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Fluval C2 C3 C4 vs AquaClear 20 30 50 70 110

A good aquarium filter is essential for every fish tank.

As the aquarium is an enclosed space with an environment that’s very different from the fishes’ natural habitat, several adjustments have to be made in order for them to thrive.

The goal in fish tanks is to emulate or recreate the kind of environment that the fishes have outside.

And since water in the aquarium remains stagnant for several days, it wouldn’t clean itself like the streams and rivers.

This is where devices like filters play a very crucial role. Through filters, an aquarium is kept clean, and the natural balance of the environment is maintained.

This is exactly why choosing the best filter is very important.

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Things to Consider When Choosing a Filter

Of course there are several things that you need to take into account when choosing the right aquarium filter for you.

Knowing these factors to consider will guide you in making a sound decision.

  • Size and Filtration Capacity – These are major considerations since you wouldn’t want your filter to be too bulky for your tank or that its filtration capacity is too low for the volume of water in your tank.
  • Stages and Types of Filtration – It is also important to make sure that the filter properly does its job, and has a meticulous filtration process.
  • Mounting, Installation, & Maintenance – These are factors to consider because you’d definitely want things to be easy for you from the start and over the next months or years that you’ll be using the filter.
  • Durability – You’d definitely want to make sure you get value for your money. While there are some filters that are really cheap, they aren’t exactly that durable, so in a few months’ time, you’d have to buy a new one. Note, however, that you shouldn’t always equate price to durability. You don’t really have to splurge to get something sturdy.

If you’ve been reading and doing your research, you’d find that there are several types of filters in the market.

Aside from that, there are also tons of brands to choose from. It can be hard to take a pick, especially when you’re a newbie.

Nevertheless, when it comes to aquarium filters, two of the top brands are the Fluval C Series and AquaClear Series.

Each of these products have their own set of pros and cons. Some would prefer one over the other, depending on each one’s needs.

In order to give you a clearer picture, here’s a detailed comparison of the Fluval C vs AquaClear:

Fluval C Series Review

Fluval is one of the biggest names when it comes to fish tank and aquarium equipment. Its C series is at the top of the line when it comes to aquarium filters.

To start off, the Fluval C Series is a “hang on back” type of filter. This means that it will not take up much space in the tank.

However, it would need a large enough room behind the tank. Nevertheless, you need not worry about installation as it is very easy to mount.

Size & Filtration Capacity

When it comes to size, the Fluval C Series has several options to offer.

Fluval C2

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The C2 variant is meant for tanks that hold between 10 and 30 gallons of water. The C2 has a filtration capacity of approximately 119 gallons per hour. It has a 4.5 x 6 x 8-inch dimension.

Fluval C3

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Meanwhile, a bigger variant, the C3 is meant for aquariums that can hold from 20 to 50 gallons of water. Its filtration capacity is at 153 gallons per hour, and it comes in a 4.5 x 7 x 8 dimension.

Fluval C4

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The largest among the C series is the C4. It is meant for aquariums with sizes that hold between 40 to 70 gallons of water. It runs in a filtration capacity of 264 gallons per hour. The C4 has a 6 x 8.2 x 8.5-inch dimension.

To sum up, the C series has three size variants to choose from. Each size also varies in terms of filtration capacity.

So your choice in this aspect would depend mainly on the size of your tank. Note however, that the C series offers powerful flow rates.

Even the smallest variant, the C2, can work pretty well on larger tanks because of its high flow rate.

Stages and Types of Filtration

An impressive thing about the Fluval C Series filter is that it offers 5 powerful filtration stages that can efficiently keep the water in your aquarium in the cleanest possible condition all the time.

The filtration stages start off with a mechanical process. For the first two stages, a porous layer of poly foam padding traps large debris. Then, a dense layer traps the finer solid debris.

What’s great about the Fluval C Series is that these poly-foam pads have indicators to tell you when they need to be replaced.

After mechanical filtration, the water will undergo the chemical process. Fluval C uses a type of chemically activated carbon that removes all the unwanted elements from the water.

For the fourth stage, the water passes through a biological screen with an additional hydraulic circuit that increases the water flow and for the final stage, the water passes through biological C-nodes.

Mounting, Installation, and Maintenance

Mounting and installing any of the Fluval C Series variants is a piece of cake.

The instructions are pretty straightforward. All its variants have the basic clip-on design.

No complicated installation is needed. You simply have to clip it right onto the side of your tank.

Just make sure you have allotted space behind your tank as the Fluval C filters are “hang on back” types.

Video: “Fluval C-Series Aquarium Filter Maintenance”

As to its maintenance, it is also very easy because there is a built-in indicator. It has a tab that tells you if the mechanical media already needs to be replaced.

Minimal cleaning and maintenance are required. There are only very few moving parts and chambers that would require cleaning.

It’s very easy to take them out and give them a rinse once in a while.

Durability & More

When it comes to durability, the [amazon link=”B003SJOLEQ” title=”Fluval C*” link_icon=”amazon” /] Series does offer the good stuff. On the outside, it is protected by a high-quality plastic shell that’s really durable.

It can withstand normal wear and tear and a few bumps here and there. You have to be careful of dropping it, though.

