04-28-2011, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jeaninel
I have both. They are both great filters. One thing I don't like on the AC is that the sponge is at the bottom of the basket and I have to remove all the media to get to the sponge to rinse it out. It's a bit of a pain in the butt especially since I have to stand on a step stool to reach the back of the tank to get to it. Also, I have had the basket lift up a bit causing the Bio-max to lift up out of the water a bit. I do like having the flow control.
On the Bio-wheels I've never had any problem with them stopping. I haven't had to touch them since setting the tanks up. I don't use the cartridges, I bought the media baskets ($3.76 each) and stuff them with quilt batting from Walmart. In front of each basket I have a fine foam sponge made by Rena for the XP series canisters. The batting and sponges get rinsed out in used tank water each water change (alternating sides each week). The location of the media slots makes for quick and easy filter maintenance.
I think most/all HOB power filters have the motor/impeller on the bottom, so (except for cartridge types) mechanical filtration would be first in the bottom - just as with most canisters. I see your point about having to pull the entire contents, however, if done every other week or once a month, everything should be rinsed anyway. I'm not as height challenged and I like the idea of quickly/easily pulling the media out for inspection, changes and servicing.
I was thinking of getting a canister, but now I'm thinking of getting another AC70 (in addition to the one I have) to dedicate for bio-media with Matrix and the other to be more mechanical sponge. Both set at lower flow rates. Cost wise, the two HOB's are less than a typical canister and it gives me similar bio-media capacity as well as filter redundancy.