AquaClear Power Filter – Complete Guide and Review

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Welcome to the review of the AquaClear filter. In this article, we will take a closer look at the AquaClear power filter and compare it to some other filters of the same range.

We will learn the specifications and qualities of this filter, as well as some more negative things about it. We will also take a look at for which aquariums it works best.

The AquaClear filter is an excellent filter for many people out there and functional reasons. It offers simple installation with relatively simple use.

Its effectiveness and ease-of-use cannot be denied, and these features have made it a popular choice with some fish tank owners. Even though it might not be appropriate for every fish tank owner out there, it indeed represents an excellent option for many tank setups.

Read on to learn more about this filter and its specifications. Hopefully, you will learn a lot about the filter and that we can help you with your choice of filtration.

Review of AquaClear Filter

AquaClear Filter Review

AquaClear Filter Review

AquaClear is known for providing its users with high-quality filtration systems for many years now.  These filters are known for their reliability and simplicity, as well as long-term viability.

To start with, let’s mention that the filter comes in various sizes – it depends on the size of your aquarium and the filtration power you need. The AquaClear filter comes in five different versions:

  • AquaClear 20 – good for tanks of 5 to 20 gallons
  • AquaClear 30 – ideal for containers of 10 to 30 gallons
  • AquaClear 50 – 20 to 50 gallons
  • AquaClear 70 – 40 to 70 gallons
  • AquaClear 110 – 60 to 110 gallons.

How to Install the AquaClear Filter?

How to Install the AquaClear Filter?

How to Install the AquaClear Filter?

The AquaClear is often hailed for its simplicity and how easy it is to install. It only takes a couple of minutes from installing and setting up the filter to effective filtration.

First, of course, comes the unpacking of the system and all essential gadgets.

The next step would be to compose the filter using all the parts needed.

Installation to your aquarium is simple; hang it onto the back of your tank (or wherever you desire your filter to be) and plug it in.

In the package, you will get everything you will need to start filtering right away.

Besides the whole filtration system and all gadgets, you will also get the AquaClear Foam insert, the activated carbon, and the ceramic rings. These take care of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.

You need to place the foam insert into the bottom compartment of the filter, which will provide the biological filtration. This will last you a long time, so it won’t have to be replaced very often.

In the middle compartment, you should install the activated carbon. This part of the filter will make sure that there are no unwanted odors or discolorations in your aquarium, as well as taking care of all beneficial chemicals.

Lastly, the ceramic rings will be placed in the top compartment to provide beneficial bacteria growth.

How the AquaClear Filter Works?

The AquaClear filter works in three stages to provide biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration. The filter sucks the water from the aquarium through an intake tube; this water then goes through the mediums in the filter – the foam filter, ceramic rings, and the activated carbon.

The debris and more significant parts stay in the filter foam, which makes sure that the water is clean. The water then passes through the filter, where it is rid of all the unwanted chemicals and debris.

Clean water then leaves the filter through a U-tube. The three stages of the filtration make sure that the water that leaves the filter is immaculate.

Ceramic rings provide an ideal breeding ground for beneficial bacteria. These are very important for your water; while they do not create any visible changes, they remove ammonia and nitrite from your water.

Benefits of the AquaClear Filter

The AquaClear filter will provide you with all the essential gadgets and add-ons that will allow you quick and efficient filtration. If you are looking for a useful screen with an easy setup, then this filter is the way to go.

Compared to other similar filters, this filter is up to seven times more efficient and powerful. This filter can be used for various aquarium setups – from freshwater aquariums with not many fish or vegetation to saltwater tanks with plenty of corals and fish. Saltwater tanks can be more demanding, so make sure that you choose a filter that is suitable for larger containers than your actual tank size.

Depending on the size of the filter, it can pump from anywhere 100 gallons per hour to 500 gallons per hour. As we already noted, this filter can be efficient in various conditions of the water. It can work in cold water as well as more tropical settings; it can be productive in tanks with temperatures of up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another good thing about this filter is the fact that you will get a 2-year warranty included. So should anything go wrong, you will have it covered.

Adjustable water flow is another thing that makes this filter so versatile. You can adjust the strength of the water flow coming out of your filter so that you can adapt it to the fish in your tank.

If you have some fish that can be sensitive to stronger water flows, then this feature will undoubtedly be very welcome for you. You can adjust the water flow without compromising on the quality of filtration.

If you lower the flow rate, the water in your filter will stay there for longer, which will provide a more quality level of filtration. This feature allows you superior contact time with the water, which is a good thing because it enables a higher quality of filtration.


