New Aquaclear 70 Is Very Loud

CichlidDream
  • #1
HI everyone. I think here are a lot of AquaClear users here. So please share your experience.
This is my first AquaClear filter. I did a lot of research and decided to go with it for my new 29g. But it is loud. I mean really LOUD.
The sound goes from a motor. It vibrates and produces a strong rattling noise. Sounds like a small private jet ready to take off. I'm not kidding, it's my strong association with this filter (((
I was struggling for a week with this noise. I tried to put pices of sponge and paper towel here and there. I thoroughly leveled it. Nothing helps.
I googled a lot and came to conclusion that it should not be this way. This filter should be quiet. Strong vibration and rattling noise mean that something is unleveled inside. I have read tons of reviews from happy users, a few from unhappy ones. Finally, I called to the customer service and am waiting for replacement now.
As I understand, all the noise is coming from a motor vibration. Also it seems all models of AquaClear use the same motor. So, if you use ANY AquaClear filter - 20, 30, 50, 70, 110, please share your thoughts about it's motor and noise. Is it quiet or noisy?

And one more question: what a pre-filter sponge do you use? What sponge fits well on AquaClear intake?
Thanks.
 
AquaticJ
  • #2
Can you try taking off the top plastic cover and see if it stops rattling?
 
THRESHER
  • #3
I have 2 AquaClears (50 & 110) and they're both pretty dead silent with the exception of the 50. It's just the output of the water that bothers me. It has a little ledge/lip of some sort that the water passes over it and then hits the tank. Makes a sort of splashing noise. The 110 doesn't have the ledge/lip so the water just flows quietly. That's the only issue I have with mine.

I do have an Aqueon 70 that rattles like the dickens. I mean it's LOUD. I tried all the tricks (vaseline. teflon tape, ect) and it still rattles like crazy. I don't even use it.
 
coralbandit
  • #4
Use a pencil and try to push the impeller shaft into the unit harder.
I have 40+ Aquaclears and one was louder then get out !
I tried everything including pushing the shaft with my finger [it did not move ].
When I used the eraser end of a pencil I was able to push the impeller shaft in another 1/8-1/4 inch and it became silent .like all my other filters.
Good luck ,they are good filters. Make sure all blades are complete on the impeller .Broken worn blades will make the impeller unbalanced and also can cause rattles.
 
Hebrewhammer
  • #5
I've had 3 aquaclear filters (2 50s and 1 70) and they all made a similar noise without the top even on. My tank is also right next to my bed. Tbh I've tried several tricks and just gotten used to the noise.
 
Cichlidude
  • #6
Usually it is just the top cover rattling and just needs something to hold it down better. I have retired my AC70 in favor of the new Seachem Tidal filter which is totally silent. Do not discount a defective unit also.
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Hi, it gets noticeable less loud with the top off. But I have no explanation why. The top doesn't vibrate, doesn't rattle at all - I've played a lot with the top. Some acustic tricks?? Do I need to run it with no top on?
Can you try taking off the top plastic cover and see if it stops rattling?

Thank you. I didn't take it apart. It is my first HOB. ))) After an excessive googling and thinking I called chewy CS - it is a new out the box item after all. To my surprise in was the easiest and most pleasant CS contact (I hate to have to contact CSs) They offered me a replacement, so I'm waiting for it. Then I plan to turn it off and take the motor off and look at all the staff inside. Now I have a nice nitrite spike in this filter and prefer not to interrupt it. I'd like to have the problem being fixed by replacement of the motor from a new filter.
Use a pencil and try to push the impeller shaft into the unit harder.
I have 40+ Aquaclears and one was louder then get out !
I tried everything including pushing the shaft with my finger [it did not move ].
When I used the eraser end of a pencil I was able to push the impeller shaft in another 1/8-1/4 inch and it became silent .like all my other filters.
Good luck ,they are good filters. Make sure all blades are complete on the impeller .Broken worn blades will make the impeller unbalanced and also can cause rattles.

BTW, I see I'm not the only one with the noise complain. Thank you all for sharing you experience.

Usually it is just the top cover rattling and just needs something to hold it down better. I have retired my AC70 in favor of the new Seachem Tidal filter which is totally silent. Do not discount a defective unit also.
Thank you for your opinion. I've read a lot of reviews on AquaClear, Fluval C series and new Seachem Tidal. And decided to give an AquaClear a second try. Will see.
It seems AquaClear and Fluval C have the same motor, and I have a noisy motor complain. So Seachem Tidal looks interesting.
 
