Fluval AquaClear 70 Power Filter – Unboxed, Tested, & Reviewed

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If you’ve been keeping fish for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard of AquaClear filters.

They’ve been around for quite a while, and many consider them the best HOB filters because they’re quiet, efficient, reliable, and generally work great.

The AquaClear brand is owned by Hagen, which also owns the popular filter brand Fluval.

With that kind of pedigree, you know this company produces quality aquarium products, and AquaClear filters are no different.

In this review, we take a close look at the AquaClear 70 HOB Filter and examine whether this truly is the best HOB filter for your tank.

Overview: AquaClear 70 Power Filter Review

What Are The Best Features Of The AquaClear 70

  • I highly recommend them because they’re quiet, efficient, reliable, and affordable.
  • It uses a bottom-up design, usually only in canister filters, so all your water passes through the filter media.
  • Great media capacity & easy to custom fit custom media due to the large and easy-to-access compartment.
  • It comes with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon, BioMax, and Cycle Guard. This media provides three stages of filtration (mechanical, chemical, and biological).

What You Need To Know About The AquaClear 70

AquaClear filters are very well-known and highly recommended in the fishkeeping community.

They provide excellent filtration, nearly silent operation, and legendary durability. People regularly run these things for years without any problems.

Although the AquaClear is a HOB aquarium filter, it uses a bottom-up design usually only found in canister filters. This means the water rises from the bottom of the filter rather than trickling from the top down.

It also has a huge filter container that is much larger than what you’ll find in other HOB filters, which allows you to customize your mix of media and pack it in for optimum filtration.

There’s nowhere for the water to go with this design but through the filtration media.

This filter also has a patented refiltration system that increases contact time by cycling the water back through the filtration media. As a result, the highly efficient pump has a high flow rate and low energy consumption.

Dimensions

AquaClear, Fish Tank Filter, 40 to 70 Gallons, 110v, A615A1

The approximate dimensions of the AquaClear 70 are 9.8 x 6.7 x 9.8 inches.

Specs

  • The filter is rated for aquariums up to 70 gallons of water capacity.
  • This can be increased depending on how much media you place in the chamber.
  • Two chambers hold plenty of media for easy replacing and customizing (i.e.) carbon, bio max, etc.
  • The filter has a high flow rate of 300 gph and low energy consumption.
  • The AquaClear 70 is a powerful and efficient HOB filter that can handle tanks up to 70 gallons in size.

Priming

Priming the AquaClear 70 is easy—all you need to do is fill the filter up with water and plug it in. Once the water is turned on, the filter will start automatically priming itself.

There are a few things to keep in mind when priming an AquaClear filter:

First, ensure that the filter is completely submerged in water before turning it on.

If the filter still isn’t priming correctly after a few tries, unplug it and let it soak in water for a while. Then try priming it again.

Sometimes I find putting pressure on the intake tube helps suck the water up into the filter box a little easier.

What Sizes Are Available?

AquaClear, Fish Tank Filter, 40 to 70 Gallons, 110v, A615A1

The AquaClear 70 is part of Hagen’s AquaClear line of filters that includes:

  • AquaClear 10: Up to 10-gallon tanks, 80 gph flow rate
  • AquaClear 20: For 5-20 gallon tanks, 100 gph flow rate
  • AquaClear 30: For 10-30 gallon tanks, 150 gph flow rate
  • AquaClear 50: For 20-50 gallon tanks, 200 gph flow rate
  • AquaClear 70: For 40-70 gallon tanks, 300 gph flow rate
  • AquaClear 110: For 60-110 gallon tanks, 500 gph flow rate

All filters in the AquaClear line offer the same features and benefits, just for different-sized tanks. However, we recommend getting the higher model for your tank to ensure the most efficient filtration.

For example;

The AC50 and AC70 would work for a 50-gallon tank, but we would recommend going with the larger AC70 for greater capacity.

Pros

  • It can hold huge amounts of filtration media compared to other filters.
  • Large filtration volume allows you to mix and match media.
  • Dead silent and efficient operation, so you can rest easy.
  • Provides excellent filtration capabilities.
  • It comes highly recommended by many owners, so you know it works.

