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Results 1 to 10 of 35
  1. #1

    Default Was very disappointed with my AquaClear hob

    0 Not allowed!
    I took the advice of the helpful folks on this forum, and got an AquaClear hob to supplement my UGF. At first, I was going to remove the UGF altogether, but decided to see if the AquaClear hob would work properly for me before I took out the UGF. It's a good thing I did!

    I had nothing but trouble with this hob. I read the instruction brochure thoroughly and examined all the diagrams. The instructions are very clear and easy to understand. That part was okay.

    However, when I tried to assemble the U-tube of this AquaClear hob, it wouldn't click into the hole over the impeller chamber as the brochure specifically said it should, and which the illustration clearly showed it should. Also, I had trouble getting the front end of this U-tube to click into its holder properly. The best I could get it to do was lay snugly OVER the impeller hole, but not click INTO it like the directions said! I wasn't sure if this was going to effect the way it would function, but that was all I could get it to do.

    When I put it onto my aquarium, I leveled it just like the instructions said. Had no problem with leveling it, at all.

    I had all the media rinsed and placed in the basket exactly as shown, and the basket inserted into the chamber. That went okay.

    I then filled the chamber completely with water, again as the instructions said.

    I turned the flow control valve to its maximum setting, as the directions said to do for priming. I plugged the unit into the electrical power.

    The thing didn't prime! The directions said it was supposed to take anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds to expel air (prime) before the waterfall action began. In my case, it didn't expel any air at all. It began the waterfall immediately, which was contrary to what the directions said it was supposed to do.

    So, I unplugged it, took it off the tank, emptied the chamber of the water so I could work with it some more.

    Again, I simply could NOT get that U-tube to click into the impeller hole like it was supposed to! I tried, and tried and tried, and it JUST WOULDN'T GO! Also, I continued to have trouble getting the front part of the U-tube to click properly into the holder. I re-read the Quick-Start instruction brochure again and again, to make sure I was reading it correctly. It most clearly and specfically said that the opposite end of the U-tube was supposed to click INTO the hole over the impeller chamber. It said nothing at all about just seating up snugly against it or around it! It said INTO it, and that's ALL it said.

    I nonetheless re-assembled it as best I could, and replaced it onto the aquarium. Making sure it was level again, I refilled the chamber with water and plugged it in. Again, it wouldn't prime, and this time I heard some clattering, like individual pieces of gravel were dropping into the impeller chamber.

    Again, I unplugged it and took it off the tank. At that point I was so frustrated and disgusted with this flimsy piece of junk that I decided to scrap it altogether and go back to my UGF.

    I took out the UGF and thoroughly cleaned under the filter plate. While I had it out, I added the second lift tube and powered it with my second Maxi-Jet, even though the LFS where I got it from has continually insisted that I only need ONE lift tube and ONE Maxi-Jet to power this UGF. I have never felt comfortable with using only one, so now that I had the opportunity to put in the second lift tube and Maxi with its own UGF adapter, I did so.

    I still recognize the need to have an hob, as well. But I wlll NOT purchase another AquaClear, even though I do like the concept of having three different filter media that are replaced at different times so as to always preserve some BB at all times.

    Can anyone here recommend a good quality hob of a different brand that is easy to assemble and whose parts WILL go together AS THE INSTRUCTIONS SAY THEY SHOULD ???

    Thank you for any help. Sorry this post is so lengthy, but I had to include all the details.

    -- mermaidwannabe
    Last edited by mermaidwannabe; 12-18-2010 at 08:37 PM.
    20 gal. high: planted; 8 white cloud minnows, 10 RCS, 2 blue shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 6 glofish,, 2 zebra danios, 6 rosy red (fathead) minnows, 3 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    LOL...oh my gosh...more drama. First of all, you have to prime the Aquaclear filter by filling the media chamber with aquarium water. Then plug the filter in and then it will take a few minutes of running for the air to be pumped out of the intake tube. After that, I usually unplug the filter and let any air in the filter chamber rise to the top. Then plug the filter back in and let it run. The AC filter will not loose prime unless you draw out enough tank water so that air make it's way up the intake tube.

    The intake tube will snap into place, but the u tube does not. Just make sure the end of the u tube is in the slot directly over the impeller chamber.

    AC filters are one of the best HOBs money can buy. They're not perfect, but no HOB is and they are a lot better than UGF. I've been running an AC50, 2 AC30s, and an AC20 for the better part of five years. Believe me I tried a lot of HOBs before I had an AC filter recommended to me. None of them compare to the flexibility of the AC HOB and if properly maintained will last a very long time.

    The only filter better is a Canister filter of your choice because they hold even more filter media.

    So, I suggest you have a bit more patience when setting up the AC HOB. Once you learn the basic mechanics of the filter, you should any many issues.

    There's a lot of people here that use them, so we all can't be wrong.
    Last edited by Taurus; 12-18-2010 at 09:01 PM.
    When in doubt, do a water change.

    "This ain't rocket science!"