AquaticJ
  • #9
Hi, it gets noticeable less loud with the top off. But I have no explanation why. The top doesn't vibrate, doesn't rattle at all - I've played a lot with the top. Some acustic tricks?? Do I need to run it with no top on?
I run mine without the tops.

That said, any filter can be loud, and no other hang on back filter comes close to the efficiency of the Aquaclears.
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
AquaticJ, ok, I got it, thank you. I cannot get rid of thoughts that this black thing is ready to take off and fly away! Lol
 
PonzLL
  • #10
I have this issue with my AC70. Every week or so I have to turn it off, lift the intake a bit, turn turn it back on and I get a few more days of silence. Gotta try that pencil trick otherwise complain to the company and see about getting a replacement. Hopefully they wouldn't expect me to send back my biomedia because that's obviously not happening lol
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I have this issue with my AC70... Hopefully they wouldn't expect me to send back my biomedia because that's obviously not happening lol
It is exactly what I was afraid of! So I really pleased with Chewy CS.
 
dakota
  • #12
I had the same with the 70 & 110 models. I used a large 2 to 3 inch metal flat washer on the lid problem solved. Thanks Bill
 
UnderwaterGalaxy
  • #13
I just bought an aquaclear 70 a few weeks ago and right out of the box it was making noise as if there was sand in the motor. I also have 2 other aquaclears from 15 years ago and they are still as quiet as the day I bought them. Just like everything else, they don't make them like they used to. Quality control is just not the same these days.
 
NYFishGuy
  • #14
I have all AC models except the 30, also recently got the tidal 55.
motor hum from both AC70 and tidal55 are different but can't really say one is louder than the other assuming both working properly.

For intake sponge I use the same AC 'foam' that come with the filter, just cut it to size and a X in the top. Works great
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Update.
Chewy are amazing! I went to check if the new order was mailed, and found out it was already delivered!

In the box everything was covered with a sand, sand was everywhere. (((( It's either a plastic bag with a ceramic biomedia has a hole and small ceramic particles covered every detail, or a real sand. The filter itself looks like it was used for decade. Everything has not scratches, but sand scrapes.

Ok, I was interested in a motor. Took the motor off - it has a sand inside!! ((( Had to wash it first.
Played with two motors and two impellers - looks like it is impeller what creates a noise. Noise is different, but I can not tell that one is more loud and one is less.
I ended up with a new motor and an old/first filter. Thinking about buying a Vaseline next.

I vaguely remember, that Vaseline is not the best choice to lube a motor details. What do you recommend to buy to lube around the impeller?

PS: Honestly, I was shocked to find everything covered and scraped with a sand. Something is wrong with AC quality control. It's good I was interested in a motor only.
 
coralbandit
  • #16
Update.
Chewy are amazing! I went to check if the new order was mailed, and found out it was already delivered!

In the box everything was covered with a sand, sand was everywhere. (((( It's either a plastic bag with a ceramic biomedia has a hole and small ceramic particles covered every detail, or a real sand. The filter itself looks like it was used for decade. Everything has not scratches, but sand scrapes.

Ok, I was interested in a motor. Took the motor off - it has a sand inside!! ((( Had to wash it first.
Played with two motors and two impellers - looks like it is impeller what creates a noise. Noise is different, but I can not tell that one is more loud and one is less.
I ended up with a new motor and an old/first filter. Thinking about buying a Vaseline next.

I vaguely remember, that Vaseline is not the best choice to lube a motor details. What do you recommend to buy to lube around the impeller?

PS: Honestly, I was shocked to find everything covered and scraped with a sand. Something is wrong with AC quality control. It's good I was interested in a motor only.

I would call and ask if the replacement was supposed to be used or seconds[many companies have seconds they pawn off].
I think I would be upset if I was under the impression I was getting a new one. You still paid for a new one that did not work properly...
No vendor wants bad reviews ….
 
Islandvic
  • #17
CichlidDream, don't give up on that AQ70 yet!

First, which version of the box did you receive? Did the box have greenish/blue main coloring with Aquaclear in red letters? Or was the box more of a black/blue main coloring with FLUVAL in white lettering and Aquaclear in red letters?

I ask this because I may have an answer to the issue of the 2nd filter having sand-like particles everywhere and scuff marks on the plastic when you received it from Chewy.

If the box had the greenish/blue coloring and did not say FLUVAL in white letters on the front, you received New Old Stock (NOS). That means this is an older unit manufactured prior to Hagen re-branding the Aquaclear's with the Fluval/Aquaclear packaging. Hagen owns both AQ and Fluval. Originally Aquaclear was branded individually. Then Hagen started to brand AQ under their Fluval banner (I may have the exact specifics wrong, but basically the AQ's had old style and new style packaging).

