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Aqua-Clears have adjustable flow. I second the AC20 . Not only can you adjust water flow but the 20 increases your bio filtration. Also i didn't see it mentioned but did you have a sponge on the pickup using the canister? This should have protected the canister from clogging up so quickly.

I had a similar experience with the ZooMed 501. Flow was okay but i wanted to extend the tubes and move the canister under the tank. It was suggested not to + it read right on the instructions to keep the ZooMed right beside the tank. I switched to a Finnex canister that was rated for 10 gallons. It rocks! I extended the hoses and installed ball valves in-line. Has been a good runner.

I use AC HOB filters too and totally like them.
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