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How to install an air hose with a "check value"

Jan Cavalieri

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I believe my air pump was destroyed by a big dump of water off my aquaclear filter (more about this issue later) - anyway - I'm no longer getting air to the stones even though I can hear some minimal air coming out. I suspect that if I had inststalled a "check value" to prevent back siphoning that this might not have happened. All the instructions on pumps mention it, most come with it but aren't really clear on how to install it. For example it looks like a small cone (usually red) placed inside a plastic cover. Obviously you are to insert the back siphon somewhere between the air stone and the pump - but at which end? Closer to the air stone (and how close) or closer to the pump (and how close) also the cone is usually slightly larger at one end then at the other - which direction is it supposed to point? For example - does it go like this: pump, tubing, back siphon with cone pointed towards the pump, tubing, air stone? Or in some other configuration - the diagrams are never that specific.

On a different note: anybody else fed up with the Aquaclear filter? There is this little weird shaped black piece that just barely fits into a small hole on the bottom of the filter. This is supposed to help you tilt the filter forward so there is no overflow backwards. Well, my "little black thing" is constantly coming off, setting itself at a lower setting - this is because the sponge at the bottom of the filter starts lifting off the floor of the filter and pressure is so strong that it pushes the top lid off the filter, this little jolt can cause the "little black thing" to come out and half the water in the filter dumps perhaps just on the floor but also perhaps on some electrical outlets. Of course it then doesn't pump, and you have a mess of water and electrical devices soaked in water. I've learned to move my electrical cords away but this time it hit my pump and I believe some water siphoned in. This is the strangest piece of plastic I've ever seen - it doesn't clearly explain what it is and it's hard to stay in. Further foilage is constantly getting in the uptake tube - like 2-4 times a day and clogging it. I've tried the sponge covers (too restrictive and causes the water to cut off ever faster), netting and panty hose ALL cause the same thing - meaning, it just makes the problem worse. I try to keep my floating foliage down to covering 1/2 or less of the tank and keep them trimmed at the top but some relsease all sorts of debris that clog the hose, I'm slowly managing to figure out which plants are the most damaging ones. Also the hard plastic breaks if you push too hard trying to get that uptake tube to set in place so the lid will close. This is the HIGHEST RATED FILTER there is and it still causes all these problems? When my last one stopped working (too many tiny plastic pieces had finally broken off and duct tape wasn't working I bought a new one. It was PERFECT for one day - now it's the most problematic filter I have. Any suggestions on an alternative where I can transfer the ceramic beads from the AquaClear? Any ones that don't run $30-$60 depending on size?
 

Fishmanic

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you could wedge thin paper around the insert area of the plastic leveler piece to tighten it up. I find that it is best not to use the activated charcoal insert and instead replace it with sponge. I leave the ceramics on the top of the media as it keeps media from rising up. Using the plastic leveling lever, I tilt my AC slightly toward the tank so no way can it overflow outside the tank if clogged. The AC is so much quieter than my penguin 200 filter that I may end up getting another one as the penguin 200 is getting louder and louder. . If it attracts too much plant debris, you can lower the power of the AC filter with the lever. You could also buy an extension so the tube goes lower into the tank.. Overall , I find that the AC filters are very dependable and efficient.
 

Retired Viking

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The ones that I have say to install on the airline with the arrow on the valve pointing in the direction of the air flow. I have not had a problem with any of them.
 

seangee

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The ones that I have say to install on the airline with the arrow on the valve pointing in the direction of the air flow. I have not had a problem with any of them.
If there is no arrow blow into it. Air will only go through one way - so point it that air travels in the direction you want it to go. Ideally have the valve close to the highest point of the hose and on the tank side so that water can't flow back into the hose before the valve stops it.
 
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Jan Cavalieri

Jan Cavalieri

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Thanks for the instructions - I think I understand it now so I can do this. I too thought the aquaclear was the best filter and that's all I use but ALL of them are acting up. The ceramic pieces are the media so they always go on top and the sponge goes on the bottom (it also is media), you want to put something in the middle to avoid having a space between the sponge and the ceramics or the sponge will float out of position and push up on the ceramics which will push up the lid. Charcoal is as good as anything and is cheap. I could try a second sponge which would allow me to get rid of one of the slimy ones once in a while.

So I have the same set up but mine keeps opening the lid and/or the little black device that tilts it falls off or moves, sloshing water over everything. I also have a terrible time getting the uptake hose inside and level so the lid will close, the fit is so tight I can't get it in their straight so the lid doesn't want to close - I broke off a few corners of the filter of one I was pressing so hard.

I can try fitting a piece of paper in between the leveler and the filter - what I may actually do is wad up some newspaper and stuff it under the filter and make it my "leveler" I did that once when I couldn't find the leveler for a while and it actually worked quite well. I just can't seem to keep ANY of my pumps staying together in one piece - I can't push hard enough, straight enough or whatever to keep the tubes straight but I am totally frustrated with the Aquaclear. I understand that any pump will get tangled up in foliage but this filter seems especially prone to it (I use 2 tubes so it goes almost to the bottom of the tank). It's a 1/2 great design and 1/2 design disaster in my opinion. And why did they have to make that leveler such a weird looking thing. I spent and hour the first time I got it trying to figure out what it was (it wasn't on the diagram because the hole was too small) - it never mentioned it - and so I almost threw it out until I put the pump up and saw it was tilting backward. It's the weirdest looking part and they can't even describe it. Sorry just venting. I'm really fed up with this filter and messing with them daily and looking for the leveler when it falls off the bottom - it's just a constant mess and I don't want to be electrocuted or have my parts destroyed.
 
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Jan Cavalieri

Jan Cavalieri

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Thanks for all your help on the air check valves - it WORKS - and I have the happiest group of loaches in Kansas. Maybe I'm easy to entertain, but one of my favorite things is to watch the loaches go flying up the stream of bubbles and then come back down and do it again. It's like a big slipper slide to them. After about an hour the dojo's all get so tired they just conk out to the point where you think they are dead. They also love to conk out in a spot that makes the bubble slide difficult to use. Then the Kubuti loaches get annoyed and start swimming by the Dojo's bumping them - trying to wake them up or get them to move or get them to play. Always gentle with each other but it's still really funny to watch.

People that have aquariums but don't take the time to actually watch their fish are missing out on so much. They DO make good pets. I don't have any high expectations for a lot of interaction or affection - although one of the Dojo's seems to like being "petted", and "Mr Coffee" (a tiny chocolate Gourami) actually comes to me when I call him - he has a special treat he likes and so much for him being an herbivore - he loves tubiflex and blood worms and won't eat his vegetables so I don't know how he's digesting all that meat unless he's not a true herbivore and has a proper stomach for digestion. But they all are such amazing little creatures.

Thanks again for all your help and your comments on the Aquaclear. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but usually when I first get the filter it works perfectly but over time the lid warps a little so the top doesn't always stay on, then there is that weird floating problem with my heavy sponges pushing the lid off, and the curved part of the uptake tube. But with this last filter it started happening the first day. Just getting so frustrated especially knowing there aren't any better products on the market - and, as a filter, it does an excellent job of helping with water clarity.
 
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