Aquaclear 50 Filter Help Needed

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by Punkin, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    Hi all. I have an AC 50 on my 20 gallon tank. Lately I’ve notice the water flow going over the front where the intake tube is. I attached a photo and circled the area. I took the filter apart and everything is clean. I thought maybe I have too much media, I took a small piece out. I like to have the tube pushed to the left as much as possible for the highest flow, and also it is quieter when I have it positioned there. Is there something I’m doing wrong? After I put it all back together, it’s not as bad as it was, but not sure if I’m missing something? Look forward to hearing some suggestions. Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  2. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    Might just need to squeeze the sponge out a little better.
  3. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    I clean the tank on Fridays so I will try that. I just added new fish and have been hesitant to upset the B.B.
  4. bitseriouslyWell Known MemberMember

    I can’t say what in your filter is choking water flow rate, but that’s the problem.

    Do u keep filter floss in there?

    You could do some investigating/confirming if u want: Take the entire filter basket out for a minute, and see if that fixes the back flow issue. If I does, u can be confident the problem lies with the filter basket or the media it contains.
    My bet is filter floss, or the stock AC sponge being just too clogged. In either case, squeeze out the sponge/floss over and over and over and over and over in a bucket of tank or treated tap water.
  5. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    My basket has the original sponge, 4 pieces of that blue/white floss, and the white biomedia mesh bag. I usually squeeze the floss and sponge every other cleaning but did not do this past time because I was adding new fish from qt and was afraid to upset the cycle.
  6. CocoCappuccinoValued MemberMember

    My filter has the same exact problem, I also have the same filter as yours. My sponge kept being pushed up by water, thus making the entire media basket rise too. I just reposition it when it does that, I've tried cleaning it in tank water, but the media just isn't dirty. Maybe that's it?
  7. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    I cut my sponges in half so they aren't so thick to squeeze out.
  8. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    This just started recently, I’ve had the filter over a year. I’ll try squeezing the sponge more this time when I do my water change.
  9. SwampgorillaValued MemberMember

    A few things ...

    The AquaClears are designed to spill over at that exact location whenever the water in the filter starts backing up.

    A lot of people "customize" their media and get this "spillage" condition.

    And yet, it's not a problem unless it's EXCESSIVE. It simply means your filter is filtering the tank a bit slower - that's all.

    If it's excessive - or it REALLY bothers you ... then you need to check to see if the basket is seated properly. If it's not ... seat it properly. If it is seated properly, then probably removing all except one of your floss pads will do the trick. Personally, if I were you I would use the full sponge, a single floss pad (installed properly and fit tight) ... and use the rest of the room in the AC50 for ... BIOMEDIA.

    And I would switch from the ceramic rings to something like MATRIX or BIOHOME.

    But I would do it in INCREMENTS ... and replace those "noodles" a little bit at a time so as not to disturb the bacteria colonies so much. Well - in fact, after removing three of your four floss pads - you can prolly just add the new media on top and keep the old stuff in the bottom - that's probably a better solution.
  10. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks for the response. I did my weekly water change today, and squeezed out the media pretty well and readjusted it. It seems to be better, I will keep an eye on it. Thank you all for your suggestions.
  11. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    Ok, I am back. As stated above, I did my weekly water change on Friday afternoon, and all seemed OK. Last night (of course right before bed) I checked and the water is flowing again over that spot I have circled in the photo from post #1, where the intake tube is. So I am not sure what happened? I'll post a photo of my media basket when I get home this evening, maybe someone can see something that isn't right? Maybe I keep my tank water too high? I turned the flow to the lowest, but I prefer the highest because it moves the water better, plus the cap rattles when it is on the lowest flow.
  12. bitseriouslyWell Known MemberMember

    I had this exact problem with a 20 gallon tank running an aqua clear 70 filter. (This is why I chimed in above). It seemed that no amount of rinsing sponges or water changes would keep that filter basket down for more than a few days at a time after cleaning.
    In retrospect, I was fairly overstocked, and even though the filter was able to process ammonia with no issues, I think it couldn’t keep up with the particulates.
    I have since upgraded to a 33 gallon tank, and added a Tidal 55 filter (ie now running both), and I’m not having any issues at all.
    In this thread, I don’t think we’ve talked about your stocking, would you like to give us an idea what your bioload is?
    [I’m not pointing fingers or criticizing, just trying to get to the bottom of this issue for you] :)
  13. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    Of course! I have 11 black neon tetras, 3 albino cories, and 2 nerites. I do a 30-35% water change once a week, and used to squeeze out the media every other week, maybe I need to change that to every week? Also, I did recently add a pre-filter sponge to the intake, as I have a tetra I am keeping an eye on that isn't doing too well, and I don't want him to get stuck to the intake.
    I have the original AC sponge, 4 pieces of what is pictured below, and the biomedia mesh bag on top.
  14. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

  15. bitseriouslyWell Known MemberMember

    That certainly doesn't sound like a lot, in terms of fish. Is the tank planted? What substrate? (I'm not thinking the substrate is making its way into the filter, but if you have sand, then most solid waste particles sit on top of the sand, unless/until they are resuspended and picked up by the filter intake - although, with a prefilter, that still shouldn't be an issue).
    Seems like you've been at this long enough to know whether you're overfeeding, so I'll presume you're not (but if you are, that's a good candidate for the particles that are lifting your filter).
    I still maintain my original position, that the filter media (and/or the solid waste particles it's grabbing) is causing resistance to the water passing through the filter, so it's lifting the basket and bypassing the basket tray. But I'm kinda outta suggestions as to what's causing that to happen, ie what's the cause of the particulates.
    You don't use a clarifier, do you?
  16. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    Other than pothos roots, tank has artificial plants. Small gravel substrate. The basket is down, fully seated to the bottom. Actually, I've been feeding less the past few weeks than I used to, and this is a relatively new problem. I'm going to reverse the media again (put the blue/white floss on the bottom and then the sponge, and biomedia on top) and see if that helps. Thank you for your suggestions! Oh, and I do not use anything other than Prime, and an occasional dose of Vitachem.
  17. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    Here is a photo of my media basket. After I took it the photo, I moved 2 floss pads to the bottom, then the sponge, the 2 other floss pads and the media bag on top.

    Attached Files:

  18. bgclarkeWell Known MemberMember

    When I started up my AquaClear 20, I used floss from another filter to jump start it.

    Whether the floss was under or on top if the sponge, water would flow to the right from the intake/motor side and bypass that way.
    In my case it never went through the front bypass.
    I'm guessing the floss was too thick and the water couldn't flow through properly.
  19. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    @Dave125g You know a lot about filters, too. Any opinions? :)