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Old 02-14-2015, 04:54 PM   #1
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Filter media

Upgraded my canister filter and went from a 3 compartment media to a 4. Was wondering what to put in the 4 th... I currently have one for foam pads... One for bio chem stars... And one for carbon and polishing pads.. Had this setup for two years with great results... Don't know if I should double up with something or add something new... Thanks


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Old 02-14-2015, 05:42 PM   #2
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I looked into this topic a lot these past few weeks.
I think either Matrix or Biomax would work nice. Matrix is good because it's pumice which is the most porous rock on earth which means it's a natural stone with a ridiculous amount of surface area through out. it'll be harder to kill all the bacteria colonies when doing rinsing although they can "clog" a little easier than biomax. Biomax is great because it does both mechanical filtration and bio filtration because of its ring shape while still being porous but it can be reset a little easier when rinsing it. The combination though I would think though would be very good and not overly expensive simply because matrix has a strong biofiltration and biomax doubles as both so not to waste any space. You can put the biomax in bottom chamber and matrix in top chamber, under polishing pads. I think putting polishing pads on bottom and on very top with media on top or underneath it in the same chamber is good to keep the media free from particles and also to polish the water overall.

Purigen could work instead of carbon too and you can save the carbon for when you want to remove medications or something since purigen last longer and is renewable and I think almost everyone that uses it holds it in very high regards. It won't remove good things in the tank either just organic waste and tannins
These three things aren't as expensive as other options and do very well.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply!! Is the bio max or matrix different then the bio Chem stars I am using now?.. And I think the purigen is the way to go...


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Old 02-14-2015, 07:52 PM   #4
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yeah all three are different materials. Bio chem appears to be more of a biofilter and not so much mechanical. It's made out of a polymer But it's good nonetheless just more expensive and some people don't like that it floats but I'm not sure that really matters much in a canister. I'd keep them and just mix them evenly with matrix in the top. I'm not sure how many stars you have... But if you have a lot of them then just skip the matrix but if you have room then just buy the appropriate amount of matrix to fill in the extra space. If they are already cycled and your tank was in good shape don't clean them just put them in.
As for biomax it's a ceramic ring but it's much more porous than most of the other brands. You can tell it's porous if it has a rough texture. The old version along with other cheaper ceramic rings tend to be a smooth texture and aren't very good at storing bacteria but were used as mechanical filtration because of their shape and density could break down waste and collect fine particals before it reached the biofilter. Biomax is the upgraded version that can do both because of it's increased porous texture but still is better at mechanical filtration than biofiltration overall and a valuable addition to the bottom trays.

What canister do you have? maybe I can do a quick sketch to put a visual on this.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:14 PM   #5
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Had the api filstar xp-L and now have the xp-xl.... Thanks for taking the time to explain!!! As far as the bio chem stars I have a whole tray dedicated for them...


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Old 02-14-2015, 08:44 PM   #6
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I made this up real quick to help visualize what I mean. I figure this would be a good layout that can do you well. on the top and bottom the filter floss can be thicker but the middle one is optional and can be thin. It's just to catch anything that might remain before it reaches the main bio-media but that might be slim chance either way it will hold good bacteria. The bag of carbon or purigen can go above or below the biomax but I figure it's just easier to remove if it was on top obviously. you can even fill the top chamber with a bunch of filter floss and put all the bio media in the second one from the top if you prefer I just figure you can add a little extra media this way which means you don't have to clean it as much and could potential house more fish or have a faster recovery in the tank.

I'd also just clean the foam and filter floss for like the first 6 month and leave the rest alone or till they are slimy and clean only one section at a time when rinsing the media. Just take a bucket of water from the tank that you removed from during a water change and squeeze it real good and shake it around in it till it looks clean.. this should remove most of the particles from the foams without risking any chlorine being added to the canister.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:56 PM   #7
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That is awesome.... Never thought to put the floss under the foam... I alway just put in last above my carbon... I will def use this blueprint for my canister... I will keep u posted... Will b setting up by next week..... Thanks so much!!


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Old 02-14-2015, 09:20 PM   #8
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The floss on the bottom is to catch the bigger particles before it gets to the foam since the foam is denser and can get clogged quicker. This gives time for any organic matter to break down before moving on to the next sections.

Also wait a bit before adding purigen so that the bacteria can colonize quicker. Then add it like after a month.

But anyways good luck and you're welcome 😉


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Old 03-03-2015, 07:55 PM   #9
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Just an update jferrante.... Media set up seems to be working great!! New tank has been up for 3 weeks and water perimeters are great... No fish were lost in the transfer... Thanks again for the blue print for my canister!!!


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Old 03-08-2015, 06:39 AM   #10
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Foam on bottom, then a finer pad then matrix then chemical stuff with some filterfloss in the top
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