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    Usually AC's are great. But the odd one will have a flaw. I used to have an AC70 that ran great. My AC 20 is a bit picky but overall good. I currently have 2 AC 110's running. Both are still only months old but run great. The 2nd one I had trouble getting the u tube and intake tube connected but eventually they did connect. You could probably take it back and exchange it? I wouldn't get a different HOB. AC's are by far the best. You could try a canister.
    26 gallon- 1 Clown Pleco, 3 Rummy-nose Tetras
    Read about my fish in my blog:

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    What aquaclear do you have? I own 6 of them and have never had a single issue with them.Did you try exchanging it for another one? Might just be a faulty filter and needs to be exchanged. I would never buy any other brand of hob filter after owning these.Good luck
    125 gallon:oscar and silver dollars;90 gallon:mbuna;40gallon breeder;55 gallon:mbuna;55 gallon:black convicts;2-10 gallon fry tanks

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I have 2 aquaclears and neither of them have ever "clicked" into place. So that directions may be a little misleading there. Sometimes if the air doesn't fully come out of the u-tube I just turn the flow level down a bit until it sucks the air out. For some reason it does this more quickly with the flow down.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Taurus
    LOL...oh my gosh...more drama. First of all, you have to prime the Aquaclear filter by filling the media chamber with aquarium water.
    Check her post again. ;)

    You do have to let it run longer. Honestly, I don't think you are giving it nearly enough time. I will admit, the U-tube can be somewhat difficult to get in place properly at times (mine gives me trouble sometimes) but it will go in, and the filter will prime. If your filter is not priming, you simply cannot have the tube in properly. The physics of how the filter works doesn't change.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Let me explain this again. Maybe I wasn't clear.

    The instructions said nothing whatsoever about the U-tube seating snugly on the plastic ABOVE the impeller hole. They very precisely and clearly said it was supposed to click INTO the hole. And they did use the word "click". All I could get it to do was seat tightly on the plastic ABOVE the hole, but it absolutely would NOT click INTO it.

    I take the wording in product directions very seriously. When they use precise language like that, I figure that's exactly what they mean. I follow the instructions exactly. I expect the outcome they tell me to expect.

    Not one word was said about having to fiddle with it to get it to prime. All it said was that once the chamber was completely filled with water (which I DID), it would take 30 to 45 seconds to prime, then the waterfall action would begin.

    That's ALL these directions said. Nothing more.

    This isn't drama. This is inaccurate wording in instructions that users are expected to follow to correctly install this filter and all of its parts. I feel it is perfectly reasonable to expect the wording to be accurate, in otherwords, they say what they mean and they mean what they say.

    Otherwise, what's the use of having directions if they aren't going to correctly tell you what you must do and what to expect from doing it?

    As for turning the flow down later on during the priming process, again, the directions say absolutely nothing about that. They only say to set the flow control lever to the maximum flow for the priming to begin.

    I followed the instructions exactly, and it didn't do was they said it would. That isn't my fault. I wasn't assuming that I should have had any other expectations than if I did what I was supposed to do, it would do as IT was supposed to do.

    I might add that since I had this experience, I have read several reviews on this product, and they have been mixed. Others have had problems, as well. It isn't just me.

    I am a precise person and I believe in following directions. I expect same to be clear, complete and accurate. These were certainly clear, but they weren't complete, nor were they accurate.

    -- mermaid
    20 gal. high: planted; 8 white cloud minnows, 10 RCS, 2 blue shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 6 glofish,, 2 zebra danios, 6 rosy red (fathead) minnows, 3 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Is there any way you could exchange it for another one and try that one?Probably is just a faulty unit
    125 gallon:oscar and silver dollars;90 gallon:mbuna;40gallon breeder;55 gallon:mbuna;55 gallon:black convicts;2-10 gallon fry tanks

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    wow, i think the situation might be that you are taking the directions way to Literally, and i hope that with doing so, you don't miss out on using a great product, I have used several AC's HOB's filters on many tanks over the years, and have had nothing but success.
    If you actually just relax a little, calm down and take a step back i'm sure you can get this working for you. If you haven't by now looked inside and seen a kind of elongated circular impression in the plastic deck above the impellar housing, that is where the short end of the u tube slides back and forth. For full water flow you want it to be SEATED within the impression towards the left, to lessen water flow you wanted it to be SEATED within the impression towards the right. the longer end of the utube, will "SNAP" in and rest against the HOB housing when pushed. if that end is snapped in place, and the other end is seated and switched all the way to the left, to te edge of the impression, then once the basket is filled you should have no problem with the filter priming itself.

    good luck

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    I do want what's best for my fish. I know that extra filtration would be best for them. I may give this product another try, but I'm not removing my UGF. I will use an hob along with it. If the foam in the hob catches the debris like it should, and I continue to vacuum the gravel like I should, and I continue doing water changes regularly, the combination of both filters should be effective at keeping my water quality top notch. I may still have to occasionally tear the tank down and clean under the UGF plate. I don't mind doing this. But I would rather have more filtration than less.

    I just basically resent it when I do what I'm supposed to do by reading the directions and following them, and then the components of the product or the product itself doesn't respond in the way I'm led to believe it's supposed to. I think this is a disservice to the user of the product.

    As for understanding the physics of it, I don't have a PhD in physics. I can and do read product instructions, however, and I expect that information to convey what I need to know with wording that doesn't say something different than what the product or its parts actually does.

    If it says something is supposed to "click" into place, I expect it to "click". If it doesn't, then that's inaccurate wording, and misleading to me, the user.

    And if it says slot over the impeller chamber, I expect there to be a slot, which I've always understood to be a small open slit into which something is inserted. Since there wasn't a small open slit, the only other opening was the hole, itself, over the impeller chamber (through which I could see the blades of the impeller), so accordingly, I expected the end of the U-Tube to click into that. There was nothing else that I could see on top of that unit that it could be inserted into.

    That said, I might try it again. But I'm definitely leery, this time. At least I'll know NOT to expect it to behave exactly as the instructions say, even though I do, or try to do, exactly what they say, as I understand them.

    And Taurus, I really appreciate your helpfulness, but this is NOT Drama Queen stuff. It's serious business for the benefit of my pets.

    -- mermaidwannabe
    20 gal. high: planted; 8 white cloud minnows, 10 RCS, 2 blue shrimp, several snails; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 7 rosy barbs, 6 glofish,, 2 zebra danios, 6 rosy red (fathead) minnows, 3 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.

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