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AquaClear 50 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 20- to 50-Gallon Aquariums (Packaging may vary)



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  • Aquarium filtration system that offers superior contact time with filter media and energy efficient pump lowers operating costs
  • Quick and easy installation; we recommend that you clean aquarium filter every 2 weeks for maximum operation and efficiency
  • Provides optimal mechanical; chemical; and biological filtration
  • Comes equipped with AquaClear Foam; Activated Carbon Filter and BioMax and Cycle Guard for superior water quality
  • Filtration volume is up to 7 times larger than comparable fish tank filters

Specification: AquaClear 50 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 20- to 50-Gallon Aquariums (Packaging may vary)

Item Weight

0.77 Kilograms




Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp.

Country of Origin


Item model number


Date First Available

June 20, 2004

Item Package Dimensions L x W x H

9.37 x 8.03 x 4.33 inches

Item Dimensions LxWxH

4 x 9 x 8 inches

Brand Name


Target Audience Keyword

fish, ( reptiles, amphibians )


Power Filter Start-Up 1. Fill Power Filter case completely with water and replace cover. 2. Adjust water flow control lever on intake "U" tube to its maximum position for initial start-up. 3. Plug power cord into electrical outlet. Allow 30-45 seconds for priming (air to be expelled from "U" tube.) 4. After priming has been completed, move adjustment control on intake "U" tube to adjust water flow rate as required. 5. If the priming process doesn't occur, verify that all parts are installed correctly, filter case is completely filled with water, unit is plugged into power outlet, and ensure "U" tube lever is set to maximum position. See instruction manual for further information.

Warranty Description

2 years, The AquaClear® Power Filter is unconditionally guaranteed for defects in material and workmanship for a period of two years from date of purchase. This guarantee is valid only under normal operating conditions for which the Power Filter is intended. This guarantee will not apply to any unit subjected to improper use, negligence or tampering. This guarantee does not include responsibility for animate matter contained in the aquarium and is limited to the Power Filter unit only. The motor is factory sealed, tampering will void guarantee.

Model Name

Hagen Aquaclear Power Filter – 50




20 to 50 Gallons – 50



Age Range Description

All Life Stages

Number of Items



Fish Tank Filter

Included Components


Specific Uses for Product


5 reviews for AquaClear 50 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 20- to 50-Gallon Aquariums (Packaging may vary)

5.0 out of 5
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  1. NRH

    Very effective hang on back filter. I am using it on a 33 gallon.

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  2. NRH

    The media could not be loaded.

     12-7-2013 Update and some additional information:

    I moved my aquarium to another room the week 11/24/2013. When I moved the aquarium, I decided to clean the housing, impeller, and the cavity the impeller sits in. Up until this time, the AC 50 had been running quiet. However, after cleaning everything out, the impeller was making noise like it did when it was new. As of today (12-7-2013), this noise has been reduced by about 1/2. If things continue, the filter should be quiet again after the impeller builds up a slime coat. I also removed the undergravel filter from my aquarium. 12-13-2013 filter is quite again, just the sound of the motor running.

    I have been reading several negative reviews about this filter not priming itself after a power failure, filter cleaning, or a water change. One thing that appears to be an issue when reading these reviews is that the water level in the aquarium has gone below that of the top of the impeller cover. When the filter is turned off, the water level in the filter will become equal to the water level in the aquarium. If the water level is below that of the intake tube, the syphon will be lost and the intake tube will drain of water and the filter will not be able to start on its own without refilling the water in the filter. This is typical of many Hang Over the Back (HOB) filters.

    Sometimes, the impeller will fail to restart. This can be due to residue on the impeller shaft or on the magnet of the impeller. A good cleaning will usually remedy this problem. However, a long stick or skewer can be used to jump start the impeller if it fails to restart (this however only works if you are there to witness the problem). Any HOB filter that has a stuck impeller, and remains plugged in, has the risk of motor burnout.

    Another issue I see is that people are getting a AquaClear that is rated right at the size of tank they have, for instance a 20 gallon tank gets a AquaClear 20. This filter will filter a 20 gallon aquarium with minimal bioload, however the next size filter should be chosen. This would mean an AquaClear 30 and not the AquaClear 20 for a 20 gallon aquarium. I am personally using a AquaClear 50 on my 20 gallon and I am very happy with it. It is always best to have more filtration than needed rather than having too little or just the bare minimum.

    I am still very pleased with this filter and have no plans to change to another brand anytime soon.

    This review was updated on 12-25-2011.

    I purchased two of the AquaClear 50’s on a buy one get one free deal. The price was right for the two filters and it gave me spare parts and extra media. The first filter was noisy from the impeller vibrating. I read various postings online about checking the impeller for damage, and manufacturing flaws. I also used petroleum jelly to lubricated the motor shaft, it was still very noisy from the rattling of the impeller. I removed the lid just to see if that made a difference, it did, but I could still hear the impeller vibrating from 15-20 feet away. It sounded like I was running the filter dry. I hooked up the second filter to see if it was any different. It still had a slight vibration/rattle, but it was not as much as the first one and was acceptable. I have been reading that this slight vibration/noise will go away in a month or so. After a week, the filter impeller started to quiet down and is hardly audible. I exchanged the noisy Aquaclear 50 for another Aquaclear 50.

    ***Update: 12-4-2011: The filter is now quiet with just a hum of the motor running.***

    The small amount of noise coming from the current Aquaclear 50 has even subsided and is almost silent at this point. The lid does rattle from time-to-time, but it is not very loud.

    The Aquaclear 50 was hooked up on 11-25-2011. Today (12-2-2011) I had to clean the foam as it was matted on the underside with debris that had collected on it. I could tell it needed cleaning as the flow was somewhat slowed.

