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A pretty close toss up there. AC are a little more customizeable, especially the larger ones but the Emporers are supposed to a little more reliable. I have 2 AC and have never had any problems with them short of when the power goes out. When I lose power one of my filters does not like to start back up right away. The other one has always worked fine.
 

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I cant speak for the AC filters, as I have never used one. but my penguin is awesome, and the emperor is supposed to be even better. <shrug> Im not sure you can go wrong either way
 

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The AC units are very reliable and easy to maintain. I've had a total of 4 since I've been in this hobby, all still work great. No complaints with these units whatsoever.

If your filter doesn't restart when the power comes back on, it is no doubt because of a dirty impeller compartment. Even a bit of gunk will prevent it from restarting.

Good luck on whatever you choose! :lol: :lol:
 

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I have a Penguin 150, Emperor 280, two AC 20's and a 30 (I have a 70 on order). I prefer the Aquaclear. I think they do a better filtering job and are easier and cheaper to maintain. They are also quieter. My impeller also needs a jump after the power is off. It just needs a cleaning and I haven't gotten to it yet.

There's nothing wrong with the Marineland filters. They get the job done.
 

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Ah, the ole AC vs Emperor debate. When I was looking for a new filter for my 55 I went back and forth between these two but ultimately got the Penguin 350 (mainly due to price because I got it for $27 from Petsmart). I've been very happy with the Emperor so far and it always starts right up. However, I think if I ever get another filter I would like to try the AC just to compare them. I think either one is a very good choice.
 
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