maximal output of 150 gal/hr. The size of this filter is 14.5x15x10 cm.
AquaClear 50: Has a capacity of 20-50 gallons with a maximal output of 200 gal/hr.
AquaClear 70: Has a capacity of 40-70 gallons with a maximal output of 300 gal/hr and a minimum output of 100 gal/hr.
AquaClear 110: Has a capacity of 60-110 gallons with a maximal output of 500 gal/hr.
As you can see the upper and lower capacity limits of each size filter overlap. This can make it confusing when trying to buy the appropriate filter for say, a 50 gallon tank. In this case, this capacity tank is at the upper limit of the AquaClear 50 filter and the lower limit of the AquaClear 70 filter. Which one you choose should depend on how your tank is stocked, and what setup you have. More fish and invertebrates generate more waste, so a higher capacity filter is needed to clean up after them. In general though always get the higher capacity filter, as it will give you more wiggle room, and a cleaner tank is always better!
Another option is to have two smaller AquaClear filters for a larger tank, so that their combined capacities can handle the large tank.
Triple Stage Filtration
There are three filtration media which come as standard; a polyfoam insert as the mechanical media to capture large debris, an activated charcoal insert to remove impurities and odors, and biomax rings as a site for beneficial bacteria to grow for biological filtration. Beneficial bacteria are very important to your tank, and are part of the aquarium nitrogen cycle. They remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate from the tank.
This triple stage filtration system provides powerful filtration, and the design of the filter increases the contact time of the water with the media to further increase filtration power.
Extra media available as well such as Zeo-Carb and Ammonia Remover which can add extra filtration power and target specific problems within your tank. For instance if you are having issues with ammonia spikes in your tank, a combination of ammonia remover in the filter and more thorough regular cleaning, both tank and filter cleaning, will help to resolve the issue.
Flow Control System
An extremely handy feature is the flow control system which is found on the AquaClear HOB filter.
Using this system you can control the output of the filter. Being able to reduce the flow rate is useful for a number of reasons; it is useful when feeding your fish and cleaning your tank to name a couple. In high water circulation environments fish food, especially flaked foods, have a habit of going everywhere as soon as you drop it in. If you lower the flow rate however, they will be able to feed in peace.
Installation of the AquaClear HOB filter is extremely quick and easy. HOB filters are so called because they simply hang on the back of the aquarium glass. All that is required is to place the filtration media appropriately and plug the filter into the socket and it is good to go!
It is very simple to layer the filtration media correctly. There are instructions on how to properly place the media within the box. The water needs to hit the foam mechanical media first to remove large debris which will clog the latter stages. Next is the activated carbon chemical media, and last up is the biomax rings which act as the biological media.
As water is drawn up the intake valve it is pumped to the bottom of the filter, where it rises through the chamber before flowing out of the waterfall outflow at the top. Therefore the foam needs to be at the bottom, the carbon in the middle, and the biomax rings at the top.
As far as aquarium HOB filters go, the AquaClear power filter is a brilliant choice. While there are more powerful filtering options out there such as the Fluval C4 power filter, the AquaClear 110 has a very high capacity. The AquaClear 50 is a brilliant small to mid-sized tank option, while using two AquaClear 50 filters isn’t an unusual strategy. Using an AquaClear 50 as a backup filter to a larger canister filter such as a Fluval FX6 can work well too.
With a design which prevents water from bypassing the triple stage filtration contained within the canister, the AquaClear HOB filter provides great cleaning power. The waterfall outflow return helps to reduce noise while still providing high oxygenation.