View On Amazon
The Aqueon Quietflow power filter is my go to suggestion for those seeking a powerful, quiet, cheap yet reliable aquarium filter. It’s extremely easy to work with, has a lifetime warranty and has four stages of filtration. Adding on a few modifications, which I’ve listed below in the reading, helps improve the filter dramatically. Still if you want a plug and play filter, the Aqueon Quietflow power filter should be right up your alley.
The Aqueon Quietflow power filter comes partially assembled in a tight fitting plastic wrap, with the filter cartridge in a plastic container. This should be rinsed before use to get rid of any shipping smells. Otherwise your tank may smell a bit funny for a few days.
The filter will simply need to be taken out of the bag, rinsed and placed back into the filter basket. The Bio-holster and diffuser grid create a great surface for beneficial bacteria to grow, removing harmful nitrites and ammonia from the tank. The diffuser also makes the water return to the tank much more quietly than most other power filters.
The motor is self priming, meaning it is a literal plug and play filter. This works as the intake is linked directly to the motor, rather than the motor simply pulling nearby water. Even if the power flickers on and off the filter will re-start itself, making it extra handy for those who frequently leave their homes unattended.
Unfortunately the Aqueon Quietflow power filter does not come with any activated carbon or other inserts, meaning you will need to add your own fourth stage of filtration. This may not be needed if you are medicating the tank or have no specific issues you are trying to combat. The reason activated carbon is chosen so often is that it makes the tank water more clear and helps fight odors that come form the tank.
The motor will already be attached, however you will need to put the intake tube in place. This is done with a bit of force, pushing the tube into place in the bottom of the motor. For a more hands on view check out the official video on maintenance.
Assembly & Cleaning
Taking the filter apart and cleaning it is one of the most important parts of tank maintenance. This will help keep your tank clear, remove any trapped nitrates and create a generally more safe environment for your fish. The above posted video goes into great detail on how to disassemble, reassemble and keep the filter clean.
Indicators & Adjustments
Located on the top of the filter is a small red tube that typically stays inside of the filter. Once the filter media becomes full of debris, the water pressure on the inside of the filter will rise, pushing the red tube upwards. This addition makes it extremely easy to determine if your filter needs to be changed.
The main issue here is how frequently this will occur. The official filter media cartridges are a bit pricey to be replaced frequently, while other forms of media will eliminate the practicality of the filter change indicator. To combat this I have installed a pre-filter sponge I found on amazon on the intake of the filter. This will absorb almost all of the debris, allowing only the smallest particles through. These are then caught by the normal filter media. The filter sponge can simply be rinsed off in removed tank water, allowing them to be reused plenty of times before being replaced. This cuts down on the maintenance cost substantially without lowering the flow speed of the filter.
Warranty & Lifetime
The reason I love Aqueon products is their amazing customer service and warranty. On most products, including this filter, Aqueon provides a Lifetime warranty. Simply call up their support line on a week day and you will be able to send in your filter the next day, or the current day if you call early enough.
Keep in mind your tank should not be without a filter for long. If it is you must perform frequent water changes. When my filter went out I simply put an older, much smaller filter on the tank and performed a 20% water change each day until the filter returned.
The average lifetime on these filters ranges between 1-3 years, highly depending on the level of care you give it. Adding on the prefilter sponge mentioned earlier will reduce damage to the impeller, which can dramatically increase the lifetime of the filter. If you take the warranty into account, the final expect lifetime can reach up to 8 years.