Aquaclear 20 Good Enough For 20 Gallon Tank?

andy305mia

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Hello, I will be stocking a 20 gallon tank with a single male betta. I have an Aquaclear 20 I plan on using, but I am used to over filtering my tanks. I know bettas don't like strong current, but I was considering a second Aquaclear 20. Can I get away with just one? Are 2 overkill? Any suggestions or personal experiences, thanks
 

Fisker

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If it's just going to be a betta, one AC 20 will be fine. You'll have dead spots in the tank and probably protein film on the surface, but with regular maintenance and proper feeding, that won't be an issue. Adding a second AC 20 will do little to nothing for actual filtration, and will be more for flow. I'd actually add a weak powerhead for that purpose, but to each their own.
 

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The general rule of thumb is your fish tank should turn over your water volume at least 4x per hour for best efficiency. All manufactures rate their pumps at the head level only. This means their ratings do not include head pump lift (canisters typically 3 feet: 7-13% loss), filter media baskets, filter media itself, tubing length, U bends from the input tube and output tubes or even the 90 degree bend for your spray bar. All this alone will reduce the flow by at least 25% right out of the box.

Now add all your media which is jam packed with course, medium, fine pads, bio ceramic rings, hard media like Matrix, Biohome or and now it gets dirty and clogged in weeks. This adds another 25% reduction. So now you have a 50% restriction in water flow. Which now leaves you at 2x your flow rate and you need 4x to run correctly. This is why you should get a filter with at least 8x-10x flow rate (manufactures specification) because of this 50% reduction will bring you to the 4x recommended flow. Canister filters hold more media than a HOB, so they can have a little less flow if you want (5x-6x) but 8x will cover both types of filters. Always best to have slower water flow over your media than more, so the water stays in contact with the media longer to promote maximum bacteria growth and still keeps good water movement in your tank.

With that said…

The AC 20 is rated at only 100 gallons per hour. A 20 gallon tank would be best to have 160-200 gph. An Aquaclear 30 (150gph) or 50 (200gph) would be better. Might want to think about the at 250 gph for its many advanced features like a fully adjustable down flow rate to 50 gph, submerged pump so it does not require any priming and will always start after a power fail, built in skimmer and larger media basket.
 

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one single betta in a 20 gallon is very under stocked. so an AC20 is plenty.
 

16degus

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I just bought this one (AquaClear 20) to install in a 20 gallon long because the flow is adjustable and the tank is for a betta fish and a couple of assassin snails. However, we had two very short (seconds long) power outages due to thunderstorms this week and both times the filter had to be reprimed. Fortunately I was at home at the time or it would have kept running with no water and burn out. I am now looking to replace this filter. I would not recommend it. Now looking for an adjustable flow, self-priming filter or alternative.
 

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16degus said:
I just bought this one (AquaClear 20) to install in a 20 gallon long because the flow is adjustable and the tank is for a betta fish and a couple of assassin snails. However, we had two very short (seconds long) power outages due to thunderstorms this week and both times the filter had to be reprimed. Fortunately I was at home at the time or it would have kept running with no water and burn out. I am now looking to replace this filter. I would not recommend it. Now looking for an adjustable flow, self-priming filter or alternative.
Seachem Tidal 35 or Tidal 55.
 
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andy305mia

andy305mia

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16degus said:
I just bought this one (AquaClear 20) to install in a 20 gallon long because the flow is adjustable and the tank is for a betta fish and a couple of assassin snails. However, we had two very short (seconds long) power outages due to thunderstorms this week and both times the filter had to be reprimed. Fortunately I was at home at the time or it would have kept running with no water and burn out. I am now looking to replace this filter. I would not recommend it. Now looking for an adjustable flow, self-priming filter or alternative.
I agree, I had the aquaclear because it was in a tight spot not enough headroom. I got lucky and got a quiet unit which was a gamble and had bad luck in the past. I highly recommend the tetra IQ line. They are a bit bulky but self prime adjustable flow and quiet. You can always drop some media in if you want as well.
 
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andy305mia

andy305mia

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16degus said:
I just bought this one (AquaClear 20) to install in a 20 gallon long because the flow is adjustable and the tank is for a betta fish and a couple of assassin snails. However, we had two very short (seconds long) power outages due to thunderstorms this week and both times the filter had to be reprimed. Fortunately I was at home at the time or it would have kept running with no water and burn out. I am now looking to replace this filter. I would not recommend it. Now looking for an adjustable flow, self-priming filter or alternative.
You have to fill your tank to the top. When the power cuts off, the filter will drain back into the tank. If you leave the water level high enough, there will be enough water in the sump and it should re-prime on it's own. If you want some kind of waterfall and want to keep the level any lower then you run the risk of running it dry. Great filter with a big flaw. Luckily I am using mine for a Betta tank so I keep a lid and the water as high as possible for lower discharge current and noise (I keep it in my room and the sound of water falling into a tank bothers me)
 
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andy305mia

andy305mia

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andy305mia said:
You have to fill your tank to the top. When the power cuts off, the filter will drain back into the tank. If you leave the water level high enough, there will be enough water in the sump and it should re-prime on it's own. If you want some kind of waterfall and want to keep the level any lower then you run the risk of running it dry. Great filter with a big flaw. Luckily I am using mine for a Betta tank so I keep a lid and the water as high as possible for lower discharge current and noise (I keep it in my room and the sound of water falling into a tank bothers me)
You're welcome, also I would like to correct my statement. The higher the water level, the stronger the current.
 

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