AquaClear 110 vs Marineland Penguin 350 – Which Should You Choose?

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Are you looking for a good power filter? Then you certainly have many choices you can choose from. Two great choices are the AquaClear 110 and the Marineland Penguin 350. The choice is not easy, but we will try to make it clearer and easier for you in this comparison of the two filters.

In this article, we will take a look and review both filters – the AquaClear 110 and the Marineland Penguin 350.  We will take a look at the specifications of both filters, take a look at the pros and cons of each filter and compare them. Hopefully, you will be able to learn which filter is better for your needs.

AquaClear is known for producing high-quality power filters that are very easy to use and install. The brand is considered one of the best in that area. The AquaClear 110 is certainly an epitome of that. It offers users a very easy system to install and use and very effective filtration.

Marineland, on the other hand, is also a brand that produces high-quality filters. It is a brand that has been in operation for quite some time now – ever since the 1960s. Today, they are known for producing some of the best aquariums and aquarium gadgets on the market.

AquaClear 110 – Review, Pros & Cons

In this article, we will really delve deep into the specifics of both filters first and then compare them. First, let us take a look at the AquaClear 110 closely and find out what are the pros and cons of this power filter.

First, let us mention that there are more variations of this filter, depending on the size and filtering capabilities. We have the 20, 30, 50, 70 and 110 versions of the filter.

The 20 version covers 5 to 20 gallons, the 30 version covers 10 to 30 gallons, 50 covers 20 to 50 gallons, 70 can cover 40 to 70 gallons and 110, which is the largest version and one that we will review here, 60 to 110 gallons.

For a power filter, AquaClear is definitely one of the best in its range. It provides users with plenty of filtering power and some great capabilities. At its peak, the filter can move to up to 500 gallons of water per hour, making it very efficient.

It does this while operating very quietly – it is, or at least it claims to be, one of the quietest filters of its range.

There is a lot to like about the package as well. In it, you will get everything that you will need to set up the filter quickly and start using it. In addition, the package includes ceramic rings, activated carbon which will let you rid the water of some toxins. As this is a hang-on-back filter, you will be able to set it up and use it in no time.

While the AquaClear 110 is slightly more expensive than the Marineland filter, it definitely offers a lot that is worth the price. The effectiveness of the filter and the whole package makes this filter definitely worth the price.

Now, let us take a look at the pros and cons of this filter.


  • A 2-Year warranty is included in the package, which lets you be calm should anything go wrong.
  • As it is a hang-on-back filter, it is really easy to set up and use. It is perfect for tanks of up to 110 gallons where the filtration loads are quite high, as it is a power filter.
  • Easy to maintain
  • The package includes a lot of great things that will keep you going for a long time.
  • Good price for the performance and the package.


  • This filter can get quite noisy if it is not placed in the right position. In order to prevent that, place the filter at the back of the aquarium to filter out the noise coming from the filter.
  • Not appropriate for larger tanks with a lot of vegetation or for tanks that have fish that produce a lot of waste.


MarineLand Penguin 350 – Review, Pros & Cons

The alternative for the AquaClear filter we have the Marineland Penguin 350. It is a hang-on-back power filter that allows you a very easy use and quite a good cleaning process. The filter uses BIO-wheels to provide a good level of filtration for tanks of up to 70 gallons.

This system is very effective for biological filtration; the Bio-Wheels spin around and catch all the bacteria and debris that is collected in the process. This allows for a very effective cleaning process.

The flow rate of the filter is 350GPH, which is quite a lot for such a small filter. This is, however, the flow rate that is performed in ideal conditions.

The filter offers three-stage filtration. As for the Bio-Wheels, they come available in the package already, but you will have to change them often and buy them often. This will add additional costs to what is quite a low initial price of the filter.

In terms of price, it is much more affordable than the AquaClear filter, but there are question marks about the long-term viability and sustainability of this filter. The fact that you have to change these cartridges often will cost you a lot of time and money in the long run.

The cartridges are very easy to remove and replace, which is a great thing. These Bio-Wheels are also very effective for removing ammonia and nitrite from the water. The offset is the maintenance that is required to keep the filter running effectively.

Another great thing about this filter is the fact that it requires almost no effort or time to start it up. You simply have to connect all the important parts that come in the package and then prime the filter before plugging it in.

Once your filter is operating, you can simply adjust the water flow to your needs. For easier setup, you will have a manual readily available for you to help you.

Here are the pros and cons of this filter.


  • Very easy to set it up and use it, and later adjust the water flow. Simply hang it onto your filter, connect it and start filtering.
  • It is very easy to change the cartridges that come in the filter.
  • The filter is very affordable and is much cheaper than the AquaClear filter.
  • It offers good filtration with a very effective Bio-Wheel system.
  • A really simple system for those looking for simplicity and effectiveness.


  • While the filter is affordable at first, it will require changing the cartridges quite often. This will present you with a lot of additional work and costs in the long term.
  • Not really strong enough for tanks that have a lot of vegetation or fish that produce a lot of waste.


Which Hang on Back Filter is Best?

To find that out, let us compare the pros and cons of each filter and make the final decision based on them. We must note that both filters are good in their own right and should both be considered. There are slim margins between the two.

Firstly, let’s look at the price. The MarineLand is much cheaper at the start than the AquaClear filter, but the long-term costs outweigh the initial price. You will have to spend much more on filter cartridges for the Marineland and also put in a lot of effort in changing those cartridges, which makes the initial price somewhat irrelevant.

On the other hand, the AquaClear comes with a higher initial price, but is much more sustainable in the long term, as you don’t have to spend a lot in the long term. You only need to replace the activated carbon once a year.

Another difference is the power outputs of the filters. The AquaClear is definitely more powerful than the Marineland filter. It is very effective for tanks of up to 110 gallons.

But this does not mean that Marineland is not good for some users. If you have a smaller tank, let’s say a 50-gallon tank, then the Marineland should be considered.

Conclusion – AquaClear vs MarineLand

Both filters are great filters. You can get a lot for the price with both filters. My personal opinion is that AquaClear is the better choice. That is because it is much more sustainable one the long term and you won’t have to spend so much as you do have to spend on the Marineland cartridges.

However, this is only my personal opinion. The Marineland filter is definitely a viable filter for some users who are looking for a really simple filter for smaller tanks. It is also very cheap. Overall, I do think that the AquaClear filter just edges the Marineland purely due to the questionable long-term viability of the Marineland filter.

Hopefully, your decision after reading this article will be much easier.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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