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AquaClear bypassing filter media


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I have an AquaClear 30 (150gph) filter on a 10-gallon aquarium, and it is bypassing my filter media. The design, in my opinion, seems flawed in that there are openings between the inlet chamber and the media chamber. AquaClear claims this is to recycle flow to polish your water. However, instead of water flowing from the media chamber back into the inlet chamber, it is flowing the other way, directly out of the filter. Therefore, this portion of the water completely misses the filter media. I’m not sure what portion of the total flow this constitutes, but it really bugs me. Have any of you tried a mod to fix this? I placed packaging tape (temporary fix) over the grate, and in turn, the water level raised and flowed over the little depression at the top where you insert your finger to pull the basket out. I then taped this area and the water now spills out around the intake tube. I do not have the filter chamber overfilled. I only have the stock sponge, some carbon, and the biomedia.

 

I’ve read nothing but good things regarding AquaClear. Is this a fluke? Is the portion of water that bypasses the filter relatively small? I would prefer to use this filter since 1- I already own it, and 2- it is the quietest model available.

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I assume you did not modify the filter.

The water should flow down the basket and then up from under the basket. I can see this happening on my filter. I use a filter pad (not the aquaclear foam filter), and place it on the bottom of the basket and when the water starts flowing, the filter pad will get pushed up by the strong water current.

 

I think you may have something obstructing the water flow that goes from the pump on the left side then down the side of the basket to the bottom then up. There must be some space between the bottom of the basket and the bottom of the filter housing. The gray piece of plastic where the uptake tube ends is supposed to direct the flow of water coming from the tube down the side of the filter basket.

 

from your description, it sounds like the water in your filter never goes down the side to the bottom of the filter basket.

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I assume you did not modify the filter.

The water should flow down the basket and then up from under the basket. I can see this happening on my filter. I use a filter pad (not the aquaclear foam filter), and place it on the bottom of the basket and when the water starts flowing, the filter pad will get pushed up by the strong water current.

 

I think you may have something obstructing the water flow that goes from the pump on the left side then down the side of the basket to the bottom then up. There must be some space between the bottom of the basket and the bottom of the filter housing. The gray piece of plastic where the uptake tube ends is supposed to direct the flow of water coming from the tube down the side of the filter basket.

 

from your description, it sounds like the water in your filter never goes down the side to the bottom of the filter basket.

Thanks for the response. The water does go down and under the media area, but a portion seems to flow into the intake area and then through the openings that separate the two areas (the openings in the media basket). According to the design, any flow that doesn't exit the filter should go from the media area, back to the intake, and be recycled through the media again. For me, however, the flow is in the other direction. I guess what I need to figure out is where that water in the intake area is coming from. Why is it not all being sent downward? I just epoxy'd a small piece of plastic over the grates on the one site of the media basket. This will stop flow gowing the wrong direction. It will also stop my ability to recycle water, but I don't plan on doing that anyway. I plan to test this in the morning. If it doesn't work, I'm just going to buy another AC and try that one.

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I have the same issue with mine, I think I am going to try trimming down the stock sponge. I have the sponge, a carbon pad(not stock) bio media and a small bag of prigen at the top. Let me know what you do if you fix it.

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I have the same issue with mine, I think I am going to try trimming down the stock sponge. I have the sponge, a carbon pad(not stock) bio media and a small bag of prigen at the top. Let me know what you do if you fix it.

 

I tested the filter this morning, and I think I've fixed most of the problem. There is still a tiny bit of water flowing through the cracks between the acrylic walls and the media rack, but this is just a tiny fragment of the total flow. All I did was glue a piece of plastic over the grates on one side of the media rack (the side that divides the two chambers). The piece of plastic also extends upwards to cover a portion of the thumb hole on the media rack. I first tested it with packaging tape, which worked fine. I don't know if there is anything in the tape adhesive that would make it harmful to an aquarium, but this approach would be a lot easier than using a piece of plastic and epoxy. Plus, you could always modify the tape if you decide your needs change. I'll take a picture tonight and post it to show what I did.

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So, as I said, I just glued (epoxy'd) a piece of plastic over the one side to block off the grates. Now the water is forced to flow into the bottom of the filter chamber. A little bit still flows through the crack between the acrylic walls and the media rack. Oh well. This seems to be doing the trick. I'm still not sure what is causing water to flow upwards through the intake chamber.

 

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Nice clear pics ! Well what i did was actually cut the stock foam pad in 1/2 and it worked out for me. Just a little trickle of overflow that I can live with. hope it works out for you.

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