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One drawback of aquaclear (and other "over-the-back" filters):
There are certain plants you cannot put right underneath the outflow. It
limits your design options (for what that's worth. If there's a beginner
reading this, though, who's about to set up a display tank, you might want
to consider this problem.) I used to have a 20 gallon high set up with
plants, and I couldn't put any sort of hygro or rotala in a third of the
tank, because the downward flow was just too strong for them.
When I moved up to the 30 gal., I adopted a canister filter my husband had
gotten frustrated with (it wasn't enough for his 44 gal. african cichlid
tank). I've got the intake submerged on one end of the tank, and the
outflow submerged on the other end of the tank. It keeps a current going
across the tank, which is strong enough to clear debris from the bottom
(except for the pieces that get stuck in the plants). The area where I
can't put fragile plants is much smaller, and is near the front of the tank
(where I prefer to put smaller, sturdier plants).
Of course, this means I have no surface agitation. Would surface agitation
be helpful for the plants (perhaps I should get an airstone)?
>> I love the Aquaclear line of external power filters for small tanks. They
>> are cheap and effective. But the constant "trickle" of water can be
>> on sensitive nerves and ears (especially if the tank is located in the
>I like Aquaclear filters as well but have had the same trouble, in addition
>worrying about the amount of surface agitation. My solution, while nowhere