If this is the case, the "older" AQ's are identical to the "new" AQ's. Being NOS means the box has been sitting around a warehouse and possibly moved around multiple times in its life before you bought it. That is fine because the only moving part on the AQ's is the impeller. All the sand you found was the bio-max ceramic media that broke down and turned to dust over time. The scuffs are from the particles rubbing between the plastic parts and the packaging material in the box, acting like an abrasive over time. If you received the "old style" packaging, there was more of a chance for the bio-max to break down and turn to dust over time.

I have received the new and old style packaging of the AQ's and never had a problem fresh out the box.

I own (20) AQ30's, and AQ 70 and an AQ110. The following is from my experience and worked for me, although your experience may be different.

Both my AQ30's run silent. They are in a 20 gallon tank with gravel substrate.

My AQ70 and AQ110 are in a 75 gallon tank with sand substrate. Both of those originally ran silent. Overtime, both slowly started to make the same noise as others stated on forums and Youtube. I would fully disassemble the motor/impeller assemblies and thoroughly clean everything. Before putting the impeller back on, I lightly applied petroleum jelly to the shaft. I also use q-tips and pipe cleaner to clean inside the motor housing. At the base of the inner shaft, there is a small ridge that is hard to clean. Use a flashlight to look inside to ensure any debris and gunk is out before re-assembling.

After I would do this, they would run silent for awhile. On occasion, the sound was either the same or had a different pitch to it. I would have to take it all apart again and re-seat the impeller.

I think the impeller not being properly seated can be one of the possible problems I had.

I finally figured out what I was doing wrong over time.

When I did partial water changes in the tank with sand substrate, I did not turn off the AQ's every time. When some to the sand got disturbed from pouring water in, some of the particles would get sucked in the intakes without me realizing it was happening. I use sponge pre-filters, but they were not blocking 100% of the sand.

Over time, the sand would jack up the motor by: getting stuck to the impeller shaft, sand caused the impeller to become unbalanced, sand+gunk built up between the inner base of the impeller motor housing and the bottom of the impeller magnet, or some combination of these events happened.

When I started to unplug the AQ's before PWC's, the noises never came back.

CoralBandit had a great tip for using a pencil eraser to push down the impeller shaft properly. I am going to do that slowly to all of mine when they are scheduled to be fully cleaned.

I have a few questions for the OP......

What type of substrate do you use?

Did you wash off the original filter parts, pump motor assembly and the bag of bio-max before installing on the tank?

Did you attempt to disassemble the filter and clean it to see if the noise went away before ordering a new one?

Is there a large air bubble trapped in the 90-degree turn in the top of the intake tube?

Back to your post, toward the end, you asked about sponge pre-filters.

There are a few options. You can use ready made kits. Lustar ATI has a line called Filter-Max. I use these.

Or you can go use the green sponge Top Fin has at Petsmart. I use them also, .

Here is a
of a guy on Youtube modifying an AQ50 sponge to use and a pre-filter stuck on the intake. I'm gonna try these next.
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
CichlidDream, don't give up on that AQ70 yet!

First, which version of the box did you receive? Did the box have greenish/blue main coloring with Aquaclear in red letters? Or was the box more of a black/blue main coloring with FLUVAL in white lettering and Aquaclear in red letters?

I ask this because I may have an answer to the issue of the 2nd filter having sand-like particles everywhere and scuff marks on the plastic when you received it from Chewy.

If the box had the greenish/blue coloring and did not say FLUVAL in white letters on the front, you received New Old Stock (NOS). That means this is an older unit manufactured prior to Hagen re-branding the Aquaclear's with the Fluval/Aquaclear packaging. Hagen owns both AQ and Fluval. Originally Aquaclear was branded individually. Then Hagen started to brand AQ under their Fluval banner (I may have the exact specifics wrong, but basically the AQ's had old style and new style packaging).

If this is the case, the "older" AQ's are identical to the "new" AQ's. Being NOS means the box has been sitting around a warehouse and possibly moved around multiple times in its life before you bought it. That is fine because the only moving part on the AQ's is the impeller. All the sand you found was the bio-max ceramic media that broke down and turned to dust over time. The scuffs are from the particles rubbing between the plastic parts and the packaging material in the box, acting like an abrasive over time. If you received the "old style" packaging, there was more of a chance for the bio-max to break down and turn to dust over time.

I have received the new and old style packaging of the AQ's and never had a problem fresh out the box.

I own (20) AQ30's, and AQ 70 and an AQ110. The following is from my experience and worked for me, although your experience may be different.