    My previous over the back filter was a bio-wheel 100. I have a 20 gal tank and the bio-wheel worked well when I first got it about 5 years ago. Over time I found myself getting annoyed with the bio-wheel stopping all the time. I also have an undergravel filter to help with biological filtration. When I saw the Aquaclear 50 on sale (buy one, get one free), I decided it was time to try something different than the bio-wheel 100. The Aquaclear 50 has double the flow rate (200GPH) than the bio-wheel 100 (100GPH) and is a much improved upgrade from the bio-wheel 100. Higher flow rates are available in the bio-wheel line as well, but I wanted to try another brand of filter.

    The water in my aquarium has not been this clean for a long time. I have not any problems with the filter not restarting after the power is has been shutoff. I did a few tests to see if it would restart on its own after being stuff off for 15 minutes and it always restarted. This could change over time, and I can see this being a problem if the water level in the tank goes below the equilibrium line of the filter and the tank’s water level.

    I do recommend a pre-filter for the intake tube if you have small fish as the rate of intake can catch fish. I had this happen with one of my guppies and added a Fluval Edge pre-filter to the intake to prevent this from happening again.

    I like the ability to be able to rinse the foam insert in the filter without having to replace them entirely (although the manufacturer recommends every 2 months) unlike the bio-wheel system’s filter cartridges. The foam insert can be cleaned many times, in conditioned water, to get the debris and to keep the nitrifying bacteria. The bio-max can also be rinsed in conditioned or tank water to allow it to be used longer. With the old bio-wheel I had to replace the filters every month due to the activated carbon in them. With the aquaclear I can run the filter without the activated carbon.

    Other than the noise of the first unit (which was exchanged), and to some extent the second unit (very little noise), I am very happy with it.

    The Aquaclear 50 comes with a foam insert, carbon filter, and bio-max media. There are two extension tubes that come with the filter. The filter is easy to assemble and attach to the back of the aquarium. There is an adjuster to level the filter with the aquarium that is located on the bottom of the filter.

    I am currently running it with two of the foam inserts and one pack of bio-max. I am debating on running only one foam insert and two bags of bio-max.

    Tank Size: 20 gallons.
    Current Filters: Aquaclear 50 and undergravel filter.
    Prior Filters: Bio-Wheel 100 and undergravel filter.
    Fish: 3 platies, 2 guppies, 4.5yr old angelfish, 4 albino corydoras catfish.
    Other: 3 ghost shrimp and 15-20 ramshorn snails.

    In my video I mention that the lid was a bit difficult to put on. It is much easier to put the lid on when the filter is actually installed on the back of the aquarium. It is not really an issue at all. Just something I came across while doing the video.

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  3. karen saretsky

    Came in quick, works fantastic, although it is not the quietest filter, it works the best, keeps water crystal clear

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  4. PWadzinski

    This is my second purchase of the AquaClear 30 Hagen Power Filter (AKA: “Fluval 30”), the 10-30 gallon adjustable flow OTB filter. I have a 10G standard tank and a 20G high tank. This filter is ideal for both. It is dead quiet (I have both tanks in my living room) and I cannot tolerate motor noise or a constant hum (I have a really quiet air pump in the room as well!). It would drive me up the wall. So… quiet. Very quiet.

    This thing can run 150gph through itself. That’s turning over all the water in a 30G tank five times every hour. But, best of all, if you turn it down (and for a 10 or 20 you need to!), it recirculates water inside itself and refilters it many times before the waterfall. This is what they claim, and I think it’s true. Can’t prove it. So… plenty of suction.

    The part that holds the filter material in place (a sort of removable U-shaped shelf) can be easily removed while the filter is running if you take it slow, otherwise it gets a little sloppy. Same thing when you put it back. They provide you with filter stuff. My advice… keeping the big sponge is a must, that’s an integral part of the system, and then get yourself whatever filter media you like in bulk blankets. I don’t use charcoal other than when I need to clear some medication or something, so I use a dual-density very fine polyester mechanical filter (comes in mats, cut to size, good for years) as the “polishing” stage, then I have a bag of bio-rock matrix sitting on top just before the waterfall. Works for me. I cut what I need, and it’s lots cheaper than cartridges and all that. (This filter runs water from the bottom up through the various media and out the top for the waterfall. Bear that in mind when you stack things up.)

    Disassembly is easy-peasy. CAUTION!!!!!! When you take the pump assembly off (a quarter-turn, and it comes right off), do it over a towel away from anything where you can lose a small part. The impeller is right there, magnetically bound to it’s shaft. You need to remove it (tweezers, like that) and rinse out that chamber as well as clean off the impeller. It’s not THAT small, but you really don’t want to lose it down the sink! And, like all OTB filters, the U-channel that carries water over the back is hard to get clean. Get REALLY flexible tube brushes… 3/4″ and 1″ will to nicely. You have to get around a 90 degree bend. Other than that… nothing to complain about, and that’s a necessary design they all have.

    And last, it’s low profile. The entire unit sticks up about one inch (2.6 cm) above the tank. The little flow adjusting handle thingy protrudes another little bit above that, but the whole thing is very unobtrusive. Perfect for a display tank.

    The one thing I wish OTB filters had is an in-line ON/OFF switch and a disconnect so you don’t have to dig around and unplug it when you want to service it or just turn it off for feeding time. I can do that stuff myself, but if *I* want something like that, I bet lots of folks do. ::hint hint::

    Anyway, I love this filter.

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  5. Kayle Kirby

    Powerful, great quality and filter inserts.

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    AquaClear 50 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 20- to 50-Gallon Aquariums (Packaging may vary)
    AquaClear 50 Power Filter, Fish Tank Filter for 20- to 50-Gallon Aquariums (Packaging may vary)


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