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Old 04-27-2005, 10:41 PM   #1
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prefilter on Fluval 304

i'm running a fluval 304 on my 40g planted tank...i recently noticed that the output flow was slowing down...so i cleaned out the foam pads and noticed a lot of plant matter sticking to them...
so i was wondering if a prefilter at the intake would stop leaves and small bits of plants getting into the filter...

also, how often do u guys change the foam pads?...i have had the filter for about 4 months now and haven't changed them since ...just clean them out every week...
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:12 PM   #2
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A prefilter is a nice way to keep your main filter from requiring such frequent maintenance, but the trade is extremely frequent maintenance on the prefilter, which in some cases might need attention on an almost daily basis.

It is a very good idea if you have a plant that is tending to "shed" like didiplis diandra or hornwort, or if you have fry or snails, because the prefilter will prevent all that from getting sucked into the filter, and is much more accessible.

I have some foam sponges in my Eheim that have been there for 5-6 years now that have not been actually changed, but just rinsed out, so I'd say if we are talking about coarse sponges and not floss, then there is really no specific time when they must be replaced - just until they are starting to fall apart.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:40 PM   #3
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thanks TG...
i was thinking of tying a thin nylon mesh or net around the intake to keep the maintenance low...
i do have a bunch of hornwort but it does not shed...and the snails are down because of the four clown loaches ...fries are still a long shot, although my albino krib is dating the female...
i guess i'm ok with the foam pads then...

i did read up something about the impeller seizing and melting !!
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/2637/
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:37 PM   #4
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fwiw, Ive used nylons/pantyhose as prefilter and it clogs real quick. Its also so effective a proper cleaning is a bigger PIA than using new pieces all the time. Open celled foam cut to fit is less of a PIA ime. My best success with prefilter has been pipe near water surface with slits in it to skim, plus a layer of fiberglass window screen. This grabs most of the bigger stuff (collects leaves for you) and passes little stuff, but "better to have that stuff in the filter not the tank". Low maint. I run wet dry, and that quote paraphrased is jsoong who runs better wet/dry, so maybe first stage (after prefilter) is too different from canister, but HTH. Can take pics if helps.

Success with new CO2? Just curious.
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:57 PM   #5
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I think the impeller seizing up (in the link you provided, tetrin) was due to the entire intake becoming clogged with plant debris and it sounds like maybe the motor was running dry. You can damage your motor with sand getting into it, so a prefilter in a new setup with sand is a good idea.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:47 PM   #6
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thanks czcz...u r far more advanced technically than i am ...as the fluval intake tube is vertical in my tank, so keeping the inlet near the surface would be very hard for me...if u meant attaching the pipe with slits to the intake, that would be hard for me to do too...
i'm going to try using the coarser nylon bags...the ones that hold the filter media in AC filters...and see how it goes...

TG, i have regular black gravel in the tank...ordered 2 bags of eco-complete from aquariumplats.com...got it on sale...$20 a bag with shipping...so no problems with impeller being hit by smaller particles...

czcz...the hagen co2 unit is working a bit sluggishly in the 10g, bubbling rate is quite lower than normal...i think it was the nutrafin packets i used that were at fault...next batch i'm going to use TG's formula...

in the 40g, i'm still debating what to use as a diffuser...i heard some horror stories of small fish getting trapped in co2 bells...so i decieded to go with a AC 210 powerhead, with co2 going into the venturi...i was testing it out with just water in a coke bottle and the gas separator bottle hooked up to the powerhead...it seems the suction is low enough not to draw in the solution from the generator bottle... ...
but what did happen was that, after about an hour, with all the air in the bottles being exhausted, there was a backflow from the tank...albeit at a low rate...so there has to be a check valve in the system...

sorry for the rambling....
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:55 PM   #7
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Get yourself a nice brass CO2 safe check valve - I think they have them at aquariumplants.com. The plastic ones will not work very well for this application.

A diffuser is going to work so much better than a bell anyway - and make the most of your CO2 gas. I have a BN pleco who likes to hang out inside my CO2 diffuser, which is a tube (picture a gravel vac end) with a water pump on the top of it, blowing the CO2 bubbles around inside. The CO2 concentrations must be very high in there but that's where he often likes to stay.
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:08 PM   #8
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Yeah, meant 2*90 deg (like U-turn) on vertical pipe, leading up to pipe with slits. Good luck! Thanks for posting PH test results
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:23 PM   #9
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i was looking for check valves locally, but not a single hardware store had them for a 1/4" tubing... ...i also looked up aquariumplants...but they must have discontinued them...couldn't find them...i did see some cheap diffusers (amano-style, glass/ceramic) with built in check valves at ebay...

i saw ur BN pleco...umm...he's crazy if u ask me...

btw, i saw some pix of a AA meeting in feb, http://www.pricenetwork.ca/gallery/displayimage.php?album=76&pos=8
i recognised brianNY 2nd from right...could u tell me who are the other guys...i do have a face attached to every name here, but it would be great to see if they match... :P
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:27 PM   #10
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Okay, next to Brian (moving to the left) is Jchillin/Bill, next to him is Bubbleyblue's friend (can't remember his name, don't think he is a member ), then Bubbleyblue (Menagerie's sister, Jackie), then QTOFFER/Andy, then Madasafish/Jon. lmw80/Lori and her husband, Daniel, came too, but after the photo was taken.
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