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Ideas for Mod of Aqueon 55 / 75

Kmbishop111

AC Members
I'll admit my HOB filter is a bit of a hot mess. I'm wanting to get it "organized" and make the most of the space back there.

My tank is a 36 Gallon bowfront so it's plenty of filter for the tank and occupants. I had recently bought a Fluval 406 thinking more filtration would be better. Ha Turns out I don't have the time to make the mods to the outtake or desire to to make it work for my small tank. I do however have the coarse sponge, ceramic media, polishing sponge etc from the Fluval to use in mod'ing my HOB.(I'm going to be setting up a 55 at the first of the year so will use the Fluval for that.)

My tank has been up and running since June of this year. Currently I have some coarse sponge, 2 cartridges that I have cut the carbon out of, ceramic rings and Bio-Max stuffed in the back.

I'm looking for ways to mod this to the best I can for my fish. I currently have 1 Angel, 1 Dwarf Gourami, 7 Panda Cory Cats, and 5 Mystery Snails. I'm looking to add 8-10 Harlequin Rasboras in the next month and a couple more Mystery's and will be stocked.
Water Parameters
Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates 20 Ph 7.8 Lightly planted

Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated!! I'll upload a pics of said hot mess so you'll see what I'm talking about. #DontJudgeMe Rofl

Thanks in advance!!
Kris

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Rbishop

...and over the edge.
Staff member
I would disagree that the filter is adequate for your tank. With current loading and an active bio-load on interior tank surfaces, things could be well.

In my experience, filter rated size sizes are based on flow, without media of any type. As packed as yours is, I wouldn't put it on anything bigger than 20 gallons.
 

Kmbishop111

AC Members
I would disagree that the filter is adequate for your tank. With current loading and an active bio-load on interior tank surfaces, things could be well.

In my experience, filter rated size sizes are based on flow, without media of any type. As packed as yours is, I wouldn't put it on anything bigger than 20 gallons.
Thank you for your quick reply!! Would you suggest taking out some of my media, or maybe running the Fluval 406 on this tank?
 

authmal

Pseudonovice
Part of the reason your HOB is a hot mess is well, it's designed as a hot mess. They want you to buy cartridges. You can't freely modify things the way you want, and trying to do so is creating some interesting filter pathing. That's why I strongly feel Aquaclear has the best HOBs in the game, in my experience. You can change what you want for media in the blink of an eye, it fits, and it flows well.

The nice thing about a highly regarded canister, like the 406, is that once it's up and running, maintenance is much less frequent. Maybe your best bet is investing that time, and getting that running, and running it concurrently with your Aqueon for a few months. I'd pack that 406 to the gills with bio media, if you can. I think "Pond guru" has some videos on "pimping" your canister that may be worth a watch.
 

Kmbishop111

AC Members
Part of the reason your HOB is a hot mess is well, it's designed as a hot mess. They want you to buy cartridges. You can't freely modify things the way you want, and trying to do so is creating some interesting filter pathing. That's why I strongly feel Aquaclear has the best HOBs in the game, in my experience. You can change what you want for media in the blink of an eye, it fits, and it flows well.

The nice thing about a highly regarded canister, like the 406, is that once it's up and running, maintenance is much less frequent. Maybe your best bet is investing that time, and getting that running, and running it concurrently with your Aqueon for a few months. I'd pack that 406 to the gills with bio media, if you can. I think "Pond guru" has some videos on "pimping" your canister that may be worth a watch.
I agree. It's driving me insane trying to mod this HOB. I'll post a pic of my latest trial and error. And that one spot at the intake, that short of "building a bridge" with some type of silicone maybe? IDK Water always gets through and bypasses filtration. Frustrating. I took one of the pieces of Bio-foam from my canister and placed it in the path, sponges underneath both cartridge spots, then condensed the 2 cartridges into the first spot, Bio-Max and ceramic rings in last spot. Was wondering if I could pull the cartridges apart and trash the plastic and add the filter in my bio-bags?? That would free up a lot of room and if I decided to switch to my 406 I could just toss all the bio-media in there and be good to go, right?

I'm fixing to check out Pond Guru. Someone else had mentioned him a while back so sure it's worth a watch. I'm tricking this thing out if it's the last thing I do. ;)
 

Kmbishop111

AC Members
Oh here's the latest
new.jpg
 

authmal

Pseudonovice
Honestly, the Aqueon filters, like many made by companies that sell aquarium kits, are not really designed to be improved upon. They're there to whet your appetite, and get you to sink money into disposable media. You'll save yourself a lot of aggravation by looking at a HOB like an Aquaclear AC 70 (I have one with a sponge, a bag of the AC 70 biomax, and a media bag full of lava rock, and even a prefilter which is a sponge for AC 20 cut so it'll fit over the intake) just to get the ability to modify it to your needs. You can even do two sponges and a bag of biological media if you wanted. It looks like you're moving in the right direction, conceptually, but the physical constraints of a restrictive design are your downfall.


Uaru Joey also has some interesting DIY ideas for filtration. He has one with where he uses a plastic water bottle and some ceramic media (or lava rock, I can't remember which) and powerhead to create a surface skimmer. I'm going to, sometime when I have a couple hours to play with it, try it, with a slight mod of putting a disk of filter sponge on top of the media, under the slits.
 

Kmbishop111

AC Members
I'm done trying to polish this terd. You're correct on every level, I guess that stubborn streak in me didn't want to give up tho. I concede Aqueon, you got me good for the $15 on the filter. It's going into the heap in the closet of filters who've seen better days.

The AquaClear however, I've heard nothing but good things about! I was actually pricing them online today and checking out some of the mods. I think that's going to be my birthday gift to myself in 3 weeks.

I'll have to check out Uaru Joey, sounds interesting.
 

authmal

Pseudonovice
I think Uaru Joey can also be found under "King of DIY" on Youtube. Interesting guy, it seems. Don't know how much of what's on camera is an act, in terms of personality, but he has a lot of interesting DIY ideas. Some aren't practical for everyone. Some, you need to take the idea and make it work for you. Another one I like that he had was turning a water bottle into an upgraded version of a sponge filter. Sponge goes over the bottle opening, porous media inside the bottle, and airline in the side of the neck. Water goes in through the sponge blocked opening, goes through the porous media, and then out the holes drilled in the bottom of the bottle. I was going to do that if my betta didn't tolerate the flow out of the AC 20.
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Having been down this road with various HOB filters that are designed to be used with throw-away cartridges, I totally agree with all the above. There's no sense in trying to modify them with DIY media, unless it's EXACTLY the same size and configuration as the OEM cartridge. Can you still modify them? Sure! But they are not going to flow as designed, nor are you going to utilize the full potential of the media.

There's only two HOBs on the market (that I am aware of) that have a removable media basket and a true, full bottom to top flow pattern that allows for DIY media. The AquaClear HOB line and the Seachem Tidal line. Owning both, I would strongly suggest the AC over the Seachem.
 
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