Fluval C Series vs Aquaclear Filter | Aquascape Addiction

Fluval C Series vs Aquaclear Filter

A very detailed comparison of the Fluval C Series VS Aquaclear filter, not sure which one to get? this will help you decide.

Fluval C Series vs Aquaclear Filter

If you are on the hunt for a good new filter there is a good chance you will come across Fluval and Aquaclear products. They are popular and generally well known for making good aquarium products.


Today we are focusing two particular filters: Fluval C Series vs Aquaclear to help you decide which is better. The short answer is they are both actually good filters but of course each one has it’s pros and cons so we have done a very in-depth review of each to help you decide for yourself.

IMAGE PRODUCT INFO OUR RATING
Fluval C
  • Models available for 10 - 70 gallon tanks.
  • 5 stages of filtration.
  • Easy to set up.
  • High filtration capacity.
9 / 10
AquaClear
  • Models available for 10 - 110 gallon tanks.
  • 3 stages of filtration.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Space saver.
7.5 / 10

Let’s first look at the Fluval C Series;

Fluval C Series Filter

Fluval is a big time and well trusted brand name when it comes to fish keeping and aquarium equipment. Of their best lines of filtration units for aquariums is the C Series line. Let’s take a closer look at the Fluval C Series Filters to find out what they are all about.

Keep in mind that this is a hang on back filter, so it does not take up much space within the tank, but will need a decent amount of clearance behind the tank, but with that said, it is very easy to mount.

Sizes & Filtration Capacity

For one, the Fluval C Series Filter does come in a variety of sizes. Here you can choose from the C2, which is meant for tanks between 10 and 30 gallons, with a filtration capacity of 119 gallons per hour, with dimensions of 4.5 x 6 x 8 inches. There is the C3, which is meant for tanks between 20 and 50 gallons, with a filtration capacity of 153 gallons per hour, and dimensions of 4.5 x 7 x 8 inches.

The third and final option here is the largest one, the C4, which is meant for tanks between 40 to 70 gallons, with a filtration capacity of 264 gallons per hour, and dimensions of 6 x 8.2 x 8.5 inches.

So, there are 3 filters to choose from, with the largest one being more than ideal for even the largest of tanks. It’s quite the powerful filtration unit with a high flow rate. Even the smaller model has a great flow rate and should have no problems keeping your aquarium water clean and clear.

Stages & Types Of Filtration

What is quite impressive about the Fluval C Series Filter is that it comes with 5 great stages of powerful filtration to keep your tank water as clean and clear as possible. The first 2 stages here consist of mechanical filtration.

There is one porous layer of poly foam padding to trap large debris, and a denser layer to trap finer solid debris. What’s cool here is that there is an indicator to tell you when the poly foam pads need replacing.

The third stage of filtration here is chemical in nature and it uses a form of chemically activated carbon to remove various unwanted elements from the water. The fourth and fifth stages of filtration of the Fluval C Series Filter are both biological in nature.

The fourth stage consists of a biological screen with an additional hydraulic circuit to increase water flow, and the fourth fifth stage consists of biological C-nodes. The media does come included here, which is something we can definitely appreciate.

Mounting, Installation, & Maintenance

In terms of mounting, the Fluval C Series Filter is very easy and straightforward. It features a simple clip on design, so you can just clip it right onto the side of your tank. Once again, a keep in mind that this is an external hang on back filter, so it does save space inside of the tank, but does need some clearance in the rear.

Mainting the Fluval C Series Filters is very easy because it comes with a tab that tells you when the mechanical media needs replacing.

The carbon and biological media requires minimal maintenance and cleaning. With that said, there are quite a few moving parts and chambers to clean here.

While it is not hard to get to the various sections, media types, and partitions of the Fluval C Series Filter, they do require cleaning on a regular basis.

Durability & More

In terms of durability, the Fluval C Series Filter is made out of pretty good materials. The exterior or the shell is made with high quality plastic, and as long as you don’t drop it, it really should never crack or break. Now, there are quite a few moving parts here, all of which have the chance of breaking down.

To be fair, this is not the most durable filtration unit around, but it does work well as long as it is taken care of. With that said, there is a problem with the impeller breaking down here.

At the very least, while the Fluval C Series Filter is quiet in the beginning, after a couple months of use, it can get very loud, which tends to annoy many people. We do like the little waterfall effect here though, as it helps to provide some water surface agitation and oxygenation for your fish.

Pros

  • Comes in many sizes.
  • High hourly filtration capacity.
  • 5 stage filtration – all 3 types.
  • Very easy to mount.
  • Saves space within the tank.