Both my AQ30's run silent. They are in a 20 gallon tank with gravel substrate.

My AQ70 and AQ110 are in a 75 gallon tank with sand substrate. Both of those originally ran silent. Overtime, both slowly started to make the same noise as others stated on forums and Youtube. I would fully disassemble the motor/impeller assemblies and thoroughly clean everything. Before putting the impeller back on, I lightly applied petroleum jelly to the shaft. I also use q-tips and pipe cleaner to clean inside the motor housing. At the base of the inner shaft, there is a small ridge that is hard to clean. Use a flashlight to look inside to ensure any debris and gunk is out before re-assembling.

After I would do this, they would run silent for awhile. On occasion, the sound was either the same or had a different pitch to it. I would have to take it all apart again and re-seat the impeller.

I think the impeller not being properly seated can be one of the possible problems I had.

I finally figured out what I was doing wrong over time.

When I did partial water changes in the tank with sand substrate, I did not turn off the AQ's every time. When some to the sand got disturbed from pouring water in, some of the particles would get sucked in the intakes without me realizing it was happening. I use sponge pre-filters, but they were not blocking 100% of the sand.

Over time, the sand would jack up the motor by: getting stuck to the impeller shaft, sand caused the impeller to become unbalanced, sand+gunk built up between the inner base of the impeller motor housing and the bottom of the impeller magnet, or some combination of these events happened.

When I started to unplug the AQ's before PWC's, the noises never came back.

CoralBandit had a great tip for using a pencil eraser to push down the impeller shaft properly. I am going to do that slowly to all of mine when they are scheduled to be fully cleaned.

I have a few questions for the OP......

What type of substrate do you use?

Did you wash off the original filter parts, pump motor assembly and the bag of bio-max before installing on the tank?

Did you attempt to disassemble the filter and clean it to see if the noise went away before ordering a new one?

Is there a large air bubble trapped in the 90-degree turn in the top of the intake tube?

Back to your post, toward the end, you asked about sponge pre-filters.

There are a few options. You can use ready made kits. Lustar ATI has a line called Filter-Max. I use these.

Or you can go use the green sponge Top Fin has at Petsmart. I use them also, .

Here is a
of a guy on Youtube modifying an AQ50 sponge to use and a pre-filter stuck on the intake. I'm gonna try these next.

Islandvic, thank you for a detailed answer.
I have an older packaging. It is possible that the second box has a bio-max particles inside. But there was a lot of them. If it was not used, then it was vigorously shacked 24x7 for 10 years the box with bio-max "sand" mixing and scratching all together. (((
I didn't give up, I use the first filter and the second motor. It is not silent, but it is much better. From a distance I can hear only a waterfall sound, not a motor sound now.

I washed all filter inserts. I didn't wash the first motor inside. I had to wash the second motor, there was no way to use any detail from the second package without cleaning and washing.

I got an idea to turn off the filter every time I do any water/gravel disturbance, thank you. Always use a pre-filter. At first I starter to cycle this filter in a huge basket with no gravel. Now there is a very fine gravel (2-4mm)

I do have a huge air bubble on the top of U-shaped intake tube - is it ok? This bubble is getting bigger or smaller when I change a water flow.

Is a petroleum jelly safe for a motor parts? For the aquarium water?

Does a blue Top Fin sponge have a hole? I can not understand from a picture? Now I wrapped the intake with a piece of sponge and secured it with a rubber bend so I still looking for a more convenient pre-filter sponge, easy to take in and off. Vulnerability of an AC motors does impressed me, so I'm kind of abscessed to catch all the debris and possible particles before they get inside to the motor.

Thank you again for your time to answer.

Update: did a WC - got an airplane like sound again! (((((( I'm getting tired with all these water exercises - it's a whole story to drain all water, to take it apart, then what? There is no fish yet, so no debris inside the motor. (((( But it was quiet since I put the second motor.
 
Cichlidude
  • #19
My 2 cents worth here. A filter should not be this difficult, period. If the AC is not working for you, return it for a refund. I replaced my AC70 with a Seachem Tidal 55 which is dead silent. Just a though...
 
NYFishGuy
  • #20
Update: did a WC - got an airplane like sound again! (((((( I'm getting tired with all these water exercises - it's a whole story to drain all water, to take it apart, then what? There is no fish yet, so no debris inside the motor. (((( But it was quiet since I put the second motor.

I'm guessing your airplane sound is air, when you drain the tank with the filter off it can lose siphon and you need to fill the filter back up before turning it on to prime it again.
change the flow control to low and back to high helps it along
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Do you really think I'm running a dry filter with no water in it???
 
