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Aquaclear Powerhead 402 now labeled 50, deadly issues

Discussion in 'Freshwater Equipment, Products, & DIY' started by CWO4GUNNER, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    As part of a recent 80 tank craiglist purchase I received two Aquaclear 420 Powerheads, now renamed AC 50 powerhead. Anyway I have been experimenting using them to see if they increase dissolved O2 which they do substantially to my surprise. However I just wanted to warn that this model is very powerful and if the intake strainer is not protected by a larger intake strainer tube, this powerhead will kill fish up to 2 inches as I unhappily discovered when 2 of my fish each a full 1.5 inches where pulled up into the intake and slammed against the built-in strainer. I discovered them when I noticed the bubbles had stopped and flow had decreased substantially but not all the way. When I shut the power off to investigate, two dead fish came falling out of the powerhead intake bent in a U-shape. As seen in the photo below I have since attached an Aquaclear HOB strainer and haven’t had NO recurrence. So remember the internal strainer provided with these powerful Powerheads is not enough, you need some sort of additional strainer to keep even medium fish from getting sucked in.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. excuzzzeme

    excuzzzeme Stroke Survivor '05

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  3. Star_Rider

    Star_Rider AC Moderators
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    :iagree::iagree:
    all of the power heads in my tanks all have pre-filters on them and I have not any issues.

    the pre-filter help diffuse the intake balancing the suction .
     
  4. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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    Prefilters help...a lot!
     
  5. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    Oh yes of course, I have read that there are accessories for powerheads that are used to power internal filters, skimmers, and wave makers, but my use is strictly aeration (O2) and circulation so I want the most intake flow as possible for air mixing not filtering. Never having used this model before didn't realize this pumps power even with a screened impeller. I have never had much luck with internal filter debris and prefer my filters external where floating debris release from power loss or removal is strictly confined outside rather then inside the aquarium. If I ever did use a powerhead for filtering it would probubly be for some sort of HOB sump filter.
    I just ordered another this time new Aquaclear 402 powerhead for my 3rd aquarium. Normally $40 for only $22 (shipping included) off Amozon from a company called Shopdealonly that sells new forclosure merchnadise. Hope it not a return or scam, I already warned the company.
     
  6. excuzzzeme

    excuzzzeme Stroke Survivor '05

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    When not being used as a filter I leave the empty cage on to avoid the problems you had. As far as you putting an intake extension on it, all you did was move the point of intake and did nothing to correct the original problem. By leaving an empty cage on it keeps fish further away from the intake. Result: problem solved with no diminished intake.
     
  7. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    Sorry for the double post, couldn't find the delete button.
     
    #7 CWO4GUNNER, Jun 18, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  8. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    I know at a glance it looks like I didn’t solve the problem but actually looking a little closer you will see I most certainly did. The original powerhead set up is just a plastic funnel 2 inch intake leading to a flat horizontal intake screen. The problem with that set up was the opening of this V-shaped plastic funnel 2 inches from the horizontal intake screen acted like a vacuum hose creating a vortex first pulling in the fish, then trapping it with no means to escape the high pressure on all sides of the tunnel holding the fish down under high pressure from all sides. The extension I installed is completely different is design and open on all sides to low pressure and not confined in a vortex. Also let me point out that the extension with its stair case screen design was pacifically engineered to prevent fish from getting stuck, at least adult size fish. Why its important to look closely into the facts of a problem before making too many assumptions.:D
     
  9. Star_Rider

    Star_Rider AC Moderators
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    interesting.. are you injecting air in the intake?

    my powerheads have venturis on them to mix air at the outlet.

    filters are on the air feed tube , they need to be cleaned from time to time.

    or are you simply moving more water with the use of the power heads?
     
  10. CWO4GUNNER

    CWO4GUNNER USN/USCG 1974-2004 Weps

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    Yes your correct Venturi on the outlet, otherwise the air on the impeller would cause cavitations and water flow would be greatly reduced just like on a boat jet drive. My earlier comment about the impeller breaking the surface tension with air was an afterthought of how the O2 increase might also be at play besides the bubble surface area interaction. But there are several new papers out now on how air bubble surface area and rupture plays a much bigger role on dissolved O2 in water then previously thought and why water treatment plants rely heavily on underwater forced bubble aerators to provide O2 to aerobic bacteria in braking down waste. Anyway the proof is in the test results and I can tell you it shows in my fish as well especially the large body fish like adult 3” barbs. They are definitely out in the open more and not resting as often and especially after water changes no more heavy breathing for 24-48 hours . I do admit that prior to using a forced powerhead aerator I did use bubble wands, but I suppose the volume or agitation just wasn't enough, the powerhead pouring out a a stream of heavy bubbles at 270 GPH has made all the difference in dissolved O2 readings in both my 60 and 120 tanks, so much so I’m buying a 3rd for my 80 tank and have removed all but 1 air wand. The only down side is the bubble wash and current which I solved by directing the flow against the back glass and behind my HOB lip underwater as per the photo I posted earlier. This has greatly confined current and bubbles wash to one corner of the aquarium leaving the rest of the tank relatively calm and now the fish pick and choose their location, i.e. the Otto's loving to be in the current and the angles away from it.
     

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