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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently purchased a Fluval C4 for my 30 gallon and was very excited to set it up. I immediately noticed it had a significant noise to the impeller which was disappointing but not problematic since my last filter was about just as loud. It filtered well, moved a lot of water, and I was pleased.

I opened it up today for maintenance for the first time and to my dismay I found that the feed tube for the trickle tray (the black plastic portion that sits over top of the impeller) was moving absolutely no water. None. I fiddled with the filter for a while and got it to start moving some water again, but quickly realized that the filter seems to move MORE water when on low settings (by this I mean with the tank tube nearest the part on the cover with the short bar indication). Both through the trickle tray tube and just through the filter in general.

I'm very frustrated with this filter at the moment and want to know if anyone else has had this issue with their C4 filters. My main issues are:

1) Sound. It's noisy (I'm going to put some vaseline on the impeller magnet to see if that helps)

2) Water flow settings. Are they labeled backwards or something?

3) Trickle tray feed tube. Why did it seem to stop up on me, it wasn't clogged.

Any help is appreciated, I'm writing this in haste because I'm way behind on some paperwork and just wanted to post this up. Tank maintenance was only supposed to be quick tonight! Sheesh...

EDIT:I've sent an email to the manufacturer to see if they can provide some help on the issue, possibly have the impeller or motor warrantied. I'll update later so anyone interested see how things turn out.
 

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Vaseline may void any warranty claim you have. I would clean it off thoroughly and make no mention of that when you claim the impeller/motor. I'm sure any "lubricant" other than water is not recommended from the manufacturer and they may claim it was the fault of the end user so no warranty.

Just tryin to help :)
 
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My c3 is sort of like that.very little flow from the fountain on low flow,and even less on high flow.if i lift up on the sponge tray about a third,it partially blocks the hole and the trickle spout flows great. Ive been searching for a solution, Ive read others with the same problem.so please let us know what you come up with.Im gunna clean the intake tube real good to see if that helps,but i cant imagine thats the issue.
 

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I had all the same problems after 9 months of use. It gradually kept decreasing flow rate until it barely flowed and I started having ammonia problems. It started off perfect. Its in my closet now and I have replaced it with an ac50.

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As a noobie to this forum(not to aquariums, 50+ years) I 'll probably take some heat but....IMHO, the Fluval C series is nothing more than an updated Aquaclear that I was using in 1970. It has "trickle", nodes, etc but the same could be loaded into an AC 70. The whole thing is a marketing ploy.
 

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So,I did a full cleaning on my barely trickling c3. I cleaned out the intake tube,then took out the black part with the spout thing in it and gave it a scrubbing.It comes right out. Theres a whole on the bottom where the water goes up to the spout. I took a bit of sponge with my skinny planting tweezers and cleaned that sucker out. Guess what? Works like new.
I noticed that the water that goes into the spout is coming directly from the intake side and is not water that has already run through the filter.
I bet all yours needs is a good clean.Make sure you get something to scrub up into that hole.
Good luck
 

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I've purchased C3 and C4 and yeah they're loud and the flow is rather weak and all over the top not through the filter itself. I opted for Aqua Clear, nothing beats that.
 

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I have the ac 110 & fluval c4. Although I've never had any major problems with them; I won't buy any more. There is simply too much water bypass. With the aqua clears that coarse sponge is a joke. Place a layer of filter floss above the sponge and see how much fine debris is going back in your tank. When any of that material gets a little dirty; the water flows from the intake chamber right over the top of the divider into your tank never passing through any media. The older types of hob filters; especially made by Supreme were far superior. They drew the water down through the media. As they became dirty; yes the flow was reduced but there was no bypass. The alternative to these new hob filters is the canister filter. I've been filtering aquarium water for 50 years; so I think I know what's what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I got a reply from Fluval and they said to return the product to the place of purchase and if I'm unable due to the length of time since purchasing then to send it in for warranty service. So luckily I do have time since it's a fairly new filter, otherwise my tank would just be hung out to dry with no filter at all! Nice work, Fluval!