AquaClear vs Other Hang on Back Filters

To establish whether the AquaClear filter is right for you, we must compare it with other filters of its range that have similar capabilities. Of course, you need to know what kind of filter you need for your tank, and some people might be their personal preferences. Nevertheless, let’s see how the AquaClear filter compares to other similar filters.

AquaClear vs MarineLand Penguin 350

First, let’s compare the AquaClear filter with the MarineLand Penguin 350 filter. To start with, the MarineLand 350 filter is suitable for tanks of up to 70 gallons, so you need to compare it with the version of the AquaClear filter relatively similar to it.

MarineLand 350 is a hang on back power filter that has a flow rate of up to 350GPH. It is a relatively powerful filter that offers three-stage filtration. It operates with cartridges – it has three BIO-wheel cartridges that provide powerful filtration. Also it is straightforward to use and easy to install while also being productive.

The MarineLand filter is decent; firstly, it is much more affordable than the AquaClear filter. But we have to look at it from a different perspective: The long-term costs of the MarineLand filter will exceed the initial price of the AquaClear filter. You will have to buy cartridges often and then change them, which will take you a lot of time and money.

Secondly, the AquaClear filter is slightly more powerful and efficient, especially for tanks with more vegetation. If you are looking for a good, powerful filter, then AquaClear is the way to go.

In my personal opinion, the AquaClear filter is better; that is not to say that the MarineLand filter cannot work for you; for some people, it will be a great option due to its simplicity.

AquaClear vs Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO

Next, let’s compare the AquaClear to the Aqueon QuietFlow LED Pro. Both filters will provide users with powerful, three-stage filtration. Like the MarineLand filter, the Aqueon filters work based on cartridges. This cartridge is very easy to replace, and you know when to replace it as the filter will tell you so – it uses an LED system to inform the users when to replace the cartridge.

The filter is quite easy to install, as well. You will get a self-priming filter, which will save you a lot of time when setting it up. Depending on the size of the filter, it can process anywhere from 100 gallons to 400 gallons per hour.

It provides a powerful filtration while also staying relatively quiet. The Aqueon filter is simple to use, easy to install and includes quality filtration.

Compared to the AquaClear, we can say that the AquaClear is better for the long term. You won’t have to replace the cartridges, which will save you time and money.

Both filters are right; the Aqueon will operate more quietly, while the AquaClear is better in the long-term as you won’t have to change cartridges.

AquaClear vs Penn Plax Cascade

Let’s compare the AquaClear to the Penn Plax Cascade hang on filter. This filter is excellent, as it represents an affordable option for you while also providing a reliable and effective filtration. It works with the help of a cartridge and with activated carbon cartridge to provide three-stage filtration.

The Penn Plax filter can process up to 300 gallons of water per hour. It depends on the size of the filter; it comes in different sizes so that you can choose the format for your needs. You can choose from the next filters: Cascade 20, Cascade 80, Cascade 100, Cascade 150, Cascade 200, and Cascade 300.

It also has an adjustable flow rate, letting you choose the flow rate of your filter to suit your fish. This filter offers quite a lot for the price asked.

If we compare the two filters, we can say that they are both good in their way; they are both powerful filters, but you will have to change cartridges often with the Penn Plax filter. In the end, it depends on your personal preference.

How Often You Need to Clean the AquaClear Filter?

To keep the filter working correctly and to its maximum potential, you will need to clean the filter now and then. When a filter is clean, it works properly. To provide the best mechanical, biological and chemical filtration, you will need to keep all three aspects clean.

For mechanical filtration, you will need to clean the filtration media from time to time to provide better filtration. Try to clean the mechanical filtration media at least once a month; if it goes through a lot of volumes, then you will want to clean it even more often.

If you see that your water is cloudy, then you should probably replace the carbon insert. Usually, this will happen once a year or more often.

Try to clean the whole filter from time to time to provide proper filtration and ensure that the entire potential of the filter is used. In addition, change the carbon insert once a year or once every few months. This would keep the filter clean.

How Often to Change Filter Media in AquaClear Filter?

You won’t need to do much in that respect, compared to other filters where you would need to change cartridges every few weeks. Here, you won’t have to worry about that.

Your only worry will be changing the activated carbon – you will need to do this once a year.

Should You Put an Intake Sponge on AquaClear?

An intake sponge would prove to be very beneficial for your AquaClear. So yes, place the intake sponge there as it will catch the big pieces of debris, and it will extend the maintenance period of the filter.


In this article, we have covered everything there is to know about the AquaClear filtration system. We also compared it to some other power filters that offer similar options.

All in all, this is a great filter that will keep filtering your tank for a long time – if you provide proper maintenance, of course.

Hopefully, you have learned a lot about the filter and are now familiar with how to use it and maintain it.

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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