Aqueon QuietFlow 30 Power Filter - Review

There wasn't a free thermometer BTW.
Having recently purchased the Fluval AquaClear 50 power filter after reading all the rave reviews online, I found that after I observed the unit for myself that it wasn't going to be good for cleaning my aquarium. So, I exchanged the AquaClear for the Aqueon QuietFlow 30 because I do really like the Aqueon QuietFlow 20 and the 30 is around $10 less than the AquaClear and does the same GPH (Gallons Per Hour) although it doesn't have all the media things that the AquaClear has (the design of the AquaClear doesn't force water through all the media anyway, thus rendering all that media practically useless and even more costly with long term use in mind). If I had to recommend a Fluval power filter to try out I'd go with the Fluval C3 (although it only does 153 GPH and seems to be slightly pricier than its AquaClear cousin) because water is forced through all the media unlike with the AquaClear power filters, which makes the C-series seem more similar to QuietFlow's in that aspect(although the Fluval C-series appears more annoyingly complex in my opinion).
Aqueon QuietFlow 30 Power Filter and 'Large' carbon media cartridge
As for size difference with the Aqueon QuietFlow30 compared to the 20, the intake tube appears to be exactly the same in size, the box is around 1in longer and maybe 2mm wider, and the motor is also longer by about an inch. The 20 and bigger sized power filters all take the "Large" size cartridge's although the 90 takes 2 of the cartridges so, it's really only the GPH that changes between the 20 and 30. The 50 is slightly bigger than the 30 (as expected), but the intake tube changes to a wider tube with a longer vent area. A downfall I recently noticed is that the fan inside the motor (which is directly above the intake tube) can't be easily removed for cleaning so, if you have fish with a big bio-load (like goldfish) than you may find the buildup to block the fan from functioning (thus this filter will be rendered useless until fixed/cleaned).

As you can see from the above photos the media cartridge does not contain that much carbon (probably its biggest downfall if you're a carbon addict). The media box of the 30 does change compared to the 20 as it has some slats where the water first comes into the box from the intake tube (not sure the true reason for that), and thus far I do find the unit nosier than the 20 but also much more powerful (so it only makes sense I suppose that it would be nosier). There is also some room in the box if you wanted to add in some additional media.
The QuietFlow 30 with a Fluval pre-filter attached
As for extra's I put onto my Aqueon QuietFlow 30 I added on the Fluval Edge pre-filter sponge (fairly inexpensive and I like the soft texture of these ones) which fits perfects on the 20 and 30 (this pre-filter would be too small for the 50 and up, and I think the 10 also has the same size intake tube as the 20 and 30). The intake tubes are also adjustable by sliding the adjoining tubes up or down, the picture above shows it at its shortest length (I don't really care for the tubes longest possible length as it gets too wobbly for my preference).

Overall, I do recommend the Aqueon QuietFlow power filters, they work great compared to other LPS (Local Pet Store) HOB power filters I've tried in the past as they're pretty decent at cleaning. I reuse the cartridges for months at a time as they're pretty durable with weekly cleanings (thus saving money on cartridges in the long run). These aren't overly noisy although sometimes the filter cover on top tends to vibrate a bit (but with a little adjusting on occasion it stops). I also like how the cord tucks into the side of the unit and also how the motor is in the water and not outside the box (no having to worry about leaks or priming it with water to start up). The blue waterfall piece can be removed easily and cleaned, it allows water to drip down onto the waterfall bridge and it's pretty helpful at catching bigger debris (which I think is nice for those with planted tanks). One draw back I think may be an issue is the width of the unit in the tank, it seems to be too wide for a lot of aquarium hoods/tops (but since I only have a glass top I just pull it forward a bit to accommodate the unit, doesn't really bother me). I'd suggest the 30 for tanks bigger than 10-gal (as it made my 10-gal pretty darn turbulent) as it's probably better suited for a minimum of 20-gal, and it claims to also work for saltwater aquariums as well (if you do have a saltwater aquarium I'd recommend getting at least the 30 or higher models), and the 20 works fine for a 10-gal.

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