Cons

  • Instructions are not the greatest, but with YouTube, this is no problem at all.
  • Debris can get trapped in the propeller box and will need to be cleaned out.
  • The lid may rattle a little bit, but this is easily fixed.
  • AquaClear media bags are a tad pricey, but you can easily use your media.

Click here to see more popular HOB Filters.

Hands-On AquaClear 70 HOB Filter

Everything you need to set up this filter is in the box, including filtration media. In addition, it comes with AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon, BioMax, and Cycle Guard.

This media provides three stages of filtration (mechanical, chemical, and biological).

The media container on this thing is enormous. Most HOB aquarium filters have media trays, but the AquaClear 70 filter has an open container instead.

This allows you to use a ton of media for better filtration and lets you experiment with your media mixture. The flexibility you have with this is a huge selling point.

The overall build quality is solid. It’s made of plastic, but the materials are on par with what you’ll find in most filters. Durability should not be an issue, and many people keep these running for years.

The filter operation is whisper-quiet, but we did notice a slight rattle from the lid shaking against the top of the filter.

This is a quick fix if you’re concerned about noise. 

You can either keep the lid off completely or place a weight on top of it. We put our fish food container on top of the cover, which solved the problem.

Maintenance

The AquaClear 70 is one of the easiest filters to clean.

  1. All you need to do is unplug it and take out the filtration media.
  2. You can then rinse all of the media off in old aquarium water. Then clean the filter box and intake tubes using a pipe cleaner.
  3. BioMax and Cycle Guard should be replaced every 3-4 months, while Activated Carbon can be replaced every month.
  4. AquaClear Foam can last up to 6 months before needing to be replaced.
  5. Occasionally you should also open up the impeller chamber and pull out the impeller, clean the blades and the magnet, then reinsert it into the box.

Filter Inserts

AquaClear, Fish Tank Filter, 40 to 70 Gallons, 110v, A615A1

The AquaClear filter comes with four filter inserts: AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon, BioMax, and Cycle Guard.

  • The AquaClear Foam insert is a mechanical filter that catches large particles and debris.
  • The Activated Carbon insert removes toxins, odors, and discoloration from the water.
  • The BioMax insert is a biological filter that contains beneficial bacteria that break down ammonia and nitrite.
  • The Cycle Guard insert helps to keep the beneficial bacteria healthy and active.

Can I use my own media?

Yes, you can use your own media in the AquaClear 70. The filter container is spacious and allows for various media types, and one of the main reasons this filter is so customizable to your needs.

Replacement Parts

The impeller and the blades are the most common parts that need to be replaced on the AquaClear filter.

The impeller is the rotating blade that draws water into the filter from the tank. The blades are attached to the impeller and help to move the water.

If the impeller or blades start to wear down, they will need to be replaced. It is essential to replace these parts regularly to keep the filter running at its best.

AquaClear offers replacement impellers and blades for all of their filters, and you can buy them right in your local fish store or on Amazon.

Buy The AquaClear 70 Power FIlter

If you’re looking for a great aquarium filter for your tank, the AquaClear 70 is a no-brainer.

It has an excellent reputation backed by its efficiency, durability, and overall quality. After installing this filter, the clear water you’ll have in your tank will speak for itself.

If you have a few more dollars to spend, you could also consider the Fluval C-Series, Hagen’s other line of high-quality hang-on-back filters.

The C-Series offers some additional features and upgrades over the AquaClear filters. But you really can’t go wrong with the AquaClear 70 Power Filter.

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Further Reading: If you’re looking for more great filters, consider checking out our review on the New Fluval 07 Series Canister Filter, which is a seventh-generation product with more than forty years of history and is noted as the best selling canister filter of all time.

FAQ

How many GPH does AquaClear 70 have?

The AquaClear 70 has a flow rate of 300 gallons per hour.

What is the warranty?

AquaClear offers a two-year warranty on all of its filters.

Is AquaClear the same as Fluval?

Yes, AquaClear is the same company as Fluval. AquaClear is a subsidiary of Hagen, which also produces the Fluval line of filters.

Do AquaClear filters come with media?

Yes, AquaClear filters come with media. The filter typically includes AquaClear Foam, Activated Carbon, BioMax, and Cycle Guard.​

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