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Poster Info

guru at being an expert
Posts: 6,156
Registered: May 2006
Location: SoCal

 

Hagen AquaClear HOB filters
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 33048 Mon March 17, 2014
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $39.32 9.3

 

Description:
AquaClear Hang on back filters provide three way mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. They are powerful and quite quiet. They also feature a flow control knob, perfect for feeding time.
Keywords: hagen aquaclear filter hob hang on back

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pPETS-3756646t400.jpg FluvalFX5.jpg hagenaquaclear70.jpg

 

Author
Anonymous
Review Date: Tue March 3, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Secluded turbine, functional flow adjustment, easy to clean & maintain, superb filter media and a wide intake tube for excellent flow.
Cons: Makes all other HOB filters unappealing.

 
I've only used a couple types of HOB filters including one made by Petco, Tetra and of course the Hagen Aquaclear model. The petco filter is a joke because it's badly engineered and serves little more than moderate water flow, the tetra HOB filter needs weekly cleaning or it begins rattling but the Hagen model requires virtually no maintenance and runs like a champ.

I'm confident that I'll never use any other brand of HOB filter after trying these Aquaclear models. Kudos to Hagen.
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Cameron

Saltwater Wanna-be

Registered: July 2007
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 623
Review Date: Wed April 1, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Small compared to similer HOBs, does a good job, resonably priced
Cons: sometimes overflow if its not clean, sometimes doesnt start back up, or starts slowly

 
Definatly worth the money, i have a AC 50 on my 29g and a Whisper 30 and i really like this one better. Has good media and options. Good filter overall!

------------------------------
In my 29 gal:
4 serpae tetras
1 Flame tetras
1 Zebra Danio
1 German Blue Ram

In my 55 gal:
Trigun's 55g Tropical Community!
6 Glo-lite Tetras
4 Emerald Corys
1 Dwarf Gourami
4 Peppered Corys
25 Neon Tetras
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Fraoch

Senior Member

Registered: February 2009
Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 844
Review Date: Wed May 20, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $23.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Huge filter basket, flexible media options, no cartridges, very good flow, nice flow adjustment system
Cons: Can be expensive

 
I recently purchased an AquaClear 20 for my 10-gallon tank.

I haven't even had this for a day but it's obvious, this is simply a superior HOB filter. It makes my original Top Fin 10 look pretty silly.

There's a huge filter basket that can accommodate large amounts of filter material. Since it doesn't use cartridges, you can rearrange and customize to what you require. You can use 3rd party materials, even household materials like kitchen sponges and potscrubbers. The starter media includes a foam pad, an activated carbon bag and a Bio-Max bag - Bio-Max consists of porous ceramic cylinders designed to support beneficial bacteria necessary for biological filtration. I'm starting this out not using the activated carbon and got an extra Bio-Max bag, so I'm running (bottom to top) foam/Bio-Max/Bio-Max.

The flow system is ingenious and simple. The impeller draws water up the intake tube and discharges it to the side. A channel on the underside of the filter directs the water flow to the underside of the filter basket where it's pushed up through the filter media and discharged. The flow control is even more ingenious - the intake tube is moved to the side, exposing a portion of the impeller. Above the impeller, there's an upper chamber that is connected to the side of the filter basket. With the impeller exposed, it draws the upper chamber water from the side of the filter, recirculating it. So the same volume of water is cleaned, but a portion of it is cleaned repeatedly as it recirculates. When the intake tube is moved to its full flow position, the impeller is sealed from the upper chamber. Water flows from the side of the filter basket to the upper chamber, but only to the filled level of the filter. Since the impeller is sealed from it in the full flow position, it forms a portion of the water flowing through the filter media and gets discharged.

The unit has fairly high build quality although my lid sits a bit crooked. The entire filter housing is in a smoke translucent plastic which allows you to see the media, you don't have to pull it out to examine it.

It's a little louder than my Top Fin 10, but not enough to really be a concern.

We'll see how it fares once debris builds up in the filter, but I'm guessing it will fare better than vertical cartridge-based filters. On my Top Fin, when the filter gets clogged, water "piles up" behind the filter cartridge, spilling over back into the tank over the intake tube. This can severely restrict flow. Although I know the AquaClear will clog, I can't see how this "bypass" can happen - the water is being pushed from underneath. From what I can see, the load on the impeller will increase. At a certain point, its flow will drop due to the backpressure, but I'd bet it will fare fare better and maintain a higher flow as the filter clogs than a vertical cartridge-based design.

All in all, a simple yet effective design that maximizes the amount of filter media you can use in a HOB filter.

These are quite popular and it seems their price is rising to suit. I did happen to find an amazing deal - the highest price locally was $36.99, I paid $23.99. At that price I feel I should have bought 2 or upgraded to the AC 30, but this will likely last me a very long time.
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CWO4GUNNER

Member

Registered: April 2009
Location: BULLHEAD AZ
Posts: 71
Review Date: Sun May 31, 2009 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Highest GPH for a canister filter
Cons: Filter basket needs redesign

 
I received 2 of these as part of a craiglist 80 tall tank/stand package deal for $150. This type of HOB technology where water is pumped underneath stacked filter media has been around for a long time and I remember using it in the late 70's and 80's as it was the best in affordability at the time. The only flaw with it is the open top design of the container which does not attach the filter basket to the bottom securely, and the basket itself is also open at the top and dose not securely hold the media down and in place. As a result as soon as the filter starts to get a little dirty like 30%, the slightest resistance to water pressure under the filter basket causes it to dislodge from its poorly designed hold down tabs and start floating to the top. In turn the filter media itself dislodges from its weak snag points and also floats to the top of the basket pushing the lid off the top of the filter which has no latch and water starts to bypass from under all the filter media and basket, the wet media making contact with the drywall causing stains and some water to spill. I have had to design Velcro attachments and the sides of the container to hold the basket down and a top cage for the basket to hold the media down and as a precaution an external strap to hold the cover down. This all forces the water to flow through the filter media without lift bypassing, increasing time between cleaning by 3-4 times. When the water leaving flowing out of the filter slows to a trickle, I know its time to clean the filter. It is potentially a much better filter if they would just design a secure hold down for both the basket and media.
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Afk4Jfk

