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Old 06-29-2013, 10:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMantelli View Post
In order there's mechanical, chemical and biological. The mechanical filters out all the debris usually goes coarse sponge, medium floss then polishing pad. There's different grades and things you can use for each one though. Then there's the chemical something like seachem purigen, activated filter carbon, chemi pure the list goes on. Then there's your biological there little bacteria that build up and through a process called the nitrogen cycle turns the ammonia to nitrate you have to cycle your filter to build them up but they live in whatever works best with your filter for example API filstar uses bio stars, there's also different types of ceramic rings or similar. Hope that helps.
For the sponge, it usually goes from 30 PPI on the bottom to 20 PPI on the top of that basket. For bio filtration, I recommend getting ceramic rings or bio balls. Bio stars are ok but not worth the price at all.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:41 PM   #12
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Ya I have the xpm on my 20 and I don't even run chemical filtration in it just sponges floss and biological.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:42 PM   #13
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You got great advice. Just to add, canisters are SO much easier to clean and maintain. Much less hassle to clean than internal filters!!!
It actually depends on the canister filter and the internal filter. For sponges, you just take the songs off, squeeze it in a bucket of tank water for a few mins and then put it back. Canisters on the other hand, you have to take all the filter baskets out them clean the media inside. Canisters have a lot more media than sponges.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:43 PM   #14
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If they buy it new it comes with sponges, polishing pad, biochem zorb and biostars but I did add 250g of ceramic rings to the biostars.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:44 PM   #15
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I think you should be doing larger water changes. Probably 30% by weekly or 50%-75% weekly. It will certainly help with keeping the water clearer. As for the "external filter", if you're talking about a canister filter, it will help keep the water much much clearer(on average) then right now. If there's brand's I would recommend, it would be Fluval, Eheim or Rena. Although for that size, I would go with a Fluval 304,305 or 306 or an Eheim 350.

As for the cichlid inquiry, I would post that in the Cichlid section in the Freshwater part of this forum. You will receive more accurate and pin pointed answers.
For a 50 gal that has 2 plecos, even a 306 will not be enough. You will need at least a 406. And the eheim classic is the only good eheim canister filter IMO. The pro 3 are not worth the price and has many problems. What kind of plecs do you have?
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:46 PM   #16
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It actually depends on the canister filter and the internal filter. For sponges, you just take the songs off, squeeze it in a bucket of tank water for a few mins and then put it back. Canisters on the other hand, you have to take all the filter baskets out them clean the media inside. Canisters have a lot more media than sponges.
The fillstar is east just 4 clips pull the baskets squeeze out the sponges I also dip the bio filter if it gets nasty and replace only the polishing pad.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:46 PM   #17
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If they buy it new it comes with sponges, polishing pad, biochem zorb and biostars but I did add 250g of ceramic rings to the biostars.
I know that. But they give you the same amount of media for the xp4 as the xp3. Really? So for the xp4, you end up having to buy like over %50 of the media. I also added ceramic rings and bio balls. It only comes with 5 bio stars which is not a lot at all.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:47 PM   #18
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The fillstar is east just 4 clips pull the baskets squeeze out the sponges I also dip the bio filter if it gets nasty and replace only the polishing pad.
Yeah. But sponges are easier to clean. But cleaning a canister is worth doing it because it has more power, filtration, etc than a sponge.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by FishCr8zy View Post

I know that. But they give you the same amount of media for the xp4 as the xp3. Really? So for the xp4, you end up having to buy like over %50 of the media. I also added ceramic rings and bio balls. It only comes with 5 bio stars which is not a lot at all.
Mine came with an entire package. That's wiered.


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Yeah. But sponges are easier to clean. But cleaning a canister is worth doing it because it has more power, filtration, etc than a sponge.
+1 Yes sponges are easy but you just can't get the filtration for a bigger yr ank out of them alone.
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:33 AM   #20
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Mine came with an entire package. That's wiered.

+1 Yes sponges are easy but you just can't get the filtration for a bigger yr ank out of them alone.
When did you buy your rena? How many bio stars are in a package? I know sponges are easier but not enough filtration. Before I was saying that canisters are better but harder to clean.
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