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Old 04-25-2005, 10:01 PM   #1
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Best filter media choice?

I have a Fluval 304 canister filter that I am trying to pick the optimal media setup for its 3 trays. The trays are divided in 2, so really there are 6 places to put stuff. Everything first goes through a foam block, then the three trays. Anyway, I've heard carbon is unnecessary and I don't need a pH raising or lowering agent. No ammonia problem either. So, in that case I figured I would set it up this way:

Tray #1: Fluval Pre Filter Media
Consists of insert ceramic rings used to trap large particles before they clog the finer sieves of the modules above. The media forces water into many complex paths as it moves through this layer, further increasing its mechanical and biological activity and filtering area. An additional benefit, is it supports large populations of bacteria for proper biological action on ammonia and nitrite. This reduces the need for frequent changes of the active filter media. Pre-filter is permanent, and requires only occasional rinsing.

Tray #2 & #3: Fluval Bio-Max Rings
Suitable for both fresh and marine aquariums. When used in the middle filter module, fluval biomax is the ideal host material for large populations of beneficial bacteria. The ring size and shape provide an excellent strainer for large particulate wastes when used in the first (lowest) media module. There is still powerful biological activity when employed in the lower chamber.

Sound good? It seems kind of like a plain setup, but really all I want is good biological filtration. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-25-2005, 10:04 PM   #2
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You have just described my fluval to a tee. By the time your bacteria finish colonizing that massive area, you could sell it to others.
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Old 04-25-2005, 10:09 PM   #3
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You have just described my fluval to a tee. By the time your bacteria finish colonizing that massive area, you could sell it to others.
Thats a relief to know. How often do you replace the Bio-Max rings? The Pre-Filter lasts forever, right?
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Old 04-25-2005, 11:40 PM   #4
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Never...never. This doesn't need to be changed for the life of the unit. The foam can be rinsed (with tank water) and that's it.
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Old 04-25-2005, 11:46 PM   #5
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I would say that you wouldn't need to replace them in the medium to long term. I rinse mine out occasionally in tank water.

When I moved across the country I bleached the Bio-max noodles. It cleaned them up and left them un-clogged.

(unless you see a decline in the performance of your bio-filter....ie ammonia mysteriously shows up, you could bleach them and really clean out the gunk on SOME (1 tray) of them to "release new real estate" for the bacteria. This should really be needed though.)
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:03 AM   #6
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The ceramic pre-filter media will last forever, but the giant cheerio looking bio-max rings seem like they would break down over time. I guess not though, thats some good news. Do you use filter bags for your media? I ordered 6 little cloth baggies for the media to keep them together and looking orderly (I know, I'm anal).
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Old 04-26-2005, 03:13 AM   #7
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The glass noodles night break down with time but I bet it takes a long time. Hopefully 8O

I don't use bags, I just throw them all in the baskets. Sometimes I run floss between the ceramic and biomax
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