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Old 08-09-2011, 11:38 AM   #11
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I love canister filters, even for smaller tanks (I have a Fluval 205 on my 26gal).

Just remember that just like HOB filters:

Cleaning any filter media should always be done in a bucket of tank water, not tap water.

Most canister filters usually do well with having their sponge sections rinsed out once a month, and maybe the tubing cleaned once a year. The bio-media should never really get clogged enough to need cleaning.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:51 AM   #12
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The XP4 flows from bottom to top, so from bottom to top you should have: course mechanical (foam), then fine mechanical (polishing pads or filter floss), then biomedia (I recommend Seachem's Matrix). If you need to use some other specialized media (carbon, crushed coral, peat, etc.) it should go after the fine mechanical and before the biomedia.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #13
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I was thinking sponge, ceramic rings, plastic bioballs, fine particle filter
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:05 AM   #14
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All mechanical (including fine particulate) should go before any biomedia because otherwise you allow all those fine particulates to be caught in the biomedia, which clogs it and reduces its effectiveness. Bioballs are not made for submerged use. They were designed for trickle filters (aka wet/dry) but are not efficient for submerged use. By ceramic rings I assume you mean some sort of biomedia. Double check though because some are not porous and are therefore very inefficient as a biomedia. Again, I highly recommend Seachem Matrix as your biomedia. It has more bioavailable surface area than Fluval or Eheim's and (arguably) allows for denitrification.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:53 PM   #15
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My list was from bottom up, the ceramic rings are like biomax an the plastic bioballs are to promote growth of anaerobic bacteria as opposed to the more porous rings for aerobic bacteria
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:55 PM   #16
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Actually bioballs will not allow for anaerobic bacteria, ceramic may. Anaerobic require little oxygen. In most aquariums this only occurs inside live rock. Seachem Matrix claims to allow for it, but I have never heard any of the others claim the same. The reason is that the pores and channels deep inside the rock (or biomedia) have very low flow. The aerobic bacteria at and near the surface remove the oxygen and the lack of oxygen deeper within allows for denitrification. Bioballs do not allow for this in any way.

Either way you should still have all mechanical media (including fine pads) before any biomedia.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:12 PM   #17
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But after water passes over aerobic bacteria shouldn't oxygen be depleted? And since aerobic bacteria are not very adhesive they will favor the porous ceramic rings and the much more adhesive anaerobic bacteria will then colonize the smoother plastic Bio balls.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:20 PM   #18
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No. They all adhere fine to any surface. The small amount of water inside the ceramic/live rock can lack oxygen, but the massive flow of water passing through the canister will never become anaerobic, there is so much oxygen going in and so little is used there is not major drop in the flowing water.
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