NYFishGuy
  • #22
Not sure what's going on. I think top 3 would be air,case rattle, or debris /impeller issue
A sound clip would be interesting
 
lol
  • #23
Yes, I agree a short video of the sound might help to diagnose. If you put your ear to the unit, can you confirm that it is indeed the motor making the noise? Try fiddling with the media basket thing and make sure it's pushed all the way down, that was the cause of some noise on my Aquaclear, though that's probably not the issue with yours.
 
FrostedFlakes
  • #24
My aquaclear had the same problem and vaseline just fixed it all up. It would constantly rattle and I needed a fix fast because the tank was in my room. You said you read that vaseline wasn't great to use, do you know exactly why? I started using vaseline because it seemed to be the only thing that could fix the thing. I have used vaseline for my AC50 for little over a year with no ill effects, and used it a little while with my AC70 but it didn't really need the vaseline. Sometimes gunk sticks to the vaseline, but I clean off and replace it every month and I have seen 0 issues. There are probably issues with the substance I am unaware of, I just know from experience that I really don't have problems. Now, I haven't read the entire thread so you could have already done this, but when I was having this issue a sum of years ago, with my research I read that people have directly contacted Hagen and were sent replacement impellers because rattling is a manufacturing issue.
 
Islandvic
  • #25
to answer CD's question,

AFAIK, petroleum jelly is aquarium safe. I have only used it on the stainless steel impeller shaft and not any other component.

I agree with NYFishGuy's theory on the source of the noises.

Something is going on with the impeller. It may be somehow cavitating or could be imbalanced. Also, the shaft could possibly be misaligned or scored/pitted.

Is the AQ perfectly level? Maybe a few degrees of tilt, plus one of the above problems could be leading to the issue.

Is there an airstone underneath or very close to the intake tube of the AQ? Maybe it's sucking in air over time and causes cavitation?

My AQ70 has a small air pocket in the 2nd 90degree turn on the intake tube. I think that is normal, because it is not impeding water flow.

Yours may have to be exchanged again for another unit
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
I've tried to record the noise. I can hear only a waterfall sound on my 2 attempts records. The very low frequency motor rattling sound - what is bothering me - I can not hear it on my records at all.

I was going to buy a Vaseline yesterday - and completely forgot about it. Made a note for myself lol. So I didn't try a Vaseline mod yet.

BTW thank you all for all the ideas you've listed in this thread! I hope I'll be able to make it adequately quiet again. It was absolutely acceptable for my ears for the last couple of weeks. I've moved something yesterday and can not find what.
 
Quasimofo
  • #27
Very common issue with aquaclear HOBs. My advice is don't waste your time, just get a canister - either 2nd hand or a cheapie like sunsun will do. They're silent and hold a LOT more media.
 
THRESHER
  • #28
Very common issue with aquaclear HOBs. My advice is don't waste your time, just get a canister - either 2nd hand or a cheapie like sunsun will do. They're silent and hold a LOT more media.

Some people prefer HOB's over canisters and vice-versa for their own preference/budget/space. I have both HOB's on my smaller (45g, 40g) tanks and 2 canisters on my 75g. Me, personally, prefer canisters over HOB's simply because the volume of media they hold and the amount of flow. The HOB's I have because they were an addition to the tanks when I bought them.
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
.... I've moved something yesterday and can not find what.

HI everyone, just want to add: finally I found out what I have moved that time. The whole tubing system - U-type + 2extentions - was not pushed all the way down. The filter was running absolutely normal, but was noisy. The end of the U-tube was in that gap where you can move it right and left to control a flow, but there still was some tiny room to push it down. So thank you everyone! You gave me a lot of suggestions where I should pay my attention. The main problem of any newbie is a lack of experience. So it is a learning curve. I'm going to love this filter. I don't believe that any filter of this size could be ABSOLUTELY silent. I did a lot of research again and again. And every time I came to a conclusion that this is the filter I want at this moment if I'm looking for a HOB filter. Canister one will be a next step somewhen in the future.
 
Islandvic
  • #30
very good to hear the problem was solved!
 
CichlidDream
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
I've tried to record the noise. I can hear only a waterfall sound on my 2 attempts records. The very low frequency motor rattling sound - what is bothering me - I can not hear it on my records at all..

BTW, found these 2 recorded files and listened them now. OMG! It sounds like a tractor compared with the normal sound I get used to now. Can not attach files. But it really WAS a problem ((( Very happy it was finally solved. Thank you all again who was trying to help me.
 

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