While some of the other removable parts can also be quite fragile, it does not really pose any problem as long as it is used normally and maintained properly.

There are no major breakdowns as long as everything is properly maintained and well taken care of.

At the very least, filters from the Fluval C Series have a reputation of becoming noisier after a few months of use. This can be annoying to some.

However, it does come with a waterfall effect that sets apart Fluval C from AquaClear. This effect helps provide water surface agitation and more oxygenation for your fishes.

Pros and Cons

In sum, Fluval C does come in many sizes. You can choose one that actually best suits your aquarium needs based on size and the volume of water that you actually put in it.

The Fluval C Series variants also have high hourly filtration capacities. Aside from that, it has an intelligent 5-stage filtration system that ensures a clean and healthy aquarium environment.

It is also very easy to mount and you save space inside the tank as it is mounted on the outside.

Meanwhile, it can start to be pretty loud over the months and some of its parts are not exactly the most durable on the market.

You’ll also need to provide clearance behind the tank so you can put it in place.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

AquaClear Filter Review

Another highly trusted brand on the market today is AquaClear.

The company also offers a wide range of aquarium products and one of its better-known products is the AquaClear Fish Tank Filter.

To help you decide which among the two ⁠— Fluval C vs AquaClear you’ll choose, take a look at these features of AquaClear in detail.

Sizes and Filtration Capacity

One thing that’s really good about AquaClear filters is that there is a wider range of size variants to choose from. It has 6 different sizes which are more specific.

AquaClear 20 Power Filter

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Which is built for tanks that hold around 5 to 20 gallons. Its filtration rate is at 100 gallons per hour and it has a dimension of 4.5 x 7 x 6.5 inches.

AquaClear 30 Power Filter

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Built for an aquarium that carries about 10 to 30 gallons of water. It has a dimension of 4.5 x 8.2 x 6.7 inches and a filtration capacity of 150 gallons per hour.

AquaClear 50 Power Filter

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Suited for tanks between 20 to 50 gallons. The AquaClear 50 Power Filter has an hourly filtration rate of 200 gallons. It comes in a 4 x 9 x 8-inch dimension.

AquaClear 70 Power Filter

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Good for tanks between 40 to 70 gallons. Its filtration capacity is at 300 gallons per hour and it comes in a 6.2 x 10.7 x 8.6-inch dimension.

AquaClear 110 Power Filter

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The largest among the AquaClear filters is the 110, which is suited for tanks that hold about 60 to 110 gallons. It has an extremely powerful filtration rate of 500 gallons per hour with a compact size of 7.1 x 13.9 x 9.1 inches.

You can probably see by now that when comparing Fluval C vs.AquaClear in terms of filtration capacity, the former is more powerful.

However, the latter does have more variants to choose from in terms of size.

Stages and Types of Filtration

In terms of stages and types of filtration, the AquaClear filter is quite similar to Fluval. It also operates three major processes of filtration.

Water is also mechanically filtered to remove debris. It then goes through chemical filtration using activated carbon to weed out unwanted elements.

Finally, it also has the BioMax filter that biologically filters the water. The filtration process with Fluval, however, is more complex as it has two more extra stages.

Nevertheless, the AquaClear Fish Tank Filter does come with a patented re-filtration system.

This system allows more media to water contact when you lower the flow rate. The flow rate adjustment is another key feature of the AquaClear that is not found in the Fluval C Series.

Mounting, Installation, and Maintenance

In terms of mounting and installation, there isn’t really a lot of difference. Like the Fluval C Series, it is also a “hang on back” type.

Installation is quite easy as all you have to do is insert the media, then clip the filter at the back of the tank. You just plug it in and it’s ready to use.

Video: “Aqua Clear Power Filters”

Likewise, when we speak of maintenance, it does not require the removal of other parts.

You don’t have to take it apart for cleaning, which is a plus against the Fluval C series. However, it does not have a built-in cleaning indicator like the Fluval.

Durability and More

As to its overall durability, it is more or less the same as its Fluval C Series counterparts. It also has a plastic exterior shell, which is quite durable.

However, you have to be wary of the pump and impeller that can break down without proper cleaning and maintenance, and if the tank has a heavy bio load.

Like the Fluval, it also has the waterfall effect that helps oxygenate the water.

Pros and Cons

In sum, the AquaClear Filters have a good enough filtration capacity and it has more sizes to choose from.

Installation and maintenance are likewise very easy. Being an external type of filter, it likewise doesn’t eat up the tank space inside.

The downside to AquaClear Filters is that the impeller has the tendency to break down.

The filtration system of variants like the Fluval C4 vs AquaClear 70 are also more superior as it has a 5-stage process compared to the latter which only has three.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Fluval C vs AquaClear Final Thoughts

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In a capsule, each brand does have its set of pros and cons. They are both more or less similar in a lot of categories with just a few major differences.

While the Fluval C Series has a more powerful hourly filtration capacity, it has fewer size options compared to the AquaClear Filters. The Fluval also has a more extensive filtration system.

Nevertheless, when choosing between the two, it all boils down to your own specific needs. What’s good for one may not exactly be right for the other.

Based on the size of your tank and your filtration needs, you can easily weigh in based on the details provided here, and make the best choice for you.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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