Overall, I'm very disappointed with this experience and am now looking at the option of getting a replacement and crossing my fingers that this one is simply a dud, or spending more money and exchanging it with a different, high-end canister filter that I don't have money for. But all of it has to be done on the same day so that I don't lose ALL beneficial bacteria in my tank and have a new cycle start.

Anyway, to address some of what you've all said:

Vaseline may void any warranty claim you have.
What vaseline? Did I say vaseline? Well let me assure you I definitely did not put vaseline anywhere, definitely not. Definitely. ;)

IMHO, the Fluval C series is nothing more than an updated Aquaclear that I was using in 1970
Yes, this is exactly true and why I chose to purchase a C series filter! AquaClears are supposed to be great, so why would an updated version not be better? Especially considering the small price difference (only about a $10 more for the C4 than AC70 or whatever the equivalent AC is). I consider the designs an improvement, though the tiny AquaClear Fluval packages with their Edge systems seems to work well.

I bet all yours needs is a good clean.
Two things: 1) I did actually disassemble the entire filter and it worked okay after some fiddling. I have no idea why. However, less than a week later and it's back to the same old crap. And 2) this filter is not even 2 months old, it shouldn't be clogging this badly already.
 

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So I got a reply from Fluval and they said to return the product to the place of purchase and if I'm unable due to the length of time since purchasing then to send it in for warranty service. So luckily I do have time since it's a fairly new filter, otherwise my tank would just be hung out to dry with no filter at all! Nice work, Fluval!

Overall, I'm very disappointed with this experience and am now looking at the option of getting a replacement and crossing my fingers that this one is simply a dud, or spending more money and exchanging it with a different, high-end canister filter that I don't have money for. But all of it has to be done on the same day so that I don't lose ALL beneficial bacteria in my tank and have a new cycle start.

Anyway, to address some of what you've all said:



What vaseline? Did I say vaseline? Well let me assure you I definitely did not put vaseline anywhere, definitely not. Definitely. ;)



Yes, this is exactly true and why I chose to purchase a C series filter! AquaClears are supposed to be great, so why would an updated version not be better? Especially considering the small price difference (only about a $10 more for the C4 than AC70 or whatever the equivalent AC is). I consider the designs an improvement, though the tiny AquaClear Fluval packages with their Edge systems seems to work well.



Two things: 1) I did actually disassemble the entire filter and it worked okay after some fiddling. I have no idea why. However, less than a week later and it's back to the same old crap. And 2) this filter is not even 2 months old, it shouldn't be clogging this badly already.
I know this is a very old post but was looking for an answer to the same problem I was having with my Fluval C3, Just signed up to this forum. I totally cleaned it but I also added a pre-filter to the water intake tube (sponge filter that slides over the intake) Flow rate has vastly improved for now, hopefully this helps the water flow from clogging up.
 

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Ok, I have Fluval C 3's and 4's. I take them off the tank and deep clean them every 2 months. By deep clean I mean I swish the bio media basket in tank water, clean the sponges I have in the other chambers, take the intake assembly out and take it apart and clean with a toothbrush, clean the filter housing out good. I have prefilter sponges on the intakes which I clean bi-weekly. Make note that I have replaced the original filter material with sponges and use Matrix in the trickle filter basket. I use the sponges because they can be reused, but any bio media will work as well as Matrix. I think what people don't understand is when you move the flow control it moves more water through the main filter and less through the wet/dry section and vice versa. You have to take time and play with it till you get it where it works best for your situation. Like everything in this hobby it takes a butt load of patience.
 
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So,I did a full cleaning on my barely trickling c3. I cleaned out the intake tube,then took out the black part with the spout thing in it and gave it a scrubbing.It comes right out. Theres a whole on the bottom where the water goes up to the spout. I took a bit of sponge with my skinny planting tweezers and cleaned that sucker out. Guess what? Works like new.
I noticed that the water that goes into the spout is coming directly from the intake side and is not water that has already run through the filter.
I bet all yours needs is a good clean.Make sure you get something to scrub up into that hole.
Good luck
That part does come apart, by the way, so you can really get in there. Just be careful. Tiny plastic pieces…
 
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