Pros: good design, easy to change filtering medium, filters a good amount of water
Cons: motor doesn't always start after losing power, intake pipe doesn't snap into place
Last year we had a lovely incident where our 29 gallon aquarium cracked for no apparent reason. We saved almost all of the fish because I happened to have a 39 gallon tank given to me by someone else. Unfortunately, that meant the filter I had for the smaller system needed to be upgraded.
As I shopped around and checked out the general opinions of aquarium filters, one that seemed to get high ratings was the AquaClear Aquarium Power Filter. The only one I could find locally in a bind was the one for aquariums up to 70 gallons. It said the minimum size was 40 gallons so I figured it would be okay in mine at 39 and I didn't want to leave the other filter in the tank for too long of a time.
The AquaClear 70 Aquarium Power Filter will pump up to 300 gallons per hour. t's set up like most aquarium filters where the intake tube goes into the tank and the water spills out over a spillway. What's good about this filter is that it's set up so the water is forced to go through the filtering medium, rather than just hoping it makes it through. As it comes out of the spillway into the tank, it creates a nice current through the tank which helps stir up loose particles to eventually enter the filter and be filtered out.
Water is sucked into the first stage of the AquaClear 70 Aquarium Power Filter. There are holes at the bottom of this compartment that allow the water to enter the bottom of the second compartment. The water then travels up through the filtering medium to exit back into the tank via the spillway. In other filters, the water just sort of goes over the top and it's generally accepted that enough of the water actually gets filtered to work.
The filtering medium is made up of three parts. A foam block catches large particles. A bag of activated carbon absorbs liquid wastes. The third bag contains an ammonia remover. These three filtering mediums and the way the AquaClear 70 Aquarium Power Filter is designed have combined to make this aquarium the cleanest one I've ever had. Even when I stir it up vacuuming the bottom of the tank, the water clears fairly quickly and stays looking good. I haven't lost as many fish from the tank as I have in the past, either.
Setting it up wasn't too difficult. The hardest part was figuring out how the intake pipe fit into the base. It doesn't snap into place which was what I kept trying to do. It just sort of sits on top of the impeller and motor compartment and slides back and forth to adjust the water flow. It doesn't seem like it should work, but it does. Starting it up for the first time, I have to have both compartments pretty full for it to get the right amount of suction.
Cleaning the AquaClear 70 Aquarium Power Filter is pretty easy. Although the directions suggest not changing all of the filtering medium at the same time, that's generally exactly what I do. I try to clean out all of the compartment as well, although this doesn't always happen. What has happened in the past is that for some reason once the power is cut, the motor won't start up again. If there's water in the first compartment, taking the motor off to inspect it means the water will come out. One time it even started siphoning the tank this way. It can create a huge mess. The motor started again once I let it dry a bit, plugged it into a different plug, and tapped it a few times. However, this is a concern I have over the power going off and no one noticing that the filter hasn't kicked on again.
Overall, though, I am pleased with the AquaClear 70 Aquarium Power Filter. It works great and keeps the aquarium in the best condition I've ever seen. The water is clear and I haven't lost that many fish from it. Changing the filtering medium is pretty easy and not too expensive. It works well to create a biological filter for the tank and keep the tank healthy. I do worry about the issues with the motor, but I've yet to have it stop working completely – it usually just needs to be cleaned and dried to get it working again.
The way this filters the water is probably the best design I've come across and a reason I highly recommend this. It does a terrific job of keeping the water clean and stripping it of the invisible waste products that come from the fish themselves. There are various sizes of this type of filer available for aquarium tanks. If you're using a filter in the corner of the tank or another filter that only pushes water over the top of the filtering medium, you might want to try switching to the AquaClear Aquarium Power Filter that's the right size for your tank.
AquaClear Foam Filter Insert
AquaClear Activated Carbon Filter Insert
AquaClear Ammonia Remover Insert
© 2010 Patti Aliventi