Bukkit

Registered: September 2009
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 412
Review Date: Sat September 12, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Customizable, Good looking, Quiet
Cons: ?I

 
I have 2 of these, one for each of my tanks (10-30) I use them as my main filter and I complement them with lesser brands. So each tank is running 2 filters. i do this because with the AC i can use ammo chips or 2x bio bags or whatever and still have the carbon filtration of the second filter. They are on the high end price scale as far as HOBs go but you definately get what you pay for. I have two mor tanks to setup and as soon as i doo Im running for the AquaClear section of my lfs. Even my fish love it, they swimm in and out of the flow with big smiles. If not for you.... Think Of The Fish!!!

------------------------------
the bobber mirrored the setting sun as it nestled into the distant clouds...
...the rippling wave whispered for my readiness as a fish teased the hook...
This Is LIFE!

Hi!!
Im AXE
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smaug

Banned

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 11861
Review Date: Sat October 3, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:

 
My wife has the small version on her 3gal nano desk tank.
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annageckos

Animal Obsessed

Registered: January 2009
Location: Langhorne PA, USA
Posts: 2884
Review Date: Mon December 28, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $35.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Easy to use, quiet, lots of space for media, ajustable flow rate
Cons: Nothing I can think of

 
Great filter, built very well. I have had one for over ten years and am still running it. Quiet unless your water level is low, then you will hear a 'waterfall' sound. Very easy to clean, you can use almost any media you want or need. The only HOB filter I will ever use.

------------------------------
55 gallon planted community
30 gallon planted community
10 gallon planted wild type guppies and cherry shrimp
2X5.5
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wolf_eyes

Unoffical Queen of Cories

Registered: October 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1361
Review Date: Sat February 6, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $38.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): quiet, great flow, lots of media options
Cons: none

 
Pretty much all that can be said has been said about this product. My favorite part of the product is the ability to put in whatever media is better for your tank. If you don't want carbon and more bio media, you can do it without having to cut out the carbon like you have to do with a lot of the other HOBs. It's nice and quiet, even the Aquaclear 50 I have is silent. This is a great filter that is well worth the price.

------------------------------
30gL heavily planted: south american community tank
15g mod. planted: nano fish community tank
6g long(custom tank) mod planted: 6 bettas w/ dividers
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gadget228

Senior Member

Registered: November 2009
Location: Southern Ohio
Posts: 4546
Review Date: Tue March 2, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Easy to set up, large media area with options
Cons: Little pricey

 
Got a 20 for my ten gallon and liked it so much that all my filters have been replaced with Aqua-Clear's.

------------------------------
.
You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
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DewDropPony

Junior Member

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 15
Review Date: Wed March 10, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:

 
Lots of room for filter media. Better flow rate than a whisper filter. Do not use with small grain sand. Love the adjustable flow rate.
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Cliff

Moderator

Registered: January 2010
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 17399
Review Date: Wed April 28, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): The most dependable filter I've owned
Cons: None to me

 
The very first filter that I've owned was a aqua clear 50. That was 12 years ago and I'm still using it. Still works great, pretty good amount of filter media as well

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If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
"Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=76398] Marine Aquarium Info [/URL] [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]
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Trillianne

*insert witty title*

Registered: April 2010
Location: Seattle Side of the Mountains
Posts: 2512
Review Date: Mon June 21, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Quiet, effcient, head and shoulders above the cheap varieties
Cons: Finer mesh intake would make this stellar!

 
Wow! I switched to this HOB filter after using an in-tank Whisper filter and the difference in filtration and clearing of the water was incredible!

The adjustable flow slider is a great feature if you are worried about small fish being overwhelmed by the flowrate.

Since I've started keeping kuhliis and have sand, a finer intake would be a nice addition, but what it comes with is standard for most filters. (I used a bit of ladies hose rubberbanded onto the intake)

------------------------------
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AndorranPrince

Member

Registered: August 2010
Location: GTA, Ontario
Posts: 249
Review Date: Thu August 19, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Inexpensive, 3 stage filtration, good GPH, reliable construction, extendable design
Cons: Assebly was a bit difficult

 
AMAZING HOB! Better than a lot of the canisters I see, this thing is BEAUTIFUL! If you want to cut the usual HOB costs, this filter uses washable foam inserts instead of constant expense of cartidges. Adjustable flow rate, and easy construction if you can understand the instructions. Best HOB on the market.

------------------------------
10 gallon planted with betta
55 gallon Malawi Cichlids
120 with SA cichlids, Pleco and Pictus Catfish
Quote Originally Posted by Brhino
you didn't cycle your cardboard box.
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CassieLEO

Sweet Peas Mommy

Registered: November 2010
Location: MA
Posts: 1861
Review Date: Sat February 5, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Works perfect!
Cons: Clogs and then will overflow

 
If you dont clean it, water will back up and you will have a overflow. Other than that, this is the best HOB out there, IMO

------------------------------

Google is your friend. Use it!!!
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Fisharefriends27

Senior Member

Registered: January 2011
Posts: 1019
Review Date: Wed August 24, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Everything else
Cons: The lid

 
Great filter. Very quiet. Nuff said

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120 gallon29 gallon
5.5 and 2.5 gallon
The harley man......no not the motorcycle, harlequin rasboras
Angie R.I.P. 10/29/11
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