Cons

  • Can be pretty loud.
  • Moving parts are not the most durable.
  • Requires a good deal of clearance to the rear of the tank.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


Aqua Clear Filter

Aqua Clear is another highly trusted aquarium product brand name. These guys make a whole lot of products, high quality products such as the Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter.

Let’s take a closer look at this model and find out which one you prefer, this one, or the Fluval filter reviewed above. It’s another space saving line of HOB filters which you might like.

Sizes & Filtration Capacity

What is nice about this Aqua Clear Filter, is that there are a whole lot of sizes which you can choose from here, 6 to be exact. First off, there is the 10, which is meant for tanks up to 10 gallons, has an hourly filtration capacity of 80 gallons, and dimensions of 4.5 x 2 x 4 inches. Next there is the 20, which is meant for tanks between 5 and 20 gallons, and can filter 100 gallons per hour, with dimensions of 4.5 x 7 x 6.5 inches.

Then you have the 30, which is meant for tanks between 10 and 30 gallons, with an hourly filtration capacity of 150 gallons, and dimensions of 4.5 x 8.2 x 6.7 inches.

Next is the 50, which is meant for tanks between 20 and 50 gallons, with an hourly filtration rate of 200 gallons, and dimensions of 4 x 9 x 8 inches. There is the 70, which is meant for tanks between 40 and 70 gallons, with an hourly capacity of 300 gallons, and dimensions of 6.2 x 10.7 x 8.6 inches.

Finally there is the AquaClear 110, which is meant for tanks between 60 and 110 gallons, with an hourly filtration capacity of 500 gallons, and dimensions of 7.1 x 13.9 x 9.1 inches.

As you can probably tell, there are twice as many sizes to choose from here than with the Fluval. However, in terms of pure filtration capacity based on similar or equivalent sizes, the Fluval can handle more water per hour than the Aqua Clear.

Stages & Types Of Filtration

When it comes to the stages and types of filtration which the Aqua Clear Filter has, it is somewhat similar, but not quite as good as far as we are concerned. Now, this particular filter does include all 3 major types of water filtration, including mechanical, chemical, and biological. It uses foam to filter out solid debris, activated carbon for various unwanted elements, and the BioMax filter for biological filtration.

With that being said, the Aqua Clear comes with only 3 stages of filtration, one of each type, whereas the Fluval comes with 5 stages in total, which does mean that it has some increased filtration power and efficiency.

However, the Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter does come with a patented re-filtration system which allows for a larger degree of media to water contact when you turn the flow rate down, and yes, you can adjust the flow rate here. To be honest, it does not really even out, and we do think that the Fluval has better overall filtration capabilities.

Mounting, Installation, & Maintenance

When it comes to mounting and installation, there is not much to this filter. This is a simple hang on back filter. For one, all you have to do to mount and install it is to insert the media, which does come included here, clip the filter onto the rear of your tank, and plug it in. It really does not get much easier than that.

In terms of maintenance, the Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter does not have too many moving parts or separate partitions, which therefore makes cleaning quite easy.

Now, it does not come with a cleaning indicator like the Fluval does, but in all reality, we would say that the Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter is easier to maintain, and it does not require as much maintenance either.

Durability & More

In terms of overall durability, we would say that the Aqua Clear Fish Tank Filter is more or less on par with the Fluval series of filters which we reviewed above. It has a good exterior shell made of durable plastic, but it has a lot of internal moving parts, such as the pump and impeller which can break down, especially if not properly cleaned or the tank has a heavy bio-load.

It does also have the waterfall effect, just like the Fluval, so it does help to oxygenate the tank a little bit. This is not the most durable filter around either, but it definitely holds its own. Just like the Fluval, it can also be fairly loud.

Pros

  • Good filtration capacity.
  • Comes in many sizes (6).
  • All 3 major types of filtration.
  • Very easy to install and maintain.
  • Takes up no space within the tank.
  • Great re-filtration system.

Cons

  • Quite loud.
  • Impeller has a tendency to break down.
  • Only 3 stages vs the 5 stages of the Fluval.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


Final Thoughts

Ok, so while in the grand scheme of things, the AquaClear and the Fluval C series of filters are quite similar. The Fluval comes with 3 size options, all of which have a great hourly capacity, and they all come with 5 stages of efficient filtration.

On the other hand, the AquaClear line comes in 6 size options, but the hourly filtration rate for comparable sizes is not quite as high, and they have only 3 stages of filtration, but do include all 3 major types of filtration. These are the only real differences to keep in mind.