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BronwynH

Aquaclear Miracle

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So this morning I had a bit of a shock. It was super early - not yet light out - and I was semi-blindly meandering towards the fridge to get a glass of water. On my way from the bedroom to the kitchen I walked past the 55g. I don't know how I noticed this given how bleary eyed I was, but I noticed there was no water exiting one of my two aquaclear 50s. I was instantly awake.

I pulled off the lid and noticed the filter was completely dry. I ran around to the other side of the tank and unplugged the filter. I then filled up the filter, just to see if I plugged it back in whether or not it would run, and noticed all the water instantly drained away. What on earth was going on?? I looked behind the tank to see if there was a leak, but the floor was dry. So it was somehow draining back into the tank.

I grabbed a bucket and brought the filter to the bathroom so I could take it apart, clean it and inspect it for defects. During the process of cleaning I found nothing amiss, structurally that it. The motor was really hot, almost hot enough to burn my hands, and there was a HORRIBLE smell emanating from the entire filter. As stomach churning as burnt plastic or dead snail, and yet not quite either. If I hadn't seen all the fish in the tank I would have been half convinced one of them had somehow made it into the filter, died and been cooked by the heat of the filter. It was disgusting. And I had just done a thorough rinse of the filter and components last Wednesday, so it wasn't unusually dirty and I never pinpointed the source of the smell. It disappeared after the clean.

While I was cleaning and inspecting the components I had time to think. When I came home yesterday, at about 5pm, I fed my fish some vegetables, including a piece of zucchini. The zucchini wound up getting stuck to the intake. An unusual occurrence for me, but it does happen. I wiggled the intake a couple of times and the zucchini dislodged. I didn't notice anything odd at the time, but I was a little distracted. In retrospect I think that even though I was only trying to move the intake side to side I must have just raised the intake enough to weaken the suction caused be the impeller and instead wound up with a gravity siphon feeding the water in the filter back into the tank through the intake.

If I was right this meant that the motor had been running dry for 12+ hours!

Not holding out any hope I slowly cooled the motor and put the filter back together. I filled the filter and plugged it in. Low and behold the filter immediately jumped into life!!

Not sure which of the two AC filters it is as they're identical. One I've had for 10 years, the other for 6. I've never had a problem with either. I thought for sure it was toast. I cannot believe how lucky I am!!

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I'm so happy for you that this had a 100% happy ending. :rofl:hug:nana

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It really should have gone the other way, but I'm not about to argue!!

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Whew! Talk about stressful! Sooooo happy that the filter came right back to life, all things considered :D Under the same circumstances, other brands may have kicked the bucket. That filter of yours is a keeper for sure!

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Oh my! Good thing it all ended up working out okay :-)

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I would have been tempted to say it before, but I think I will take the plunge. From now on I am only buying AquaClear filters. I am still over the moon about my luck!!

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I have had a few different filters over the years. I always avoided AquaClear simply because I thought that it was cheap looking and probably wasnt of of any quality. I have had an AC110 for about 4 months now and find it to be my favorite. The difference between these and the Penguins is night and day.

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I have had a few different filters over the years. I always avoided AquaClear simply because I thought that it was cheap looking and probably wasnt of of any quality. I have had an AC110 for about 4 months now and find it to be my favorite. The difference between these and the Penguins is night and day.

I tend to avoid HOBs altogether, mostly due to the fact that if they accidentally shut down (like the OP experienced) you could inadvertently have a massive bacterial die off it the media dries out. To me, it's always been a risk I rather not take. I used to own a pair of aquaclear 200 filters in the late 90s. The plastic eventually got brittle and I threw them out.

The only time I really ever use HOBs is for water polishing. And for that, I love whisper filters. They're easy to clean, quiet, and the inserts are cheap!

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And by water polishing, I don't mean just using them periodically. I guess what I actually meant was mechanical filtration. :)

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:thud I'm glad it was a veggie and not a fish or snail that got sucked up!

:hug

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Having to re-cycle the tank is a pain but it isnt the end of the world. Sure, I agree that there are better filter designs that could be used, but they are no where as convenient as a HOB.

Edited by sonny.barile

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:thud I'm glad it was a veggie and not a fish or snail that got sucked up!

:hug

I've actually never had a veggie or snail take any serious damage with these filters (years ago an apple snail got some very minor bruising, but he was fine). I've had a couple attach when they were dying anyway, but nothing that caused damage in the first place. I guess I've been lucky!

And Sonny - yes, the water stays crystal clear. I have biomedia and sponges. I rarely replace the sponges and just rinse them when I do water changes.

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Karma just got me. I just broke a heater!!

Ugh!

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Well, I'm glad the filter is still, and am sorry about the heater.

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