Also, I wanted to ask this:
Can you post a mini review of the C-series? What differentiates it from the Aquaclears? How do they compare size-wise?
Fluval C-Series HOB Filters (The new AquaClears)
I've had the pleasure of using both of the new C2 and C3 made by Fluval. Hagen (the makers of AquaClear filters) and Fluval are part of the same company. I'm guessing Fluval branded items are geared toward the high end of the market.
I'm currently running the Fluval C2 on a 10 gallon. It's recommended for 10 to 30 gallons, and I keep it on the low flow setting most of the time as full output tends to be too strong for the fish is a 10 gallon.
The new Fluval C-Series filters seem to be a long overdue update to the AquaClear line. The build quality feel improved as well as the functionality.
The C-Series are about the same width as comparable model AquaClears but they have a slimmer depth and deeper height. This allows you to slide your tank back closer to the wall if needed.
The water now flows from back to front through the media chambers rather than from bottom to top. Some of the water is diverted to a trickle chamber to oxygenate the water over the top of the Biomax, enhancing the conversion of ammonia and nitrite.
The water first passes through foam and then poly filter to trap particles. It then flows through a basket that can hold chemical filtration media (or in my case, extra Biomax since I don't run carbon). You could stuff the basket with more poly filter if desired too. The third basket is dedicated to holding biological ceramics, some of the water passes through the bottom of this chamber while the rest is diverted to a nozzle that trickles water over the top. There's an addition filter pad to clean the water before it trickles on the media. By the way, instead of Biomax Fluval calls it's biological media C-Nodes. They're a different shape but appear to be the same material as Biomax. Not sure if the different shape is more efficient or just marketing.
Basically, instead of stacking your media as with AquaClears you place each in a dedicated chamber that can be removed independently for quicker media change-outs. The sponge/poly filter clips into a holding cage and anyone could cut their own floss instead of buying from Fluval. Same goes for the chemical chamber. It's a basket that you can place or stuff anything you want into.
The water output has more of a curve to it, I'm thinking to prevent the sound of trickling water if your level get's a little low. The output still creates surface water movement, just less splashing than the old AquaClears.
The AquaClears are great, but these are more refined and continue to retain the same great performance and customization of media we enjoy.
Because they're new they may still cost a little more over the older AquaClears. I recommended checking out eBay for some good buy's, if your interested in trying it. Just lube the darn impeller before turning it on!
There's also a handy tab that pop's up to tell you when your floss is too dirty. The red tab rises with the water level inside the filter caused by the restricted pad. Theres also an overflow back into the tank if the level get's too high, just like on the AquaClears.
Some camera phone pics: