Aquaclear 110 Filter - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Aquaclear 110 Filter

I am not a filter person so please bear with me as I try to explain myself here. I have always used Aquaclear filters in my tanks and never had a problem with them before. They run great and have always been very quiet for me. I don't really have a major problem with my Aquaclear 110 filter, mechanically that is. It's just a little annoying. This filter has been up and running for a year now on my 65 Gallon tank. I perform maintenance on it often by disassembling the filter and cleaning the intake tubes, the propeller in the motor and swishing out the media in the bucket that has the water to be discarded from the tank.

Lately, the problem I am having is that there is a rattling sound coming from the area where the intake tube fits into the filter. I have tried moving the intake tube a little forward which does eliminate the rattle sound but it also causes the water to not filter as forceful when it flows back into the tank. When I push the intake tube back a little into the housing unit inside the filter, I get a forceful flow back into the tank but then it begins making that rattle noise.

If I leave the lid off of the filter then that eliminates the noise but I know I have to put the lid on the filter so that dust and all other particles don't get inside of the water being filtered.

I am a little stumped as to what to do. As I said before, the motor is fine and the filter is working fine. It's just a little annoying to hear that little rattle of the plastic when I just want to enjoy some peace and quiet watching my fish.

Anybody else had this problem before? If so what did you do? This may be a no-brainer but now my brain has become a little rattled too!

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 02:57 PM
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its a worn impellar shaft. They wear out and get imbalanced and it creates the rattle noise you hear. It happens often when used in tanks with sand substrates.

you can replace the impellar for less than 20 bucks. Or you can take out the impellar and pull the rubber ends off and flip the shaft over and reassemble. That will give you some more time. But if worn alot it wont work.

I flip my shafts yearly just to extend there life.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 03:04 PM
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some say if you lube the shaft it will not make noise
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Nevermind, I figured out the problem. I didn't have the intake tube in the hole secured all the way into the hole in the filter box.

It's smooth and quiet now.

Then again, it's not so quiet now. I'll do what you guys say.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidZ View Post
some say if you lube the shaft it will not make noise

I have heard that as well but I am unsure about putting anything in my tanks that is petroleum based. Because what ever is on the shaft is in the water.

May work great but it sounds risky to me.

just my .02
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2010, 09:07 AM
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I don't even have my covers anymore. It's too much of hassle. and the tanks that do run the ac filters are open tops so i'm not really afraid of dust getting into the tank...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 02:52 AM
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I do not add petroleum based oil.
I will try either Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or vegetable oil. A couple of drops of vegetable oil is nothing in a tank, and the petroleum jelly tends to stay where I place it.

If the problem is a worn shaft, though, this is only a little bit of help, very short term.

When you have cleaned and reassembled it all, then put it on the tank...
Does the end of the intake touch the inside of the tank? Or do you have anything over the end (perhaps a sponge filter) that might touch the back of the tank? If so, then this might be pushing the intake tube just a tiny bit out of alignment. Not enough to stop it running, but enough to make this noise.

Next suggestion: It is possible to take these filters all the way apart, unscrewing the motor from the rest of it, and cleaning a few places that are not as easily cleaned from above. As you reassemble it, put a drop of vegetable oil or a thin smear of petroleum jelly on the O-ring. This will make it slide back into place easier, and ensure a better seal.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 05:47 AM
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Any luck, Angels7? I've got exactly the same problem and set up - 65g and AC110. I also tried moving the intake around - was quiet when it was out of alignment, but flow was reduced and the cover wouldn't go back on, and I've taken it completey apart and cleaned it all. I'm hoping I don't have to replace the impeller, it's less than a year old - but I do have sand so I suspect that may be the problem.
Long story short, I'm interested to hear if you found the problem.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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It was the impeller. I had to add my aquaclear 30 to the tank just to help the AC 110 out because the last two days the flow of the Aquaclear 110 was reducing down to a little trickle. Thank God my impeller came yesterday. I put it in and now and all I hear is the waterfall sound which is music to my ears

I do have a sponge on the bottom of the intake tube so I made sure that the intake tube was securely inside of the filter box when I reassembled everything.

I have 3M colorquartz as a substrate- the fine kind. It isn't as bad as sand but that is the only reason I can think of for the impeller going bad on my filter so soon. I have had my Aquaclear30 for 4 years now and have never had to replace the impeller but it is being used in a tank that has eco complete substrate so maybe that is why the impeller is still in good shape.

I guess I need to order a few more impellers for my AQ110 so I will be better prepared when it happens again. I probably should have done it when I ordered the one I have now but I wanted to make sure that was in fact the problem.

Thanks for the help!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 07:24 PM
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I have several 110 and while they are good filters sand substrates kill the impellars I tried sponge around the intake tubes but after awhile they slow the flow I am going to remove the sand as it has caused scracthes in the front glass and as already stated kills impellars medium coarse gravel for me from now on , 150 gallon tank so over time the sand will Go!!!
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